As written by the hand of Kheldar
3rd Day of Taisham, 1000 NE (continued)
Lunch was once more a wonderful and tasteful experience. During
coffee afterwards, Tryane took a firm hand in things and got us started
on the investigation. First, we went to the palace and met with the
Queen's secretary. From him we obtained a brief writ, granting us
investigative authority in the matter of House Karistovan. With that, we
departed for the manor itself and were swiftly admitted.
There was little light there, and as the evening was not too far of,
a source of light might become useful in a short while. With this in
mind I vandalised the property and broke off an elegant oil lamp attached
to the wall. The group split up in order to expediate the search. It was
not exactly clear what was to be found, but I had a feeling that Raab's
study might provide some insight.
Of course, the bloody study was nowhere to be found - at least not in
the main building. Upon arriving in the great hall (which happened to
link the two parts of the estate together), I noticed an open door. As
it turned out, beyond it was the same hallway through which Raab had taken the
dark figure that had payed a visit to him during his party.
At the end of that hallway lay his study, a spacious recess with an
exit into a private garden. Beh'larah had already searched the desk, and
the other furniture in the secluded study offered little that
furthered our research. Beh'larah and I started taking out the drawers
of the desk, hoping to find a clue to Raab's doings.
Meanwhile, Tryane had evidently seen something out of place,
something of interest with the floor behind the desk. When I next
staggered backwards, burdened by the weight of a half-filled drawer, I
suddenly found myself a mere two steps away from a gaping hole in the
floor. After having put down the drawer (and having recovered my wits from the
suddenness of finding a veritable gorge at my feet) I venture towards the
opening and find stairs leading downwards.
Tryane has used her link to the One Power to create a strong light
with which she hopes to pierce the veil of darkness that shrouds the
descent. The descent is slowgoing, mainly because of my extreme
apprehension of any sorts of booby traps - after all, this is surely the
place to put them. Fortunately, none are found, although perhaps a
single find would have helped to restrain Eleya's temerity.
This time, I am glad to find that the stairs do not suddenly end.
They lead to a horrific scene: a black altar. As this is more in the
province of the Aes Sedai, I take a step back from the bleak darkness it
seems to emanate. Beh'larah is up the stairs as quickly as she went down
them. However, this area devoted to the Dark One is exactly the sort of
lead we hoped to find in House Kirklin (although the use of the verb
"hope" seems strangely out of place in such a situation).
When our eyes are better accustomed to the light, the rest of the
sanctuary manifests itself. There is some more furniture: a small table,
a desk and a bookcase. As Tryane is examining the three books found in
the bookcase, it is evident that two of them are written in the Old
Tongue. The third deals with the Trolloc Wars, and as neither Tryane nor
me feels that our current surrounds provide a befitting locale for
further studies, the books are taken.
Eleya has in the mean time investigated the desk, and since she has
found a small statue and strange knifes and I happen to carry my own set of
knifes, she asks my expert opinion on them. Although I am, thruthfully, not
the expert in the area of knifedesign she takes me for, from the graceful
curvatures, the fact that it was a rather decorous knife and the
ever-looming presence of the dark altar it was easily deduced that the
knifes were in fact used for the dark rituals that had taken place
here. The statue is not so easily placed, at least not by me.
As I feel that our examination of this unholy place cannot be called
complete without a thorough search, I start removing the drawers from
the shabby desk. My efforts are rewarded: at the bottom of the cabinet
holding the drawers a single autumn-leaf lays. I call Tryane's attention
to it and carefully take it out of its holding. The silky, rigid substance of
which it is constructed is definately not a natural occuring leaf.
The surroundings in which this leaf lay seem to indicate that it had
been the focus of some sort of dark ritual. The first thing that
comes to my mind upon seeing an autumn leaf would be the halting of the
seasons that has plagued the world, although it seems somewhat unlikely
that such an object could so easily be found.
Tryane and I are the last to depart the cellar. As my head rises
above the floor, a small object goes sailing right past my nose. It
turns out that Tadra is doing some investigations of her own, with the
small statue Eleya found. Beh'larah has retreated into the overgrown
garden, most likely getting a bit of fresh air after the sight of the
She returns to tell us that she has found yet another item of
interest: a closed gate, a short way into the garden. We follow her to
find a gate locked by a chain with a padlock. Finally, a chance to put
some of my more obscure talents to a decent use! And also, a small but
mayhaps vital way to be of some assistance for once!
Tryane examines the lock more closely and delivers her verdict upon
it: she is of course able to cut the lock too... She must have registered
the elation that clearly marked my face. "Or perhaps someone else could
open it for us," she concludes.
Luckily my ego concerning the tasks that the One Power can perform
better than I can has a thick skin - a necessary development if one
travels with Accepted and hopes to sometimes provide assistance. Well,
at least I will end up with a nice padlock to practice on. My attempts
to open the lock are somewhat unsuccessful, mainly due to the
accumulation of rust in the inner mechanism of the lock. But what a
beauty this lock proves to be! I can hardly wait for a return to the
Blessing to explore it more fully.
I mention to Tryane that although I will be able to open the door,
her way will undoubtedly prove to be quicker. Of course I caution her to
cut the chains and leave the lock intact, if at all possible. She
assures me she will. Next thing I know, Tryane is standing with a dagger
of fire in her hand and an apologetic look on her face over a padlock
which has been cleanly cut through the middle.
Luckily, my wits overcome my tongue before I find myself hurling
insults at a powerful Aes-Sedai-in-training, who happens to be wielding
a burning blade. Even though I find myself stricken with unbelief, I do manage
to let out a moan of dissappointment.
Tadra has in the mean time learned that what we are facing is not a
gate as much as it is a fence surrounding an area of the garden. Inside
this area we find a strange constructs between a pair of trees. It
consists of an intricate and overlapping pattern of twigs, branches and
leaves. In all likelyhood, this is an actual Waygate!
My thoughts return to the autumn leaf we found - it is a perfect
match for the leaves on the Waygate. I dimly recall that Waygates had
some sort of key; it could be that the leaf is the key, or is in some
way connected to the key.
The statue Eleya found is emanating a soft glow. A little
trial-and-error by her establishes that the intensity of the glow is
equivalent to the distance from the Gateway. During these
investigations, Tadra is listening intently. It appears she hears
some noise coming from behind the gate, but as she walks round to
investigate she discovers that the sound (a faint hiss, like a slow wind
blowing through an abandoned grotto) is coming from the portal
Our investigations have definately payed off, but what to do with the
results? I propose contacting the Amyrlin Seat, but this meets with
little applause. It seems the Accepted are of a mind to handle more and
more by themselves, and report less and less to The Flame Of Tar
Tryane is anxious to get started with translating the books we found,
so it is decided to continue this discussion at The Blessing. To prevent
anything from coming through the Waygate, Tryane seals it off using the
One Power to create a wall of air.
4th Day of Taisham, 1000 NE
So far, Tryane has discovered that the one book is a book describing
how to contact the Dark One. She has put that away and focused her
efforts upon the other book. Although I tried to be of assistance last
night, there is little I have to offer. So this morning I went out to
purchase myself something capable of inflicting more damage than a mere
dagger can in my hands.
It was nice to browse around shops with a definate purpose instead of
accompanying the girls for once. It took some time to find a blade which
seemed to sit right with me, but in the end I managed to pick a fine
rapier. I can't for the Light in me remember the times I was offered 'a
true Heron-marked sword, surely befitting one of my skill' - sometimes
at such prices that one might wonder whether the previous owner departed
knowingly with the blade. It makes one truly wonder if these merchants
do not know that the Heron is earned, not bought.
Upon my return, I learn that Tryane has made some headway with the
second book. It deals with Waygates, unfortunately Tryane is under the
impression that the book is more a collection based on rumours and
secondhand stories than a true investigation in the matter. Little new
can be learned from it, but it does help to confirm our concepts of the
As we have now come to understand it, the Waygates were constructed
by the Builders (although it confuses Tadra when I use this term, I
still think it is somewhat more appropriate than the term Ogier - which
is also an unknown term to her). Beh'larah mentioned something of the
Waygates linking to another dimension. Perhaps; the way I understood it
the Waygates lead into some sort of underground cavesystem and provide a
travelling highway connecting places. The only other Waygate I have ever
heard rumours about was supposedly located at Tar Valon, although I have
not set eyes on it.
One new thing that is learned from the book, is that there is some
sort of entity in the Ways. Anyone who encounters this entity is
stricken mad. The approach of this entity is announced by a rustling,
blowing sound - which might be what we heard at the Waygate. An
unnerving discovery, to say the least.
As Tryane continues her work on the book, I pick up the salvaged book
on the Trolloc Wars and wonder why Raab found a need for such a book.
Since I can see no direct method of being useful to Tryane, I start
reading the book. Perhaps by judging its contents I can infer what use
Raab had for this knowledge.
The book details the Allied Forces during the Trolloc Wars. Their
strategies are quite easily extractable from the accounts written in
the book. Perhaps Raab, or some Darkfriend higher in rank (the
Nae'blis?) was - is - planning an invasion? Food for thought, but this is
only circumstantial evidence at best (and flimsy at that).
The Amyrlin Seat is contacted to report our findings. Hopefully she
will provide the Accepted with some insight into what The Tower - well,
actually that part of the Sisterhood that split off - wishes to be done
with the Waygate.
5th Day of Taisham, 1000 NE
The following morning Tryane reports that the Amyrlin Seat has
replied to our findings to relay the following: The key to opening the
Waygate is the Leaf; we must warn the Queen about the presence of a
Waygate since it can be used to invade the city - Trollocs are using the
Ways to travel; be careful of the Black Wind (the entity living in the
Ways); it would be interesting to see how far the Ways go.
This last vague remark is open to interpretation. I take it that the
Amyrlin Seat meant this in a generic sense. Beh'larah and Eleya however
are adamant that it gives us a mandate to investigate the Ways. Our
conflicting view are not mergeable and therefore the fruitless
discussion is aborted in favour of directing our efforts in more useful
vains. I have a feeling that Beh'larah and Eleya are going to go to some
lengths to coerce the rest of the group into opening a Waygate - though
what good they expect to find, I cannot fathom.
So Tryane and I continued our studies of the books, while the rest
departed to visit with the Queen. Tryane managed to translate enough of
the book that dealt with contacting the Dark One to learn that it mainly
described the hierarchy of the Dark One's underlings. The Nae'blis (in
correct spelling this time, as translated by Tryane) turned out to be
"he, who is in favour". The Nae'blis is one of the dark ones - according
to the information recovered, these dark ones (which are not the Dark
One) can be summoned, perform the bidding of the Dark One but have a
mind of their own and thus are more dangerous, but also more prone to
As this book describes several dark rituals, it would seem unwise to
just leave it lying around unprotected. Tryane agrees with me on this
and promises to leave the book encased in a weave of hardened air
whenever she leaves it behind.