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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Lions and Tigers and Bears oh MY.... (Saline)


Jaydena
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Lyssa walked from the barracks with her saddle bags over here shoulder, today she would take Saline out of the city to learn about how to survive in the wilderness. She was a little nervous about the whole thing, this woman's life was in her hands and she had to teach her how to survive in the wildress with her wits and also keep her alive and away from such things as Whitecloaks and bandits. She looked at the sun and then picked up her pace, she didn't want to be late for this trip. As she walked, she smoothed her hands over her thighs and looked down at her leather britches, they were made of the softest leather and she had been told they would hold up well out in the wilderness. Lys has purchased them several weeks ago and worn them so that now they molded to her body. On top of that she wore a dark shirt and a short tan colored jacket. A cloak that would keep her warm and dry and a thick pair of boots, completed the outfit. She rounded the corner and saw the stables just ahead.

 

Luckily she had gotten there before her mentee and she jogged forward and walked in to get the horses that she had picked up. Jaydena Sedai, had told her to take two of her horses, as they could use the exercise and time out of the Tower stables. Of course she had been given a stern lecture on how to take care of horses and had to leave her spleen on deposit. Jaydena didn't want anything to happen to her babies, Lys was just glad to be riding something as well trained and beautiful as these horses. Walking up to the stablehands, she asked that both the horses be saddled and then headed over to pet each of them. As she was stroking the sculpted head of each of the two, she felt a presence behind her. Lys had gotten used to the girls subtle smell over their time together, "Hello Saline, come and meet Storm and Aldeba." She introduced the girl to the horses and then began packing the horses with what they would need, which wasn't much...

 

Lyssa Simeone

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I am not quite so laissez-faire about it, dear.

 

Despite many assurances so firm they bordered on warranties, she was not sure how long this trip would last. But in case she did not return in time she had arranged for Mina Daryl to teach Ino - the Light have mercy on her mentee's soul. Saline wanted somebody else, but others had their own students and classes to take care of so she had to humble her pride to beg service of that infuriating lass. Still, the purpose was to learn as efficiently as she could so that she would come back much improved on her sad procession to more fantastical notions - such as basic forms which are beginning to sound like dreams to her. Lyssa kept saying, when you're ready, and the others did not seem to contend that she was ready. If she heard "we shall see" once more she might scream. Still, foundations were built, just as one's initiation into Saidar had been controlled, and released only in easily digested increments. She hoped she did not miss too many lessons in her other classes, and that her wonderful Syara's handwriting would be legible as far too many incidents with lecture notes had collisions with brews and butter in the early mornings.

 

Such was one. At the crack of dawn they gathered their belongings. Saline travelled light, and her items of necessity had always been worn attached to her belt. A quick inventory would have revealed her ring - which she tucked into her pouch, the whetstone her good friend, her oldest friend the tinker's handkerchief and her newest friend - a hunting dagger she bought on the market last free day, the same second-hand shop where she procured some scented candles to unwind to.

 

She grinned as she strapped on her scimitar. Excellent. It made her ready for a rumble. Then she realised that she was to report to the stables. The stables?

 

Memories struck her and she quivered at the thought of horses, her eyes dancing from one creature to the other. Whinneying of the chestnut drew her closer despite her wariness, and she thought Lyssa had mentioned the mount's name, "Aldeba?"

 

A diamond star rose to meet her stare.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ooc- I apologize sweetie, I just finished moving 3 years of history to new boards on the community side, so a little wiped out. Hugs

 

Lyssa led the chestnut gelding toward Saline and chuckled at the look on her mentees face as she spoke the horses names. The horse sported white stockings on his legs , a white patch on his chest, and a white star on his forehead. `Good morning Saline. We will be gone from the Tower for four days, so I am hoping you got all your classes covered if you were teaching any and got permission from the Mistress of Novices. Lys eyed the young woman who was wearing clothes in earth tones. “Good job on picking your clothes, those tones will blend in well with the earth around us, and I bet you are glad to get out of your Accepted whites.” She grinned and then spoke again, “To start, we have some preparations to make. I have gottten everything I need to survive alone in the wild for four days.” She gestured at her horse Storm, his gray sides were covered in various items. “A large sheet of oiled canvas and some rope. A small axe. A small shovel. Cutlery. Various healing herbs, our weapons are our most important items. “Looks like you didn’t bring any changes of clothes, you do have room for that if you want to go get a set or two. Now I want you to fetch what else you need. The kitchens has a pack prepared for you, with bowls, cups and cutlery ready. There are canvases in the shed to the left of the armoury, as well as rope. Give the Mistress of the Kitchens this note and she will give you everything I asked for.” She handed Saline a sealed note and then waited for the girl to run off and complete the things she needed. Some time passed and Lyssa saddled the other horse, she hooked on the saddlebags and watched as Saline made several trips to bring the other things she had asked for. When she was done, Lyssa brought her to the horse and carefully showed her how to tighten the cinch on the horse and how to add the items to her saddle. She hooked an extra bedroll behind the saddle and some extra gathering bags to the front of the saddle.

 

When she was finished she told Saline to mount and watched as she did so, when the other woman was on her horse, Lyssa swung easily onto Storm and led the girl from the Tower. She waved at the guards at the gates and then they walked quickly through the city and out into the area outside of Tar Valon. Lys knew the woman would be sore, but they kept up a steady pace and continued until just past noon. She dismounted and waited for Saline to struggle down from the horse. Ignoring the grimace on her mentess face she looked around the meadow with tree around it. Nearby was a stream and hills surrounded them, the wind picked up and she lifted her head and enjoyed the feeling of being outside of the city. She spoke softly as though she was afriad of disturbing the silence, “Ok it’s time to eat, get out your pack and we will eat.” Lys watched as Saline opened her pack and saw the moment the girl recognized that there was no food in there. “As you can see, there is no food in the packs, you can easily survive for four days without any food, but, we shall be eating. Just not the way you are used to.” Lyssa picked up her own bow from off her saddle and untied it, she scanned the sky around them and picked up a bird flying above them. She took aim and brought the bird down with an easy move, “If you like fowl and know how to use the bow, there is this option, there are also rabbits, deer, and fish in the stream nearby. Do you know how to catch any animals or how to hunt Saline?”

 

Lyssa Simeone

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Trying not to blush, Saline dug into Aldeba's ribs, slowly guiding her mount around the twisted roads, balancing the scimitar and trying not to hit the tools sandwiching her legs. She had not fallen into the sunbaked earth as the horses cantored thank be to the Light for a high horn on the foresaddle, and the gentle nature of the chestnut mare. Shifting she tried to imitate the Guard's exemplary stance on the less than mild Storm. Her toes pointed forward, heels hanging below the fender. Now she felt better situated on the... twisting? Yes. There had been names Lyssa told her to memorise, the ones she now listed repeated in the heat of the noon. The weather had not been so brutal when the contents of their saddlebags converged in the Tower stables. Her errands were perfunctionary kisses that had stolen most of the morning. Resulting in a blush when Lyssa reminded her about the clothing again: did the Tower Guard now think she was a man, that she cared not for washing or changing her garments until they rot from her flesh? In her chamber she picked up a scented candle, as well as a red dividing skirt. The skirt would be closer in colour to soil at home, but it would do. It reminded her of the skirting on the saddle, but the accessories appeared trivial until Lyssa explained that they stretched to distribute the weight more evening. Despite the assurance, Saline proved a poor horseman. Each jolt away from the Tower brought more alertness to the Accepted. Her unease seemed understandable, its factors more than the soreness. She was sure to develop boils on her bottom, at this rate.

 

When they were stationary once more, Lyssa asked if she had any hunting experience. No, she did not, Saline admitted. She had watched the collectors rush out the pheasants with a stick sharpened meticulously at the branches - for catching but not hurting their prized tailfeathers, but other than that flimsy excuse of 'experience' she was new to hunting.

 

At the babbling close by she brightened. On the road she gathered some berries to sweeten the tea with. Once at the oasis of the brook, she wasted no time in cleaning her arms and face, cooling them in the brook. Catching fish was a novelty to her, but one she was more willing to confront than rushing the fowl.

 

Abrupt motion caught her eye.

 

The honeyed curls frizzed around as she whirled, gasping. On the other bank there was a spotted back, instead of the expected muzzle. The doe dipped her foreleg into the waters holding it still as if to test the temperature before sliding an impossibly long neck in, a pink tongue lapping at the water, then to drink more deeply. Her slender body sleeked off, realising that the lass was there, but ignoring her company for the thickets. In the creature's grace Saline was deemed insignificent. Strange how we attach meaning to people, whereas they ignore people to acquire what nature offered them. Doe did not like Saline. But she liked deer, even if it were odd ones she had not glimpsed the likes of.

 

Remembering that moment of catatonic fear when she had mistaken her for a she-bear, she hurried to her Mentor's side. "I'd like to learn the bow at some point, if you will teach such a dumb student." She told Lyssa faintly.

 

But first she had to learn cooking what they were to eat over the four evenings. The knowledge she had in the kitchens extended to heating up soup, brewing tea, and being able to turn the meat. It was irrelevant that she had enough time done in the Tower Kitchens under the watchful eyes of the Mistress there to wash a life's worth of dishes and cutlery. The woman had smiled slightly before handing her the sack Lyssa instructed her to retrieve, Saline had a nagging suspicion it had been at her culinary abilities, as the extent of their 'supplies' became known to her she stared as dully as the Guard would have if the extent of her cooking had to be exhibited with their weapons.

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Having lived with the Tinkers for two years before softening at the Tower, she felt suddenly glad that it was harvest season, for there were plenty of berries to gather, even if her wrist look like she lost a fight with a particular rose bush. She remembered having read a novel somewhere that suggested suicide was a form of crying out. Then won't scratching at your wrist be a tiny whimper? Sighing, she tried not to dwell on how life was precious, and focused on dulling the ache in her tummy. The beast grumbled about her incompetence from within. It wanted more sustenance. Wiping the mulberry juice from her lips with a grubby hand, Saline considered the bugs. They were supposed to be high in nutrients. She was still shuddering when the idea of making a fishing pole came to mind. She looked for hemp, but could not find any of the lovely pale maxed mesh they brought with them. The Accepted suspected it was back with Lyssa. Shrugging she twisted a length of ribbon, then worked a fine blond strand of hair into the thread, making a a pin from her cloak into a curve. Feeling no compunction she pieced a grub and dangled it into the water. And waited. The sun, it burned on her back. She had no luck with fishing, and gave it up for a lost cause. Fishing in Saline's book was more difficult than persuading Mina to stay on topic.

 

Even the trees bulged with lichen and moss. A glimpse from the maple blurring the corner of her eye. The opposite of Inspiration is Expiration? Smiling Saline made a hole in the ground with one of their shovels, and framed a wire around it, so thin it could not been easily seen by human eye unless one knew to look for it. Lastly, she took out a hair barrette from her pack, the pretty gift from Syara for being friends. It shined in the sun as she laid it into the hold and covered up the region around it. She realised it was perfectly gaudy, and the ticket to her survival over the course of four days.

 

Squatting under the maple, she polished her scimitar. Hello, friend. Soon she'll be talking to trees, like King George did in gleeman tales. But she expected company before long.

 

Sure enough, a babylike squeal came from the curious paw. Waking from her nap she sat up disorientated and saw the animal, which had its fist cramped around Syara's present. If it had let go of the barrette it would have been free, but once held, the creature exhibited unrelinquishingly dumb behaviour. Well, Mister, is it to be materialism or life? One could tell as Saline inched near the squeals he didn't even consider the latter as a commodity. After many gropes, she clutched her masked bandit and her mind squealed: got you now! as she nervously slitted his throat with a mightly slash from the scimitar never made for such a purpose as slewing raccoons.

 

Thank you, Syara.

 

She kissed the mutated tree, marring it with a mulberry stain. Filling up the pan with some wild mushrooms - and taking care they were non poisonous - she ladled riverwater into the pot. The pot was boiling away when the Tower Guard returned with more firewood, and more words. The raccoon was skinned, poorly, and its meat divvied into packs. Try as she might, she could not pry the barrette from his mortis rigor grip, decided to bury the carcass into the hole with the shiny treasure. That was the lest Mister deserved. His tail she lopped off, a souvenir for Syara, though a nagging suspicion had been she might borrow it to prank Mina with.

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Lyssa watched closely as the young woman picked berries and then walked over to clean her hands and face, across the bank was a deer drinking from the water and Lyssa wondered what the girl would do. Some time passed and finally Saline turned to her and said, "I'd like to learn the bow at some point, if you will teach such a dumb student." She nodded and the young girl and spoke softly that it was indeed possible. Saline walked over to the water and began to fish with a thread of her hair, Lyssa held her breath to keep from laughing and went about setting her own tent up for the night. She kept an eye on the girl as she worked and saw her make a trap in quite a inventive way, she had to give her points for trying. Saline wandered off and Lys was soon surprised to here a squeeling, she looked over and saw a raccoon caught in the trap. Shaking her head she walked over to the stream and began looking for her dinner. She had soon caught three trout and shot two pheasants out of the sky, she also was lucky enough to find a nest of eggs and an assortment of herbs and root plants. Walking over to the fire, she took the birds she had already plucked and the fish she had skinned and gutted and began preparing her own dinner. She dug a hole in the ground and then took some of the hot rocks out of the fire, she had stuffed the pheasant with the eggs and a herb and grain mixture she had come with and then wrapped it in leaves. She put it into the ground-oven she had created and then covered in with more rocks.

 

When she was finished she set to work on the fish and left them roasting while she went in search of some berries and to get more firewood. She returned before to long and saw that her mentee was already cooking as well, she smiled at her and stoked the fire while she watched her. "As you can see, this is where we will stay the night. I doubt it will rain but you must set about getting reading to have somewhere to sleep. Go find a space in between some trees, you need something to suspend your canvas from. Put one canvas on the ground and one canvas over the branch, make sure you clear the area of branches and rocks, these will not make a pleasant night for you my dear. Lyssa watched as Saline got to work on setting up her tent and when she finished she motioned her over. She took her to the ground oven and explained the concept of it. "It should take about an hour more to cook but it's a wonderful way to cook your food in the wilderness. Make sure you eat nothing you are unsure about Saline." Lyssa watched the girl go back to cooking her food with a smile, she really was doing very well...

 

Lyssa Simeone

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  • 1 month later...

In the hour it took for the meal to be prepared she examined the oven that Lyssa constructed, quite different from the steel mechanisms in the Tower kitchen when they were to stack the firewood, the thickest on the bottom where the duration would be longest, preferably oak; the more slender cut pines on top to catch the flint. The fans should not be full blown at first, half would do as the fire was vulnerable to the wind. She remembered having stoked the kitchens with some green willows as a novice, smoking out the Mistress and her fellow initiates in jerky frantic motions. It was numerous trials later that she realised the trick to building a fire. Which was not to say, the challenge in maintaining one was any less, but the kitchen temperature facilitated the roaring flames, whereas here it would depend solely on the vigilence of the firemaker. Saline had the one power at her fingertips, and yet saidar may as well be in a Stedding for all the good it would be out here. One look at the sleeping area told her it slacked. The interspacial gap between two deformed trees was enough for the canvas to droop over. The rocks underneath were odd as well, mostly broken up. Her mother used to paint rocks for fun but they were round like robin eggs. She gathered the sherds into her blanket to dump before looking for ropes.

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Lyssa watched as Saline worked on getting herself an place to sleep. She winced as she saw the rocks and wondered if the girl was going to leave them where they were. The tent looked like it would blow down any second and Lys was afraid it would do just that. Saline managed to eat her food and Lyssa munched on her's happily, it has turned out very well of which she was pleased. When she had finished the food, she took the left overs and wrapped them in leaves, then she stored them in a special leather pouch that helped keep food cold.

 

She called out to Saline to head off to bed and then made her way to her own tent. The next morning dawned bright and full of promise, she snuck from her tent and looked over to see that Saline was till slumbering. She walked over to relieve herself and then got started with breakfast, finding some eggs in a nest and a rabbit in the snare she had set earlier. Skinning the rabbit she set it on a stake before the fire and then headed over to catch some trout. It wasn't long before she had some biting her line and made her way up to her frying pan. By the time she was finished frying her fish Saline had stirred from her bedroll.

 

The girl looked like she had slept on a pile of rocks, which she might very well have done. Lys winced at her and then spoke, "Good morning Saline. After breakfast, which you will be expected to procure yourself, we shall continue our lesson. You have half an hour by the sun to be ready. She began to eat her trout and watched as Saline moved around looking for something to eat.

 

Time passed and she had washed her breakfast dishes and stowed away her leftover breakfast. Her horse was saddled and she sat waiting for Saline. Finally the girl climbed warily into her saddle 'I have prepared a route in these hills for us to follow. I shall spend the morning teaching you how to follow my tracks, what to look for, and how to disguise your tracks to get rid of any pursuit. Saline, can you tell I passed by the this way this morning, and if you can how can you tell?"

Lyssa Simeone

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  • 4 weeks later...

Copying Lyssa with the leftovers, she then rolled into her blankets and fell to it.

 

When she woke, Lyssa was already up and moving about. Saline had the forethought to bring some tea along but not sugar, so had to drink the stuff black. Bother eating. Soon the fire was snuffed and they decamped. Stuffing cold rolls she saved into her mouth, she shuddered to think of more hunting at the end of the day. Provisions was something the Taraboner did not have to worry about in the Tower.

 

The Accepted walked stiffly, then settled onto Aldeba gingerly. As they rode she kept thinking of ways to gather food. Shaking her head slightly to clear her head, she really had no idea as to tracking, though she ventured tentatively, "a guard like you would not be leaving traces, unless you deliberately broke that twig over there. The soil is dry and hard to retain footsteps. I suppose if anybody was tracking us they'd be able to tell by the fire last night."

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  • 3 weeks later...

ooc- I am so sorry I am not getting topic replies and I didn't see this. *winces*

 

Lyssa watched as Saline nodded and then after considering her thoughts began to speak, "A guard like you would not be leaving traces, unless you deliberately broke that twig over there. The soil is dry and hard to retain footsteps. I suppose if anybody was tracking us they'd be able to tell by the fire last night." Lys nodded and then smiled, "Very good, I did indeed break those branches so you could see what way I went. Not everyone is going to be that easy to track. If you look down toward the river you will notice the hoofprints I left there early this morning. You can often notice things such as the dew being disturbed or seed pods that have burst by someone's leg rubbing against them." Lyssa began moving and pointed out things as they went along, horse hairs caught in thickets, broken branches or leafs, twigs and flattened low-lying plants, hoof prints. Things like just recently disturbed rocks with some moist soil beneath. She pulled out her leftovers and handed over a large portion of it to Saline, along with some bread she had brought with and a small jar or strawberry jam. Partway through the meal, she pulled out a compass and began to show Saline how to use it, she also showed her to use certain signs as the sun, the moon, and the stars at night.

 

She walked away from Saline with several excuses and then mounted her horse, at the bottom of her plate, which she had prepared herself, she would find a letter.

Saline,

I have gone to our campsite for this evening. It is about half a days journey from here, so be careful but don't go to slow. I will make my tracks fairly easy to follow, just make sure you pay attention and don't drift off. If you loose the tracks, the campsite is on a hill with a small stream to the north and a cospe of trees to the south. It is due North East of your current location. Good luck.

 

Lyssa Simeone

 

Lyssa smiled as she imagined Saline's shock and then continued on her way, soon Saline would realize she was gone and she wanted to get as much done at the campsite as she could before the Accepted got there.

 

Lyssa

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Only men think with their stomachs. How could you have been so foolish as to let her out of your sight? It tasted good at least. Licking the jam off her lips, she was angered by her weakness. Another voice in Saline’s head stuck up for her tucking into her meal so wholeheartedly: how was she to know the Tower Guard would have abandoned her here, desolate with only a plateful of food and some horrid directions? Secretly she knew she was being dramatic as Lyssa would have found a way however vigilant the watch was to evade her and sneak out, but that knowledge did not, or could not help the fact that she was on her lonesome.

 

Well, perhaps not entirely alone. She had her scimitar after all, and having it securely belted and sheathed but ready to be used at any moment comforted her. A friend, Lyssa had told her, and a friend it was as she made her way downstream for some water. Lyssa had left much to be cleaned up and she tried to remember the details as she went about the site.

 

North? East? She was not sure how the compass worked, and left navigation alone preferring to follow the trail. Saline grew more confident as more and more signs along the way. The moss was denser, making the forest trail wetter. As she stepped her boots squealed in the mud, and she was sure there would be another stream soon. Once she found that, the hill would be in sight, and it does look as if somebody had left her traces.

 

It was almost too easy.

 

Hours later she stopped trekking. She had strayed, and stragglers did not find their way back to their Mentors. Somehow the shade on the pines indicated this was not where she was supposed to be, and she -- cold, hungry, tired and very, very lost – did the only thing she had left to do.

 

Without abandon, she began bawling her eyes out, lustily, and blissfully unaware of the leaves cackling behind her.

 

OOC: Yours, Aleeza! Be prepared for a swing from Saline though.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest Estel

Various animal noises reached Aleeza’s sharp ears.  None, however, were near enough to make a good shot… yet.  It was still early, her dinner should be making its way to the river soon.  ‘Light, if Keyl finds something before I do, I will put an arrow in his rear.’  The Wanderer had gone off a different to see if he could make a kill himself.  According to the wolves’ amused messages of a wolf cub running around in circles after his own tail, he was having about as much luck as Aleeza and tiring himself out besides.  If it wouldn’t have scared away her supper, she would have laughed but instead she absorbed the emotion back into her body and sat motionless and silent.

 

The bark of the tree was beginning to dig painfully into her back but this too she reabsorbed into her body.  To all extents and purposes, the young woman was simply an unnatural growth in the crotch of the tree.  Even had one of the Kin walked by they would have trouble spotting her unless they had been making an effort to track her- which, to her knowledge, no one was or would have need to.

 

Which was why the far-off crying, muffled by the trees and distance, caught her so off-guard.  It wasn’t Keyl, he was “chasing his tail” somewhere upstream and the sound was coming from deeper in the woods.  ~What other two-legs are around besides me and the Wanderer?~  Her mind reached out to the wolves, finding a pack scattered in various positions up and downstream, they too were waiting for their dinners.

 

In response, she received the image of a wolfcub, whining out for its mother who stood hidden in a thicket, watching its reaction.  ~Where’s the two-leg from?~  She received no answer.

 

Natural curiosity perked, and there was a good few hours yet until the animals would start making their way to the river, Aleeza hopped down out of the tree and stealthily made her way towards the epicentre of the sound.  The source of the crying was a young woman, looking a few years younger than Aleeza’s twenty-five.  No wonder no animals had made their way to her section of stream, the bloody woman was bawling up a storm enough to keep the bravest bears in their dens.

 

Confused, and naturally wanting to help, the young Wolfkin pulled the cowl of her cloak over her head before moving from her hiding place in the bushes.  “Hello there, what’s the ma…”  Aleeza yelped and only quick reflexes saved her from the overhand swing of a scimitar.  She grabbed the young woman’s thin wrist and stop the swing, though made no attempt to either make her drop the sword or move it away from herself.

 

“Hey, hey, I’m not here to hurt you.  Calm down.”

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  • 2 weeks later...

Her chest heaved as if from a hard run.

 

There was something humiliating about hiccupping in front of a friendly traveller you tried to impale with your scimitar a moment ago on the road, on show to the curious eyes. Muddy boots squeaked as she scuttled back; no attempt was made toward wrenching her wrist free as the grip had loosened, releasing her. Her scimitar clattered to the soil as she put her hands by her ears, in a gesture of good will.

 

"Yeah, hic! I'm calm." She lied, thinking little of the falsehood as she examined her companion more closely. The figure beneath the earthen cloak was slim and limber, and the woman's grip was surprisingly firm. Saline rubbed her wrist gingerly as if the memory of her touch remained; if it had the memory was not painful. Eyes of burnished gold (was the woman ok?), the likes of which she had never glimpsed before, fixed her with a steady look as her words pursued one another nervously. "Sorry hic! about that, you hic! surprised me. I'm hic! Saline."

 

Strange eyes or not, she felt comforted by the company. No, she assessed, all it all it wasn't the other woman she was angered by so much as her own reaction.

 

If I'd only stop hiccupping!

 

Behind the curls, anger flared. She was almost angry enough to abandon what little sense she had, and kick at the leaves around her, half wanting to pout and tear off the other woman's hair. Certainly it was best that Lyssa had discretion and not yet taught Saline how to use her weapon, as she might have gotten herself into trouble. Already, the trainee's response to potential danger seemed to consist of drawing ugly slashes in the sky with her scimitar, and yelling uselessly. On top of the fresh bout of noise pollution, she didn't think of embracing the Source. Oh, she was a disgrace. No doubt about it. Heaven above, but she seemed a disgrace, and the Light knew how crucial first impressions were, and from the concerned expression on the other's face, she knew that screaming like a fishmonger just hadn't cut it.  

 

OOC: How about you point me in the right direction?

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  • 3 weeks later...

“Alright Saline, I’m Aleeza.” said the blonde woman, thrusting her hand out at the stranger to shake.  The bit of sharpened steel lay harmless on the ground but the Wolfkin kept eyeing it uneasily as if it might suddenly leap up and attack her of its own accord.  She had been around plenty of the other Kin who carried swords and not felt so uneasy but out here with a stranger and otherwise alone, the killing device seemed far more threatening than safely stowed in a Kin’s sheath.

 

The woman smelled strongly of anger and despair, verging on the point of hysterics despite her assurances that she had calmed down.  ‘As if…’ Aleeza snorted to herself before she set about calming the woman down, much as she had with Keyl yesterday night.

 

“Just breathe, it’ll stop the hiccups.  How did you end up all alone in the forest?”

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  • 1 month later...

She might be distressed out of her mind and the Tower but one of the first things the people back at the manor told her was never to tell a stranger who she was, and she was not prepared to disclose the whole truth, as it happened. The unwitting Accepted had already forgotten enough of this to give Aleeza her name, that damage was done, but her name had not brought the Tower into the conversation, and although Aleeza looked as if she could handle this, there could be somebody else behind the blondeness that would hop up and attack Saline – not that she had seemed to be the type to, but one was never sure one would not come to harm in the wild – where none could see, only because of the connection to the Tower. In the classroom she had listened to lectures about how the Aes Sedai had lost credibility and trust in the World, and how some nations, such as the ever-far-away Amadicia, had ranged anywhere from unfriendly to downright hostile. Her role models had kept too many secrets, exposed even more in cryptic rambles, and now, there was very, very little trust to be gained in revealing her aspirations to the Shawl.

 

So she did not try. Instead she skirted around the subject, trying not to even think about the Tower. Saline had done research on social contagions with the Novices, and somewhere her mind knew that the best, most convincing liars were the girls that didn't know they were lying, who had so believed in their version of the truth that they soon went on and persuaded everybody else around them, a feat only the firmness of pure conviction could deliver. In other less flattering words, it was denial. No, she would not reach for Saidar, even though that was a comforting thought, that out in the middle of nowhere she had the upper-hand, the weapon that the blonde woman would not expecting. By the looks cast its way from Aleeza's unique eyes, the scimitar posed more of a threat than any statement from Saline herself, as if she was able to discern the truth from fiction.

 

"I am to meet my Mentor," she proceeded carefully, "at a certain place in these woods. Unfortunately, I have lost my way; I was supposed to head East. Is this not the East?" This last was hopeful, since the alternatives were much worse. If it was not East she could be pointed on her way and go, but if Lyssa had truly abandoned her… 

 

The wind sent her cloak flapping, and huddling deeper into the dark material the Taraboner was made aware of how miserable she was, waiting for a response in the cold. 

 

 

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The woman had a queer smell.  She was hiding something.  Her name was true enough, but there was something off about the rest of her story.  Reaching out to the wolves, they confirmed that there was a two-legged she a few miles north-east of them, so that much was true.  The wolves also sent her an image of a young cub chasing after an older cub, imitating what its elder did.  Aleeza assumed this was confirmation that this other woman was indeed Saline’s mentor.

 

All the same, a hot smell of wariness drifted off Saline in waves and it was certainly unusual for a Taraboner to be meeting their mentor in the middle of... well... nowhere.  Given the image of a sombre, large, black-haired she-wolf, this mentor was nothing like the locals.  Travellers?  But why had they split up?

 

The former Tinker chuckled when the younger woman asked if she was going East.  “Next time I suggest you bring a guide with you when you have to meet this mentor.  You’ve gone south.  See the moss on the trees, how it grows mainly on the backsides of them?  Moss always grows on the south sides of trees.  What you want to do now is go north-east.  Keep the moss on you left and walk away from it.  Eventually you should stumble on your mentor’s track, follow that.”

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Hm. Now that she thought on it, the Tower Guard had mentioned something about the moss; unfortunately she was paying more mind to her stomach than Lyssa's words of wisdom at the time, and it was only when Aleeza pointed out the relationship between the moss and the sun, that Saline realised she had always known all along she was lost, only that she didn't want to admit it to herself, so she kept denying that she could have been going in the wrong direction all along. Now she grasped at this, and clung tightly, for the blonde woman's knowledge of mosses would lead her to Lyssa!

 

"No, no, don't follow," Picking up her scimitar but shealthing it firmly, she started to grin, relieved "Haha, thanks." An odd meeting, in which she feared she had been very, very rude; she would think about her conduct, and how she had not fared well later. She would find Lyssa, and all would be well. 

 

Saline strolled off as Aleeza had directed her for an hour or so, not just a little concerned how she was to reach her Mentor before dark (but she could always light a fire, right?), then she veered right, and the trees gave way to a river. Over the babbling of the stream her footsteps quickened for that was where the instructions dictated, and within the hour before the sun had set, she came upon the Tower Guard pacing an already set up camp.

 

Lyssa was annoyed. "Where've you been?"

 

Even though she was admonished by the Cairhienin, Saline could have cried at that crisp, sharp demand. Civilization!

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