Cerise grimaced slightly. It's not that she didn't want to have a good ole RP time, she just was too darn busy. She was buried in paperwork to take care of, not to mention readings. She was certainly glad she was not a Brown. (No offense, Serafelle.) Cerise quickly sent a note to Ariella, letting her know why she was unhappily unable to attend. Cerise sighed to herself, and went about her own way, as always.
(For those who want to know, I'm flooded in the beginning of a very stressful semester in college. I'm carrying 18 credits, plus a job this semester. I'll be around, lurking more than not. If you need me, email me: firstname.lastname@example.org. Not a real absence.. just less posting. *smooches ya'll)
~Cerise Sedai, the all so tired one.
Another party? It will fit well with the last day of my slaving away, yet the time constraint is always felt when preparing for something new. Taim quickly sent a mental note to Ari. 'I'll make if I can. It has been too long, but the claws of responsibility still have me in their grasp and I am not sure I can shed them in time. I'll at least drop by though.
Carramaena sat at her desk, writing. The paper lying in front of her had her sigil - a paintbrush - engraved in the lower right hand corner. She dipped her pen in ink, and wrote:
I’m sorry to hear you’re moving. Do write to me once you’re settled in the vacuole, won’t you?
Carramaena, Regent of the Dark
Waving it through the air to dry the ink, Carra giggled. This was such fun! Kiriath was driving himself crazy - well, crazier - trying to figure out how she knew about him and his friends. She had no intention of telling him who her spy was, of course. A group calling themselves the Intrigleemen should expect intrigue. But, for now, she would keep his secret.
She folded the letter, then lit a candle and held a stick of gold sealing wax to the flame, letting a few drops fall onto the fold-line. Before it solidified, she pressed her seal - the paintbrush again - into the wax to make an impression. Blowing out the candle, she gave it a rueful look. Things would be much easier, sometimes, if she could channel. On the other hand, she did have her own power. It could only work in a place as crazy as this one, but...
The easel behind her bore a watercolour painting of the Tower of Ghenjei, done down to the tiniest detail. In front of it stood Kiriath, plainly on the point of leaving. Quickly, she painted in one more thing: a letter in his hand, sealed in gold. “Go!” Carra whispered.
And as the paint dried, the letter faded and vanished from her desk.
Carra nodded in satisfaction. Kiriath would have her letter, now, and she wished him much entertainment working out how. In the meantime, she had a party to dress for. She peeled off jeans and T-shirt, and wandered over to a giant wardrobe. The black silk top, she thought, with black velvet stretch pants, and a gold belt... and of course the stiletto heels she had painted herself earlier after seeing Ari’s pair. Yes, they would do nicely. A pair of earrings like artist’s palettes, set with rainbow-coloured jewels, finished off her outfit.
With a sudden grin, Carra sat down again at her easel. The picture of Kiriath could be painted over; it had served its purpose - The painting that soon took shape beneath her brush was of the Dark Palace, with brilliant fireworks exploding all around it. As the first fireworks burst outside her window, Carra laughed and ran downstairs to the star-shaped Great Hall.
Carramaena, artiste extraordinaire
"Let's party," agreed Kir, without knowing that his words were the identical same as Carra's last. Dance Dae'mar would be immensely useful this time. He knew there was a double agent --there wasn't any other way around the fact, and face it, a Vice Mistress was probably just as capable as the Great One herself.
This would be one fancy dance, thought Kir as, unknownst to Carra, he was observing her from the side of one of the doors, wearing his patchcloth cloak as a precaution, invisibility weaves or not. If she did catch him, all the more Power to him ...this could be a match of Compulsion, if it turned out right. He had wards against her powers on; just in case, as he suspected, she was more powerful than himself.
Mazrin, which he had also predicted, was off in other places. In ways, his stakeout of the Dark Palace was a double whammy; if he were an agent, he undoubtedly was conferring with Carra, and if not, Kir shrugged. Mazrin was Mazrin. Sometimes he wondered why he had him around, from his oddness. If Notumar were around ---bloody entrail eater, over in Seanchan recruiting those flaming Leashed Ones--- things could change.
Kir thought back to the letter he had left in his office, underneath Dragonmount ---that was his own personal chambers, not even known to his closest cohorts--- that had new wardings, leading to an Eccentric vacuole. Chances were that if Carra had a contact --perhaps even contacts-- within the Intrigleemen, he might need more backup. Intrigue never hurt anyone; she still didn't know the half of his original plan with the agency.
There was still Asmodean, though, that flaming defector. From the way things were going --Agelmar, Asmodean, the Prophet-- he was impatient for someone to leave the Dark Family --of course, they'd have to get away from all that bloody cuendillar that formed the whole bloody joint!-- it would be a great advantage. At least a bit of one, from the way the Family seemed to be controlling the region. Perhaps Birgitte and this Alvar character could help matters. Alvar was new, but Birgitte ..ah, Birgitte... was usually drunk. A handy prospect, if nothing else for the bar itself.
Kiriath smiled, looking around and at Carra at regular intervals. Learning the history of this place would help in discovering its weaknesses, thought Kir --and Ulrike, as far as he could tell, seemed to be neutral-- and that Alcair would be greatly useful in finding the right books for the job. Carra, too, was elusive, in her own way. The perfect person to be infiltrating the Intrigleemen. Possibly even better than Barid Bel, that curious Gray Man. Things were Turning out for the most curious ---in other words, the best--- he knew. Pun intended.
Kiriath, Undercover Intrigleeman
Turn, turn, turn...
"Come out, come out, wherever you are...", the voice had teased inside his head. And this was where it had somehow lead him. Jani looked at the palace admiring its beauty, but at the same time he felt scared, unable to figure out why. Maybe it was because this was the source of the voice he had heard. Then again, that wasn't the only voice that had spoken to him in the last few months. At least he thought it was a voice that he heard, it had to be. He heard it so it had to be real. That was what Jani had kept telling himself ever since that fateful night.
The inn had burned like a torch, especially since it hadn't rained for a long time. He didn't know what had started the fire since he had been pretty drunk by the time the flames had reached his room. Only then did he register the screams and shouts that had filled the air for a good while by then. Jani tried to move, tried to will his feet to carry him to the window, but they didn't seem to listen to him. Perhaps that third bottle of wine had been too much, but it sure had made time pass as he had waited for a member of the dark family to pay him a visit. Nobody came and now he was surrounded by flames.
His memories of the rest of the night were hazy at best and he never learned how he had escaped certain doom. Or how the fire was miraculously extinguished before it could do more damage. But he remembered the voice, telling him to run away, away from the group of beautiful women that had rushed to the scene minutes later and started asking questions about the fire. He had obeyed, not knowing why.
Jani had had another fever-episode the next morning and after that his life had turned in to chaos. He heard the voice constantly, telling him about things that didn't exist, things that belonged to tales and dreams, like huge ships that sailed the sky and wonderful palaces dedicated to teaching and learning. On some days it seemed like he could see these things that the voice talked about. It was as if he himself had lived in the great cities the voice talked about.
At that point he started to lose track of time. He would wake up in a place he didn't know and find out that he had stayed there for days already. Some days he couldn't remember who he was and it felt like he didn't belong here. As time went by and he wandered around aimlessly, Jani started to fear for his sanity. Just as he was on the brink of despair he had heard that other voice. The beautiful voice that had invited him to this place. Maybe he would find answers inside. In any case he was now sure that he was not crazy. He couldn't be. He had surely heard the invitation and the woman who had spoken those words would be inside this palace. All he had to do was go inside. But would he dare? Yes he would, it was time to act.
As he started towards the palace, fireworks began exploding all around it, turning the nightsky in to a dance of colours. "Just like the aurora borealis back home", Jani thought while entering the gates. With a shock he realized that he didn't even know what they were.
Back from the land of lurks
"Welcome, stranger." Carramaena greeted the man who had just come in. Nice to see someone turning up at last. Speaking of which, where was Kiriath? She had expected him to be one of the first here. Unless - Carra closed her eyes for a moment. "Is Kiriath here?" she said silently to her spy.
But of course. "Where?"
"Beside the door. No, no - over here."
Carra turned to face the apparently empty spot by the door. She certainly couldn't see anything, but - "Hello, Kiriath. Won't you come in?"
Carramaena L'Var, knower of knowledge
Kiriath had learned the hard way. He wasn't falling for the blow-your-cover that quick, even if she had an Eccentric spy in her network. A bit of ventriloquism could be handy here, just testing and taunting too...
"Hello, Carra," said Kir, trying to bounce his voice with Air. Suddenly he remembered the walls were of cuendillar as he flung his voice across the room, into an illusionary Kir ---nodding its head in greeting to the newcomer--- on the other side of the room, fueled by one of his newly learned weaves, a tinkered Mirror of Mists. Two can play at Eccentric games, Dark Regent!
Kiriath, Undercover Intrigleeman
"Nice to see you, Kiriath," Carra said to no particular direction. Silently she said "You said he was over there!"
"Then what's that?"
"Also his voice, I see."
"You can't see a voice. You can only hear it."
"Fine - so why can I hear it from an Illusion?"
"Ever hear of ventriloquism?"
Carra groaned. An eccentric ventriloquist gleeman. Fine, then. Whichever one he really was, it was only polite to talk to him individually. "Brother," she said silently - but to someone else this time - "can you make me an illusion?"
Suddenly there were two Carramaenas in the hall, in identical black outfits and with identical showers of coppery hair. "Dance Dae'mar?" Carra said to herself.
"But of course," she agreed.
One Carra sauntered over to the Illusion Kiriath. The other stayed where she was.
"Welcome to the party," Carramaena and Carramaena greeted their eccentric guest, matching grins on their faces.
Carra and Carra
Standing within the doorway, on a side, Kir smiled. Ah, Carra, he thought as his Illusionary double asked the Illusion Carra to dance... She did, while the real one looked around, probably asking her spy where Kir was. He pondered the thought of switching his body with the Illusion, but decided against it. It would make matters more confusing, and therefore enjoyable --no one but himself, so far, knew how his illusion worked, and he wasn't about to tell-- but she was more confused than he was, at least he hoped. Nevertheless, it gave him time to think and so he did. The new entrance looked as though the place was unfamiliar to him --which it undoubtedly was-- and Kir had heard through his agents that even more would be coming. Birgitte Silverbow herself among them.
To be sure she would not be too confused --although she probably had a different time even finding the Palace-- and so Kir went to setting wards upon the entrance, scribbling words --warded only to newbies, an ability any roleplayer could use, since we all were newbies however long ago-- upon the front door of the Dark Palace.
"To all newbies," it read, "This is the Dark Palace, a sanctuary for all roleplayers upon the Wheel of Time Bulletin Board. We get drunk, dance upon tables, dance the sa'sara, and just have a good time. No matter that we are in different factions."
"The Dark Palace is the official place for parties upon the board, and also the residence of the Dark Family, the major faction, and also the largest, much as it pains me to admit it."
"The Knights of the Light are a group of people who grew tired of the Great Mistress' --leader of the Dark Family and wielder of the power of the Whip-- domination of the Board, and all within. They decided to form the organization against the Dark, yet still attending parties, the two always conspiring against one another, though still enjoying great times together."
"The Intrigleeman are a wild-card society, a group of people --so far-- all having come from the mind of Kiriath, a channeling male gleeman. Their only goal is to bring their own goals to the surface, unknown to anyone but their creator and leader, Kiriath, to date. To warn you early on, I am Kiriath. We wield the Eccentric Power, a power used by rambling."
"With the introductions made, join in our insanity and enjoy your time here. Feel free to join a society and follow your goals to their fulfillment."
With the introductions fully made, the gleeman smiled, truly cheerful now. Whether the newbies came, whether there was a spy within the Intrigleeman ranks, whether the Dark would win over the Light or the Light would win over the Dark, or the World would once again be Broken, Kiriath knew what all the other roleplayers knew. The board was intended for friendly fellowship, and that stayed put, no matter what else happened.
It wasn't that Elrys had ignored the call for all to come to the great darkly-lit palace for another party and free for all, he just had a few too many things to take care of first. Stepping out of Tel'Aran'Rhiod he woke in the abandoned stedding that he had made his home for these past few weeks. Taking his quarterstaff along with him, he quested out to Marle, a wolven friend and companion of his, wondering as to whether she too would make a presence at the party. Possibly was the reply. He set off to make it to the party.
Upon entering the Palace and noting a few versions of Kiriath around the hall while sensing an invisible Kiriath making a great attempt at confusing Carra, his partner in the strange dance of Daes Dae'Mar, he had to go over and say hello, just because he was supposed to be invisible. Stopping where he sensed Kiriath was he asked "So how goes the great game, Kir?" Seeing the various illusions of Kiriath flicker for a moment, he laughed and made his way fully into the party. Seeing a few unfamiliar faces around he headed towards the bar to say hello to some of the new, and some of the old, people here.
Barid Bel stood in the gates of the Dark Palace. And considerred whatever to enter or not. Those parties were always enjoyable, but... He still had somewhat bad memories from the last party he was. Not to mention that he could almost sence Elrys presence there. Wolfbrothers didn't liked him very much. They claimed that he STINKED. No matter how often he bath, they always claimed that he stink. Usually this sentence came moments before they tried to kill him. And he couldn't hide from them. And if Elrys brought even ONE of his wolves it would be a VERY big problem. Barid Bel remembered a time when he had to climb up a three and stay there for more than a week before the pack of wolves that track him down lost interest. But he entered anyway, no truely knowing why. Maybe it was the burdom, maybe something else. But he thought he need some amusement. He masked himself, only those who will search for him, and Elrys, of course, would notice him. But he could stay against the wind direction. Maybe it would help. No one noticed him seating near the Bar and empting a large cup of wine.