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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY
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_Kynwric_

To catch a scoundrel. (Mordre)

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Madoc stood there listening to the instructions he was being given by the Wise One, and was having a hard time comprehending those instructions for two reasons. The first was an easy reason, they didn't make sense, this was a job for a Seai Doon, or maybe a Tain Shari, and he didn't see how a Stone Dog would do as well as either of them in it. But, what could you do? When a Wise One bid you do something, you just did it. The second reason he was having trouble concentrating was more troubling, that was because the Wise One who was giving him the instruction; Mordre was always distracting to him on some level, and she was more so when she was trying so very hard to be serious. He finally felt the smile creep across his face before chuckling at her. When he realizing the red in her face was her rising anger Madoc raise dhis hands placatingly and smiled. "No need for that Mordre, you're just adorable when you're trying to be so grown up." He set aside the things he had been working on, making sure his weapons and shield were in good order, and put away his tools, for he couldn't leave his mother's house a mess or he'd feel the rough side of her tongue when he returned. Finally he was ready and gestured to Mordre to lead the way, never mind that he was certain of where they were headed. Of course they ran... which added to the tension that was creeping into the back of his mind. What on earth could be so desperately secret that they sent for him, and judging by the reception had decided Mordre was to join him in this quest? Just thinking about that made him tense up more, wondering if the Wise Ones were still trying to push them together... if so that would certainly set Mordre's hackles on end, never mind that was what they both wanted... eventually. 

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Mordre felt her temper flaring and fought very hard to keep it under control. The Wise Ones had tasked her with fetching Madoc like a stick and bringing him back, a deep seated knowledge that they were matchmaking adding to her irritation in no small measure. Now, he was laughing at her, of all things. There was a traitor among them, walking their paths and sharing their shade and Madoc felt he had time to laugh! He wouldn't laugh at Shri standing here, or any of the other Wise Ones, for that matter. She hissed a breath as he slapped her with the word, "adorable," and the urge to club him over the head with something was something she also had to squash. She fought allowing more than the flush on her cheeks to give her emotions away and turned her back on him, not really waiting for him to gesture before she headed out before him and thankful for the open air to run through. 

 

They slowed and finally halted in front of the small house the Wise Ones were gathered in and she took a deep breath before pushing through the door and announcing her return with the Stone Dog on her heels. 

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Madoc followed Mordre in to the Wise One's roof, and suddenly felt the weight of the women's eyes on him even though he knew they would be there. He'd rather face a hundred Two-Steps than have to spend any time in front of this council when they were angered. As he looked around at the seated women, he drew himself up to his full height and waited fro their invitation to sit, which came slowly it seemed to him. In fact one of the women was already speaking before the roofmistress gave him leave to settle on the floor with a gesture. Madoc listened as he sat, hearing tell of things that had been happening in the hold that did not seem connected on the surface, but that when all laid out together seemed to be part of a bigger plan. 

 

Madoc settled back a little in his posture, thinking about all the evidence that had been laid out, and shook his head. "So, you say, all this leads to the conclusion that we have a traitor in our midst, all these little things that could be just coincidences, but that add up to much more." He sighed out a breath, "why not give this mission to the Black Eyes or True Bloods? This is more their area of expertise than a Stone Dog's." 

 

"Because we cannot trust the Seia Doon or Tain Shari."


Their answer surprised him, and he leaded forward on his elbows, propping them on his knees, "So, we can trust no one? Not outside of this room?" 

 

He looked from one Wise One to the next, they all shook their heads at him as he looked at them, including Mordre...

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Mordre had watched Madoc's expression as the other Wise Ones spoke, having been privy to this information for a few days prior to being sent after him this morning. She had her theories about why she was sent and not a daishan, and she hoped he remembered his laughter when she'd arrived and explained the need to meet with the other Wise Ones. He wasn't laughing now. 

 

She watched him lean forward, as if by being closer to them, he was more able to keep the information between those in the room. "So, we can trust no one? Not outside of this room?"  Mordre shook her head along with the other women in the room, meeting his eyes as they fell on her, the last of the Wise Ones sitting near him. They lingered, as if he didn't expect her to be there, among the others. She had no doubt he would take this task upon himself and she had no doubt that the Wise Ones would find some reason why he needed her help. She wished they wouldn't be so obvious about pushing them together, but it was hardly something she could address without earning toh with the others. They'd point out how her pride was chaffing at the action, and she was hard pressed to find another reason why it bothered her so much. 

 

The other Wise Ones began speaking again, but she retreated to her own thoughts, only half paying attention to the conversation. How could she help him? She was the youngest of the Wise Ones in this room, the one with the least experience. She had a talent for herbs, but her ability to handle the One Power was no greater or lesser than anyone else's ability. She could do with more practice, but was this worth practicing upon? Wouldn't it make more sense to send someone with more skill? 

 

Or, was the fact that she was less experienced what they were banking on here. That and her familiarity with Madoc? No one would think twice about the two of them being together, at least, they'd throw them the same knowing glances they'd been throwing them for years, now, and move on. Conversations over the dinner table wouldn't be surprising with news of their spending time together. Mordre looked up through her lashes and explored the faces around her. She was the perfect accompaniment to Madoc's searching. She could feel things he couldn't, she could weld a small blade and protect his back, and she would help camouflage him as he searched. Which begged the question, were they making HER search for this traitor and using Madoc to force her acquiescence? Why? 

 

The questions circling in her head found no answers for traction and she flinched inwardly when she heard her name on one of the other Wise One's lips, drawing her eyes up to meet the woman's gaze. "Mordre will accompany you on your search. I trust it will be fruitful." 

 

Oh, I bet you do, Mordre muttered inwardly as she nodded to the Wise One. If she wasn't careful, they'd braid the wedding wreath FOR her while she was gone! 

~Mordre

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Madoc listened and absorbed all the information he could from what the Wise One's had to say, he also noticed that Mordre had little to say and it seemed had retreated into her own thoughts while the older women spoke. He found it as no surprise when they instructed Mordre to accompany him, even though the instruction apparently grated on her from her expression and curt nod to the other Wise One. "If there is nothing else, it is time to accomplish this task you have set before me." When none added anything to the conversation he rose and waited for Mordre to join him on his feet before exiting the roof, making the expected pleasantries as he did. 

 

Once they were both outside and a decent distance away from the Wise One's roof he looked over and down at Mordre, "So, what are they not telling me?" He was taking the same path they'd just traversed on their way here, obviously headed back for his mother's roof. 

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Mordre wasn't running bank to his mother's roof, but walking, and slowly, at that. It wasn't her usual speed, so she was not surprised when he spoke up. She held up her hand, wanting more space between them and The Wise Ones. 

 

After a few more minutes, She pulled him off the path and headed a different direction. "They push too hard," she muttered, not looking at him. "They want me married and a marriage wreath on your head, sooner rather then later." 

 

She paused and finally meet his gaze. "This is dangerous. This traitor has done everything short of killing one of our own and I am not eager to be the person he tries it on." She laid her hand on his. "Nor am I willing to bet my future on his hesitation. We must find him quickly, before there is a chance to hurt any others." 

 

~Mordre

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"They've been pushing too hard, it is not new, nor unexpected. It is also neither here nor there, you will do what you do in the time you do it." He replied matter-of-factly, "Do not let them needle you, you are a Wise One, also." Never turning his eyes from the path in front of them, and certainly not even glancing at her. 

 

When she paused, he did as well, turning to regard her. "Then we will catch him, you and I."

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Mordre nodded and continued along the route she'd been taken, away from the settlement behind them. She walked a few minutes longer until she reached a stack of rocks. She looked around, searching for any sign that this had been disturbed since she was last here. "Last week, daishan repairing the West Wall reported that the mud they'd prepared for the wall had been tampered with. Someone had added too much sand and the wall crumbled to nothing overnight, after it had dried." She kept walking, talking softly. "Roof Mistress Fenrin reported livestock stolen, do you remember? She was screeching like a trolloc on fire." 

 

She paused and turned towards him. "These were all ignored, when taken separately. Together, the picture is a little different. Then, we found this..." she twisted Earth and Air together and lifted a rock out of the way, setting it easily aside and then creating a ball of fire. She moved the ball of fire where the rock had been and a tunnel lit in the flames. "Go on, I'll be right behind you." 

 

She waited until he entered the tunnel, then, moved the rock back in place after shifting the dirt around the stack of rocks. The sent the fireball ahead of them, keeping pace using a weave of Air to light the tunnel until it opened on a large cavern. There wasn't much in the space, but her eyes were drawn, as they had been last time, to the long blade driven through a map on the floor. The map was held down on the corners by rocks and the blade went right through the Sept Chief's roof. A pile of trinkets lay next to the map, an assortment of loot taken from people she knew. The only other thing in the room was a wooden chest standing across the room. "These walls are held up using One Power, there is no other explanation. I cannot see it and that makes me very uncomfortable." 

 

She pointed to the map, staying far away from the blade. "The West Wall, Mistress Fenrin's livestock... they are cutting a path to the center of the Sept." She nudged the trinkets with her toe. "I have not seen some of these people in days."

 

She lifted her eyes to meet his. "How do we stop them, Madoc?"

 

~Mordre

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Madoc thought for a bit, examining the evidence before him, including the magically supported walls and ceiling. Finally he shrugged,  "the same way you catch any rat. We set some bait and see if they take it... what is next along the line you were pointing out? The bread ovens?" He was really just talking to organize his thoughts, and make sure his plan would bear fruit. "What could he do to the bread ovens? Or should we look closer in?" 

 

"Also, we should visit the roof's of these people and see what, if anything has happened to them. Too many coincidences... and then this? This seals the fact that there is something nefarious at work."

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Mordre nodded, leaning over the map and tracking the damage. "Let's walk in through the West side," she said quietly, her stomach turning. She looked around once more and slowly moved down the tunnel again, the ball of fire hovering between them. "They didn't report any other trouble, but maybe they didn't connect the problems, either. I know they're working on the Wall again, so they're probably destroying any evidence that would've been visible there." 

 

She left the tunnel, moving the rock again and checking outside before leaving the cover it provided. When they came within sight of the wall, she curled her fingers through his. "They may as well think they're winning, right?" she asked, her voice holding the smile hovering on her lips. 

 

~Mordre

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Madoc glanced down as he felt her hand entwine with his, then moved his gaze up to her eyes as she spoke. "They are winning, despite their efforts," then continued on towards their destination. Eventually he was forced to let Mordre's hand slip from his, so he could examine the wall more closely, but he procrastinated in it for as long as was possible without incurring toh to everyone in the Hold. When he was finally done looking at the repairs he returned to Mordre, "This is a distraction, to keep people from seeing what else is going on, or to keep people from being where they would interfere with whatever comes next in the plan... in my opinion. Now, we just need to figure out what that is... what do all these workers have in common?"

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Mordre watched him look at the repair work, her hand curled in on itself as if to trap the warmth of his hand, there. She shifted her eyes around the wall, her mind skimming what she knew to answer his question. "I do not know these gaishan," she had to admit. "Do you believe they would do this? They would only gain more toh, if they were caught."

 

~Mordre

Edited by U4ea

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"No, no, who's gai'shan are they? would be more accurate, where would they normally be working if they weren't here?" Madoc clarified, not wanting to believe that any of their people would co-operate with a darkfriend, or worse.

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Mordre shook her head. "Podien," she said softly. "He took the duty of repairing the wall, so they are either his or he knows who the belong to. I have been distracted with my studies, so, more than that, I do not know." Not that she would've known those answers before becoming a Wise One, truthfully. It is something one of the others should've been able to supply, however. 

 

~Mordre

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Madoc nodded, "Podien is not in charge of the bread ovens, he is in charge of the wells..." he let that trail off and stared hard at Mordre, "The wells, we need to go check the wells, immediately." He turned on his heel and began to run in the direction of the closest well in the hold, without the wells the hold would die and there was nothing the walls, the warriors, nor the Wise One's would be able to do to stop it.

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Mordre watched him run off, nodding. She followed, much slower, thinking of all the ways the well could be compromised and trying to match weaves that would negate them in her head. She didn't know nearly enough of these and she was chewing her lip as she caught up with him. "Are we too late?" she asked, already embracing the One Power to begin a weave.

 

~Mordre

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Madoc didn't have an answer for that question, and he was frustrated he did not, "I do not know... can you..." and he waved his hand at her and then the well, "do your thing and figure out if the water is well?" While he waited for an answer he stuck his head inside one of the wells, inspecting it visually for any signs of tampering. When he was as  satisfied as he could be with his limited experience with wells, he moved on to the next one. 

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Mordre smirked at his hand waving, shaking her head. She chewed her lip, trying to match a weave she knew to what he was asking her to do. While she thought about it, she sent the bucket down into the hole and raised it back up again, filled with water. It was still at a decent level in the well, so there was that. I smelled the water and didn't detect anything. The chewing grew more frustrated as she tested the water inside the bucket with a weave of Air, wishing she knew a weave to identify other... 

 

She twisted her head, her eyes focusing on the water in the bucket and sent the weave through it again. She set the bucket down without dumping it back into the well and did the same for the next well as he walked away from it. "Madoc," she said softly. "There is something in the water, but I cannot identify what it is. I have no idea whether it is usually in the water or not, because I have never done this to our water before now." 

 

She twisted a weave of Earth and Spirit together and eased it into the walls of the well she was standing by, trying to find something that felt like what was in the water. She shook her head as she looked back at him. "There is nothing in the well, itself, that matches whatever this is." She handed him the bucket and pointed back to the first well. "It feels the same as whatever is in that one, though." 

 

~Mordre

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Madoc looked appalled that the water had been tainted, even the Shaido would not destroy a well, water was too precious. He looked at Mordre with concern in his eyes, "Can you remove whatever it is? The interloper into the wells?"

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Mordre looked down at the water again and sighed. "I don't know what it is, Madoc. I'm not sure I can isolate it without knowing what it is." She looked away, towards the other bucket. "Perhaps I can figure it out with time and then separate it from the other things. I'm not even sure it's not something that's always been in the water..." 

 

~Mordre

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"You know what water is, can you not take out the things that you do not know?" Madoc pressed, there was nothing more important to the hold than water, and these wells were what provided it, they were what made the hold, a hold.

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Mordre glared at him. He made it sound so easy and she truly wanted to throttle him until he understood that it wasn't as easy as all that. She waved him away. "Check the others, I will see what I can do," she muttered, folding her legs under her and formed a weave of Water and sank it angrily into the bucket in front of her. 

 

~Mordre

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Madoc did as she bid, however he couldn't tell in the wells she had said were tainted what was wrong and so had no way to tell if the remaining wells were also contaminated. After a while he returned to Mordre's side, waiting on her to stop staring at the bucket...

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Sweat beaded her brow and she lost track of time. She vaguely noted that Madoc had returned, but paid him to mind other than that as she tried to find whatever was in the water that was different than the water itself. She tried weaves of Air, Water, and Spirit in different forms and had no luck with any of them. In irritation, she lashed out at the water with a weave of Fire and boiled it out of the bucket before falling back on the dirt in frustration. "I can't isolate it," she muttered, closing her eyes against the sun and the man waiting for her to have some magical answer to everything. "I know it's there, but I can't separate it from the water." 

 

~Mordre

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Madoc watched as Mordre worked, nto that he could see what she was doing but he could see the effects. And when she turned the water into steam he was both amazed and aghast. When she turned to him and said she couldn't do what had been asked, he shook his head and pointed at the bucket, "But you did... by boiling off the water... not that we can do that to the wells, but it is a start, yes?"

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