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A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

The Hunt for Namandar - Part 7: Quake [CLOSED]


Jagen Sedai
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This thread is being posted for archival purposes only, as the original RP link was long lost on the winds of time.

This is posted with permission from Jaydena, who also supplied the surviving copy.

 

IC Year: 996 NE

[Part 1 Unavailable] [Part 2] [Part 3] [Part 4] [Part 5] [Part 6]

 

The Hunt for Namandar #7 Quake

Posted on March 21, 2004

Players- Sirayn Sedai, Duram Laddel Cham(TPC BY James), Leif Osmond (TPC BY James), Rei'sam Kilm (TPC BY Seia), Aldreth Verasin (TPC BY Messana), Taya Sedai, Eos Gaidin, Jaydena Sedai, Jared Gaidin, Coran Gaidin, Jerad Gaidin, Lwena Sedai, Raisa Gaidin,

Link: http://www.dragonmount.com/psw/boards/viewtopic.php?t=5329


 

Ooc: This is the penultimate phase of Namandar. Phase #8, Aftermath, will be the last one and will conclude the Hunt for Namandar RP.

: : : : A haze of smoke lay low over the city. The glittering expanse of Namandar, all graceful lines and strangely organic beauty, was reduced to half-hidden shimmers in the gritty vapour; criss-crossing weaves sliced from the gloom and vanished in an instant, screams hung eerily on the thin air, patrols of monsters marched in orderly lines through the streets. Standing at the gates, the massed might of half the Battle Ajah behind her, Sirayn leaned on her sword catching her breath and took stock of the situation for the hundredth time in a short space. Many of the recovering party were still desperately combing through the university with a few stolid battlers defending them. The fighting there was bad and Sirayn had been sending reinforcements steadily for some time and no improvement was being reported. She had the sudden, irrational thought that she was sending her people into a hole where they’d all be sucked up and she’d never hear from them again. A few courageous warriors were roaming the streets in bands, taking on the shadow’s patrols. Not long ago a red flare had been sent up in obvious desperation of a sister in dire difficulty and Sirayn had immediately fired a green flare in response and dispatched a small patrol to aid the struggling sister. She hadn’t heard back from them either and feared from the ominous silence that some dark fate had befallen them. For the most part, the battle party was still defending the gates -- but from the inside. The threat lay inside the city and if they didn’t keep the gates clear and their only route of escape still open, they were beyond all hope. Sirayn’s warriors had far exceeded her expectations. Valiant, ferocious in battle, they had repelled charge after charge, intent on defending the gates and whittling down the shadow’s dwindling number while making sure at least a few people would survive this bloody day. In the despair and horror of these last hours stretching into a dark infinity nobody would ever know how many had broken under the weight of fear and run cravenly from the field of battle … equally, no-one would tell the tale of the unsung heroes who’d fallen before their deeds of bravery had been noted but Sirayn marked them all. And each time she saw someone die, she winced again, and it was imprinted on her memory that that one too had died for her.

: : : : Sirayn straightened up wearily pushing a stray strand of hair back from her face. Her back ached from a blow she’d taken that she’d barely noticed in her battle fury, and fatigue dulled her reflexes and weighed down her arms with lead. She was long past tired and into an exhausted, Ebou Dar-style state of imminent collapse. Prickling briefly to think of that long ago time she kept her stance crisp and martial, a cold smile curling her mouth as she glanced across the carnage strewn field, her severity of appearance suiting the location well; small and arrow-straight with the pride of a queen in her bearing she looked every inch the general and with the urgency of the situation even she had no time to doubt her own competence. There was only time to counter and counter again the blind waves of foes thrown against them. The streets rumbled softly with growing trouble and Sirayn interpreting the signs correctly called out sharply, “Hold the line!” They waited, this ragged line of defenders fierce in their courage, and she stood boldly ahead of them waiting for the coming storm. Somehow, somewhere, her killing fury had left her and her mind was ice cold like the trickle of a mountain stream in deepest winter. The berserker warrior was gone; now the general stood. Clasping saidar wearily Sirayn waited as the next wave gathered itself together, then the charge began, streaming unevenly across a field covered in broken bodies. They were more cautious than the charges before them and some of them managed to catch their balance when a yawning chasm split in the earth under their feet; others heard the telltale whine and flung themselves flat in time to avoid the wicked whiplash explosion of a grenade. The vast majority weren’t so lucky. And within moments, the battle line erupted in explosions and fast-flung weaves which thickened their air with their destructive tension. The screams of dying humans and beasts alike had long ago blended into one long shrill scream in which seemed to be repeated the cries of her mother, of Los, of her poor abandoned twins, everyone she had killed or hurt; it grated against her awareness but she couldn’t afford to be distracted and refocused determinedly on thhe field ahead of her, the killing ground. The earth danced at her command, and the whine of grenades overlaid one another in an eerily perfect melody as Sirayn wreaked havoc among the ranks,

: : : : They repelled that charge, as they had so many others, with minimal loss of life. Sirayn could see the innate chivalry of well-brought up young warriors at work with the strong, experienced fighters taking care of the rookies who were simply overwhelmed and devastated by the constant attack. She noted abstractedly that Jaydena was covering her back like the fearless warrior she was and they exchanged a brief, wry glance conveying a wealth of humour and warm affection before turning to their respective duties. Sirayn frowned absently at the slaughter before her, barely glancing at the red ruin of lives, as a hundred strategies chased each other round her head. And standing there with arms folded casually, looking as cool and unmoved as a dinner party guest yet knee deep in spilled intestines, she wondered with a sudden dark thrill what she had been doing. She had absolutely no recollection of what she’d been doing in the past half hour and from the glances her Warders kept slanting at her when they thought she wasn’t looking -- a cold hand gripped her belly for she knew with a deepening certainty that she had done something terrible. Yet she hadn’t known. She didn’t even remember. Yet, she didn’t care if she’d been killing children, so long as she won this battle. All other concerns could wait until afterward; right now, she had the gates to defend, the city to liberate, and many lives to protect.

: : : : Then she felt it. A soft rumble shuddered through the earth under her feet. An overwhelming sense of indefinable wrong assailed her. Sirayn spat a curse and twisted looking round blankly. And cold horror struck her. The pillars which held up the great dome were swaying.

: : : : “Blood and bloody ashes!” Her snarl was half furious, half disbelieving, and she grabbed at saidar once more, drew it in until the heat changed to a prickle of warning. “Light! The dome is coming down!” She stared tcross to the high peaked towers of the university as a second, chilling realisation struck her. There were still sisters in there. And the dome was coming down.

: : : : She bit back a scream of fury and outrage. We’re dead if we don’t run. They’re dead if I don’t do something! And once again – just as had occurred in the depths of the Rahad with a dying woman in her arms – a feeling of cold, crystal clarity stole over her.

: : : : She was the only one who could save them.

: : : : Sirayn spun. “Repel.” The soldiers near her straightened at her cold snapped command and she knew that the battle party understood her orders and would continue to resist the charges. Air and Spirit amplified her voice as it boomed out, “Recovering party! Withdraw to the gates!” Stepping back into the shadow of the wall Sirayn sensed Seiaman and Losyn moving into position to protect her, saw Raisa close by, Lwena with fire crackling at her fingertips. Her keen searching gaze picked out Jaydena next to her and Sirayn turned to her with an urgent light in the steely grey gaze, “Sister, help me hold up the dome! Some twisted son of a Trolloc has triggered an earthquake.” Turning toward the city once more Sirayn closed her eyes briefly. This had to work. It had to. She was the only one who could come anywhere near to stopping this. And as a second, more urgent tremor rippled through the ground, sending the unwary staggering, Sirayn set her jaw grimly and called upon all the strength & expertise at her command. Here it began … the true test, the test of courage and mettle, whether they could possibly hold off this earthquake for long enough to get the sisters out alive!

Ooc: Make your way to the gates recovery people. Battle party, we have some people to protect! And watch out for the earthquake

Sirayn Sedai
Sister of the Battle Ajah
Bonded to Seiaman & Losyn
Namandar General and soon to be revealed Earth Singer

**************************************************

Duram nodded to himself as the tremors began to take a hold of the city, spreading slowly, but surely as their intensity increased. Standing atop of the Council Hall, the tallest building of the city, Duram wove a new set of eyes for himself as he looked through the city, piercing the dust and the gloom with the saidin woven sight. The Aes Sedai didn't take long to respond and he could sense something was blocking the tremors. It didn't take him long to find the cause, one of the Aes Sedai, a Green, was lost in concentration. Doubtful she was holding it up herself, but she'd have to have some natural ability, an earthsinger, to be handling it so. The Aes Sedai of this age didn't have the training to handle such a thing.

How tempting it was to simply kill her, strike her down then and there. It would have been simple to reach out from where he was and crush her throat, set her alight, shred her where she stood, yet Duram did none of these things. He had his own agenda, one that was more important than the temptation to strike down one of the little barbarians. After all, if he'd truly wanted to kill them, he could have struck down every single one of them from the shadows before they had even known what was happening.

Feeling Eden's hand slip into his, Duram turned as he released his viewing weave and smiled slightly, reassuring more than anything else. "We have finished here, the others will make their way back soon enough. We have taken what we came here for, and we have sent our message. Now we can only wait and see how it is taken."

Boring a silver hole through reality, the gateway loomed before them. Duram hesitated for a moment, then stepped through. The child didn't have enough power to completely subdue what he had done, she could hold it off for a time, but her strength after so much fighting would be done, even with the aid of a link. His work was done for now.....



Leif took a swig of the bottle as he looked to the others of the circle. Those witches were going to pay, yes they were, whores the lot of them. "Three groups like the Master said! Lesley and Davin lead two of the groups, I'll take the third! Rochen, Sari and Nera with me!" Releasing the circle then taking the power of the three he took with him, he led his group in a not quite straight line as he began to make his way around the buildings. He intended to flank them and kill as many Aes Sedai as he could before they knew what was happening.

Finishing the bottle, Leif gripped his axe in one hand and a mace in the other, Leif levelled them both into the door before him a few times before it snapped off its hinges, rusted as they were by time. Striding through the house with the circle behind him, Leif ignored what was inside as he made his way to the other side of the house. The building faced directly into a segment of Tower Guard that were holding the street against trollocs that were trying to get through.

Laying a weave on the wall, Leif signalled for the others to get back as he turned away. As he ran for the doorway, his feet slipped on a rug and sent him flat on his face. Before he could flounder to his feet, an invisible force smashed him in the back as the wall of the building blew outwards, ripping into the group of Tower Guard and the trollocs that had been fighting them, making the way clear for more trollocs....

Shaking his head woozily, Leif got to his feet as he grasped his axe and mace once more. The others came out from their hiding places as he gestured for them to draw their weapons, Leif wasn't leaving until every single Aes Sedai was slain. Screaming in rage, he charged across the rubble with trollocs running alongside him as they smashed straight into the the Aes Sedai party guarding the gates. His axe and mace found their mark everytime they were swung, featureless faces with crimson cloaks fell as did women of many shawls.

Fighting their way to the centre of the Aes Sedai, Leif saw their leader loom before him, a woman in armour wielding a Katana. Leaning forward, his weapons before him, Leif snarled at his opponent as they squared off, the battle raging around them. Catching the first blow with his mace, his axe found blood as he caught the woman in the thigh with his blinding speed. Her cry was shrill as she stumbled back, and her blow weak as she attempted to slice at him as he stepped forward. Catching the blow with his axe, he swung his mace at the Katana, shattering it with a single blow.

As she fell to her knees, begging for mercy, Leif's only answer was a yell of victory as his axe cleaved her head in two. As the corpse fell to the ground, Leif held up both his weapons as he roared, a roar that swelled and grew louder and louder.....

Shaking his head groggily, the noise of the tremor beat at Leif like a crazed drum as his eyes cracked open. As he tried to get to his feet, he fell as another tremor struck, sending him to the ground again. Turning about, Leif saw the corpses of his companions, charred by Aes Sedai most likely as they had tried to fill the breach he had created but been too few.

Reaching for his hip flask and taking a swig, Leif began laughing to himself as he reached for his axe with his other free hand, using it to get to his feet. He might not have killed the witch that led the Aes Sedai just yet, but he was going to do it now if it was the last thing he did.

Scrambling over the rocks, Leif clambered over corpses as he made his way towards the Aes Sedai and their Tower Guard. They were paying minimal attention to where he was, his explosion having sealed off the streets to the trollocs and ending that end as a threat, or so they thought. Focusing through his drunken haze at a trio of sisters, probably linked together judging from the way they stood, Leif began to weave a present for them.

The threads slipped a few times, but soon enough it was ready. Screaming a wordless warcry, Leif charged down the rubble and bodies with axe in one hand and hip flask in the other. Even as the trio of Aes Sedai looked towards him, fire and ice erupted between them, sending gouts of flame and daggers of ice in all directions, ripping the trio to shreds and taking a couple of Tower Guard with them.

As he reached the first Tower Guard, Leif stumbled aside as the earth rumbled to the ground. Lashing out with his axe, he took off the man's foot who fell to the ground. Getting to his feet, Leif brought the axe down, beating past the desperate parry and burying itself deep in the man's chest. Ripping the axe clear, Leif was unprepared for the blade that caught him in his potbelly, then ripped upwards.

Looking up at the shadow of a face that loomed over him as his axe slipped from his fingers, Leif let loose his death rattle as he sank to his knees as the blade was ripped clear. Collapsing amongst the corpses, he became one of many to now inhabit the grave of Namandar.


Duram Laddel Cham
Be`lal, The Netweaver

Leif Osmond
Loyal Servant of Be`lal (now deceased)

***************************************

Rei'sam shivered slightly as he felt the channeling deep into the earth. Be'lal triggered the earthquake and Rei'sam closed his eyes, feeling his weaves of Air surround the pillars, tightening its hold until he felt the stone crack underneath the pressure. There would be no way that the Aes Sedai would be able to hold the dome up and all of those witches that still remained in the city would die under a crushing avalanche of stone. And while their pitiful leader struggled to save all of them, she would be vulnerable to his attack. And she would die.

Releasing his weaves, he looked up with satisfaction as he watched the pillars sway under the intense loss of support. They would hold up but not too long. Moving quickly, he strode down the streets towards the gates as he heard the amplified words through the dome. “Recovering party! Withdraw to the gates!” Rei'sam smirked as he turned out of a corner, watching the Aes Sedai gather to stop the dome from falling. "Time for your death, witches." He stepped out visibly and at that moment, a tall man spotted him and screamed on the top of his lungs, charging towards him. Rei'sam made a Blade of Fire and it burned through his pitiful quarterstaff, slicing down his shoulder. He screamed and kept charging and Rei'sam yawned mockingly. "You think you can hurt me?" He let out a laugh as he channeled a thread of Air around the boy's waist and halted him, thrusting his Blade through the boy's chest, sticking out of his back. His eyes widened and he heard a woman scream, "Jared!!" He twisted the Blade in a full rotational arc and the boy gasped, his body convulsing as the blood streamed down his chest and back.

The Blade and Air weave disappeared, the dead body crumpling to the ground. He threw a grenade towards the lead battle party, meant to distract while he shifted his next target to the female Warder of the leader. Rei'sam knew that woman was the pillar of support for the petite witch, and if he toppled her ... the White Tower would lose pitifully.

Rei'sam Kilm
Dreadlord
Servant of the Dark One and Be'lal
Murderer of Jared Damodred
Hunter of Witches

**********************************

Aldreth Verasin grinned with pure excstacy as he channeled the immense Power that rolled through him. His own circle consisted of 5, 3 women and 2 men. The other under his command consisted of 6 women and 2 men. Thirteen all together, a force to be reckoned with, and more so due to the vile nature of their commander.

He had given one of the women in the other group control of that circle, she was a purely evil woman who would tear those witches from Tar Valon to shreds, or so he hoped. Letting the flows of saidin flow out of him simultaneously in an attempt to hault the offensive and defensive maneuvers of the Tar Valon force. He let his mouth curve into a snarl as a Sister appeared from behind the corner of a building. He motioned quickly to the other circle who began to unleash viscious attacks on the woman. And then foolishly another appeared from behind a corner and charged towards the group. In the circle as he was, he could feel her drawing upon saidar heavily, surely more than she could unaided. Did she have an angreal or better yet and even more unlikely, a sa'angreal? Without wasting time on answering the questions, he unleashed his own attacks, both on this woman and the other witch who was pitifully defending her ground and her life.

Both women surely perished under such an onslaught, but Aldreth noticed that the other circle was crumbling, two of the women were down and one of the man seemed on the brink of loosing his grasp of saidin. And suddenly he felt his own link crumble, and a huge flash of searing light bloomed and he hit the ground hard, his hold on the Power slipping rapidly. The light did not cease and it seared into both his mind and his flesh with a force unlike any he had felt before. His senses began to wan, first his sight and then his sense of touch, he couldn't smell the burning of his own flesh and then at last he closed his eyes and drifted away, the life slowly pouring out of him and rising up into the air as the smoke and steam of his own body rose higher and higher.

Chau,

Aldreth Verasin
Dreadlord of Be`lal
~TPC~

***************************

Taya cocked her head and blinked at the darkness beyond the sphere of light she maintained ahead of her. Eos moved on silent feet beside her, and she sensed rather than heard him stiffen and attune his hearing more carefully. He sent her askance through the bond and she held up her hand to indicate that she was thinking. Listening too.

Her satchels and pockets were bursting at the seams with treasures she'd picked up. Some may end up being thrown away with the waste when they were all back in Tar Valon, but Taya thought it highly doubtful. Some might even turn out to be artefacts of the Power. She knew her task was important, but she sensed danger, and she wasn't willing to die here, when she hadn't delivered her finds yet. She'd see it as wasteful also, losing her life before the Last Battle. In the lead-up to Tarmon Gai'don, there are many last battles, she thought, the voice of her older sister echoing in her memory. Jaida had used to read to her out of adventure books, but only until Taya was ten. At that age girls became young women, at least in one sense. They weren't allowed to be little girls anymore. They had to become serious and adult. That was what Taya had done, but she had never forgotten her older sister's kindness, nor the way her voice had sounded as she read from old manuscripts.

This was a last battle, in a sense. A battle to salvage what none of them had ever thought to stumble across in the first place. A battle to save treasures of the past and advance the Tower's cause. A fight to prepare the world that one bit better for the final battle of them all. But I still do not wish to die here. I won't tolerate it, either.

In the near deathly silence surrounding them, Taya became aware of a slight shift in the air. Her booted feet tingled as the stone seemed to begin to hum softly beneath them. She frowned and then she heard it for sure, and knew she hadn't imagined it - a humming sound growing steadily louder, the ground buzzing below, the air growing sharp. Taya looked up and noticed a fine mist of dust floating down into the sphere of light she maintained. The sight was enough of a clue. She looked at Eos and said, "We'll leave now." He nodded and took the first step even before she had.

They walked at first, striding swiftly but trying to maintain their stealth. Taya's arms began to ache after carrying her satchels this long. She had four bags full of items - Eos had three slung over his back, but he had to keep his arms unhampered so that he was able to defend if they were attacked. They could have retrieved more if the earth hadn't begun to protest so strongly at their presence. What they had would have to be enough, even though they had left countless untold treasures behind. Taya's stride turned into a near jog. Her heart thundered in her ears from exertion as well as from exhilaration. She clutched tightly to Eos through the bond, and felt him embrace her and hold her tightly in turn.

The pair rounded a corner, and spotted another Aes Sedai, dark-haired Ellvara Andred, up ahead. As they moved towards her, the thrumming grew into a rumble. "Ellvara!" Taya cried, having to raise her voice to be heard above the growing cacophany. The White sister glanced back and, recognising Taya, nodded. She had two satchels of her own, one bulging with items and the other half-full. Taya's heart sank. Why didn't she gather more? But there was no time to question Ellvara now.

As Taya drew up beside her, Ellvara too began to move, matching paces with her and Eos. "Landslide, do you think?" the White sister asked, her voice as calm as it ever would be even though she too had to raise it to be heard. Taya had known Ellvara for thirty-nine years now, and even when the woman was angry, or what Taya believed to be angry, she didn't shout. Her voice demonstrated quite clearly that she was brooking nonsense no more, but she never raised it.

Taya wondered where Ellvara's Warder, Dien, had got to. Ellvara didn't seem flustered or upset, so that was a good sign that Dien hadn't come to any harm. Even Whites had to react to the death of a Warder...

The trio ducked through a pointed arch and heard the stone cracking behind them. Taya's blood lept in her veins. Now she literally felt the floor trembling beneath her. Dust was not all that fell from the ceilings either - small stones pelted them, and then larger ones. The rumble became a roar, and Taya cried, "Run!" as she should have done minutes earlier. Nobody would hear them now anyway, above the sound that the earth itself was making. And so all three of them ran, seeking the outdoors, seeking an escape from the disaster that lay on all sides.

Taya had a thought that she didn't like to dwell on. Will the roof cave in on us? she wondered as she swerved around corners and descended staircases. Will we all be buried alive?

Oh, Light! This could turn into complete disaster! But Sirayn had potential... Taya could only hope the woman realised it to its full extent. And that the rest of the Green Ajah kept their wits about them. It was not just their own lives that were at stake. It was the lives of countless others who would come to rely on them in coming years. The lives of those who relied on the Battle Ajah for defence daily, and who would need them more than ever during the Last Battle.

Taya sought freedom from the confines of the building in which she ran with a renewed determination.

OOC: James, I'll take 'em later *g* I didn't wanna make this too long just yet. I'll post again after someone else does!

Taya Sedai

*******************************

Jaydena Sedai sighed and turned her head to look at Seia and Losyn. Flanking their Aes Sedai they looked fierce and true and ready to die for her. She could feel her own warders behind her and she knew that Corbin had a large cut on his thigh that would need healing and Jared a slice across his forearm where a blade had went through his defenses. Despite the pain he was in he fought on with a contained fury and had taken down many a foe. She leaned on her own sword as she saw Sirayn doing and rested for a moment before the next onslaught. Turning her attention back to Seiaman Kera, she wondered what has caused the Aes Sedai to leave Sirayn's side earlier, and vowed to have a talk with her once they had this under control. She no longer doubted that she would live, for she knew that she was destined to live and to fight another day.

A slight rumbling appeared under their feet and she nodded her head before preparing another weave. Sirayn called out in the battle voice they all learned during training, “Hold the line!” Jade met her friends eyes and sent her an encouraging nod before sending out a string of deadly weaves. The Air Razors sliced the attackers anywhere it touched and cut of heads and body parts. She let the weave go and prepared a second set of weaves, this time the Air Clubs slammed down on Trollocs Heads and crushed their morbid skulls into their necks. Her next weave was one of her favorites, one that she had come up with herself. Scorching hot water weaves poured over the Trollocs and burned their eyes and outward extremities, when they opened their mouths to scream in pain, the water flowed down their throat and burned their lungs and drowned them in boiling water. As she watched the Trollocs die she shook her fists at the ceiling and checked on Sirayn before moving her position once more to guard her leaders back as Sirayn did for her.

Jade looked grimly around her and saw many missing faces and many sisters who had been healed as best they could and sent up the platform to be healed by the healers. She could also see sisters covered in blood, their proud ajah colors dulled by their own life's breath and those who lay around them. They had suffered far to many losses though not as devastating as the shadow had. She pushed the guilt down that it was the green sisters fault for ever finding this city and stared down at the ground at her feet. Her affinity with earth showed her that something had just happened, she knew that only the power could cause this feeling, but it wasn't coming from a woman or she would have felt the weaves in her bones. That had to mean that they had male channelers with them and this sent fear crashing through her heart. “Light! The dome is coming down!” Jade nodded her head at her friends statement and sent a quick prayer to the creator that they would survive this day.

She listened with grim purpose as her sister sent out battle orders to the recovery team and to the defending team. Her body sang with the earth that moved and shook around her and she turned back to her with an urgent look on her face. “Sister, help me hold up the dome! Some twisted son of a Trolloc has triggered an earthquake.” Jade smiled but the grin didn't reach her eyes, their green depths shone with a light of purpose and she motioned to her warders. Turning to her sister she said, "Shoulder to shoulder we shall fight..." She nodded with satisfaction as her sister finished their mantra and began to weave into the earthen dome. Embracing the source through the Angreal she wore pinned to her shoulder she delved into the ceiling and began to use her talent to shore up the cracks in the domes depths. Her talent sought out rock deposits and strengthened them with weaves of Earth and Spirit.

She focused her attention on the dome and was oblivious to the fighting around her or the staggering return of several members of the recovery party. As exhaustion pushed at her she pushed back and continued to work her magic on the roof. Beside her Sirayn appeared to be controlling the earth quake though she wasn't quite sure how she was doing this. Suddenly she felt Jared move out of the fold, she kept her gaze on the ceiling and heard him yelling his battle cry. A ripping pain shoot through her chest and she cried out as she felt the bond snap back at her. Turning her head she stumbled to the ground and watched her warder fall to the ground with blood pouring from his chest. His eyes were wide and glazed and she knew that he was already dead and beyond healing.

She let out a sob of fury and saw the images of him pour through her mind and her heart. The love they had shared, the nights of passion, the times he had saved her life and the life of those she held dearest. Pushing the pain into a corner of her heart she tried to get up. As she did she saw a Trolloc bearing down on her and she began to prepare a weave to stop him, somehow he had made it through their defenses. He brought his ax up above her head and she whispered good-bye to her warders still living and prepared to die. Blood sprayed across her face and she looked up to see the Trolloc twitching with a sword through his chest. Seia pushed at his chest with her foot and ripped the sword out before smiling at her, her teeth shining through the blood as she helped her up. Jaydena took her hand though it was slick with blood and looked up at the ceiling. As the tears streamed down her face she grinned and began to scream with the weaves shoring up the ceiling once more, "I will not die here today, I will fight and I will take the shadow down. This I swear to you Jared Damodred, bloody hell I know you can hear me. I will not let you die unavenged." She wipped the blood on her skirts and felt Corbin and Coran return with Jared's body...

Jaydena Sedai

******************************

They were holding the Gate. Even though the fighting was fiercest at the City Gate, they were holding their own. It was the only conscious thought Lanfir had for a long time. It had come to her in one second that hadn’t been dominated by fire and blood – the fact that they were still here, they were still alive. She was calling Air and Fire and she was weaving, sweat dripping over her face and back, head pounding because of the prolonged immense concentration. It was all drowned in the roar of battle and the feeling of saidar and adrenaline in her blood.

Her Sister and best friend was fighting right next to her, sometimes even fighting back to back with her, when they disregarded their long distance weaves and ventured deeper into the fighting. Lyanna was fighting as fiercely as Lanfir remembered her, and Lanfir wouldn’t have wanted to have anyone else at her back. Lukas was proving himself the skilled fighter she hoped him to be, fooling Death with his speed and his grace and skill time after time. He had to be falling over with fatigue, but he kept dancing and fighting. He was brilliant, every bit as brilliant as they needed him to be.

People were dying around her – her own sisters and warders. Lanfir worried distantly about her sisters that were in the City, and crazily enough, she was glad she didn’t know all of them. The thought alone felt treacherous, but she wasn’t sure if she could take another Fal Dara again. Losses were inevitably part of any battle, but if the losses were less personal, she could cope. She did worry about them, and surely her mind must have played tricks on her, because for one crazy moment she had thought she had seen Daeralle among the horde, fighting like the Green she was and how Lanfir remembered her. Silly woman, Daeralle is either dead or in the Tower, there’s no way she can be here. Next thing you know, you’ll be seeing Miraina. Concentrate, burn you!

And so she did. She concentrated and fought for all she was worth, saidar singing in her body, until the trembling Earth under her foot jerked her out of her battle fever. This was not a Weave of her hand or of one of her sisters. Lanfir spun around to see where it came from, and burst into curses when she recognised the source of the tremors. The pillars of the dome – they were swaying. “No,” she gasped. “This can’t be!”

She was about to let up a flare to warn Sirayn, when the voice of the battle leader boomed through the underground city: “Recovering party! Withdraw to the gates!”

Lanfir’s stomach clenched. Taya and a lot of others were still in the city, and under her feet, the earth was spasming and shuddering. If the dome would come down, they would all be dead. She weaved and killed and prayed that they would have enough time to save their sisters.


~Lannie
Battle girlie

*******************************

Saidar raged through Lwena as she overlooked the city during a brief moment of respite; it still held a sort of alien beauty despite the fact that the smoke from fire hung above it, blood splattered most of the smooth, curving walls, and screams echoed through the streets. There were hordes of shadowspawn marching below, more organised than Lwena would have ever imagined-the trollocs were half animal, and she wouldn't have thought they would have even been smart enough to effectivly wield their weapons. She was obviously wrong. Another wave of trollocs appeared and instantly Lwena, along with most of the Battle Sisters around her, began weaving furiously; fire flew from her fingertips as she aided this party of trolloc's demise. It was rather ironic, actually, that a Sister of Healing was part of the battle party. But she could hold her own in a fight, and that was what counted in a situation like this.

All of the sudden, Sirayn spat a curse harsh enough to catch Lwena's attention and she gave her leader a questioning glance as she wiped splattered blood from her forehead. The Green sister was twisting around blankly, and Lwena noticed what she did as scant second later; the pillars. They weren't solid any longer, but instead swaying. Light, no!

"Light! The dome is coming down!" Sirayn's statement only confirmed Lwena's fears. She bit her lip as she surveyed the city, a cold fear settling in her stomach as she realised there were still Sisters in there. Light, no. She turned to Sirayn, at a loss for what to do; she wasn't even sure if it was possible to use Saidar to hold up the dome. She stepped up next to Sirayn as the Green sister ordered the Battle Party-"Repel"-and looked out over the city with fire crackling in her fingers.

"Sister, help me hold up the dome! Some twisted son of a Trolloc has triggered an earthquake." Lwena glanced at Jaydena briefly and then looked back over the city. They would need someone besides their Warders to watch their back, and even if Sirayn disagreed, Lwena could-and would!-defend her to the best of her ability.

Lwena

***********************************

: : : : Sirayn felt sick. The earthquake that was building steadily under their feet, each successive tremor more fierce, was no simple woman’s weave she could slice … something deep underground had been triggered and the earthquake would keep coming until it had worn itself out. And she was the only one who could stop it. Closing her eyes briefly, she fought down the sharp icy panic that twisted her belly like a cold hand, pushed away the images of her friends’ twisted bodies lying unnaturally still because she hadn’t been able to save them. So much could go wrong so easily. The lives of all her friends and sisters depended on her now! It was the greatest challenge she’d ever faced and for one cold moment she wavered doubting whether she could even undertake to defeat the Shadow, protect the city and save her sisters’ lives. Let me flinch, let me waver, she thought with sudden desperation, don’t make me responsible, don’t make me to blame. Her insides clenched with fear and fury but she raised her chin defiantly and bracing herself against the wall at her back, embraced saidar, pulled it in until the sweet song became a warning prickle. The earth jolted violently beneath her feet. Cursing softly Sirayn tried to ignore the shrieking agony around her, the beguiling scent of blood, her own exhaustion, and narrowed her concentration only on the earthquake.

: : : : Deep below the ground she wove her strongest shield which she set to protect and buffer the cavern, to save those precious pillars and prevent the dome crashing down and obliterating them all. Another tremor came and Sirayn flung her strength against it awkwardly, forced it down, fought it back. She felt barely a whisper underfoot. “It’s working,” someone whispered. Sirayn didn’t have the heart to say that it had only just started. Another tremor washed against her shield, far stronger than the first and Sirayn sweated and cursed with the effort of fighting it down. In a moment of blessed peace Sirayn realised the ache in her muscles, that she had been worn out to start with, she couldn’t possibly keep channelling at this magnitude for long … a third tremor crashed into her shield and bounced back and two tremors collided with a shattering impact that jolted some clean off their feet. Sirayn gave vent to a shriek of frustration and fury and she dropped the shield before it was ripped from her. There had to be another way! A tremor came and without the shielding the ground bucked beneath them. A pillar lurched. Sirayn saw with horror that the top was sliding loose of the dome. “Do something!” someone yelled at her, “You’re the only one who can!” The words whispered past her startled awareness as she took in the damage that last tremor had caused. A sister of the Brown Ajah beside her had fallen to one knee and was openly weeping for the devastation in the city. “I’m flaming well trying,” Sirayn muttered savagely. Another tremor jolted. Sirayn cursed. “I can do this. I can do this!” she hissed under her breath, half sobbing, half pleading.

: : : : The knowledge lurked somewhere. This wasn’t right, this wasn’t the way, she couldn’t feel this. “I don’t have a clue what I’m bloody doing!” Sirayn growled aloud in frustrated fury, and Seiaman yelled back, “Well it’s working, so keep doing it!” Snarling under her breath, she didn’t want this burden, had never wanted it, but despairingly she drank in saidar again, so swift and strong the joy of it crashed through her. Another tremor was racing toward them. Sirayn gathered her strength and in an instant she threw herself against the tremor, grappling, hardening the earth in its path, slowing and choking and stifling its power. The tremor petered out before they could feel anything. A tremor came swift and fast and Sirayn ran with that one too, grabbed it and muffled it into extinction. The scale of her weaving was colossal. She barely knew what she was doing. It was all instinct, the knowledge of when and where the tremor would come, how to control the earthquake, keep it firmly under wraps. Sirayn fought another tremor to silence, cursing and sweating and struggling. “They’re coming out,” someone said softly. “The recovering party is gathering.”

: : : : “About bloody time!” Her voice was taut and jagged with strain. Cursing even more profusely she split as much as her attention as she dared and tried to think what to do next. “Battle party,” her words were weak and barely audible. She trembled with effort as she managed to make an amplifying weave while still braced against the earthquake. “Battle party!” Her voice boomed out now strong and clear. “Withdraw! Protect the recovering party at all costs! Withdraw! Back to the platform!” She sobbed inwardly, hearing someone snap at her whether she could save the city, gritted her teeth as another tremor smashed through her shielding. Sirayn wove again, caught the tremor, stifled it. “Light!” Sirayn half snarled, “I can’t save the flaming Aes Sedai, let alone the flaming city! You have to get out-“ Sirayn growled in fury again as she fought another tremor down. The tremor was hard and fast like none before. It was getting stronger! The flaming earthquake was getting stronger! How by all that was holy was she going to save them? “I will do this,” she gritted out through clenched teeth, her white face locked rigid with concentration. “I will. Save. Them.”

ooc: just keeping it moving, folks

Sirayn Sedai
Sister of the Battle Ajah
Bonded to Seiaman & Losyn
Namandar General
... in dire straits

*************************************

OOC:and introducing….CORAN in one of his (lately) rare appearances. *G*

IC:It had become a blur…Trollocs rushed forward and the wall of Aes Sedai, Warders, and Tower Guards kept them back.

Coran had watched as Jaydena ran off away from the group after Seia. Corbin had run forward to guard her back and he felt the Sending for him to stay…stay and protect the others. And Coarn knew fear…waited and watched out for her with each breath knowing that any moment he would feel the pain of her mortal wounds.

You will not die, Jaydena Sedai. You will not die while I stand.

The urge to go find her and drag her back to safety was overwhelming. And then she was back, with Raisa.

Relief flooded him and his sword whirred with the energy of seeing her back unharmed. Trollocs fell. He looked over at Jared…Intense concentration painted on his face. Death dealt from his sword.

Then the ground shook…Bodies fell and Coran could feel Jaydena divert all her attention to something else, but he kept to his post, keeping away these blight blinded monsters from the Sedai.

A group of them rushed forward. Coran jumeped forward to ward them from where Jade was and then he felt it. It felt as if his heart had been ripped from his chest. He looked down, surprised that he still lived and looked at Jaydena, who had fallen but was moving…looking past him.

Turning, he saw the lifeless eyes of Jared lying on the ground beneath an eagle headed trolloc. Though, he knew it was too late (He could feel the barrage of grief and pain from Jaydena…he knew that Jared was gone), he rushed forward…the forms parting the sea of trollocs until he reached the one standing above Jared. Sword met axe in a flurry of moves and moments later, Coran was helping Corbin drag Jared’s body back.

Jaydena and Sirayn were in a delicate position….both with their attention on the Dome. Coran could feel the intensity of what Jade was doing.

“I am not going to die today…get out of here…I will not let you die….un avenenged…they will pay with their bloody hides…” Jaydena was muttering out loud but clearly not able to focus on what was going on around her.

Coran, Seia, Losyn, and Corbin made a ring around the Two Aes Sedai…a ring that nothing would pass upon their lives.

“Battle party……Withdraw!” Sirayn was saying with clenched teeth, her voice a well edged sword.

Coran took up the call. “On Sirayn’s Command!!! Battle Party Withdraw!!! BATTLE PARTY WITHDRAW!!!”

The call went out…and with another small tremor rumbling through the Dome, Coran knew that their time was quickly running out.

OOC:Sorry about my absence, But I had a spare moment and thought I would drop in.

Coran Gaidin
Jade’s Warder
Student of Me’Arearth

***************************************************

Explosions and thunder had become the sum of Taya's experience - ground thrumming underfoot also, when it wasn't shuddering outright. Where are they all? she wondered frantically, thinking of her brethren. She approached the corner of a building and peered cautiously around it, hoping to see some sign of the members of the recovery party, or at least someone she recognised. The sight that greeted her took her mind completely off them.

She thought for a moment they just might be allies, people she didn't recognise because there were surely some in the Tower she'd never met. It was a rarity for Taya to not recognise a face in the Tower, for she made it her business to know as much as she could about members of the other Ajahs. Particularly when a small number of Aes Sedai were recruited for a mission, she'd be bound to know all of them at least to a degree. But for a moment she hoped that logic wouldn't win out in this situation - that these were friends and not foes.

But they were linked, and she saw the glow of saidar surrounding several of them. Others were men, and Taya's blood grew chill at the implications of that. Oh, Light...what have we here? Logic reigned, and these were the enemy. Taya knew it, especially well when the strangers attacked. Head still ringing from the realisation that these were channellers, Taya threw up a shield of Air ahead of her, but not soon enough to ward against the fireball that hurtled at her. She flung herself backwards and riccocheted off the wall, ducking out of the way just in time to avoid being singed to death. She also managed to maintain her shield, even as she completed preparations on several weaves and held them at the ready. She stepped back out, protected now by her shield, and loosed her attacks one after the other. She struck blows several times before becoming aware of rapid movement in the corner of her vision.

She watched in shock as Ellvara raced toward the enemies hurling offensive weaves one after the other. "Ellvara, stay back!" Taya cried, but the White sister wasn't listening. Taya kept up her own attack but for a moment she had lost concentration, and weaves were striking her shield, weakening it. She hastily put her mind back on the task at hand and created some of the most deadly weaves she knew, aiming at producing some powerful attacks that would get the job done quickly. She didn't have time to waste. And then there was Ellvara...

The enemy circles crumbled slowly, and it seemed somehow humorous to Taya that two Aes Sedai could reap such havoc upon a supposedly organised group of enemies that far outnumbered them. But perhaps luck was on their side... Soon they had all but disposed of their opponents. Several members of the enemy circles fled, and Ellvara made as if to run after them and hunt them down, but Taya called to her. "Enough!" she cried. "We must get out of here. We have done all we can." Ellvara had turned towards her, and in spite of the fact that some strands of hair had come loose and floated around her face, and a fine sheen of sweat had appeared on her face, the woman looked as White as ever. Light...what sort of killing machine has the White Ajah created here...? But there was no time to answer that question. They had to run, and run fast.

~*~*~*~*~



Taya had half expected that one of them would end up dead along the way. Perhaps someone would recieve a throwing knife in the back, or be consumed by black fire from Darkfriend fingertips... Maybe a twist of fate would merely cause one of them to twist her ankle on a jagged piece of rock and fall, breaking her neck. The further they ran, the more people joined them. Surely someone out of this group would die before they reached the exit? It seemed like too much to ask for all of them to survive. But they passed dead bodies too, people dead or dying, and they had to leave some behind. Taya came to believe that the horrible feeling she had each time she had to abandon another person in need amounted to enough suffering.

She did stop, or others did, to offer a few comforting words to those dying. Sometimes they were too late, and other times they got there just in time. "Can you run with us?" Taya asked one man, a hired mercenary they had taken from Tanchico, and he shook his head as tears leaked down his cheeks and dripped onto the dusty ground. "Go, save yourselves," he muttered, "and give my wife my love." Taya would have asked who his wife was, but the man died before she could even open her mouth. She opened it anyway and said, "Creator shelter your soul," and released his hand. She moved on, frustrated but determined to do whatever she could, where she could.

At one moment she knelt beside a dark-haired beauty in a blood-splattered gown and went to take her hand, intending to squeeze it in comfort. She hadn't been thinking straight, and if she had she'd have realised that not knowing this woman indicated she wasn't a friend. But she was used to being in battle where civilians died alongside soldiers. Before she could make another move, she caught the woman's stare and saw that it was hate-filled. Taken aback, she listened as the woman hissed, "May the Great Lord reign supreme, and you Lightfools cower in despair and fear. Your stupidity will haunt you someday!" Taya recoiled in horror. Then, life fled that cursed body and Taya straightened again, trying to pull herself together. She swallowed to try and rid herself of the sick feeling, and then turned her mind to catching up to the others who had raced ahead in search of their saviour. A few members of the battle party had joined them along the way, women and men who had been left behind as the rest fled the dome.

Not long now, surely, Taya thought as her throat grew more parched and her vision more blurry from fatigue. We must nearly be there...


Taya Sedai
Bonded to Eos [and Stones in future *G*]
Greenie

*******************************************************

Protect the Recovery Party at all cost! Sirayn had commanded, but now that they had fought their way out of the gate and the earth under their feet was shuddering and spasming and huge amounts of dust and sand were pouring down upon them, Lanfir wasn't so sure.

Sirayn was glowing with saidar and creating weaves of Earth to stop the tremors and hardening the ground below her feet once more. Cracks in the surface healed like they had never broken, and sweat was running the young battle leader's face. The weaves she created were too powerful for Lanfir to ever attempt to recreate - there was too much Earth that Sirayn was throwing around and using to keep the ground and the ceiling together. Seiaman, her warder, was fighting like the fury, but it was not enough. She couldn't hold off everything, and they did not see the Myrddraal in her blind spot. Before she knew it, the weave of Spirit and Fire swooshed through the air and black blood splattered. The Fade was not quite dead yet, though. It turned it's eyeless face and it stared at Lanfir as if he knew her. Lanfir was just in time to blink the icy fear away and weave again. Air and Fire. Spirit and Fire. As she charged towards her, she took chunks and bits out of him until he finally crashed to the earth a few yards away from her.

But there was more. "Lya!" Lanfir shouted to get her friend's attention. Lyanna was fast. One jerk of Lanfir's head in the direction of their battle leader was enough to make Lyanna understand. Of the two of them, Lyanna was more adept with Fire, and now they fought together to protect Sirayn's back while she was doing whatever she could to smother the tremors.

The earth around them thundered and scraped and screamed until Lanfir wanted to scream with it. We'll all die down here, smothered and covered in all that earth, if we don't get out of here, a panicked thought ran through her mind, while she weaved and battled. They HAD to get out of here. Dammit, I didnt come back to my Green Sisters to get buried with them before I ever had a chance to get to know them!

And meanwhile, the tremors seemed to become stronger while Sirayn did all she could to smother them. Jaydena joined her, and Lanfir prayed it would be enough.


~Lannie
getting claustrophobic

************************************************************

Lya!

It was an almost desperate cry, one that Lyanna had never heard from her friend, not even at Fal Dara as far as she could remember. She jerked around, away from her position against Lanfir's back, and instantly saw what her friend was trying to convey. The amounts of Earth Sirayn was weaving was staggering, unbelievable actually, but she was so busy holding off the tremors that raked the ground underneath that she lost all sight of her own protection. Seia was dancing around her, but couldn't be at all places at once, and from the looks of it, at least one Fade had managed to get through the woman's defense.

Three Trollocs charged up on Seia and Sirayn, as if they felt that if they destroyed this pillar of determination, the whole search party would come crumbling down. Lyanna wove Flame Arrows, concoctions of Air which she rigged with Fire and shot them at the charging lot, so that they burst into charring flames. They shrieked, but Lyanna already focused on another incoming Fade which would get by Seia, who was busy fighting another one. Again she wove Fire, this time a more vicious Weave, one of her own. She encompassed the Fade with the thread, wove it thicker and thicker, more intricate so that an entire net of Fire enveloped the Fade, and then tied it off. The creature instantly turned into a living fireball. It stumbled backwards, agains the wall, and writhed and screetched until it sagged lifeless agains the Gates, leaving a sooty trail behind it.

And on and on it went, Sirayn riding the earthquake, while Lanfir and Lyanna did the best they could in keeping her and her Warder alive...

 

Lyanna

************************************************

ooc: here we go with the promised climax of the Namandar Earthquake!

: : : : She spared a moment to rake the stray strands of hair out of her face with a trembling hand. Shock and exhaustion had weakened her to the point that she was chilled to the bone and trembling with shudders she could not suppress; her ice white face was streaked with mud and blood, set rigid in an expression of terrible purpose, and she stood straight and proud despite the burden weighing down her shoulders until she wanted to just curl up and let it all go. The quake pounded relentlessly against her barriers, each tremor fiercer and more draining than the next, like a vast sea crashing against the coast. And just like a cliff face she felt herself eroding, wearing away, her fragile form unable to restrain any longer the savage forces that threatened to rip the city apart entirely. Never, I will never give in, she repeated over and over to herself, half sobbing in the chaos of her own head, gritted her teeth and flung herself against another tremor that wanted to ruin them all. Distantly, as though from some far away isle, she heard voices … telling her that the recovering party was gathered at the platform, that the battle party stood ready to protect them as few by few they were raised to safety, and should they themselves withdraw? Sirayn nodded, blind, concentrated solely on the great fierce monster that lurked beneath their feet, and did not resist as Seiaman laid hands on her gently and pulled her back. She registered dimly that sisters still fought close by, defended her with flame and sword, but could not spare a moment to thank them. She was swaying on her feet now with exhaustion … cannot give in … never! and she channelled her precious last reserves of furious strength into her weaving.

: : : : There were still so many people waiting to go up. It was hopeless. She’d never do it. Clinging on desperately, she somehow managed to absorb and deflect another tremor; she could feel her grip on saidar slipping, like feeling her fingernails being peeled away, and she hung on grimly knowing the bleak consequences if it were to be ripped away. I’m going to burn out, I’m going to die, we’re all going to die, a manic voice chanted. She gritted her teeth against the pain as another tremor washed against them, her failing strength barely checked it this time and the rumble reverberated ominously through the cavern. Strong arms clasped her and half dragged her backward, onto the platform; voices shrilled past her hearing. She slipped weakly and fell onto one knee. The jolt almost parted her from her weaving and her fists clenched tight in exhausted rage as in the last moments she railed in defiance against the cruel twist of fate that had led her here to die in a dark choking madness deep underground … and just as the fast rising platform burst into sunshine and fresh air the world turned white and blinding and the dome crashed down with a great rending scream of stone to obliterate everything.

Ooc: well, I think I’m unconscious. *g* You can all post at your leisure … interest in an aftermath thread seems to be minimal, so we’ll keep it to this last phase. So this is effectively the end of the urgency and we can all recover at our own pace. *hugs* I’d just like to say how much fun I’ve had with this RP and that I’ve learnt a great deal from it. Thank you all for making the Hunt for Namandar as dramatic, occasionally spine chilling and always enjoyable as it has been.

Sirayn Sedai
Sister of the Battle Ajah
Proud Leader & Organiser of the Hunt for Namandar RP

************************************************************************

Long since deaf, Taya abandoned all attempts to keep the party in order - she couldn't even see the others, not with all this dust in the air! - and dashed for the exit, which had now come into sight. An alarmingly large crowd gathered there, everybody waiting for his or her turn on the platform. Taya approached the outermost fringes on unsteady legs, and saw the crowd part to make way for her. As she walked swiftly down that makeshift corridor she felt her soul tearing. These people were lessening their chances of survival, for her sake. She clutched her satchels to her desperately as she clambered onto the platform, melting into the numbers of people already on it. Struggling to accept the reality of the situation - that many people would surely die today, for how on earth could they all escape? It was clear the Dome was on the verge of collapse.

Taya craned her neck upwards, struggling to make out the hole in the ground through which they'd come what seemed so long ago. She couldn't see anything, and she couldn't face upward for long. Rocks fell from above, and she had to shield herself. The ground lurched and so did the platform...Taya nearly lost her balance, but stumbled into the person ahead of her. That made her aware of how much spare space there was on the platform. Her teeth chattered. She dared herself to look at the crowd beyond the platform - those who were still waiting for a chance to escape themselves.

She saw fear in those eyes, fear and hope but mostly the former. She felt sick knowing she was one step closer than they to earning her life back. But who is to say they worked any less hard for that chance than I did? She looked to the left and saw Ellvara nearby. The White had obviously had the same treatment Taya had.

The platform lurched again, and Taya screamed, "We have more room! Grab some more of them!"

And the people at the outer edges of the platform did as she commanded, as the ones behind pressed even closer together, painfully aware that it was a very dangerous game they played. A ridiculous game, Taya thought, wondering just what had become of Sirayn and the rest of the battle party. Perhaps we shouldn't have split up, she thought as several more people scrambled aboard the platform, and others nearly lost their balance with the upward motion of it. Taya's heart broke as she looked again at the crowds down there. She made herself look, because only a coward would look away. When finally she lost sight of them, she looked again at Ellvara, and saw that the White was still gazing downard. Clearly the woman had a similar philosophy about gutlessness as Taya did.

Taya fought hard to suppress her panic. But she did cling to the nearest people, holding tightly to a forearm on one side and a hand on the other. She didn't know those people, but she needed to be with someone, be close to someone...anyone.

The rise through the dusty darkness seemed to take an eternity, and the roaring of the earth, wanting to fill the void that had been here for so long since Namandar's demise, was matched by the roaring within Taya. Her head swam and cleared, swam and steadied, and she blinked repeatedly and prayed, prayed to the Creator not only to spare her own life but to lend those people below some more precious moments - just enough that they could escape. Injuries could be treated later. Death could never be Healed. And what a horrid death they'd suffer...

The din reached its crescendo and Taya thought she must be in the ocean, riding a tidal wave and well and truly lost to the world. She squeezed her companion's hand so hard she thought she might have broken bones, but he squeezed back, and she didn't feel any pain herself. She realised that things were more illuminated now - she could see far more clearly. And the source of light came from above. The opening to the outside. Oh, Light, please...

She felt a fresh breeze, smelt it, and then the platform burst into the open and at the same time, the Dome collapsed beneath them. The people on the platform stumbled and staggered. Taya lost her grip on both of the strangers and went hurtling forward herself, collapsing in a heap on ground...real ground... She couldn't open her eyes because the brightness of day hurt too much. She was aware that tears streaked her cheeks, though...not for herself, but for those who had been lost. So many! The rumbling hadn't stopped, and the sound of it only grew worse. Taya lay on the ground, weeping silent tears and pressing her hand hard into her mouth in an attempt to stem their flow.


 

Taya

********************************

The Recovery Party had made it to the platform, but Lanfir could not see them anymore. The flickering light of fire reflected on the dust that was showering around her and on her seemed to render the world to a living nightmare. She had gone into true battle-mode, only fighting for survival, only breathing to kill. All thoughts of impending doom were gone. Around her, rocks and dust were clouding the air and she found her breath rasping with all the dust that was gathering in her throat, but she couldn’t stop to care about it. She had to fight, she had to keep fighting, or all would be lost. If only she could support Sirayn her strength during her battle with the elements, but she could only guard the other Green’s back while the young mission leader was fighting for their lives.

Lanfir weaved wind and fire and even more wind, until it felt that her sheer body was scorched by Saidar and the temptation to give into its sweet song was threatening to become stronger than her desire to survive this horror. Eventually, all the light she could see was the way out, vaguely outlined above her, and the glow of saidar around the sisters in the Battle Party. “The Platform!” Lyanna shouted in her ear over the screeching of the earth and Lanfir could see it was true: it was descending again, the Recovery Party was safe already. Now just to get on the platform. They stumbled onto the platform and held each other tightly as a weave of Air enveloped them and pushed it upwards. Someone had created a wall of fire that did not allow their enemies to get on the platform, and Lanfir saw it shimmer spookily through the curtains of dust and grime that hung in the air.

Lyanna and she were standing awfully close to the edge of the platform, so Lanfir whispered breathless: “Don’t let go, Lyanna,” her arms tightening around her friend, clinging onto her while she did not dare to let go of saidar yet.

“I won’t,” Lyanna promised hoarsely, holding her and Lukas both.

Above them, the Light was rushing downwards to meet them… or perhaps it was the other way around. For one crazy moment Lanfir thought that they were meeting the Creator, but suddenly the sharp light softened and she could see the world around her. Trees. Grass. Sky. Fresh air.

Lanfir let go of her friend and took two tentative steps before she finally released her deathgrip onto saidar. She had already been on her way to sit down, because she knew what would happen, but she was too slow. Her knees turned to water and she sagged through, the ground slamming all air out of her lungs. She didn’t mind, though. She felt as if she had been smacked upside the head and lost most of her hearing, vision and smell. Light, the world seemed so dull, all of a sudden. One second that feeling lasted, until the thundering sound of the crashing dome behind her filled her ears.

Namandar was gone.

And I have no idea who lived and who died there… I hope my sisters made it out. She couldn’t bring herself to check upon them, though. Perhaps in a minute, when her shivers subsided. But not yet. Not yet.


 

Lannie

***************************************

OOC- Taya the whole group was supposed to make it up to the top, but I actually like your way better, so I talked to Sirayn and I can write it that way too. *nods*

Jaydena focused her dust filled eyes on the ceiling above them, she could see the large cracks in it's surface, and felt the failure and impending doom as she realized that despite her fight and her talent, she wouldn't be able to save Namandar. That Sirayn's control of the earthquake would mean nothing as the city would be forever crushed under tons of rock. The greatest discovery of their age would be lost because she hadn't been strong enough, talented enough, or good enough. She dimly heard Sirayn's voice echo through the dome, “Recovering party! Withdraw to the gates!” Nodding her head slightly at Sirayn's order she pushed another securing weave into place. The rumbling in the earth shook her body as she felt Sirayn's shield slide into place. She heard someone shout behind them, "Do something! You're the only one who can!” Her sister mumbled next to her and Jade caught part of her words. She grinned fiercely at her sisters courage and saw her warders and Sirayn's surround them in a circle.

Focusing all her attention back on that ceiling, hoping that she could save her sisters and warders, that she could help Sirayn to save the city. Her friend growled out, “I don't have a clue what I'm bloody doing!” Seia screamed back over the noise, “Well it's working, so keep doing it!” Jaydena heard one of her sisters call out, “They’re coming out, The recovering party is gathering.” Jaydena nodded as Sirayn spoke in anger and silently agreed with Sirayn's sentiment, she took deep breaths and prayed to the light that they would all make it up. Jade looked over at Sirayn as her shaken voice screamed out, “Battle party, Battle party! Withdraw! Protect the recovering party at all costs! Withdraw! Back to the platform!” A Brown sister called out to them in an angry voice for them to save the city and Jade couldn't help but grit her teeth at the stupidity of that comment, trust a Brown to say that, when she might just die. “Light! I can't save the flaming Aes Sedai, let alone the flaming city! You have to get out-“

Her sister muttered about her being able to do it and Jade nodded and whispered to Sirayn, "Yes you can Sirayn." Jaydena shivered as the earth quake pounded against her weaves, the more she shored up, the more cracks there were within the stone. She gritted her teeth again the exhaustion filling her and sparred a glance at Sirayn, utter exhaustion shone through the blood and Jade prayed that her sister would hold out against the urge to give in. Her own body ached with the promise of that death, the chance to end all the pain, she gazed over at her warders body and just wanted to let go of it all. Yet she couldn't for if she did the city would be lost with them inside, Sirayn needed her now more than ever and she wouldn't give up on her.

She heard words through her pain, the recovering party had made it to the surface and now the battle party was being loaded up. Coran urged her to make her way to the platform, she nodded and saw that Sirayn was being pulled backwards by Seiaman. Her teeth bared as she continued to weave into the ceiling. Jade worked her own weaves and Corbin carried Jared out and up onto the platform. Jade walked backward through the throng that was still waiting to load onto the platform, knowing that once she made it to the surface the dome would collapse and kill all these fine defenders of the light. She stepped up onto the platform and looked down at the people standing there, she called out, "Thank you all, today you have saved the Battle Ajah and there is no finer death than to die fighting." She saw several of the Tower Guard nod as they fought the Trollocs, their faces tense and accepting the knowledge that they were going to die in the service of the Tower and Aes Sedai.

She wondered for a moment if they regretted their choice, she shook her head as she saw a man slaying everything in his path. His teeth bared in a fierce smile as he laughed. Jade thought that he looked like he was having the time of his life. Jaydena bowed her head and prayed to the Light for all these men's souls, their sacrifice had been great and they would go down in history as having helped find Namandar. The platform started to raise into the sky and she saw the Trollocs running to board their platform, going after Sirayn no doubt. She used the last ounce of her strength and sent up a wall of fire many feet tall to block their progress. She lost saidar in that moment and crashed down onto the platform floor. Pain shot through her and she gripped her head in response. Someone knelt down next to her and wiped the tears away from her cheeks. Jaydena kept her eyes screw tight and felt the air touch her skin as the platform reached the ceiling. She tried to stand but her legs refused to carry her, someone picked her up and carried her out onto the grass where she was set gently down. As the dome crashed down behind her she flinched and let the tears fall heedlessly down her cheeks. All those people, had died for them, they had died while she worthless Aes Sedai who should never have survived...

Jaydena Sedai

**************************************

They had managed to make it to the platform. It had taken some doing, trying to guide Sirayn and Jade while keeping the last wave of trollocs back.

Coran guided Jade onto the Platform while Corbin carried Jared's body. Seia ushered Sirayn onto the platform and other Aes Sedai boarded along with their Warders.

No!!! Coran thought. He looked at all the tower guards still on the ground, holding back the Trollocs. He looked at the platform...full...no room.

He knew that once they were out that Sirayn and Jade could not hold off the destruction of Namandar any longer. Already, the tremors were starting to worsen.

May the Creator and the Light Guide you home. He thought looking out onto those left behind. The men knew of course...knew what they were there to do. Knew that they would not see that light of day again.

"Aaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!" Coran screamed into the falling dome. Flame burst out around them and then Coran felt Jaydena's strength give as she fell to the floor of the platform.

At once he was beside her. "We are almost up." He said to her, "I am here and we will be on solid ground again soon. Hold on....Hold on...It's ok." He kept telling her, not knowing if she heard or not.

Finally they reached the top and Coran led Jaydena out onto the ground. The dome collapsed....and if there were screams of the dying below, they were drowned by the topling earth. He felt...hollow....The loss. Jared. The Tower guards...Some of whom he trained. Lost.

He looked at Corbin... at Jaydena...Sirayn and Seiaman. He looked around at the people around them. Grieving would have to wait...The injured were still around them and the ground was still unstable beneath them. Already motions were being put into action to clear out the group.

"Seia...Corbin...We need to move away from here." Coran nodded and they began to move toward safety.

OOC:I had a break this weekend and thought I would jump in again...I will check around again before the end of the weekend.

Coran
Still Jade's Warder
Still alive and well...hmmmm....alive anyway

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
Even enveloped in the Void as he was, Corbin felt every bit of shock from Jade as he saw Jared's ruined body crumple to the ground. But the Void quickly reclaimed it's hold over his mind. Redoubling hs efforts, Corbin slashed down Trolloc after Trolloc. Some of their vile blades coming close to him, but never quite close enough to do more than scratch at the scant armor he wore.


Corbin, along with the other Warders and Tower Gaurds continued to hold the horde at bay until the rest of the groups could be loaded onto the platform. Corbin grabbed Jared's body andcarried it to the platform. His body would not be left to rot under a heap of stone along with the Trollocs. Rising up on the platform, Jared's corpse over his shoulder, Corbin sent a silent prayer to the Creator for the souls of those men they'd left behind. He forced himself to watch until the last second. His final honor to the Lost.

Corbin
Bonded to Jade
Student of Cuen'd'Eren

****************************************************

Jade looked up as Coran rubbed her back, she remembered his words as they rose out the pit. "We are almost up. I am here and we will be on solid ground again soon. Hold on....Hold on...It's ok." It hadn't had meant so much to know that Corbin and Coran had made it out of that cesspit of death and despair. As she stared at the hole in the ground where they had risen from, she wondered what had happened to all the people who had lived in that city, where had they gone, why were their no signs of struggle, no blood on the wall, and no bones. Even after all these years, their should have been signs of death in a preserved city, instead all they had found was a perfectly preserved city, with clean rooms, and beds made. She turned her eyes away from that hole and closed her eyes, it was cowardice and she knew it, but did she always need to be so strong, bloody hell she was only human.

Coughing against the dust she sat up and looked around here, the group was broken apart and lost. So many sisters lay weeping on the ground, or staring around in horror at the wounded. Jade watched as the yellows began healing any that they could. The browns stood examine the treasures they had found instead of mourning the dead or healing the living. Bloody browns! How could they ignore the death at their feet and smile as they looked over the treasures from that haunted and dead city. She growled and was so angry that she stood up to attack one of them. Before she did she looked down and saw Corbin kneeling near her with Jared's body at his face. Her warder had closed his eyes and covered his body and the gaping bleeding hole with his fancloak. Jaydena dropped to the ground and let out a scream of mourning.

How could this vibrant, and loving man be dead. She had felt his arms around her only last night, her body had ached with his lovemaking, and now he was dead. Damn his for his arrogance, damn him for thinking he could kill that channeler. Why did he have to leave me, I'm to young to lose a warder, to young to mourn a gaidin who should have lived many years more. She wiped the tears away and embraced the source carefully, she weaves water and washed the blood from his body, she couldn't heal him but she could make sure he went to his grave without blood covering him. When she was finished she gratefully released the source and removed his dagger and ring that he wore, a gift from Terren so long ago. She figured that Jared's best friend would want it to remember him by, she rewrapped his fancloak around his broken body, she ran a hand gently over his still cheek and turned away.
She heard Coran speak to the two gaidin near him, "Seia...Corbin...We need to move away from here." Jaydena nodded slowly and stood up again, she nodded her head at Sirayn and waited for their battle leader to call a move away from the site of all this death and carnage...

Jaydena Sedai

***********************************

Seiaman moved with a deadly grace in a half arc around Sirayn, cutting down any trolloc who dared come close. Her mucles screamed for rest but she wouldn't. She couldn't. Losyn was a few steps ahead of her, killing as much as he could and those who got past, met with Seiaman's mericless death. Raisa was nearby, her eyes in a blinded rage towards the Shadow, those whom she thought was respsonsible for her Sedai's death. But in the back of her mind, Seiaman knew. As she pivoted while cutting through a leg artery of a trolloc intent to behead her, she saw Jaydena sending forth her weaves of destruction.

The tremors rocked underneath her feet but she kept a mindframe that it was just like those tremors that Sirayn would send out during one of their spars. All she had to do was keep her feet moving on the balls of her feet and her knees loose. The trollocs were stupid enough not to realize this as they fell over either from losing their balance or having their flesh sliced open. Arrows of fire darted past her head as another group of Trollocs closed in around them. Losyn was somewhere and she growled, We have to get out of here. A live fireball exploded too close for comfort as a trolloc's axe cut deeply into her shoulder. A dagger came loose in her hand and into the trolloc's eye, "Too many." In a pivot, she saw Lanfir and Lyanna with fierce concentration in their eyes and she knew they were helping.

"Seiaman!!" She turned quickly and saw a trolloc bearing down towards Sirayn, a large hammer being ready to slam into her headfirst. She ran and leapt through the air, catching the trolloc off guard as they crashed to the ground. And in the middle of the roll, her dagger slid into its neck as she twisted fiercely and pulled to cut the throat in half. Blood spurted onto her face and the sweat burned her eyes as she pulled herself out from under the body. The bond was growing faint ... weak. "No!" Another trolloc came rushing towards Sirayn and Seiaman ran only to watch as a fire arrow cut through the creature's chest. Just when she almost got to Sirayn, something sharp pierced into her hamstring and she screamed but refused to fall. Her arms went around her Sedai, the woman didn't even acknowledge her. The pain from herself and Sirayn was great, I have to keep my focus. Iron daggers flew from her free hand towards the rushing trollocs as she pulled the woman back, ignoring the rippings of her hamstring.

They came onto a dark stone platform, there were others of their party all bloody and fighting. Sirayn slipped from her grasp and fell to a knee and Seiaman instinctively move in front of her so the woman was protected with her Gaidin in front and her Sisters at her back. A dagger caught in her shoulder and she grunted as she pivoted, her scimitar slicing diagonally over a trolloc's face as it was trying to break the line. Blood and sweat trickled down her face and body, her hair clinging as if they dared not to part from her. She felt herself growing weaker from her own physical extertion and from Sirayn. The woman was pulling onto her life strength but Seiaman could tell it was not helping. Enough.

The platform lurched and Seiaman screamed as it sent a jolt of pain up through her hamstring. Hands clasped at her shoulder and pulled her back, to make room on the platform for others who needed to escape. She ripped herself out of their grip and at that moment, the platform rushed. Seiaman sheathed her scimitar and turned towards Sirayn, pulling the unconscious woman in her arms, brushing her hair back from her face. The dome crashing didn't register in her mind, all that mattered was her Aes Sedai. Her bloodied fingers felt for a pulse and she barely found it. "Sirayn..." She closed her eyes and focused onto the bond, pulling herself into it. It was a known fact that a Gaidin could not consciously give the Aes Sedai her own strength, but it would not stop her from trying.

Soft voices spoke as a gust of wind brushed over her skin as she felt a hand brush her cheek. Her eyes flew open, to meet with Sirayn's grey eyes. "Sirayn ..." The woman's face was not as pale as recently but Seiaman found that she could not even move without being in pain. Her immense relief and joy that Sirayn still lived could not be worded. "Get me up." Seiaman groaned and nodded, only to have a jab of concern shoot through the bond. "Tis ... I'm ... fine." She rose slowly, pushing down the tears that that pain brough as she helped Sirayn to her feet. Faces turned towards their battle leader to receive their last order, who spoke softly to them. But it took all of Seiaman's strength to remain standing, her vision grew blurred and her breathing was heavy. "Sirayn." Her grip tightened on her scimitar, fear rose that the Dark One could send its minions to kill Sirayn while she was at her weakest. She dared to look up, searching through the crowd for the one familair figure that she would recognize. And she came across the figure and wished that she could see Jaydena one more time, "Not ... fine any... more."

~ Seiaman Kera
Poisoned ... dying .. and living!

**********************************************


 

OOC: Not sure if this is going to be good, or even fit properly, but here goes...

Seia had fallen. After all the fighting and death, Jerad was not really sure where he was, or how he had gotten there. The aftermath of the brutal battle had left him a little dazed. His head cleared as he rushed to Seia, unsure of what he could do for her, or how badly she was wounded, but the way she had collapsed left no doubt in his mind that it was serious.

Unsure of what to do, Jerad gave a tug on the arrow, and managed to pull it out. The wound was not enough on its own, but the arrowhead contained more than blood. A quick taste confirmed the poison Jerad had feared. He didn't know much about the arts of healing, but it would have to do. Tearing a strip of cloth from his battleworn shirt, he began wrapping it around the injured limb. He slowly formed a crude tourniquet.

'Enough to slow the circulation, and the poison as well, if I'm lucky'

After securing his work, he sat down beside his injured comrade. He needed to keep an eye on her.

'Light, I have no clue what I'm doing...she needs more help than that, but that's the best I can do. Don't die on me, Seia, don't you dare...there's been enough death already...'

He waited...


 

Jerad

*******************************

ic: A more than slightly shaken Lwena stumbled from the platform as soon as it was safe to go, pushing through the people and into more open air; that was too close for her liking. Drawing in a shaking breath, she clenched her fists tight enough to draw blood from her palms and reminded herself that her job had only begun. There were far to many wounded for her alone to handle, but as the only Yellow sister there she knew that she would be taking care of the majority of the wounded, the most injured of them all.

"Lwena!" Someone, she wasn't sure who, called out to her, sounding slightly panicked, and she whirled about, trying to locate the source; while through her fog of exhaustion she could not tell who it had been, she could at least tell where it had come from. She pushed back through the crowd towards the platform, the glow of saidar bursting to life around her as strong as ever, and she dropped down to her knees beside the fallen Gaidin as another pulled the arrow from her leg, and he tied a rough tourniquet around the wound before Lwena shooed him off so that she could do her work. It was Seiaman, Lwena realised distantly, Sirayn's Gaidin.

There were several obvious wounds that most Gaidin had, but as she delved her attention was instantly drawn to the poison spreading from the wound in her leg. Bloody ashes, Lwena grumbled mentally, not quite tired enough to let down her Aes Sedai composure. This would make her job more difficult, though it wasn't something she couldn't manage. First, the poison; drawing on all five elements of Saidar, she drew the poison out back through the wound where it soaked into the strip of cloth wrapped around it. Tearing the poison-drenched cloth away, Lwena ignited it while she again used all five of the elements to Heal the wounds, only vaguely aware of several worried people crowding around her. Finally she sat back on her heels, glancing around.

"She should be fine," Even to herself, her voice sounded exhausted; that would not do. She still had too much work to do. "Tired, hungry, but she'll survive. I've got to go-" She stood up and glanced around. "There's too many more injured people-" She shook her head to herself and let her sentence trail off before pushing back through the crowd until she reached a large clear space that would now double as an Infirmary and weaving a voice-amplifiying weave.

"Would the wounded please all come here." It was more of an order, and she hoped she wasn't infringing on Sirayn's right as leader, but she needed to take charge of the wounded, and currently this was the best way to do it. She'd need to get someone to set up pallets and some large tents or tarps, and find all the Aes Sedai who could Heal...Lwena let her thoughts trail off as the first of the wounded arrived.

***



Raisa, only one sword out, glanced around at the trollocs, her mouth twitching into a merciless grin before she confronted the first of them; anger powered the Spring now, a fierce, burning anger that burned through her faster than she could compress it. It gave her energy, more than she could ever have expected, and she was doing much better than she normally did one-handed, even with one hand holding Nydi's body tightly and throwing her off balance. There was only one thought in her mind: kill them all. She knew it wouldn't avenge Nydi's death, but it was a start; at this point she wasn't sure if she even wanted to die or to live, but she would instead let fate take it's course.

Currently, it seemed that she was to die, or at least felt that way as a trolloc's sword bit into her forearm; this wasn't the first injury she'd recieved. A slash burned along her ribs, and another along her scalp from when she'd ducked, but not fast enough. She began retreating towards the platform, knowing that there were too many, and it felt like ages before she felt the platform lurch. Sagging as she realised that they were almost out, she glanced around her and tried to push away the feeling of exhaustion that nearly swamped her as the anger left her veins. For now.

Then they were at the top; she hardly noticed Seia falling, but a sudden sense of obligation came down on her shoulders as she realised what exactly had happened. Seia had stayed behind for her in Namandar when Nydi had fallen; it only seemed fair for Raisa to remain and make sure the other Gaidin was alright; Raisa didn't really feel like being around people, but she remained anyway.

She was shoved aside by a small Yellow a few moments after she decided to stay behind with Seia and Sirayn, and as she watched the Yellow go to work, she felt a slight burning anger; where had that Sedai been when Nydi had died? She should have been there. Of course this thought was unfair, but Raisa wasn't currently in a particularily forgiving mood. As the Yellow stood again and pushed back through the crowd Raisa hesitated a moment and then left as well, though in in the opposite direction.

She needed to be alone.

Lwena Sedai
First Weaver of the Yellow Ajah


Raisa
Tower Guard

**********************************************

Jaydena glanced up and saw that Seia has sunk to the ground outside the hole, Sirayn was bent over her, she turned her head away as the pain echoed through her body. She took a deep breath that sounded to much like the sob that wanted to rush up into her throat. Only feet separated them yet they might as well have been miles apart for all the good it did. She walked forward and motioned to her warders, they picked Jared's limp body up and carried him away from the people who had survived. The walked for some time before she found a green leafy tree with ground soft enough to lay him inside. She bent down and looked into his face, her hear aching with the love that had been so strong, that had faded and the regret that it had done so.

She ran a hand gently over that still and silent face and a ragged sob rushed up out of her mouth. A keening wail escaped and she fell to her knees. The strength that she held onto for so long gone in the face of the lose. No one could see her, no one could the ever strong Sitter for the green fall to her knees and lose herself in grief. She lay her head on his unmoving chest and let the tears fall until they soaked his fancloak, until she was empty of all emotion. Jade stood up and took a deep gulping breath, a hand reached out and began to wipe the tears from her face. She smiled a wavering smile at him and embraced the source. Exhaustion slammed into her and she ignored it, drawing through the Angreal she wore on her dress.

Causing the ground to collapse into itself she bent down and kissed Jared's cold lips one last time. With a weave of air she lifted him into the Air and placed his body into the deep hole. With a last burst of strength she covered the hole in with dirt and packed it with air. She let the source go and turned away, leaning on Coran's shoulder she turned away and began to walk away from the grave, the grave of her friend, her lover, and her gaidin. Looking back would surely have undone her so she squared her shoulders and walked back to the scene of so much death. The closer they got to the city the more she stood on her own. Until when she reached the group she walked on her own, her face clear of all signs of mourning and calm as a still lake. She saw that Sirayn was organizing the group to leave and looked to be in control. Jaydena nodded and went to find he horse, so she could return to her tent at the camp and wallow in her pain...

Jaydena Sedai

*******************************

Corbin sat kneeling, staring into the face of the dead man, the dead Gaidin. He knew his own face was a mixture of emotions. He hadn't liked Jared asmuch as some. But he'd done a good job, and had died protecting Jade. To Corbin, that made him as good a man as could ever be.
"Seia...Corbin...We need to move away from here."
As they moved Jared's body away from the scene a bit, Corbin's mind started to retrace the entire time he'd known the man. Starting when they'd met in the Yard, with Jade. What a surprise that had been...Then their first spar, how close it had turned out...
The burial was short and silent. And as they walked back to rejoin the group Corbin could see Jade wipe it all off of her face, out of her step, it was as if nothing had happened. Except for that ball of emotion screaming in agony in his head. Before they were too close tothe group he approached her shoulder and whispered, "If you need me tonight, I'll be right outside your tent. And If you'd rather be alone, I'll stay there." As he fell back a step from her, he gave her arm a reassuring squeeze that he was sure couldn't be seen by the others. She obviously didn't want to look as if it were bothering her.

Corbin LaGosse
Bonded to Jaydena

*********************************

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