Qaerris was being watched, but it was doubtful he could have picked out his watcher from among the crowd. When one looked for watchers, they tended to look for creepy, rough looking men in dark corners, their unblinking stares boring into their targets back. Not average, for a Naer at least, women sitting two tables to their left, facing away from them and apparently concerned only with the plate of steak, green beans, and fudge before them. The only thing suspicious about Ellasin was the color of her clothes, and people generally ignored even that, as they seemed to expect the Naerrik to wear black as a rule. But Ellasin was a Webspinner, and she had learned to be unobtrusive from the moment she was born, blending in wherever she was needed to carry out the orders she had been given. Which, right now, consisted of watching Qaerris in the polished shield hanging on the wall ahead of her without ever giving a sign that she cared he even existed.
Of course, Ellasin wasn't completely idle. Now that she had found Qaerris, she needed to make sure she didn't lose him again. But she wasn't counted one of Sintra's Champions because she was an amateur, like the foolish boy in Nashaki who had gotten both himself and Qaerris in trouble trying to get close enough to weave him into his web. The threads of energy Ellasin wove didn't require such close contact, though it helped some, and she had him in her web before he had finished more than a quarter of the tankard. She held back a grimace as she felt him enter her awareness, his sense of being followed giving her a feeling that her job was going to be far more difficult than it should have been.
Not that she had expected it to be easy, looking away from the shield for a moment, something that she could safely do now that she had established a connection. Her thoughts roamed back to the beginning of the day, when she had received her current assignment, directly from her mother. She had initially come to Yithiral to see if there were fragments anywhere on the little island nation, any reason for The Seekers to travel there and risk Ethelynda finding out about them. Fortunately, in Ellasin's opinion, there hadn't been and she had actually meant to barter passage on a ship out of Yithiral this morning.
She's been awoken early by the harsh cry of crows in her room, and she glared at her pet raven, Corby, and told her to shut up before curling into a ball under the blankets and hiding her head under her pillow. Then the realization of exactly what she had heard penetrated her sleep fogged mind and caused her to sit straight up in bed. Corby was in her cage, glaring balefully at the crow sitting just outside it. A second crow perched on the foot of her bed, preening itself. The third crow, for their were always three, perched on the arm of the chair Ellasin's mother sat in, grinning at her. "I remember when you used to do that as a child, Ellasin." Labrae said, her voice lightly teasing.
Ellasin just scowled at her mother before getting out of bed and gathering up her clothes, looking at her mother out of the corner of her eye. Labrae wasn't her birth mother, Ellasin had murdered both her birth parents herself on her 15th birthday, but like all Webspinners, she had been raised by Labrae and considered the Mortalborn her mother. However, it had been several years since she had seen her, several years since she had been given any orders other than, "Continue your work with the Seekers". Not that Labrae looked any different, still appearing as a lanky young woman with curly dark hair in a black shirt, trousers, and boots, and all but hidden in a too-big black overcoat.
Ellasin herself, on the hand...she was getting older. Not really old, not yet, but older. Her mother was centuries old, while Ellasin only in her late 30's, but she looked the elder. Granted, half the time she was also more mature, as this little episode proved. "I suppose some things never change. Is there a reason you couldn't knock on my door?" she asked in resignation as she found her pants and pulled them on her her night gown before she turned her back on her mother and pulled that off before pulling on her shirt, though she heard Labrae laugh a bit behind her.
"And risk both our lives? No, I don't think so. If Ethelynda found out about either of us, she would take action. Even with all your power and mine combined, I don't believe we could win that fight." she said, her voice showing concern that, despite her irritation, caused a surge of affection in Ellasin.
"Right, right. I know. Between Lethroda and Arcana, I'm a Power, but Ethelynda...I know enough of the stories that she's a Power as well, and that's before you count her martial skills. And the militia would fight at her side as well." she said, turning back to face her mother, who was grinning even more widely. "...What?" Ellasin asked in confusion.
"I've always thought that massive streak of pride you had was adorable, daughter mine." Labrae said, laughing a bit, before suddenly fixing Ellasin with a serious look. "But don't let it get too far. I can see your pride being what gets you into trouble, and it's bad enough I'll lose you to age. I'd rather have you around a long time, Ellasin." she said, her voice turning a little scared at the end.
Ellasin sighed and shook her head. "I know, mother. I won't get myself killed." she said, her voice reassuring before she sat down on the desk next to Corby and reached in to the cage to stroke the ravens feathers. "But you didn't come here to make sure I behaved. What is it that has dragged you away from the hatchlings and getting new children?" she asked in genuine curiosity. Labrae didn't leave the Webspinners island much except to take new children and bring them home, so her presence here was very odd.
Labrae smiled again and leaned back in the chair, stroking the feathers of the raven next to her in a motion identical to Ellasin's own. "We've found a new Mortalborn. Not sure who the parent is, but he's going to be here today. Sintra wants to know him, but...well, mother doesn't leave the island at all, you know. He was identified by one of your older brothers in Nashaki. Selwyn's nearly eighty now, but his mind is still good. He recognized this man from his youth. He passed it on to Joseph, one of your younger brothers who...is in desperate need of more training, as he's a bit lazy and clumsy. He nearly got both himself and the Mortalborn arrested, and very likely put the Mortalborn on guard. Others kept an eye on him until he boarded a ship that's coming here. With him so guarded, the hand of a master is needed on this. Your hand." she said, her voice warm with pride in Ellasin.
Taking comfort in that pride, Ellasin pulled on her boots and gloves before pulling her cloak around her. "I'll find out everything I can and seen if I can find a way to keep him close to me. The others have been pressuring to me to take an apprentice. You were a good student, mother, but I can't exactly claim you as such." she said, smiling warmly at her mother, who simply laughed. "How do I find him?" she asked.
Labrae simply stood up and hugged her close before letting her go and smiling. "He draws the eye. His Parent was a being of charisma, one to draw attention. You'll know him when you see him. And be careful Ellasin. We don't know how close he is to his Parent." she said, before vanishing, her crows leaving with her as Ellasin nodded and left her room.
Coming out of her memories, Ellasin looked back at the shield towards Qaerris. Labrae had been right, she had known him for something more the moment she'd laid eyes on him. What she didn't know, yet, was how to approach him without making him suspicious. Not that she was worried about it. If the opportunity didn't present itself...well, she was a Webspinner. She'd make one.