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Traveling (Attn: Lady Greyfist)


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Kira had left Cairhein, on her way back to the White Tower.  She sought a Warder, and her travels would eventually take her to the Borderlands, but stopping by the Tower would allow her to rest in her own quarters as well as give her some time to restock supplies before her journey Sheinar.  The Blue figured she would start in the East and work West.


The Blue had decided to walk a bit.  Her dapple grey mare followed her being led by the bit. It was nice to have the horse, but at times, Kira needed to stretch her legs.  Kira kept her eyes open, but was still surprised when the men came out of the woods by the road.  There were four of them, and their clothing was poor.  Each man had a dagger, which they held bare. Kira almost swore, but kept her cool.


"You're a pretty one," the leader said. "And traveling all alone.


Kira embraced saidar.  The three oaths wouldn't allow her to attack these men.  The weaves just wouldn't form.  At least they wouldn't until she was attacked.  Still she wished for a better way.  The Tower didn't need rumors of Aes Sedai attacking people.


"Let me pass," Kira said. 


"A lone woman with a horse," the leader ignored her. "Dressed like a lady and traveling alone - you can pass.  After you pay...although our price is more than coin."


Kira still kept calm on the outside, but her rage filled her from within.  The man still hadn't attacked, so there was nothing she could do.  She had a knife, but it would do little against the four of them.


"Let me pass," Kira repeated.


The man laughed.  "I don't think so Lady."

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"Come on Ivo!" Grandt pretty much whined. Whined, for a flaming grown man. "I know you agreed to come drinking in town with us so you could play your Ocarina and dance but- slow down big man!"


Ivo stopped his long stride and stood still, arms folded across his beer barrel sized chest and glowered down at his... not really friend... he wasn't particularly close with the other Merchant's Guards in his sister's employ. He was pretty sure that they tried to be friendly to get on his sister's good graces in hopes of being remembered for a bonus at the end of their season. Ha! Drescella wouldn't even give HIM a bonus and they were flesh and blood. There was no way she would part with coin just to make him friends. She was smart, she had given up on interceding on his behalf to help him make friends.


Not that she didn't care, in fact she was probably the most in touch with how he felt! She just knew that he wouldn't want a friend if they had to be paid to stay around him. Drescella was deeply compassionate to how crushing their father's expectations were on him. It wasn't fair that their father expected him to learn to be something he wasn't just because he was their preferred choice to take the business. Had Drescella not married Peitre and started managing his affairs she would have probably taken over the business for father. Carra had a face and a disposition that made it easy for her to sell anything, but management was more of her husband's affair. Julsea and Belinda were too young still to know who they may choose to marry and Master Pylos was hoping that Ivo was going to be ready to take over soon so he, himself, could retire and not have to keep traveling until Julsea came of age. Ivo really didn't want to be a merchant. He'd much rather stay with Drescella and help her, and he was sure she would have him, but she was kind of stuck between making him happy and making their father happy. Ivo hated it, but he knew he was pressuring her to do something that could get her in trouble but he didn't see how else he could get out of it.


Grandt caught up to him and held him in place by the elbow of his grey coat. "It's cool that you can make some extra gold with your music. Chase your dreams and all. But imagine the gold we could ALL make," All being the other half of the guards that were being allowed to walk to the nearby town as their caravan of strangers was usually safest staying on the outskirts. "if we get you to challenge some locals to a strength competition. You know, they put coin down on whether you can break or bend things. You get them worked up thinking you can break a bunch of stuff and then when they bet that you can, something that's hard to bend you just give up after one or two tries and we'll bet that you couldn't. Come ooooon. We'll give you a share. And EVEN share!"


Ivo just wanted the Altaran to leave him alone. He pulled his sleeve from Grandt's grip and turned. "I do no be interested in your tricks. I do no want to be tricking poor old farmers and good wives out o' their hard earned coin for nothing. If anyone do want to throw me a coin to pick a song I'll oblige but if you do want to cheat you find yourself another patsy." He grunted, leaving the other man there blinking in confusion. Grandt probably hadn't heard Ivo speak that many words to him in the whole of their traveling together.


Praise the light they managed to travel the rest of the way in silence. He let the others head to a cheap, shady inn. He wasn't too good for such an establishment. Not by far. And such a place would afford him maybe a good opportunity to break out his frustrations with a fight, but he knew he shouldn't be picking a fight after making those other guards so mad. They may not step in to help him if he needed it. Frankly he couldn't trust them not to join in or, at the very least, not to boo him while he was trying to play just out of spite. He went a little ways away and into a slightly classier establishment. It wasn't full of the wealthy by any means but it was cleaner and the drink, being a little better quality, cost a little more. When he first entered all eyes turned to him, slightly wide in surprise at his height.


He was used to this reaction and they typically settled within a second. He'd heard every joke about height that was ever penned, he was sure. A few memorable times he recalled being asked if he was a tall man or a short ogier. Ivo ordered a drink and asked if he might play his music. He informed the inn keeper that he was not looking for room or payment from the inn keeper, just a safe place to play for other's amusement. If someone wanted a specific song they could toss him a coin but he'd likely use those on his drinks. The innkeeper, an old woman with more grey in her hair than brown and a slight stoop to her back, grinned. Music always helped to bring in customers and it was even better for her that he didn't want anything from her.


It had been a rather fun afternoon, people had kicked up and danced a bit as he'd played jolly tunes; cheer you wouldn't expect from a man as somber as him. He had to be back to the caravan before dark, but the coins given to him bought him a couple cups of decent ale, just enough to give him a mild buzz before he had to get going. The innkeeper had tried to convince him to stay but she understood eventually.


Ivo didn't care to collect the other guards though, he'd much rather make the short walk back there himself. He shuffled along the the road headed back, watching the shadows extend across the road. Suddenly he heard a commotion over the crest of a hill and the sight of a lone woman with a horse, being harassed by a bunch of men cut through his buzz like a knife. Welp, a perfect night ruined. He eased his sword in its sheath, able to be wielded in one of his large, meaty hands. He did pull his iron banded cudgel out of the loop on the other side of his belt. He didn't want to draw the sword unless he absolutely had to, but he could knock quite a few teeth out with the cudgel. Taking a deep breath he marched up to the altercation. "What do be happening here on this fine sunset evening?" He grunted to the group, completely filling up the road.

Edited by LadyGreyfist
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The leader grimaced and faced the newcomer.  Kira looked briefly, seeing a man, Illianer judging from his beard and accent, wielding a cudgel. Rage flared within Kira, but outside she kept calm.


"I said," she repeated. "Let me pass."


The bandit leader to didn't look at her.  He stared at the newcomer. "This doesn't concern you, Illianer.  Leave."


"There are four of us," another said, as he moved forward to grab Kira.


Kira tried to avoid the grab, but something held her back.  Truth be told, it was interest.  She wondered how this man would react.  The Illianer had come this way and inquired as to what was going on.  She was curious on if he would help and move on.  What she didn't expect was how hard the man would grab her.  Pain shot through her wrist.  It would likely bruise.  Kira grimaced as he grabbed her.  She embraced Saidar, but didn't give it form.  Under Rasheta's training, she had learned to control her temper.


The man pulled her by her right wrist and she pulled back, resisting.  As she did, her left hand reached for her knife and she slashed her attacker, catching him on the arm.  He let go and called her inappropriate names. He glared at the blue in rage as he and one of his companions approached her.  She couldn't fight them off - not without the power anyways.  The other joined the leader to protect against the Illianer.


Kira was prepared if the man didn't assist, but she held back. 


The Wheel Weaves as the Wheel Wills, she thought. I seek a Warder - is it possible that one has come.

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 "This doesn't concern you, Illianer.  Leave."


As if it flaming didn't? He wasn't bloody blind! For emphasis he bounced the iron banded, bludgeoning end of the cudgel against his other open palm, projecting outward calm. There was only four of them. To the average man the prospect probably would have come across as intimidating, but Ivo, having been a shy, fat child was more than accustomed to being ganged up on. It didn't impress him in the slightest. 


"Ah, fortune prick me, now that's where you do be wrong. The ways I see it, I've been all cooped up on this journey from Illian. Behaving myself and all. But now you do be giving me a lovely opportunity to vent some frustrations. So, the ways I see it, you can disappoint me and let the lady go and be about your day. Or, you may continue to pester her and you'll be looking for your teeth in the chamber pot come tomorrow." His best attempt at an amicable smile was... far from amicable. He knew this, and decided to share it with the light blinded fools. 


"There are four of us," another said, as he moved forward to grab the woman.


Ivo gripped his cudgel tightly, preparing to dive into the mess and crack some skulls. He blinked as the woman lashed out at the man with her belt knife. And then tension in the air snapped like a taught wire having been cut. The leader of the team and one of the others attempted to rush Ivo while two stayed behind to try to take down the woman. If he moved fast enough with these two he could hopefully reach her in time. 


He had a long stride when it came to walking but it took time for him to move the sheer mass of his muscle into a decent run. Instead he charged only a few steps, just enough to get him into closing distance with the startled fools. Likely they had expected him to run or shrink back slightly, but Ivo had been stressed out and he was itching for a good fight! He imagined these men to represent all the expectations on him, all the pressure to be something and behave someway contrary to his nature. He roared as he whipped the cudgel around with shocking speed, the otherwise heavy weapon wasn't nearly as so to someone with arm muscles accustomed to hauling heavy crates and product up and down. Ivo slammed the cudgel into the mouth of the leader without really using all his strength. He didn't want to actually kill the man. 


The man yowled and bits of shattered teeth, bloodied pink, streamed from his mouth. He crumbled, wailing with his hands gripping his bloodied mouth. 


His companion didn't have a chance to really flee as Ivo flowed from one motion with his cudgel into the next, striking the wide eyed highway man in the ribs, filling the road with a sickening crack as a rib was broken and the horrified whoosh of all the air leaving his lungs. Ivo just left him gasping in the road beside his leader before rounding on the two tangling with the girl. 

Edited by LadyGreyfist
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  • 2 weeks later...

The two men moved to grab her and she swung her knife, holding them back.  She heard grunts and the sound of a blunt object hitting flesh and bone.  The men finally got close to her, one of them grabbing her knife wrist.  Held back, they tried to force the knife from her hands.  Kira was playing the damsel in distress right now, so she fought, but allowed them to take the knife from her.  Saidar flowed through her, a bright light only awaiting her instructions to be given form.  The sweetness of it filled her and she resisted the urge to use it.  She still wanted to see how the Illianer reacted.


Deprived of her hands, she used her feet, kicking at the the attackers.  One foot found its mark and the man groaned in pain and let her go again.  Given back the freedom of one arm, she swung at her other attacker.  She connected with a crack, and the man staggered, but maintained his grip.  Kira used every advantage, and continued to hit the attacker.  Under the onslaught, he eventually let go to cover his face.  Kira stopped attacking to retreat and get her knife again. Both assailants were looking at her, one still bleeding from the slice on his arm. The other had a bruise forming on his face.  There was anger in their face.  Now they only wanted to attack to receive vengeance on the woman.  Kira watched and waited.

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Ivo stalled slightly in his tracks. He saw the woman who, previously, had been being restrained, lash out with an expertly placed kick and regain some ground for herself. Momentarily he contemplated if she had ever really needed his help, or at the very least if maybe she no longer did. This hesitation lasted only a second as he saw the vicious light in the two remaining highwaymen's eyes. It wouldn't matter how good she was with that knife, there was still two of them. 

While they were distracted with lunging for the girl Ivo cleared the distance, dropping his cudgel with minimum care and lashing out with both of his giant fists to clasp them around the collars of the two men. He tugged back hard, digging the shirt into the windpipes of the two grunting buffoons. They had an opportunity to be startled, enough to turn their heads to gaze up at the lion-like face of their restrainer, before Ivo brought his two fists together and subsequently crashing both of their skulls together. 


Their bodies became limp in his hands as awareness fled and Ivo unceremoniously dropped them into the heaps they belonged it.

"I do be thinking we had better clear out before the ones that are still awake get a second wind." Ivo suggested to the woman in blue, stooping to collect his cudgel and return it to his belt loop. A man of few words, as always, he held out an arm out in the direction of the clear strip of road with a slight bow to his head as though saying with deference, without words, "Lady's first." 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Kira watched as her rescuer walked behind her two attackers, and grabbed them by the collar.  A quick look of surprise and the two men bashed their heads together. The two slumped to the ground.  Kira reluctantly let go of saidar, and looked at the Illianer as he finished speaking and gestured away.


There was wisdom in her wards, and Kira stepped over to her mare and patted it on the nose before leading it in the direction offered by the man. "Thank you," Kira said. "For your help.  I can pay you if you wish."


Kira pulled out her coin purse to get a few coins out.  She actually would pay the man if he would accept it, but at the same time she wished he wouldn't.  It wasn't greed.  Money wasn't something the blue worried about.  It would speak highly of the man's character if he did something without payment.  "My name is Kira," she said, offering her real name without the Sedai honorific.  At this point, she still didn't want her rescuer to know.


Kira found a few coins.  They were of Cairhainin make.  Tar Valon marks would connect her to the White Tower more than she wanted to be with this man who had come to her in her time of need.  "Here," she said, holding the coins out to him.

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At the offer of coin Ivo wrinkled his nose slightly and waved a meaty hand dismissively. "I do no need your coin." he said softly. It wasn't said with a tone that suggested he thought himself better, just that he really didn't desire any money at all. "I do have enough for my needs. My sister do pay me fair wages for guarding her wagons. No, I picked a fight with these dogs because I do be itching for a good fight some of the time... and it do feel like the right thing to do when a lady is being pestered." He explained shortly with a deferential tilt to his shaggy head. 


"However, my sister would love to show a Lady hospitality. Our caravan do be this way if you do want to wash the grime from the tussle off your dress. Or even to just let her serve you some tea." He chuckled. His sister could hold her own in a fight if she had to, he'd seen it dozens of times, however he knew that she absolutely hated if anything soiled her dresses. She kept herself up with diligence and concern and had far better luck taming her own auburn hair than Ivo had. Regardless she'd love the opportunity to chat with one and maybe feel that she had been of assistance to one. She'd love to be able to throw Kira's name out there when doing business if the suggestion of noble connections abroad gave her any edge in a deal. 

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  • 1 month later...

Kira followed and shrugged as she replaced the coin in her purse.  The man liked to fight, which wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing.  It could cause issues at times however, and Kira would need to possibly rein him in a little bit.  The over of a place to wash up was enticing and gave her reason to stay with the gentlemen as well. This caravan could give her an excuse to continue observing the Illianer as well.


"If I may ask," she said politely. "What is the destination of the caravan.  I still have a ways to travel, and it would be good to have some company on the road.  As well as protection?"


Kira chuckled slight. "Light knows I wouldn't want to have a repeat of the incident with the bandits."


She walked quietly, her hose whinnied softly as it walked, and a breeze moved though the trees.  Kira could see the light of the caravan that they were approaching.


"By the way, you haven't told me your name."

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