Posted on October 04-11, 1998 on Serafelle's Society of Scholars
Category: WoT Alternate Reality

Nice 'Trinkets' And A Domani Party

Serafelle finished writing the invitations, and sent them off with a grin. Then she heard a knocking sound at the door. At that precise moment, a book that had been perched precariously on the top of the shelf finally fell. She stood for an instant, debating on whether to open the door first or pick up the book, and then walked to the bookcase. Books were almost always paramount to a Brown, after all. As soon as she picked up the book, a scratch came at the window. She went to it, and looked out. There was nothing there. After all, her room was on the third story. No one could get up there...Could they? She opened the window, to see out better, and put on her silver pair of spectacles. A cat jumped into the room, and made a beeline for the fireplace. Serafelle nearly jumped out of her skin. She calmly shut the window, and began to think about how to get rid of the cat. She didn't like cats. In fact, she was a dog person. The cat was black, with a pretty white streak on its nose. It was also far too thin.

The knocking on the door had stopped. Serafelle sighed, and went to get some food for the cat. She spoke to it firmly, "I don't like you, you know. But you look hungry, and it's the least I can do to feed you. As long as you understand that I am not keeping you." The cat miaowed reproachfully at her. "I am not keeping you!" It ignored her. She remembered the knock on the door with a gasp of horror. "Oh no!"

She rushed to the door, and opened it. She saw, not just one person, but Barid Bel, Ulrike, Jandor Kirencin, and two more people coming down the hall. She wasn't sure, but it looked like Carramaena and...Kiriath? Yes. It was him. She blinked twice, and removed her spectacles. The cat wound itself around her legs, and she struggled to keep from both falling and giving it a kick. She leaned down and addressed it instead. "Will you please stop that! Go back to the study!" It obeyed with a cranky yowl, and she closed the study door behind her. "Now then, what are-" she began to say, but before she could finish the sentence, a woman ran down the hall screaming. She had been moving awfully fast, but Serafelle had recognized her as one of the more unpleasant Red Sisters. Nevertheless, she was a Sister, so she was mostly serious when she asked sharply, "What have you people been up to?" She gazed at Barid and Jandor searchingly.
"Obviously, we can't have the party here." Just then, Alayia Duncastle walked by unsteadily, whimpering, and clenching and unclenching her hands. She did not appear to notice them. She narrowed her eyes at Barid and Jandor again. "What... Oh, never mind. I probably don't want to know."

Serafelle Sedai Sister of the Brown Ajah


She couldn't suppress a broad grin when she watched the fleeing red sister. Glancing to Serafelle and then to Jandor and Barid she remarked: "I believe some boys were full of mischief. By the way, Jandor, isn't this bag too bulky to carry with you? Come, you can leave it here when we go to the Dark Palace for the party. There we are undisturbed, I think." She reached for the bag, but Jandor took a step back and hid it behind him. "Don't worry, Ulrike. It is not so heavy. I will take it to my rooms." Unnoticed Barid glided closer and opened with skillfull hand the small sack. Jandor whirled around to face him but Barid already had retrieved a strange wooden rod. Fascinated Ulrike realized that Gray Men were to more good than only assination. She knew about some rare books, their owner didn't want to give them away ...

Kiriath gasped when he saw this object. "Where do you found it? the others... do you have more of them?" Scowling Jandor pressed his bag on his chest and tried to snatch his rod back. Barid danced beyond his reach. "What do you intend? Inviting me to a party or robbing me? These are just ..." He glanced around at all the curious and excited faces. "... some nice trinkets." The explanation sounded lamely. He knew no one would believe that.

~Ulrike


Barid Bel could all but see the thoughts flashing in Ulrike's head. He could be the greatest thief in the world had he wanted. But at some point it stopped being amusing. Stealing wasn't fun. Killing was. He danced back, the bar in his hand seemed to pulse. A ter'angreal of some sort, he suspected. Though he wouldn't try it before he could learn more about it. "A trinket?" Barid Bel asked, "Ter'angreals can be hardly taken as a trinket." Kiriath took a deep breath, he seemed to be ready to explode. Ulrike touched his shoulder, and he released the air in his lungs in a hiss.
His eyes were still locked on Jandor. Jandor's eyes left him, they seemed to be drawn to Kiriath. Everyones attention was focused on poor Jandor. No one looked at him. There was no way to describe what he was doing. Only that he seemed to fade from humans eyes. He moved slowly. Voices were distant, all he could see was the bag in Jandor's hands. The man didn't even notice when he emptied the bag. Ulrike, on the other hand, did notice his movement. But she betrayed nothing in her expression. Her emotions on the other hand, was another thing. Amusement and... could it be approval? Barid never stopped trying to understand women, it usually gave him headaches. But he did try. So far, anyway. He didn't succeed. He passed near Serafelle. She didn't even flickered an eyelash at him. Just then, small, black something jump at him. Claws first, cats never like Gray Men.

~Barid


Out of the corner of her eye, Serafelle noticed Barid doing his "fading thing". It worked very well, and she promptly ignored him, knowing that that was what he wanted everyone to do. She glared frostily at everyone- they didn't give any satisfactory excuses, and pestering Red Sisters, though amusing, was not really excusable.

She nearly jumped out of her skin (again, twice in one day)when an angry yowl accompanied by a scream of pain sounded right next to her, seemingly out of thin air. She regrouped, and focused her eyes very carefully on where Barid had been last. To her surprise, he wasn't there. She looked around, and finally saw him. Writhing on the floor, with the cat on his head, trying as hard as it could to claw his face off.

Barid was fending it off very well, but she decided that the cat had had enough fun for one day. She put her spectacles back on with a sigh, and said quite confidently and firmly to the cat, "Stop that. You know perfectly well that Barid is a friend of mine, even if he is a Gray Man. Now get back to the study this instant."

The cat had drawn a little blood after all. Barid Bel sat up and groaned. The cat miaowed piteously, and sat down and began to lick the blood off of its claws. Serafelle glared at the cat, and repeated "This instant!" It got up slowly and sauntered back into the study.

She closed the door after it and turned back to Barid. She held out her hand and helped him up. "I'm awfully sorry, Barid. I haven't got it tamed yet, nor even chosen a name. I can, of course, heal that... er, those, nasty scratches for you. Before they stain the carpet. But if you'd rather not, I have some bandages in my study. I do hope you'll forgive me." She stopped and looked at the floor. A rod-shaped thing was there, and she picked it up. It was a ter'angreal. She turned back to the males and said in a steely tone, "I demand an explanation! This instant!"

Just then, another Red Sister walked by, with a big, red...thing in her arms, and a livid face. She looked as if she was ready to kill someone, and so they all got out of the way. But Serafelle continued to glare, and even threw in an Aes Sedai Sniff for good measure.

Serafelle Sedai
Sister of the Brown Ajah


Barid glared at the cat. One of this day he swore, he would return and put the cursed thing in a doghouse. A big dog's doghouse. Fogetting the cat, for now, Barid moved his gaze at the Aes Sedai that came close. Only Aes Sedai had that smooth, ageless faces. And only Reds had that expression on their face, as if their had just eaten a rotten pulm. Of course, he thought that this red did have a reason to look like this. The puppet she carried was the same he lied in her bed not that long ago. Once again he thanked the lack of soul. It helped him more than once, and not only in stealing, or killing people. Escaping from angry women was probably the most important thing he could ever do. He fade, and again he felt that stab of amusement from Ulrike. She could see him, and his glare. But she pretended to ignore it. Instead she concentrated on the red sister. Poor Jandor was again the target to every eye. This time, Barid Bel took no chances. Picking up the ter'angreals he had dropped earlier, it would be a huge dog he promised himself, he vacated the room as fast as he could. Almost as fast as he could, he could resist the temptation, and kneel for a moment near the red sister, tying her shoes to each other took a moment only. And he stood so Ulrike wouldn't notice him. Then he left. He wanted to make some research about those strange ter'angreals. He could meet Ulrike later, there was going to have a party soon. There must be, or boring would decend him.

~Barid Bel


Curiosity began to control Kiriath, his thoughts racing, rambling, and being ridiculous as ever. If these were truly the Nine Rods, he thought, Jandor could be a tav'e'ren. Having the Rings of the Myrlins, though, he didn't care; he was just curious, wondering how to twist the happenings to his favor. Carra stood there also, studying the ensuing escapades in her own way, seeming to Kiriath that she just did it out of spite. She wasn't the important thing here, he thought, leading back to the matters at hand. Barid had disappeared, it seemed, trailing into the shadows. Whereas Jandor was standing there, previously the stool pigeon, now the fellow from whom the heist had occured. Even the Eccentric Power didn't help him, he realized; the Gray Man technique was a handy spy asset all of its own. Perhaps it was high time to interrogate that captured Man back at the vacuole, he thought. And high time to find out the double agent, taking a glance back at Carra underneath his eyebrows. Nevertheless, chaos had just occured, which meant either side could prevail. Thinking that Barid possibly had heisted the Rods from Jandor brought up an interesting point in itself. Perhaps there was another horde of conspirators around ...a group he had been afraid was in existance for a long while. Or else Barid was simply a mercenary ..it seemed to fit him..
A scary thought, either way. He passed a grin over at Serafelle; she had certainly chosen the perfect time for a party. "Where was the party again?" he asked, continuing his tradition of changing subjects he had previously pondered.

Kiriath the Eccentric Intrigleeman
Dance Dae'mar is an addiction of its own...


The man wandered through the streets of Tar Valon. He had no idea how he had gotten there but he remembered that he was on his way home. He had tried Travelling more than once, but it wasn't working. At first he had thought that the reason was this strange place full of criminals, but he had spent here more than enough time to Travel and still nothing happened when he tried to open a gateway. Maybe he had used a Portal Stone and something had gone wrong, causing his amnesia. The last thing he could recall was the explosion at Collam Daan and the Sharom falling. Everything after that was a blur. But that must have happened days ago. He could feel the stubble on his face which indicated he had spent at least a few days without shaving. Yes, a Portal Stone must be the answer to why he could not get back to V'saine. He had seen no sho-wings or jo-cars so he must be in a place where the technology for those had not been invented yet. Why else would these people use horses for travelling? And they lived so primitively! Not even chora trees to brighten up their lives. Olen stopped channeling ( what was that filthy oily feeling he got whenever he touched the True Source?) and started heading towards the tower in the middle of the village. Perhaps he could find answers there.

It seemed to be the only stucture around worthy to be called a building. As expected, he was stopped at the gates and the guards asked him what business he was on. "My name is Olen Hai Kara and I need to see the owner of this dwelling-" he started, but was met with a burst of laughter. "Dwelling indeed..." the other guard said, still laughing. "You'd best go away, though", he continued, "because the Amyrlin Seat is not in a good mood today. It seems that someone has been going around harassing Red sisters all morning. The line of petitioners to see her is probably a mile long by now." "But I really need some information about-" "If it's information you need, you should seek out a sister of the Brown Ajah. In fact, there's one right now. Good day, Elyssa Sedai." The woman clad in brown silk approached the gates and barely seemed to be noticing what was said to her. "What, oh, yes. Good day, Arvon." she replied. "This man is seeking some information about...well, something and we thought that you might be able to help him." "I'm really much too busy today, I've got so much to do, but maybe one of my sisters could help. Yes, I've got it! I know just where to take you. Serafelle has many interesting fields of expertise, I'm sure that she's just the woman to help you. Come right this way, and hurry. I haven't got much time, you know. So many manuscripts to copy today..." she babbled on as she turned around and headed for the nearest entrance to the tower. Without knowing what to do, Olen followed the stange woman. Branded as a criminal and still these guards seemed to hold her in great esteem. What a weird place he had come to.

Jani al'Koski


Serafelle bounced the ter'angreal up and down in her hand, looking more annoyed every minute. Jandor was blushing; it was rather amusing to see an Asha'man blush. After all, they were equals with the Aes Sedai. He didn't say a word, just stood there, with his feet shifting, and not even noticing that his pack weighed less by eight rods then it had before. She figured that she'd just get them back from Barid herself later.

Just then, another person came down the hall. It was a man, being led by one of the more dithery Aes Sedai, Elyssa. The woman had her head so far in the clouds, it was a wonder it didn't snow in her hair. She motioned the man to Serafelle, and kept walking, oblivious to everything. Serafelle shouted "Wait! Elyssa!"

Elyssa stopped and turned on a heel. "What? I have work to do!" Serafelle said sharply, "Who is this person? Why have you brought him here?"

Elyssa, in a fashion typical for her, said "Who?", and continued walking down the hall. Serafelle growled wordlessly, and for a moment had visions of sinking her teeth into the woman's neck. The wolves did their equivalent of laughing, and she shut them out from her mind suddenly and instantly. It always gave her a headache, but it could be done.

She turned around and turned a stony gaze on the man next to her. She did not recognize him. "Who are you? What do you want? For the Light's sake, speak up, man!"

He gaped at her uncertainly, and she thumped the Rod of Dominion in her hand. "Oh, bloody sheep guts!" The cat was scratching on the door. Serafelle opened it and said sternly, "No. You've had enough fun torturing poor Barid. Don't worry, I'll protect you from him. But leave me alone for a while!" Upon that, she shut the door with a bang.

The man still stood there, and didn't say a word. "Get into my study!" she snapped, and turned to the others. "The party will be held at my family's estate in Arad Domon. It's a small estate, but the manor house is big enough for a decent-sized shindig." She concentrated on holding the papers that were on her desk, and after ten seconds (an awkward silence), she held them in her hands. She distributed them to each person. "Here is the address. It'll be a costume ball, of course. So wear a costume!"

She pushed the strange man into the study before he could protest, and shut the door after him. She removed her silver spectacles again and said sweetly, "Goodbye, everyone. See you in Arad Domon!" She then walked into the study.

The man was standing there helplessly as the cat coiled itself around his legs. He looked as if he had found something particularly horrible stuck to the bottom of his shoe. She ignored him completely, instead yelling "Barid Bel Medar!!!!!" at the top of her lungs. It resonated throughout the Tower, and she was sure that whereever he was, Barid could hear her. "Get over here right nooooooowww!!!"

Serafelle Sedai Sister of the Brown Ajah


Barid screamed in agony as Serafelle's scream echoed in his ears. And he withdraw the flow he wove quickly. Sometimes it wasn't nice spying. He knew it already. But never he took into consideration becoming deaf from spying. For a moment he considerred ignoring the summoning, then decided against it. All Serafelle would have to do was to find Ulrike. One thing he didn't like was to be lectured. Browns could lecture for hours. He tested it. Sihging, he went back to Seraffele's rooms. But first, he practice looking inoccent.

~Barid Bel


Carra smiled as she pocketed the invitation, along with something else. A party in Arad Doman? My, she hadn't been to a Domani-hosted party in - what was it, more than half a year now? They tended to be memorable. She walked serenely down the corridor, nodding politely to the Aes Sedai she passed. With the exception of the Reds, who she ostentatiously ignored. Since she was passing as Green, it wasn't an unusual reaction. She would never be able to get to Arad Doman by nightfall, not if she rode. It was at times like this she wished she really could channel. Travelling or Skimming would be vastly superior to other methods of moving. Well, there was a Waygate not too far off. The Ways it would have to be.

Six hours later, Carra came out of the Waygate at Arad Doman, still laughing. "Poor Machin Shin!" She chortled. "Poor Black Wind!" The shadow-born parasite of the Ways would not tangle with a Dark Sister again. It had just met up with something even more dangerously insane than itself. "I wonder what would have happened if Kiriath had been along?" It would have self-destructed in horror, she decided. Glancing at her map, she saw it was only another half-hour's ride to Serafelle's manor. "But first I need a costume..."

Half an hour later, a coach rumbled into Serafelle's courtyard to drop off its passenger. Carra tossed her coppery hair as she alighted, and adjusted her dress. Black, with a tight, strapless bodice and elaborately flounced skirt, it had a gypsy or flamenco look. Gold-embroidered slippers, a delicately woven gold lace shawl, and a simple black eye-mask completed the look. "Is the word 'flamenco' derived from 'flamboyant'?" she wondered aloud. Serafelle would probably know. She was Brown after all. Well, flamboyant was what she was, and there didn't seem much point in hiding it.
"Serafelle?" she called experimentally. No one seemed to be here yet. Idly, she tossed in the air the other thing she had picked up in the Tower. A rod about a pace long. "Barid Bel was careless. The thief thieved from, so to speak. I wonder if Kiriath got one?" She put it back in her bag and looked around.
"Hello? Am I the first one here?"

Carramaena, masked gypsy, proud possessor of a Rod of Dominion


Gently, the wind that always howls through the corridors that exist between here and there, between then and now, begun to take on form. The silibant rush developed the quality of words, that if one listened with the right set of ears, one could hear and understand. I am the spirit that floats in the air..... Something else begun to form. Indistict at first, just a suggestion of shape, an absence of detail. I am the fire that burns in the earth.... The blur slowly begun to find definition. Dark of hue, and malleable fo shape, slipping between man and beast, and all the possibilities in between. I am the Hound that hunts in the dark... Two red eyes blinked lazily, giving focus to the now solid form that stood breathing slowly in the shadows. Hail the puppy of Mirth! The final phrase was delivered in a carcophany of pythonesque voices, high-pithced, off harmony, the distinctly dulcid tones of the English. DarkHound scratched an armpit idly, looking around. He hated the 'forming out of the darkness' bit he always had to do at a new board. It made his knees ache, and he often forgot his pants in the transition. "Nice place Serafelle," he said to no-one in particular. "A DarkHound could get to like it here." And with that, he padded off in search of friends, strong women, beer, and madness.

~DarkHound, happy to be somewhere new.


Cerise paused in the hallway, and glanced behind her to see the image of a very familiar shape turn down a hall that she had just passed. Curiosity sparked in her mind of who exactly it was, yet the sparkling in her eyes admitted that she knew who it was. Thank the Light that Drangel was in his rooms, resting, and that he was not accompanying her, she thought. He might have tried to slay DarkHound, and would have been the Puppy's chew toy instead. Cerise almost laughed at the thought and hurried after DarkHound. Light, where had that man, dog, friend, gone?

~Cerise Sedai, happy to see an old face.


Barid Bel rubbed his face, it hurt from smiling too much. How innocent one can be? And the problem was that he was inoccent. In that at least. He had no idea how one of the rods had disappeared from his hold. No one had done him such thing in years. Serafelle, as mean as any Aes Sedai could be, and not considerring the least the condition his ears were, had ordered him, in shouts that hurt his ears, to give her back thosestrange ter'angreals. He did tried to claim that he had no idea what she was talking, shouting, about. But for some strange reason she didn't believe him when he said that he is an honest man and wouldn't consider even taking something that wasn't his.
She was angry enough that she went to call Ulrike. At that point, Barid simply left. Ulrike could find him everywhere in the world, of course, but it would delay the meeting. And let his eats some time to heal. For some time he feared Serafelle meant to bore a hole in his head with her voice alone. That cat tried to attack him again, animals always did. Once he was seating on a tree for full three days before he could go down becuase a wolf pack chased him there. And his encounter with a lion, deep within Saldea, had left, save the scars, a deep distrust in every thing that resemble a cut. He could go to sleep, that could be nice. But usually emotions from the bond krept into his dreams. He tried to avoid it, his dreams was strange enough as it was. And he simply couldn't miss the party, too long had passed without him being in one. He would simply have to tell them that... on second thought, he headed for the bed. He had nothing to wear anyway. He stopped suddenly, a costume party, that was what Serafelle said. The last thing he heard her saying before she began to shout at him. He had the perfect costume, no one, save Ulrike, of course, could recongnize him.

~Barid Bel


Serafelle left the room to find Ulrike. She opened her mind to the wolves again, and sniffed about. The speechless stranger in the study had fainted, probably due to the yelling. She hadn't meant to yell so loud, but sometimes her strength was greater than she realized. Ulrike was no longer in the Tower. She had probably already gone to the party in Arad Domon. So Serafelle decided to recapture Barid, if she could. This time she screamed as loud as she possibly could. It wasn't high-pitched; she was a contralto, after all. But it managed to pierce all the walls in the Tower.
"BAAAARIIIIIID BEEEEEEEL MEEEEEEDAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAR!!!!!!" She was quite sure that he'd heard it. Gray men tended to have excellent hearing, after all.

The man on the couch stirred, and mumbled a bit in his sleep. It sounded like he was a bit deranged. Could this man be a male channeler? It was possible. She needed Barid, and was quite determined to find him. The cat purred as if reading her mind.
"Absolutely not!" Serafelle said in a no-nonsense tone. "That will simply not do. I will, however, let you do as you like if he does not show up here in five minutes. In fact, I will personally bring you to him by Gateway. Oh, and, try to think of a name for yourself. If you're going to stay, I can't keep calling you "Cat" all the time."

The cat purred, satisfied with the thought of Gating to the Gray Man. Serafelle smiled, and wondered where Agelmar was. She was still trying to find him, and knew that she eventually would. She had, after all, saved his life from the Short Guy Who Said "Kender". But now her quarry was Barid Bel Medar.

Serafelle Sedai, Sister of the Brown Ajah


Barid Bel stood in front of the mirror. No one could recognize him like this. A small smile appeared on the face of the figure in the map. Delightfully, he started opening the gateway into Arad Doman, the bond told him that Ulrike was already there. Then he stopped and pull the cloths out of his ears. He had a great idea about an invention that would change the world, ears keepers. Warders would certainly would want this. And anyone else dealing with AS. Or women in general. Smiling, he passed through the gateway. He spotted Ulrike immediatly, looking all but herself. No one paid him any attentions, here, even the servants had done costumes. Taking a drink, he began talking with a man with two heads, but his eyes never stoped searching the crowd. Facing an angry woman... he didn't have to compelete the thought.

~Barid Bel


Serafelle waited five minutes for Barid Bel to come. When he didn't she grinned a wicked grin and began to dress for the party. She chose a very ancient costume of a country that had, she thought, been called E'jyppt, or some such thing. It featured a sheer linen gown and a tall gold headdress, along with some extremely heavy jewelry and a thick black wig. She inverted some weaves to make her eyes seem darker, and hid half-a-dozen daggers about her person. They were gold, with lapis lazuli and malachite inlays. She picked a pair of sandals from the closet and put them on. Inverting the weaves again, she changed her face so that she wouldn't be recognized.

The cat mewed insistently. "Yes. I know. I promised. I suppose I have to let you have your way now. But I can't let you come like that. Would you mind very much being disguised?" The cat said nothing, but jumped suddenly into her arms. Serafelle laughed in spite of herself. Perhaps she could get to like the creature after all. She Channeled a tiny inverted weave, and the cat suddenly appeared grey. "To match Barid!" she said delightedly.

She made a Gate to a location half a mile away from her mother's estate, and then saw the still-unconscious man on the couch. Sighing heavily, she picked him up using the Power, letting the cat jump down and follow her. They stepped through the Gate, and walked the rest of the way to the Hall.

It was a strange procession. A woman in a preposterous costume, followed by a man floating in air and a grey cat. She pushed the unconscious man into a Gateway, and laid him down in a locked room. Then she set a ward that would tell her when he awoke. The cat and the E'jypptian got to the double obsidian doors without much trouble, and she stepped through, giving the bouncers a pre-arranged "Coquettish Look" signal. She sauntered in, and the cat immediately began to struggle in her arms. She let it go, and it disappeared into the crowd.

A few minutes later, she heard someone scream loud enough to wake the dead. Probably Barid, she thought, and laughed. A few minutes later, the cat came back with a bit of skin in its fur, a piece that seemed to fade right into the background...

She walked over to the man laying prone on the floor, and helped him up. She didn't recognize Barid, but the scent was his. The wolvish sense of smell was infallible. The poor man had blood streaming down his face again. The cat had managed to open all his old wounds and make a few new ones to boot. The cat jumped into her arms, and Serafelle said softly, with a thick, slurred Seanchan accent, "I beg forgiveness, milord. Anubis sometimes gets the better of me, despite my attempts to contain him. I can fetch you some bandages if you like."

Barid refused politely, and began wiping the blood off his face. Fortunately, none had stained his costume. Serafelle stroked the cat affectionately. "You are a bad kitty you know. Scratching perfect strangers." Then she looked back at Barid. "Shall we dance, my lord?"

Serafelle Sedai, Sister of the Brown Ajah


A party, thought Kiriath happily, and a Domani one at that! Perhaps it meant something in that the sa'sara originated near the land of Bawdy Females. Shaking the thought from his head --can't be getting into the traditional spy mindset, at least not when spy tactics were actually needed-- and pondered.
The party was to take place in Arad Doman. A few seconds, and Kiriath was in a tree nearby, surveying the mansion with eccentrically enhanced eyes. What to do, what to do. Of course. "Hey, Fain!" Mazrin Fain wandered out from whatever crannies he lived in, out in that vacuole. "Yeah, Kir?"
"Watch my back, will you? And keep an eye out for Asmodean; I've a feeling he's having fun with our brains." Take that as you will; if you're the double, I'll find you out soon enough, thought the Intrigleeman, grinning. A spy always had backups, and backups to backups if your first backups were possibly faulty.
Whether Asmo was around and ready or not, Carra was there. Which meant he would have to wear his disguise already. Not caring to use too much of his powers for once, he decided to simply adopt a tunic with a sunburst in its center, using one of his previous researchings within the Light Knights' center; a formula causing his skin to be appearing to everyone else as though he were aged. Which meant, to everyone else, he was Pedron Niall. Of course, if his disguise was iscovered, it wouldn't bother him --the Hound of the Dark was the only other fellow with as insane a mind in the near presence, and, nevertheless, it was worth a sick joke.
Perhaps next party he'd come as a Sedai, with fake ageless features abounding... Which led him to his next thought. What, exactly, was up with the Rods being discovered? Speculating that everyone else had them was a frightening thought, and, as though by his thought, there was Carra, first at the party. Kiriath tilted his nose upwards; even a frown was upon his face. No use faking without going all the way, he thought, and weaved his Rings of Myrlin invisible for the time being. "Walk in the Light, child," he said, in an Eccentric version of Niall's voice. Perhaps the Rings had more power than he thought ...perhaps they could control the Rods. A wonderful thing to investigate when he returned to his Skimming chair, a splendid thing indeed....

Kiriath the Whitecloak Intrigleeman
You do walk in the Light, don't you?


That woman had a goal in her life, ruining mine. Barid thought in fury as he and Serafelle sanced. The cat he would handle himself, something extremly unpleasant. One thing he had to admit, the woman did knew how to dance. But the worst of all, Ulrike watched the whole schene, without expression. But she bloody well enjoyed the show.
If that cat would attack him again he would give Serafelle a cat fur purse, one more time, and he could play stones on his face. For a short time, though, he could forgot everything, losing himself in the music. Then dissappointantly, the music ended, and Serafelle stepped back. He bowed, kissing her hand. "It was a pleasure to dance with you, Lady..." He said, she wouldn't have let that damn cat go unless she sent him to find him. But he didn't have to let her know that he know it. "My name is Serafelle,"
She fell quiet for a heartbeat and then, "and you?" "You can call me Dejan." He said, taking a name out of the air. She smiled, maybe unawae of him knowing that he... his head began to ache. The Great Game often cause it. A knife in the back from the shadow. That was a honorable way to move, simple, and almost clean. Usually, at least. "Excuse me for a second, Serafelle." He said, "I've just seen someone I want to talk to." He caught DarkHound near the bar, as usual.
"So, DarkHound, would you like a cat snack?

~Barid Bel Medar


Serafelle laughed as Barid left her. She had had a wonderful time dancing with him, and she felt a teeny bit sorry about the cat. She followed Barid, meaning to ask him about the terangreal she carried disguised using inverted weaves as part of the costume. She hadn't really meant to tell him who she really was; it would have been more fun to watch him squirm. But she did feel sorry about the nasty scars he'd probably have on his face forever. Oh well. Scars were attractive on a man, in her opinion. They showed fortitude. Or stupidity.

He began to talk to DarkHound, by the bar. Serafelle couldn't hear them, but she didn't like to eavesdrop. She'd just accost him when he was finished with his present conversation. It was important that she know about the ter'angreal before using it. Some ter'angreals were very unstable, after all.

It really was a pity about the cat. She really had to find a name for the vicious thing. "The Cat" simply would not do. For some reason, that stray thought reminded her of a fellow named "Lister", and suddenly wanted a fresh mango juice. Then she looked about for the cat, and didn't see it. Oh dear...

Where was the cat? If Barid hurt it, she'd never, ever forgive him. Not in two hundred years. And given the span of an Aes Sedai's life, that was quite an acceptable time limit.

Serafelle Sedai, Sister of the Brown Ajah


Carenna ay'Irella sat by the bar despondently. No one had answered her other post. Oh well. This RP looked like way more fun. She fingered the drink in her hand. It was non-alcoholic, of course. She wasn't a fool. Get a bit tipsy and Daes Dae'mar could become lethal. And she knew that Serafelle was half Cairhienin.

Her costume wasn't very flashy, compared to most. It was a simple black dress, with straight, clean lines and short sleeves. It really set off her jewel-encrusted, befeathered, exotic-looking mask, though. Her black hair was in a loose pile on top of her head, and the sceptre in her hand, also bejeweled, would do as a weapon if worst came to worst.

There were two men behind her talking very loudly about a cat. She wondered what the problem was, until she saw the vicious- looking scratches across one's face. Suddenly, a lovely grey cat jumped on her lap. She stroked its fur as she thought, and the cat began to purr.

She hoped someone would join her.

Carenna ay'Irella
Sister of the Green Ajah


Groggily waking up from a flu/cold/cough-pill induced stupor, he had a distinct feeling that he was missing something. Something of vital importance, something even important enough that it could perhaps be a matter of life or death....... Elrys's palm connected solidly with his forehead making a satisfying *SmacK* noise.

"Of course! I haven't been keeping up with what has been happening in the online world of WoT."

With Serafelle's invitation resurfacing in his muddled mind Elrys's palm connected solidly once again with his forehead.

*SmacK*

"Oh no! Yet another party that I am going to be late for. And at Serafelle's in Arad Doman too!" With those words and a curse for the humming/whining noise reverbrating throughout his head Elrys searched for a costume, or something that could be used as one before stepping physically into TAR and Farstepping to his destination at the party. He never did give much credit to the idea that being physically in TAR was somehow harmful. Upon entering TAR he realized that whatever he wished to wear he could just visualize and it would appear for him. Complementing his already existing costume to make it virtually perfect he stepped out of TAR and into the party.

As he materialized into the room he promtly got whacked by a stunning, dark haired woman in strange garb who was wielding some sort of cylindrical club.

"What was that for!?!" he exclaimed as the woman gave a familiar smirk.

~Elrys ...never mix medicines and alcohol....


Carenna's eyes widened playfully within the holes of her elaborate mask. She spoke with an odd accent he had never heard before. "Why, to sober you up, of course! A man... or woman... could get killed playing Daes Dae'mar at the house of a Cairhienin. Even a half-Cairhienin such as Serafelle."

The grey cat on her lap purred enthusiastically, and she gave it one last stroke, and put it on the floor. It scampered off, and Carenna stood up. Her skirts did not quite reach the floor, so she could dance perfectly. She had always been a good dancer. "Well, it worked, didn't it?" She smiled at him.

He rubbed his head in silence.

She raised a black eyebrow within the mask, and said, "Would you care to dance?" Her head was tilted like a bird's and she leaned toward him. He remained quiet, debating with himself.

"Well?"

Carenna ay'Irella
Sister of the Green Ajah


As her words faded from the air, Elrys mused over Carenna's offer of a dance. Remembering the last time that he had "danced" he glanced around, spotting Flame, and winced. It had turned out that his dancing partner had quite a different notion of the what question meant. He had been sore for weeks after the far dareis mai had had enough of dancing of the spears as she had called it.

"You don't happen to be an Aiel under that disguise do you?" he said warily. Then, deciding What the hell, it'll be fun anyway, he said "Never mind, I guess it really doesn't matter. Let's dance."

Then, decked out in imitation of the Prophet, standing out from the real prophet only in that he carried a quarterstaff with him instead of the Prophets favored sword, Elrys spun the Dark haired woman who was Carenna out onto the dance floor.

~Elrys ...sa souvraya niende misain ye...


They appeared unnoticed. A fiery-haired woman, some would say girl, and a sandy-colored she-wolf. Carefully their eyes watched the crowd. Abruptly the wolf leapt forward. Racing straight to Darkhound, she let stumble a woman who just talked to Elrys. Joyfully she greeted her 'best friend' so passionate, he must take a hold on Barid else he were trampled down. Even so fast he was forgotten when Dune saw a gray cat sneaking up on Barid. Meeeooow! - Grrrrrrrr! And the hunt began. Up and along the bar, shattering glasses and bottles in their wake, down again and slalom around the guests. To be brief - chaos erupted. Flame sighed and spared Elrys and his partner an apologizing glance.

Then she looked for Ulrike. She was just talking to Serafelle. Coming closer she overheard: "... don't try that, Serafelle. The Tower, and you too, have no right to the rods. To the Shayol Ghul with this 'law' about ter'angreals. This claim is in any case very disputable. No, the Nine Rods were wield by Lews Therin Telamon himself. And because the Dragon is reborn only Rand al'Thor has a rightful claim on them. Don't discuss of me, I will not give them away. Only to HIM, all of them." Firmly Ulrike shouldered a bulky bag. With quick hand she snatched a wooden wand from Serafelle's belt. The brown sister seemed speechless.

"A second thing: DO NOT EVER COMPROMISE BARID AGAIN! Yelling his name in the whole Tower I do not approve of. You know that a Gray Man is not a welcome visitor there. If that happens again, I will held you responsible for all consequences. I am understood?" With these words she let the shocked Aies Sedai alone. Turning she saw Flame. "Hallo, glad to meet you too here. Now I must still have a few firm words to Carra, then we can talk." Smiling Flame decided to accompany Ulrike. This chat will be surely remarkable as well. She simply liked Ulrike's way.

~Flame


Hmph. Today was just not going well. That cat was after poor Barid again, after she had expressly told it not to. And the refreshment table was a shambles. Ulrike had chewed her out for no discernable reason (Did Ulrike think that Serafelle had wanted to try out an unknown ter'angreal? Sisters had been killed that way, and Serafelle valued her life as much as anyone.) Her costume was ruined (she'd go and change in a few minutes), and she needed to stop that cat before it got a piece of the Gray Man.
Or vice versa. The cat was vicious, and currently in pursuit, but Gray Men weren't exactly known as wimps, either. It would be an interesting fight to see. If the cat ever caught up to Barid. Which she would not allow. She walked quite calmly to the center of the room, and waited for Barid and the cat to come running toward her. They'd made several circuits around the room already, and it was only a matter of time until they came by her again.

Barid Bel went past her, showing no signs whatsoever of being tired, despite all the running he was doing. He certainly wasn't a coward, though; he had a dagger in each hand and a snarl on his face. She debated catching him with the One Power, but decided that that might possibly give unintended offense. She caught the cat instead, as it streaked across the floor in a grey blur. It snarled and hissed as it floated, suspended in the air.

Serafelle spoke to the cat very gently. "Listen, cat. I told you not to chase Barid ever, ever again. Now shake hands, er, paws, and apologize. Do it, or I'll hold you helpless and give Barid a chance to use those knives." The cat hissed angrily, and Serafelle said thoughtfully, "I think I'll call you Nemesis. It's a good name for a cat, especially one with your temperament." Nemesis yowled, and Barid loomed noticably over the cat, brandishing the dagger and grinning a Soulless grin.

Nemesis whimpered, and held out a paw. Barid looked disappointed (he had so wanted to kill the thing), but held out a hand anyway. "Thank you, Barid, for being so cooperative. I mean it. The cat won't bother you again." They shook paws (hands?), and all three went back to the bar. Serafelle had already ordered the servants to clean up, and considerable progress was being made.

The two humans sat down, and Nemesis hopped onto Barid's lap. He froze, and a dagger appeared in his hand. The cat sat waiting expectantly. A hush came over the crowd. Serafelle whispered, "I think she wants you to pet her. Go on, Barid." He extended a hand tentatively, ready to draw it back suddenly, and ready to put a dagger into the cat with the other. It turned out to be unnecessary. As he petted it, the cat purred contentedly. They were friends forever now. She hoped.

She Gated back to her rooms to find a new costume.

Serafelle Ismene al'Cormiere
Sister of the Brown Ajah


The cat sat on his lap, and he very much wanted to stick a dagger or two in him. Instead he pet the bloody creature fur. Serafelle pretended to concentrate on her drink. But he would have bet his last dagger that she would caught him with the power if he so much as move the dagger. But there were other ways to take revenge in that cat, his like his skin very much. Some of the more irregular uses Grey Men was destined to was humiliation, and he enjoyed this part of his life most. Taking a purse from under his coat, and, carefully not to touch it himself. Spread some of it content on the cut's fur. A white- green dust. Then he lied it on the floor and went to search Ulrike. Maybe she would like to have a dance. And he had better to get away both from Serafelle and the cat before the dust would touch the skin's cat. An utching dust He thought happily, work everytime! Twisting his neck back, he could see the cat starting to scratch himself. If he was lucky, Serafelle might think that Nemesis had flees and dump her.

~Barid Bel


Back in her study again, Serafelle went into the closet. She rummaged around, looking for a costume. She dug and dug, and couldn't find a thing. Aha! she thought triumphantly. "This will do", she said aloud. It was a Seanchan suit of armor. She put it on, having a little trouble with the helmet. She decided to just hold it under her arm.

She darkened her hair to black and inverted the weaves. She dug out her old set of Seanchan weapons, and distributed those about her person as best she could. She reviewed the Seanchan way of speech mentally. She added a Seanchan hairstyle and a bit of nail lacquer. That and the armor didn't really go together, but it was only a costume, after all.

She gated back to the doorstep, and opened the doors.

Serafelle Sedai
Sister of the Brown Ajah


Since Ulrike was busy talking, Barid returned to the bar. The cat still scratched herself, not suspecting what happen to her. He ordered the strongest drink the barman could find in his stock. Maybe he could get drunk, he hadn't done this in a while. And already forgotten his oath never to touch a drink again, soon after he woke wishing he would be dead.
He took the glass from the barmnan and took a sip. A clash of armor behind him made him spill the drink on his knees. He spun back, already faded. A Seanchan soldier stood in front of him. Complete with weapon and armor. He took a look at the drink. It must be stronger than he thought. Then he saw beyond the costume. She had changed the color of her hair. But it was Serafelle.
"Oh, I'm sorry for you drink, Barid." She said, she didn't sound sorry. She looked pleased for startling him. "I will go to change, I'll be back in a moment." He said, "Meantime. Try to find out what is wrong with Nemesis. I think she had flees." The startled look on her face was enough. He opened the gateway to the utter blackness that were his home. To anyone else, it would look like he open a gateway for skimming. If she pick up the cat she would start scratching herself. Fitting punishment for startling him. Waving goodbye, he went to his rooms. The costume he would take now would give a new meaning to the phrase, "A Grey Man."

~Barid Bel


Olen Hai Kara was not happy. Not happy at all. He had waken up in pitch black darkness, not having the faintest idea where he was. This was really beginning to bug him. Feeling around him Olen found his way to the door. It was locked. Cursing, he started banging on the door and shouting for help. Obviously someone had left him here, but for what purpose? After what seemed like an eternity, someone on the outside shouted "I'm coming, I'm coming!" The door opened and Olen faced a nightmare. It looked like a giant insect, only this insect seemed to be armored. And wearing a sword! This was definately not the place Olen Hai Kara called home.

Without thinking, Olen turned around and started running. Because he forgot that there really was no room to run, it wasn't a miracle that he ran straight into a bookcase which fell on top of him. Through the haze of pain Jani al'Koski could hear a voice. It took a while for him to realize that the voice was asking a question. When he opened his eyes, he saw a person clad in a strange suit of armor, looking a bit like a cross between a spider and a cockroach. "I knew I never should have changed my mind about the helmet. It is a very cumbersome thing to wearand it seemes to scare people." said the woman as she removed the insect-like helmet. And what a strange looking woman, the sides of her scalp were shaved so that only a crest of glossy black hair remained. "I was beginning to think you'd never wake up. You know, it isn't very polite to walk into a person's study and faint. Anyway, I was led to believe that you had some sort of questions to ask. There is a party going on in the main ballroom though, and I'd very much like to get back to it. So if you'd just follow me and we can continue this discussion while dancing and carousing with the others. I guess those rags you're wearing qualify as a costume, but we should find you something better to wear." she continued, dragging him along her down the long corridor. Not wanting to make her impression of him any worse, Jani thought that the courteous thing would be to introduce himself. Trying to look as sincere as possible he blurted "My name is Jani al'Koski and I've been having little trouble with my memory lately so I'm sorry if I'm supposed to know you, since I can't seem to recall your name."

Jani al'Koski


Just as she was about to pick up Nemesis, a tingle ran up and down her spine. The unconscious man in the study had woken up and the ward had signaled it. She left the cat where it was, and Gated to the study door.

Immediately she heard a frantic banging on the door and calls for help. She fumbled with her gauntlets as she tried to open the door. The screaming continued, and she shouted irritably, "I'm coming, I'm coming!" She finally managed to get the door open. The man stood right in front of her, a horror-stricken look on his face, and proceeded to run straight into a bookshelf, which landed on top of him with a thump.

Serafelle sighed. She'd need to clean the room again, and there were again books all over the floor. Oh well. The man groaned beneath the shelves, so she lifted the thing up, without even bothering to use the Power. "Are you all right? Come on, you woolheaded male, answer me. Are you all bloody right, because if you've gotten any blood on the carpet, you bloody well won't be! I'm only joking. Are you- oh."

He opened his eyes, which widened upon seeing her preposterous outfit. She must have startled him when she'd walked in the door. So, to reassure him, she removed the helmet, saying "I knew I never should have changed my mind about the helmet. It is a very cumbersome thing to wear, and it seemes to scare people."

"I was beginning to think you'd never wake up. You know, it isn't very polite to walk into a person's study and faint. Anyway, I was led to believe that you had some sort of questions to ask. There is a party going on in the main ballroom though, and I'd very much like to get back to it. So if you'd just follow me and we can continue this discussion while dancing and carousing with the others. I guess those rags you're wearing qualify as a costume, but we should find you something better to wear." She helped him up, and pulled him out the study door, still carrying the helmet under one arm.

He suddenly spoke. (It seemed sudden. He hadn't managed to say a word before.)"My name is Jani al'Koski and I've been having little trouble with my memory lately so I'm sorry if I'm supposed to know you, since I can't seem to recall your name." She ignored him, and they walked through the gates of Tar Valon. She stopped suddenly, and he nearly ran into her. "Now what you need is a good costume. I think I've got just the thing. It's only slightly illegal, and I think Taim would forgive me... Hold still for a minute, I'm going to use my one and only Talent- Pulling." She thought very hard about the objects she wanted until she could nearly see them, where they were, lying in a drawer. Then she imagined them in her hands.... No one else she'd ever met could do this, no matter how many times she showed them how.

In a few minutes, a pile of black clothing was in her arms, and she handed it to al'Koski. "Here. Put in on over what you're wearing. Can you channel? Never mind, it doesn't matter. No one should bother you with this on." He struggled to put on the clothing as he walked, and she paused a moment to throw something at him. He caught the things, and examined them. "The Dragon and the Sword go on opposite sides of the collar. Here." She tossed a sword at him; it was black too. "Keep in mind we're going to a masquerade party. No names; everyone keeps disguises on until midnight, which will be officially declared by Serafelle, the host. So I'll forget the name you told me. You may call me Eirena. It isn't my name, naturally, but it will do. Watch out for Daes Dae'mar; Serafelle is half Cairhienin, and traps abound at these sort of affairs. And don't mention where you got your costume." By this time, the pair had Gated to the door of Serafelle's Great Hall.

"Oh, by the way. What was it you wanted to ask me about?" she added. The door opened.

An Asha'man and a Seanchan warrior walked into the Hall together.

Serafelle Sedai, Sister of the Brown Ajah


Finally it seemed that Barid had his fun with this cat. Amused Ulrike watched the events until Barid retired, only for a short break she suspected. She herself had left the party about a hour or so to hide the ter'angreals. Now there was not the right time for them, not yet. Until then they were save. Obvious never had noticed her absence. Still a bag hung on her hip as a fake. Unfortunately the last Rod was missed. She suspected Carramaena, though the Dark Sister avoided skillfully to be cornered by her.

She looked for Darkhound's company, she had missed his wits and jokes badly. He was now escorted by Dune. Like a magnet he attracted females, she was the best example. In short time they were all three deep in a pleasant conversation. She enjoyed his jester-like behaviour and Dune's dust-dry comments alike. Later also Flame joined them and even she wasn't unaffected by Darkhound's charm.

Suddenly a stranger caught her eye. He accompanied a woman in Seanchan armor. Though he wore the sign of an asha'man, and somehow she knew he was a channeler, something didn't fit. "Does someone know him?" Her question was answered negative."Then I should introduce me to him. Excuse me."

~Ulrike


Barid Bel looked at himself in the mirror. It did gave a new meaning to the title he bore. Grey breach and coat. With grey boots and grey belt. Grey globes almost completed the picture. He had dyed his hair, and now he had a silver flood on his head. He like it that way. He also had a grey contacts in his eyes. And thinking about that damned cat, and what Serafelle would do to him if was enough to make his face grey. A grey man indeed. Laughing, he open the gateway back to the party.

~Barid Bel


Sundara sighed and turned another page of her book. Brown Ajah she might be, but studying because she wanted to and studying because she had to were very different things. And to top it off, someone was throwing a party on the estate next to hers. "I used to be the best party-giver in Arad Doman," she mourned, "and now I don't even have time to go to one!" Months of studying was too much! Of course, she did have to get high scores on these exams, but - she sighed again and glanced out the high window.

"Wait - a - minute!"

That wasn't just a party, that was a BBS party! She picked up a silver bell and rang it. Moments later, one of the servants appeared on silent feet. "You rang, my lady?"

"Who owns that manor to the south?"

"That manor is owned by Serafelle Sedai, my lady. Of the Brown Ajah."

"Is it now? - Very well, you may go."

As the servant left, Sundara tossed her book onto the floor and pulled her wardrobe doors open. It was definitely time for a study break. What kind of party was it? Another glance out the window told her it appeared to be a costume party. What should she wear? Considering options, she tripped over yet another book on the floor. Religion and Myths of Ancient Greece. "Curse Ancient Greece to the Pit of Doom," she muttered, then paused. "Well, why not?" She'd been studying it long enough, anyway...

An hour later, Sundara entered her neighbour's manor in the guise of a Greek maiden, a white silk tunic - chiton - falling to the floor and tied by a silver cord at the waist. A chaplet of silver leaves crowned her head, holding a filmy veil that hid her face - that wasn't part of the costume, but a mask appeared to be de rigueur - and her black hair fell loose to her waist. Looking around, she was surprised to see Carramaena in the crowd, spectacular in the gown of a flamenco dancer, and smiling as if she had a secret. She couldn't see Serafelle anywhere, so left her guest-gift - a copy of 'Mirrors of the Wheel' on the table, and went to talk to Carra. "Hello, sister. What's happening? And what are you grinning about?"

Sundara, Sister of the Dark and reluctant student


A sudden jolt perked Kiriath up, from his silent scrutiny of Carramaena. Across the table they sat, each surveying the other; a test of tact was in place, veiled firmly by Dance Dae'mar --to the onlookers, only an intense staring contest was taking place. Carra's grin showed that she was obviously enjoying this.
Kiriath turned around, still not losing. He grinned up into the face of Sundara from his chair and chugged down the rest of his bottomless wineglass. "So, lady Greek, how have you been?"
She remained standing up; perhaps it was a trained thing from being a Dark Sister ... perhaps, she simply wanted to stay up. She was well known for her table-dancing.
"Busy," she said simply. The Sisters always were known for their careful tones, knew Kiriath, even back in the Age of Legends.
"Understood," he retorted, just as calmly. Still holding an unblinking stare, he motioned toward the table where Carra was still sitting, having some sort of a dangerous expression on her face.
"Hello, sister, what's happening? What's the grin all about?" she asked, moving Kir to a side of the conversation for the time being.
Carra shrugged, focusing still upon the gleeman. He had a bad feeling her earlier comment about his rings meant something. Good thing he put extra doses of Eccentric saidin on this morning; even that traitor Asmo couldn't figure out how his rambling weaves fit together. Some days it was nice being the Grand High Rambler...
Sundara broke him out of his thoughts, eyes peering down at him. "So ..how have you been?"
"Walking in the Light," said Kiriath, generally forgetting his Niall ruse at the earlier time.
"Have you?"

Kiriath, Undercover Intrigleeman
Walking in a Lighted Wonderland...


Barid Bel blinked at the woman he thought he saw. The grey contancts reduced his sight. But it simply couldn't be who he think he she was. He move closer. A servant nearly bumped into him. Without even looking, Barid draw a dagger from his sleeve and flashed with it. The servant fell back instantly, yelling in fear. He sent a trembling hand to his face. The knife had cleanly sliced half the man's mustache. It was a silly one anyone, and Barid had more than enough today. It was her. "Sundara," He called, "it's so good to have you back."

~Barid Bel


"Why thank you, Barid,"
Sundara replied with a smile as she swung around to face him. She would talk with Carra later. "I'm not back for long, but long enough. How have you been? And what's happened while I've been away?"

Sundara


Dark emptiness loomed over the shape of a woman, as she Skimmed through almost nothing. She glanced down slightly at the large teardrop platform she floated along on, and a slight reflection of light appeared in her hand. Looking blankly into the mirror, Cerise stuffed the small mirror back into her cloak. Light, she was really not in the mood to party. Cerise peered at her lavendar dress and sighed softly. She didn't even have time to change into a costume. At least she'd show up in good faith, even if she was so damned tired. Suddenly, the platform came to a stop, and she opened a Gateway. Stepping through smoothly, closing the gateway, and releasing Saidar in a quick motion, Cerise glanced about the outer hall. A servant a few paces away dropped his platter and ran off. Obviously frightened, Cerise thought. Mingling through the doorways, she quickly found a few friends and nodded to them, greeting them quietly. Cerise looked twice, and finally saw Kiriath. It had been awhile. Yet he was talking to Sundara (Light.. err Dark welcome her back?), and Carra. Instead, Cerise quickly turned, spied the bar, and ordered a drink. Perching on the ornate stool, Cerise watched.

~Cerise Sedai, yadda, yadda, yadda.


Carenna noticed the wolf that had been chasing the cat lying on the ground, peacefully. The cat wasn't too far away from the wolf, but the poor thing was so busy itching it didn't even notice. She wondered if the cat's owner would come back soon; the poor creature looked as if he had fleas. Carenna and the man she'd been asking to dance had been separated in the mass confusion, and she was a bit disappointed. That particular person, she was sure, had been one of the prime candidates for Wardership. Carenna was working with Serafelle on the applications, still, and they were finally making some headway.

She searched the crowds for him, and spotted Pedron Niall. Gasping in horror, she shrunk down on the stool, wishing desperately to be invisible, before she reconsidered. This was a costume party; the man wasn't necessarily the real Pedron Niall. On the other hand, this was exactly the sort of clever trick Niall would pull: Go as himself to a masquerade, and then ferret out all sorts of useful information. And right now, the real Pedron Niall was the last person she wanted to meet. Her last encounter with him had not been... pleasant.

She decided to ignore him and hope for the best. She searched the ballroom for the man she'd talked to. She saw him by the appetizer bar, and began moving in that direction. The party was already starting back up again, Daes Dae'mar and all.

Carenna ay'Irella, Sister of the Green Ajah


Blackthorne quickly checked herself in the mirror in the hallway. Yes, everything was where it should be. The full length midnight black dress clung wickedly to her slight figure, made all the more wickeder by the narrow slit. Of course the slit didn't reveal the numerous daggers that were secreted, nor did the neckline, which certainly more than hinted to any male with eyes. The high heels were a nice addition too. Combined with her unnaturally dark hair and present green eyes, she was a knockout. She giggled; this was certainly a disguise for her! With a mischivious grin, she placed the black mask on her face. This was like the old days, when she was a child and used to go out on Hallowe'en. Maybe she could get some tasty treats here- information about this place. That was the thing about TimeTravelling; you never knew where you would end up. Satisfied with her appearance, she entered the room, recalling all the tricks she would need to use to get what she needed...

Blackthorne


Barid Bel yawned, he thought about going home to sleep. He missed last night sleep. Mainly trying to convince Serafelle that he was as innocent as a new born baby. Then he spot a dead black figure. Face hidden behind a mask. For a moment he thought it a Myradraal. But unless they began to bred them for seduction, that woman was no Myradraal.
Coming closer he made an elegant bow, "My name is Barid Bel Medar, Lady. And who are you?" All he needed now was to find Pedron Nial, or the man who didgues himself as Pedron Nial, and the picture would be perfect. Black and gray and white.

~Barid Bel


Tiring of the staring contest --as far as he knew, he still hadn't blinked; was he becoming close to a male Sedai? Scary thought, that-- with the Dark Sisters, he wandered over to a curiosity of his, though his motives were unknown to all but himself.
"Walk in the Light," he said to each person on his way over to Barid Bel, answering the identical same when he made his way over. Perhaps irony worked well ..perhaps Kiriath simply wanted to learn how to be Gray without giving up your soul. For that, Barid would be the greatest source of information.
"Do you walk in the Light?" he asked, and just had to ask a traditional question of punning, "With clothes like that, it truly is hard to believe that you do." A slight grin cracked the Niall disguise, and Kiriath quickly put the danger down. He turned to Barid and the new entrance. "Do you?"

Kiriath, Undercover Intrigleeman
Hmm ...getting Pedron Niall himself on my side...


Blackthorne scanned the people in the room. So many costumes from so many places and times. A woman dressed like a queen talked with some holy man holding a big stick (quarter staff; she remembered seeing one in a book once). In a corner was a red haired desert nomad in topaz jeans standing by a wolf (canis lupus in the flesh!), talking a man who seemed somewhat...canine. She couldn't put her finger on why; he certainly didn't look like a dog. In fact, he looked familiar, as if they had meet before. There were two centres of the party; one a female samuri warrior in heavy armour, the other a gypsy to seemed to be at the point of starting to table dance just to liven up the party. Mind you, the party wasn't dead, just lacking...something. A whitecloak (she had meet too many of those on her travels) just sat in a chair, drinking his wine with a grin that had long past the lines of insanity. But of course her couldn't be a whitecloak; he was drinking and he looked... cunning. Definitely a man to be afraid of.
Her eyes then caught the movement of a man dressed in total black. His eyes looked utterly confused, the way she had felt when she had made her first accidental TimeTravel Gate. There was something about him that seemed like he wasn't part of this weave of the pattern. She would speak to him later; there was work and play to be done first.
A grey cat scratched madly at itself, ripping out chunck of grey and black? hair. She felt sorry for the poor thing...no fleas could have caused that...and the cat was shaved. It looked a little startled, but relieved at the absense of Itch. It promptly strode off, no thank you at all! One of the reasons she prefered dogs.
Then a man wearing grey, a grey-man, walked up to her. She had noticed him when she had first entered the room, but pretended not to. Darkfriends could be so particular sometimes. He approached her and asked her name. She thought for a moment, what the hell, and gave her given name, Blackthorne. His was Barid Bel Medar. She wisely decided to not ask about his reason for being here. It certainly didn't involve her, at least, not yet. Just to be social and to get some information, plus TimeTravelling was thirstly work, and she hadn't been out for a long time, not since the Millenium Christmas party, she invited Barid for a drink, because she knew that greymen liked to drink and play games too...

Blackthorne


Barid looked at the watch that hanged on the wall. Only a minute more to midnight. And Serafelle brushed against him as she stepped toward the center of the praty's hall. He was almost as good at thiefing as he was with killing. A ring, and a book. By what he could sense. Maybe Ulrike would like to read it. For himself, he didn't read much, at least not the kind a brown sister would read.

Serafelle clapped her hands loudly, atrracting any one's eyes. Although it wasn't a lovely site. She reminded him a hige bug. He hated bugs, more than anything else in the world. Even that cat was better than bugs.
"It's midnight, and time to remove the masks." Serafelle called. Taking of that ugly helm of her. All around them people began to remove the various masks they had. There was more than one surprise

~Barid Bel


Carenna ay'Irella found herself face to face with... Herself? No. It wasn't an exact mirror image, but the woman she stood near looked very much like Carenna. The same black hair, green eyes, and pallid complexion. They were even wearing a similar dress. Perhaps they were related? Carenna had been looking for keys to her past for so long now, that when a clue actually turned up, she tended to take it with a grain of salt. Or even a whole saltshaker full of salt. But they looked so much alike...

Carenna had been abandoned on the steps of the White Tower as a very young child, and had no idea who her parents were. She fingered the locket with her parents' pictures in it nervously. In all her travels, she'd never met anyone who recognized the tiny, high-quality miniatures. Perhaps today would be the day.

Also, she noticed that the man who had looked like Pedron Niall had removed his disguise. It wasn't really Pedron Niall. Thank goodness. The last time they'd met... Well, it hadn't been pretty.

Carenna steeled herself to speak to her doppelganger.

Carenna ay'Irella, Sister of the Green Ajah


"Midnight," Serafelle called, "and time to unmask."

Sundara shrugged and discarded her veil. It didn't seem to have done much good anyway. Nor had Carramaena's gypsy mask, and face it, Carra was never going to be anonymous as long as her red hair was visible. Dark Sisters were not, really, terribly good at anonymity. And that reminded her...

"Carra," Sundara said very softly, "did you really take one of the Rods of Dominion?" Carra's smug smile was the answer, and Sundara shook her head in admiration. Stealing from Gray Men was impressive. "Can I see it?"

Carra reached into her bag and produced a slim rod about a pace long. Ulrike's head whipped around. So did Barid Bel's, and Serafelle's, and for that matter Kiriath's. Sundara studied the rod. It was a ter'angreal of some sort, certainly, but she would need to do some more study to determine what it did. And it might not be a bad idea to make it a little more secure.

"Would you mind letting go of this for a while? Since we only have the one, I think we should take a few precautions to keep it in Dark hands." She glanced at Ulrike, who was seemingly casually moving closer. "I have an idea..." She and Carra whispered together for a moment, and Sundara opened a gateway away from the party and stepped through. With the rod in her hand.

A minute later she returned, her smug smile identical to her Sister's. The rod was now in excellent guardianship. She, or Carra, or any other Dark-affiliated character could reach it whenever they wished, but there was no chance of it falling into the hands of the Light. It was currently floating just above the Pit of Doom.

"And our dear brother will keep it safe for us," she told Carra.
"This must be what you call Dance Dae'mar, no?"

Sundara, Sister of the Dark


Barid stared through the gateway, and ducked away harridly. The last time he had talked with the DO he barely got away alive. On the other hand... he always wondered if he could fade from the DO's eyes too. Theories was good enough, but he had no reason to try this. Maybe Ulrike would have an idea, browns seemed to know just about anything about everything.

~Barid Bel


"Midnight," Serafelle called, "and time to unmask."

Sundara shrugged and discarded her veil. It didn't seem to have done much good anyway. Nor had Carramaena's gypsy mask, and face it, Carra was never going to be anonymous as long as her red hair was visible. Dark Sisters were not, really, terribly good at anonymity. And that reminded her...

"Carra," Sundara said very softly, "did you really take one of the Rods of Dominion?" Carra's smug smile was the answer, and Sundara shook her head in admiration. Stealing from Gray Men was impressive. "Can I see it?"

Carra reached into her bag and produced a slim rod about a pace long. Ulrike's head whipped around. So did Barid Bel's, and Serafelle's, and for that matter Kiriath's. Sundara studied the rod. It was a ter'angreal of some sort, certainly, but she would need to do some more study to determine what it did. And it might not be a bad idea to make it a little more secure.

"Would you mind letting go of this for a while? Since we only have the one, I think we should take a few precautions to keep it in Dark hands." She glanced at Ulrike, who was seemingly casually moving closer. "I have an idea..." She and Carra whispered together for a moment, and Sundara opened a gateway away from the party and stepped through. With the rod in her hand.

A minute later she returned, her smug smile identical to her Sister's. The rod was now in excellent guardianship. She, or Carra, or any other Dark-affiliated character could reach it whenever they wished, but there was no chance of it falling into the hands of the Light. It was currently floating just above the Pit of Doom.

"And our dear brother will keep it safe for us," she told Carra.
"This must be what you call Dance Dae'mar, no?"

Sundara, Sister of the Dark


Carenna ay'Irella found herself face to face with... Herself?  
No.  It wasn't an exact mirror image, but the woman she stood near looked very much like Carenna.  The same black hair, green eyes, and pallid complexion.  They were even wearing a similar dress.  Perhaps they were related?  Carenna had been looking for keys to her past for so long now, that when a clue actually turned up, she tended to take it with a grain of salt.  Or even a whole saltshaker full of salt.  But they looked so much alike...

Carenna had been abandoned on the steps of the White Tower as a very young child, and had no idea who her parents were.  She fingered the locket with her parents' pictures in it nervously.   In all her travels, she'd never met anyone who recognized the tiny, high-quality miniatures.  Perhaps today would be the day.

Also, she noticed that the man who had looked like Pedron Niall had removed his disguise.  It wasn't really Pedron Niall. Thank goodness. The last time they'd met...  Well, it hadn't been pretty.

Carenna steeled herself to speak to her doppelganger.

Carenna ay'Irella
Sister of the Green Ajah


Blackthorne was as surprised as the woman when they removed their masks at midnight. But she shouldn't have been really; it wasn't as if she hadn't have met ancestors and descendents before. Yet this one looked so much alike... It was possible that she had crossed into the Worlds of If, a world where this woman could have been her, maybe living a happier life than hers was now. There was freedom in travelling alone, yet there was also the loneliness that crept up sometimes and homesickness. Not that she had ever really had one singular 'home', but she missed the people who were familiar to her. It was at least easier than introducing herself to new ones every few months. The woman stepped forward to greet her, confusion and expectation, yes, maybe hope too? shining in her eyes. There was an old locket around her neck. It looked strangely familiar... it looked like hers...

A sudden movement at the corner of her eye made her escape from the woman's glance. One of the other guests had made a Gateway using the True Power, running away with one of the Rods? Maybe this trip would be interesting... Blackthorne felt an invitation slide into her purse and saw the faint outline of a hand. She waited until Barid Bel was finished, then read the invitation... A party at his place... Yes, she smiled a rare true smile, this will be an interesting trip...

~Blackthorne


Barid stared through the gateway, and ducked away hurridly. The last time he had talked with the DO he barely got away alive. On the other hand... he always wondered if he could fade from the DO's eyes too. Theories was good enough, but he had no reason to try this. Maybe Ulrike would have an idea, browns seemed to know just about anything about everything.

~Barid Bel


The party was definately picking up now that the masks were off.  Of course Jani hadn't needed one in the first place since the only person that he recognized now was Kiriath.  They had met at the last party in the Dark Palace and talked briefly about the correct way to pronounce his very rare Andoran name ( not like Jenny, oh no...*g*) and his time spent serving in the Queen's Guard.  A very interesting fellow, this Kiriath. Serafelle found Jani by the bar and repeated the question that she had asked on the way to the party.  "What was it that you wanted to ask me?"  Jani had to ponder at this for a moment. Actually he wasn't sure what she meant.  After all, he didn't even know how he met her in the first place.  But in order to make conversation he came up wiht something that he had been wondering for the last few months.  "Have you ever come upon people who heard voices when there was no one around?  Voices that told them what to do.  Do you think that it's possible and what could cause it?"

Jani al'Koski


"Have you ever come upon people who heard voices when there was no one around? Voices that told them what to do. Do you think that it's possible and what could cause it?" "Well..." she said slowly, "Yes.  I have.  And they can be classified in several different groups, acoording to the hypothesis of the reasons for the phenomena."  She had switched over into the "Brown Lecture Mode", so she ignored Barid Bel when he slipped an invitation into her hand. Knowledge was more important than a party, so she would probably be a bit late for this one.

She continued, "First, the association of the wolfkin with the wolves produces 'voices' in one's head.  And if the wolf you're with is bossy enough, it will tell you what to do,  quite obnoxiously, I'm afraid."  A pause, and then a grimace.   Serafelle had had that kind of an experience before.

"The bond between a Warder and an Aes Sedai can also cause a few thoughts to come across occasionally, but mainly only emotions and sensations get through.  There again, if the Aes Sedai is bossy enough, you may become what the ancients called, 'henpecked'."

"Then, you see, are the male channelers.  Unfortunately, our Fearless Dragon hasn't quite gotten around to cleansing the taint yet, but I'm sure he will soon.  Busy schedule, you know.  Aginor at nine, Rahvin at ten, and Sammael at ten fifteen.  Not many studies have been done on male channelers, so we're not really sure why they hear voices.  It may be some type of mental illness caused by the taint, or it may be connected with another of the groups."

"The name we give to the fourth group is 'Past-Life Memory Overlap'.  This does not include a true 'voice' in one's head, but resurfacing memories of past lives that are easily mistaken for voices.  I'm not sure if the memories would be able to tell the victim what to do.  It's possible."

"A closely related theory is that of 'Alternate Thread Overlap', which states that if World A is close enough to World B in some fashion we don't entirely understand, Individual C from World A's memories can somehow transfer over to Individual C from World B's memories.  In other worlds, if an alternate dimension is close enough to ours, your alternate self's memories and thoughts could somehow be transferring to you."

Jandor Kirencin nodded, and began to shift his weight on his feet, wishing there was somewhere to sit down.

Serafelle continued, oblivious to his pain.  "Of course, there's always the obvious.  'Non-Saidin Related Mental Illness' is always a possibility.  That one's self-explanitory, so I'll move on."

"Aiel Dreamwalkers have learned to manipulate tel'aran'rhiod to such an extent that they can plant a thought in a subject's mind so that it will remain there upon waking.  This would sound precisely like a voice in your head, and if I know Aiel Wise Women, they'd more than likely be telling you what to do."

"Also, from what I've heard about direct communication with the Dark One and the Creator, their 'voices' are also apparently heard in one's head."

"Then we have what the ancients call, 'Telepathy', isolated incidents of which we still come upon every once in a while, though rarely....."

Serafelle Sedai
Sister of the Long-Winded Ajah


The Wanderer stepped up to the door and paused in thought.  It had been a long time since he had spoken to Serafelle Sedai.  He involuntarily stroked the smooth leatherbound hilt of the Tairen sword she had brought as a gift for him.  He had his excuses for his absence, of course, but as to how they would be received... well, if that answer were not well, then his gift might save his hide.   Strightening his black silk handkerchief at his throat and stepping through the door to the study, he was impressed by the number of people gathered here, many familiar.  Barid Bel and Ulrike, Kiriath and his entourage of eccentric friends, others who were refugees from WOTA.  That had been a curious development, to say the least.  When he had tried to enter the Waygate, he had found the trefoil leaf removed, and the stone of the Gate etched in strange runes.  How many others had been discouraged at this gate?
It was a pleasure to see so many had sought solace in Serafelle's study. And what a study!  Not, exactly, the dark grandeur of the Great Mistress' Palace.  The ceiling was perhaps more suited to and Ogier's height than a deity's, and actual sunlight filtered through collonaded windows.  Open balconies had growing plants and iron-wrought tables and chairs.  The interior was warmed by a fireplace, and chairs of all sizes and shapes were randomly scattered across a number of foreign rugs.  To the right, a room emblazoned "Lightfriends Only" could be seen to contain a pool table, Mrs. Pacman machine, and refreshment bar.  But most remarkable of all, and most suitable to the propreitress, were the walls filled with books; the stacks of books in the corners; the books on the mantle, books on empty chairs, books everywhere.  He became concerned that his gift would be redundant.   The door closed behind him, and that selfsame proprietress crossed into his sight.  

"Welcome back, Wanderer.  You've been missed quite a bit."  Her smile was impish, and her voice pitched to carry through the room.  The attendants looked over in interest.  Then a roar of questions and general welcome caught him up, and it was only some time after being inducted as a Lightfriend (with its due toasts all around) that he managed to catch Serafelle in something resembling a private conversation.
"First of all, my dear, I have brought you a gift of sorts.  I hope I am not replicating anything in this collection?"  He brandished a medium-sized book from within his vest, entitled The Hundred Days.  Serafelle nearly tackled him to read the inside flap, and the Wanderer had to laugh at her childlike glee.  
"Have you read it?"
"Certainly not.  I don't think I'm even familiar with this author.  But I will certainly get to it when I finish that pile over there.  Sit?"
"So have you found a Warder yet?" he asked, setting the six-volume set on the floor and settling into a great velvet chair.  
"It's still in the workings, you know.  These things are important, and take time.  Are you still intrested?"  The Brown sister was sitting on the arm of her chair, as any good bibliophile would; she refused to deny her books the prime cushion.  "you know, there is someone you should meet..."  she directed his gaze to a green-shawled figure leaning on one of the balustrades outside.  My very dear sister is also searching for a Warder..."

The Wanderer


"...My dear friend and Sister of the Green Ajah, Carenna ay'Irella.  We agreed to collaberate on this hunt, so that it wouldn't be quite as much bother.  Unfortunatly, things are a bit messier than we expected.  One application still needs to be reviewed before the follow-ups will be written.  Poor fellow's application was overlooked.  But I digress.  She's over there.   I'm sorry I can't introduce you, but someone wanted to ask me a question, and I must get back to answering him."

All this time they had been slowly walking over to the French doors to the porch, where Carenna ay'Irella was now sitting alone.  She looked thoughtful, and was absently fingering a heavy- looking locket.  The green in her eyes glinted suddenly as she turned at the sound of the Wanderer's footsteps.

Serafelle Sedai
Sister of the Brown Ajah



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