Chapter 4


Osprey folded up her performing her suit and shoved it in a drawer, before smoothing out her dress on final time and leaving the wagon. It wasn't often that she able to wear a dress, especially not at night, but for once Kohath was allowing all the performers of his troupe a single night off from the continuous work that seemed to follow them when they were camped outside of a city.

The true reason for Osprey's freedom though, was that her mother, formerly Zara Sabin, but who would only answer to her stage name Goose, was allowing all of her children, her "little flock" to go out and party with the rest of the city. It was some sort of holiday in Andor and Goose thought that it would be a good experience for her children.

Osprey raced across the camp, hoping she wouldn't run into her father, once of the name Booz, now simply the Falling Falcon. If he managed to catch her before she left, he would lecture her for at least an hour about the dangers of leaving Kohath's protection. Not that it was really much protection anyway. Kohath would let anyone into the camp if they paid him enough.

Osprey's sister, Swan, joined her about halfway across the camp and joined eagerly in the running almost sneak from their parents and Kohath's control. "Sister, I know that our parents wish us to be birds, but tonight you must call me Serapt. I want to be a normal person. I don't want to be a bird just for tonight."

Osprey nodded in understanding, all of Falling Falcon's and Goose's children loved to be up in the performing as if they really were birds. Osprey and Eaglet especially had always been very proficient at their family's feats. They could walk on the wire as if they were walking on the ground and most of the time they didn't even feel as if they were walking on a rope so high above the ground. This allowed them to perform all sorts of tricks that their brother's never would have dared simply because they didn't have either of their sisters' amazing sense of balance and confidence on the wire. They tended to cling to it as if they were going to fall off if so much as a breeze started to knock them about.

"How did you decide on that name it doesn't seem very Andoran."

Swan simply shrugged, "I've just always liked the name. It's prettier than being named after a bird."

"They say there might be fireworks tonight," Osprey said changing the subject. Her sister's alias wasn't all that important when compared to the celebration they were going to be able to participate in tonight.

"Fireworks? Why would there be fireworks? I thought the Illuminators didn't like sharing their secrets."

"Showing them off isn't sharing their secrets, they like showing their fireworks to prove that they are the only ones that can make them. But I don't care about all that I just want to see the fireworks."

"But why the Illuminators be here?"

"They were at some big event in Caemlyn just a little so, I guess they would be stopping here on their way back to their fortress thing."

Ilyane crouched outside the inn that the Whitecloaks had taken Dovrin into wondering, what she had gotten herself into. How was she supposed to rescue Dovrin from a nest of Whitecloaks? She should have brought the Aes Sedai with her, maybe they would have helped, but with luck they wouldn't have realized she was gone and just sailed off to Tar Valon, that was the one advantage that Ilyane could see to the situation, although she still didn't know how she was going to manage a rescue on her own.

Ilyane stomped her foot angrily. I'm such a woolhead! I should have brought someone with me. Even Matthen could've helped somehow.

A few more minutes later realizing she would be even less help outside than in, because perhaps once inside, the situation wouldn't seem quite so difficult, Ilyane slipped into the inn.

Osprey began to laugh in enjoyment. She hadn't danced properly in ages, and her partner Zin was a very good dancer. She didn't even know most of the steps to these Andoran dances and despite that she was hardly stumbling at all he was so good at leading.

They'd been dancing for hours and it was well past midnight when he finally stopped her looking flushed. "Thank you for dancing with me. It's not every day that a stranger comes to town so willing to dance."

Osprey curtsied deeply and flirtatiously. "At your service milord." She teased this man was clearly a country bumpkin and not only by his dress. He didn't have the right mannerisms or accent to be a noble, but thankfully he wasn't from the deep country. They tended to have such impossibly broken down language, that they said next to nothing understandable.

"Shall we, uh, rest ourselves and go walking for a bit? It's a beautiful night and I know a park that's just lovely when kissed with moonlight."

Osprey giggled at his use of kiss wondering if he was implying something and nodded eagerly. "Lead on; lead on. It seems to be about all you're useful for but lead on, lead on."

Feeling strangely powerful, Ilyane looked around the inn filled almost to bursting with Whitecloaks with next to no regular men inside. Most men weren't comfortable around Whitecloaks and Ilyane wondered what sort of men would be so comfortable as to share drinks with them.

She was filled with the same feeling she had whenever she was making fireworks. She felt powerful, and as if she were seeing things in more minute detail than ever before. Even the brush of her clothing against her skin as she walked up to the bar felt intense, she almost wishing she had some of her firework material because she was in the perfect condition to do something that required intense concentration.

Trying her best to ignore everyone else, seem aloof and as if she were meant to be there, Ilyane hurried towards the stairs. The Whitecloaks were undoubtedly keeping Dovrin in one of their rooms until they moved on.

Her whole body began to tremble as she arrived on the second floor. There were so many doors and she didn't know if she had enough time to check all of them. What should I do? Where should I start?