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'The Chosen Ones: 'RP Discontinued'


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Sunlight streamed into the front half of the room, alighting the polished glass charms that hung in the air.  Minute rainbows burst across the space and a small delightful tinkle sounded as the shards ever so slightly bumped against each other.  Below, a petite woman dressed in rags gathered a tea set that had been left on the table.  The set consisted of sixteen pieces.  Eight were pristine, the delicate blue flowers as vibrant as the day they were bought; eight were full of imperfections, chipped in multiple places and barely held together.  The mansion and attendants followed much the same pattern – half resplendent and beautiful, half old and tattered showing only a sliver of former beauty.  Always in a delicate balance.


A chair sat in the middle of the room, half bathed in the golden light and half draped in darkness.  Though it sat empty, it was reminiscent of its normal occupant: wholly beautiful with nary a string out of place. Despite her desire for balance in most things, the Engineer did not skimp on her comforts.  On either side sat an exquisitely beautiful human contorted into an achingly difficult shape.  One was fully dressed as if winter were coming; the other nude as the day she was born. Their eyes were glazed and a small smile sat upon their lips.  They did not react as a puddle of dark red liquid began to move toward them, sinking into the plush white carpeting under their feet. 


Arissa sighed, hands on her full hips as she stared at the body in front of her.  What a pity it was to lose someone so stubborn.  The people that fought back were always the most fun to break.  She would slowly create synapses in their brain until they were fully under her control, watching their faces while she worked.  It was entertaining when they had no idea why they were committing horrible acts; it was stimulating when realization set in and horror shrouded their features. It was arousing when someone chose to fight, pitting their miniscule minds against her superior one. Few lasted longer than ten minutes against her.  When she found individuals that were exceptionally bullish, she kept the weave from fully encapsulating, just so she could savor the game.   This one could have given her a few hours, at least, while he warmed her bed.  Instead, his body was cooling on the floor.


Holding her skirts up, she swept past the disappointment into her parlor.  Snapping her fingers, she sent an old crone in rags and her partner - a prince with gold hair and rakish good looks dressed in rich purple silks – to clean up the mess.   The prince’s eyes blazed for a moment before he settled into a loving gaze directed at the crone. They walked hand-in-hand to the other room, looking for the world like two lovers on a stroll.  The crone settled the bucket she was holding in her far hand and together they settled into the puddle, their clothing soaking up as much blood as the cleaning cloths.  Arissa smiled dotingly at the pair. She loved the juxtaposition of rich and poor.  Neither wanted to be tied to the other, but now here they were, tied together in perpetuity.


Ice cubes clinked to her left.  Idly, she reached for the glass as a bronze button on the soldier’s jacket caught her eye.  The way the light played on it made her think about a day long past, when she was still Elsebet and was still devoted to helping others.  She had treated Dar Keran himself, his blue jackets always cut to display his striking figure.  The buttons on his jackets had always gleamed; it was like the light followed him.  He had been charming at first, mildly arrogant but with a sense of vulnerability.  He had come to her for aid with a personal matter.  She provided assistance and eventually they became friends.  Yet your pride ruined everything; you couldn’t stand that I was more studied, better, than you in the art of delicate weaves.   How did that turn out for you, Dragon? You are dead and buried, and I? I have thrived.       


More memories floated in, “Elsebet Lydea Morendum, at your service”….. Standing at the front of a classroom, rapt men and women attuned to every word she said….An offer of great power and longevity to continue her work…..an endless supply of chattel..…They are nothing, engineer their futures as you see fit.” ..…whispers in awe and fear surrounding her as she walked down the middle of a street laughing with glee, buildings broken and burning on either side…


The ice clinked again as warmth from the sunlight melted the frozen cubes.  Coming to from the reverie, Arissa pursed her ruby lips and brushed a swath of wavy auburn hair from her eyes.  “Come here darlings,” she stage whispered to a man and a woman in the corner.  “I’m in need of some entertainment.” There was no hesitation evident as the pair left their hideous partners behind and strode toward their curvy mistress.  Arissa giggled wickedly, her emerald eyes dancing with delight.

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Arissa sighed as a charm on her bracelet began to glow a faint red.  "I suppose that means it is time," she murmured aloud, gesturing for the band in front of her to cease playing.  The music ended abruptly, the last note ringing in her ears as she wove a gateway to the usual meeting place.  Their placid faces smiled at her as she shooed them back to ...wherever they stayed when they weren't in her presence. In unison, they stepped apart and marched off. She'd never considered where her playthings existed when they weren't entertaining her, and it wasn't something she would spend anytime on this day either. She just knew they were always within a snap of her fingers, or a short Compulsive tug, and that's all that really mattered.


Her body tingled slightly as she stepped into The World of Dreams.  Arissa knew it wasn't an actual physical reaction, rather an affectation she had created many years ago and had yet to dispel.  It served to alert her to the danger of Tel'Aran'Rhiod. Despite her skill - like all Chosen she was deft at molding the dreamworld around her - it was just as easy to die here as in the real world, perhaps more so.  Especially with the company she would be joining. I don't think Tervihn has ever forgiven me for showing Alicendi she was being manipulated. Divara, Kharin, and Gerehl weren't friendly either, preferring to hate Arissa for her beauty AND her mind. Drawing Saidar, the auburn-haired Chosen readied an offensive weave designed to burst thousands of tiny blood vessels in the brain simultaneously - and then shielded her weave from view. Her own design, the shield was unable to be unraveled or observed.  To the world, and most importantly from her Chosen brethren, she appeared unarmed.  At least Raphael will be there. He was beautiful enough to be one of her playthings, and was wickedly intelligent besides.


Arriving in the middle of the group, as designed, Arissa winked at Raphael and moved toward one end of the long table.  As always, the table and its setting was lovely enough.  Now and then a lick of flame poked through the opening at the top of the candlelights, as if wanting to prove it was real.  The rest of the room changed slightly every time, a reflection of its real world counterpart, though it never showcased the mounted animal heads the actual Lord was so proud of.  Vanahl had banished them long ago while muttering about their incessant chattering.  


Arissa took a seat, gracefully smoothing the non-existant wrinkles from her dress.  It was a lavender piece, designed by one of the most prominent dressmakers before the Breaking.  A time now referred to as the "Age of Legends".  It was one of a kind and it set off her hair and eyes beautifully.  Divara stared daggers at her; she'd been a rival clothier - and a terrible gossip. She was currently operating out of the ridiculously-named White Tower, and still acting as a gossip.  Serahna rolled her eyes, but congenially. She had an unusual strong ability for Earth and Fire and had built many of the beautiful buildings in Davelle and other cities...and brought them down too.  She was dressed simply; Arissa's intelligence put Serahna somewhere in the Borderlands, but couldn't pin down exactly where.  Assuming a person could have friends in this group, Arissa would include Serahna in hers - along with Raphael.  Though you couldn't really trust anyone here.  


He loved to make an entrance, so it was no surprise that Vanahl was the last to arrive.  She nearly smiled when Raphael commented on their "leader" 's usual tardiness, but held it back due to mixed company.  She preferred to observe them, not the other way around.  Instead, Arissa kept her face neutral and her eyes roaming. Gerehl whispered something to Divara and she laughed, tilting her head back. Banohr gave Arissa a small smile when he thought he was unobserved; he practically worshipped her for what she could do with the human brain.   


No one touched the goblets on the table.


Finally deigning to arrive, Vanahl stepped through a gateway, his eyes burning with liquid fire.  Arissa felt a thrill of fear and a small thrill of excitement. Half-mad, it always a guess as to what Vanahl would say or do.  Everyone around the table immediately sat up straighter.  Gerehl and Divara ceased talking and snapped their attention to the Nae'blis.


"Someone has been interfering with the boy Dragon ahead of schedule.  Under EXPLICIT orders not to. He has been visited by an unauthorized Myrddraal, two gray men, and a draghkar. Pass orders to your Friends of the Dark near him that any Shadowspawn within one country of his vicinity must be reported to me immediately.  


Each of you will meet with me privately to tell me your plans and your knowledge of every one else's plans.  I WILL find who has disobeyed."  Vanahl's eyes blazed hotter as he looked at each one of them in turn.




Arissa stepped back into the warmth of her palace dropping her weave and shield only once the Gateway snapped closed.  She hadn't been the one to mess with Der Keran's poor replacement, but it had been tempting.  The arrogance of youth surrounded him and all it would take was a few tiny weaves....


All in due time she scolded herself.  Perfectly recalling their faces as Vanahl finished his fervent announcement, she tried to puzzle out who it was.  There weren't many other than herself, she thought, that would dare to defy Vanahl.   Perhaps it was time to make friends after all.

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  • 2 weeks later...

It was summer and a storm was brewing.  Outside the air was heavy with moisture; the cloud underbellies deepening in color as people scurried to finish their daily tasks.  Streaks of lightning occasionally jumped from cloud to cloud, heightening the need for haste. Shopkeepers had already ducked into their storefronts, not wanting to tempt the weather in order to sell one more item.  Children followed along behind their parents, many pointing at the sky and whispering excitedly to another.


Inside the Palace, Arissa looked out the window toward the sky.  She frowned slightly, pulling her lips into a pretty pout, and swirled the drink in front of her.  A storm would make a stroll outside less than pleasant, and she had planned to suggest Enara hold Court in the High Garden today.  She could alter the weather if needed, but she admittedly, she wasn’t great at it.  Changing the weathers required multiple large weaves of varying complexity, and a certain spontaneity that Arissa despised.  She preferred the controlled intricacy of the mind. 


She heard the rustling of fabric and smiled as she slowly turned, the gray light casting an almost eerie glow on her unclothed frame.  Enarra, blonde hair unbound and splayed messily across a pillow smiled at her sleepily.  “I could stay in bed all day,” her voice hitching slightly as she stretched two pale arms skyward.  “Especially if you would stay with me.” Her frame relaxed back against the nest of silk covered pillows and she brazenly watched Arissa cross the room. 


Gathering one of the pale pink robes that had been neatly set out for the pair, the Chosen winked, her green eyes flashing in wicked delight.  She drew Saidar and almost sighed as the perfection of the One Power flooded through her.  “As much as I would love to stay in bed all day, we have Court this afternoon.  And,” she added, tying the sash loosely around her waist, “you know we must be careful not to be seen together lest the rest worry that you are playing favorites.” She punctuated her admonishment with a soft Compulsion weave and the spitting image of an adoring smile. 


“Sometimes I can’t believe the decisions I make,” Enarra said, half to herself, “Sometimes I think I am playing favorites…” the Queen of Andor trailed off, bounding to her feet.  Snatching the other robe, she leaned in close to push some glossy dark blonde hair out of Arissa’s face and peck her lovingly on the cheek, “but you just make so many bloody good points, Aleya. Maybe you should be Queen.” Laughing, the blonde pushed her lover left, toward the hidden door connecting their rooms and walked toward her enormous powder room.


Arissa dropped the seductive gaze as Enarra disappeared into the other room.  “Oh lovely, ignorant Enarra,” she murmured, “I already am.”  Stepping into “her” rooms, the Chosen swiftly donned her Lady Aleya attire – it was much too modest for her personal taste, but it was a necessary discomfort – and headed toward the throne room.




“I’m so glad you could join me for tea, Lady Aleya,” though the tone sounded less than welcoming.  “It seems you have had the Queen’s ear of late, and well, as we differ on many fronts, I thought it may be best to meet and discuss.” She took a sip of her tea and smiled a cold smile that did not reach her eyes.  Arissa tipped the cup up to her mouth but did not drink.  When finished, she smiled at the other woman, baring white teeth that gleamed slightly in the sun.  She'd already removed the bullish "Aes Sedai" from meddling; this Lady would be even easier to break.  Arissa had been manipulating people since the Breaking...before the Breaking if Dar Keran was to be believed.  Fool man, she thought bitterly, before returning her attention to the irritating person in front of her.


“It’s a pleasure to be here,” the Chosen said, in a tone only mildly more friendly than the host had used. In the current political climate, pleasantries were necessity, but actually being nice would be viewed as suspicious.  Though Cairhein was famous for Daes Dae’mar – Arissa scoffed at the name – Andoran politics could be just as vicious.  Especially when whispers of a succession crisis had begun to spread through the great Houses.  The Queen was young, but had no Heir.  Nor had she shown any interest in remarrying after the rather sudden death of her husband nearly two years ago.  To the world she seemed content to remain alone.


Harlin gave the impression of a tight smile – or grimace, it was difficult to tell – before launching into her pitch for Succession should it come to that.  She morphed into almost a different person, as she met “Areya’s” blue eyes, passion in her voice and real emotion in her body language.  It was a truly impressive performance. Someone not highly studied in mental inner-workings may have been swayed.


But Arissa was aware and Areya was loyal…for now.


“Harlin,” she said, interrupting the other woman, “Enarra is still a young woman; she’s only in her mid-20s.  Besides, this sounds like treason.  You are speaking of taking the crown!” Arissa inwardly cocked a brow as she watched horror and resentment fall over the face of the other woman.  The Chosen had little desire to actually sit on the Lion Throne, but her proximity and “friendship” with the Queen placed her in high regard politically, and socially. She was the logical choice for succession if it came down to it, but her loyalty to Enarra would only serve to cement the people’s love for her and drive Harlin mad with competition. Enarra was a popular Queen, a fair and just ruler with a pretty face and a love for her people.


Word of Harlin’s lust for power would soon be out; Arissa had made sure of it. But she’d also ensured there were some loud vocal supporters of the Lady as well, just to make it interesting.  She took a dainty drink, nearly spitting the disgustingly weak liquid back into her cup. “I suggest you cease this talk and settle back down to drink some tea.  It must be almost chilled by now.” The other woman narrowed her eyes, but reclined into the chair slightly.  Areya was right.  The tea was cold.




Arissa wove a Gateway, stepping once again into the Dreamworld.  She readied her usual weave and shield before snapping the shut.  Strolling around the suggested meeting place, she let a small smile come to her lips. The pale gray walls shimmered with minuscule reflections of the hearth blazing across the room and a dark plush carpet muted the sound of footfalls.  Similarly dark furniture dotted the moderately sized room though there was little else here. Beautiful stonework if austere in decor; it fit Seranha perfectly.   There were no hints of where the other Chosen might be, though Arissa surreptitiously checked anyway.  Everyone made mistakes at some point.  Like myself in trusting Kharin with Wendalle after the Breaking.  She shredded his mind beyond repair and cackled as I had to scrape together the information we needed. 


Locking that frustrating memory away, Arissa leaned against the arm of the chair closest to the fire.  It gave off the same intensity of light, but the flames were mere reflections of true world. No heat attempted to ward off the ever present chill of tel'aran'rhiod.  Interestingly, the hearth never flickered to be fully out; Seranha must keep the fire stoked constantly.  There might be something to that....the auburn-haired beauty filed it away for possible future use.  The other Chosen was probably the person most akin to a friend, but that didn't mean she wasn't also a threat Arissa may need to neutralize in the future.


Humming quietly to herself, Arissa waited patiently.  Were she and Seranha different people, she would have thought Seranha was making her wait on purpose.  However,  Seranha was more blunt than passive and Arissa was extremely patient.  She had always enjoyed playing the long game; often as much or more as the eventual outcome.  She pondered her next move with the Andoran nobility as the fire made almost natural crackling and popping sounds in the empty room.  It wasn't long before Seranha appeared, her dark hair in a solitary braid hanging at her back and an empty weapon belt slung across her hips.  "Thanks for coming," the shorter woman said, crossing the room to sit in the ebony chair across from where Arissa stood.  "I have some news you may be interested in, and a proposition for you."


"Do tell," the redhead purred, a goblet of chilled white wine appearing in her hand.   She took a deep draw from the liquid and when she met Seranha's eyes, Arissa's emerald eyes twinkled with mischief and malice. "I enjoy a good proposal."



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  • 1 month later...

A musky odor permeated the air, infiltrating noses of peasants, merchants, and nobles alike.  The former paid it no mind, having spent most of their miserable lives in one type of stench or another.  The merchants occasionally surreptitiously brought a jacket sleeve across their face, managing to pull in an odorless whiff or two of air.  Nobles, decked out in finery unavailable to most folk, wrinkled their noses and made a show of stuffing their faces into monogrammed, perfumed handkerchiefs and drawing deep breaths. 


The heat and the stink made market days easy deliveries for street rats like Lyrea and her gang.  She’d made plenty in the past two years, of course - the young are often overlooked - but it was much easier when her targets came to her.  Scanning the market, her brown eyes found her number two, and his number two: Steppen and Genny. Leaning back more into the shadows of an alley, Lyrea gave a minute jerk to her head and flashed a hand symbol at Steppen.  His eyes lit with understanding and he set off toward the mark.  




Wendel walked through the marketplace, a lovely lilac handkerchief plastered to his nose.  It smelled of lilac too - just strong enough to drown out the hideousness that hung in the humid air.  A band of sweat tracked down his cheek and he almost frowned at the thought of it staining his beautiful purple silk shirt.  Instead, he smiled as he noticed people practically throwing themselves out of his way. He reached out with his other hand and skimmed it along the crowd, the smile turning smug as they seemingly clamored to touch him.  It hadn’t been that long ago when people were spitting on him in the streets, and now it appeared they worshipped him. That’s what happens when your brother wins the crown.  


A sparkle caught the corner of his eye and Wendel maneuvered to a stall.  The flat top was filled with plenty of gaudy baubles, but a moderately small whitish silver box caught his eye.  That looked like something his girl would like - she did like pretty things after all. Picking it up, the Murandian turned the box over and around, looking for an opening.  He pursed his lips at not finding one. Shaking the box didn’t prove fruitful either. He looked to the merchant for help, but the man just shrugged. He hadn’t clue either.  “A challenge!” Wendel announced, “I’ll take it!” He motioned for one of his men to pay the merchant and took a long drag from the lilac handkerchief before slipping the box into a pocket of his fine brown pants.


An hour passed and the sights were starting to be less entertaining, the heat beginning to be overwhelming, and the lilac in his handkerchief fading.  Wendel turned into an alley and leaned against the wall, soaking up the cold emanating from the brick. One of his men lounged next to him and the other stood with his back to them, blocking a tired Wendel from view.  At the back of the alley, Genny rose silently, her blade covered in grime to prevent any accidental glare.  


A blur of navy and tan flashed by the end of the alleyway and suddenly Wendel’s man was talking about a missing purse.  “Hey!” he yelled after Steppen, starting to run after him, but slowing and turning back toward Wendel. The heir to Murandy’s throne waved him on and the bodyguard disappeared into the crowded marketplace after the cutpurse. His other man pushed off the wall and stood loosely at the noble’s side. Quietly, Genny strode toward the mark, her grip strong and her knife sharp, while Lyrea skidded to a halt in front of the alleyway, pulling their attention to her and blocking them in.  She took two large steps forward, putting her in the shadow of the building and her face almost against the chest of the larger man in black. A bit stunned, he took a step backward and frowned at her. Wendel cocked an eyebrow.   


“Heya boys,” she said with a grin, a gap between her two front teeth and a layer of grime on her smile that only life on the street could provide, “Mistress Tyren sends her regards.”  She yanked a sharp dagger from her belt and quickly sliced the throat of the bodyguard. He had barely reacted to her presence, let alone the cut. “You’ve been a very bad boy, Wendel.” Lyrea motioned to Genny, who grabbed him around the throat and pressed her knife into his back.  “I wish I had time to enjoy this, but unlike you, I listen to orders.”  


Wendel whimpered, wanting to plead for his life, but afraid that it wouldn’t make a difference to these children.  The girl standing in front of him - because she was just that, a girl - had no warmth to her brown eyes.  Just an icy coldness that told him she could not be reasoned with.  “I’ll take that box you bought,” she said, thrusting her hand out. It had little speck of red blood - Colston’s blood - on it.  “It will make a poor compensation for the mistress, but maybe combined with your death, she will get some value,” Lyrea nodded then, at Genny, and the pressure at his back blossomed into intense pain and a feeling of wetness.  Death wasn’t far behind.




Arissa watched Lyrea through an upstairs window and smiled when the deed was done.  The girl was already formidable and she hadn’t even fully crossed into womanhood yet.  Lyrea had been a feisty toddler with a habit for hurting others. She’d once been taken in by a darkfriend under Arissa, but had kicked the girl out when she’d murdered the woman’s two cats and her son.  When asked why, Lyrea had simply said, “because I wanted to.” Such murder in a precious package had intrigued Arissa at first. Later, Arissa realized how useful the girl could be. “Aunt” Tyren had sought out the girl and nurtured that beautiful sociopathy.  


The girls would now split and meet back at their “headquarters” later.  Arissa knew the schedule because she had designed it and placed it in Lyrea’s head.  She would meet the group too, wearing Tyren’s face and body, using Tyren’s more high-pitched voice.  For now, she had a meeting with an old friend.   Stepping away from the window, the Chosen wove a gateway and stepped from Lugard into the World of Dreams.  


Gooseflesh rose on Arissa’s arms as the temperature dropped suddenly.  Adjusting her clothing to be better suited to a cool climate, the redhead created herself a vial of stoli – a drink made from pears that she dearly missed from the now-called Age of Legends – and took a sip, savoring the tart flavor and the acidic bite.  Serahna chuckled as she stepped through her own Gateway, “Where’s mine?” she asked, her attire switching from soldier’s garb to a plain set of dark linen pants and belted tan tunic.  Arissa inclined her head and a flute of stoli appeared in Serahna’s hands.   She took a long drag on her own flute whilst waiting for the other woman to begin.  They had been sharing information for many years now, meeting when necessary.  They had an uneasy system of alternating who began their meetings and it was Serahna’s turn.


“Things are finally coming to a head between Saldaea and Kandor,” the brunette began, tucking a lock of chin length hair behind her ear, “three skirmishes have broken out along the border near the ‘Blight’,” both women rolled their eyes at the name, “in the last two weeks, heightening tension among the soldiers and spreading through the middle command at a rapid rate.  It won’t be long before the generals get wind.” 


“Delightful,” Arissa murmured with a smile, “you have always been good at dealing with brutes, Serahna.”  The other woman gave her a pointed look and drained the rest of her glass.  “Things are going well in Andor, as well.  Houses are beginning to gather allies and plan their attack on the throne and Enarra is, let’s say, sufficiently distracted.” 


“Yes, let’s.” Serahna said drily.  “Are there any rumors of invasion elsewhere?  As you know, an invasion may unite them before the division can truly be set.”


“Do you think me new to this game, Serahna?” Arissa countered, her emerald eyes hard as she pinned the other woman with her gaze.  “There has been little news of any kind from outside Andor, let alone news of unrest.”


Serahna nodded and sat back in her chair, “Care to divulge how you handle the flow of information so well?”


“We both have our hands,” the Engineer said, “you play yours and I’ll play mine.”




 Arissa slid into Divara’s dream smoothly.  It was hard to guard against someone who understood brain better than anyone alive - even those who were warded against others. 


She clucked her tongue as she looked around at the surroundings. Divara was just as materialistic now as she had been before.  The room, decorated in shades of Green, was full of rich wood furniture, fancy porcelain vases, crystal centerpieces, and heavy tapestries.  In the current society, each item was expensive – costing more than some countries were worth. 


Divara stood at the far end of the room, staring at a painting.  Arissa moved quickly across the plush carpet, her red silk slippers silent.  As she neared, she could see a beautiful mountain view, last seen outside Nolathana before the Breaking.  With such detail, Divara must have painted it herself.  Only someone who had actually seen the slopes would have been able to capture the gravitas that rolled off the mountains, and only an object that existed in the real world would hold such permanence here. It was fascinating that someone with such a hideous personality could paint something with so much reverence and feeling.


Already enjoying what was to come, Arissa tapped the other Chosen on the shoulder. “Hello Divara,” she said with a purr.  Divara stiffened and began to weave Saidar.   “Tsk tsk.  I think you ought to be more polite with someone who could help you out of this jam you’re in.” She stepped around to face Divara and dragged a finger down the Chosen’s cheek as she slammed a Shield in place.  “You see, I know it was you who disobeyed Vanahl.  And,” she paused, enjoying the fear that had begun to leak from the woman in front of her, “I know why.”


Although Divara knew it was her dream, and she knew she could gain control, her mind wouldn’t cooperate.  Maybe it couldn’t?  Physical pain was nothing compared to what Arissa could do to her brain.  The inability to understand, to know, what was happening was what undid her.  Her hands shook as she bowed to the woman before her.  Great Lord help her she’d find a way out of this….wouldn’t she?


Arissa’s green eyes gleamed.




Lyrea and her gang straightened as Aunt Tyren walked in.  Her black hair was peppered with gray, and her skin beginning to show its age, but her mind was still sharp and her tongue, in disappointment, vicious.  Several of the smaller kids peeled off, their eyes snapping from Lyrea to Tyren and back again before they made themselves scarce. Steppen and Genny moved in toward the leader of their gang, though their gazes were stuck on Tyren.  She commanded attention of any room she walked into, just as she always had.  Lyrea yearned for that kind of presence.


“Is it done?” Tyren asked, knowing it had already been handled.  She produced a heavy purse and held it as she waited for a response.”


“It is, mistress,” Lyrea said, her voice unwavering.  She nodded for Steppen to retrieve the bag.  Coins clinked as he pocketed the bag and his eyes widened a little at the weight.  “I also found this.  It looked like something that might of interest to you, though I can’t say why.”  Lyrea drew the silver box from her pocket and set it on the table nearest to Tyren.


Schooling her features was harder than usual as Arissa recognized the object placed in front of her. A stasis box…I haven’t seen one of these in a very long time.  She nodded to the girl, “It’s a pretty token.  I approve.”  Picking up the item delicately, Tyren tucked it away and addressed the group. 


“You did well today.  Lay low tomorrow and the next day.  There will be a delivery coming for you in that time.  Our usual place.  Send only those who can return with the items without being followed.”  She nodded to Lyrea and took her leave.


The streets of Lugard would run red when Hereld found his brother murdered. 


Chaos surely would reign, as designed.


The Great Lord would be pleased.


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