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A Visit Between Rakeesh and Aziza

He had barely had his hand raised to knock on the vivid purple door before it swung open.

"Something is troubling you, my friend." The soft voice from inside seemed to wash over him, relaxing him some. "Come in, please."

Slowly, he limped into his friends abode. He smiled genuinely at the Enchantress as she extended her hand to him, the door closing of its own accord behind him.

"I've felt you watching me, Aziza." The leonine creature said in his deep, fatherly voice.

She gave a soft smile and a nod. "But of course, Rasha. Word of your arrival travelled fast. Come, let us share tea."

Rasha Rakeesh sahTarna smiled, knowing his friends fondness for tea. He didn't refuse her silent offer to help him walk to the table either. He was, after all, still a bit unsteady after he was attacked in Silmaria.

They sat by the lowered table without a word, Aziza waving her arms and conjuring up a pot of spiced tea, which then began to pour and serve itself.

"I highly doubt you're here on holiday," Aziza said over her tea, her eyes on the Liontaur. He looked exhausted, even older than he did when they last parted three years earlier.

Rakeesh took a deep breath. "Aziza... I'm unable to fully keep my oath."

She kept her eyes on him, slowly lowering her tea back to the table. So that was why he seemed troubled.

"I am too frail now to uphold my Honor in the manner I would prefer." His eyes were downcast. For the first time, Rakeesh looked defeated, if but for a second. "My leg is worse than ever, and my ordeal in Silmaria took its toll. I'm not as young as I used to be, old friend." He gave a courageous smile.

She nodded slowly. "I believe you have more in you, Rasha. Even now, you are keeping your oath."

His feline lips pulled back in a smile. "Perhaps, Aziza… Perhaps." He took a sip of his tea and looked at her. "I have asked Harun for some time in the morning to discuss certain matters. Matters I would very much like you to be a part of."

With a wave of Aziza's hand, the room flashed a soft blue as a magical shroud covered them that would block out all prying. "What is it you ‘Seek’?" She chose the last word carefully, pleased in the smile her friend gave at it.

He took a breath then slowly spoke. "I may not be able to do much personally in my current state, but there is ‘something’ I can Do."

She nodded, letting him continue.

"You are familiar with how Guild Halls work, correct?" After her nod to confirm, he went on. "The problem is, these Guild Halls work on simplistic rules and are held back by laws, not Honor. Not by what is Right. If someone needs something done, they post a notice on the board."

"Now, some things are more severe, and pass by the eye of the average person - less trivial matters that hide in plain sight, and that require a trained eye or a more educated mind to notice."

"Mmm." Aziza agreed. "How Raseir was, and how most shrugged off Arus' disappearance."

"Precisely, my friend. What I am proposing is a network of a few individuals that can keep a mind's eye on matters, put word out to the others of needed help."

Aziza was quiet as she rolled the idea around. "Gather information together for the few?"

Rakeesh smiled. "No, no... Something more akin to an intricate guild, or society, that works together to gather information for those worthy few."

She nodded. "We Learn, for others to Seek us, then they go Do."

Rakeesh was almost beaming at her words. She put it in a way he hadn't thought of - a very good way, at that. "Exactly! Young King Devon already promised his involvement."

"Rasha, you need not ask me. I'll gladly help, as I'm sure 'Omar' can also find a way to weave messages into his poetry."

"I would assume as much myself, but like myself, time is creeping even on him. Besides that, I know Devon has no issues going outside the law for Honor, but Harun..." He seemed on edge about the Sultan's involvement.

"Relax, Rasha. He will hear you out before refusing anything. Your nerves are making you forget our Sultan's wisdom."

"You're right. Forgive me. It's just… this has been troubling me for some time now. Kreesha suggested for me to act on it."

Aziza smiled. "She truly understands her mate."

Rakeesh smiled in return. "I love her all the more for it too."

"I would assume she would be the contact in Tarna?"

"Naturally. As is Devon and Shakra in Marete, as well as Erana, whichever land she may be in at the time. Devon also has a few friends he may be able to get to help, he’s mentioned talking to both Zara and Erasmus."

"I think Erasmus would be a bit to - brash of a choice..."

He gave a chuckle. "Erasmus hasn't failed Devon yet. I trust our friend’s judgment in character. After all, he is a mutual friend of ours."

She gave a little grin, something she rarely did. "Of course…" She cleared her throat. "I can talk with Lady Zayishah for you about this as well, and I have a few contacts through W.I.T. who wouldn't pass up the opportunity to help."