|Long Live Insanity #3: In the Amyrlin's Study
The curtain opens on - oh, c’mon, it’s been described a dozen times already. Big room, carved writing desk and chair, two pictures, silly-looking clock on the wall, red roses in a vase in one corner. A long, striped stole is hanging over the back of the chair. The room is empty.
The door opens, just a crack. Shani puts her head through, looks around, then pushes the door open fully and comes in. “The way’s clear,” she calls back over her shoulder, “you can come in.”
Three people file in after her. Shadar in his black coat, Sycho in full Whitecloak regalia, and a ten-foot tall, wide-shouldered figure with a long snout, hairy ears and a notebook in one hand. Shani looks at him, raising a single eyebrow in approved Aes Sedai style.
“Oh,” Sycho says, “this is Someone. Someone, son of Someone Else, son of Some Other Ogier, that is. He sort of joined us. Someone, this is Shani.”
The Ogier bows. “An honour, Shani Sedai.” His voice is, also in approved style, a rumble sounding like a very large bumblebee. “I am very interested in you three, you see. In what you are doing. I may write a book about it.” He starts scribbling in his notebook.
(Note: This is the longest speech Someone ever makes. Most of the time he just stands around writing whenever one of the other three does something strange. Which is most of the time.)
“Well,” Shani says, “nice to meet you.”
In the meantime, Shadar has already made himself at home, sprawling on the only chair in the room with his feet up on Elaida’s desk. Sycho takes off his helmet and puts it on the desk, accidentally crushing a priceless ivory carving which happens to be one of Elaida’s favourites. “Oops.”
“Don’t worry. They’re old.” Shani wanders over to the vase of roses in the corner, and takes one. “Pretty.” She puts it in her hair, looks at it in the mirror, then changes her mind and pins it to her dress, dislodging an already precarious neckline. Shadar whistles. Shani blows him a kiss. Sycho rolls his eyes. Someone continues writing.
“That clock,” Sycho observes, “is a masterpiece of bad taste. Someone - sorry, not you, Ogier - had to be really trying to make something that silly-looking. Who ever designed it?” Shani shrugs. “Some old Amyrlin.” She is now occupied in trying on Elaida’s stole, turning this way and that in front of the mirror.
The door, closed behind Someone, rattles, and a grunting sound is heard outside.
“Oh, yes,” Shadar glances up, “let Snarg in, would you?”
Sycho crosses the room, opens the door with a flourish, and stands back. A large Trolloc pushes through the too-small doorway and stomps inside. He squints at the clock, massive brow furrowing.
The carved, painted figures on the clock abruptly stop their normal motion, and start dancing. Snarg frowns at the tiny carved Trollocs, who are now performing a jig.
“Shadar,” Shani chides.
The Asha’man grins. Shani studies her reflection in the mirror once more, then shakes her head and tosses the stole aside. It lands on Snarg, catching on his fur. Shani pats him on the shoulder and goes back to the roses.
“Oh yes,” Shadar applauds, “very nice. It suits him.” Snarg straightens up, looking in a puzzled way at the stole, then nods to himself and turns back to the clock. Someone continues writing.
“Clock stupid,” Snarg growls, displaying impeccable taste. “Snarg no like stupid clock.” With a sudden burst of power, Snarg picks the clock up, stomps to the open window - far above the ground - and throws it out.
There is a moment of silence, before Shadar saunters over to the window and looks down. He grins and turns back to the others.
The Amyrlin’s study echoes with laughter.
The moral of the story: Even Trollocs have better taste than Elaida.