Grimm opened a portal near Illian and we went through. I have never liked the swamps of Illian nor it’s climate. The damp heat made breathing difficult. While we were travelling to the city various cover stories were discussed. In the end it was agreed upon that Damor was coming to Illian to discuss trade agreements with Shienar. Karin was to be his bodyguard, Nealyn Sedai his secretary and the rest of us were servants. I bet Damor just loved to see his little brother as his servant. I didn’t mind my own role but Nealyn Sedai should not have been pretending to be a mere secretary. A woman of her stature should at least have been a minor noble. These people have no respect for Aes Sedai. I must find a way to remind them of their places.

We stayed at a fancy inn. While Rowan scouted the swamps outside of the city, Grimm and Niasha searched for darkfriends and Damor and Karin made visits to several merchants and nobles Nealyn Sedai and I remained at the inn to accept the various invitations Damor received. This lasted for four days. By the third day I was feeling pretty useless. Grimm and Niasha had discovered a meetingplace of several darkfriends and Damor and Karin had found out about a raid that had taken place in a village not far from the city. I suggested that I could go and scout the village but Nealyn Sedai wouldn’t allow it. She wanted to wait for Rowan to return. I know my abilities aren’t like that of the legendary aiel or anything but I think I could have handled scouting a little village in a swamp. I have sneaked past an entire encampment of whitecloaks in the past, I got by seven trollocs and tricked them in to falling in to a trap. I even outsmarted a powerful female channeler and stole an ancient artifact from her. Like I said by the end of the third day I was getting little cabin fever.

The fourth day arrived and Rowan still hadn’t returned. Nealyn Sedai was getting worried and wanted to try and find him with the One Power. I accompanied her to the edge of the city so she could do her thing. That is when I noticed Karin walking through the crowd, alone and miles from where she should be. I informed Nealyn Sedai of what I saw and we went to look for Karin. We didn’t find her but we did something else. Nealyn Sedai noticed someone had been channeling nearby and we found out a local wise-woman could actually use the One Power. Nealyn Sedai revealed to her that she was an Aes Sedai. I told her that was a mistake, that she was blowing our cover but she just gave me one of those looks that could turn a Blight veteran to stone. The woman informed us that several people were turning up dead all over the city. Their bodies seemed untouched, as if they had simply stopped living. Nealyn Sedai said we would look in to it and gave her a way of contacting us. When we returned to the inn I asked Karin what she had been doing in that part of the city but she claimed not to have been there. Grimm confirmed her story and said he too had heared of a woman that looked like Karin. I spent the rest of the day trying to find this look-alike but to no avail.

The next day Rowan returned and told us all he had seen. The most important thing was a group of soldiers in strange armors accompanied by an ogier. They were investigating a strange stone in the swamps. He had stolen several items belonging to them. One being a notebook in code and the other a necklace of a raven and a tower. Nealyn Sedai recognized the stone as being a portal stone and Karin recognized the necklace. It is the same as the necklace she is wearing, someday she is going to have to tell me how she got it and what it means. She explained the soldiers were Seanchan and the necklace belonged to something called a Seeker. Some form of secret police. Now that Rowan had returned we headed out to the raided village. When we arrived I could tell by the tracks the Seanchan were responsible. We traveled to their camp and attacked them. The fight wasn’t easy but we were victorious. The Seeker escaped but we managed to take several prisoners. The Seanchan soldiers seemed to be willing to take orders from Karin so Karin and Grimm returned them to Cairhien. Nealyn Sedai studied the stone while we were waiting for them to return and afterwards we returned to Illian.

Back in Illian Damor continued visiting nobles and merchants. Our sister Selisse also lived in the city. Damor had given her hand to a wealthy merchant years ago. I hadn’t seen her since she left our home in Shienar. Nealyn Sedai had talked about visiting her the weeks before so I suspected she talked to the Lord Dragon and urged him to give us and assignment in Illian. When I asked her however she said it was just a coincidence. Seeing as how she cannot lie I believe her. The wheel turns and the pattern forms regardless of what we want. Now that we were in Illian I had hoped to at least get the chance to visit Selisse. Damor and Karin went to see her but when I suggested to join them Damor said I better not. If I accompanied them so would Nealyn Sedai and our cover would be blown if she guessed Nealyn Sedai was my bonded Sister. Damor also received the invitation he had been hoping for. An invitation to a party hosted by Lord Brend. Lord Brend was the most important member of the council of nine that controlled Illian.

During the day Nealyn Sedai and I received word that another person had died mysteriously. The victim had been found in the park. I searched for tracks and could determine that the person had been alone before he died. Niasha told me she had the ability to see the past of anything she touched and she used it to see what happened. From what she described Nealyn Sedai and I determined this was the work of a Draghkar. Draghkar are a breed of shadowspawn that are very dangerous when you are alone but can be taken care of easily with a group of people. They are very careful however so we would have to lay out a trap.

That evening Damor had to go to his party. Because he needed to look respectable he asked Nealyn Sedai to accompany him as his date, and she agreed. A little too eagerly for my taste. According to Damor Karin could not take the role because she was his bodyguard. Damor has always been good at getting what he wants. Nealyn Sedai told me I could not go with her. I still do not understand why. Grimm however was allowed to go with them. I guess that for some reason she just didn’t want me around. She looked stunning in the fancy dress she wore for the party. Usually she doesn’t dress up like that but Damor has always been good at getting women to do as he wishes. I could clearly see him ogling her. He couldn’t keep his eyes off her busom. No respect for Aes sedai whatsoever. But then again she didn’t say anything so maybe she liked it. According to me Damor should have taken Karin as his date and I should have accompanied Nealyn Sedai. Damor may be the heir to the throne of Shienar and the Lord of our house but I am still a member of a noble house as well. Everybody always seems to forget that. These parties are always full of intrigue and danger and although I trust Damor and Karin I am the only one who can guarantee Nealyn Sedai’s safety.

While Damor was at his party Niasha, Rowen and I went to hunt for the Draghkar. I dressed up as bait and lured the beast to me. It’s song was alluring bur I managed to keep my head together. What we hadn’t accounted for was that there could be more than one Draghkar. There were three. We killed two but the third one got away. We followed it while it fled and it led us to the palace where the party was at. I could not let Nealyn Sedai remain inside with a Draghkar so we went inside. We used the backdoor to gain access and I went to inform Nealyn Sedai. I got a good look at the people at the party and Damor should have been pleased. The woman at his arm was by far the most beautiful among them. I informed them of the developments and they told me Lord Brend was a male channeler. We decided to leave so I returned to the two aiel. Apparently Rowen had found the Draghkar’s lair. Niasha left with Grimm and Nealyn and I went ti search for Rowen. I met him soon thereafter and he told me twelve Draghkar were holding up in their lair. He wanted to attack them and had come up with a plan to become immune to their song. He used wax from candles to close up his ears. So he could not hear them. I didn’t know what to do. Nealyn was heading outside and was safe but attacking the lair was certain death. I closed up my ears as well and followed Rowen but did not attack the lair until it became clear he would need someone to watch his back in there. When we attacked only 6 Draghkar remained inside the lair. We killed them off but Lord Brend approached and we were boxed inn. I was considering jumping out of the window when Nealyn Sedai appeared and urged us to follow her. She had used the One Power to trap Lord Brend for a few minutes and we managed to get out of the palace. This is the second time she does something foolish and the first time on my behalf. I guess this time I can forgive her because I did something foolish first. The look on her face made it clear she knew it too and that I had not heared the last of it but much of the effect was lost because of how she looked in that dress. Outside the remaining Draghkar attacked us but Nealyn Sedai and Grimm took care of them. We wanted to leave the city but first retrieved Selisse and her husband and the wilder from the little shop. Illian was no longer a safe place for them. Grimm brought us back to Cairhien and we reported to the Dragon Reborn. I am glad nothing serious happened to any of us because if it had I swear I would have hit the lord Dragon in his face. Apparently he knew a forsaken could be in Illian and although he said he had informed us I think I would remember that. If he ever risks Nealyn Sedai’s life like that again I will…probably get killed by a dozen spears before I get a few feet in his direction.

The Lord Dragon in his omnipotent wisdom decided to immediately invade Illian. We attacked and Damor lost over half of his troops when lightning hit us as we gated in to the city. We went to the palace and fought several strong trollocs, a myrdraal and a female channeler. The fight was difficult. I stayed by Nealyn Sedai’s side and protected her but one giant trolloc was about to kill Damor and Karin so I had to intervene. The beast only hit me twice but it cut deep. We won the fight but the channeler got away. Maybe my wounds will make sure Nealyn Sedai goes easy on me when we return to Illian. Even during and after the fight I could feel how angry she was at me for following Rowen in to the Draghkar lair. Maybe I should talk to Damor on how to handle her, he seems to be able to talk to women, even Aes Sedai.


Wheel of Time Smiling_ST