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Session 18 (Kheldar)

Played on 2005/01/30

As written by the hand of Kheldar

11th Day of Taisham, 1000 NE (continued)

After lunch the discussion continues in one of our rooms. There is a polite knock on the door, and I decide to once more attempt to play the part of valet. Opening the door, I greet the nervous proprietor. He informs me, that there is a distinguished guest for the Aes Sedai. Lord Gaebril has ventured here to meet with them, apparently.

Seeing that so far, my role is for once actually working, I decide to keep up appearances and venture downstairs to fetch said Lord. Perhaps, if acceptance of my portrayal continues, I might be in that famed position universally present in folklore: that of the servant who hears much, but is never suspected to act upon it. Besides that, it would most definately be a more natural fit to accompany a gathering of Aes Sedai in a servatile role than the more equal part I usually assume in more private circumstances.

And it plays out magnificently: after having announced to Lord Gaebril that the Ladyships are a little surprised, but pleased at his visit, and await him, I even manage to announce him to the Initiates. In the ensuing conversation, Gaebril expresses his (and, he adds as though an afterthought, her majesty's) dismay over our invasion of a private home. The Initiates, however, remain firm on this: Aes Sedai business is just that: Aes Sedai business. They agree that they had preferred alternate measures, but in abscence thereof, they had acted (and will do so again) as is required of them by the Sisterhood. I must admit feeling gratification of the way Beh'larah did not back down under his rather presumptuous attitude.

After he takes his leave (and is, naturally, once more escorted by me to the exit), I rejoin the ladies to continue our discussions. After a short while I decide to look further into the matter of this Lord Gaebril, and see if I can uncover anything of worth about the house or its occupants. A pity that such matters are at best vaguely documented - spending the afternoon in that fabled library would have suited my fancy. As it is, however, I must confess that the best option is (as always) to seek out the public in general, and garner what I can from the more talkative amongst them.

After a fruitful afternoon, I return to the inn to confer with the others. During my investigative-oriented afternoon, I have learned that Lord Gaebril is a recent addition to the court. He suddenly became an advisor to the Queen one year ago - no one seems to recall him previous to his elevation. The general public also knows not why he carries the title Lord - but one thing is certain, her majesty did not bestow it upon him. The general populace seems to feel he is doing a rather decent job - he helps to keep things running and the Queen seemed to need some sort of support after her daughter left for Tar Valon (an ancient custom). Naturally, there are various rumours of him having an affair with the Queen.

It is apparent that he has become a powerful influence behind the throne and it seems that although the Queen still is in charge, Lord Gaebril seems to have a hand in various matters - and his voice carries weight with the Queen. Interesting...

Naturally, I hadn't forgotten our primary goal: to investigate and deal with the channeling. The block in which the House (with a capital 'H' to set it apart from any other house) is situated, is owned by a certain mr. Aryman, apparently a subordinate of Lord Gaebril. Interesting again...

Lastly, although I was not actively looking for it, I was told the latest town gossip, including the demise of three highly-placed politicians of importance in the last fortnight. One of them was in the full bloom of life and suddenly died, another has been missing for an extended period without any notice of his whereabouts, and the throat of the third sliced. Interesting yet again...

My first conclusion is that Lord Gaebril is the evil genius at work here, and the ladies at the House are somehow doing his bidding. If so, then his goals would probably lie in the direction of taking over the rule of the city (and, per extension, the country). Truthfully, for me it is not of great consequence who rules here, as long as there is a good and just ruler. Oppressive rulers and Darkfriends are exempt from this, and it does matter to me to prevent one to rise to such heights. Therefore, although I will go along with the Initiates plans, I would personally like to know Lord Gaebril's motives before attempting to prevent his rise to power.

While relating this, another view of the events suddenly unfolds before me: it could also be that Lord Gaebril is merely an aide to the ladies in the House, and they the evil spider at the center of this web of intrigue. That would explain the reaction of the guards and of Lord Gaebril - instead of protecting his underlings, he was ordered to protect his bosses.

Beh'larah too has done some reconaissance. She informs us that she had Tadra bash the backdoor of the House open, and she ventured inside to explore. The long and short of it is, that the ladies can channel, do channel, seem to be aware that they channel and seem to have a grasp of channeling (as evidenced by their reaction to Beh'larah's hardened air).

At this point Tadra inquires if Beh'larah happened upon that one chest. She explains to us that two items attracted her attention the previous visit: the box containing the Leaf, and an ornately decorated chest. The rest of us feel that it would have been better, had Tadra remarked this a bit earlier.

During dessert, we lay our plans for the coming evening. I have a premonition that there could be a clue at Lord Gaebril's residence (whereever that may be located), and I manage to convince Tryane to join me for a little tour of breaking and entering. Meanwhile, the others are worried that their potential enemies (the ladies) know where they are staying, and feel that if things cannot be resolved differently, a preemptive strike is in order. This seems to me quite preposterous, but unfortunately I seem unable to offer a viable alternative.

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