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On Matters of Succession
#5
Vivienne couldn’t help but notice the front that Letto was putting on in front of Merdyn Gilyard. Oh, the dislike her Warder had felt for the man was palpable over the Bond, but she didn’t feel as suspicious as she looked. Indeed, she seemed more curious than anything. Or was that Vivienne’s own feelings? It could be hard, at times, to keep their separate emotions in check when they both felt something similar. Vivienne felt all of these things and more, but Letto’s mind only seemed to amplify certain emotions.

                She wasn’t trying to remain quiet during this meeting, it was all Letto’s fault. Vivienne was dividing her attention between the meeting and the feelings… But it seemed that the confusion over her emotions served to steer the conversation into something more beneficial for herself. She was no Ta'veren, but at this moment she had felt like one. Merdyn Gilyard had seemed to divulge his entire soul to her without so much as a few choice words on her part.

                Would it always be like this when she played at politics? Oh, if only the other Blues knew about this. Surely the Warder Bond, with a male, wouldn’t function the same way? The way the Greens went on about it seemed to suggest so, at least. Perhaps she should have tried her hand at the Game of Houses a long while ago… But could she really take credit for any of this? She wasn’t built for subterfuge. This was just lucky happenstance. Still. It was all working out in her favor and an Aes Sedai used any tool she could wield with finesse. How else could she exploit this quirk in the Bond for her favor?

                Letto seemed to be sensing those thoughts, or at least an impression of them, for she had begun to send a strong wave of annoyance towards Vivienne. The woman didn’t like to be used. She was here to protect Vivienne; nothing more.

                Vivienne set her wine down on the table before her with careful grace. She settled back into the chaise lounge, considering the ex-Asha’man for a moment. He smiled at her, clearly trying to pour on the charm. She was no Green. She would not be wooed by a pretty face, especially knowing that the man preferred the company of other men… That was a worry of the Daughter-Heir. She did not detest any man that pursued such affections, but if she were to install this man as the High Seat of Gilyard, he would have to produce his own heir. True, he could name a cousin as such, or his holdings could just as easily go back to the Crown upon this man’s death; but the Daughter-Heir was looking for allies amongst the houses. If he did not produce his own heir, she ran the risk of losing the support of House Gilyard, no matter who Merdyn might name. Why go through the trouble of securing this House’s allegiance if, one day, this house might cease to be? The Daughter-Heir might as well take the Holdings now if that seemed to be the case.

                Finally, Vivienne spoke.

                “It was simply a question, Gilyard. Do not take offense where none was meant. Surely, you had to know I would be asking after such things?”

                “Can you blame me for taking it so?”

                “No, but I had heard you were masterful at the Game of Houses. I have yet to see where that reputation came from.”

                Merdyn spluttered.

                “Again… If you’re going to react in such a fashion, then I’m beginning to agree with my other Sisters. You Asha’men could stand for some tutelage in the White Tower.”

                “We have done just fine on our own, Vivienne Sedai.”

                “Indeed.”

                “Look, are you here to berate me? Or are we here to discuss the problems surrounding my house?”

                “Ah. Yes. I am glad you brought that up.”

                Vivienne grabbed at her wine, the boy in the room rushed over from his place behind Gilyard to refresh her cup. He almost tripped over his own two feet… Really, as endearing as it was, the Daughter-Heir should not have set so many fresh faces to tending the Lords in the Palace. How long had this boy been in the employ of the Daughter-Heir? She nodded to him in thanks and sipped again at the cup.

                “How do you plan on securing an heir to your seat?”

                Surprise flashed across the Bond and also across Merdyn Gilyard’s face.

                “It is a valid question. I am aware of your past and your present. You have never been known to lie with a woman. Unless you Asha’men have discovered how to… work around that problem… Well, I am certainly curious to hear your thoughts on the matter either way.”

                Merdyn recovered quickly before standing abruptly. Letto’s hand was on her sword immediately. Vivienne held a hand up to her Warder, eyes never leaving Merdyn.

                He smirked again before his form started to ripple. Vivienne gasped softly to herself as his form changed to that of a red-headed woman in a blue dress. It was like looking into a mirror. Merdyn had taken on the form of herself. Oh, there were some details here and there that were off… The hair a bit too long, the nose a touch too wide, and the bosom a bit too buxom; but there it was.

                Vivienne rose from her seat and walked around Merdyn, inspecting the Illusion. She poked and prodded at him. The Mask of Mirrors rippled when she did so. He didn’t have as much finesse as he thought he did. Still. It was impressive.

                “What does this have to do with anything, Gilyard?”

                When he spoke, it was with her own voice.

                “It isn’t obvious?”

                Vivienne didn’t respond.

                The Mask rippled once more, shifting back to Merdyn’s form. Suddenly, she felt a sense of panic over the bond and heard her Warder gasp. Vivienne’s eyes shot over to Letto. The woman no longer stood there. In her place was a copy of the boy-servant who was attending Merdyn.

                “Of course…” Vivienne muttered, “Kindly remove your weave from my Warder.”

                “Of course,” Merdyn repeated in a mock tone.

                The Weave vanished.

                “So, you’re going to wed a female and use the Mask of Mirrors to… Aid you… When you must perform your duties?”

                Merdyn only smirked at her.

                “Clever. I wish you luck in finding a woman who will put up with such a thing.”

                “So that means you will help me?”

                “Far from it. Walk with me, Gilyard.”

                Vivienne spun on her heal and marched out of the room, not waiting to see if the man followed.

"The power Voodoo. Hoodoo? You do! Do what!?"
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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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