Sep 22, 2021 5:22 PM
leareth is captured by Cheliax
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Keiran scowls at this, but doesn't actually interrupt. 

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Vanyel has just had an idea. 

It's a TERRIBLE idea and he wishes he could un-have it. Or, failing that, possibly set his brain on fire. 

...However. It seems he can't do either of those things. 

 

He takes a deep breath. "We should ask Melody if she'd volunteer." 

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"We should– what?" 

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Going by Keiran's fascinating series of evolving facial expressions, she feels that this is somehow even worse

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Vanyel absolutely deserves all of those dubious looks. It's a terrible idea. 

"I mean, it's not suspicious to send her, right - she's with Healers', Iftel asked for volunteers urgently, no one's even going to ask questions if we decide to respond just as urgently and Gate some personnel over in the middle of the night. But - all right, the thing I'm thinking is that Cheliax doesn't know Mindhealing exists. And Melody is...smart. She - might be able to learn a lot, over there." 

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"...Van. We have five Mindhealers. In the whole country. It seems - I'm sure you've got some good reason for suggesting it, but I don't see what could make it worth risking that?" 

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Vanyel has no idea whether or not he does. Nothing makes sense anymore. 

"I...mean, if we're wrong about how bad things are, over there, then she won't be in much danger? And if we're - not wrong - then it...seems worth risking a lot more than that." 

He bites his lip. "I'd want to brief her first." 

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Shavri, standing in the doorway, clears her throat. 

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"- Shavri?" Vanyel turns in his seat. "I - sorry - I didn't know you were coming to this - should I catch you up...?" 

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"I heard the last bit." 

Shavri looks as tired as any of them, the skin under her eyes grey and loose, but her gaze is alert. She crosses the room, grabs a chair. 

"I'm not worried about Iftel's troops harming our Healers. ...Or even the other side's troops, honestly. I'm a lot more worried about Vkandis, here." 

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"About - what, exactly?" 

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"I don't know! That's half the point!" Shavri casts a pleading look in Vanyel's direction. "I, just - we think Iftel apparently belongs to Vkandis, right. And so the barrier is a miracle He made. And - Leareth told Van he thought Vkandis was involved in getting him captured, no? So - I don't know, it just seems like it...could go badly, for us, if we send our people in there looking like they might be out to help Leareth." 

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Damn it, that's a good point, but what does she want from him.

"And...?" 

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"And, just, maybe we should check with Him?" 

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Katha stares at Shavri. Rubs her eyes. "...Er, how?" 

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"Karis got possessed by Him once, right? And - I mean, if we're considering going to war over this, our ally deserves to know anyway. We could do a Gate, get her over here..." 

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The Heralds share uneasy looks with each other. 

"...I suppose that's not a bad idea," Savil allows. "I can contact Sandra and figure out Gates over here, sure." Not that she's looking forward to it at all. 

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Vanyel takes a deep breath of his own. 

"We should - maybe contact the Tayledras, too. Moondance...has a link to the Star-Eyed Goddess. And, if what Leareth said was true, then - it's not just a foreign nation attacking Iftel, there's a foreign god involved as well..." 

Technically, Vanyel could walk right over to the Web-focus room and personally demand an audience with Her. He would really rather not do that, though. It had a lot of side effects, the last time. 

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"- Sure, I guess that's not a bad idea either. Van, reckon you can handle a communications-spell to Moondance, fill him in, and I'll, er, sort out how to get Karis to Haven so we can brief her?" 

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...Vanyel can do that. 

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And, about twenty-five minutes later, Queen Karis of Karse is in Haven, sitting in a briefing room while Keiran and Kilchas take turns filling her in on the story. 

(Katha is busy, and Vanyel and Savil are both grabbing a few minutes' rest after their respective efforts.) 

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Katha interrupts, banging the door open. 

"- Just to let you know, er - we've made contact with Leareth's people." 

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"Oh, good! What did they say?" 

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Karis doesn't say anything. 

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