Jump to content

DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

A Visit (ATTN: Nox / Open)


Jagen Sedai
 Share

Recommended Posts

Jagen chose out her dress very carefully that morning. A beautiful medium gray silk, embroidered with crimson threads, it was of a Taraboner cut; not as revealing as Domani dresses, but it did cling to her form. Her red braids had all been redone, and a silk veil covered the lower half of her face. She wore a simple belt of black leather--a choice based on the Asha'man's black coats--a couple pouches hanging from it.

 

The Sitter headed to the stables and gathered up her bay mare, Vega. After she was saddled, she made her way to the Traveling grounds. She had never before visited the Black Tower, herself. So when she made her gateway it was to Caemlyn; a spot agreed upon between the White Tower and Andor. There were guards there when she arrived. They quickly stood straighter and made a bow. Jagen only gave them a nod, mounted her horse and set off to cover the two leagues south.

 

While she rode, she realized how alone she felt out here, even though farmers and merchants were traveling the same way, or going back to Caemlyn. Astounding. It was still astounding to her that the Black Tower existed at all, much less that people actively did trading with them as if they were just another town! It wasn't long--perhaps too soon--when the smooth, long black stone wall came into view with it's half-completed towers. Even the wall itself seemed undone, but it was massive to Jagen, for this place that started off being called "The Farm." Her lips tightened. Slowly she road to the gain, and again that lonely feeling seemed to come to the forefront.

 

It was because of the missing bond, she knew. Jagen had transferred Aslan's bond to her friend Tesarene, a fellow Red who, in her opinion, needed the experience, and had wanted it besides. She obliged, having expressed some interest in Aslan, though it was much harder to convince the Asha'man to let her go of being on the wrong side of that bond. Still, Jagen made sure he understood it was not breaking the original bonding agreement. He still was bound to an Aes Sedai, just not Jagen. Tesarene was more... willing. The Sitter was just glad to be free of it.

 

So why was she now sitting on her horse, approaching the Black Tower so casually when she just escaped being bonded to one of them? Multiple reasons, she supposed, but she had little time to bother dwelling on them as she approached the gate. She did not wear her shawl, but her Great Serpent ring was on the first finger of her right hand, and her ageless face should have given her away besides.

Edited by Jagen Sedai
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The time came and went for Nox to travel from the Citadel to Tear and then back to the Farm.  It was becoming like clock work and that suited Nox just fine.  And if he was regular then everyone knew not to be late or they'd miss their doorway home.  Or to where ever it was.  Nox traveled wherever they needed a gate.  The more places he knew the more gates he could open.  It was one of the things he enjoyed doing and it kept him moving but always on time.  Always home by the time sun set.  

 

Breakfast was gone.  Lunch would be fast approaching but he had things to tend to at the Farm on this day.  Then back to Tear to shuttle anyone back home or someplace else.  Despite having a job, practice was still necessary.  In Saidin and in weapons and Adrim insisted on reading as well.  Nox was well beyond the age of having to do as his instructor and mentor said, but he'd always listened so Nox continued to do so.  

 

It was reading day, and Nox liked to be alone while he still struggled with the some words.  He didn't have to read out loud anymore.  That was a precious gift.  He disliked other's hearing him.  He sat outside the gates near the black walls.  His back rested against the smooth stone and he had a skin of water and some hard cheese to nibble on while he read.  The book was on the histories of Mayne.  A place he had yet to be.  It felt almost like going there.  Though Nox preferred tales of Ather Hawking or Briggite Silverbow.  (( please ignore my ignorance on names I'm lazy and don't want to look them up )).  The sun beat down from where he sat the black of his coat and the walls only made it that much warmer.  His shirt was unbutton a few from the neck unusual, but much needed for this sun and reading.  

 

He noticed a rider approaching and had a moment of panic.  Disruptions were part and parcel to living around others, but not usually while he was reading or doing his own thing.  Nox stood up and redid the buttons on his jacket and shirt.  Presentation was absolute.  He stood his ground while he waited for the woman to pass.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jagen slowed her mare considerably as she rode closer to the gate. While still far enough away the man standing watch did not call to her, she noticed a reader sitting nearby. A man, who promptly bolted up upon seeing her and did up his shirt buttons. Good, so he knew to show some modicum of respect. She hoped he was not on duty, but that hardly seemed likely. Maybe he was enjoying a short break in the middle of guarding the wall?

 

She gently pulled the reins and Vega stopped. Resting her hands on the pommel of the saddle, she studied his face. A man who could channel, like Aslan. How long would it give her pause, to wonder how much had changed in so short a time? While she had attended a small gathering at the White Tower where a man offered to introduce them to saidin, to even link with him to feel it, Jagen had stayed on the sidelines. She had not been prepared for that, and had no desire to do so.

 

So again, why had she come here? She knew the answers. She just didn't let them come to the forefront of her mind.

 

Looking at the man, she smoothed her gray skirts. The Sitter wondered how he got that scar on his cheek; he seemed almost pretty, otherwise. Then she spotted the pins on his collar--a full Asha'man then.

"I am Jagen Sedai," she announced. "I have come from the White Tower, but on... less than official business."

Edited by Jagen Sedai
Link to comment
Share on other sites

She didn't ride past!  Instead stopping to talk to him.  Light!  Nox gave her his best smile.  It didn't quite reach his eyes but he'd learned to put on the everything is alright mask despite the fact that he felt completely ill-at-ease in the situation.  

 

And to make it work she was from the White Tower.  She was one of them... a woman like himself.  A channeler.  He didn't see any shawl that stated her Ajah and he wondered, but he didn't let it bother him.  He'd seen Aes Sedai before.  It was almost like one of the story books Adrim made him read.  But she was here on business.  Nox wondered what kind of business was less than official business.  He didn't take any steps  closer.  "How can I assist you in your less than official business?"  Nox asked hoping that she'd already know where she was going, but he was fairly certain she did not.  He'd never seen her before and Nox made note of every face at the Farm who made any regular visits.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jagen smiled down at him. It was not forced, but a genuine smile. She wanted him to feel unthreatened, though he made her somewhat wary. She thought it would be awhile before she had to stop fighting her urge to shield him. 

 

“This, it is my first visit to your Black Tower,” she said smoothly. She had had to practice saying that without her mouth turning up in disgust. Right now performance was everything. Calm. In control. She thought of telling him that she was one of the sisters who Bonded an Asha’man, but thought against it.   “Perhaps you’d care to be a guide, if it is allowed. If it is not, perhaps you can point me to a... gentleman more appropriate.” 

 

Gentleman. She almost felt like laughing at the absurd notion. As she thoght about it, no man who could channel was truly a gentleman, not in her eyes. She did glance at his book, half wondering what he was reading—and had he nothing better to do? Jagen had been under the impression that everyone was kept busy from sun up until sun down. Nonetheless she countered herself fortunate to have run into one of them outside the walls. She was not surrounded, then. 

Edited by Jagen Sedai
correcting typos
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nox looked around and then smiled.  "I can show you around.  It's a big place."  Everything about Nox changed as he stepped forward.  He put on the faked smile, and pushed himself away from the anxiety of the situation. 

 

But despite the fact he offered his hand.  "My name is Nox. I can walk you and your mare to the stable.  And we can go from there."   Nox lead the horse with a palm on her soft silky flank.  "What's her name?"  Nox put his book into his over large pocket of the coat and kept walking.  The histories would just have to wait, but Nox was grateful for the break from the excruciatingly hard exercise of reading.  It was worse than Saidin or the staff.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jagen had firmly planned to stay on her horse the entire time--or at least during the beginning. She wanted every advantage she could get, including that of sitting. She had not expected him to offer his hand. It presented her a problem. If she didn't accept it, she'd be seen as too haughty, perhaps, and he would mot likely be much less inclined to help her.

 

But she worried more what would happen if she did accept it. While it was possible he was being genuine, Jagen could not help but visibly stiffen, and even lean back, away from him, in her saddle. Her eyes widened slightly as if he'd extended a weapon. Last time an Asha'man reached out to her, she'd been kissed and found herself bonded at the same time. She almost grabbed saidar, but after telling herself hundreds of times not to overreact here--if that was possible!--she had at least some control.

 

She composed herself quickly and swung off the saddle--on the opposite side from him. She walked stiffly, holding onto her mare's reins. "Her name is Vega," she said coolly. She did not mean for her demeanor to change so quickly, but now she was clearly tense. She forced herself to sound more friendly as she thought of something to distract from herself, "And you, your name is Nox, yes? Where are you from?" Then she added, only for his benefit, "If you don't mind me asking."

 

I have to be calm. Relax, she told herself firmly. What a fine mess I will find myself in if I scare him!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

She didn't take his hand and it irked Nox slightly.  He went the extra mile to be nice and she looked like he had the plague.  It was only for a moment but it was long enough Nox would do what he said, and leave as soon as he could get away.  He hoped Adrim would come looking for him to yell at him for not reading.  He didn't like that thought, Adrim never yelled, but Nox was always afraid he would.  Al'tar always yelled at him.

 

She repeated his name like he hadn't just said it.  Nox bit back the comment that was fighting its way out of his mouth.  Instead he answered  with disinterest. "This is my home.  Where I came from means nothing anymore."  It wasn't some jargon he was spouting.  it wasn't brain washing of the black tower, it was his legitimate feeling.  He'd never had a home before, a roof over his head and a room of his own.  Nor had he ever had 3 squares a day - even if he had to cook it himself which he enjoyed doing.  He still had it.

 

Nox lead Vega to the stable and the livery boy looked at the mare and then at the Aes Sedai and smiled. "She's pretty."  Nox grinned at the boy's enthusiasm.  He was certain he meant the horse but the boy also liked to listen to Nox's tales of his past.  He thought that having no parents and fending for yourself was an epic adventure, but it hadn't.  He was starving most of the time.

 

"Dav, this is Jagen Sedai and her lovely mare Vega.  Take good care of her." 

The boy's eyes went wide when Nox told him who she was.  Aes Sedai were myths and legends to most people, but then so should be a man who could channel and yet nearly everyone here could do that.  

 

Nox felt for the power with in.  It called like a raging storm to him but it was missing the oily slick he'd come to trust as Saidin.  The taint was gone, but their minds were affected none-the-less.  Some more than others.  Nox hated the affect it had on him.  Adrim saw it too.   He smiled at Jagen Sedai.  Nox didn't make the mistake of holding out his hand to her again as he waved the arm in front of him in the direction of the rest of the Farm.  "If you'd step this way we can begin."  Nox remembered the tour Adrim had given him those months that felt so long ago.

 

[[ I don't know the layout of the Black Tower or The Farm and I can't seem to find it anywhere either  so we'll have to wing it. ]]

Edited by Matalina
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jagen watched Nox in silence, observing him as he interacted with the boy. She certainly hoped the boy couldn't channel, or learn. She would hate to go after a child. No, we do not gentle anymore. Not unless they're already mad, of course. She did not like to think of a child going mad from the Taint.

 

"Yes, thank you," she replied to Nox, having calmed down from before. She was in little danger of being bonded here, she thought. Still, the sight of every man there made her feel like a deer surrounded by lions. Channeling lions. Asha'man, they called themselves. Jagen nearly harrumphed. It meant 'guardians', and she thought it stupid.

 

Jagen purposely spent more time looking at all the buildings than the men around her. A few regarded her warily. Most, thankfully, seemed to ignore her after a glance, if they looked at all. At least one older fellow an an expression of open contempt on his face. Jagen assumed he knew an Aes Sedai face. At least she wore gray today. She couldn't help but let a corner of her mouth turn up in a grin, as memories came into her mind of bringing channeling men to the Tower to be gentled.

The buildings were many; much more than she expected. The Black Tower wasn't a tower at all, but more of a village. A large one. There were huge warehouse-sized buildings of wood and smaller buildings of stone, but many were the size of a minor noble's house, or a well-to-do merchant. She was quite fascinated by it.

 

"This place, it is more of a city than a Tower," the Aes Sedai commented, watching a man and woman come out of a small house, a child running from behind them. "Families. Children." She looked and saw men who seemed well versed in masonry working the large wall that was to surround the entirety; perhaps that's exactly what their profession was before coming here. Yet now they worked the stones with the One Power. Saidin was being channeled right in front of her, all around. Stones were laid precisely and in large quantities. She wasn't sure how she felt about the wall. It meant they were blocking themselves off from the rest of the world, trying to shut everyone out. It struck her as very defensive in nature--but who, exactly, did they want to keep out? The White Tower, she thought, and perhaps others who didn't want them here.

 

She watched the floating bricks a moment longer before turning away from the wall. She noted more women, now, mending clothes or carrying baskets of food. They had to all be family. "Do you have a family here?" she asked Nox. "Friends?"

Edited by Jagen Sedai
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nox took her around the Farm.  It was home now.  But the people were still distant.  He didn't fit in - mostly his own fault.  He never tried to make friends.  He had nodded when Jagen Sedai made the comment about the city.  "Yes, ma'am.  We don't grow up like you might assume.  It's faster to grow out."

 

They stood and watched the wall builders for a while.  It was menial labor but they were encouraged to do as much as possible with Saidin.  It helped learn quickly.  Nox had lifted rocks on occasion for both strength training and power training.  He'd cleaned his room and his clothes using the One Power just this morning.  Made his bed even.  The only time Saidin's use was not encouraged was while weapons training.  That had it's own set of rules.  Nox liked the rules the helped him stay the insanity of panic attacks.

 

Jagen caught him off guard when she asked about him.  Normally he liked talking about himself, but never when it got personal.  He didn't mind being the center of attention.  What better place to hide, but this was not something you hide behind.  But the truth was simple.  "I have no family here." Nox had no family anywhere. "And the only friend I have is Adrim.  But he's more like my mentor than a friend."  Adrim had been a john when they'd first met, but they'd never pursued it again after that first night.  Boundaries Adrim had said.  And Nox thrived with in those boundaries.

 

Nox didn't like the topic of conversation so he redirected it with a bright smile.  "That is about all there is to the Farm.  Can I help you with the less-than-official business you spoke of? Take you somewhere? To see someone?"  He couldn't help that his smile turned a little sly.  "Or perhaps..." He finished his sentence with a wink and a bright grin.  It may not be professional and Adrim would certainly chide him for it later of the Aes Sedai complained for his implied remark, but it was well worth the reaction.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jagen nodded to herself as she turned away from the men working the wall. If they did manual labor with the One Power--and she presumed as she looked around, everything else they did--it explained how they were rising so quickly within their ranks.  All around her, men using saidin. Getting stronger, more deft, in it. Her lips tightened. They got stronger while avoiding doing anything that made Aes Sedai otherwise so great--learning about the world, discipline with good, manual labor to build character, and receiving a proper education.

 

They could use the Power, but they were little better than wild, undisciplined children.

 

Nox answered her question. And then, with chosen words, winked and grinned at her. He winked at her!

 

Jagen's hands grasped her gray skirts and clutched them, and her eyes narrowed, her expression growing cold. If anything the visit thus far only hardened Jagen's belief they needed to be gentled. All of them. Foolish children. Animals with crass desires. How dare he imply anything of the sort with her!

 

She drew herself up. "I am Aes Sedai, you foolish boy, and I suggest you do not attempt to clarify what it is you're implying." She was going to threaten with dragging him off to the Tower, but that wouldn't do. Only her anger covered her fear, though, and she very well wanted to draw up a gateway back to the White Tower then and there.

 

No, she thought, this boy, do not let him think he has intimidated me.

"Bring me to Adrim. He is the one I wish to speak with, lucky for you." He was no one she'd ever heard of before, but knowing that he was supposed to be Nox's mentor, she certainly wanted to speak to him now, if for no other reason than to tell him he needed to discipline his charge.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nox rolled his eyes at her reaction.  So full of her self.  But then she wanted to go see Adrim.  Blood and Bloody Ashes.  The smirk never left his face but he nodded and walked in the direction of Adrim place.  It was no different than his own really.  A building Adrim had built himself.  One room with not much else to it.  Some of the masons constructed elaborate houses.  

 

Nox knocked on the door but didn't bother waiting for an answer.  Anything Adrim might have on display he'd see already and the Aes Sedai might get a good eyeful if he were naked.  But when the door opened Adrim was laying on his cot reading a book and making notes in his journal.  

 

"I thought you would be outside reading with the nice weather...."  His voice trailed off as he saw the fuming Aes Sedai behind him.  Adrim shot up out of his bed and straightened his jacket.  "Ma'am.   He looked back at Nox with a frown.  "What did you do boy?"

 

Nox's smirk grew and Adrim interrupted before a word even left his mouth.  "You didn't?"  Adrim sighed and stepped towards Jagen.  "You will have to forgive Nox, he was not raised properly and such things are common when a brothel is all you know."

 

Nox's smirk faded as Adrim revealed a small bit of his past.  He wasn't ashamed of what he was, where he'd come from but once people knew they thought even worse things about him and treated him worse.  The Aes Sedai was already judgemental and hauty.  Now all he wanted to do was go back to his reading.  Or even better yet he'd rather make a trip to Tear or the Citadel, maybe he could find some other kinder person to flirt with.  Bloody Aes Sedai!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A brothel, Jagen thought in some disgust. "Well, his history, that certainly explains his behavior," Jagen felt exasperated, "but it does not excuse it." She wanted to ask him if he was a child, but decided to push that in the back of her mind, for now.

 

"The Black Tower, it grows quickly, but perhaps too quickly for it's own good," she explained, looking at Adrim now. "But the White Tower, we have agreed to work together with you, yes?" She looked around his house; it wasn't bad, but she nearly shuddered to think it was all put together with saidin. But it was fascinating. She couldn't deny that.

"Nonetheless," she continued in a slightly more pleasant tone, remembering why she was here, "It is... remarkable... what you, the Asha'man have managed to accomplish here. It is pointless to deny it. I came here to see it for myself. And while I think your... advancement process... could use work.... The Wheel weaves as the Wheel wills."

 

She smoothed her gray skirts, itching for the comfort of her shawl. No, she didn't need that. But she rarely went without it, when on Tower or Ajah business. "Ah, I realize I have not introduced myself. I am Jagen Sedai. And you, Adrim, yes? I understand you are Nox's mentor? How did you two meet, and come here, if you do not mind my asking?" She looked around for a chair, and moved to sit.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nox found this woman's attitude distasteful.  He'd seen whores with better manners.  She thought so much of herself and her precious little view.  How dare she say training could use work.  What the light did she know about Saidin?  Adrim seemed to take her attitude with stride but then he took everything with stride.  So easily he kept his cool.  Nox envied that.

 

But then she turned from business to personal again.  Adrim paled at the question.  How did they meet?  Nox and Adrim never discussed it and no one here new the whole truth of it.  Sure they knew they had been in the same inn, and Adrim had saved Nox's life indebting Nox to Adrim for life.  But they didn't know how they'd met before that.  Nox lifted his chin and stared directly at Adrim, if he wanted to reveal secrets than he would as well.  Childish but turn about was fair play.  "Adrim was a john of mine.  He and I had a few good rounds before I fell asleep in his bed.  I woke in a strange place and panicked.  The bedding caught fire and Adrim came in and put it out before I passed out again from the pain.  I woke up here later and have been here ever since learning how to control the gift of Saidin."  Adrim's demeanor never changed but Nox knew that he was fuming inside.  He could tell by the taunt muscles in his mentor's jaw that he was going to get a tongue lashing later.  If not for the jab at the Aes Sedai but the truth of the story.  As the last words spewed out of his mouth Nox stole a glance at the Aes Sedai to see her what he reaction to their story was.  He expected to find horror and disgust, she'd seemed a prude at the mention of having sex with him, but now to find out he had sex with other men (and women) for money.  He expected whatever nice airs about her were about to disappaite they always did when they found out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jagen was sitting very still when he finished. Only a slight tightening of her eyebrows betrayed that she was going over the details of that story. She had been about to ask what a 'jon' was, but then understood through context. So. They preferred to sleep with men, then. No, Nox indicated before he liked women. Perhaps both. There were some men like that. That meant, at least, that Adrim preferred men.

 

Jagen was just fine with that. Let men keep interest in each other; the lest they would bother her then. She actually somewhat relaxed; a little more than before. But only a little.

 

Her mouth opened to ask a question, then she closed it again. Then she asked, "You woke up in a strange place?" She thought more about the second half of the story, then nodded. "A strange place, and fire. You had channeled? This was your first time, yes?"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

She didn't sneer.  Or react much at all for that matter.  But she seemed like she wanted to say something but thought better of it before she actually asked her next question.  

 

Nox nodded in response.  "Yes.  I had seized Saidin in my panic.  Or rather the calm I was trying to induce and the sickly sweet light called to me and I grabbed it with every bit of might I had and I in doing so I inadvertently pulled upon fire and lit my bedding on fire.  I had never felt the call before.  I'd done the exercise countless times before that."

 

Adrim added as he straightened his coat nervously.  "It could have been anyone who incited the reaction, thankfully I knew what had happened without needing to ask him.  His fondness for passing out in the middle of a panic attack is not unusual."  He looked at Nox fondly.  Nox couldn't help but grin at it.  Even if they hadn't shared a bed in all this time, Adrim was always kind to him.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jagen nodded. She came to realize the strange place was the other man's bed; perhaps he'd forgotten what happened. She wondered if he'd been drinking that night.

 

It was more curious that Nox had panic attacks... and that he passed out as a result. It sounded dangerous. What if some mishap happened again; what if he killed others with another mistake of the Power?

"I imagine is is, this situation has been resolved? With your training in the Power, yes? It would not be ideal if you set your kin on fire." Her tone was serious, but she eased it up as she leaned back in the chair. "If you're wondering what my first question was," she offered, "it was that I wondered if you two were bonded." She let a little smile come upon her lips. "I have heard men bond their wives, but me, I wonder now it is allowed between the men here."

 

She didn't think the answer was going to be affirmative though; she doubted the two were bonded at all, but it was worth asking the question.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nox growled.  "I would not be Asha'man if the M'heal didn't think I possessed the control needed to bring honor to the name.  Adrim would hardly let me past Dedicated if he thought I would burn the Farm down."  Nox ran his fingers through his hair and tried not to pull at it in his frustration.  "My issues are from life time of abuse.  You think you can do better then maybe we out to test that theory out."

 

Adrim walked over to Nox and put his hand on Nox's shoulder and squeezed.  "He is safe.  His control of Saidin is as iron clad as your own ability."  Nox's anxiety hadn't settled yet and now it was roaring high.  He wanted to go - to hide in his room, to be safe.  The comforts of home.  Adrim squeezed his shoulder again as the Aes Sedai asked if they were bonded.  Nox looked at her like she was insane.

 

Adrim spit out his answer while Nox stared in disbelief.  "We are not lovers and I share no more fondness than I should to anyone else I mentor.  Yes, we shared a bed at our meeting.  Do you think I'm that sort of man who would continue liaisons with someone under my charge?"  Now Adrim was getting offended at her words.  But Nox was too busy calming himself with 5 things he could see, 4 he could touch, 3 he could hear, 2 he could smell and 1 he could taste.  Each count and each object brought him closer to peace.  Adrim's hand on his shoulder was a big help as well.  He was always kind to him specially in the throws of a panic attack.

Edited by Matalina
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jagen wished she had something in her hands to occupy herself. To distract from looking at them. Instead she kept them folded in her lap, and her gaze on them. Her eyebrow raised at Nox's words. He was getting quite angry. She avoided the temptation to embrace saidar though; she did not want them to think she felt threatened.

 

The Sitter sniffed. "Control though you might have," she said coolly, and she very much doubted his control matched hers, "clearly you do not have such control over your emotions. When dealing with the One Power, your emotions, they are as important to control as the True Source."

 

She turned her gaze calmly on Adrim. "I will not presume to know what happens here at the Tower, or the rules." They seemed fast and loose rules, to her--how could one attain their upper rank so quickly? No use in pondering that for long; she already knew the answer. Their training was inadequate. "It would be quite illogical of me to assume your ways and those I know of the White Tower are the same, yes? I came here, Asha'man Adrim, to learn of your ways. Perhaps it is best I find someone with better control of their temper, however." How she itched to do something with her hands. "That said, I would actually see a bit of a benefit, if I dare say so, of maintaining such a relationship. Again, I am not here to presume, nor am I here to undermine you or your ways." She took in a breath, and said gently, "I apologize to have offended you. It is certainly not my goal." That took some effort to say, though.

 

"Now then, if you don't mind, shall we continue? It is important we have a close relationship--the White and Black Towers--and it is especially important to me, as a member of the Red Ajah." She watched them both closely for their reaction.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Adrim adjusted his coat with his free hand and stood a little straighter.  Nox watched him return to calm and cool.  The Aes Sedai was going to be the death of both of them.  "Don't presume to understand his emotional control either, Jagen Sedai.  His anger, his attacks are hardly the problem in this world.  He has control or he would not wear the dragon at his neck."  

 

Adrim smirked at her comment of the benefit.  "Do you specifically speak of this relationship or in general?  Neither of us lack for companionship, if that is what you are getting at.  I cannot be attached to a charge anymore than you could be of an Accepted or Novice."

 

And then the world fell out from underneath him when she claimed the red.  Nox backed away from Adrim pulling free of his iron grip on his shoulder and he went back to the corner and slid down the wall pulling his knees up to his chest and humming children's songs to himself.  Nox heard Adrim sigh.  "And that is what you have to fear - a complete shut down when it matters most.  Give him something he can move, kill in battle and he's fine.  That fear is different.  Fear of people on the other hand, the stories some of us have told about the Red scare the soldiers." 

 

Adrim's voice was filled with compassion as he spoke.  "Ever been kicked like a foul smell dog?"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jagen leaned forward, forgetting her composure as she watched Nox retreat. He acted like a child indeed, but she was not judging him now--not as harshly, anyway--but her brow furrowed. In concern.

 

Her head tilted, and she considered standing, then thought better of it. Her eyes met Adrim's. She was not sure she understood what he meant with the foul-smelling dog comment. "It was not my intention to... cause this sort of reaction." She firmed her voice. "I am here in interest of alliance, of working together, and I am not stepping around my Oaths when I say that, as I admit this directly and fully." She smoothed her skirts, rubbing sweat from her hands. Since when did she sweat?

 

"Adrim--Asha'man Adrim," she corrected, soothing her voice, "tell me now how I may assist you, and I will do so. Within reason, of course," she had to add for her own benefit. "I would like to be of help in this situation. Has he had bad experiences with the Red personally? Have you?"

 

Even as she focused on him, she made sure to watch Nox, too, and she was on the verge of embracing saidar. Just in case. She could not be too careful.

Edited by Jagen Sedai
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Adrim nodded at her offer of help.  "But no he has no bad experiences with the Red personally.  Nor do I.  But there are stories none-the-less and the taint has corrupted the anxiety.  Where fears once caused deeper panic they are now coupled with paranoia.  His fears Jagen Sedai are irrational, but there is no telling what is going through his head.  Nothing we can do is give him space. "  Adrim took a step towards the door.  "I am going to some tea from the kitchen and comfort from his place.  If you'd watch him.  I don't expect anyone to bother him, or you for that matter, but I'd prefer if someone made sure no one gets near him.  Channeling mistakenly is not a problem, but he was trained in weapons long before I found him."

 

****

 

Death.  Pain.  Chasing.  She could kill them all.  Kill everyone.  Pull their houses down around them.    Nox's mind went off on every paranoid tanget relating to the Red Ajah that he'd ever heard from others.  And then some that weren't even related.  The Dark One's hand.  Death Mayhem.  But the worst thought of them all was that she would take his power from him.  It was his... His power.  No one could have it.

 

[[ feel free to say no or stay and try to talk to Nox.  Adrim will be back ]]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jagen watched Adrim go, wishing he hadn't. She had no desire to be stuck with a madman. And this, it is exactly how it is. One minute they seem fine. The next, they are mad.

 

Unfortunately, she knew she could not embrace the Source, even if she was on the verge of doing so. The Red knew that men could feel some sensation when women embraced the saidar, and Jagen wanted to curse the very nature of the One Power for what she perceived as a horrible flaw. Women needed to take extra steps to find out if men had even channeled! And even then she could only find a whisper of a weave.

 

She watched the boy carefully, frowning. She hoped Adrim would get her tea as well--though at this point, she wasn't sure if she would trust taking a drink.

"Nox?" she prodded carefully. "I am not going to hurt you." Then she spoke in a teaching tone, "You should forget everything you think you know about the Red Ajah. I bet half of what you have heard is not true. The Red Ajah, we are working together with the Black Tower. Have you not heard some of us, myself included, have Bonded your Asha'man?" She paused to let it sink in--if he heard her at all, then continued, "Yes, that's right. His name is Aslan; do you know him?" No reason to tell him she'd passed on his bond, though. And she was in no rush to be bonded again. Perhaps.

 

"The Taint, it is gone now, yes? So there is no more reason to bring you to the White Tower." She carefully avoided saying gentling. "As it is, some Asha'man now willingly come to us, so that they may teach our novices and Accepted of saidin." It took her a while to get over her fear of that to even attend the lesson. Saidin seemed as untrustworthy and foreign as the men who handled it. But her mission now was to calm him down. She'd needed to do this in the past, long ago, with other men who could channel. Yet the words she chose now to do so were vastly different than those she spoke before, when her mission had been so different. "Perhaps I could even teach you what saidar feels like, should you ever decide to link with an Aes Sedai. Did you know the most wonderful feats in the Age of Legends, they were created using saidar and saidin together."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Adrim left.  He left me.  But she stayed.  Nox wasn't sure how to feel about that.  She could kill him.  But she stayed where she was and spoke to him.  Her voice that of a teacher.  Many had spoken to him that way.   But she spoke of feats of the past.  It was enough to pull him out of his head.  He still could barely breath.  His heart raced.  

 

Nox pulled out his book from his pocket and pulled it close to his chest.  "Can you tell me more?"  It would help calm in.

 

Adrim came back with a tray of tea.  He set it down on the table and poured a cup of the hot water into a cup with a tea leaves and took it and a blanket to Nox.  He set the cup on the floor and the blanket drapped around his shoulders.  He smiled at Nox.

 

His mentor turned back to Jagen Sedai.  "Whatever you are saying is helping."  Adrim sounded a little surprised.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Aes Sedai hesitated. She had not been completely sure she would draw him out of his stupor, but she found herself both glad and relieved that she had. Before she could respond to Nox's question, though, Adrim was back with tea. She watched Adrim interact with Nox. Taking in a breath, she let herself relax from saidar.

 

"Whatever you are saying is helping,"  Adrim told her.

 

Jagen only gave a nod, and she did not touch the tea. "In the Age of Legends, it is said our most wondrous feats were created with male and female Aes Sedai working together. There is great evidence of such, even today. Have you ever been to Whitebridge? It is named after the artifact, the bridge from the Age of Legends, having been built then. It is said it was done with the One Power.

 

"And there are others--the Choedan Kal should be the most relevant example, I would think. These large statues, they are what the Dragon Reborn used to cleanse saidin." Yes, she was getting used to saying all of this, now, and recalling the knowledge overrode any distrust or even disgust she had for saidin.

It was still hard to believe the taint was actually gone--that men wouldn't go mad from using the One Power anymore. Or so they said. Still, she had bonded Aslan for a time, and she was sure she could have or would have picked up on any level of instability.

 

"In the Age of Legends, they were built to handle massive amounts of the One Power, and were so strong they needed access keys made." Jagen then decided to veer from that topic. "Perhaps one day in the future we can achieve similar results. Now, if you will tell me, what book are you holding there? Books, you like to read them, yes?"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...