He sleeps for many, many, many hours.
Nonspecific noun and complete lack of adjectives are probably by design. James hugs her then leads her to a nondescript tent where a norn is selling warm pelts with small sigils carved into a corner. "Hail, friend."
"Hail. A pelt for fashion or for the cold?"
"A pelt for warmth and an insignia for knowledge. One for me and one for two," he replies, gesturing towards Vetareh with his head.
She nods. "Then come, and learn."
Oh goodness, they have code phrases! She is so charmed. This is atrociously adorable. It is bad form to giggle at the spies doing the most ridiculously overblown spy speak she has ever heard, so she doesn't, but she cannot actually repress her smile. The Order of Whispers is, apparently, an order of dorks. That's it, that's what's going on here, that's why they're so secretive. They are a bunch of incorrigible dorks reciting spy phrases to each other and visiting each other at libraries nestled near hot springs and describing the whole thing with a lot of vagueness and nonspecific nouns. She should probably take this more seriously, and reminds herself that the Order of Whispers is a major force for good in the world, and they're probably all very competent and resourceful people and help, they're dorks, they're all dorks, and she loves them and wants to keep them and their adorable spy clubhouse and ridiculously overdramatic code phrases safe.
They are led further into the tent and behind its false back where there is a... stone wall.
That the norn then steps through.
And James follows.
This isn't even particularly weird, she's a mesmer. Through the stone wall!
This reveals a small cave with a wooden door behind it. It is unguarded, but Vetareh will notice it is enchanted and from the way of it it's something really nasty. When the norn touches the handle, her ring reacts to it and temporarily disables the ward, then she opens it for them.
James steps through and, once Vetareh's followed, the norn closes the door behind them. The narrow stone passage is unlit, but enchanted to be navigable anyway. After a little bit more walking and a few choice bifurcations, the passage opens up to a large cave that itself serves as the library. The magical visibility effect in the passage fades once they're out, and the library proper is illuminated by regular torches and lamps rather than anything more obviously magical. There are only a handful of people there, and some of them look up from whatever they're doing to see the newcomers but only one of them starts walking towards them.
"This isn't our main library or headquarters," James explains while he walks. "We just pretend it is so that people stop looking."
Vetareh weathers all of this with perfect grace and dignity, and even thinks some of these precautions aren't laying it on a bit thick. A lot of them, though.... yeah, a bit thick. It's adorable.
"Oh, I see. Are the code phrases not typical, then?" Actually, upon further consideration, she doesn't actually want anything but one specific answer to that question, so she adds, "If they are not, kindly lie to me, I want to pretend that they are regardless because they're terribly charming."
He laughs. "They are absolutely typical, princess. But they tend to be more complicated and less obvious than that."
The enrobed person arrives. "Commander! And you must be the Lady Vetareh," he says, lowering the hood to show a young-looking sylvari of purple-blue hues. "It is a pleasure to meet you."
Being called 'Lady' is weird, but she reminds herself that the actual queen of Kryta did give her the title before she does something embarrassing like 'protest about it.' Instead, Vetareh gives him a proper Orrian curtsy, and replies, "The pleasure's all mine, thank you for having me here on such short notice." Then, more casually: "James, stop straightforwardly telling me the actual answers, you're spoiling all the fun of the secret society."
"It's not really that secretive," says the sylvari.
"I keep telling her that," James shrugs. "And Vetareh, this is Lightbringer Elodir, one of our chief scientists."
"I'm no one's chief and the Lightbringer title is only a formality," he huffs.
"So's calling me 'Lady,'" points out Vetareh, dryly. "Since the title is perhaps a week old at best, and it doesn't come with any land or responsibility. So if I'm not mistaken, you started it."
"And you may just call me Vetareh!" She smiles at him. "So, how much have you been told about our strange psychomagical affliction?"
"Yes. The times when we see and hear the copies are analogous, but not actually synchronized, which likely implies... something, but I really don't know what. Yet."
"Right, then, let's run some experiments on the both of you."
"You could stand to sound less ominous."
"Where's the fun in that?"
"Honestly, 'run some experiments' is rather innocuous, as these things go. 'Get in the device, I'll prove all of those fools wrong with my theories,' is much more alarming."
Her mouth twitches. "No, this is my first time doing anything related to the Order of Whispers. Why, are you planning to change that?"
"I think the Priory would probably suit her better."
"Nuh-uh, you are not stealing her from us, the Priory gets all the good scientists do you have any idea how hard it is to recruit, Commander?!"
"I confess I do not."
It's very flattering how many people want to give her a job. She's very flattered.
"Recruiting should probably wait until after we're sure I and the Commander aren't going to be slowly driven mad by visions, you know. Otherwise you might let me in on the various secrets, and then both I and he go, 'Yes! Bwuahaha! With your resources at last we can turn all of Tyria's inhabitants purple!' or something ridiculous like that."
"It is not."
"We'd need to interview you first anyway."
"Don't you collaborate with the Priory anyway?"
"Come on, Commander, do you actually think they share all their resources with us? We don't share it all with them."
"We are the secret society."
"Maybe we should go to them instead to deal with this problem."
"You are coming with me right now." And the sylvari starts striding away from them towards some specific unspecified place.
Vetareh giggles and dutifully follows him.
A few other people greet the Commander on their way to a corner table with lots of reports and sheets of paper strewn about haphazardly, piles of books, ink pens, and the occasional bizarre asuran stone construct.
One of which Elodir reaches for - a flat slab of stone with the shape of a humanlike hand outlined in glowing blue veins. "Place your hand here, please."
She does, of course.
He waits a second, then: "Commander, your turn."
James does it too.
Another second. "Okay, this will get an overall reading of your magical signatures. ...I should find another human. Two. A necromancer and a mesmer would be best. Er, be right back." He starts striding towards one of the other members of the Order and muttering under his breath about how he bets those Priory nerds have access to all test subjects whenever they want.