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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Oaths Not Taken


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"Yeah," Myrrhi replied. "What about you?"

 

"I am ok, don't worry!" Ialsa replied smiling.

 

She laughed. "I think our next enemy will be in trouble!"

 

She pictured bandits jumping out of the tree lines, weapons at the ready and the two of them opening themselves to Saidar while grabbing deadly sticks. "I am really sorry," she added sighing.

 

How many times had she overcome an opponent on pure instinct? She quickly shook her head, dismissing away all the tales she had heard about berserk fighters.

 

Suddenly, she felt a presence. Someone was coming. Maybe more than just a someone. Danger ! Her eyes met Ialsa's. Hoping that her companion had also felt something.

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Ialsa held up a hand as if to gesture for Myrrhi to settle and just listen for a moment. Quietly she got up and curled a finger indicating for Myrrhi to follow her. Emelda had caught a look from Ialsa and gave a nod to let her friend know she knew her part. Which apparently was to stay by the fire with Kaito and act as if everything were perfectly normal. Ialsa led Myrrhi quietly into the brush surrounding the camp, keeping low and quiet, careful not to make much noise, step on a stray twig and the like. they wandered out a fair distance, finding a comfortable vantage point where the camp and much of the surrounding area were in view. 

 

There they crouched, hidden and watching. Which was fine with Ialsa, she would indeed be fine from their fight but at the moment she still sported a hefty headache. Down along the road slowly creaked a wagon and Ialsa instinctively hunched down a bit more and watched. The wagon soon drew up on the camp, a man heading over and helping a woman off. 

 

"They the ones you saw before?" Ialsa whispered to Myrrhi. 

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"That's them..;" Myrrhi whispered back.

 

She spat on the ground as if the gesture would bring her good luck. It was an very un-Aes Sedai like thing to do but she didn't care. Adrenaline was pulsing through her veins making her feel on edge.

 

"We should attach them," she said. "We need to catch them unaware... who knows what they can do or what is in that wagon."

 

Quickly she turned her head towards the campfire hoping that Emelda would stay where she was. The flaming woman would surely mess things up, would she decide to intervene.

 

The Green's eyes met ialsa's. "What do you think?"

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There was a faint smile with Myrrhi's initial suggestion of attacking the pair, but Ialsa kept her head low and an eye on the camp. "Give it a minute. Let us see what Emelda can learn." 

 

"Emelda?" Bartha said in near disbelief as she got down from the wagon and within sight of the camp and the Brown sister. 

 

"Why Bartha" Emelda got up from her place near the fire and headed over to greet the Blue. "Light what a surprise." 

 

"Indeed" Bartha smiled and gave Emelda an embrace. "I thought you may be dead, were you not at the Manor when it was attacked?" 

 

"Oh I was, I was" Emelda nodded "Barely escaped some rubble. You?" 

 

Bartha shook her head "Elan and I were just on our way back when we saw the pillar of dust in the sky. Quite a shock, quite a shock" she tasked. "Actually we are on our way to find Cela, A Blue sister is in dire need of healing" she informed the Brown with a nod back to the wagon. 

 

"Oh dear" Emelda breathed and headed over to the wagon, pulling the tarp up enough to see Elandra laying there, arms wrapped round her mid-section either fast asleep or passed out. "Was not Cela in Baerlon?" she glanced back at the Blue who simply shook her head once. 

"We were told she fled along this road not long ago. Probably to get away from that Whitecloaked filth back there" she explained hooking a thumb back towards the city. 

 

"Why are you out here with an Aiel?" Elan spoke up

 

"oh" Emelda chuckled "We crossed paths a bit ago, and you know I have always had an interest" she told Bartha who could only nod in agreement. 

 

"No one else?" The Warder asked. 

 

"Two others" Emelda replied easily enough "Sisters. Went off in search for more firewood" She told them looking back to Elandra. "I can try my hand at helping, Ialsa may be able to as well." Emelda reached a hand down to feel the young girls forehead. "She really is not well" 

 

------------

 

 

Iasla took a deep breath and let it out slowly as she seemed to be calculating something. "Will you be able to reign in your fighting instincts?" she asked Myrrhi

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"This is madness!" Myrrhi protested. "It's a trap! Can't you see it?"

 

As she straightened her back, she placed her fists on her hips. "Emelda is safe with them, it seems they are friends or something like that. Kaito will be as well. And," she added pointing a finger towards her companion, "since you didn't pick an Ajah, I guess you'll be left unarmed... Maybe they'll make you swear some kind of allegiance to the Blues. I won't have that luck!"

 

She had spent many weeks - months even - on the road and she had kept to herself most of the time. After everything that had happened lately, she was sure that it was because of her isolation that she had managed to stay out of trouble.

 

Ialsa was a nice woman but she was a magnet for danger. The same could be said of Emelda.

 

"I should get out of here," the young Green said.

 

However, she didn't move. There was something in Ialsa's eyes that made her feel curious. It was as if the woman was calculating something. Myrrhi's pride prevented her to ask about what her companion had in mind, so she stayed silent hoping the other one to tell her more about her plans.

 

 

OOC : I'll be on LOA until +/- July 20th (no access to the Internet)

Don't hesitate to move on with the story :)

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Iasla looked over at her companion slightly amused, resting a steadying hand on the girls shoulder "Would you relax?" she half asked. "not everyone is out to get you, and not all Blues know who you are. There is no indication that this one knows us, she doesnt even seem to know Emelda was with us. And whoever is in the cart, is clearly in no position to cause us any trouble." she pointed out. "We also outnumber them. Three Aes Sedai and an Aiel against one and her Warder." she explained. 

"Even still, do you not trust in the Pattern?" Ialsa asked arching an eyebrow to Myrrhi. "What falls before us is a part of the Weaving. Do they not still teach that in the Tower?" she challenged "now I have no desire to swear any allegiance with any Ajah. My only loyalty is to the Creator and the Pattern. I can only promise you that I will not let you be taken by any enemy, nor will I purposely lead you astray." Iasla extended an open hand to Myrrhi "Question is, is that enough for you?" 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OOC: thanks for the heads up

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Myrrhi tried to relax... and failed. She felt her stomach tighten so much that it hurt. Trust the pattern? It sounded strange yet it made sense. There were so many books that she had read about the topic. She had enjoyed the idea of having a fate, of having a purpose even if she didn't know what it could be. Of course, as a sister of the Green Ajah, she was meant to fight during the last battle but to imagine that there was something else, something that would make her special had always given her extra strength.

 

She didn't care much for the Creator though. It was not like he had been there for her so far. Everything she had done so far, everything she was, she owed it to herself and to no one else. Deep down a little voice protested and the face of the Aes Sedai who had discovered her flashed through her mind. She quickly set it aside. That woman was dead now, she belonged to the past. But, the little voice wouldn't stop, isn't it the pattern that lead you to the White Tower. Maybe there's more than just you and what you did ...

 

The young woman shook her head. She needed to focus on what was to come. It was definitely not the time to think about the past.

 

"I can only promise you that I will not let you be taken by any enemy, nor will I purposely lead you astray," Ialsa said. "Question is, is that enough for you?" she went on.

 

The young Green thought for a while. Ialsa's words sounded true but she had never taken the Oaths. Should I believe her, she wondered. From her past experiences, trust was something that could only be earned after a long companionship or important incidents where one would save the other from the goodness of her or his heart. Unfortunately she didn't have the time to wait for one of these events to happen. She needed to concentrate on the people who meant the biggest thread for her right now, and Ialsa was definitely not the person she should worry the most about.

 

Taking a deep breath, she answered "It is good,... " For now, she added to herself before shaking Ialsa's hand.

 

"So", the Green went on. "What do we do now?"

 

 

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Ialsa rested a comforting hand on Myrrhi's shoulder giving it a gentle squeeze as she looked back through the bushes to the camp for a moment. "gather some firewood to keep Emelda's  story in tact. And we play the concerned, innocent Aes Sedai." she supplied for her companion. "Take a look at who is in that wagon and see how we can spin the situation to our advantage." Ialsa took a slow breath and watched Emelda settle near the fire with the Blue Sister. Her Warder choosing to stand by a nearby tree and kept a vigilant watch. He complicated things. 

 

"Before we go back, a warning" Ialsa turned to Myrrhi. "You will need to be on top of your emotions. I know it is easy to react to your initial instincts, but the Warder will pick up on things others would not. If you are nervous for instance. If anything hold onto your anger" she instructed "given the state of the land, anger would be expected and I doubt he would think too much of it. But doubt, fear, and nervousness would likely make him more suspicious than we want. Alright?" Ialsa checked 

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The young Green nodded. I have been away from the Tower for way to long, she thought. In the Tower, controlling her emotions had always been so easy. At the time she had had a goal that helped her empty her mind and her heart. To become an Aes Sedai she had turned herself into the perfect sheep. Her advancement had been everything that had mattered to her. But, since she had left Tar Valon, she had felt herself changing. Would she ever be able to play to the perfect Aes Sedai again?

 

Gathering wood was an easy task. So many branches littered the ground that she only had to bend to grab what she needed. It was with her arms full that she glided towards their small camp.

 

As Ialsa had suggested, she made a small detour to pass by the wagon. Bending the tarp to assess what it contained, she saw strange boxes. They were made of a kind of wood she had never seen before and decorated with strange paintings. Since they had a lock she wondered whether these might protect some kinds of artifacts. Unfortunately she had no special talents when it came to objects of power. Her only choice was to leave everything untouched. In between the boxes laid the blankets that had been used for the injured Aes Sedai.  It was obvious from the state of these blankets and the smell of the wagon that the Sister was not doing well.

 

Good! Myrrhi tried not to grin. If that woman was feeling that bad, she would never be able to defend herself in a fight. That left only two people to take care of.

 

Not wanting to lose more time, she decided to join the others. The Warder would definitely be suspicious if she took too long to bring the couple of dry branches she was carrying.

 

***

 

Emelda was bending over the injured sister, trying her best to heal her. The Brown Sister was explaining what she was doing and apologizing for not being a Yellow. Curious, Myrrhi watched her every gesture. It seemed to her that Emelda knew more about healing than a regular non Yellow Sedai would. Indeed, the older woman was weaving her threads in a slightly differently different way than for the regular healing. It improved the effect of the Weaves tenfold.

 

"I have done every thing I can," Emelda said at last.

 

As she said so, Myrrhi glanced towards Ialsa. The woman nodded, as if to show that she was satisfied with the Green's efforts to control her emotions. The younger woman didn't nod back, knowing it would have attracted the attention of the new comers. She advanced straight towards the campfire where she left the wood she had gathered.

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Elan had kept a sharp eye on Ialsa since they came back to camp, no doubt the sword she wore made him suspicious. It was not something Aes Sedai typically had about them. But she had expected as much and gave the Warder little thought or attention. She knew very well how Warders worked and planned on having no trouble with this one having already planned out a few options just in case. she had seen who was in the cart once Emelda introduced her to Bartha, easily recognizing the girl as the one that had taken Myrrhi away at the Blue Manor. Trouble in the cart indeed. 

 

Emelda had worked a good healing on the girl but she also assured that Elandra would not wake up anytime soon. 

 

"Emelda tells me you're looking for a Yellow sister Cila?" Ialsa probed Bartha. "that she should have been in Baerlon but has moved out this way"

 

"Yes," Bartha agreed, "Though where out here is hard to say. I fear that in the looking we may spend more time than Elandra has." 

 

"We'd be happy to help" Ialsa said with a gesture to herself and Myrrhi. "We can go out separately in the morning. It is probably best that Elandra not endure the stresses of travel any longer. And we can cover more ground this way." 

 

"i will happily stay with her" Emelda assured and Bartha looked to Elan who grunted and kept his eyes on Ialsa. 

 

"First light" Bartha agreed. 

 

 

Come morning and after a sparse breakfast Ialsa had a word with Emelda before they all convened and agreed on directions to go. It didn't take long to put a bit of distance between them Ialsa glaring back over her shoulder at the Warder's back as she and Myrrhi headed a bit to the south

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Myrrhi tried not to show how impatient she was to leave the newcomers. The "injured sister" would easily recognize her would she wake up. Fortunately, Emelda had had some reassuring words.

"Even with the best cares," she had said, "She won't be able to wake up anytime soon."

"Are you sure?" asked the younger woman with worry on her face. "It looks to me that you have done a very good job at healing her."

Bartha sniffed contempt showing on her face. For her Myrrhi's reaction was the proof of how inexperienced she was.

Happy to keep up with the deception, the young Green let pink show on her face.

 

Biting on her lower lip, she looked around and decided to sit by the fire. At first, she focused on the fire but as time went by she started to feel edgy again. Hoping it would help her look more relaxed she borrowed one of Emelda's books. She chose a heavy tome about history, with a green cover decorated with golden scrolls. It particularly looked inviting. As expected, she enjoyed the read. She was so deep in it, that she didn't even hear the conversation between Bartha and Ialsa. She only came back to her sense when Ialsa placed a strong hand on her shoulder.

 

"What is it?" she asked, turning her head left and right in search for any trace of danger.

"Nothing," the other woman said. "Well nothing important." She smiled reassuringly and explained what they were supposed to do at first light. Emelda would stay with the newcomers while to two of them would go to Baerlon.

The young Green wanted to protest and explain why this was such a bad idea but she kept her mouth shut. Indeed, Elan's eyes were on her, and most importantly she had agreed on trusting Ialsa. She thought the woman would not appreciate her already questioning her choices.

 

"All right," she said at last. "We'll go together. But I should probably go to sleep now. Just to be sure I am fit for tomorrow's journey."

 

***

 

"You shouldn't be glaring at that Warder," Myrrhi told Ialsa the next morning. They were on their way to Baerlon, traveling light in their horses. "It will only make him more suspicious."

 

Not waiting for an answer from her companion, the young Green immediately changed the topic of conversation. "Now, I wonder," she said with an eyebrow raised. "Where are these Children of the Light? I think we managed to get away from them way too easily. I just hoped we won't see them reappear out of the blue at the worst moment."

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"hmm?" Ialsa hummed having gotten lost in thought for a moment but quickly came back to what Myrrhi was saying. Turning her attention forward towards Baerlon the the lack of obvious camps outside it. "Most likely they moved onto the next town to irritate" she commented of the Whitecloaks. "incessant flies" she muttered of them, picking up the pace of her horse. Baerlon seemed much calmer than the day before as the Whitecloaks had left it in relative peace. Merchants going about their daily routines, women chatting and inspecting some fruit at a stand and Ialsa stomach growled a bit. but she didn't stop, she hadn't the money to stop. 

 

"When you were here the other day did you pick up on any chatter on where this Yellow Sisters home could be?" she asked Myrrhi

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Incessant Flies, Myrrhi repeated the words in her head. It made her smile. It was a nice way to describe the Whitecloaks even if flies had the tendency to be black instead of white.

 

The young woman sighed. If Ialsa was right, there were chances they wouldn't meet any more of these idiots before reaching their next destination. Many miles usually separated one group from another and most of them preferred to stay away from the White Tower. The Green and her companions would have to be really unlucky to meet another group right between Baerlon and Tar Valon.

 

The streets were busier than Myrrhi had expected them to be. It seemed to her that merchants had more wares than before, some of them caught her attention. Still, she decided that it was better to resist the sirens' call. She doubted Ialsa would agree on her spending time to browse the books set for sale.

 

Suddenly, Ialsa turned towards the young woman and asked her whether she had picked up chatter on where the Yellow Sister they were looking for could be.

 

"I don't think so," she said at first, shaking her head. "It's not like I was looking for her... or any other Aes Sedai."

 

Her cheeks reddened. Indeed, the last time she had been in Baerlon, she had used her cover to visit stores and private book collections. She had enjoyed her freedom a bit more than what would have been acceptable for an Aes Sedai. Again, a little voice in her head told her that she should go back the the Greens. That they may have some important missions for her, or worse. Maybe they needed her help... who know what might have happened to her Sisters in such a chaotic time?

 

Not wanting to think further about it, she concentrated on her memories. In the inn, the patrons had spoken about a lady could treat some weird kind of ailment. Could she be the one? It was hard to tell. She told about it to her companion and suggested they would go to the inn.

 

"It is the best place to start an enquiry," she said. "And I think that a drink wouldn't hurt."

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Ialsa gestured for Myrrhi to lead the way and the pair were soon at the inn, Iasla chatting up the patron as Myrrhi enjoyed a drink. "It would seem the woman you heard of is indeed the Yellow we're looking for. She lives on the far end of the city, bit reclusive. Word has it that she had left while the Whitecloaks were around the city but returned just this morning. He says that she's been a bit suspicious as of late. But that could be due to the presence of the Children" Ialsa shrugged to that taking a moment to look around the room. it was fairly quiet and not unlike how she had first met Myrrhi which got her to chuckle. 

 

"Hopefully our time here goes better than the first inn we shared a drink at" she joked. 

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Myrrhi laughed.

 

"Well, it will be hard to do worse," she said, before emptying her mug. The ale was not the best one she had drunk so far, but it was still quite enjoyable. "And I guess it's a good thing that she's back. It means that there are less  dangers in the city ... at least from her point of view."

 

Ialsa nodded, then asked the Green to stay cautious. The city could present less risks for the Yellow but maybe not for the other Aes Sedai.

 

"Of course, of course," the young Sedai replied before getting on her feet. "I'll stay focused."

 

The streets were as busy as they had been a moment before. Merchants still tried to sell their wares, kids were running from one place to another, laughing or shouting at each other. The life in Baerlon contrasted with what they had known in the woods. It wasn't Andor, but Myrrhi liked it. She had always found comfort in the crowded streets of her home city.

 

It didn't take them long to reach the small house where the Yellow was supposed to live. It had been quite easy to recognize it as it was the only building that matched the description for miles around. Remote, with windowsills covered with flowers and a door with vine carvings. The Green wondered why the Aes Sedai would live in such a place. Did she really think she was useful to the White Tower? At least Myrrhi was honing her skills. Even if she had chosen to stay isolated from her Sisters, she was still improving her Weaves.

 

She let Ialsa knock on the door.

 

They waited one full minute, nothing happened.

 

"Are you sure she's home?" the Green asked already moving to check through one of the small windows whether or not the Yellow was around.

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"Quite" Ialsa assured of the Yellow being home "Though at this point she's just being rude" she commented before putting a hand on the doorknob and with the faintest use of air unlocked it and opened the door. The inside of the house was rather quaint, actually very homey. Drying herbs hung all over the wall to the right, and a fire burned in a stove in the small kitchen to the left. Stepping in slowly Ialsa looked around, spotting the cup of still steaming tea on the table she smiled, the Yellow had to be there. "We mean you no harm Sister" she called "We are merely here for your help" 

 

She waited a moment just listening to see if anything would stir. And slowly, down a short hall there was a bit of a rustle, then a creak, followed by slow cautious footsteps. eventually a short blonde woman poked her head around the corner of the doorway. Ialsa gave her a smile and raised both her hands in a non-threatening way. "See? No harm" she promised which seemed to get the woman to come out more. she was indeed short, and looked to be rather young. her cheeks speckled with freckles and her blonde hair pulled into dual braids on either side of her head. If it werent for the great serpent ring on her hand she would have easily been passed over as an apprentice to a Wisdom or something of the sort. "My name is Iasla, and this is Myrrhi" 

 

the introduction stalled a bit as the yellow seemed to inspect them both, her eyes lingering on Iasla's sword for a while before they seemed to examine Myrrhi as a whole. "Minnie" she finally introduced herself with a slight bow of the head. 

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Myrrhi looked around. The house looked so small, full as it was with drying herbs hanging from the walls and the ceiling, pots and bottles here and there. It gave her the impression that the Yellow Sister had wanted to gather all the known remedies from that side of the world. The young Green took a bottle and shook it, curious to know what it could be used against... or for. Indeed, since not every container was labelled, she wondered whether some might hold poison, or worse forkroot.

 

I am really getting paranoid, she thought. But, as we say... better safe than sorry.

 

Making herself the promise that she wouldn't drink any tea that day, she placed the bottle back on the shelf where she had found it before turning towards Ialsa. Her companion had called the Sister, insisting that they were only there for her help.

 

It was only after a couple of seconds that they heard movement coming from another room. Myrrhi readied herself to reach for Saidar but a nod of Ialsa stopped her in her tracks. The Green had to smile when she saw a short blond woman's head peeking from the corner of the doorway that led further into the little house. Well, she's definitely no trolloc nor myddraal, she noted. But it doesn't mean that she's not dangerous.

 

Taking a deep breath, she let Ialsa take the lead. The other woman smiled and raised her hands in a non-threatening way, before making the introductions. Myrrhi didn't dare to move. From where she stood, she did her best to imitate her companion, hoping that  they wouldn't scare newcomer. It was indeed in their best interest to bring her back to the camp.

 

The Yellow didn't answer immediately. First she observed her "guests". Her eyes glided from the top of their heads to their toes making only with a break when they reached Ialsa's sword.

 

"Minnie," she said at last. "That's my name. Is there anything I can do for you?"

 

"As I said, we need your help," Ialsa quickly summed up the situation. They were in a hurry after all. The young Green had to admit that she couldn't have done better. All the relevant facts were presented to their host, except for the ones that could have led them into trouble. The name of the Blue Sisters were thrown in, and it had the right result.

 

Reacting as any women belonging to her Ajah would, Minnie jumped on her stores from which she picked a couple of pouches, bottles and bandages. Most of them wouldn't be necessary to heal the Blue, but Myrrhi suspected that the Yellow wanted to be ready in case they would meet injured people on the road. She resisted the temptation to shake her head. It was true that the roads were more dangerous than it had been a decade ago but there were chances they wouldn't meet anyone before reaching the camp.

 

"Shouldn't we hurry?"' Myrrhi whispered to Ialsa. "If she wants to fill her bags with half her house, we won't be gone before the day after tomorrow."

Before Ialsa had the time to reply, Minnie announced that she was ready to go. "But first, I would like to have some reassurances. I have not met any of you before and in these trouble times it's important to know who you can trust. My calling prevents me of delaying us more than necessary, but I hope you understand that I can't just blindly follow anyone who asks for my help."

 

The Green shook her head. She didn't know how to react to Minnie's words. She had talked with a soft voice and a smile on her face. Moreover, she was making sense.

 

"What do you think of this?" Myrrhi asked pulling her serpent ring out of her pouch. "This must at least confirm a part of our tale..."

 

 

 

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"dangerous times" Minnie chuckled nervously after inspecting Myrrhi's ring and seeing Ialsa's as well. She hefted her bags over her shoulder and Ialsa offered to carry at least one for her. "Now how exactly was this Blue sister injured?" she asked the pair once they were outside and she had her house all locked up. 

 

"There was an incident at the Blue Manor in Falme. She was injured during it. Much more than that we cannot say. We only met the Blue's on the road the other day. She is gravely ill though" she assured getting the Yellow moving in the appropriate direction. Saddling her own horse Minnie soon trotted away with Myrrhi and Ialsa. As was her way Ialsa let the woman ride ahead preferring to stick to the back as it was a better way to keep an eye on everyone. For the most part Minnie seemed as standard a Yellow as you could get, save for the fact she was on the skittish side. From what Ialsa could observe she was almost certain that Minnie had been through something, seen something that left her this way. She wasn't just skittish in a natural sense, she was wary. Untrusting, she saw in the woman's house. Even after she saw their rings there was a continued caution. It was as if she had been crossed or wrong or had seen other Sisters do things they shouldnt, things that left her worn and cautious. 

 

Ialsa hummed to herself in thought as they exited the city. it was not long before they reached the camp. Emelda doted on Elandra in the cart and the Blue and her Warder were nearby. "in the cart" Ialsa instructed Minnie who headed right over. 

 

Dismounting her horse Ialsa spoke quietly with Myrrhi. "How much of a problem will cartgirl be when she wakes and sees you?" 

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"A huge problem," Myrrhi replied. She looked around hoping her surroundings would help her get away from that dire situation. Unfortunately, the trees and the bushes stayed silent. "It's not like I can change my face, and I don't think we can take away cartgirls' memories."

 

Her studies had been centered on combat weaves, which were definitely not what she needed for the moment.

 

"Maybe we could try to leave before she wakes up?" she asked, biting her lower lip. "I don't know how we can do that without raising any kind of suspicions though... I guess they will expect us to stick around for a while." She shook her head. "At least, until she recovers...."

 

Aes Sedai were still supposed to support and help out each other if they felt they were on the same side. Leaving a Sister in such a bad shape could be interpreted as a sign of treason.

 

"Now, we don't have to go, all of us... I mean, maybe, I could go on a mission... and we could meet up later?"

 

The Green knew that she was the one who had to go away. It was her presence that presented the bigger risk.

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"Perhaps." Iasla gave the girl a nod, "For the moment we will see if she's even able to be helped, and if so trust a path will open for us. Even if it is parting ways for a time"  she glanced over at the cart briefly. "in the meantime, try and relax and remember we know nothing of the girl" 

 

 

Minnie had set to Elandra right away, assessing the initial damage, the work Emelda had done, what may be needed and the like. Despite her skittishness once she was about her work Minnie was the embodiment of a Yellow Aes Sedai. Emelda assisted the smaller woman which at times was comical in and of itself, Emelda's girth  jostling around the small from of Minnie to get in a better position in the cart. The Brown very nearly fell out on more than one occasion. it took the pair a good while, eventually having to take a break from exhaustion.   "I have done what i can. but I fear I may have been too late" Minnie told Bartha. "We will see come morning when she wakes." she assured. 

 

That evening Ialsa sat with Emelda as Bartha talked Minnie's ear off and her Warder made his rounds around the camp. "I did what I could to delay it." Emelda spoke softly. "But the weaves to alter a person's memory or even fog her mind are incredibly complex. There's no way to be sure it worked, or to what degree." The plump woman apologized. 

 

"Did our Yellow Sister pick up on it?" Ialsa asked and Emelda shook her head

 

"i don not think so. If she had she didn't say anything." 

 

"She seems the cautious type. If she had picked up on the weave she may well just not want to get involved or fear what would happen if she meddled." Ialsa shrugged giving the Yellow a warm smile when she glanced over to them though a noise off to her right called her attention away. Cursing slightly she got to her feet, she hadn't put up the wards as she should have due to the presence of the Warder and all that had been going on. The crack of a twig turned to the clang of metal as Bartha's Warder's sword met with the armor of several White Cloaks. 

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Myrrhi jumped on her feet.

 

"Whitecloaks!" she shouted even if her companions had seen and recognized the newcomers. Quickly she tried to assess the situation. Three men were on the warder, since he had been targeted as the one who should be dispatched first.  The channelers would be next, either they would be killed on the spot, either they would be fed forkroot and sent away from a trial... that would end with their death anyways.

 

Don't be so pessimistic, the young Green told herself as her eyes glided on another group of men dressed in white. They had jumped on Minnie and Bartha, who had been standing near the Yellow. One of the Aes Sedai was laying on the ground, the other holding her head with her two hands. Clearly their attackers had tried to render them unconscious.

 

Emelda screamed as she felt hands pulling them backwards. With a weave, Ialsa freed her. She had grabbed her sword and opened herself to Saidar.

 

"Something's wrong,' Myrrhi started. Why would they attack so many Channelers? It was suicide... unless they had some kind of advantage. Making a step forward, she sent an earthquake weave at the two enemies who were running towards her. Then she summoned a club of Air to take care of a third man who was approaching to their little group.

 

"What do you think?" she asked Ialsa.

 

More white seem to appear between the trees. It made the Green shiver.

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Ialsa's hand went to her sword but she did not unsheathe it.

 

Watching the chaos she quietly lowered her hand, protectively adjusted the sword on her back to make sure it was secure and took in the lay of the land so to speak. Spotting men on Emelda she easily opened herself up and freed the woman simply, pulling her to her and Myrrhi. She thoroughly agreed with Myrrhi's assessment. It didn't make much sense to attack unless they had the sheer numbers or something up their sleeve. Even then it would normally be ill advised to take such an open gesture of aggression against the Tower. But there had been a battle and division among the Aes Sedai since she had left. Perhaps the such acts have emboldened the White Cloaks.  

 

The Warder had his hands full as more Whites rounded on him. 

 

A heavy burst of air blew all the Whitecloaks away from Bartha and Minnie. "Clear a path that way" She instructed Myrrhi "Get rid of and keep back any Whitecloaks, Use whatever means necessary" she told her as she got Emelda to focus and the pair headed over to help the Blue and Yellow sisters. Emelda helped the one kneeling to her feet as Ialsa picked up and hefted the other over her shoulder. Without even a parting glance to the wagon that held Elandra, Ialsa moved Emelda away and towards the path Myrrhi was making through the Whitecloaks. She didn't worry about the Warder, she knew them well enough, he'd make his way free and track down Bartha. What the Aes Sedai needed to concentrate on was making their way clear and free. 

 

Myrrhi was doing well but the numbers of the Whitecloaks were greater than they could have seen in their camp. It seemed the entirety of those who had camped around Baerlon were now here around them. This was absurd, it was infuriating, and these fools needed to be taught a lesson. "This, this is the damage a broken Tower yields." Ialsa grunted out  "No." she said quietly and slowed to a stop. Myrrhi could feel the other woman open up again, not unlike how she had back at the Blue Manor. It was almost a sense of something gathering, a storm, or .....air. It was air. She was gathering air? No, it was hard to define. And it just escaped Myrrhi's comprehension. Though as Ialsa built the weave the young Green could catch glimpses of it, what it constituted, it's complexity. 

 

Ialsa raised a hand, and quietly snapped her fingers. 

 

It radiated out then. A pure nearly solid shockwave of pure air, nearly invisible save for the consecutively collapsing Whitecloaks around them. While those closest where thrown back violently, the only thing Myrrhi felt was a slight exhale from her lungs. The Whitecloaks were thrown back and consecutively pressed down to the ground. some squirmed trying to move, trying to get up but to no avail. Curses could be heard, muffled through the mud and grass. once they were all pinned Ialsa resumed her walk, urging her companions foward. "Move" 

 

"But our sister" Bartha nodded back towards the cart still surrounded by Whitecloaks fighting her Warder. 

 

"I cannot hold them forever, and may not be able to repeat this performance any time soon. We must MOVE" Ialsa explained as Emelda didn't hesistate to move Bartha forward, away from the camp, away from the cart. 

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"... Use whatever means necessary," Ialsa told Myrrhi. The young woman grinned, feeling adrenaline feeding her muscles and clearing her head. She wove more club of Air, clearing the path as she had been asked. She didn't like Ialsa's decision to help out the Blue and Yellow Sisters. Together they would be stronger, but these Sisters also meant a lot of trouble.

 

"There's no end to them," she muttered. It seemed to her that the more Whitecloaks she swept away with her weaves the more advanced towards her. Time to think about something else, she thought. But before she had the time to start a new Earthquake weave, she felt something building up behind her. Distracted, she turned her head towards the source of the power that covered her flesh with goosebumps. And what she saw surprised her so much that she completely stopped channeling.

 

Ialsa was doing something extraordinary. The younger Aes Sedai didn't know whether her companion was summoning a storm or creating threads of Air. What she did was beyond her comprehension, but the results would be devastating. She was sure of it. Slowly, Ialsa raised a hand and snapped her fingers.

 

A fraction of a second later, most of the Whitecloaks around her collapsed, hit by something that looked like a shock wave of Air.

 

"Wha...," Myrrhi didn't have the time to finish her sentence. Ialsa interrupted her, "Move!" she said.

 

The Green shook her head, trying to focus on the matter at hand. Her thirst for power and weaves pushed a thousand questions inside her head. However it was not the time to ask them. She knew that she would have to quiet it all down if the wanted to get away from the Whitecloaks.

 

"But our sister" Bartha said, nodding back towards the cart. It was still surrounded by some of the Whitecloaks, the ones who had been fighting her Warder. 

 

Ialsa urge her to move. She would not be able to hold their opponents forever. They needed to get away as fast as possible. Emelda didn't need to be told twice that they needed to escape. She pulled the skirts of her dress with one hand and took Bartha's hand with the other. "Yes, we need to move!" she said.

 

"The horses," Myrrhi indicated. Indeed, with the chaos, some of their horses had managed to tear the bonds with which they had been tethered. They had run out of reach of the Whitecloaks swords and seemed to be hesitating about going further away. It was easy to see it from the way they moved. To top it all, there were only three horses for the four of them. It meant that they could have a nice head start but not for long.

 

The four women ran towards the frightened animals. Myrrhi patted the first horse, trying to calm it down. "Ush," she said. As she felt it relax, she moved on its side, and climbed on its back.

 

Ialsa did the same with the second horse as Emelda pulled Bartha to the third.

 

 

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Ialsa settled an unconscious Minnie on her horse just behind her, giving a short whistle to get Emelda's attention and a nod in the direction they should go. wasting no time to take inventory, to look back, or to put up with any questions. the more they were moving the less chance Bartha had to question or attempt to go back for Elandra. The Blue already was having a hard enough time staying on the horse with Emelda. As it was Ialsa felt sorry for the animal, having to haul two women much less one of them being Emelda. 

 

Ialsa didnt talk, no one really did, they were solely concentrated on putting distance between themselves and the Whitecloaks. They pushed their horses, lending a bit of extra energy and refreshment to them as needed, getting them farther than any horse unaided could go in a day. They soon curved their way back to a main road, deciding it would be easier to hide any tracks they made amongst the others on a heavily trod path. Taking the right split that would head on down to Whitebridge. They made good time and distance, but eventually Ialsa began to tire. The weave with the Cloaks, and the boosts to her horse were taking a toll. 

"We need a camp" Emelda offered up looking along the side of the road for a good spot. 

 

"After Whitebridge" Ialsa told her, getting a frown from her old friend. 

 

"You need rest" Emelda told her flatly. 

 

"After Whitebridge" was the only reply, Ialsa keeping her gaze forward and her focus direct. While away she had been trained...albeit against her will. But trained nevertheless. The Seanchan pushed her to her limits and sometimes beyond. It was torturous at the time but it had opened her eyes to uses of the One Power that she wouldnt have dreamt of before. Uses the Tower would not condone, well at least before its battle, who could say now. She had endured then, and pushing herself now was nothing in comparison. "Do you see any following?" she asked Myrrhi

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Myrrhi quickly looked behind her, not wanting to fall from her horse.

 

"Nothing, I see nothing," she replied. The forest was so thick that it was hard to see what could hide behind the trees that surrounded them. Biting her lower lip, she opened herself to Saidar. As always, it improved her senses. She turned a second time and focused.

"I don't ..." she started, "... wait! There are people following us. I don't know how many but it feels like a small group and they aren't very close. We should shake them off!"

 

Emelda pouted. From what Myrrhi had heard the Brown wanted to stop and to have some time to rest. The older Sister didn't seem to understand that a halt would be a dangerous gamble. If the Whitecloaks had a minimum of tracking skills they would fall back on them in less than a couple of hours.

 

"I think we should push forward, just like you said," the Green told Ialsa. "And maybe Minnie can help us by taking away some of our fatigue when she wakes up?"

 

The Yellows knew enough about the human body to cure it from many things including tiredness. They could even use weaves to do the same to their mounts. But, with only one Yellow in the group, they would have to make some choices unless Minnie is a really good healer Myrrhi added for herself.

 

***

 

Myrrhi shook her head as the milky shape of White Bridge appeared between the trees. Minnie had done what she could to keep them  fresh enough to fight, would the Whitecloaks manage to catch up with them. But they hadn't. The small group was still somewhere behind them but the distance between them had grown.

 

"Here we are", Emelda said as she slowed down with her horse. The rest of the group followed. The area near the bridge would be busy and they knew that crossing the bridge at a full gallop would draw a lot of attention. "What do we do?" the Brown asked.

 

"We do just as we planned,' Myrrhi replied. " We cross that bridge in tree groups, and slowly..."

 

Her eyes met Ialsa's. Are you sure Emelda is up to it? she wanted to ask.

 

The other woman reassured her with a nod.

 

Emelda and Bartha went first, followed by a conscious Minnie accompanied by Ialsa. Myrrhi would be going last, right after having had a last look at their pursuers.

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