Posted on November 01-07, 1998 on Serafelle's Society of Scholars
Category: WoT Alternate Reality

Mashiara And Blackthorne

Serafelle didn't like it. In fact, she was decidedly suspicious. Sending a Draghkar was not something Ariella... er, Blackthorne, would do. It may have been an attempt on Carenna's life, or perhaps it was merely an attempt to scare her. Either way, the whole business was suspicious.

The culprit who sent the Draghkar was probably Carenna's unleashed former multiple personality, Mashiara. Apparently, that was another reason one heard voices in one's head; the Dark One's Sister was in there with you. (In this case, the Former Dark One's Sister. Mashiara was more than a little mad, and no longer claimed the title.) She'd have to remember to tell Jani al'Koski about this new causal agent for hearing voices. He apparently could channel; that accounted for his own head's voices, but he still might be interested to hear about it.

The whole situation worried her. A woman who was already mad, and half a slough (OOC: is that the right spelling?) of male channelers who had the potential to become mad was a rather worrying set of circumstances. Not that the poor men could help becoming mad. It wasn't their fault at all. Especially not Jani al'Koski, who had just found out he could Channel, and had a small amount of madness already. Not fair.

She'd have to remember to speak to someone about that. It wasn't right. Who could mend it? Who could fix the Taint? She could only think of two Beings who had the power to do it directly: the Dark One and the Creator. She'd try the Creator first. But not yet.

Serafelle Ismene al'Cormiere


Blackthorne had heard the moment that Mashiara had ripped herself into existance, heard the sound that vibrated through the Pattern jaggedly. Ari and Blackthorne spoke as one. "Bitch." They watched as one as Mashy sent that little piece of Shadowspawn on Carenna, and as TrueDescender saved her, or rather Carenna saved him. It didn't matter really. Just as long as she didn't have to clean the mess.

Then they watched calmly the anti-Mistress leave the party. Good; she wasn't invited anyway. Blackthorne wanted to comfort Carenna, knowing from experience what finding out that your whole life had been contrived to serve a greater purpose, that it was never yours anyway, felt like, but the Great Mistress part of her just wanted to track Mashy down. There can only be only Great Mistress, insane or not.

But it could wait until the guests left. She walked quickly through the maze to see who was left there. Kiriath gone to play chaos, TrueDescender and Jani gone to learn saiden's song, the room was slowly emptying. And the wish was technically already claimed by Carenna, so there was no game left here for the playing. Time to make up a new one.

She nodded to Nightfall, who nodded back. Surely he must be experiencing some of the feelings that swirled in her heart and mind, as well as Ari's. Quickly, she Traveled to her chambers, donned a skin-tight fancloth outfit with toe-stomping Doc Marten boots, picked up her favourite whip and a shocklance on the way out. Sometimes, it was more pleasurable to do things with her own hands.

She considered inviting Nightfall and some of the others to join her hunt, but quickly stamped that down. They might want some of the fun. Expertly, she checked her weapons before opening a gateway directly to Kiriath's chambers in his ...stasis box home. Time to go on a safari and skin some leopards...

~Blackthorne,
Chosen and Bonded to Sammael and others (you know who you are),
Far'meril'morgelon, Great Mistress of the Dark, Huntress of the Anti-Mistress


Mashiara giggled at Kiriath. "What brings me here? Why, chaos, of course! I heard you were interested in spreading it, as liberally as possible, so I dropped by to see if an alliance might not be in order."

Kiriath was no fool. "What's in it for me?"

"Well, for starters, I won't tell anyone about your Intrigleemen."

Kiriath's eyes widened in horror. "How did you..."

She laughed that sweeping laugh again. "Carenna knows. But she doesn't know she knows, so don't worry about it. I wouldn't tell anyone about your organization anyway. I like it; it's very chaotic. Especially the Eccentric Power. I would certainly like to learn how to Channel that. But what could I possibly have that you would want? Let me think..."

Mashiara stood up and looked into Kiriath's eyes. The stilletos made her slightly taller than him. "I have the Foretelling. And what's more, I can make it come at will. Would you like me to tell you your future?"

Right then, a Gateway opened, and Blackthorne stepped out. She did not look happy.

Mashiara

[OOC: Dear Blackthorne,

Please don't kill her off, or humiliate her, or do anything terribly unpleasant to her. I like this character, and plan to continue animating her. See if you two can't work out some kind of agreement. Mashiara wishes to continue her free-lance evil. Please? She is not going to claim the Great Mistressship. Believe me, the thought will not even occur to her. Perhaps an alliance is in order? But she doesn't want to be a Darksister either.]


The walk through the maze had not been an easy one for Nightfall. Some reason the maze liked to play jokes on him. It seem to delight in sending man eating rabbits, daises that squirted acid, along with the occasional tax collector to harass him. Still he managed to reach the bar relatively unscathed. There he was more than a little shocked and amazed to see Blackthorne calmly sipping ale with some strange young man at the bar. The man was indeed a channeler. Nightfall was certain from the feeling he experienced as he gazed on the young man. His features too spoke of being Seanchan or at least of that descent. Still Nightfall was less worried about the young man. Having been a least half mad himself, Nightfall wasn’t worried about the young man bringing down the Dark Palace. Nightfall doubted Blackthorne would allow that to happen. No, he was more concerned with Blackthorne. The woman was an enigma, much like Ariella herself was. Yet there was something more than that about Blackthorne to Nightfall’s mind. A thought tickled the back of Nightfall’s head but he ignored it. Instead he decided to try a more subtle approach and may be figure out how to swing this change to his advantage. With a lazy grace to belie the feelings of agitation and slight annoyance, Nightfall then sat at the bar beside the Great Mistress Reborn and ordered his usual. Blackthorne appeared to be having a fairly animated conversation but Nightfall was certain she eyed him coming in. Taking a slow sip of his ale, Nightfall caught snatches of the conversation.

“…Can you then help me Blackthorne? I really don’t want to go mad.”
“It’s understandable, dear Jani, that you would come to us. We of the Dark Family pride ourselves on treating guests as well as new and potential members of the Dark family with dignity and being as helpful as possible. Though you must understand none of my Sisters or I cannot teach you. I do, however, know a certain man that would be most helpful in your training.”

As Blackthorne finished that sentence, she turned around with a lazy grace that made her every inch the Great Mistress and host, eyeing Nightfall with a knowing look he knew fairly well. It was the look of a hunter stalking its prey.

“Uhm, me Blackthorne? Well I’m very flattered you think so highly of my abilities. I mean I know I’m no where near on par with Eval for example, but since it is you, Blackthorne…I will see what I can do.”

The smile on her face was reminisce to Nightfall of a cat caught after eating the proverbial canary.

“I’m very glad you think so then dear Nightfall. Now shall we dance?” With out any preamble, Blackthorne’s soft but firm grip led Nightfall out on to the terrace near the fountain.

“So Nightfall how to like the party so far?”

“It is most exceptional as always but this one…This one I think will linger with me for a while”

Nightfall feel her deft finger move up and down his back.

“Is that all that will linger then…?” she whispered very coyly. “I’m hoping that you would stay longer. You sound so much like you wish to travel more. You…intrigue me, Master Nightfall. I like that in a man.”

“Please Blackthorne, if we are going know each other better, I insist you call just call me Nightfall. But no…I’m quite done with my wanderings for now. I was just thinking though ... feel a little out of place that’s all.”

“Ah” With a slight nod of her head, Blackthorne gave him a look the pierced through the glib tongue and “As you know Nightfall, the Great Mistress always had one servant or at least one of the family to act as a sort of mediator for us. Mediator and also voice for the Great Mistress, a person she could trust. Ariella had the Hound and I too would dearly like him for that roll. However, since the Hound hasn’t made an appearance, I think and Ari agrees with me, you would make an excellent choice. A sort of First Servant.” She nodded her head again and spoke to herself “Yes, Ari, I’ll get on it with, please” She turned her gaze back on the shocked Nightfall “So what do you say? I would very much like it if you would serve me as First Servant.”

The ramifications nearly overwhelmed Nightfall but he hid it as best he could. “I’m honored you consider me so highly, Blackthorne. I swear as swore before, I will serve the Dark and the Great Mistress to the best of my abilities.”

The smile on her face told Nightfall he needed to know. More deftly than the dance, Nightfall was now indelible caught in the web of the Great Mistress. “Well I wanted to play for power…Guess this just price I pay” He grinned and continue to dance with Blackthorne, with the thoughts of new and great plots almost enveloping his mind.
“Oh there is just one more thing Nightfall.” With a adroitness and skill that could only come from the Great Mistress, Blackthorne kissed him deeply. Suddenly he felt a surge and feeling of overwhelming strange come over him. With a satisfied nod, Blackthorne removed his lips from her.
“There. Now you have access to the True Power…and a little more…sort of bond to seal us in this pact.”
“Ah.” The strange sensation faded but for some reason he could sense in his head that was not alone ... not that having that thing called Strawn was alone yet he could…feel Blackthorne. Feel her calm and strong spirit flow within him and play along his consciousness like a lover playing hide-and-go-seek. It was most unsettling. Still Nightfall, ever the one to adjust even the most bizarre of situations.

Suddenly a scream pierced the room and Nightfall could sense the presence of some Shadowspawn. “Here? In the Palace? Oh God don’t tell me Darkhound decided to come to party with some of his friends?” Suddenly a strange man came charging in with another lady in hand. “True Descender” was the thought some how came through his mind. Nightfall was sure that was partly because of the bond between him and Blackthorne if not his own unique abilities. Suddenly Nightfall felt a surge of saidin and a bar of white blue fire streaked across the room. Diving under and forward, Nightfall hit the bar with a slight thud. He then could feel Blackthorne and perhaps Ari raging about the disruption. After she helped him up and checked on the other guest, Blackthorne opened a gateway into her chambers.

From what he could gather from the others as well as his own premonitions, some one called Mashiara, apparently a defunct version of Ariella reborn, had broken loose and was ready to spread Chaos. This was even more unsettling to Nightfall. While he enjoyed change and thus chaos at times, was more than what he had bargained for. Still some part of him though that the imminent destruction of Mashiara could be avoided… “Yes…It could work…and it would help prove my loyalty too…IF it works…”
Summoning up saidin, Nightfall opened up a gateway to where he felt Blackthorne would be. She certainly did not look happy and in that clothing she was showing off her Huntress very well. There also was a replica of the woman that had been saved, Carrena, only with a hint more darkness and even a touch of madness. Moving at the speed of thought, Nightfall used his abilities to seal off Kirith in wall of impenetrable darkness as well as to render the Eccentric power at least temporarily inaccessible to him, as he also lifted Mashiara up off the ground using the True Power.

“Great Mistress. I know well it is your right to destroy such an abomination as her but I feel I must intervene on her behalf. As your newly named First Servant I do feel that killing her would only provoke more bloodshed and while we of the Dark Family enjoy that, it would only bore us and distract us from our plots as well as parties. Here is my proposition. Use me as a channel for you power and create a sort of bond, one that will allow me to…control her movements at my discretion. I assure you though, Mashiara, I am generous man. If you wish to go about spreading Chaos, it is good. However, I think you will understand that we of the Dark Family frown on attacking guests except in the occasional duel. So I while I will let you run free some times, know that I will be watching your movements and making sure you don’t do anything ... unseemly. So do I have an agreement?”

Mashiara hissed and struggled against him, but to no avail. The Great Mistress Reborn, Blackthorne, gave him an unreadable stare before turning to confer with herself or at least the air. Finally nodding her head, Blackthorne turned back and smiled slowly. “It is agreed, my First Servant. You have put yourself in precarious situation though. If she does misbehave ... not only will she feel it but will you too. I wish you luck then with your new ... pet.”
“I think I prefer the term indentured servant, Mistress” Suddenly he felt a surge of unknowable power pass through him and into Mashiara. She screamed for a brief moment before collapsing. Nightfall then picked her up and just a Blackthorne had done with him, Nightfall kissed her. The surge of power rushed through both of him and now he was no longer having just two presences inside his mind. The first was the power and semi-orderliness of Blackthorne. The second was the chaos inside himself. The third was slightly chaotic and more than a little mad but most certainly female. Mashiara.

“Well I must get back to my guest, Nightfall. I leave you in charge of this woman for now.” With a heartfelt sigh, Nightfall then channeled open a gateway back to his private rooms at the Flock of Raven.
“Life would be so much easier if women and honor didn’t complicate my life…”

Nightfall


Kiriath steepled his fingers as soon as he had sheared the strange Nightfallen web holding him. His telepathic communication --yes, he had more Talents than only the Eccentricity-- with Notum had allowed the weaves holding him to split apart and mess up immensely. Notumar himself was an anti-taveren, knew Kir, having nearly the opposite effect on any person. He certainly was handy.

But that was past for the time being. When he had looked into those blue eyes of Mashiara, he knew what his reaction was. A combination of love and hate, but the overruling feeling he felt, strangely, was a careful kinship. It was wrong, he knew; Mashiara was evil, and a different evil than anyone he had ever encountered. A freelance evil, almost akin to Mazrin Fain. It seemed as though nearly everyone knew about his powers as of late; at least the Rings of Myrlin were still a mystery, known only to him.

That stasis box had plenty of other items, just for dear need. No gholams, though, unfortunately; Aginor still did not understand his own creations fully, even the ones that Notum had brought back. It was frustrating, for the spy. An utterly frustrating, yet utterly useful, time.

Nightfall's taking of Mashiara did come as a surprise; if his guess was right, he had probably taken her away to protect his Mistress. What in Shayol Ghul he would do to her, he didn't know --at the rate of Nightfall, he had probably Bonded her as a Warder! It made strange sense ... lately, everyone had seemed to be Bonding, from Sera's Warder applications all the way over to Barid Bel and Ulrike.

However it went, Kiriath would imitate wanting to Bond, but, truly, he would not. He had once, in the Age of Legends, had a lost love, a woman with brown hair and blue eyes, but she had vanished. Kiriath vowed never to marry or Bond again until the definite true one came along, prompting his Intrigleemen to be formed, partially in place of the love void he held. Maybe in some ways Notumar was the essence of his feelings; he had once been a voice in his head, that ended up possessing a Myrrdraal. The body had mutated grotesquely, worse than Aginor could have attempted, and, well, Notumar came to pass.

Mashiara, Kiriath doubted, was his "lost love", although the name was almost too much of a pun for his own tastes. He knew he had seen a trace of familiarity in that quick gaze, however she went. Someday, soon, he would meet her face to face --at least as long as she had those stilettos off. His lost love had never been a Mistress, not even close; it would be one way to tell if Mashiara was, in actuality, the old flame.

The Flame and the Void, chuckled Kiriath. Puns always snuck up on him, when he least expected them. In this case, it almost worked. He shook his head, nevertheless. There were two candidates for that nice long conversation coming up; Carramaena and Mashiara.

Kiriath, Undercover Intrigleeman
Always holding that Flame and its Void...


Blackthorne organized the papers on the desk neatly and wrote checks for the hydro company. The Dark Family would probably never know just how much time went into running the Dark Palace. When she had 'returned', the bills were piled on the table to the roof. She smiled, she was needed at least to pay the bills. And the bank never wondered where exactly Mistress Blackthorne got her Tar Valon gold coins from. She grinned at the thought of their faces if they ever checked her accounts, and realized that the collapse of the global economy was due to just one young woman.

She carefully stacked a pile of blank paper and just as carefully commanded her pen to write her words. Much more effecient that way. The mere word of 'effecient' made everyone, Light and Dark, shiver, she she thought it again. Efficient. Shiver.
Bored of the sensation of goose bumps, she returned to the task at hand. "My life," she spoke as the pen wrote. "Was one that was quite unique. Perhaps it would be best to start with the beginning of the life of Blackthorne." She made herself comfortable and got a glass of water; this will take awhile.

"Blackthorne, was the name that I was called by my parents, but The Great Mistress Ariella had chosen me long before that to be her avatar, her physical body. She had in reality chosen my name, refering to the mountain near her Dark Palace, Shayol Ghul."

She paused with that. It brought up thoughts of her own about her identity. Why had Ari, of all the bodies available to her, chosen hers? Ari answered in that indirect manner of hers; just placing the thought in her head; yours is what I think my body should look like. Blackthorne smiled, touched by Ari's sincerity.

"My parents were immigrants from a land east of the Aryth Ocean, called England, although that name and country was lost long ago in the Breaking, Blighting and Nuclear Fighting of Ages past. They traveled across the sea to a land in the west called Canada, land of many lakes, long winters and many opportunities."

"When I was a child, I instinctively knew I was different. I saw the world differently. I figured out with time that the threads and patterns I saw with my eyes, no one else saw. No one else saw the figures of shadow standing among the threads. It was my secret."

"And as I got older, it became stronger. Dreams became reality, or at least the reality of the future. The figures became brighter and clearer, the threads too. It seemed to me that I was seeing the world as it was meant to be seen, the actual threads themselves. This frightened me a little, but not much, as I have never seen the world with just physical eyes."

"Due to my...differences, life was hard among my peers, but I persevered. I survived. Eventually, the Spark was found with me, and I left to study the One Power. I forget what Age I was born in, after all, what Age is named by the people who live in it? But it was probably part of the Age of Legends, maybe the early years of it."

"I was, still am, unique. I was born strong in all five Powers...Now, thinking about Ariella's plan, it makes sense. Naturally, I was envied, loved and hated by many, students and teachers. I took what I needed from them, nothing else. I also took a hatred for all those who called themselves Aes Sedai, those who served only themselves. Maybe that makes me a Darkfriend by definition; I don't know. But I do know that it was then the presence appeared in my head."

"I first thought that I was crazy. No one has voices in their head, giving advice. But I wasn't, still am not just anybody. And her advice; I was sure it was a she, always helped me."

"Then I discovered Time Travel quite by accident. I was thinking about a test that I had done badly on, only 80% correct, and I wished that I could go back in time and fix it. I opened a gateway to go back to my appartments, and bang! I was back in the classroom at the moment. I instantly wove an inverted Illusion of invisiblity, and finished my test perfectly. That skill led to many perfect tests that made me almost the top of the class. I didn't dare to be absolutely perfect; I feared that they would suspect me then. I gained many friends and a few close one by my abilities and life was good to me."

"The years past on by like seasons on the wind. Soon, I had finished my training with amazingly high scores. Job offers were everywhere, my parents were proud, my future seemed bright to everyone else, but not to me. My personal life was a ruin, my lover had left my sheets and my heart bleeding and my few friends had moved far from me. I was painfully alone again. I ran with tears in my eyes and soul to the lake nearby and...I opened a Time gateway, not knowing, not caring where it lead to...I feared not Death."

She stopped for a drink of water.

"When I awoke, I was in a different world, a world of If. In this world, women with braids and bad tempers ruled the world with long whips. It interested me, but the entity, Ari urged me to move on. And so, I Traveled on to new worlds unexplored. That was the bulk of my life, a wanderer searching the cosmos. Each day would be a tale itself, so I'll leave them for later. I will just say that I met most of the people I know in this world in their many incarnations. Hehehe, Kiriath you make a good king and Sunny an excellent queen."

Blackthorne smiles happily to herself for a long moment.

"Finally, I reached this time and place, just in time for that costume party of Serafelle's. There I met the bunch of you and decided to stay for awhile, as Ari hadn't voiced any complaints yet. I must admit that even I didn't know why I needed the rods so much, but I did. Then the group of us; Carra, Sundara, Kiriath and myself put the rods in a circle together and they reacted, releasing Ari somewhat from the seals that some Intrigleeman of Kiriath had sealed her with. There Ariella, Great Mistress of the Dark , revealed her plan to the group, and proclaimed me indirectly the Great Mistress Reborn."

She frowned at the page; it was missing something. She decided to conclude with the current state of things between Ari and herself.

"Ari seems to have no desire to take back the rods and free herself. I myself believe that she enjoys placing the responsibility on someone else's shoulders, yet be able to manipulate events at will. Maybe the rods have lost their power, and maybe not. Only she can answer this if she wills. The time will come when Ari will want her throne back and her whips, but until then...I am the Great Mistress."

She added with an afterthought:

"Let the Light cower in its boots! I'm BACK!"

Blackthorne smiled; it was just like Ari to have the last word. Like her too, Ari tickled in her mind. Too true, she reflected. So she signed her signature:

~Blackthorne
Chosen and Bonded to Sammael at Dragonmount
Great Mistress of the Dark etc.

She grinned; it was nice to be back home and in business...


Nightfall's move to bond Mashiara had not really surprised her very much; he had a soft spot for psychotic people ever since that Strawn incidence and he had been musing about having a new 'pet' for a long time, when he thought that she wasn't listening, she mused as she walked through the Dark Palace. She gave false smiles and hugs to the guests as they departed. A kiss for each of the men, especially the new arrivals. Or it was probably his way of asking her for a new pet.

Well, this way they were both happy. A possible threat neutralized and Nightfall had his 'pet'. Well, she would make the same kind of pet as a hungry fox; cunning and on the verge of eating your insides. Still, she had confidence in Nightfall, that he could land on his feet after this, for this could only end in true chaos.

Now the party was done, it was time to go back to work. Doing what she did best: causing chaos in the universe, not her brother's type, just chaos in a 'playful' way. No need to kill your oppenents, just make them blush a little and shift their feet.

Finally, she was in her chambers. Her desk was piled with papers. Selective balefire and everything was in order. She leaned back in her chair; so, Serafelle wanted a brief bio of her life to add to the library? But how brief could the life of a recarnated Great Mistress be? And her own adventures as Blackthorne through time was an epic itself.

She nodded; she would get started on that soon. But there was still that problem with Ariella being half-sealed. Blackthorne herself in the depths of her mind wished that Ari would stay forever that way, but a promise was a promise. She felt bad that Ari was stuck like that. But on the other hand, Ari wasn't complaining, so why should it concern her? She shoved that out of her mind quickly. A part of her wondered at this new attitude change in her; coldness wasn't a word to describe Blackthorne! She supposed it was her mind and Ari's, overlaying each other, two becoming gloriously one.

Now Kiriath's rings...She yawned. That ended the thought. Even immortals in mortal bodies needed to sleep sometimes. But first a bath.

With a thought, a large bathtub appeared beneath a large skylight, the red light of the dying sun flaming the oh-so-nice water. Time flowed differently here. She removed her clothing with the slow pleasure of a half-asleep woman and eased herself into the oh-so-nice water, with a catlike-smile on her lips. Eyes shut, she let the water do its work...Tomorrow she would talk with Kiriath and...The grin grew as a soap bubble rose to pop on the skylight...

~Blackthorne
Great Mistress of the Dark
Bonded to Nightfall


As Kiriath reflected upon the day's events, Notumar was off in his own vacuole, the smell of dead corpses ---"trophys", to Notum--- permeated into Kir's nostrils. Obviously he had been the inevitable choice for his second ...anyone that made certain his enemies were gone if they had learned the slightest thing was certainly a great "spy".

There was also the matter of his board, his "snakes and foxes" board, one he had picked up from the Tower of Ghenjei. Those *finns really were odd buggers ...there was no telling why they had the game in there. A reminder of their own weaknesses?

Laid out upon it were the famed stones. They had been Eccentrically warded, and protected by rooms upon rooms unconnected to one another. Ariella, knowing her, probably had an idea of where the Clash Chamber was. Then again, not, with Notumar next door. Kir remembered one time when Notum had screamed....

"Oh, bloody flaming Shai'tan," he screamed. Kiriath had whispered for him to shut up, but it was too late.
"YOU HAVE UNLEASED MY WRATH!"
Notumar looked up into the sky and shook his sword. As he stared at a dark raincloud, it seemed to hover above him for a few seconds, but quickly vanished in a puff of clouded smoke.
"THANK YOU, NOTUMAR," said a softer voice, one Kir recognized to be the Crea---
"Go away, or you'll get it too!"
The bright cloud flew away, taking care not to hover above Notumar's insane long sword. The warrior grinned, and walked away.

Kiriath shook his head admiringly. "Some people," he muttered out loud, not knowing whether it was for good or bad. Probably neither. No male channeler had dipped into the Taint as Notum had; some males had complained about it being as though you put your hand in a oil-spilled sea. Notumar, on the other hand... Notumar simply took a wine mug, licked his lips on the oil, and smiled. "Aahh." And you had thought Mashiara was bad, chuckled Kir.

Mashiara brought up a thought from the Age of Legends. His lost love didn't seem to affect him as bad as it had --an Age between can calm a heart-- but all the same, her appearance was a curiosity. Kiriath noted that she had come from Carenna; who else but people from the Age of Legends --or beyond, possibly-- had so far come to inhabit a person's head? Notumar, yes, but Notum was different. In more ways than one.

Calmly and carefully he stroked his Rod happily. He had recently learned that it was a Balefiring Oath Rod. One upon which a fellow could say an Oath, and forget you ever did, although it still held. A nifty tool in itself.

And then there was the matter of his personal Rings. He had seen a few glances from Ariella lately towards his hands; surprising, that. They were passive glances, but even he knew they were more. Then she caught his eyes ...good thing his dreams were warded. Knowing half of the group around, they'd probably jump in and try to steal them. He chuckled; they never would. Hopefully, at least. He had even acquired a few more agents. Belandarb for one, although that was simply his Airthing horse. Pun intended, as ever.

Kiriath sighed, nevertheless, staring down his board. The life of a spy was fun, as was organizing his forces ---he noticed the Samirhage stone pushing itself around, on a map of the Dark Palace. Maps from all over were within the Clashing Chamber... it was, of course, the most warded room anywhere, even making a record in the Alec Guinness Book of Randland Records. Perhaps it was a curiosity that it was copyrighted by Obi-Wan, with a green-tinted picture that was nearly blank as his picture. As far as Kiriath knew, only Ariella's chambers might be as warded. But, of course, the Great Mistress probably had no need of wards.

Another sigh, as he glanced at the clock out of sheer habit, nothing else. Time to go out and meet one of his closest friends, he wandered off to Ebou Dar, disappointed that he wasn't there. Instead of Thom Merrilin, there was an Eccentric note, something about traveling upon "the Path of Daggers." Oh, yes. Kiriath returned to his map room, digging out a book.

Kiriath, Undercover Intrigleeman
Musst read it and ssoon my preciouss. Yess.


Barid opened the gateway from his room, he doubted if the party in the Dark Palace had continued, he had gone for long. Climbing a path of daggers, but the prize was worth the price. A few scratch in his fur. Nothing more.
But he had to find out now what happened in the world first, he was simply cut off of it for far too long.

~Barid Bel


Sammael appeared in the dark palace. "Where is that foolish warder if mine?" he muttered to himself. He knew she had fled here, to the dark palace. In fact, he had barely been able to follow her, and only then because of his unique bond to her. He had needed to use the TP, and his twisted sa'angrael, which hung at his side in order to follow her.

"Blackthorne!" he screamed into the darkness. His voice carried, and echoed across the great halls, reverberating, like the sound of a child running through the halls in ages past.

He heard the sound, and swiveled in his tracks. "A stalker", he whispered to himself. "No, I can't be that mad yet", he spoke to the empty hall. He moved to another hall, one with mirrors this time.

He glanced in the closest mirror, one with a white frame sprinkled with many stones, each of which radiated darkness. The frame had carvings of animals engraved in it, ones that no longer roamed any world. They all looked trapped, for that was the best word to describe their faces. The mirror itself lay there, like a pool of molten silver, waves constantly dancing and rippling across its surface, the only thing not frozen in time. There was something strange, unsettling about it.

He glared at the reflection in the mirror. Then he noticed something strange, and his glare transformed into a worried frown. The one thing that the mirror showed with perfect precision was the two black dots that shown in his eyes. The saa in his eyes made him shiver. "I always said I would follow you and best you one day, but I never thought like this, Lews Therrin!" He turned from the mirror.

As he strode away, he failed to notice the white light that grew from the mirror, wisping out like some possessed mist. It reached for him, but shrunk back, as if it recognized who the dark man was.

Sammael moved to a chamber, the one that Blackthorne had left from. He made ready to shift. The complex weaves contracted and formed, sometimes shaping mystic designs, and creating new runes without help from the dark man who created them.

As the dark man was watching his work take form on its own, he failed to notice the dark shadow, which unattached itself from the dark wall it blended so perfectly to. It did not know where it was going, only that it must follow the dark man. As Sammael began to shift, the shadow joined him.

~Sammael


Blackthorne felt the gateway open as she washed herself in the bubbling water. It felt as familiar as her hand. She also felt the man who entered through it. He seemed familiar... She needed to see his face. Summoning her power within, she peered into her bath water. The image shone like a pebble in a lake, waving in and out. He looked at the mirror. She saw his face at last. She knew this man, almost too well. In another time, another place, he had been her partner, lover, friend and shelter. He had been her warder.

She wondered how he had found her, found the secret of TimeTravel. Probably the bond had something to do with it. Their bond was very weak, feeble compared to the one between her First Servant and herself, but it was still there. She had tried to free herself of its constraint, but failed to find any way other than death.

But Sammael, what was she do to with him? He would cause trouble, demanding that she return with him. That was impossible, but he was still an irritant. Should she send Nightfall to get rid of him or do it herself? Maybe ask Barid; he liked killing people? No, she thought, I don't want him dead; just away from me. She wasn't eager to experience the sorrow of the bond breaking. As Great Mistress, she couldn't afford any weakness, especially not the weakness of tears.

Her thoughts brought no conclusion. Sighing, she decided to leave her bathing and prepare to greet Sammael. She could decide his fate on the way to her throne room. Suddenly, she sensed another presence, a familiar one also, but not from her many travels. She grinned as she felt Sammael's gasp of surprise and pure shocked horror. She faintly felt Mashiara's joy, the joy of a leopard making a kill.

She smiled. Mashiara putting the male a'dam on Sammael solved all her problems. Mind you, Mashiara walking around with a man on a leash was probably not the best thing to have her doing, but it would at least please Mashiara's temper for a short while, and Nightfall was keeping an eye on her.

Humming to herself, she dressed quickly, to meet Mashiara and advise Sammael about his new status as a 'pet'. He wouldn't like it, stubborn man he was, but would have to learn to like it.

~Blackthorne
Great Mistress of the Dark

"Hey Mashiara, did you know that warders like to do it in Bondage?"
"Have fun, you two!"


TrueDescender was sweating when he left the Dark Palace. The party had been very fun... and he had later found out that a lot of bondinng had been done. Now also Mashiara had a two-hand-adam to Sammael's neck. TD shivered. It was all bonds, mostly with someone in absolute control, with or without help from ter'angreal. TD himself would never like to have anyone decide over him. "Poor souls", he said to himself and grinned.

Or, what about that Carenna. She seemed nice, and even quite friendly. But TD knew that a ta'veren swirl was here, making all those people bond, and he was very cautious. He would never take such a big step, without assurance.

Jani al'Koski had seemed to know some weaves after all. And he had had some control over what he did. Jani and TD had trained in channeling saidin, for some hours. And, to TD's surprise and joy, TD had made a small ball of fire appear.

Now, TD sat down on a stone beside the road he was walking. He hadn't seen a soul for a very long time. His feet ached, but he didn't know of any other way to travel. He sat down, and tried to reach saidin. Jani had guided him every time, at the Dark Palace, but he was not here now, so TD had to do it by himself.

Reaching out for saidin, and suddenly it came crushing upon him. Struggling to live, he felt fire and ice in him. Exactly like the time when he had made that Spinning Earth-Fire. TD weaved the threads, and made five balls of fire. They were small, but perfect for juggling. He threw them up in the air, one by one, and then kept them in the air. TD knew how to do more things at the same time. It was a struggle for life, and not to let the balls fall. He knew this was a secret area. Well, he didn't do anything else than juggle the balls, but if that Intrigleeman found out, anything could happen...

TD's senses were increased, he could see far away on the road, how dust raised from the ground, but that didn't matter him. The One Power made him even feel every little part of the stone he was sitting at, but his concentration on the balls of fire, made him unaware of the strange footprints in the stone...

~TrueDescender



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