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On Matters of Succession
#4
Merdyn sipped thoughtfully at his wine, taking a moment to gaze in at his cup as he found the right response; one of a few Aes Sedai mannerisms he had picked up during his life. The way the Sisters handled social interactions would give any noble pause, it had served him well during his last few months in residence at the Black Tower.

                Father had never put much stock into the Aes Sedai, although Merdyn would bet his left stone that Father would have pushed him into the White Tower had he been born female. Anything to gain power and influence. Were he a more progressive sort, he might even have liked to see how high Merdyn had climbed within the Black Tower… When it came to Channeling, Asha’men were more powerful than Aes Sedai; although a wise man would point out that strength wasn’t everything.

                It had been in Merdyn’s case.

 
                A broken bond, eyeless faces, a cacophony of discordant laughter, panicked Gateways.

 
                Merdyn shook himself.

                “My game, Vivienne Sedai?” Merdyn pursed his lips. This wasn’t the Daughter-Heir he was speaking to, nor another Noble. There was no need to play the Game of Houses with her, no matter how much the Blue Sisters enjoyed their word games. This woman was his equal, as far as he was concerned. He would speak plainly with her, and by the Light, he would get her to speak plainly with him as well. Perhaps if she saw that he put no walls up, that he was willing to be honest with her? Perhaps.

                “I was groomed to succeed my Father as High Seat, he had no other heirs despite plenty of attempts… Or so my ‘ears’ tell me. The man disowned me for unfounded reasons, I joined the Black Tower and proved adept at the role prescribed to me, I am now labeled a deserter for even more unfounded reasons, and so I return to my home, praying the Daughter-Heir will aid me in recovering some semblance of dignity and security. Is that what you wanted to hear, Vivienne Sedai?”

                The Blue Sister gave no sign of reaction, yet the female Warder visibly bristled at his words.

                Such a strange thing, a female Warder. The Daughter-Heir had her own Bonded female, but the Trakand woman was royalty… Not to mention the fact that Merdyn needed her. If she wanted an entire harem of Warders, who was he to judge… But this Aes Sedai taking a female? The White Tower was notorious for their obsessions with tradition and propriety, but then again the Dragon Reborn did walk the land once more. Strange tales were being told across the Nations every single day, what was one more oddity to toss on the pile?

                The female Warder regained her calm and glared daggers at Merdyn. What had he done to gain such a look? It’s not like he was holding the Power, not that she would have known. Besides, he was the closest thing a man could get to becoming Aes Sedai, this woman should have shown at least a sliver of respect when regarding him. At the bare minimum some decorum… Honestly.

                He didn’t like the woman, she made him unsettled. That piercing gaze and that distrustful aura that permeated the Warder… If the talks failed today it would be her fault, Merdyn had no doubt she would be chittering in the Blue’s ear.

                The Aes Sedai sipped at her own goblet before responding.

                “A fair answer, if not anything I didn’t know,” The Blue set the cup down, “My question stands, Gilyard. What is your game?”

                Guess I was wrong on that gamble, Merdyn thought to himself, She still finds me suspicious. Clever girl. He smirked openly, gazing directly into the Aes Sedai’s eyes. She didn’t so much as flinch, although the cup was back in her hands within moments.

                “The Daughter-Heir is not an ignorant woman, neither are you I suspect. Would you care to hear it from my own lips then? I want my birthright. I won’t waste words lying to you or dancing around the truth, Vivienne Sedai, I am a man of my word. To be restored to my proper place in Andoran society is my only wish.”

                The Warder sniffed.

                “So an opportunist?”

                “If you want to call me that, then go right on ahead, Vivienne Sedai. My House has always thrown their lot in with House Trakand. I am shocked my Father has not proclaimed his support of the late-Queen’s daughter… Instead taking House Marne’s side…” Merdyn spat to the side, earning another harsh look from the Warder. Vivienne Sedai's faced remained passive.

                “It is no secret that Arymilla is a ninny. She must have bribed my Father to gain his backing, perhaps promising to forgive his crimes against those he has killed. As a High Seat, it is his duty to protect his people, and he has done the opposite. The Daughter-Heir knows this, Vivienne Sedai. I respected her Mother. I see a lot of the late-Queen in her. A strong, just woman. Andor needs leadership like that, especially in the days where Tarmon Gai’don looms on the horizon.”

                Vivienne Sedai nodded at that, sipping at her wine again.

                Light! What would it take to get this woman to open her mouth? Merdyn had all but begun to babble at her in hopes of prying something out, convince her to put her guards down. But no. If anything, he had accomplished the opposite. Why would she have need to speak if he insisted on filling every gap of silence with his own voice?

                And that Warder just staring at him.

                Merdyn shook his head to himself.

                You’re the ninny, Merdyn Gilyard, he thought.

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Messages In This Thread
On Matters of Succession - by Aiden Finnegan - 12-19-2018, 06:32 AM
RE: On Matters of Succession - by Rowan Finnegan - 12-19-2018, 06:39 AM
RE: On Matters of Succession - by Siobhan West - 12-20-2018, 01:42 AM
RE: On Matters of Succession - by Aiden Finnegan - 01-05-2019, 10:39 PM
RE: On Matters of Succession - by Rowan Finnegan - 02-02-2019, 07:32 AM
RE: On Matters of Succession - by Siobhan West - 02-12-2019, 04:37 AM

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