Unlikely Allies, Again [Attn: Matty]

The everyday life of the inhabitants of the Grey Tower. This board is for general daily roleplay around the Tower, in the corridors, rooms and halls that make up most of the building.
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Bella
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Unlikely Allies, Again [Attn: Matty]

Post by Bella » October 12th, 2022, 10:00 pm

The matter at Ives Manor in Arafel had been taken care of. Any of the Black Ajah channelers that had been present had been slain, Hiron had been arrested and brought back to the Grey Tower, and his victims had been rescued, treated, and sent home.

Miahala was not content to let it stay there, though, because she knew that there'd be rot further down the branches. She felt that she owed it to her son, and to the memory of Caden Ives, to seek it out. That there were potential Black Ajah connections of course made it even more her area, but she was going to lie to herself. This was personal, familial, duty. This was Miahala, not the captain-general. As such, she was in the library without having called in any official requests of the Green to the Brown Ajah.

No, she'd called in something of a personal favor...although she of course didn't put it that way. She didn't live her life by debts. She simply made a request of the only Brown she knew on a personal level since...maybe forever. She didn't mix with Browns often. It was nothing against the Ajah, of course. They did good, important work. It was just that someone who set stuff on fire for a living, so to speak, didn't have a lot in common with most people who made paper and parchment their life. Funny, that.

Anyways. That's why she was in the library now, hoping that her request for his assistance would be agreed to. If not, well, she'd figure her own way through this dead forest.

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Matty
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Re: Unlikely Allies, Again [Attn: Matty]

Post by Matty » October 13th, 2022, 8:58 am

Murdock Mather Life was looking pretty good for Murdock. With his daughters safely found and currently resting in the Grey Tower, he had almost everything he wanted. He hadn't seen Giselle for some time, and he wasn't sure if he ever would again. For now he was content with his lot and, best of all, his children were happy to stay close. They were all channellers as well, what were the chances? Oh, some sort of biologist might say it was having two channellers for parents, but Giselle had never learned. Still, Murdock felt the best place for them to learn was the Grey Tower, given that the White was a glorified rubble and he was close by. They were women grown, yes, but older Novices were not unheard of. Until they donned the garb of the trainees Murdock gladly spent as much time with them as they could.

One of the things he was keen to impress upon them was the importance of a good education. Aes Sedai were learned people and he did not raise his daughters to be dumb. There was a fair amount of that Far Madding strength in the four of them and were he still a mere husband and father he would happily have bowed to their whims, but he was the motherfrogging Keeper of the Archives and frankly, he was too long in the tooth to handle the matriarchy of their upbringing. They were told under no uncertain terms that they would spend time with him learning, and once they fell into line it was all rather pleasant.

So that day in the Library, four women who looked just like younger lady Murdocks were sat around a table studying and, Murdock was pleased to note they seemed to be enjoying it. Why, perhaps Phoebe would become a Brown, she had the smarts it seemed. That was a long way down the line, for now they would study and Murdock would take them for a nice meal in Hama Valon later.

Murdock's own research was the Brown Ajah-friendly research into the body that he spent a lot of time on. In another life he would have been a fine Yellow - he very nearly was - and his interest in taking the human body apart might be extra-curricular, but keeping it together was valuable research also. If you knew how things worked, you knew the best way to break them down.

So the Yellows got their research on being better Yellows, he had a better understanding of how to Rend, and all was right in the world.

With his leg propped up on a stool and his notebook to hand, Murdock scrawled away in his neat, mostly even hand, ink spread along the side of his left hand and a smudge on his nose where he'd scratched it. He didn't care, he was in his element.

On the flip side, Miahala was not. She was more suited to burning a Library than reading in it, and as the Brown/Black looked up from his reading and saw her striding his way with purpose, he smiled. It was a genuine smile that met his eyes and made him look much more personable than his usual resting frowny face. He set his things aside so he could stand, gripping his cane and getting upright for the Green.

"Miahala," he said with a bow of his head, gesturing for his daughters to do the same. Thankfully they had manners and were already at it, four ladies giving curtsies of passable quality. They knew who she was and her involvement in their rescue; Murdock had never professed to being a fighter and indeed the exertion had quite taken it out of him. "A pleasure to see you. Is this a social call, or do you need something from the Library? The Accepted at the desk are quite knowledgeable but I can give you a more personal tour if needed." Including the various archives, though he didn't say that part out loud. It wasn't as if Accepted knew the more delicate records and what they contained, for their own protection as much as the Tower's.
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------ Murdock -------------- Nathaniel --------------- Maever -------

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Bella
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Re: Unlikely Allies, Again [Attn: Matty]

Post by Bella » October 19th, 2022, 11:59 pm

Miahala returned the smile and its inherent sincerity. While she still had a great many reservations about the Brown, apparently her distant kin, she had been pleased to help him find his daughters and it warmed her to even see them in the Grey Tower. Three of her five grown children had trained into adulthood in the Tower, but only one could channel. So far. (Iain was still young.)

"It is a pleasure to see you all again," she said, nodding to each one. "I hope that you are finding your place here well enough. I'd be glad to offer any assistance I can, from the female channeling side."

Turning back to Murdock, her expression didn't exactly darken but some of the levity was allowed to pass. "I was hoping you might be able to assist me. My times in the library had not tended toward the sort of research I find myself faced with now for a..." She contemplated her phrasing for half-a-heartbeat. "...a family matter. I have to research some lineage belonging to the noblemen of Arafel. Do you think you might be able to assist me? Or at least point me in the direction I need?"

She was hardly an uneducated woman and she had spent some time in the library, doing things other than burning them, but it had been for battle tactics and history, generally. Not lineage and family trees of people who grew up with far more money than she had in her youth.

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Matty
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Re: Unlikely Allies, Again [Attn: Matty]

Post by Matty » October 24th, 2022, 11:37 am

Murdock's daughters did the whole "yes Aes Sedai, thank you Aes Sedai" bobbing of the head and curtsy thing that was expected of a Novice rather than a Tower visitor, but he had impressed upon them the importance of basically agreeing to whatever an Aes Sedai said so he was glad they had taken note. There was a bit of a shrewd look to Phoebe when Murdock glanced their way, one she nearly managed to smooth over in time. She was going to be a thorn in the side of some channellers in the near future, that he could tell, but that was a problem for the women to handle.

Most other people would have been shooed away but Murdock did know a good place to start looking for what Miahala needed, and this was his area so it made sense to defer to his judgement here. "Ah, I know the best place to start," he said, closing his notebook and slipping it into the pocket of his black coat. He made a great show of bringing his leg down and pulling himself to standing with his cane, but stand he did, and he gave his children a warm but firm look. "I will send for one of the Accepted to keep an eye on you so please don't go wandering," he said. Then he looked to the Green and gestured deeper into the Library. "This way if you please," he said.

As ever he walked insufferably slowly, but knowing it made other people impatient was exactly what made it more bearable for him, so Murdock was happy to limp his way between the looming bookshelves. Trainees bobbed their heads and moved into distant shelves lest they were called upon for some menial task or other but really Murdock had little need for rabble. it did make it easier to discuss matters in a lower voice. "We have the publically available records, checked and signed by the Arafellins themselves, but I suspect those may not be of use to you. We have some more, ah, confidential records available."

Murdock smacked his cane into the side of a door, which opened. It wasn't because of the cane, it was actually Saidin doing the hard work for him, but it looked a little more impressive. Inside was a short corridor, and then a rather homely looking room with bookshelves dominating the walls. However, some roomy desks and chairs were available for use. The place was intended for small group work at the very most. It was well lit and there was a pleasant fire going in the hearth, safely separate from the flammable materials. A small tray with some warded biscuits and juice was also available. "Now, the Borderlands can be found along here," Murdock said, speaking at his normal if slightly dull volume now they were in private. "As well as the usual lists of family trees in the bigger Houses, we have criminal records, removals of refugees and immigrants, death lists, and records of people that particularly well off folk wanted the books to simply... forget." Murdock gave a toothy grin at that, he couldn't help it. "Is there anything - or anyone - in particular you have in mind? Two heads are better than one when it comes to research and I may be able to narrow it down further for you."
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------ Murdock -------------- Nathaniel --------------- Maever -------

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Re: Unlikely Allies, Again [Attn: Matty]

Post by Bella » October 26th, 2022, 7:46 pm

Miahala was not--this time around, at least--put off by the pace, the limp, or the fact that she was pretty sure it was something of an affectation to try to effect others. Really, when not directed toward her, she could appreciate a good tool as that and even though she was the one there at the moment, it didn't bother her. She was here as the petitioner, after all.

"We have the publically available records, checked and signed by the Arafellins themselves, but I suspect those may not be of use to you. We have some more, ah, confidential records available."

"Yes," she said lightly, "I believe those will indeed be of use to me." Her tone and expression, both very bland, hid all the things she was feeling about this topic. She was still utterly galled at the idea that someone had attacked her son and his Aes Sedai so very blatantly, but there was a personal affront from the grave-robbing.

The Grey Tower was always full of surprises, she reflected as he tapped the side of a door and it opened. It wasn't that it was particularly hidden, but she hadn't known it was here. It was rather unremarkable, as décor around here went. She hadn't been back here before, and she took it in as they walked to the room.

"Is there anything - or anyone - in particular you have in mind?"

Mia turned to him and smiled. It was a faint expression, all told, but a bit grim. Others might find it frightening, but obviously, Murdock certainly would not. "As a matter of fact, yes." Now that they were out of the public areas, she felt she could speak a little more freely ~ within reason. "The House of Ives."

Her blue-green eyes turned back to the shelves, taking a survey of everything there for a moment. "My son was the inheritor of the title from his late father, Caden Ives, but he chose to not carry it and signed it over to the next member of the family, who then became Lord Hiron Ives. You may have heard about the recent arrest of this man, brought back to the Grey Tower and now in our dungeons.

"The man had the audacity to align himself with dark elements and lure my son to the manor in an attempt to kill him. In addition, I'm particularly offended by the fact they robbed my husband's grave to steal his sword in order to do it with." Her voice was unusually flat for the words she was speaking, but that shouldn't fool anyone. "Fortunately, my son survived and now owns his father's blade or else the entire Arafellin countryside would be in flames by now.

"All that being said, I want to know everything I can about Hiron, his immediate and distant family and those who populate the Ives line. Some housecleaning may be in order." She now looked at Murdock again. "I assume these books should have some of that knowledge, yes?"

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Re: Unlikely Allies, Again [Attn: Matty]

Post by Matty » November 12th, 2022, 9:28 pm

"Back in my day, people who wanted to kill you simply turned up and made the attempt," Murdock grumped mostly to himself. "None of this luring and tricking business." He was otherwise quiet as he listened, though the organised part of his brain - the part that made being the Keeper of the Archives a rather easy task - was already thinking about the best information to find and from where in this cosy little space. This was no Rending, no, but he liked to know things, and he liked to share that he knew things. Besides which, Miahala was technically family and she'd helped with his daughters. He had a lot more time for her than he once did.

It didn't occur to Murdock that his own various kills, for the Shadow and for personal reasons, were of a luring nature as well. He was not a front line fighter, but at least he let his victims know what he was doing. Murdock was a sharer.

The lanky man moved over to the appropriate shelf where, with a bit of umming and aahing, he plucked out a couple of books. Then the Brown hobbled on over to another shelf, where he found three more that might be suitable. "IS to IV," he said about the first. "The book of marriages and misdemeanors. I suppose it's easier to keep the two together - that's this book. Then we have as comprehensive a list of assets as is available, so property and valuable weapons (if applicable in this scenario) can be found in this title. Elsewhere this cheeky book is a list of recorded deaths. Last of all, a roster of all known visits made by the Grey Tower to Arafel."

Murdock figured that there were many other books to choose from but these were as good as any to start with. He took up the first book, IS to IV, and quickly thumbed through it with his cane resting against the shelves nearby. "This will list any other useful family trees we can look at as well," he said as he worked, his dark eyes not looking up. He was all business at this point, because they had a job to do. "This will be up to date as of- ah." The Keeper held the book by the front and back covers and squinted up at the title. "IVANS. IVAZ. Next page. IVINESS." He clicked his tongue, slammed the book down on the desk and pointed. Between the one page and the next, a very neat, very subtle tear indicated a page had been removed. "Someone has already been here," he said with a frown. "Whatever was on the Ives family tree, they did not want anyone else to find it. A name, a connection, something of the sort. How vexing. Someone must have seen or heard of Hiron's arrival and taken action. They were most likely a Brown, most people outside the Ajah do not come here."

Now Murdock might be a serial killer with literally dozens murdered to his name, but he was not a book desecrator. There were some truly sick people in the Black Ajah.
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------ Murdock -------------- Nathaniel --------------- Maever -------

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Re: Unlikely Allies, Again [Attn: Matty]

Post by Bella » November 15th, 2022, 11:38 pm

"I should've just killed him," Miahala murmured to herself. Whether it was audible to Murdock or not, who knew. Who cared. Mia didn't.

She looked down at the torn page and pursed her lips slightly. For a woman who had said she'd burn down an entire country with an entirely straight face, this was a bit of a...thing for her to show. It was a hint at the murderous maelstrom that was roiling inside the mostly-sane Captain General of the Green Ajah.

(Truly, why did they let her out on her own again?)

"Vexing indeed," she agreed. "Hiron has not long been in our dungeons, and it was with some effort we tried to keep his entry quiet. There are few true secrets in the Tower like that, but the number of those who could have heard about this are still few. I'll look into those once I leave here. For now, I'd like to see if they were as thorough with the other books."

She turned her attention to the second book he pulled down. "This is the catalog of property, yes?" She reached for it, but hesitated for a moment and almost asked if the book would burn her or something for being a non-Brown touching it, but she caught herself in her own silliness and pulled it nearer on the table. She located the index and found the page to trace the Ives line.

Finding the page, she turned to it and opened that page. "They didn't reach this one, it seems," she said, scanning her way down the intact page but then frowning. "However..." She hesitated, re-reading the list again. "This information is not accurate."

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Matty
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Re: Unlikely Allies, Again [Attn: Matty]

Post by Matty » November 20th, 2022, 9:29 pm

Murdock watched as Miahala moved on to the next book. His dark eyes were bright, a little bit - just a tiny bit - of adrenaline pumping in his veins. If he had the inclination, he could have worked out who was responsible for this desecration. He could lean on the right people, ask the proper questions, and get to the bottom of it. But he didn't, because that was a little too much effort and would bring some suspicion to himself from the Green. Murdock had no doubts in his mind that were she to know even a fraction of what he had done, she would set him on fire. He also knew he would not be able to offer much in the way of resistance, unless he caught her off guard with one of his stretchy shields first. Oh, he did so like to annoy people with those!

"If the information is not accurate," Murdock mused, "then it could simply be outdated?" He didn't know the history so couldn't comment on that aspect. "On the other hand, the inscriber could have misrepresented for some reason and whomever took out the Ives information didn't see fit to correct this title." Murdock clicked his tongue, then smiled a little.

"There's a weave known only to the Brown Ajah," he said matter of factly, "that may come in useful here." He seized Saidin and drew on Spirit and Earth, the threads swirling around his hand as he fought for constant control over the fire and ice in his veins. He looked matter of fact as he put his hand to the shelf where he had taken out a couple of books for Miahala, humming softly to himself all the while. Nothing he was doing was visible to Mia, but his own improved vision was able to pick out the fingerprints against the dust of the library tomes. Not that books were supposed to be dusty, they had plenty of Accepted and Dedicated for keeping that at bay, but it was useful for crime scenes to see those imperceptible prints. This way he could see if anything had been picked up recently, and it could well have been the same person responsible for ruining the Ives page.

After some quiet examination Murdock brought another family tree book over to Mia, this one clearly labelled "Sh". He gave the green a bemused look and raised his eyebrows, "this is from the Saldaean section. I'm not a gambling man but I would be very surprised if your own records were not interfered with in some way." He set the book down, and didn't think to explain his weave until he had released Saidin and blinked owlishly at the cover as he opened it up. "Oh, we use that weave to detect activity in dirty or dusty areas. Very good to see if, say, a crime scene has been impacted recently or interfered with after the fact. It won't win the Last Battle but it has its uses; let's keep that secret between us, I don't think the Browns would appreciate my telling you."
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------ Murdock -------------- Nathaniel --------------- Maever -------

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Re: Unlikely Allies, Again [Attn: Matty]

Post by Bella » November 27th, 2022, 11:10 pm

"My lips are sealed," she said flatly, although it was naturally a statement in full earnestness. Two hundred years of secret-keeping had made her, well, pretty gosh-darn-good at it. Her mind was certainly not focused on exposing any secrets of the Brown Ajah anyway, more concerned that his hunch might just prove out to be correct...and she disliked that thought immensely. Not because it came from him, but because her family was sacred to her.

With the book open on the table, he flipped through the pages while she watched. She was tense, although it all sat in the smallest of places in her muscles and spirit. Kept controlled and hidden from view, even as she felt its effect.

They reached where her family should be, alongside other family names bearing Shah in their first four letters and then...

Another torn page.

Miahala's back teeth clenched so hard, she worried she might crack one. Her brows knit slightly while her mind raced. "But why," she said. "I have no connection to the House of Ives now. It's all to my son. The Sha'hal family tree does not otherwise come anywhere near Ives. Barely even into Arafel." In truth, it seemed like the entire family tree of Dorant and Miashala was either in Saldaea or the Grey Tower. That was it.

Her eyes returned to the bookshelf. "Did that weave suggest there were any books affected recently, ones that might contain other information pertaining to my family or that of the Ives line?"

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Matty
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Re: Unlikely Allies, Again [Attn: Matty]

Post by Matty » December 3rd, 2022, 10:31 am

Unfortunately there were no other books accessed recently that Murdock was aware of, so he shook his head. "No," he replied honestly, "not that I can detect." He looked down at the absent page (or at least, where there ought to be some family tree or other) with muted interest. "Perhaps there is something, or someone else we aren't aware of that they want to keep you in the dark about," he suggested mildly. "Your reputation precedes you and it could be that they didn't want you following... whatever trail it is these pages would have led us down."

But there was a remote solution, one that Murdock was not sure would lead anywhere. He could give it a look into though and with Miahala it wouldn't be as dangerous. If anyone wanted to set him on fire he'd make a gesture and she could do all the hard work. Murdock picked up the "Sh" book and flicked to the back, read the numbers along the bottom of the back page, and nodded his head. "This book was updated very recently. Just 3 years ago. There's a branch of the Brown Ajah who think it important to document everything possible, as if we need to know the state of affairs for this book since the dawn of this Age. A bit of a waste of space if you ask me, but here it may well work in our favour. It's quite the long shot as I am not familiar with the location aside from how to get there, but there are archives. Grand archives, guarded by a ter'angreal and accessible only to the Brown Ajah. We may be able to find there, the older version of this book and this one also." He tapped the other tampered-with title. "It's cold there, and dark, but I couldn't tell you where exactly in the world it is. Also, the reception to our arrival could be poor." Murdock hummed, "this will be a true test to whether or not our little tamperer is indeed in the Brown Ajah. It's another secret of ours."

He was not an adventuring man, and he could have made some enquiries of his own to ascertain the culprit here, but Murdock figured it was the least he could do. Besides, this archive was rather pointless to him and if Mia burned it all down, well, worse things happened in the Waste. "What say you? Another merry jaunt into the wide world?"
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------ Murdock -------------- Nathaniel --------------- Maever -------

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