to Illian

No more then a day has gone by since Raimund has left his sickbed and we talked about going to Illian to visit his sister, and now the dragon reborn has asked me to go to Illian. It’s a strange coincidence, and I suspect that Raimund thinks I set this up, but I haven’t, I was as surprised as he was about the news. The reason for us to go there is to scout the city as the dragon reborn seems to be planning an invasion. This is not exactly something I am good at and i told him as much, but the man is as stubborn as my warder when it comes to listeing to my advise. So left with little choice I asked Raimund to get his brother, Karin and Grimm. Damor is a skilled warrior and a good general and i’m sure his expertise in warfare will come in handy when scouting the city, just as much as the aiel will be useful in scouting the surrounding swamps.

Grimm opened a portal for us a few miles outside of the city and we rode the rest of the way. I suggested we use Damor’s fame as a cover, with Karin as his personal bodyguard, me as his secretary and the rest as his followers and servants. That way I can have everyone right where I want them, to do their part in this mission without seeming out of place. I’m sure Raimund thinks I should have used my stature as Aes Sedai for this, but I don’t think it would be wise to my presence be known. Not if one of the things we are hunting are darkfriends.

We took up residence in one of the more fancy taverns at the center of the city, near the palace. Once installed, I put the others to their task. Damor is to scout the city to see how easy or difficult it would be to stage a military attack here, find it’s strengths and weaknesses. I asked Grimm to search the city for any sign of darkfriends, and to be subtle about it, knowing him. Karin took it upon herself to do somethign similar, though i’d have prefered it if she had stayed with Damor. I sent Rowan to scout the outside of the city for similar possibilities of attack. This seems to have made Raimund angry, though he hasn’t mentioned it to me. I know he’s a good scout, maybe better then any of the aiel, but I’d rather have someone I can fully trust right at hand if something comes up, and right now he’s the only one I fully trust. I myself stayed at the tavern to receive the message and invitations coming in for Damor, to sort them by importance, and to see if I could pick up some news and rumors at the tavern itself.

A few days passed an Rowan had still not returned when Damor came back with some interesting news. He had been visiting his sister in the merchant district and had heard from some merchant that a bussines of his had been burnt to the ground a days ride outside of the city. Something not too likely to happen in these swamps, so I want to go investigate this, but for that I needed Rowan to return first. It will still take some days before we receive the invitation we want so a few days away from the city can’t hurt that much. I decided to go look for Rowan by walking along the edge of the city and searching for him with the one power, but apparently he went far out of range as I couldn’t find him. But i did find something else, or maybe I should say someone. I noticed that the one power had been used nearby so when i went to see who had done it. I turned out to be a wisdom owning a little shop, a former accepted from the white tower, too weak in her gift to become Aes Sedai. I told her who I was, much to the disapproval of Raimund, and she told us some very interesting information of things happening in the city. It seems Illian is suffering from a plague of rats, a sure sign of the influence of the dark one. Another interesting thing are a few unexplained deaths, men dying without reason, like their life just drained from them on the spot. This could be some sort of shadowspawn responsible so it warrants an investigation. I told the wisdom to not tell anyone about my presence in the city and I gave her the adress of an inn where she could leave me a message if needed. While returning to the inn Raimund thought he spotted Karin but she disappeared before he could reach her. When I informed him that Karin was at the other side of town he didn’t seem to want to believe me, but knowing I can’t lie he had no other choice but to accept my words. This of course means that there is someone in town who looks a lot like our blademaster, another thing we have to look into. When we got back to the tavern, Grimm told me he had heard rumors about men and women dressed in dark clothing having secret meetings in the city. Whether this is related is yet to be seen.

A next day Rowan came back with a detailed description of what the surrounding country is like and how difficult it is to take an army through it. He even drew a rather good map of the surroundings, with several interesting landmarks. But that was not the most important news he was bringing with him. While out there he found a portalstone, something he didn’t realise until he described it to me, and a group of strangers camping in the swamp, digging and searching around. What was odd about this group was that they had an ogier with them who was armed to the teeth. Now this is the second ogier i’ve seen who has picked up arms in a short time, must be a new trend among the strange creatures. Rowan also brought the ogier’s axe with him and a small black book written in some sort of code. I’ll have to take time later to see what this is about. After he had given a full description Karin suprised is by saying she knew who these men were and where they came from. Apparently they are seanchan and they are led by a truthseeker. One day she’ll have to explain to me in detail why she knows so much about these people, but for now i’ll just keep an eye on her.

We left the city to track down these Seanchan and to investigate the burnt down bussines of the merchant, and found the two are interwoven as we found tracks of the group at the ruins. Tracking them through the swamp wasn’t hard and we found them at the portalstone, which they had dug out partially. Needing to know what they’re doing there we attacked them, with the intent to capture some, if not all of the alive. The fight was short but the outcome left me with double feelings. The ogier got killed in the fight and the truthseeker escaped, but we captured most of the soldiers alive. I had Grimm take them to Cairhien where they can be interrogated and locked up. Meanwhile I started to investigate the stone and their camp, to see if I could gleen some more information about their reason for being there. It turns out that these stones are why they are here. They are looking for them and it troubles me to think that they would be able to use them. They could field armies anywhere in a very short time.

When we got back to Illian, I received a message from the wisdom that another strange death had occured in the city when we were away, and when ivnestigating it we found out it is indeed a shadowspawn that is responsible. Nothing less then a draghkar is in Illian. At the same time Damor got the invitation we were waiting for, an invitation to a party hosted by lord Brend himself. We decided to split the group in two to take care of both events at the same time. Raimund, Niasha and Rowan were to hunt down the draghkar and kill it, while Damor, Grimm, Karin and myself would go to the party. Raimund very much disliked not going with me and even more that I would be going as his brother’s date, but then again, he doesn’t seem to realise the necessity of subterfuge at times. Damor doesn’t interest me beyond that he his Raimund’s brother and a valuable ally, but nothing more. The dress I wore I wore because it was needed for the party, and because it gave me an excuse to let Raimund see me in it, he din’t much seem to appreciate it though.

The party itself wasn’t so very interesting, it’s a typical party by high nobles oblivious to the suffering of their subjects, decadent to a point. But it did give us a chance to talk to Lord Brend, and that alone made it worth it, as Grimm informed me that the high lord himself is a male channeler. Though this of course also means that lord Brend knows the same about out asha’man. But with all the people around nothing happened of course, not until Raimund suddenly appeared and told me that there wasn’t one draghkar, but three in the city. They had killed two in the streets and the remaining one had fled to the palace. With a draghkar in the palace, darkfriends in the city and a male channeler, probably a forsaken, it was time to take our leave and head back to Cairhien to inform the dragon reborn. But things of course didn’t go smoothly. One draghkar had to turned out to be three, and three turned out to be a good dozen of the foul creatures, and to make things worse, Rowan had taken it into his head to kill the nest right then and there. Of course my brave and stupid warder decided to join the fight. All of this happened when the rest of us was walking outside, where another of the draghkar was waiting. Grimm and me killed it easily and I ran back inside when I felt Raimund entering combat. I ran towards where he was and encountered lord Brend on the way there. Apparently he was going to the same fight as i was so I locked him in a ward to gain us some minutes to escape the palace. Rowan and Raimund had killed five of the darghkar in the nest, but while they had managed to do so without suffering too much injury, I will have to have some harsh words with my warder about this. When we came outside the remaining draghkar were waiting for us, ut the fight was a short one. Powerful as they may be, they are no match for Grimm and me. We gathered out things aswel as Selisse and the wisdom and travelled back to Cairhien to inform the dargon reborn of what we had found. The man of course decided that an immediate invasion was necessary, and most of the group wanted to join in the fight. While I’m not inclined to go back there, I couldn’t let Raimund go into battle without me there to watch his back so I went with them, and it was good that I did. We gated into the palace itself and quickly found ourselves in a fight with a few very large trollocs, a myrdraal and a female channeler who made the fight very annoying. In the end the trollocs and the myrdraal were slain but the female channeler managed to escape in the chaos. I’m sure it’s not the last we’ve seen of her.

to Illian

Wheel of Time Milura