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Session 12 (Kheldar)

Played on 2004/11/21

As written by the hand of Kheldar

1st Day of Taisham, 1000 NE

When I examined Eleya more closely, it turned out to be not as bad as it had seemed at first. It would appear she had suffered a couple of minor cuts from a sword. However, that obviously clashed with the abundance of blood on her. She had a calm look on her face - the one I had learned to associate to her using the One Power.

Behind me, the doors opened and Mat and his men came in. As they did not recognize that the situation was under control, we were swiftly relocated to the palace. There, Raab and Furlan were led before the Queen and her assembly. My blood boiled upon the sight of Furlan. I whipped out my daggers with murder on my mind, but my hand was stayed.

After I had sheated my daggers, Mat allowed me to talk to Furlan. "You murdered your son just to have an edge on us?!" I asked of him. He looked actually shaken by the question. "Of course not!" was his reply. My hearth skipped a beat. Could this also be a false memory?

"You mean to say you did not sacrifice your...," I started, but then I noticed the look on his face at the word "sacrifice". He actually seemed pleased that I understood how it had really happened - that he was not some sort of abberrant child murderer, but that his own son had been sacrificed for the Greater Good of his dark master.

My hands were fingering my daggers once again. I walked away, managing not to slice his throat, not to punch or kick him, even managed not to spit in his face - somehow. The Queen charged them with treason and sentenced them to death. It felt like a light-weight charge, and a felt a hollow somewhere inside me that demanded more than merely their deaths.

It seemed Tadra was of like mind. As soon as the Queen had finished speaking, she unsheathed her sword and moved towards Kirklin. Apparently she saw no reason to prolong the inevitable and had decided to aid her royal highnessess' justice. Although I understood that there were a lot of intricacies that would be upset, I couldn't help but to completely agree.

The Queen, who had regained a measure of her composure, was clearly affronted by this rash action. Prince Beslan managed to defuse the situation by prying himself away from Eleya and ousting Tadra from the throne room. The Queen then reiterated her statement and we departed for the Blessing.

The Accepted are bent on informing the Amyrlin Seat. As my presence is not a mandatory prerequisite for this exercise, I excuse myself in favour of some serious contemplation and soulsearching. Before departing on this intrinsic self-concerned journey, I unfortunately recall our original second mission as set forth by the Amyrlin Seat in the dreams of the Accepted.

The first part is obviously covered: the murderer of Eadrica Sedai has been caught and will be executed. This might have a detrimental effect on our succesful completion of the second half of our mission: to team up with Nyneave and Elaine Sedai. Sight nor sound has been received of those two in the last weeks, and as Raab has proved himself a worthy opponent once already to a fully trained Aes Sedai, there is no telling what he could have achieved on his home territory with his own forces at hand.

These worries are conveyed to Tryane, who finds herself sharing some of them. At my prompting, it is decided to pay a visit to the two incarcerated Darkfriends. After some procedures and warnings, Tryane is allowed to visit the Darkfriends and we can come along.

Getting them to talk is proving very difficult. Even the coolly applied use of torture has little effect other than to partially sastisfy my taste for vengeance. The rewards for their failure will await them after death, and it is said that the Dark One is a harsh master.

After this fruitless excursion, we return to the Blessing. The time for action has definately passed, and the night provides ample time to reconsider the events of the day. The horrifying memories of the dark ritual at the Furlan estate haunt me. Since sleeping would only serve to compound this horror, it might be wiser to first deal with these memories.

My first attempts are trying to treat the memories as some sort of puzzle. They were instilled for a purpose, and they have served that purpose. I find that this scientific view, even though it might be accurate, does little to alleviate the black emptiness inside me.

But it did serve a purpose: as I was pondering why I was immobilised as long as I was when the memories came flooding back, I realise it was not only the shock of having memories coming back, but also the emotional shock of the memories themselves. So this might actually be considered an emotional puzzle instead of one of wits.

That would explain what had happened. Unfortunately it does not provide me with any handholds on how to deal with its effects. The relief I felt when Furlan cried out in pain has passed, and I feel that this swirl of memories and emotions needs to be dealt with. As I can think of no better option, I force myself to relive every moment of the memories and deal with the emotions arising from them.

2nd Day of Taisham, 1000 NE

After a long night, I am roused from my contemplations when I hear Tadra asking me if I wish to join them in ascertaining the exact hour of the executions. I decline, but ask her to fetch me in time for them. A short while later I find myself thinking that the executions might provide the last part necessary for closure on this subject.

Eleya pops in, looking for the others. Although her physical wounds seemed to have healed miraculously, from the dark lines beneath her eyes I perceived she had her own emotional scars to deal with. She insists that we find the others, so I clean up a bit and join her. Tryane, Beh'larah and Tadra are at the square in front of the palace, where the executions are to take place in a short while.

Eleya relates that the Amyrlin Seat contacted her with new instructions. They seem vague to no end: there is no longer a need to locate Elaine and Nyneave - the mission we still had in front of us - but she would like us to pursue the evil behind Furlan and Kirklin - the mission we had finished! At the time, this didn't register in such clarity as it does in hindsight. But even then it felt weird.

The executions were held shortly after that, and left me with some feeling of vengeance wreaked, but not really fulfill my emotional needs. Tryane feels a trip to Isana is in order, to thank her for her information and to see if she can help us with our new quest. Unfortunately, it is too late to travel to the Rahad and return before dark, and being in the Rahad after dark is something we still wish to avoid.

I manage to put the partially answered questions of my soul out of my mind for the afternoon by researching what has happened to Houses whose leader was guilty of treason - it was a question that arose, and it seemed to be a chance to put some of my skills to some good use. The House is dismantled, remaining nobles are "removed" and the lands are given to the next House in line (or whichever one the Queen currently favours).

With this I head back and for bed, hoping to find a bit of rest before mourning. Even though I turn in early, I have no such luck and find my thoughts once more preventing sleep.

In the silence of the night, I find my self-worth challenged. As I relive the experiences of recent times, I start to wonder if the Amyrlin Seat has made a mistake in requesting that I join this group. I was of little use in the battle with the Children of the Light at Furlan's estate - as I recall I was the only one to pass out.

Later, only Beh'larah had any recollection of the events that supposedly had happened. I tried to investigate, but even though there was the obvious clue of the stairs leading nowhere, I could not manage to find any information or clues. Then, back at Salidar, Tadra found the site of a battle with the One Power while I couldn't find anything.

Well, that wasn't quite true, I did manage to locate the horses and nearly got myself killed in the process. A nice way to go exploring. When we did engage the Children at Salidar, the Accepted did everything and I merely ran around in an abandoned building, making a fool of myself.

In Ebou Dar, I should of course have exploited my apparent position of one of the retinue. Little attention is payed to those, and in many a tale the leading characters use such positions in disguise to great effect. Not me - all I managed to do was get myself jailed for a night.

When the Queen was attacked, everyone recovered their wits ahead of me - the battle had been all but won when I recovered from the memory-induced shock. Light, even when I was out attempting to create a merry mood in a tavern I wasn't doing anyone (bartender and customers included) big favors. Perhaps Isana had been right when she had derided me as "librarian". Perhaps I should stick to something I...

I stopped that thought from finishing. Perhaps I wasn't the greatest asset to the Tower's resources - so be it, I had never really counted myself as belonging to the Tower. Maybe I was of little use to my companions in their struggles. But they were combating evil - they were fighting the Good Fight. I might still be able to provide some assistance. And even if I was of no use in that fight, then my role could be the one to record their doings.

I might have played no part in whatever success had been achieved by our little group - but so be it. This group was doing its best to make this world better, so what was there to do but help them? I revisited the experiences of the Furlan estate, and for the first time I remembered seeing Narvin smiling at us, at me. This life was not a story, and we wouldn't always succeed (as can be learned from the episode at the Furlan estate), but they would do their best to prevent such proceedings and catch the culprit. And, for the time being, I would be there to help them if I could.

With that thought lodged firmly in my mind, I fell asleep and enjoyed a decent nights' rest.

3rd Day of Taisham, 1000 NE

Our stay at Isana's was a short one. She turned out to be some sort of herbs woman, having an impressive collection of books on medicinal herbs. She was somewhat singleminded however: her only other book was "The Travels of Jain Farstrider", not exactly the definition of a well-stocked personal library.

The Accepted were constructively derided, as it were (meaning that she gave us the impression that she was just short of being astounded that such an bickering group of half-wits had actually managed to achieve something of any lasting importance). Besides that, she recognised the term 'Nighbliss' as some sort of honorary, high title. That might be why Furlan had mentioned during his folterings that he wanted to be the Nighbliss and that Raab tried to become it as well, and that there could be only one. To be short: nothing new under the sun, we already knew this.

At this thought, I managed a slight grin. She might be right in deriding me as some librarian, but then again, her opinion of herself in matters other than healing seemed also a tad inflated. Ah well, a case of kettle and pot, I should think. There was little more information to be gained from Isana, so we departed once again for the Blessing and arrived just in time for lunch.

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