Alanna, who was declared to be the Lishaya reborn.
She was raised in Shayara by the Council, guarded heavily in their compound with little contact with the other members of the others of the Talthar Kithrayna... particularly with Donna, the one member who could state for certain whether she was the Lishaya. The Council explained that Alanna was fragile due to her early separation from her mother - who had one more child, Katrianna, then died birthing her final child, Julia, who was stillborn.
There have been rumors of Julia's continued existence. Urban myth, the Council assures you.
Raised in the environment they provided for her, trained to them at every turn, held to them in every way, Alanna is completely the Council's creature.
The doors opened with a flourish, held open by black-clad Hounds. Alanna strode through and sat at the head of the table, gesturing for the others to take their seats without delay.
She leaned forward. No long and luscious waves today - her hair was pinned back, severe, cascading straight down her back. She was dressed in formal Court green, almost archaic.
She spoke. "I am disbanding the Talthar Kithrayna. As of today."
Joshua leaned forward. "ALanna! You can't do that!"
She laughed. "I'm the Lishaya, Joshua. I can do whatever I please. And now, I wish to govern this city myself. I don't need you."
Jeramie played his assigned role: "There has always been a Talthar Kithrayna!"
Alanna picked it up. "There hasn't. As our Librarian can testify, there've been centuries where the city has been governed by a single Kithrayna, or by two or three. Having a full circle of you is rare. And perhaps the Lishayas of the past needed you people... because they were weak. I," she said softly, "am strong."
"Donna? Is she right about the Talthar Kithrayna?" Jeramie asked, brow furrowed.
Donna looked distressed. ""She - she is, but that's just because a full circle didn't exist. Alanna, there's no precedence for this For disbanding."
Alanna smirked. "Well, there's a first time for everything, isn't there?"
She stood, placing her hands on the table. "This is over. As your Lishaya, I order this circle broken. I am the sole authority in Shayara. Among all of the Dasaroi. Your dominion extends only to the borders of your own Houses. And I would strongly advise against any of your Houses joining together. If that happened... well, I might feel that you were disrespecting me. And," she lowered her voice dangerously, "I will not stand for that."
She snapped her fingers, and the Hounds opened the door for her, followed her out. Oh, well played, little one. Note-perfect, actually. Jeramie was very proud, and would reward her later.
Joshua was the first to recover. "Jeramie! Did you know about this?"
"Of course not! Gods, Joshua - what the hell are we going to do?"
"What were those... bodyguards?" Donna asked, her voice shaking.
"That, unfortunately, I know. Janos just told me yesterday." Jeramie swallowed hard. "Janos calls them Hounds. They're... trained from childhood. Orphaned boys. Or boys that are given to this program of theirs."
"Trained for what?"
Jeramie closed his eyes. "Mindwiped. Rewired for violence. Trained for strength. Mind-controlled for obedience. They're all as strong as those two, physically. The tattoos are to designate their groupings. Seven to a team. Each team is controlled by an individual Councillor, and ultimately controlled by the Lishaya."
Jeramie looked over at her, feigning despair. "Hundreds."
Donna buried her face in her hands. Michael spoke up. "What are we looking at here, guys? What do we do?"
Kristian rose from the table. "We go home," he said firmly.
Donna slammed her firsts down on the table, startling even Jeramie. "She's taken over. She's forced us out. She has a private army. How... how did this happen? That sweet little girl - what happened? How did everything go so wrong?"
* Apologies for lack of quality. Written with kid yelling downstairs at me.
* Unfamiliar names: Joshua is the then-current Kithrayn of House Narsan, and Donna's lover. He's Kieran's predecessor as Kithrayn. Michael is, of course, Michael Halloran - our Halloran's big brother. Ryan isn't here because he's prepubescent and hasn't realized he's Dasaroi/found Shayara yet.