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DRAGONMOUNT

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Oddpositions

Mutual Interests (ATTN: Jagen Sedai)

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                Tar Valon.

 

                Merdyn could hardly believe that he was finally here. The sacred city nestled on the banks of the River Erinin, Dragonmount looming dangerously on the horizon. The second largest city in the Westlands; the seat of Aes Sedai power. Men and women came to this Ogier-designed city for petitions, healings, and guidance. As an Asha’man, Merydn felt a tinge of guilt over his awe at the sight of the brilliant white buildings. Being the son of one of the High Seats of Andor, Merdyn should have visited this place long ago; but life had never steered him in this direction.

 

                Merdyn Gilyard was a man that had a Talent for Traveling; boring a hole into the Pattern, he had found himself stepping out just a few yards from the Shining Walls that enclosed the city. The walls in question were said to be impregnable; oh, they looked like Cuendillar, but Merdyn knew better… Although one never did know what the future held. Perhaps a Sister here wound find themselves with the Talent to create such a thing and then, perhaps, the city of Tar Valon would be truly protected from any outside forces. Merdyn pocketed the thought for later, it would be a handy suggestion to offer up to the Red Sister he was slated to meet with today. He had all sorts of those ideas stowed away. Asha’men were ‘new’ to the world, true, but youth often sprung innovation. Merdyn had vowed to himself to prove to the Sisters just how useful the Black Tower could be, if only in their ideas for the future.

 

                It had taken the better part of an hour or two, but before long, he was stepping into the White Tower itself. The city that surrounded the Aes Sedai stronghold had reminded him of Camelyn. It made him homesick. One of the other brothers back at the Black Tower had estimated that Tar Valon had housed over 500,000 citizens, not including the Sisters; a number that put the population of the Farm to shame. Oh, the Black Tower was thriving, and more came seeking refuge every day. It would take another generation or two, probably several or more, before their numbers reached even half of that, but still, it was something to think on.

 

                Nox had not come with Merdyn; his heart ached at being separated from his true love, but as an Asha’man, there would be times where duty would separate them. It was moments like these that Merdyn had wished Nox would consent to the Warder Bond… At least then Merdyn would always know that Nox was safe, alive, and where he may be; they would never truly be separated again. Now was not the time for emotions. Now was the time to act the professional gentleman, putting his best foot forward to represent the Black Tower. With a stiff upper lip, Merdyn entered the Tower and was lead off by a young Accepted wearing the typical stark white dress banded in the colors of the seven Ajahs.

 

                The M’Hael had named Merdyn the official liaison between the Black Tower and the Red Ajah. The thought scared Merdyn slightly; the two groups had enjoyed tense relations at best. The Reds were known for Gentling men such as Merdyn, it had been a shock for everyone when the Ajah had bowed to their ideals and started Bonding men of the Black Tower. It was something that spoke of the Ajah’s commitment to the Final Battle. If they were to overcome any of this, they would have to work together. There had been a time that Merdyn would have willingly been Bonded to a Sister, even a Red, but that time had long since passed. He had Nox now, and although it would’ve done wonders for relations between the Towers, Merdyn would no longer allow such a Bonding to happen. Nox held claim over his heart and soul, if there were one person in the Pattern that held the right to Bond Merdyn, it was Nox.

 

                Today, Merdyn was to meet with a Jagen Sedai. She was a high ranking member of the Red Ajah. The plan was to enter into talks concerning both group’s mutual interests and how they may come together to work better as partners on this hellish road to Tarmon Gai’don. Merdyn was the face of the Black Tower so far as the Reds were concerned, and he relished in the opportunity. He was a tad nervous, but life as a noble and being groomed to become the next head of the Great House of Gilyard… Well, Merdyn was more than equipped to deal with these talks. The M’Hael had made the right decision in naming Merdyn liaison with the Reds. There was no doubt in his mind that the talks would go well. With any luck, they would wrap this all up over tea and he would be back home in the arms of Nox before nightfall.

 

                Merdyn was genuinely good-natured, there was nothing to hide here, and he honestly hoped for the prosperity between the two Towers; surely this Jagen would see all of that.

 

                And if all else failed, Merdyn had brought seven fat chests of gold with him, to honor each Ajah.

Edited by Oddpositions

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The Accepted who walked toward the Asha'man had a heart-shaped face, a tiny mouth and big, naturally buggy eyes that made her look startled regardless if she was or not. But she certainly looked it now.

The young woman knew well what he was, with the black coat and pins on the collar--none of that could be mistaken for anything else. Moreover, the Sisters made sure she knew--for the Reds were expecting them, and like other visitors to the White Tower, they might show up at the front entrance's domed main hall. She had been ordered to immediately take any Asha'man straight to the Reds' Quarters, regardless of what else she was doing or who else she was talking to in the welcoming hall.

 

She hesitated as she got closer, seeing the floating chests behind him. The girl realized she had no idea how to address him, and began her usual, "Welco--"
"I will be taking this from here, Neilla," a smooth, commanding voice said.

The Accepted squeaked, blushed, and dropped a curtsy all at once before moving off, eyeing them both over her shoulder as if she wanted to see how the encounter would go down.

 

Striding up into the hall, going past the Accepted to stand before the visiting Asha'man, was a woman just several inches shorter than he, her long red hair in beaded braids. Her silken, deep maroon dress was in the clinging Taraboner style, showing off a tall, lithe physique, and a shawl with long, bright red fringe sat nestled in her elbows. "I am Jagen Sedai."

 

The Taraboner Aes Sedai looked him over. If she had to guess, he came from Andor or perhaps one of the Borderlands. His dark and simple style really did not give much away, but she did notice some of the more subtle details of his clothes. She took her time looking him over before having her gaze settle on his. She did not want to appear as if she needed to challenge him, but if he took the look over as a size-up, so be it.

But she noted the touches of lace, the tight pants and very neat appearance. She wondered if he was a noble, or just dressed like one within the confines of Black Tower "style".

 

"You must be Merdyn." She eyed the chests behind him. The man didn't even have the courtesy to let go of the Power. A man holding saidin, here. Well. She had had some time to get over that, but she still didn't like it. And she would have to talk to the Highest about this. There needed to be rules put in place when the Asha'man visited.

Moreover, exactly where did they get their hands on that amount of gold? Surely it wasn't his...
"When I visit your Black Tower, Asha'man, I do not hold the Power. Servants will carry the chests to the Red quarters. A gift, I suppose?" Her eyebrows raised slightly. "You don't have anything to fear here," she went on somewhat dryly. "If you can enter the White Tower and stand as you do, then there is no reason to keep clinging to saidin."

 

As discussed with the Highest, Jagen would lead him not to the Red Quarters, but to a meeting room nearby, where, like any other important guest, he would be served refreshments in a private setting to discuss business. Jagen realized it rather quiet for the amount of people in the large hall; Accepted, other Aes Sedai and visitors alike had lowered their voices as soon as the man had come in, and many stood warily in silence now, watching.

 

The Red did not bother to acknowledge any of them. Let them see her handling this man, she thought. As Reds would do.

Servants did appear, two of them, but it was clear they wouldn't be able to do it alone, and so one bounded off to get others. Jagen told the other the chests were to go into the Reds' Quarters. "Come. They will be safe."
 

 

 

Edited by Jagen Sedai

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                Merdyn had to stifle a chuckle at the young Accepted, Neilla. He probably would have behaved the same way had he been born a female Channeler, learning in the White Tower. A statuesque Taraboner made her way up to him, introducing herself. Jagen Sedai. He had heard her name before, but he couldn’t remember who had said it. Certainly not from Lillian Sedai, he would have remembered that. Perhaps the pair knew each other? Ajah politics were rumored to be more complicated than Daes Dae’mar, so there really was no telling what went on between the Sisters.

 

                Dropping to one knee, Merdyn saluted Jagen Sedai in typical Andoran fashion. Some of the other men at the Black Tower had given him a hard time about retaining that particular habit. Merdyn was no longer a noble in Andor, he was an Asha’man in the Black Tower; the others said he should salute in the way that they all did. That wasn’t a good enough reason for Merdyn. He had respect for his Queendom no matter what affiliations or loyalties he now held. He would keep doing things this way until the M’Hael himself ordered him to stop, and Merdyn doubted that would ever happen over something so small.

 

                Servants appeared to take the chests and Merdyn let go of the Power. He blushed slightly at Jagen Sedai’s comment over it. It took everything in his power not to look abashed, but the blushing probably did all the work; he couldn’t control that. Instead, Merdyn put on a very warm smile as he rose from his salute, meeting Jagen’s eyes.

 

                “Ah, you will have to forgive my ignorance, Jagen Sedai. I meant no offense. I was briefed before my journey here, but it seems my compatriots left out some general etiquette… Again, my humblest apologies. I vow to you that I will not embrace Saidin again in the Tower unless it is absolutely necessary; and, of course, I know I am safe here. If I thought anything differently, I would have not come alone,” Merdyn spoke to the Red in a kindly manner, not meaning to give any offense. He tried his best to sound humble, but not terribly so. He was an Asha’man after all and he was here representing the Black Tower. It would not do well to act as if he had been cowed or as if he deferred to the Aes Sedai. That was not the point of this visit.

 

                To Merdyn, they were equals… in a way. The Black and the White Tower had a duty to protect this world and to help it flourish. They had to come together, at some point, to accomplish that task; much like the Hall of Servants from the previous Age. Merdyn hoped to live to see that dream become a reality. Still. He would not be presumptuous while in this building. In his mind, it was his sole mission to help pave the way for that future. He would be respectful towards every Aes Sedai he encountered, and he would do everything in his power to ensure the two organizations flourished.

 

                There was a kinship of sorts between the Aes Sedai and the Asha’men, but sometimes, Merdyn felt like he was the only one in the world that recognized that.

 

                “Seven chests for seven Ajahs. It is a gift from myself, the M’Hael, and the Black Tower as a whole,” Merdyn spoke smoothly. At least two of the chests had come from Merdyn’s personal stash; he had made a mental note to slow down his spending. His funds were slowly starting to dwindle, despite the income he enjoyed from the Black Tower. He lived lavishly and he also believed in sharing with those he cared about. He honestly believed that gifting this gold to the White Tower would help improve relations with the Black; the M’Hael had objected, but Merdyn insisted.

 

                If Merdyn was to be the liaison, it was his responsibility to ensure everything went according to plan; which included ensuring the Black Tower did not drain its coffers on this one meeting. There would be more gold to replace it anyway. Merdyn had begun the process of buying his own tracts of land in Andor, not to live on, but to supplement his income. He had plans to farm the land and eventually use that to invest in the purchase of a mine. There were years and years of life just waiting for him; he had to ensure that Nox and himself were taken care of. One always had to think about the future. None of that mattered today, however; this day was devoted solely to Jagen Sedai, the Red Ajah, and the White Tower.

 

                Banishing all thoughts of his personal life, Merdyn followed Jagen Sedai as she lead him deeper into the White Tower. He did not hide his awe or surprise at the vast splendor of the White Tower. He trailed behind Jagen, just slightly, in an effort to show respect to her station as an Aes Sedai.

 

                Taking on that same warm tone, Merdyn went on, “Jagen Sedai, the Tower is simply breathtaking; even though I’ve only seen a tiny fraction of it. As a boy, I always wished to visit Tar Valon, but my father, Lord Gilyard, never saw reason to come here. He was a very proud man…  Still… I very much wish I had visited at least once. You must love this place; it would be hard not to. You’re one of the only other Aes Sedai I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting, aside from Lillian Sedai and a few others at the Queen’s court in Andor. None of them ever told me just how majestic this city is. I don’t see why anyone would want to leave here. Is it true you have one of the largest libraries in the world? I can only imagine what treasured books lie in there. Perhaps, on a future visit, if it suits you, I may take a tour? I do love reading. It would be a memorable experience, I’m sure, to just glimpse the tomes lying on those shelves.”

 

                Everything Merdyn said was sincere. Not many people, especially Asha’men had the opportunity to walk these halls. So much history. The Tower was the most enduring organization since the Breaking. Oh, many told tall tales and horror stories of the Tower and the Sisters, but Merdyn never put stock in those tales. These women were powerful and knowledgeable. It was a gift to be able to learn from any one of them. Kings and Queens bowed to Aes Sedai word for a reason, after all.

 

                Merdyn reminded himself not to gush or to flatter. This Jagen Sedai was a woman to be taken seriously and to be given every modicum of respect that he could offer. He was here to facilitate a bond between the two.

 

                Still.

 

                It was hard not to be in awe of the place.

Edited by Oddpositions

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Jagen had to admit some surprise when Merdyn seemed to be a man of a respectable nature; thus far, she hadn't cared for the Asha'man she had met. Not that she had expected to care for any of them, but at this the Merdyn seemed like one with whom she could stand his company.

 

She listened as he spoke, and let him talk as much as he wished. Each sentence told her a little more about him. He mentioned the chests; so they were a gift. She would have to make sure those chests made their way to the Hall; it would be their matter to sort out exactly how that gold was partitioned off, if it went to the Ajahs at all. They could reject it, or simply put it toward Tower coffers. But most likely it would be distributed as expected. She decided to nominate a Gray for such matters. They liked that sort of thing.

 

So he was a noble after all, as the father's title confirmed, and he indeed had an Andoran noble's accent. At hearing he'd wanted to visit the Tower since he was young, she looked at him with piqued curiosity. That would have been at least one reason the M'Hael chose him to come today. And a man interested in reading, it seemed.

 

"The White Tower Library, it is indeed the largest in the world. It is in its own building on our Tower grounds," she offered. "Some manuscripts, they go back to a hundred years after the Breaking." She lead him up a spiral staircase to the second floor, and they moved off of the main hall into a large side one, and into the first lounge there. There was a fire going and it was appropriately empty as Jagen had requested--and the fine wood table, made a hundred years ago in Saldaea, sported a tray with wine pitcher and Sea Folk porcelain cups.

 

"Do have a seat," she said politely as she took her own. She did not smile, however; this was business time.
"You mentioned your father's given name," she began by way to continue then casual conversation, "but not his family name, yes? My travels, they have brought me through Andor many times. Perhaps I know your House?" Pleasantries first; then they would need to discuss the Asha'man coming to the Tower--and the requests she needed to present to them today.

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                Merdyn accepted the seat graciously. This Jagen Sedai seemed to take her position and this day very seriously; Merdyn was glad of that. To him, it meant that there was hope to be had in this meeting and any future communications between the Black Tower and the Reds… So long as he didn’t bluster this all completely. Growing up in and around the Queen’s court in Andor had trained him to deal with those of a higher station, although he could not claim to be a master diplomat.

 

                At the mention of his father, Merdyn nodded, “Actually, Jagen Sedai, Gilyard is my surname and also the name of the House from which I hail; My father’s given name is Ambrosius. I must admit to you, I have not been in contact with my family since I left for the Black Tower… It’s a long, muddied story.”

 

                A look of anguish briefly passed over Merdyn’s face as he recalled the last time he saw his father. The thoughts were quickly chased away and he went on, “Suffice to say, I never got along well with my father. I left for reasons of my own, although it’s not what you’re probably thinking. Father never learned that I could Channel. To be frank, I’m not even quite sure how things are back home; the Black Tower keeps me busy as it is, so there’s been little time to ask around Camelyn about my old House… I say old because I was disinherited by Lord Gilyard; foolish on his part as I was his only child. His lands will probably pass on to one of our cousins or back to the Queen.”

 

                Merdyn had a habit of sharing a little too much when it came to personal details, but how would he form a relationship with this woman and her Ajah if they were strangers? Besides… She had asked about his House and if he only spoke lightly on the subject, she might very well press. Better to get the dirty details out of the way first. After all, they did have business to discuss eventually.

 

                By the multitude of braids, the veil, and the accent, it was easy to identify this woman as a Taraboner. How old was she? Merdyn didn’t know as much as he should about the Sisters but there was one thing he knew for certain, and that was true with all women, never ask about their age. Still. How much had this woman seen in her life? What kind of stories did she have to tell?

 

                “Ah,” Merdyn went on, “but what about you, Jagen Sedai? I assume you hail from Tarabon; a lovely place, if I do say so myself. I’ve only ever been to Tanchico. The delicacies your people create with plums and also olives… Simply divine.”

 

                Gesturing to the wine pitcher and the Sea Folk porcelain cups, Merdyn quirked an eyebrow at Jaden Sedai and asked, “May I pour for you, Aes Sedai?”

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Jagen listened as the man freely gave information about himself. Perhaps he was being friendly; she did not want to think of him as stupid or silly, as some nobles loved to talk about themselves. Not that she would have seen him that way even if that was the case. He was a channeler. A male channeler.

She gave a brief inclination of her head as he offered to pour. She watched his hands, watched his eyes, took in the features of his face. She took the offered cup, breathing evenly. His expression was friendly. I'm having tea with a male channeler. Light help me.

 

She looked down as she took a small sip. What she saw then was not Merdyn, but a terrified man. A courtyard full of her Ajah sisters. The Amyrlin, the Keeper, the Hall. It had been a sunny, bright day. A good day for Tar Valon, but not for him. He was sentenced to gentling, for his own sake and that of others. And all she could recall was how palpable his terror had been.

 

"Olives?" she said almost absentmindedly. Her focus resumed quickly though. "Ah, yes. Of course. It does a wonder for meals, indeed. Perhaps next time I will call for some tomatoes and cheese dipped in olive oil." She realized she strongly implied there would be a next time. Well, it would be ideal, all things considered.

Timothan, that had been his name. He had tried so very hard to hide from her and her sisters. Timothan Belian.
 

She had to focus on the man in front of her. "You were disinherited, you said? Gilyard. This House, I perhaps visited it once, many years ago. Before you were born." Timothan came from Andor. Is that why I am remembering him now? "You left not because he knew you could channel, yet something so vile to him occurred, or something he learned, that he disinherited his only heir? It must have been very grievous indeed." She wondered if he'd murdered someone. Or had done another horrible crime... They're all dangerous. The taint isn't the only reason men should be gentled.

She sipped her tea again.

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                Merdyn noticed Jagen Sedai’s distraction; had he poured the tea wrong? Was it not the proper thing to do in the presence of a Lady, especially with that Lady being Aes Sedai? His brow furrowed for a moment, pouring his own tea with a fierce concentration.

 

                The tea was marvelous, “A fine leaf, Jagen Sedai. Might you know where this particular brew comes from? And yes, provided this day goes well for the both of us, I am sure that dish would be marvelous for another meeting.” He would have to come up with a fabulous gift for Jagen and her Sisters if things progressed past this afternoon; something more personal or useful than gold could be. Oh, gold was the right gift for today, Merdyn was sure of that.

 

                Before I was born, Merdyn thought to himself as Jagen offered up a revealing detail, Light, but she looks fantastic! I hope the slowing is the same with men…

 

                It was difficult to conceal Merdyn’s shock at Jagen’s suggestion over his past; not that she was without reason. He might think the same thing of another if they only glossed over the topic. Still, it unsettled him. Merdyn could not afford to have this Red Sister think ill of him, or even suspect that he had a ghastly, venomous past. It was not his intention to carry on about himself whatsoever, but he had to at least clear the air before cutting to the business at hand.

 

                “Ah, hah. No, you mistake me, Jagen Sedai; let me clarify the matter for you. I prefer the company of other men. Father had been grooming me since birth to court and marry the Queen, he craved power; a man of hubris. I understand what was expected of me as the only heir to my House, I would have performed those duties when the time came… I had a dalliance with another young man. Father found out, had me flogged within an inch of my life, and killed the boy and his family,” Merdyn went on in a firm tone. He did not wish to recount the story, but some things were necessary, “When I recovered, I could not abide him and left. I take responsibility for my actions, but he had gone too far in robbing that whole family of their futures. He disinherited me on my way out the door. I went to the Black Tower after that.”

 

                Flashes of Kyllian speed through Merdyn’s mind.

 

                He had gotten over it all, really, but part of that trauma was still there.

 

                Sipping his tea for a moment, Merdyn reflected on Nox and just how lucky he had become. The past was horrible, bloody, dark; but it seemed to have been necessary for Merdyn to wind up where he was. Nox made it worth it. Merdyn wouldn’t do anything differently on that count alone.

 

                With a deep breath, Merdyn went on, “I apologize if that is too much information on my part, Jagen Sedai; but I’d rather you know the truth on the matter and form your own opinions, rather than assumptions… Enough about me. I do not wish to bore you or appear self-centered.”

 

                Setting his teacup down gently, Merdyn picked the pot up and gestured to Jagen questioningly; as if to ask if she needed a refill or a top-off.

 

                “We are here to discuss things much bigger than you or I. If the world is to prosper and if we are to win Tarmon Gai’Don, we should be seeking to aid each other; help strengthen each other,” Merdyn said plainly to Jaden Sedai.

 

                “The Asha’men can be more useful to the White Tower than simply becoming Warders, as important a task as that is. I am sure there are projects, tasks, or difficulties we could collaborate on... It has been brought to my attention that the forces of the Shadow are not the only army that threatens this land. Some of my brothers were attacked a week or two back by those strange people calling themselves the 'Sean Chan.' They have a means of capturing your Sisters, but those methods do not seem to work on men like me," Merdyn said that last bit with a wink, "Curious that... Tell me, Jagen Sedai, how useful would the Asha'men be in such a confrontation? They can still kill male Channelers, of course, but they cannot control us nor add us to their ranks. We are trained to be weapons, Jagen Sedai; let us be your sword in this matter."

Edited by Oddpositions
last paragraph

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Jagen found herself with her teacup in her lap, and she only remembered it when her leg was starting to get too warm in one spot. Lifting it to sip and placing it back on the table, she nodded. "I see." Now that was a story she did not expect. So, he liked men. That was a plus in her book--it meant she didn't have to worry about this particular male channeler going after women. And, now that she knew this, looking him over again, it somehow made sense.

When he picked up the pot, she merely waved it away. "Yes, the time, it is for business now." She listened as he spoke of the Seanchan. "I know of them well," she commented, her tone neutral. Yet he mentioned he was trained as a weapon, as all of them were--so dangerous!--and while she did not approve of that at all, she at once saw the benefit, as well. They must all be bonded and watched. But they could prove useful tools as well.

Her thoughts veered. Over a week ago news came in of a captured Sister, from one of her own Eyes-and-Ears. White Tower politics had interfered in even getting a rescue party set up yet, but then there was the obvious, looming issue: all of the Aes Sedai were in danger if they channeled. She had thought that through, of course. Learning to mask one's ability had been recently rediscovered and shared. She could do that, and use a Mask of Mirrors weave to change her face so she could look young, or perhaps a feeble old woman.

"It is very possible a man who can channel can slip by them easily," Jagen replied. "Unless they have a means of detecting a man who can channel, and I have not heard of this yet. Tell me about this encounter with the Seanchan and your... brothers. Leave no detail out of what you know for certain."

Edited by Jagen Sedai

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                This Red Sister was coming off more like a Brown, at least from what Merdyn had heard of the other Ajahs. She seemed to lapse into deep thought every so often; Merdyn didn’t think what he was saying was that interesting. What could be on her mind? Was it the Sean Chan?

 

                “As you are no doubt aware, Jagen Sedai, my brothers have been heavily recruiting ever since the inception of the Black Tower. We have been combing every corner of the continent in search of other men that may possess the ability to Channel. We have not been ignorant to the Sean Chan; we are aware that they have taken hold of Tarabon and have tried to ignore recruiting there the best we can… But more and more men are coming to us from Tanchico and so we can no longer turn an eye from the area,” Merdyn said between sips of his tea.

 

                Setting the fine cup upon the table, Merdyn leaned his elbows upon his knees and moved forward in his seat, looking Jagen Sedai directly in the eyes, “We sent a very small group, no more than five men, into the city. They were in residence over the course of the last month; getting word out on the street that the Black Tower was in town… All of this passed through back channels and the ‘underground,’ as I’m sure you assumed… We had great success in the endeavor, but after 50 men left the city for flimsy reasons… Well, the Sean Chan started to grow suspicious.”

 

                Leaning back once more, Merdyn’s expression grew dark, “No one is exactly sure how they found out when and where our Recruiters were performing this operation, but the point is that they did find out. About a week back, 10 Sean Chan soldiers, all male, slipped into one of the recruitment meetings… They wanted proof, I guess… Word is that after one of my brothers started the ‘flame’ test, the 10 soldiers revealed themselves and a bloodbath ensued. It should have been easy for them to escape, but after slaying the soldiers, my Brothers came out of the inn to find a plethora of Damane and Suldam just waiting for them… Oh, we took out a few of them, but in the end, their superior numbers won out…”

 

                Merdyn was silent for a moment, internally asking the Creator to bless the souls of the fallen brothers of the Black Tower. He sighed and went on, “I do not doubt that the Sean Chan will come after us as they will no doubt come after the White Tower, provided they are not dealt with sooner… So it seems to me and the M’Hael that our two Towers now share a second common enemy. Tell me, Jagen Sedai, have any of your Sisters been collared by these foreigners?”

 

                It was not war that Merdyn was trying to instigate, although the sooner these bloody bigots were dealt with the better. Perhaps if they could find a way to weaken the Sean Chan numbers, sabotage them, free their captives… Something had to be done. The Lord Dragon had yet to turn his attention on them; that fact burned at Merdyn’s insides. A powerful force that hated any and all Channelers, believing them to be lower than dirt… They were efficient and could very well dominate this continent if left unchecked. Merdyn did not come this far, did not find his true love in life, to have it all taken away by some hateful foreigners. He would die before that happened.

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Jagen listened very intently to the Asha'man before her. The more he spoke, she realized, the less he truly seemed like a threat. And while him stating they had a hidden network set up in Tanchico made her feel a bit sick on the inside, she did not let it show. She quietly took long swallows of tea as he spoke.

It did not surprise her at all the Seanchan found out about the network, but Jagen saw a few flaws in their plan--assuming a few things, admittedly, but she wanted to learn from their mistakes. Still, they were definitely indeed allies. Against the Seanchan, and against the Shadow.

"... Tell me, Jagen Sedai, have any of your Sisters been collared by these foreigners?” he asked.

 

Jagen couldn't help but sniff at that. "Of course they have," she frowned at him, but then realized it was well and good he truly did not know. The White Tower did not want word getting out that Aes Sedai fell prey to these invaders. Her thoughts went to her home country, and of the Aes Sedai sister she knew was captured there. This one she knew about personally, but it was known there were others. Still, she could help this one, and later help others.

"As a matter of fact, in Tarabon. Do you know Elmora? Clsoe to there," she said, frowning as she admitted all of this, "there is a sister being held captive. We do not know her name, but the information speaks of an ageless face. She must be Aes Sedai."

 

Setting down the cup, she nodded her thanks when he filled it. Might as well act proper with a potential ally. "Tell me, Merdyn, have you had your midday meal today? I will send for a meal, or two if you wish one as well. And I will tell you more details about this case--but I must make something very clear before we continue. I will be in charge of this mission. Like a proper soldier I will need your full compliance if we are to do this together--and whoever else we may bring in, if necessary."

 

****

 

OOC: Sorry on the wait. Also, was that incident above RPed out? If not I would totally love to play that out at some point.

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                Jagen sniffed at his last question, but affirmed what he has assumed about some of those ‘Damane’ and ‘Suldam.’ The White Tower had begun to lose numbers to these foreigners and that was not good for anyone. It was no secret the Tower had seen fewer and fewer recruits over the course of the last few generations, but to lose what they already had? The lost could very well cripple the forces of the Light; especially if these Seanchan turned out to be agents of the Shadow.

 

                “I have heard of Elmora, but unfortunately my travels have yet to take me there. I am sure it is lovely, aside from those that would collar Channelers,” Merdyn said as he filed the information away in his brain. The M’Hael would expect a full report before it came time to retire for the night. He went on, “I agree on that fact, Jagen Sedai; the Ageless face is not common amongst the Seanchan… We had reports of a few female captives with the typical Aes Sedai look, but no one could be sure without getting close enough…” Merdyn would have to send for any information the Black Tower had on the previous run-ins with the Seanchan.

 

                Jagen sat her cup down and Merdyn refilled it as she went on. The Red Sister offered him a spot of lunch and then went on to insist his full obedience while investigating the matter at hand. The M’Hael wouldn’t like it, but if he sent Merdyn on this mission then that meant he trusted Merdyn.

 

                With a nod of his head, “I have not yet had my midday meal, Jagen Sedai, and I accept your kind offer. It would be an honor to dine here with you,” Merdyn said as he finished pouring for the Red Sister. Going on in a polite tone, Merdyn agreed to her terms, “You have my word on that matter and if there is anything I can do to reassure you on that, please let me know; anything save for the Warder bond, there is another that has laid claims on me although the bond has not yet been placed… If it pleases you, I can send word to the Black Tower and have a small force begin to make their way into Elmora, incognito of course… Although I may be getting ahead of myself on that front.”

 

                Merdyn finished pouring his own tea and smiled widely at the Red Sister seated across from him. The day was turning out marvelously so far.

 

 

~

 

[[OOC: it has not been RPed out, just something I came up with on the fly. I am obviously down to RP that with you though :D]]

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