Prophet didn't think it was to hard to make the desicion. Not now, at least. Of course, he was not completely sure WHO or WHAT has firbidden him to make that step before, but then he was not sure about his past life at all. After all, he always knew that he was, that he lived for someone, to do something, he knew that someone needed him, someone out there in the darkness of his dreams, something that lurked in the night waiting for him, making him do it's bidding. Prophet had to do everything It made him do, though he havn't done anything out of sorts, as he himself thought. But then, he sarcasticly noted to himself, you are neither omnipotent, nor omniscient. You are not all-knowing, boy! He has repeated that for perhaps the thousandth time already! He could not undo what he has already done, so it was best to concentrate on the thought that even he had his cause, his point of life. He strongly doubted that the sole reason that he was born was to serve the Unseen one, as the Prophet has called his Master sometimes! Oh, no, he was used at the purposes he didn't understand, done things he did not understand, had his normal life ruined for the sake of someone he doen't know at all! Of cource, he has been given powers, to continue his nameless mission, to do as he was told. And now even his Master cannot take the power away from the one who is called Prophet. In order to do that the Unseen would have just to kill him on the spot, the thing that violated the Bargain! Oh, yes, The Bargain! Prophet smiled! That was his key to freedom! He has done everything he was told to do, and asked no questions. Now, the obligation to his Master was finally fullfiled!
Prophet tried to concentrate on the matter he faced right now. He looked at the immence gates of the Lightly Dark Palace at the slopes on Shayol Ghul. He touched one secret spot and the door opened. The halls of the Great Palace were empty. He walked through the marble passages to the very heart of the Palace.
The Throne Room. Heaven looked like Earth here in this place, but he knew his way. The doors were open! When he entered the room he saw Ariella sitting on the throne. Exept for her the room was completely empty.
"I see you were expecting me, Great Mistress!" he said without any further ado
"Indeed I were! So,....will you take that step, or not?",-she said smiling.
"The step you are talking about was taken a long time ago, even before I came to this side of the reality."
"You are welcome to my Palace, Prophet,"-she said.
"Ha, don't say, you don't like me coming to this place, at last,"-he said, watching pure innocence spread on her beutifull face.
He came closer to look in her eyes. "Is it alredy done?"-he said drowning.
"It is done!"- she smiled.
Strangly, his last thoughts were not about him, becoming a part of the Dark, but about the great party Ariella surly shall throw. Ha, Nightfall, beware. Your beer barrels shall soon be empty........
Nightfall awoke, his head certainly throbbing from the last night's bash. Again he recalled the short dances before something inside him told him to leave. Rather rude he knew but still. Nightfall groped wearily, his head feeling worse than if either the Hound decided to use it for a practice ball or a Trolloc knawning on it. Still Nightfall felt a subtle shift in the winds. It was that sense of his. Something that told him the balance had again shifted. Which way he wasn't sure but the shift was noticeable to Nightfall unnatural senses. With a gusty sigh, Nightfall go to his feet and worked his way to the closet. Perhaps the Great Mistress would forgive him for such a rude leaving taking. Again all Nightfall knew was that something told him to return. He had always relied on that inner sense. Only one time had it failed him and that was his own fault...But still Nightfall was even more cautious and now was wondering what it was that cause a shift. Changed and a little more fresh inside and out, Nightfall prepared himself for what ever was ahead. Hopefully all would be well. Certainly the party boded well with the brief return of Sunny. Nightfall sincerely hoped he would see more of her...but only if Eval was bound and locked and then put in a chest which was deep in the Aryth Ocean. But whatever would come of it, more of the party or something else, Nightfall was ready as his ever was. It was only tripping on Ulrike's dragon who for some reason was eating a young buck in his room was certainly the last thing Nightfall needed. Swearing under his breath Nightfall turned to the dragon "Look. I told you once and nicely I may add. Quit bothering me or I'll be more than willing to find the one you really want to do in and let him take care of you. Understand?" The dragon smiled with his teeth showing, vanishing with buck in tow. Calling to one of the servants, Nightfall then walked down to where the rest of last night's guests were and probably more would be ready for another. That when he saw the Prophet and everything changed....
The Great Mistress watched Prophet leave the audience chamber a bit unsteadily, and made a soft, disapproving noise. This would never do -- the Dark had a reputation to uphold, after all! "Oh, Prophet, could you come back here for just a moment, please?"
He stopped in his tracks, swayed a couple times, and managed to turn around and walk back without falling down once; no mean feat, in his present condition.
"Prophet, dear, now that you've come over to the Dark, there's one little thing I forgot to mention. We don't get drunk. Ever. We drink like fishes, but it doesn't really affect us. Well, except for Nightfall; for some odd reason, the intoxication protection never really took on him. Anyway, here goes..." Ariella leaned over and lightly brushed Prophet's forehead with her lips. He felt an odd sort of tingle, and then...
"Wow! This is cool! I feel GREAT! Just a little bit of a buzz, but other than that..." Ari smiled with satisfaction. "Much better, dear. Now, why don't you go challenge Nightie to another drinking contest? We all find it most amusing to watch him trying to play his harp when he's wasted."
Prophet strolled out the door, with a perfectly steady gait this time, leaving Ariella alone with her thoughts. Since returning to her palace, she'd found that many things had changed in her absence, although the soul of the place was the same as ever. Utter lunacy, sheer frivolity, and the occasional serious theory -- just the way she liked it. Many of her old friends were still about, and others seemed to be returning, as though some part of the Pattern were pulling all of them home at the same time. And of course, there were so many new people to get to know.
The last party had been a lot of fun, but she'd not been able to see everyone she wanted to, and there had been some recent arrivals that she would dearly like to dance with. The Piper, for instance -- any party was more fun when the Pipe Major of the Universe played. And she was almost certain she'd sensed Taim's presence. Now there was a man who's company she had missed something awful. Not to mention the fact that he danced divinely...
There was only one thing to do, she decided suddenly. She would simply have to throw another party. The Prophet's recent initiation into the Dark Family provided a perfect excuse, not that she really needed one. Her eyes became slightly unfocused as she sent out her thought to all the slightly mad denizens of the fantastical realm she haunted. Those who served the Light, members of the Dark Family, neutrals, wolves, Chosen, innocent bystanders... all heard the call:
"Come out, come out, wherever you are..."
She thought she heard someone laugh and say "Ari, ari, oxenfree..." It sounded like the Wanderer.
Satisfied that everyone had received their invitation, she went to her rooms to change. A Great Mistress's work was never done...
Ariella, the Great Mistress of the Dark and Hostess with the Mostess *g*
Sitting beneath a spreading magnolia that towered near to a Waygate, the Wanderer relaxed. Wandering was well and good, but he was a little footsore at the moment for no good reason and sitting still held more interest for him than movement. Besides which, part of Wandering was appreciation of your surroundings. Sometimes it was good to brush up on that one, and the Wanderer hated whenever he took anything for granted....
"Come out, come out, wherever you are!" A familiar voice called-- impossible to say whether he only heard it in his own mind or it had been truly audible. But the implications of the call, never mind the tone, made him laugh involuntarily. "Ari, ari, oxenfree..." he spoke, as it came to his mind, and he caught the laughter like silver rainfall of ari's attention and pleasure.
He didn't hurry to get up, yet. He was not the one to put the party into full swing, or even twist it into bizarre patterns. That was more in the line of Kiriath, or Darkhound. Without saying how he knew, he was also aware of Mr. Prophet's new allegiance to the Dark, and figured he might be another spark for the coming event.
He also reflected that Sundara had returned, and Serafelle might get back from Tear in time to join in. Yes, the famine of summer was coming to a close. Why, in only a few days the Legends Anthology would be out, enough reason in this time of wasting-away to hold this party, except who can have a party while their reading? Good thing they were only short stories! He wondered how long the word "short" implied.
In any case, this particular shindig had promise, and the Wanderer had no intention of missing it. But it really WAS a gorgeous day out, and since time worked differently at Shayol Ghul, the Wanderer closed his eyes for a little while and dreamed of the grand posts to come.
Kiriath was in his vacuole, clasping and unclasping his fingers nervously. Did Carra actually know? She did now; he really did need to learn how to control his rambling. Now that the Dark might be hunting out the Intrigleemen, more rambling thoughts appeared in his mind.
Narg had brought back a horde of Shadowspawn ---a fist of Trollocs, a Myrrdraal, a few Gray Men, and even one of those weird butterly caterpillar things--- and at this very moment, Aginor was messing around with them, trying to figure out how, if it was possible, to Turn them to the gleemen. Perhaps a fellow used 13 Tinkers through 13 Fades, or something like DarkHound had suggested awhile ago. Somehow, Kir didn't think that was what it was. Most likely, it had to do with a Linked circle of male channelers and Sedai. He'd have to ask Cerise sometime, or even Serafelle, if she wasn't quite so ...absent-minded.
Suddenly, he flinched. A feeling had taken a hold of him; Ariella had used her famous message beacon, the power of the Whip. Obviously, she planned another party. Why else would she try to alert an eccentric young gleeman?
Thinking of the Dark again, Kir became suddenly nervous. If Carra actually did know, chances were that he might possibly be discovered, and the whole of the major force with him. He couldn't do that for himself, or his allies, so he had to do something. The Tower became tedious after awhile anyway; there was only a certain limit of things a fellow could do. In this vacuole, however, anyone could do nearly anything, warping the land to his own taste. With this thought in his mind, he knew what he had to do. He had to change the headquarters. From the Tower of Ghenjei to the Vacuole of Vacuuming. The name came from its spacial regions; it was soundproof to anyone outside of the vacuole. Not that anyone could nearby it, of course. It was a place outside of the Pattern, and wonderful enjoyment to warp wildly.
Kir channeled into his ear, the hidden angreal within it ---another item he had discovered inside the Tower of Ghenjei, an Eir'foen--- relaying a message into the loudspeakers of every room in the Tower, telling the Intrigleemen to abandon Finnland and take their posts in the vacuole. No one could discover them there.
Also, no one could find any traces of their departure, seeing as how the whole of the base was all in their minds. All they had to do was warp the base's rooms from the Tower, use the Power, and take residence in the vacuole. Surprisingly, it allowed use of the Eccentric Power. Perhaps it was connected to the steadyning to boot. Kir decided to check on that before the party; it would be an even easier way to Gate. Maybe, finally, the Intrigleemen could have posts around the whole of Randland. Useful, if nothing else.
Kiriath, Undercover Intrigleeman
Vacating the Tower and vaunting to a vacuole...
Nightfall could only stare. That and due the fact he really never got the hang of that inability to get drunk. It wasn't so much that he didn't like it or that it never stuck. It was more about letting go and enjoy being drunk. Admittedly he regretted it afterwards, but really in the long and short picture, it was just his own little way of being himself. No that the Prophet was of the family and probably meant another party, Nightfall was just a little more than interested to see how this would affect his relationship with Prophet. "Man had to make choices after." Nightfall reflected to himself. Still it was unsettling to a degree that now Prophet had an edge. Might be he'd have to work on this undrunkness ability. Nightfall quickly went into the shadows, back into his private rooms and into the closet. This was a good time to find some better clothes. With some quick trips in through shadows and passing through various realities, Nightfall finally found a suitable outfit for the coming party. Still wearing his usual adorments of the wooden harp-shaped ring and his obsidin raven medallion, Nightfall wore a loose fitting waistcoat covered in hourglasses, with a nice surcoat of a multi-colored hue. His cuffs were fluff out in familiar shade of deep purple velvet. On his head a very interesting hat, with the word, "Canadiens" on it. "Something to amuse people", Nightfall thought, "Though I'm sure The Great Mistress and Egwene2 would be slightly shocked at my choice." A broad smile came to his lips at that thought. Still his boots were what he enjoy as the pants were just a rough leather worn kind. The boots were worked with a red and black pattern, ravens on the sides and of all things, spurs. Still he was a sight. The Hound would breakout in either hysterics or else just stare. Whatever it was, Nightfall was prepared. Finally find his harp, Nightfall knew it was probably a good idea to take it slow tonight. A wider smile crossed his face "Sure, since when have I ever done anything in moderation?" With a light-hearted chuckle, Nightfall walked out and there saw again the Wanderer. He had meant to seek the man out but for a variety of reasons, Nightfall hadn't. "Still no time like the present." he thought brightly. "Wanderer! I wish to say welcome. I'm glad to see you are in a good mood. And I wish to apologise for my...forgetfulness. I tend to let my memories slip around in this loose head of mine. I hope to see you at the party, dear friend and I promise, at least a drink on me." With a bow and before a reply could be formed by the Wanderer, Nightfall had slipped back into the shadows, readying himself just outside the garden and taking in the close evening air. With an idle thought/hope of seeing the Great Mistress, Nightfall was then practicing his heart out. He had forgotten the return of the Piper. Certain he and the Piper hadn't met before but he was more than ready to prove his worth to all. Not necessarily was this a competition, but certainly, Nightfall was to be no slacker when it came to music. Especially when it came to his harping. One of the few things that did come very natural to him. With that and letting the sounds of a familiar composer, Verdi he believed, Nightfall waited to see if any one he knew might be around. That and let the music take his soul.
Nightfall, ready to show why he is the man is and then some..(wink)
PS. Proph, I'm gonna win this time!