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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Kathleen

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About Kathleen

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  1. In my accepted days I was very much split between Red and Green. It seems everyone I knew had no doubt I was green but I certainly did resist. I really enjoyed the reds and spent equal time between the boards and really dreaded the decision of which one to pick. Eventually I had a moment where it settled comfortably when I was faced with two very simple questions: 1) if I could only ever post in one board again which board would it be. 2) which board do I post in first when I have something important to share like Good news or bad news. The first question seemed impossible to think about, but the second one got the ball rolling. I realized that I went to the greens to share my news and I went to the Reds to get my entertainment (not that I wasn’t thoroughly entertained by the greens-who wouldn’t be??). Knowing what I would do if I had to be limited to only one forever made the choice come to me. I’m grateful that I wasn’t limited to it and still welcome to be as active in the Reds as a Green as I ever was as an Accepted. Time is the ultimate factor in knowing that I made the right choice for me. I have grown and changed so much since I joined this website a decade ago. And I don’t remember the last time I was actively involved in anything in any Ajah but I have always lurked in the Greens. Even during the the last few of my active years I was definitely drawn more to the Greys than the Reds for my downtime/playtime/venturing out time. The Greens have remained home throughout and even with my lurking status and the members coming and going I know the Greens can always find me when they want/need me and I still feel comfortable to reach out to them when I have life changes and they always accept me in as if I never left.
  2. Critique board was a huge deal previously. Private helped the copyright issue and the public fear of feedback when people knew it was being shared with a very small intimate trusted group. I’m sure a good case to add a private club ruled over by the writers group can be made from these points alone despite the “small numbers.” *attempts to fade into the background so you can continue to rebuild in your image*
  3. *pats Tay on the noggin* it’s ok...we all have bad days 🙂 If the roster isn’t getting too full I would be interested in getting my green or yellow involved. Depending on timeline the yellow is black. Current is black, retro is straight up yellow.
  4. I am so sorry for your loss and all the struggles that have come with it. Anything we can do to help I am more than willing to do. I know this goes without saying but with people jumping in I trust everyone will respect that this will be yours to lead how you want. If you ever feel like it’s getting out of hand or going in a direction you don’t want it to go let me or Tay know ASAP. This is meant to help you and if it starts to hurt you, I will step in.
  5. Congratulations and welcome aboard (moreso/again/continuous....). You are perfect for the task!!
  6. I parrot tay in full. It all sounds great to me and my only real question was about the source. Your answer works for me. Tay we can work on a master list of items from archives and or start a new one now.
  7. *hugs Elgee so so tight* I’m so sorry to hear that. You will be in my thoughts and prayers. *offers all kinds of distractions* let us know how we can help you through this difficult time.
  8. I’ll have a read through of what you already have when I get a moment, but I have an aiel, a child of the light, and two Aes Sedai (one black) who are all available to play with. Though I can be slower to get replies up.
  9. Sounds like a really interesting character. I look forward to seeing where it goes! Consider this CC'd by TV
  10. Kathleen wished she could stay and investigate that cave all night. She was sure there was more they were missing that could help them with their current mission and she was even more sure there was things deep in those tunneling halls worth her further study. The structure itself was interesting and the various marking and treasures would prove informative too. She regretted how little attention she had paid to the subtleties of the place when they been there. She had been singly focused and had hurried through. When Elessar had called her back having found the box she had wanted to hesitate in returning so she could explore more. She of course had come as swiftly as she could at his call - he could have been in danger, thought she didn’t hear it in his voice or feel it in the bond. He had called for her and she would not leave him waiting when she didn’t have something more pressing to attend to than her own curiosities. When she returned to him she had focused in on the poem – if something so vile could ever be called poetry – and they had looked around the caves after that only long enough to determine that they weren’t missing something obvious. They had been concerned that others may return at any moment and they didn’t have any good reason for being there, so they thought it prudent to leave. It was decided that they could always return to the location now that they knew of it if their other leads turned cold. ● They determined that their best, and perhaps only other lead was still with the High Lady Lyndelle , so after careful debate it was decided that they would pay her another visit. It was clear they were being watched just as much as they were watching others. The difference was that the enemy knew who they were looking for. They were giving the darkfriends far too much too information and time to plan. They knew that the Warder and Aes Sedai were alone, they knew where they were staying, and they were beginning to fall into a routine with where they went and what they did, and they were bringing to run out of places where they could go to avoid looking too predictable. By now the darkfriends would have to at least suspect that they were found out, and if Kathleen and Elessar were seen at that cave word would have spread. They had a few run ins – the captive, the thrown knives, other more subtle attempts – it was only a matter of time before a bigger trap would be set and they would be in it. She had hoped they would be further along at this point, but hoping didn’t get you very far. The only idea with any real legs to move them forward was a bold move, but they had been in the city for some time now and they would have to make a move soon or move on. They hadn’t bothered to put much work into a cover story and even the people in the city who weren’t part of the darkfriend cell would soon become uncomfortable with the presence of the Green and her Warder without any clear reasoning for their being there. That is how Kathleen found herself creeping through the shadows as she approached the noble house in the dead of night. It wasn’t an ideal option, but after some discussion with Elessar it had seemed their best option. They had discussed re-capturing their friend from days before, but he would have gone into hiding – he would have shared his experience by now and they others would either have given him tips on how to keep him mouth shut (cutting out his tongue or threatening his family no doubt) or they would have cut him loose completely and his information may no longer be any good. There was no guarantees he had information he hadn’t already shared. So, somehow Kathleen found herself sneaking along the grounds of the noble house she had recently strode confidently through, willing the woman of the house to be out for the night. She couldn’t convince herself the whole manner would be empty, try as she might for the sake of her nerves. Staff would always be there. In the back of her mind the thought did cross that breaking into someone’s house in the dead of night may be leaning a little in the wrong direction for someone who follows the light, but she dismissed that thought easily. There was always justification and reason and they could make any action honourable if it was done for the right reasons. What she did she did in the light always, and when it was to oppose a darkfriend or the Dark One himself she would happily do whatever must be done, be it sneak into a house, stab a sword through the throat of a trolloc, or call lighting down to dry forest to start a fire no man could contain. That fact that she would do it all didn’t make the doing it any less dangerous and it certainly didn’t make any of it smart. There were no guaranteed outcomes. She paused a moment in the dark reaching for the growing familiarity that was her bond with Elessar and appreciated finding it there. She knew from experience that it could sometimes seem like a responsibility to have to someone always tied to her, always by her side and always following – or usually leading – her into all kinds of situations. This time there was a comfort. She was not alone. If she had to run fool’s errand, at least she had someone willing to run it with her. ● Elessar had gotten them in to the Great Hall with ease and Kathleen felt like perhaps this wasn’t such a bad idea after all. Its not like there was an Aes Sedai adviser in this little noble house who’s wards Kathleen would have to try to over come. And she was Aes Sedai after all, she could talk her way of this if she was caught. She would come up with some important message she had to deliver to the Lady and pretend like she saw no curiosity in the hour. She could claim that she snuck in so as not to wake the whole house hold. That much was true. She would make it work, and when she couldn’t say anything more convincing she hoped Elessar would pick up the cue to carry on the tale where her oaths held her back, and if that didn’t work – she would blow the whole house to bits. It would be a shame to lose the lovely art work though. When the sudden passing of a guard shifting the light in front her brought her out of her thoughts she instinctively opened herself to the true source, but she restrained herself from allowing it pour into her when she realised they weren’t caught. She was jumpy. That wouldn’t be impressive to her knew warder. She turned her gaze to the back of his head a few feet in front of her and intently thought that it was not important for her to impress him, the only thing that mattered tonight was that she didn’t get him killed and she didn’t let herself die while under his protection. He could be as unimpressed with her as he wanted, as long they were both alive for him to be able to be disappointed with her. She was NOT here to impress him, she was here to dismantle a darkfriend plot and hopefully the whole cell at once if she could end that fully too. That would be a bonus. ● They made their way through the Great Hall to the small study with ease. Kathleen wasn’t sure if it was good luck or bad. No trouble was good, but was it too good? She stood lookout while Elessar picked the lock to the small study that she had met the High Lady in before. If she did use this room to plot her dark deeds, Kathleen wondered if the woman had been proud of her achievement of having a Sister of the White Tower so close her secrets and not be caught. Kathleen assumed that the woman wouldn’t have left anything to noticeably about, no matter how confident she was. Lyndelle had invited her there after all, she would have had plenty of time to remove her traces from view before the Aes Sedai arrived. Kathleen had met others like her and was hoping she would have the same sense of necessity in having the power, the upper hand, that would mean that she may hide her secrets, but she would hide them close. She could have moved them anywhere in the manor but having the secret knowledge that she had invited the Aes Sedai into the room with the very proof of her allegiance against the Sister, sitting all the time so close yet going unnoticed – that surely would give most a sense of security and pleasure and reinforce Lynelle’s own genius in her own mind. She would see it as a small victory – a marking that she was more capable, more smart, than her enemy. Kathleen was hoping the woman would feel that way and that she would have left all they needed to find her out right under the Green’s nose. ● The pair began searching the room in the pre-determined order they had discussed, trying to cover as much ground as possible, as quickly as possible, without causing noise or both looking in the same place. It was mostly inks, unused papers and trinkets one would usually find in a study. When they came upon the locked drawer Kathleen and Elessar paused to acknowledge it together silently. Only important things were locked away. Kathleen paused again before reaching for the unsealed envelope that was found in that locked drawer. Her first thought was that she was caught. That this was all a plot to get her here and that the Lady was really one step ahead of her and had allowed her to sneak in here. She feared it was a warning stating that a full fleet of guards had assembled outside of the door and they would have to fight their way out. Kathleen let out an audible breath she had been holding when she read the words scrolled elegantly across the page. She was not caught, but with this letter she had the proof she had come for. “How is your memory, Elessar?” she asked in a whisper as she handed the note from Nyriana, High Lady of House Vandahr to the warder. “I’d prefer not to have to take this when we leave, but we will need the information later if we are to fully decipher the message. Let’s move along quickly now, we still have to get back through the whole bloody building and outer grounds when we finish in this study.” As Elessar scanned over the letter Kathleen began to ponder the depth of the plot. There was another noble involved. It made sense in a way, they would run in the same circles and not seem suspicious to be found talking. It would increase the resources available to them. She began to mull over what she thought this all meant. Would their sister who failed be another noble? Kathleen tried to think of any recently deceased nobles that these two would have known but no names came to her. Perhaps their ‘sister’ was simply another female in their cell and not of noble blood at all. More importantly, who was the Black Rose to be sacrificed he warned of? Was the Friend who informed that the sacrifice was ordered the same person as the one who ordered it, or is he just an informer? Was the ‘princely’ gift a clue that the Royal Family were in danger, or worse, involved? Or was it simply flowery wording? There was no date on the letter, but she was sure that she and Elessar were the ‘guests’ they mentioned. That gave a little bit of a timeline and let Kathleen have some faith that these events still had not happened - there would be time to stop it if they could figure out the clues in a useful manner. Should they follow the emeralds and hope that leads them to the Black Rose? A sacrifice was rarely the morally right choice, and if that is what the darkfriends wanted it certainly wasn’t the outcome she intended on allowing. Should they get closer to the Royal family – send a warning they may be in danger? That seemed premature. She would think all this and more over as they made their way back to the inn and then go over it more thoroughly with Elessar when they had more safety to speak.
  11. Kathleen checked on the captive when she awoke in the morning and was pleased to find he was in exactly the condition she had expected him to be. There had been a small part of her that feared the bag would be empty and the man would be gone. Finding the weave in tact and the man out cold but breathing, Kathleen freshened herself up and headed down to meet Elessar. The headed out into the city streets and were having a pleasant time until the carriage they rode in suddenly and harshly swerved toward them in the street. It was a series of strange incidents after another after that. Kathleen wished she could write them off as coincidence, and perhaps some of them were not deliberate, but the Green had rarely seen such coincidences in such quantity as this day was presenting. The fact that there were known darkfriends in the area who knew of their presence made it all but impossible to ignore the little things. The fact that it was little things, made her question the seriousness and intention behind what she would hardly call ‘attacks’ and made her question if it was the darkfriends behind these incidents or just local troublemakers. The day carried on and the ‘attacks’ ended. Kathleen settled back into a state of comfort. As she strolled through the streets with the day coming to an end she found herself immersed in friendly conversation with Elessar and her own thoughts of how enchanting the night was; her guard too low and it was caught too late when she registered Elessar’s panicked warning. She didn’t sense the threat or see it and she dove wide in fear when the dagger flew down the alley. She grasped for saidar and found its friendly embrace as she landed in a heap. She realized the knife would have hit her, critically if not fatally had she hesitated any longer and she was overcome with anger. Some at the attacker who had tried to take her life-for the act of it and for the near success. More at Elessar for letting the danger get that close. More still at herself for missing the threat and allowing her guard to get so low. It took all of her restraint to hold herself back from firing blindly and reacting with impulsive rage, but she did just that. The knife missed, the man got away, and there was more risk if she and Elessar stayed in the streets making a scene. This obviously wasn’t the main event of this mission or the man wouldn’t have let up. There was much to discuss and they needed to start getting ahead of this mission. It was always better to be the one acting and forcing the opponent to react. As they finished the short walk back to the inn, Kathleen ran through the rant she wanted to yell at Elessar. It was full of how-dare-yous, do-have-any-ideas, how-does-it-looks, how-can-I-trust-you-nows, and several other accusatory and hurtful comments that Elessar didn’t truly deserve. Firstly, he couldn’t predict every threat and he shouldn’t be expected to. Secondly, she was just as much to blame for missing the danger – if not more. Third, and most importantly, he had realized in time, he had warned her, and she did not die. None of these thoughts would come to her mind for hours after the incident. Not until after she could forgive herself and give up the need to blame someone else. What did over power all of these comments running through her mind was the overwhelming need to not let this happen again. To not let it get around that they had been so easy of targets. They had to get ahead of this. They spoke for some time and turned in for the night. The next day started the same, but Kathleen felt it best to give themselves some space and made an excuse to let Elessar spend the afternoon hours without her. She needed to separate herself from him for a while. She felt too comfortable having spent so many weeks attached to his hip in their travels. He was a good travel companion, but she was losing her own reliability on herself. She needed to get it back. She should have noticed that man last night and she wouldn’t let herself feel anything other than shame and guilt. She sought out her own sources and checked in again with contacts throughout the day. She had re calibrated by the time Elessar returned and she was ready to show what she was really made of and make sure that any darkfriend, no matter how low level or high, know that she would not made a fool of or be so easy a target again. She would make that scum regret not having killed her last night even more than he might already be. She felt like she hadn’t just embarrassed herself last night, she had embarrassed the whole battle ajah. She decided the only option was to ensure that anyone who heard about the incident would eventually look back at it and see only a plot on her part to lure the darkfriends into a false sense of having the upper hand. But that meant she needed to get the real upper hand and fast. She made arrangements with Elessar and her eyes and ears to find a new location and move all necessary things to the house on the outskirts of town. It was a full day, but well worth everything they had gone through if the tip about the meeting came to anything. Elessar and Kathleen set up shortly before the expecting meeting time at a good distance where they would hopefully go unnoticed but be able to catch enough to make a difference. She wasn’t sure what she would find out, if anything, and while she was happy when the first darkcloaked figures began to arrive she was disappointed that they were so well hidden. She counted each one as they arrived, but she had no idea how many had already been there and she also couldn’t tell how accurate her count was as she couldn’t tell if anyone had come, left, and returned or if each was a new person. She wished she could find some way to identify some of the participants, but it was proving futile as the night only got darker. When the last ones left, the intrigue of what drew the people to this place and the need to feel like she was actually doing something to get her closer to the action made Kathleen press on and explore the cavern with Elessar despite the lingering fear that it was a trap about to be sprung. It was one thing to see where they gathered and get a guess at the numbers, but they had to have left something behind that would show signs of what they had been doing. Perhaps even what they were planning. Of course she didn’t expect to find a master plan written in gold lettering sat atop an alter. As the Aes Sedai and the Warder stepped into the mouth of the cave Kathleen weaved a ball of light and was delighted as the wonders of the elaborately set interior. Kathleen was shocked at just how large it was inside and how decorated it was. This had clearly been a well used meeting place for a long time. She stopped Elessar and quickly scanned for traps, both those that could be left by any smart darkfriend and more reluctantly she checked for any wards or signed of traps put in place with the one power. She truly hoped that she wouldn’t find any of the latter and let out an audible sigh of relief when none were found. It didn’t mean that she was the only channeler here, it just meant that they didn’t know it for sure if there was another. They walked slowly, and on alert ready for any sudden danger. As the cave split off into separated passageways, they studied the rugged walls and ceiling of the cave, wondering if this place hid any secrets that could give an indication of what all those people were doing here and who they were, but they found nothing important. They seated themselves in two of the old wooden chairs, and Kathleen took up a broken piece of glass, trying to find some insight. The two decided it was safe enough to spread out and take different offshoots of the tunnels to explore. Kathleen followed down one way and found more proof of common use, but nothing that made the details of what it was being used for known. Was it simply a headquarters? Was it a secret society court room? Was it simply a party cave? Was it a mixture of these used by more than one group? She hadn’t found anything that solidified any of these options when Elessar called her over, stating that he had found something. She had a rush of excitement as he shared the news and it only grew as he presented her with the steel box containing the stone. She could sense Elessar's excitement strongly through the bond, and she tried to figure out what it was she was missing that he had figured out. Kathleen studied the inscription trying to decipher while simultaneously studying the stone. She turned her attention to the poem and though she had expected no less than the words of worship to the dark lord her heart still raced as her mind proceed the words in front of her. She almost struggled to get through it and she said a silent prayer to the Light as she reached the end. Kathleen Aes Sedai of the Green Ajah
  12. Danger on the Horizon Part 2 – Revisited As Elessar was securing the suspicious man in the alley Kathleen thanked the blacksmith for his assistance and secured his silence and the keys to his supply cellar. She joined Elessar with the unconscious man and was pleased to see how swiftly and thoroughly he had contained the events. There didn’t seem to be any suspicion from passersby and as Elessar hoisted the limp but otherwise uninjured body to his shoulders Kathleen was impressed, but not surprised. She had expected this skill from Elessar, but she enjoyed seeing it. She lead their way into the cellar then stood back and watched the interrogation. It was a good chance to study Elessar, his methods and his morals. She was hoping the man would be cooperative when he came to and not give any trouble, but if he was resistant this could prove a good test of the Warder. “Now then, we are going to have a nice little talk.” His no-nonsense tone could not be missed, though the man did not react to his words. “You have been following us”, the Gaidin said squarely. “And I, or rather my Aes Sedai here” - he nodded at Kathleen beside him - “wants to know why.” His tone was calm but strong. Direct truth, Kathleen noted, giving me the credit – day one training but good to see it being put to use. “Please take your time, if you wish.” He added smoothly. “We have all day. But do speak truthfully. We do not deal well with lies.” Kathleen noted the Warder subtly handling his blade as he began the gentle pressure. She didn’t expect the man to comply so easily and she didn’t believe Elessar did either. But you have start low so you can raise the pressure appropriately as the defiance rises. Kathleen hadn’t expected things to escalate as suddenly as they did, and she was almost as surprised as the Andorian was when the blade stabbed into the crate beside his head. Kathleen held her composure. She had seen much more extreme situations than this, and though she often tried to avoid unnecessary violence and threats, she did know that a small show could often have the fastest and easiest outcome. Elessar’s experience showed and while Kathleen could only hope he would not cross any line too fine for her liking she was willing to have his back. “Next time”, the Warder said icily, “that knife will be embedded in your shoulder. To make another scar which will fit well with the facial scars you wear so proudly.” The man cursed and then stared at the Aes Sedai with hatred in his eyes. Kathleen stared back at him, her face seemingly unaffected. Was he looking for her sympathy? Was he thinking she might step in and stop this? Or was his flash of anger meant to show that while Elessar held the blade he believed she held the strings? Even if she disagreed with Elessar’s actions – which she didn’t – she would never choose this fool over the warder. She might go back to the inn and lecture him on expectations and give a detailed breakdown of all the ways she was disappointed in him until it was Elessar who was looking for her sympathy, but no matter what situation the warder ever got into Kathleen would not ever show anyone that she was anything less than 100 percent behind him – she wouldn’t admit to the Head of the Greens or the or the Amyrlin herself. The only possible person who Kathleen might reveal her disagreement with would be Nevuel and even that was highly unlikely. She did not plan to complain to Elessar about Nevuel’s faults and she did not think it necessary the to complain about Elessar to Nevuel. They needed to trust in their fellow Gaidan to be able to keep her safe and she would not want to be the one to plant the seeds of doubt. As Kathleen watched on Elessar pressed and said in no uncertain terms words that the Green knew she couldn’t. Elessar stared back icily at the man. “Now then.. that I do have your attention.” He began. “We know all about you. You are a traitor.” “I am no such thing. Bloody lies!” “Oh, yes you are. And not only to the House you serve. But also to the Light!” “You know nothing! You bloody White Tower are meddlers and fools!” “Oh please shut up! We know it all! Most importantly, we know that you are.. a Darkfriend!” Kathleen had never had a problem with the oath that kept her from lying. She was always nervous about lies – when they backfire you lose the upper hand. You are the one who looks like a fool. She only hoped now that the warder’s instincts were right and that this man wasn’t just a common townsperson whose family was wronged and he held a strong grudge. She was glad she couldn’t lie, because even if she could she didn’t know if she would be any good at it. She never was good at lying as a child - she wrote that off to her Amadican upbring. She did like knowing she had someone on her side who could though. Other people’s lies had aided her in the past. It didn’t take long to prove effective. Elessar came hard with this accusation and the man tripped up. Kathleen let a smile touch her lips as the catch was noted. And when the warder had the truth of the andorian’s allegiance the fact that he instantly stopped the pressure and stepped aside to her let her take over showed the Green that he truly was at the level she needed him to be in to work along side her. A seasoned warder who knew when his job ended and hers began. He wasn’t the only one who wanted some fun that night and more importantly, the real threat need always be associated with the Aes Sedai. He could set them up, but she would knock them down. There would be no lecture in the inn tonight. She interrogated the man in her own way and pulled out of him what information she needed. When she was done with him she had made arrangements for their covert travels with trusted sources and Elessar saw to it that their guest would not complain along the way. There were some details to consider before they could let the man go. The drive back to the inn was made in quiet contemplation and when they arrived at the inn and Elessar took their guest through the back with the innkeeper, Kathleen personally thanked the driver with a little extra fare for his trouble, silence, and service to the Tower. He said it was his honour and assured her that it was no trouble and he would be at her service if ever she called again, but the fear in his eyes and the tremble in his voice revealed the truth of how much he hoped he could be left out of anything more. Kathleen joined the warder in her rooms thinking briefly as she looked to the man-filled sack laid on her bed that she may ask after why Elessar had to take up her bed and not his with this captive, but it was a petty concern and Elessar likely thought she would be more comfortable in the room she had made her own. “Well, that went as well as could be expected”, Elessar said once he had regained his breath, meeting Kathleen’s eyes. “I think we managed to do it without unfriendly eyes catching on, but one can never be certain.” The Aes Sedai nodded, casting a glance at the leather sack with their dangerous captive. “The innkeeper will keep quiet.” He added. “He knows nothing in truth, just that it is Tower business, but I made sure he understood the confidentiality of the situation.” Kathleen cast him another glance but said nothing. Kathleen opened herself to saidar and placed a weave she had learned from yellow once in the aftermath of a terrible ambush. Too many were injured and the sisters who were left at the scene were all exhausted so they were sending those they could for healing at a camp a half-days ride away. She was shown a mild sedation weave that would keep the wounded still and silent, in no pain and still alive until they arrived. It had been a mercy that had saved lives that would have been lost. She had seen it in work in the past and knew it would hold for this purpose too. If it failed, he would still wake in a bag and the confusion of that would give enough notice for her to react. When this was complete Kathleen could finally relax. She had been itching for action on the whole ride from Tar Valon. The ballroom word play and sizing up of the High Lady was a decent start, but grabbing a suspect off of the street and forcing a confession in a nitty gritty interrogation in a cellar out of a darkfriend then stealing him through the night in a sack was certainly more along the lines of the action she was after. She was just thinking of how odd it must seem to others that this sort of thing could be desirable and exciting to her when Elessar spoke as if he was reading her mind. “It has certainly been an interesting day”, the Warder said with obvious understatement, studying the leather sack with their Darkfriend captive. “A touch on the boring, uneventful side perhaps”, he added with a lopsided grin, “so let’s hope tomorrow will be more exciting.” He did not see the glance Kathleen gave him, but the emotion coming through the Bond gave him a good idea.
  13. Danger on the Horizon - Part 1: Revisited The High Lady was off the hook sooner than Kathleen would have liked, but it appeared clear she had not arranged for the knock that came announcing the young Andorian who summoned Elessar away. Kathleen gave a consenting nod of allowance and Elessar left with the nobleman. The conversation with Lyndelle renewed but Kathleen was not fully present; she could sense something happening outside of their meeting. She believed Elessar could handle anything the boy might try, but the bond was new and the threat was suspected; Kathleen knew Elessar could do what was needed if there was any trouble but she found herself more on edge than she should have been. She had learned the subtleties of when her first warder was in need of her help, or when he needed her to stay away. She knew the levels of tension in their bond and could react accordingly within seconds of it changing. Her first warder had learned the same of her. Elessar and Kathleen had not yet fallen on anything that would test their bond and Kathleen worried that should misread his cues and bring harm upon him by leaving him too late or entering too early. Kathleen could sense Elessar returning and she had spent enough time alone with Lyndelle to get a good read of what she was up against. The woman wasn’t going to give her any more insight than she had in the game of veiled conversation they had all so far, but Kathleen had gotten what she wanted out this meeting. She wound the conversation around to the events in the ballroom and made mention that the High Lady’s other guests would be missing her presence and suggested that they return to the fray, without seeming to be telling the woman what do – it was her house and Kathleen was her guest after all. Kathleen walked deliberately through the room, stealing the gaze of all the guests as she passed by – catching more than a few off guard at her sudden return to the room, but they all found themselves falling into the proper positioning with bows and curtsies and respectful gestures as they moved out her path. She knew it was petty and childish, but a small part of her felt a great deal of pleasure at ensuring the guests eyes were on her march to the door and not Lyndelle’s march back to her seat. Kathleen tried to look for faces of people who could be with darkfriends, but none would dare show any signs so she didn’t put much stock in that. Elessar filled Kathleen in on the warning of danger. It didn’t come as a surprise – the reason she came from Tar Valon because there was threats of danger, and she knew that when she inserted herself she would be drawing danger to her personally. The fact that someone warned them could mean their cell was already breaking down from within, or that there was opposition that could come the aid of the Green and Warder, or it could bea scheme to have her overthinking and on edge. It could be number of things each would have to be dealt with its own way. They spent the remainder of the carriage ride back to the inn and some hours in her room discussing this before deciding there was nothing more to be done this night and they weren’t going to polish a plan so it was best to go to bed. Elessar retired to his own room and Kathleen removed her earrings and necklace, packing them carefully away. She exchanged her luxurious jade dress for comfortable sleeping clothes and tucked herself into bed. It took her a while to fall to sleep, but she did. She wasn’t sure how long she was asleep for when she awoke. She untangled the blankets and rolled over to her opposite side, trying to get comfortable. As she relaxed into the pillow she realized Elessar was up. She couldn’t hear a sound, but she could pin point him and he was moving and he was on alert. The thought of the boy’s warning earlier came rushing back to her and she slipped silently out of her bed readying herself in the event something escalated. As Elessar paused outside her door she could sense the growing concern, she heard a noise and felt the sudden burst of surprise and she reached instinctively for saidar. As the pulse of the one power flowed through her, she heard laughter in the hall. She was overcome with confusion and when Elessar entered the room she wasn’t sure what to make of it. As he declared there was no danger she reluctantly let go of saidar and took a seat while he retold the story of the assassin-cat lurking in the shadows of the corridor. She had initially been annoyed at the disturbance, then mad that they had both been brought to such extremes as to be found stalking around and ready to pounce over a sound in the night, but as Elessar spoke of the event Kathleen’s mood lighted and she found herself laughing by the end of it. The next morning, Kathleen did not feel as well rested as she would have liked but she did feel more well rested than she had expected to. She met with Elessar for breakfast and enjoyed the light conversation. They moved through the city and made their way to a bench in the plaza where Kathleen ensured they could speak in confidence. As they moved through the city Elessar brought the notice they were being watched to Kathleen’s attention and they continued on their way without changing their pace or direction while they tried to quickly work out how to handle the stranger following them. They slipped into the blacksmith’s shop and Kathleen split away from the warder, giving him room to work with and made herself familiar with the layout. There were some good quality weapons and tools there, and she would have liked to study them more seriously. Perhaps she would come back when this was concluded. Elessar had formed a plan and when he filled Kathleen in she was impressed with what he had come up with so quickly. She gave her consent and Elessar exited through the back into the alley putting the plan in motion. ~Kathleen Aes Sedai of the Green Ajah
  14. Bathed in the Light of Whitebridge Part 2 - Revisited Kathleen folded the letter and placed it back in the envelope as Elessar lightened the mood with his easy jokes at High Lady’s allegiance. She allowed a smirk for a short moment, but the underlying truth of it kept a chuckle at bay. “Somebody obviously observed us when we entered the town”, he continued. “And the High Lady wishes for your presence, no doubt to increase local prestige and gain a little added power and influence as all Nobles do, here as everywhere else.” Kathleen nodded, but considered another reason the woman could want her there – it could be an attempt to set up blame on the White Tower if she is seen to be conspiring, or it could be a public way for the Lady to try to assess the threat. “For whatever reason”, he added, “it is very convenient since this High Lady is top of our list. This gives us a chance to speak to her and get an impression of what kind of character we are dealing with.” His eyes darkened momentarily with a speculative glint. “Perhaps she will reveal more than she intends.. that happens sometimes when one is not careful enough. If we ask the right questions.” “I hate walking into to someone else’s den, especially when I don’t know if they are wolf or rabbit, but this certainly solves the problem of how we can get close enough to assess this woman without suspicion. Suspicion is likely already cast. I prefer it that way.” As the two spoke about the implications of the invitation it became clear they were very much of the same mindset. Kathleen couldn’t help but think of what a blessing that was. She realized how trying this bond could have been had they had different core feelings on approaches to these sorts of things. Of course, it would be Elessar who would come to her ways, but that didn’t mean the tension between them would be any less if it was he who felt stifled or if it was she. Luckily, they wouldn’t face that yet. Someday, surely, but not yet. When Elessar voiced his advice to attend the event, Kathleen nodded and reached for some stationary to pen an acceptance letter, musing as she wrote, “I hope you have a good suit and better manners, we’ll need them”. She spent the rest of her day making sure that she had all she would need for the next night and feigning interest in some local sites. She had to look like she was in town for a reason, but that reason couldn’t look like sitting around waiting for a ball. The next afternoon Kathleen readied herself for the event while Elessar prepared in the adjourning room. She smoothed out the soft pleats of her jade dress and clasped the draping silver chain around her neck, her hand accidentally brushing against the matching earring dangling subtly from her lobes. The only other jewelry she wore was the great serpent ring on her right hand. She pulled her dark hair into a loose, easy updo, not too elaborate but enough that it looked like she had put some work into it and she had. She took one last look in the mirror and headed down to meet her carriage. As she approached, she saw Elessar in his best black – he has better than a good suit she thought I hope that translates to exceptional manners. As she took Elessar’s hand to steady herself into the carriage she paused a moment in the thought of how glamorous this all was and how the warder she had grown so accustomed to seeing sat atop rotting logs in the woods looked almost unrecognizable in the dashing formal clothing. So versatile. What a life she was living: from sleeping on sticks and leaves, to clapping along in small village taverns, to touring historical trips, to attending a ball in formal attire – one she had been invited to by a suspected enemy at that, and all in the name of one mission. She was glad to have someone to share it with. Kathleen stood patiently by Elessar’s side waiting for the door of the noble's house open. She handed over her invitation and entered the manor and stayed a good pace with her escort. She scanned the layout and staff in the halls on the way to the ballroom trying to stay as non-chalant as possible, but she was a Green and this had to be considered possible enemy territory. She knew Elessar would be doing the same. She paused outside of the ball room doors taking a moment only noticeable through the bond to compose herself. She felt a wave of stillness come over her whole body as the Master of Ceremony’s staff settled and he announced her to the room it was as though an internal curtain rose and the show began. Kathleen glided into the room, paying no mind to the people moving out of her way and bowing around her. She moved as if she, Elessar, and Lyndelle were the only ones in the room and it was her duty to welcome the High Lady of House Serevan to her own party. The other woman rose from her ornate chair, and as if she was acknowledging the truth of this act, the host lowered herself into a moderate curtsy. Kathleen found herself instinctively watching her for flaws in the curtsy, but it was not the training of watching the moves of possible threats that had her watching for flaws, it was the many years of training Novices and Accepted and being expected to criticize them on this very skill. As the possible darkfriend approached and expressed her “great honour” at having an Aes Sedai of the Battle Ajah present Kathleen listened closely for clues in her tone that betrayed her sincerity. The use of the term Battle Ajah was perhaps not meant as a challenge, but perhaps it was. Are we to Battle tonight then High Lady? I certainly hope not – for your sake and the sake of my fine dress. The usual formal exchanges were quickly run through like well rehearsed lines in a gleeman’s tale and Kathleen summoned the Warder with a short nod. They followed their host to a separate room and Kathleen was sure that Elessar could see through her charade as easily as she could. She couldn’t help but think this conversation could be quite entertaining just watching this snake trying to hide her true intentions. Kathleen tried to remind herself that they didn’t have any real proof that there was anything suspicious in the works with this woman, except the letter that named her. It would be dangerous to read too far into anything the woman said while holding a bias though. As hard as it was to keep neutral, Kathleen knew she had to keep some level of benefit open. She was a noblewoman and perhaps her people did need something. The woman could try to achieve an honest request from the Tower if she thought her loyalties were hidden well. This was more difficult do as the woman moved into the separate room and began to speak of alliance with the White Tower and the importance of friends while clearly showing she thought she was out smarting the Green. Kathleen felt like she was watching an amateur actor trying to make a drama out of a comedy and that in itself was enough to amuse the Green. As the woman continued speaking Kathleen began to wonder if she was a darkfriend choosing her words to hide her intent or start open a trap, of if she was just a nervous noble approaching an Aes Sedai for the first time trying to remember what she asking after and trying not to leave loop holes she could get caught in. Either way, it was a very poor show. The woman stopped speaking expecting Kathleen to make a move. Kathleen knew better than to speak now. The woman was just gaining confidence, she had said what she intended to say and felt like she had the upper hand leaving a cryptic yet simple question in saying, “strength is often measured in one’s friends. Don’t you find?”. If Kathleen had thought that question innocent, she would still have a long, opinioned answer that would go deeply into philosophy and would not serve the conversation at hand. If, as Kathleen believed, the question was a veiled threat meant to intimidate her at the thought that the woman had more people with her, then her answer certainly wouldn’t please: I have all the strength I need to out measure you and all of your darkfriends right here in this room with me. I have a seasoned Warder who is more than a match for you, I have Tower training and years of playing politics to out talk you, I have years of military strategy and that doesn’t start on Saidar. That is all of the ‘friends’ I need. If you thinks numbers matter, if push comes to shove I have the entire White Tower and everyone in the world under the Light to call upon. She wasn't about to approach either of these answers. She would keep the woman on the demand. There was no need to reply to such a rhetorical yes or no question. The woman had more to say - something to ask. The green settled back into her chair and awaited the woman to press on. ~Kathleen Aes Sedai of the Green Ajah
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