As written by the hand of Kheldar
11th Day of Taisham, 1000 NE (yet again continued)
Luckily, Eleya was able to weather the blast and entered the room. A few
moments later, she emerged again, lifting a sturdy chest. After careful
examination I was assured that there were no weaves triggering on the
opening of the chest. I handed the broom to Eleyah, sat down and examined
the lock. Challenging, yes, but definately within my possibilities.
Within half a minute I have opened the lock - either I have
overestimated this lock or underestimated my abilities.
While I continued to play with the now opened lock, Eleyah removed a
stave from the chest. Quite probably an angreal of some kind. We found
the rest in the main room downstairs, and shared our findings with them.
I kept to the side, playing a bit with the lock. A small part of me
reminded me that it was past time to depart. Then again, unpleasant
situations had a remarkable tendency of being solvable by this group, so
I was not particularly filled with dread when a loud series of knocks
sounded at the door and a voice boomed "Open in the name of the
So, I had been right - it was past time to depart. Be that as it may, we
would manage. Lord Gaebril and a number of guards made an appearance.
There was one lady of quality with them. She had the bearings and
markings of an Aes Sedai. Interesting, this changed the stakes and
indicated serious opposition - for there was no doubt what the red
lining of her shawl indicated. Beh'larah, Tryane and Eleyah were exposed
as Initiates by this Voniel Sedai. Lord Gaebril seemed quite angry over
this, which still is ridiculous. After all, Tower business is Tower
business, and it does not concern him in the least by whom Tower
business is carried out. Voniel seemed inclined in the same
This reminded me that the rift in the Tower was not just an
a difference of opinion. For all the words spoken by Egwene Sedai this
was a conflict, ever ready to burst out into skirmishes. Reconciliation
was not the number one priority for most Aes Sedai. And neither was it
for Beh'larah. She took an openly hostile stance towards Voniel, even to
the point of not according her the respect she is due as an Aes Sedai.
This was somewhat strange - Beh'larah knows and understands the reasons
for this respect better than most - but it was symbolic of the
depth of the breach.
We are marched off to the inn for questioning (Tryane with a little
detour to release Branla from her hold). Tadra was more cranky than
ever. Although she and Beh'larah were barely able to walk, Tadra refused
my aid in a grumpy manner. Getting blasted to within an inch of her life
certainly did not have a pleasant effect on her mood. Beh'larah,
supported by Eleyah, seemed to fair a bit better. Her eyes were blazing
with an inner zeal, roused by the meddlesome involvement of the 'Red'
Tower in our business.
I dropped the lock somewhere, as I knew enough of its secrets and the
current situation might demand my attention. The inn was cleared to
accomodate our gaolers. Voniel and Gaebril seemed bent on interrogating
the ladies at the present, despite their obvious need for a good night's
rest. I sat myself down in a corner and started playing my flute, much
for my own distraction as to add make some feeble statement of
resentment. What better way was there than to play 'Hawkwings shepherd
boy' (a song about how a shepherd boy survives all the mistakes of all
leaders surrounding him, declining Hawkwing's offer of a post, but being
frequently visited by Hawkwing for advice, which is better than that of the
short-sighted advisors at court)? Then again, I daresay it is an old
song, and I doubt few now know the words beyond the second couplet, let
alone grasp the underlying message.
As Voniel began her questioning, Beh'larah acted as the wayward thread
ruining the weave. I had never before seen her act so strongly on an issue.
She thwarted Voniels attempt at questioning with her cocky attitude,
making a brave stand. Voniel Sedai struck her down for it. Beh'larah's body had
not yet recovered the trauma's endured in our battle, and she fell down
unconscious. I jumped of the couch and rushed over, like Tryane and
Eleyah did. I believe I even cried out "Are you out of your mind!"
We put Beh'larah on a couch and attended her for a bit. Tryane was
staring Voniel down, but kept some of her calm. Her manner towards
Voniel clearly indicated that Tryane accorded her the respect due, due
to her trials in becoming an Aes Sedai. But she was vehement that we
were in the right: there was unsanctioned channeling outside the Tower.
We investigated and persisted - as we should have (according to Tryane).
We were attacked in our most recent investigation, and therefore
counterattacked. Voniel responds with a sort of "we'll see about that"
attitude, and leaves us for the night, claiming that she will go to
investigate Tryane's statement.
As soon as we have put the brave Beh'larah to bed, our thoughts turn
towards the ter'angreal we still possess. Advice from the Amyrlin Seat
would be more than welcome at this moment. I notify Tryane that I would
like to know if we should risk an escape attempt or if we should just
remain put and let events unfold. Recent events are relayed through the
ter'angreal, and all we can do now is get a good night's rest.
The Flame of Tar Valon has found time to reply to our questions. Her
message is simple: Lord Gaebril is a suspected high-ranking Darkfriend.
It is unclear how he garnered the assistance of an Aes Sedai, but, seeing
as he is an important Darkfriend, our suspicion should also be rised
against her. We are urged to come to Tar Valon as soon as possible.
An escape plan was quickly made. Our goal was evident: the Ways
provide the fastest route to Tar Valon, and the easiest manner to loose
any pursuers. To cover our departure from the inn, Eleyah would provide
a thick fog and a slide-like slate of air from the window. The plan
worked marvelously, even though the appearance of fog in the dry, warm
environment should have been a dead giveaway that someone was using the
One Power to create a cover. We regrouped at the edge of the fog, and
carefully made our way to the alley where the entrance to the cellar
housing the Waygate was. Naturally, we were forced to take detours from
time to time, but we arrived without being pursued.
Unfortunately, the cellar was blocked! The air in front of the doors
had that familiar particular feel to it. Tryane cursed, when Beh'larah
remarked 'oh, no problem.'. Apparently she had deemed it necessary to
guard the Waygate from the other channelers. We hastened into the
cellar, and I was anxious to enter the Ways in order to cut off possible
pursuers. There was a discussion on how to leave the Waygate guarded,
which took entirely too long. I repeatedly pointed out that this was one
of the first places where our adverseries would search for us, but to no
avail. The momentum had passed, and the Initiates once more used words
instead of actions. They demonstrated a complete abscence of awareness
of any of the concepts of a successful escape. I had never had escaped
from imprisonment by an Aes Sedai before, but haste would seem of some
Finally, Tryane opened the Waygate. Tadra and myself immediately made
our way to jump in, when the slightly open doors revealed not the
silvery shimmer, but a blackened, rotten, putrified darkness. A terrible
moaning became audible. The Dark Wind...
Suddenly, an intense wave of despair assaulted my already high-strung
emotions. I fell down, dragged myself under the broken stairs and cried.
It took some moments before I regained a measure of control over myself.
Somehow, the terrible sight was gone - the Waygate was closed. I tried
to leave the cellar, but bumped into a wall of air. Tryane was already
shouting at Eleyah to remove that blockade. Yet again, the Initiates
chose an inappropriate moment to reflect and discuss, instead of taking
decisive action. They had grown since we left Salidar, they may have
acted the part of full Sisters, but they still have much to learn before
they can become full-fledged Aes Sedai.
It was as if Eleyah was totally oblivious to what had happened. I
remember that I even for a short time wondered whether she was in league
with the Dark Wind - crazy, I know, but it was she who denied us light,
fresh air and distance from this horrid experience. And I do not use the
term 'denied' lightly here - she had been implored, asked, begged,
commanded and requested, but she simply ignored Tadra. Little wonder
Tadra and myself started digging our own way out.
This was definately an Ogier's Task if ever I heard of one. Finally,
the Initiates reached the inevitable conclusion that the Ways were thus
sealed to us, and that we would leave the town through the nearest gate.
As soon as the blockade was removed, Tadra and I went outside. We
quickly agreed to meet eachother outside the city. Then Beh'larah
changed before my very eyes! I had heard of channelers being able to use
the One Power to disguise themselves, but never had seen it being
executed from so nearby.
We soon reached the southwest gate of the city. While I was contemplating
how to walk through the gates unnoticed, Tadra just set out and walked
through. She was not hindered. Beh'larah, resembling not even remotely
her normal self, was also able to go unhindered. So I took a chance and
walked through the gate.
Naturally, I was questioned. Luckily I was able to recall the
surrounding topography of the city, and I gave the name of a nearby
village, where I would go visit an imaginary brother. The guards warned
me to be careful of highwaymen, and I was allowed to depart. Phew!
I met up with Tadra and Beh'larah at some distance of the city walls.
A little later, Tryane and Eleyah appeared. They too had been
questioned, and Tryane had said she was going to some nearby village.
She was having some sort of fit over that now. It was not done for an
Initiate to lie, but in order to keep her word, Tryane had to visit that
village. Beh'larah pointed out that she had already lied, but she did
not see it that way. Finally, Beh'larah furiously exclaimed to Tryane
that we were not going to that village. Beh'larah was not going, Tadra
was not going, Eleyah was not going and Kheldar was not going, so "we"
were not going!
Tadra of course had to remark that that village was now off limits to
us all, otherwise Beh'larah would have lied. This remark broke the
tension, and Tryane came reluctantly along, vowing to return and pay a
visit to that village.
We left for Aringill. Our plan was to buy passage on a boat heading
for Tar Valon. However, Aringill was also quite far off. Therefore we
purchased horses at the earliest convenience. This was quite expensive,
and some of us had to go bareback, lacking the funds for a saddle.
However, we managed and in this fashion we started our journey.
19th Day of Taisham, 1000 NE
We had been travelling for a couple of days, when shortly after our
morning break (horses need breaks occaisionally) the air cleared. A cool
breeze wafted by, the atmosphere became more and more moist, and the
temperature started to drop. We were experiencing the return of winter!
The Initiates conveyed that an enormous surge of the One Power had
accompanied the change. Barring further evidence, I decided to mark this
as a victory for Light.
22nd Day of Taisham, 1000 NE
We've covered quite some distance in this period. It has taken us a
mere eleven days to arrive in Aringill. Eleyah quickly located a barge,
but the haggling did not go well. She returned somewhat downcast. Even
if we were to sell the horses, the five of us together could hardly
muster enough funds to buy passage for one of us, let alone all five.
Moreover, Beh'larah seemed intent on retaining her horse and the one she
bought for Tadra.
I reminded Eleyah that it is not uncommon that the Tower settles the
bills of travelling Sisters. Tryane was afraid that the captain would
abuse such a carte blanche, to charge the Tower much more than the
actual cost. I reassured her that extortion of the Tower would be a
bad idea: after all, no captain would want to make an enemy out of the
So, we returned and Eleyah instructed the captain to take us to Tar
Valon. The barge was heavily loaded with our horses, and the captain
managed to muster the courage to ask Eleyah whether these could not
better be sold. Beh'larah insisted on taking her horses along, so Eleyah
instructed the captain to sell the other horses for no less than they
had cost us. He grumbled a bit about this, but was not about to refuse a
perceived Sister. He does mention that he is not yet ready to cast off,
and that departure was planned for the next day.
10th Day of Jumara, 1000 NE
After long days of sailing towards Tar Valon, we finally arrived. In
reality, if circumstances were extremely benificial it would have taken
us another day at the very least. But I noticed that there was a
prevalent wind blowing in the right direction, and that the river
occaisionally flowed in the direction of the mountains instead of the
sea. No doubt the Initiates were as anxious to return home as I was. As we
disembarked, the captain thanked me for providing some entertainment to
alleviate the long hours. I replied that I am merely happy to practice my
craft, and that his crew constituted a rewarding audience. Nevertheless,
the crew seems much more relaxed than most crews would after such a
voyage. Perhaps they will not even spend all their money in one night