The Path of Blaggers, Part 4

It had been a simple matter to sneak out into Ebou Dar, deputise a group of raken cavalry and rope a couple of sul’damdamane pairs into service. Getting them to stop destroying things, however, was a real trick.

“Hey!” Janica shouted, as one of the two sul’dam waved her arm, and the damane attached to her wrist reduced a group of struggling Ebou Dari soldiers to a bubbling magma-hole. “Cut that oot!” They ignored her as if … well, as if she were a damane. “Debs, can you get them to stop?”

“Ah’ll tree, lass,” Debs said, and channeled through Janica, amplifying her voice as she roared something largely unintelligible even to Janica’s Scottish-accustomed ears. The sul’dam reined in their damane and the raken-riders pulled back into a holding pattern. “Did ye feend th’ Bool?” she went on, lowering her voice and talking into the wagon.

“Es thess et, leashie?” the soldier stuck his head out between the canvas flaps and held up a battered tin soup dish.

“No,” Janica replied.


“What I don’t understand,” Janica went on, watching the survivors regrouping towards the end of the wagon train, “is why any of this happened. Even the brainwashed rebels we’re supposed to be leading agreed that the Bowl had to be used. The narrative demands it. To do otherwise will further destabilise the space-time continuum.”

“Aye,” Debs grunted, looking around. “Did ye feend Nynaeve?”

“She’s not here,” Janica replied, reflecting on the amazing things the Scottish accent was capable of doing with a word like ‘Nynaeve’. “I think she made a geetwee.”

“D’ye reckon Shadae Monkey was lyin’ tae us?” Debs theorised. “Maybe he did’nae want tae use the Bool.”

“I’m pretty sure Shadow Monkey wanted to use it,” Janica said, “or at least, he didn’t care if we used it. I mean, what does it achieve? The weather gets better. It doesn’t weaken the Dark One’s presence or anything, that’s getting stronger all the time. But deviating from the plot, that could make things get worse. The Dark One might want that, but I don’t think Shadow Monkey would.”

“Ye reckon Shadae Monkey’s’nae in charge anymoor?”

Janica thought about the ter’angreal they had found. “If Shadow Monkey does’nae have information about the rest of the series, it might be that continuing according to the plot isn’t really important to him anymore,” she sighed, giving up on what was obviously a futile exercise in second-guessing. “Of course, if our helpful friends here hadn’t shot first and asked questions later, this might all have sorted itself oot and we’d have the Bowl by now.”

“Tha’ damane … wass ‘er neem…”

“Miss Tiddles,” Janica said with another sigh.

“Aye, Mess Teddles,” Debs nodded. “She reckons tha’ et was the Aes Sedai channeled first.”

Janica frowned. “If they attacked Seanchan … and the Seanchan, the Salidar Aes Sedai and Nynaeve’s crowd are all supposed to be sworn to the Dark One … why are they not working together?”

“Et’s th’ Ferseeken,” Debs pointed out. “They never work taegether.”

“That’s true,” Janica allowed. “Or at least, it used to be.”

“Es thes et?”

“That’s your aen helmet.”


About Hatboy

I’m not often driven to introspection or reflection, but the question does come up sometimes. The big question. So big, there’s just no containing it within the puny boundaries of a single set of punctuationary bookends. Who are these mysterious and unsung heroes of obscurity and shadow? What is their origin story? Do they have a prequel trilogy? What are their secret identities? What are their public identities, for that matter? What are their powers? Their abilities? Their haunted pasts and troubled futures? Their modus operandi? Where do they live anyway, and when? What do they do for a living? Do they really have these fantastical adventures, or is it a dazzlingly intellectual and overwrought metaphor? Or is it perhaps a smug and post-modern sort of metaphor? Is it a plain stupid metaphor, hedged around with thick wads of plausible deniability, a soap bubble of illusory plot dependent upon readers who don’t dare question it for fear of looking foolish? A flight of fancy, having dozed off in front of the television during an episode of something suitably spaceship-oriented? Do they have a quest, a handler, a mission statement, a department-level development objective in five stages? I am Hatboy.
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3 Responses to The Path of Blaggers, Part 4

  1. aaronthepatriot says:

    I’m reading the same part of the same book right now! Damn, the end of 2020 for the series at the earliest…started my reread a little too soon!

    I had a thought, probably not original. What if a sul’dam had a damane collared, and that damane had a bracelet to another damane…and then a flea bit the sul’dam on the neck. Or, like that great Yoda Bad Lip Reading song, what if the sul’dam got hit in the neck with a hacky sack? Would the second damane’s head fly off her neck?

    And who would control the second damane?

    I thought of this because of just how many freaking Kin there were. Not enough sul’dams to catch ’em all, Pokemon style.

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