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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

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  1. What's new in this club
  2. Welcome @Kilivia . If you need any assistance, ask away.
  3. Aslan sighed it was better then he hoped for, he turned around knowing his tiredness must surely show in his eyes. "Time is a luxury you learn to live without in my kind of life, time is something that so often feels like it died with my old life Jagen" They came from such different life experiences, how would they learn to handle this together he wondered, the creator know how old she really was. He tried to think back to his youth, they weren't really that far away likewise, but it felt like another lifetime. The time in the black tower felt like decades, he had to grow up fast and leave his youth behind training for the battle ahead. He realised he couldn't fully remember anymore the sounds of his family's voices, he hardly ever thought about them at all, they didnt belong in this life. He wondered how things would have been if they had the same experience coming into learning about the one power, and it made him realize just how little he really knew about her background and experiences that shaped her into the woman infront of him. "We really do come from two very different worlds don't we" he realized too late he spoke it out loud, and she would have no clue what he just thought about, what was it he said last, his brow wrinkled as he tried to recall to figure out just how incoherent he might have come of.
  4. Jagen nearly huffed when the man across from her suggested she was not being "willing to work" on their situation. What else did Aslan want? There was a prick of irritation, but she buried it. Light curse this bond. At least Aslan wasn't implying he was in charge of their bonding. That was good; he could have been worse. Perhaps Jagen had lucked out among them. "Such things, they take time, Aslan. You must understand that. Bonded though we may be," it was becoming easier to say that, surprising as it was to her, "that does not mean we know each other. I do agree we must become as... working companions, but it will take time. After all, only a few weeks ago, I would be trying to see how to gentle you, not asking how you take your tea." Her comment almost made her want to chuckle about the whole thing, but any amusement was quickly swept away. "Many Warders stay in Tar Valon; others keep barracks with the guards. Since the first would be wise and I doubt you want the second, I will find a room here. I will write a notice to our Ajah head of where I put you--a few rooms down, or an open apartment closer to mine, might work well, yes? Quite an honor it would be for you." Let him see she was willing to work with him, though she was worried about giving him too much he requested; it was why she told him that this was, indeed, an honor. Sitters did not jump to others' beck and call, after all! At least, they weren't supposed to. Everything is upside down, curse it!
  5. Aslan sighed, this was worse then court. He was here because he signed up, he wasn't shielded it wasn't as if she could have kept him going back it all felt like going in circles. "Yes, I would like to stay here, maybe then I might learn something as it seems you are not very willing to work on this. I am not here as a prisoner but to make this work, to help out Jagen, from your words though one would not think so." He decided to go on his slow carefull approach didn't seem to work, time to take a different approach, because this had to be resolved, he needed some stability in his life to keep himself in controll. He walked over to a window and looked out, "if not I could simply have gone, but that doesn't resolve anything. Hopefully with time you might decide to show me who you are behind that Aes Sedai mask of yours." It was getting late, and the sky was taking on some interesting colors, at least there was a nice view from here. He just wished he could fully enjoy it, but he couldn't help but feel that this could blow up in his face and that he might still have a long night ahead. He briefly wondered how the others were doing, was all the reds as prickly, he decided to ask next he had a chance to talk alone with one of them, whenever that might be. It started dawning on him that this might well become a lonely journey.
  6. Ely froze, her mind refusing to compute the looming, nightmare creatures that materialised before her. Through the shock, her body responded automatically, pivoting neatly to one side to avoid a stabbing spear. The momentum of its thrust brought an eagle-headed monster closer and Ely took full advantage, plunging one dagger into its armpit even as the other buried itself in the feather covered throat. Both blades slid easily out of their temporary homes and she watched the form crumple. A quick glance showed the whole area was in an uproar; a confusion of shouts, screams, clashing weapons, and intermittent flashes of Power. Ely vaguely recalled hearing at the Citadel that the men's channeling had limitations. Given all the work they'd done this day, she had to assume they were holding themselves in abeyance until they were sure they could make a significant impact. If they became over tired, their Power would be useless. It was strategically sound thinking and occasional assistance was better than nothing. A couple of Wolfbrothers were providing the channelers with additional cover. For a heartbeat, Ely was torn. She wasn't happy about leaving Arinth with nobody to watch his back. That was the reason she gave herself for her reluctance anyway. But he was an adult, a trained soldier, capable of taking care of himself and surrounded with not only Band folk but also several quite lethal asha'man. Tris wasn't any of those things. Ely wasn't sure precisely why she'd assumed any responsibility for that reprobate, but she had. Maybe Tris wasn't alone. Maybe the child was with some of the 'kin. It didn't matter. Ely couldn't trust in strangers. She had to be certain no harm came to the youngster because she was the one who'd sent Tris away from the protection of the Band and, although it had been a perfectly sensible action at the time, it didn't change the result now. Tris was one of their own and it was Ely's job to ensure she got home safely. Besides, despite all the damage she could do with her daggers, she wouldn't be able to sustain the speed and style of fighting they required against these kinds of opponents. Nor was taking their weapons an option. She didn't have the strength to wield such weight. No, she needed her own sword and it was in the Lodge. Choice made and logic satisfied, Ely set her jaw and was off, weaving her way with grim determination across the intervening ground. It was no easy feat to navigate the heaving press of bodies but there was no time to skirt the fighting. She simply made a beeline for the steps. She was working on the premise that it was harder to hit a moving target, falling into a rhythm of ducking, deflecting and dodging blows as her nostrils clogged up with the smells of sweat, blood and something rancid that clung to these foreign beasts. It seemed as though hours passed while she forged herself a path, although in reality it was mere minutes before she broke free and ran up the long steps into the Lodge. "Tris?" her voice hung harshly in the empty silence of the main room. No response. Ely moved quickly to the weapon stand, retrieving her own sword and purloining a spare as she called again. "Tris! Where in the Light are you?! Answer me!" Still nothing. The entire place had been vacated. She was wasting her time hanging about there. Hopeful that the Sages had simply taken the child with them, Ely ran back out to the top of the steps. Where was Arinth? Despite the extra height the steps provided, she couldn't see him. Fierce eyes scanned the scene, flicking from one section of the fighting to another. Searching. She spotted the Sergeant embroiled in a stand-off with a bear faced behemoth. A second later he took an axe to the temple that threw him several yards and slammed him against the Lodge wall. He landed in an unmoving heap, a single trickle of blood seeping out of his ear. Lifeless. She couldn't get to him, there were too many enemies between them and, even if she could, it would have been futile. It was too late for the man. Anger burned through Ely's blood at the sight, filling her with a violent need for retribution. She launched herself off the steps and back into the thick of the action... accompanied by the not-so-distant sound of wolves howling. Time ceased to mean anything. She existed solely from one encounter to the next. She had come to the aid of a scout who was being sorely pressed, slicing through his protagonist's spine, and then fought briefly back to back with an unfamiliar infantryman until they dispatched their respective foes. Looking for her next target, she found herself accosted by a meaty fist swinging inexorably towards her and she twisted away. Not fast enough. The thought registered faintly as pain blossomed across her shoulders, doubling her over and making her stagger a few steps. She refocused as best she could, balancing her weight, and launching a flurry of hacking feints and rapid strikes at the abomination that had dared touch her. It wasn't pretty. Sword play wasn't ever pretty in the middle of battle. It was vicious, and messy, and savage. Satisfying, Ely called it. These things were hurting her people. There was no denying that she was tiring though. Heaping emotional upheaval, a forced run and physical labour on top of her already tender state from the previous night hadn't left her in a battle ready condition. Ely could feel the muscles in her arms protesting and the trauma to her shoulders had bruised the bone. She swallowed the pain as best she could, circling the owner of the damage inducing fist. It lunged at her again, and in its haste slipped on the blood slick grass, landing on its face. Never one to miss an opportunity, Ely slammed her sword down across the back of its neck, decapitating it. She straightened slowly, disengaging the blade from bone and sinew, noting the notches that would need to be worked out of it later, and wiped the metal clean on the creature's apparel. The adrenaline was draining out of her system at an alarming rate and she could feel every cut, every bruise. She had to move. Light, the blasted man better not be hurt. He disturbed her peace as nobody else ever had and the Creator help her but she wanted him in one piece until she figured out why! Coming back to awareness of her surroundings, Ely saw that there were only a few pockets of fighting left. Reinforcements had arrived at last and, though hard fought, the day was all but won. Oddly she hadn't progressed far from the Lodge steps, all the back and forth of combat had disoriented her. She spun sharply on her heel, intent on locating Arinth, only to hear his voice calling her name. Pleasure washed over her at the sound, raising the hairs on the back of her neck. She swiped the back of one hand across her eyes to clear the miasma of dust and blood, trying to identify where the call had come from. Her frame was taut with the tension of waiting for him to come into her line of sight. Maybe it had been a figment of her imagination after all conjured up by want rather than reality. She could hear her heartbeat thrumming ever more loudly through her over sensitive skull. "Ely!" This time the shout came from her left. A higher pitched voice. "Tris?" Ely turned slightly to see Tris wriggling out from behind a loose plank, revealing a small crawl space underneath the far end of the Lodge. Clever kid. A weight that she hadn't even been aware of lifted at the knowledge that Tris too was alive and safe but no sooner had she registered that than Tris screamed her name a second time. Ely's brows knit together and she took a quick step in Tris' direction. It was a step which, she would acknowledge later, probably saved her life. A sharp, agonizing pain scored its way across her lower back and hip as an unseen blade bit deeply into flesh leaving nothing but fire in its wake. She tried to twist round, to bring her own sword up to block any further attack, but her body refused to co-operate. She felt her knees hit the mercifully soft ground before the fog descended and she knew nothing more.
  7. I haven't heard from Cass in a few weeks, apart from on Facebook. She works emergency services so may be inundated with rl stuff. Is it something I can help move along, Lii?
  8. Sure, still waiting on reply from Cass just so i know what direktion to take things in the other rp. So this would get me started in writing again.
  9. I think I might do current timeline. I think I want both my Red and White along. I'll write up something later today or tomorrow then!
  10. *pats Tay on the noggin* it’s ok...we all have bad days 🙂 If the roster isn’t getting too full I would be interested in getting my green or yellow involved. Depending on timeline the yellow is black. Current is black, retro is straight up yellow.
  11. I can not express my deepest of condolences for you and your families loss. I can't even imagine, and if there is anything... You know Cairma has gone through loss and may be the older figure for Thera to talk with. Conor has aged and could be interesting to. I'm open and will watch for the thread ❤️
  12. I'm so, so sorry Eqwina. I know what it is like to lose family unexpectedly, and it is so hard. I also shouldn't pretend to know how badly you're grieving, of course. You have my empathy. I would not mind using my Yellow, Celestine, if you started this thread. Maybe Yellows often council grieving Tower members...
  13. @Liitha Would you be interested in joining if it's in the current time?
  14. Updated post count. WS7 raise approved by the RCL.
  15. I am so sorry for your loss and all the struggles that have come with it. Anything we can do to help I am more than willing to do. I know this goes without saying but with people jumping in I trust everyone will respect that this will be yours to lead how you want. If you ever feel like it’s getting out of hand or going in a direction you don’t want it to go let me or Tay know ASAP. This is meant to help you and if it starts to hurt you, I will step in.
  16. I won't pretend to know what you're going through, Crystal. Every bereavement is different, and your situation is particularly hard with the kids to think about. But thank you for sharing with us all. I do empathise and I do understand what it's like to try and write following a traumatic event, having found some solace that way myself in the past. I need to get Kiyi's Test/Oaths finished but if I can do it in time, I'd be happy to jump in. Failing that, I know we have a couple of other Warder members and Sisters available so I'm sure they'll be very willing to help with whatever you need.
  17. I have been away from DM for awhile, but for many years it was my safe space. It was where I felt like I could express myself and where I could be me. It was truly my online home. It is because of this that I feel safe sharing something that happened in my life last month. On July 13th my older brother and my sister in law were killed when their motorcycle hit a deer. They left behind three children. My two nephews from a previous relationship, who are 10 and 13 and my young niece who just turned 3 in May. They did not have a will, and so our entire lives have been turned upside down. We have been dealing with lawyers and court dates, and trying to figure out how to move on with life. Prior to this accident I had been writing every day. Sometimes I was working on my book, other times I was just journaling or free writing, but it was a daily habit. Since their accident I have not written a single word. I have sat down and tried, but nothing comes. I know that it is a byproduct of my grief and that in order to start truly healing I need to write again. So here is my idea..... My Warder/former Mistress of Trainees has a younger brother, a character that I wrote. I think I want to start an RP where Thera finds out that he has died. Perhaps if I can start writing again, it can help me heal in real life. I do not have an idea of what Thera would need, because I do not even know what I need, but I would love from people to jump in. I am going to try and get the post up this week. It will be called Life As She Knew It.
  18. Rhya was very pleased. What had begun as a disparate group of Wolfkin and Banders getting under each other's feet had, under her direction and with no few caustic remarks about their efforts, become an effective work crew. Bickering and nit picking had slowly evolved into advice shared, warnings given and a lending hand when required. She felt quite proud of the team, watching as they lifted the last of the planks into place on the neatly sloping roof, and started to hammer the nails home. It was good to see her first impression being borne out. These men and women could become quite the impactful fighting force given some joint training and missions. They'd done it before in the Two Rivers in a rather impromptu fashion and, although Owen said mistakes had been made by the Command on that occasion, the result had yet been a victory. Rhya smiled warmly at those who weren't directly involved in the roofing, walking amongst them, slapping a shoulder here and there, shaking the odd hand with genuine gratitude. "Good work, everyone. This space for laying in extra supplies will be extremely valuable for the 'kin come winter. Unlike the Citadel, we don't have towns within easy travelling distance for trade. Much as we love our solitude, it has its drawbacks. Winifred is going to be a very happy Head Tracker." Shadow's snarled warning came mere seconds before the attack. Twisted Ones, cub. Trouble comes. Be ready. Rhya had her sword drawn before the final translation had even settled into her mind. "We are attacked! To arms!" Her words rang harshly throughout the peace of the clearing, echoing back from the surrounding treeline. If her companions had been any other than militia, trained to respond immediately, all of them would have been slaughtered. Some few still stood looking blankly at her, as though she were mad, so she repeated the order, the note of command indisputable. In moments it was reinforced by the unmistakable clatter of armoured opponents on the move. Rhya already knew that many of the Banders were not armed, weapons having been left inside the Lodge, but most were grabbing hammers, planks, axes or whatever else came to hand as the trollocs descended. It wouldn't be sufficient. She caught Rahien's eye, another Ranger trainee and the closest thing to a brother she'd ever had, "Get the weapons cache opened. Take those two with you." She indicated two Banders. "Arm as many as you can!" And then an axe was swinging towards her head and she was too busy to think further on it, her blows and parries interspersed with terse orders as she tried to create some sense of cohesion and co-ordination in their defense. For defend was all they could do. These...beings... were huge, a good 8 foot tall or more. Even at 5ft8", she felt diminutive by comparison. The faces looming ahead of her were all animalistic; rams, bears, eagles. Predators. Despite growing up in the Borderlands, Rhya's life had generally been sheltered and she'd never seen actual shadowspawn. She'd heard plenty about them though and read more. As she fought, her mind catalogued details that might prove useful down the road such as all of her opponents bearing a particular insignia; a dagger-pierced hand. She also registered inconsequential things that would stay in her own memory rather longer; the metallic scent of blood mingled with the equally strong scents of fear and determination issuing from her friends and allies; the sheer roar of noise rising from the engaged forces was battering at her and she finally had to throw up her mental shields. Help comes. Shadow's sending filled Rhya with relief, and satisfaction, as she caught the sense of wolves and Rangers heading through the forest at speed. Trollocs really did not like wolves. Knowing aid was on its way, she was able to focus on simply surviving, and her world narrowed to her immediate surroundings. Two trollocs attempted an encircling move, one holding a spear, the other an axe, forcing her to fight in two directions. She was more than familiar with the technique having had the moves and countermoves of that attack and defense drummed into her by Owen and her fellow Rangers. Unlike the Rangers, trollocs didn't work too well together. The trolloc with the heavier weapon was closer and Rhya took three quick steps towards it, something it clearly hadn't expected. It hesitated, wavering, and she swung at it's left side, almost severing its arm. The creature barely managed to get it's axe up in time to block, by which time she was beside it, pivoting with her whole body and dropping into a crouch as she aimed a hacking slash at the unprotected back of its knees. The thing screamed as Rhya's blade severed its hamstrings, and dropped immediately, first to its knees and then toppling on to its face. It was done. She didn't wait for it to complete its fall, turning instead to deal with her other opponent. She spun on one foot, facing the other attacker, and despite the reach of its spear, it was more cautious having seen her speedy dispatch of its fellow. It crouched defensively, waiting for her to come forward. Her skin crawled in anticipation and she shifted her weight preparing to swing. Then her enemy sprouted first one arrow and then another from its eyes. Rhya smirked as it collapsed with a thud and her eyes met Blaeric's. "I don't care what Owen says, Blaeric" she tossed the words in the other Ranger's direction with a broad wink, even as she ran to help a nearby Bander, "your co-ordination is just fine! And your sense of timing is impeccable..." She just caught his expressive curse and snort of laughter as the fighting carried them in opposite directions. Taking an assessing glance of the area, Rhya was thankful to see, after the initial onslaught, that the trolloc numbers weren't so high as they had first appeared. Rahien and his helpers had done a good job getting weapons into people's hands quickly and, now that the Rangers and wolves had arrived, the tide was visibly turning. There would be injuries, some fairly serious that would keep the Sages busy later, that much was clear. But somehow, through some miracle of the Creator, nobody had yet died. She hefted her sword, picking her next target, and felt Shadow's purposeful presence to her left followed two seconds later by Owen on her right. We hunt. Shadow's howl was answered many times over and as the 'kin rejoined the battle, so too did the wolves.
  19. No, you're fine. I'd already linked the RP in the first post for you. Normally the link request is just so staff don't have to go hunt down RP's but we're not so inundated at the moment that I don't know what everyone's doing. WS7 approved by the RCL.
  20. My character intro Solo RP (The Stranger at the Tavern) is complete. I wasn't trying to up my Weapon Score with it, so am I still required to post the link here?
  21. Ely took the drink from his outstretched hand. Her hand grasping the cup and taking it without making the slightest contact. There was both disappointment and relief in that. He knew such a touch would feel like lightning in his veins, and while exhilarating, it was potentially dangerous. He had seen others amongst the band have casual encounters. Rarely did both parties escape the exchange unscathed. After the avoided eye contact and incidental touch her words caught him by surprise. The sound of her voice quickened his pulse. It wasn’t a soft voice, but for all that, he found it even more alluring. He watched her closely, searching for a hint of sarcasm, but there was none. He did, however, see her wince as she took a drink. He frowned. It was getting late into the day to still be suffering from a hangover. She would have had to have had a lot to drink. From the way others were acting too it seemed like the night before had been a night to remember. For once he was glad to have avoided partaking. The sudden commotion had momentarily drawn her attention. She had asked him if he thought it was something important that had been found. He tried to desperately to think of something intelligent or clever to say but came up empty. She glanced over at him. Reevaluating him, he was sure. “Best go see if we’re needed.” At first, he thought the words were a dismissal and he stood there standing as he watched her start to walk away. Then he realized she had said “we”. He broke into a jog to catch up with her. She accepted his presence without comment. He followed in her wake as she moved through the crowd. There seemed to be a large degree of interest in the contents discovered in a box. Arinth couldn’t have told the difference between anything found and the contents of a dusty attic. Arinth rubbed his beard thoughtfully. They certainly sounded like important things. It was an unexpected bonus to the whole excursion. As the crowd began to disperse Arinth saw Ely’s head snap around and her arms reach for her daggers. Huge, hulking forms appeared suddenly in their midst. Arinth was momentarily stunned by their appearance. They were like a mishmash of human and animals. He cursed himself for leaving his sword at the lodging. It would have gotten in the way of the work. Know he felt naked. He grabbed the closest thing he could find. Just as he rose to his feet a lumbering nightmare with a ram’s head, came crashing towards him with its sword raised high. It was a trolloc. Arinth crouched low and brought the handle of the shovel up and thrust it forward. If it was part man than there was the chance it had the same weaknesses of a man. The wooden handle slammed into the trolloc between the leg and with a groan it dropped to its knees, stunned. Arinth spun the shovel around quickly, before the trolloc could recover, and stabbed the blade of the shovel into the beast’s neck. He yanked it free savagely and the trolloc collapsed with blood pouring from its throat. From the corner of his eye he caught sight of another trolloc barreling towards him. He spun away just as the huge, ugly, axe cleaved through the air where he had been. He stuck out the handle of the shovel between its legs and pulled, dragging a leg out from under the beast. Arinth looked quickly around. Where was Ely? As good as she might be with those daggers, they would be no match against the superior reach of a trolloc. He brought the shovel down to stab the trolloc. The snarling eagle faced trolloc swung his axe around to deflect the shovel. The axe cut through the handle effortlessly. Arinth, stumbled, off balance from the unexpected change in weight. The trolloc rose up and grabbed him. He pulled him down and rolled over so that he was above Arinth. With a screech the trolloc raised his head back. Ainrth’s hand reached for the splintered shaft of the shovel with one hand while he raised the other to up to shield himself from the trolloc. It lunged down, its beak going towards his face. He twisted away, hoping not to lose an eye. He stabbed from the side and felt the shaft plunge into the side of the trolloc’s head. He crawled out from under the dead body of the trolloc and called out for Ely. There was chaos all around him. How could they handle such a foe? He picked up the fallen ax. Sometimes all a person could do was choose to stand. An angry howl split the air and then others answered it.
  22. ...she looked around in bemusement. This wasn't her room. She wasn't entirely sure how she knew that, but she was as certain of it as she was of her own name. Kiyi looked down at herself feeling even more perplexed. She was far less certain of why she was naked. Or of how she'd come to be in this room in the first place. Whatever was going on, she had to remain calm. It would never do to show any panic or lack of confidence. A second glance around showed a neat pile of clothing lying on the end of the small bed at the far side of the spacious room. Surely that hadn't been there before? She shrugged, dismissing the oddity. Not my choice of colour, but it will do. Kiyi walked to the bed, nothing in her gait suggesting she was in any rush to cover her nudity, and took some care in donning the shift, the drab, beige coloured dress and the stockings she found. A neat appearance is a sign of a tidy mind. Who had told her that? Memories seemed to evade her grasp. Turning the handle of the sturdy oak door, Kiyi exited the room and walked straight out into a central courtyard area under a dull, rain laden sky. The walls on all sides were windowless, broken only by a single archway in each leading the Creator only knew where. The middle of the square held only one thing; a raised wooden platform, reached by a single set of steps, large enough to hold several nooses, all attached to a huge, solid beam affixed at either end of the structure. Two of those nooses were currently placed around necks. Whitecloaks. Kiyi's mind spat the word out as she looked at the men on the platform and those around the courtyard. She moved forward to join the back of the crowd, only to halt abruptly, recognising the faces of the prisoners in horror. Mother! Aunt! Her heartbeat picked up, sweat slicking her palms, but she showed nothing outwardly to those people gathered in front of the platform. "You are convicted as darkfriends and sentenced to die Under the Light," one of the Children stated solemnly, his unbelievable words falling on Kiyi's appalled ears. How could this be? Her mother's frantic gaze spotted her amongst the sea of faces. "Kiyi! Help me!" the older woman begged, eyes wild. Kiyi opened her mouth to reply, certain that channeling wasn't an option, but stopped before the words could form, glancing to the side as a shimmer caught her eye. A six pointed star lay beside one of the archways. She immediately walked towards it at a measured pace, propelled by some unseen force, and once standing on it, embraced saidar. In seconds she was weaving with threads of Air, and, equally quickly, was splitting that weave. She sliced through the ropes of the nooses at her mother's and aunt's necks just as one of the men kicked the stool out from under Margaere's feet. A silver-blue disc the size of a small coin plopped into her palm as she heard the stool hit the ground...and another six-pointed star appeared at the opposite side of the courtyard. She had to go through it. She had to go now! Her feet led her inexorably towards the star, not rushing, not lagging, thankful Margaere was safe. The satisfaction was short lived. At the rope's apparent failure, the same Child who had kicked the stool away, drew his sword and sliced open Margaere's throat; at precisely the moment Kiyi's foot hit the star. Her heart felt like it was tearing into tiny pieces at the vision imprinted on her mind's eye... ... and her delicately boned fingers touched the tears rolling down her cheek. Her body shook with the force of her sadness. Sadness over what? Her mind was blank when it attempted to establish the source of the powerful grief.
  23. The journey downwards into the depths of the Tower seemed to Kiyi to be far quicker than her last visit. No word was spoken and she knew she must not be the one to break the silence. Instead she occupied her anxious mind with emulating the Mistress of Novice's confident, stately bearing and simultaneously keeping her features expressionless. Years of further training made her more self controlled, if no less lacking in confidence, than her Novice self had been. The lofty corridors were well lit and surprisingly dust free; or perhaps not so surprising when she recalled how persnickety some Sisters could be about their silk dresses. Dusty hems would never do! When their strange little procession reached the lowest level, a pair of massive doors, that wouldn't have been amiss adorning some fortress, barred their way. Larindhra Sedai channeled them open and, though they moved slowly, they made no sound. Once Kiyi could actually see the chamber within, she tried to look everywhere without appearing to do so. It was a large, circular, domed room, ringed around with stand-lamps which shone rather dazzlingly off the white stone walls. After the dimness of the passages, the brightness was a shock, straining her already tired eyes. Directly beneath the dome, in the exact centre of the room, stood the great oval ring ter’angreal. It was well over a span high giving sufficient room for any woman to walk through. Kiyi tried not to be distracted by the way it glittered with swirling colors in the lamplight. “Attend,” Larindhra Sedai intoned, bringing Kiyi's full attention back to the matter at hand, and to the other Aes Sedai present. One Sister from each Ajah, wearing their shawls like a pointed reminder of what was at stake here, who moved smoothly into a circle around both Kiyi and Larindhra. Kiyi had been well warned that every look, every movement, every reaction was being weighed and considered; had been judged from the second she walked in. Calling on her own sense of control, she gathered an appearance of self assurance around herself. “You come in ignorance, Kiyissalle Chevra. How would you depart?” Larindhra demanded. “In knowledge of myself.” Kiyi modulated her voice carefully, relieved to hear very little rasp in it this day. “For what reason have you been summoned here?” “To be tried.” “For what reason should you be tried?” “So that I may learn whether I am worthy.” Kiyi's voice grew more firm. She wanted this. “For what would you be found worthy?” “To wear the shawl.” She was going to have this. She was. Whatever it took. Kiyi instantly began to undress, as she'd been taught she must, while Larindhra's rich voice spoke the final word. She would be tested while clad in the Light, a symbolic gesture but an important one. Larindhra continued with the ceremony. “Therefore I will instruct you. You will see this sign upon the ground.” The woman channeled, drawing a six pointed star in the air in front of Kiyi just as that young woman felt a weave touch the back of her skull. She fought to keep the shock from her face. That had never been mentioned in her training but she couldn't be seen to be caught unawares. Calm. Kiyi breathed slowly. Another Sister spoke, taking up the rhythmic counterpoint to Larindhra's explanations, “Remember what must be remembered.” “When you see that sign, you will go to it immediately, at a steady pace, neither hurrying nor hanging back, and only then may you embrace the Power. The weaving required must begin immediately, and you may not leave that sign until it is completed.” “Remember what must be remembered.” “When the weave is complete, you will see that sign again, marking the way you must go, again at a steady pace, without hesitation.” “Remember what must be remembered.” “One hundred times will you weave, in the order you have been given and in perfect composure.” “Remember what must be remembered.” The weave the other Sister had created settled into Kiyi, a strange sensation almost like Healing, then all of the Sisters except Larindhra moved their circle around the ter’angreal. They knelt on the stone floor, channeling in concert, weaving a complex pattern of all five powers, and concentrating wholly on the task. She finished undressing calmly, aware that the Mistress of Novices was watching everything she did, and removed her Great Serpent ring last of all. She placed it tidily on top of the pile of her belongings. The middle of the ring became a sheet of white all of a sudden and seemed to absorb the light of the lamps, dimming the rest of the chamber in comparison, before slowly begin to revolve on its base. There was just silence in the room; no scraping sound, nothing to indicate such a huge object was even moving. Too late for doubts now. I have to be ready. There's no option for failure here. Kiyi took a surreptitious breath of preparation and walked steadily to the ring, stepping into the whiteness and….
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