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Session 17 (Kheldar)

Played on 2005/01/23

As written by the hand of Kheldar

11th Day of Taisham, 1000 NE

Despite our failure of the night before (resulting in getting the blasted Gateway being locked down for us... Light!), there still seemed to be a couple of avenues open to us. We still had no idea who was living in the house, and why they were channeling. However, their neighbours would most likely at least know their names.

However, I still found it somewhat odd that Tryane did not take charge of the situation and burst through the door. After all, she had once claimed to lead the Initiates in this little group, and surely this matter warranted investigation. Should the subtle methods fail - well, of course they cannot fail, they can only be applied unimaginatively and lacking appropriate skill (I must confess I sometimes catch myself in the act of doing so as well). But should our attempts at subtle methods fail, then it stands to reason that our efforts would shift, but the goal would remain the same.

In other words, it was time to become more forceful. At least, that's how I saw it - but the groups opinion on this was firmly split in a multitude of opinions differing in obvious and more subtle details and generalities. Better worded: we obviously lacked decisive leadership. Now I realise that this task had in the past seemed to have fallen to Tryane, but it became more and more apparent that that was only because neither Eleya nor Beh'larah had felt it necessary to put themselves forward as such when confronting others.

From my time spent with the Sisterhood, I knew that there exists a wide variety of leadership: from deferred to to blantantly commanding, from seniority to (apparent or imagined) power. There had also been occaisions of Sisters working together without such distractions. Such a situation inevitably had an expiration date tagged onto it - there always comes a time when clarity of leadership becomes important. And it was becoming more and more clear to me, that our cooperation, our efforts, were suffering from lack of it.

The reason for the above tirade is the nauseating feelings the memories of our inaptitude revive in me. First we were standing at the front door, discussing our actions and arguing. Then, after Tadra had ignored our incessant inability to take action and had knocked on the door (with little different results), we went round to the back door.

And, for the love of the Light, the arguing continued! In retrospect, it actually is laughable: three Initiates who are continuously posing as full Sisters arguing about options to contact people on the other side of a door! Well, I decided to pursue Tadra's course of action, knocked on the door and when it opened I accused them of channeling.

That threw them of their socks long enough for me to wedge my foot in the door. Tadra pushed passed me and entered. The two of us had (albeit quite bluntly) achieved what the good ladies had been discussing for the past two days in mere minutes. If the entire Tower were this inept, then I saw no real problem in Egwene taking control and uniting both groups!

Of course, the inhabitants of the house were not too pleased by our abrupt appearance. Naturally, I left the continuence of this situations in the capable hands of the Initiates. And equally naturally, events once more slowed to a crawl.

Suffice it to say that the house was searched for residues of recent weavings. These were found, apparently in the resident ladies' bedrooms. These ladies claimed to have been sleeping when we entered, however they are fully dressed and their beds are too tidy for them to have actually slept in them. A couple of quaint occurrences stick out in my mind: first there was the maid, who went out to fetch a guard after things had settled down and she had been ordered to fetch us some tea. Then there was the guard, whose first appearance was quickly dismissed by Eleya, but whom later returned with a small army to "escort" us to the Queen, who apparently was displeased with our action. Then again, he did not recall why he had gone straight to the Queen to complain, only that he had done so. And it was not normal procedure for guards to report directly to the Queen.

Then there was the insolence of the ladies themselves. I have come to realise that my manners towards Aes Sedai may be somewhat lacking (although I usually avoid too much trouble), and I realise that my travelling companions are not yet full Sisters. But it almost seems that some power is toying with it: first Isana; then Gaebril, the advisor to Queen Morgaise (who makes her sit down); and now Laurelle and Marithe (the two of the ladies who do most of the talking) - each one's attitude towards the Initiates (whom they ought to percieve as full Sisters) is wrought with insolence! We do seem to pick them out...

In the end, the Initiates ineptitude to actually achieve results even results in bad blood at the residents. They pack their things and leave in response to Tryane's statement that she will remain until she finds out who is doing the channeling. I have to agree with Tryane though - I know something about the One Power, and untrained use may result in death. That is one of the reasons why it is always important for a Sister to examine potentials.

Well, to make a long story short: the nieces (since they claim that that is their relationship) leave, I follow, they go to the front of the house and meet up with guards, send them into the house, the guards come out looking confused and finally the girls enter the house once again. I return to the inn and grab a quick bite to join Eleya to look for Tryane and Beh'larah. They're probably lingering in the neighborhoud of the house.

As we walk out the inn, we run into Tryane and Beh'larah. While we stand in front of the inn, exchanging pleasantries and information, the charred remains of a wooden box suddenly fall in our midst. It seems to have come from Tadra's room. Eleya (who got nicked by the object) walks in and up the stairs with a firm look on her face. The rest of us go to wait inside. After a short while, Tadra comes down with Eleya and confesses: she had taken a box from the nieces' house, because it looked special. She had managed to open it by hacking at the wood around the lock with her knife. Inside, there was a Leaf - resembling those we had encountered when using the Waygates. When she tried to take the Leaf, the box combusted and burned her. Apparently, she took vengeance on the box by tossing it angrily out the window.

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