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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Take the long road and walk it(repost) Attn Lolaria


WhiteWolf
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It had been a long and frustrating morning for Amon, he had been helping to drill a new squad of Cavalry recruits, and they had been as inept a bunch as he had ever come across. So much so that Amon had sent the entire squad on a run around the outside of the Citadel, the first of them were approaching the main gate and were starting to slow down.

 

“What do you think you are doing recruit? Did I tell you to stop?”

 

The unfortunate recruit did not know what to do, come to attention and answer Amon or carry on running, eventually he decided to carry on running, but made the mistake of saluting Amon. “What is that hand doing there recruit, did I ask you to smack yourself in the head? Well did I!”

 

Amon was now running alongside the recruit with his nose almost touching the other mans face. Just as he was about to speak again, Amon heard the neighing of a horse, and after a hasty glance over his shoulder; he came to a dead stop. It was not the horse that drew his eye, even though he was one of the finest examples of his breed, it was the rider.

 

Amon had almost given up on ever seeing her again, she had left to go back to the Children, and Amon had heard not a word from her, not knowing if she was alive or dead. Once the last of the recruits had passed by, Amon made his way over to the horse and rider, but did not close on them. “Well I must admit I never expected to see you around these parts again Lolaria, is this a personnel visit, or are you here as a representative of the Children of the Light?”

 

Amon

 

Under Commander, BotRH

 

Berserker for Hire

 

 

Was it good fortune? Lolaria stared for a moment at Amon before answering, her eyes studying him. It surprosed her that Amon would be one of the first people she saw as she entered the growing Citadel. It had changed so much in the months that she had been gone. Luckily, one of the scouts had remembered her and let her pass on through to the main gates.

 

How long had it been since they'd seen each other? She and Amon had admitted having some feelings for eachother, and like a scared child, she'd turned and run like wolves were chasing her. So many doubts had popped up in her head when she thought of the possibility of a relationship.

 

And where had she run? The Fortress of the Light probably hadn't been the best of ideas. The other members of the Council cut their eyes at her, and their remarks to her were short. No open anger...but they obviously thought that she had gone rogue for a bit. And how different things had seemed there. The workings of the Children as a whole seemed to have changed while she was out on her "scouting" mission. Most of her Legion had been absorbed into other companies...but a few had stayed loyal to her. It warmed her heart...but even they seemed different. The Children were becoming something different...

 

And so she'd left again. Of course, she'd left notes here and there with the right people. But who knew if she'd be accepted back when she returned? After wandering for a while, either unconsciously or consciously, Storms heavy footfalls had led her here. And now she'd been staring for too long without saying anything. His words stung, but she didn't show it on her face. Sliding slowly off of Storm's broad back, she walked closer.

 

A small wry smile appeared on her face as she watched Amon. "Good to see you as well." She shook her head the smile sliding off as easily as it appeared. "I can't say I'm here as a representative of the Children. In truth, I don't know if they'd take me back if I ever returned." Trying to cast off the melancholy that she'd felt, Lolaria Kamiaine faced Amon again. "But that's neither here...nor there. How have you been?"

 

Her voice held a tiny bit of hopefulness bled in to her voice. Perhaps he wasn't angry at her for leaving so suddenly...perhaps things hadn't changed. But perhaps they had.

 

----------

Lolaria Kamiaine

"Keryn"

 

Amon did not reply immediately, there was more to this than Lolaria was letting on, and Amon did not like mysteries. As he stood there contemplating his answer, Lolaria climbed down from her horse and came round to face Amon. “Well as you can see we have been busy building and improving the Citadel, we have erected part of the outer wall already, it is quite an impressive sight, come on I’ll show you.” Amon reached out and took hold of Storm’s bridle, talking softly to the horse to steady him down as they passed through the main gate and the noise and hustle inside the Citadel came on in full force. As they walked Amon told Keryn more about what had happened since her sudden departure.

 

The inside of the Citadel was taking shape as much as the outside was, roads had been cleared, and it was possible to reinforce any part of the wall from a central point, or move troops quickly from one side of the Citadel to the other. Any enemy foolish enough to attack, even now, was unlikely to succeed, although the Command of the Band had not slipped into complacence, even now there were scouts out, searching the woods and mountains around the Citadel, acting as an early warning should any enemy approach.

 

Eventually they emerged from all the buildings, storerooms, barracks, kitchens and mess halls, to a large cleared space. Across from them was a wall rising 60 foot into the air, looking as smooth as glass. It was white in colour, but reflected the sunlight and seemed to be all colours and none. The wall stretched for a hundred yards to either side of their position and work was proceeding as fast as the Ogier Builders could manage. It was as well that the trade from the Mines in the mountains was going well, otherwise the Band would not be able to afford all of the materials that were required for an under taking like this. “We have also laid the ground work for the main building, the actual Citadel. It is not going to be completed any time soon I am thinking, come on I will show you the plans.” Amon again led Storm, but this time they skirted around he edge of the mass of buildings until they came to a second cleared area, one that was outlined by some white rope and contained a large tent in the south west corner. It was to this tent that Amon now walked, Lolaria on one side and Storm on the other. When they got to the tent, Amon placed Storm’s reigns on the ground and then held the tent flap open for Lolaria to walk through, as she passed him, she looked into his eyes and smiled, although the smile did not touch her eyes, which held on to their almost haunted look.

 

The main feature of the tent was a model of a large building that rose up out of the ground like an ever-expanding knife blade. The front of the building, which would be nearly one hundred feet tall, looked exactly like a knife seen from the edge, with the two sides expanding out and back. The walls were covered in windows, except for the first twenty feet, then it was solid brick, again, gaining entry to this building would not be any easier than breeching the main wall. “Well Keryn what do you think, is it a place fit for a Queen?”

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As Amon spoke on the new and fantastic improvements to the Citadel, Lolaria could already feel herself relaxing. His mere presence was comforting. And as always, Storm warmed right up to him. Strange for a warhorse to accept another person, but he had.

 

Looking left and right as they began their walk in to the Citadel proper, the Lord Captain had to be amazed at the amount of work that had gone on in the months she had been gone. They had been making great strides. The Band would have their own city and fortress here. And Ogier buildiers…they really were pulling out all the stops…

 

Nodding to herself as they walked, Lolaria appraised the design of the grounds. It was a very solid structure, yet it had a little bit of a pleasing design to it as well. Ogier work was always impressive both structurally and aesthetically. The inner white wall was the most impressive. It gleamed in the bright daylight and lifted the eye to it’s heights. A moment of consternation creased her forehead as thoughts of its similarity to the White Tower flitted through her mind, but was quickly banished. She was one of the few members of the Children who didn’t think that the Aes Sedai were completely evil. She did think that they stuck their noses in where they weren’t needed too often…

 

“I’d love to see the plans. If they are as magnificent as the current construction, I think it will be a thing to see when its done.” Her smile was still a little forced, but becoming more genuine. It almost felt as if the Citadel was a place that thoughts of the Children of the Light didn’t intrude…that she was protected. But it was a false feeling, the weight of her situation pressed not far behind. Lolaria followed Amon to a large white tent to one side of the construction. Storm stayed put as a well trained warhorse should when Amon let his reigns drop and held the tent flap open.

 

Always a gentleman, she couldn’t help but smile at Amon as she passed in to the slightly darker interior of the tent. The building model before her was grand indeed. It looked like a place of military might, but it had its own beauty. And windows…even high as they were, such an addition to stave off the dungeon or fortress-like quality that some buildings had.

 

“Well Keryn what do you think, is it a place fit for a Queen?”

 

For a few moments longer, she stared at the massive model before her. The Lord Captain couldn’t help but smirk at the use of her other name… Keryn… He’d given her that name while she was in disguise with the band. Oddly enough, none of the Banders or camp followers had batted an eyelash when she’d donned armor and waded in to trolloc fighting with the rest of them. Shrugging her shoulders slightly, she spoke, “Queen? Are you planning on setting up a kingdom here?” The smirk stayed as she continued. “In all seriousness, it’s a beautiful building and upon casual glance, the design is strong and looks to be easily defended.”

 

And there was a time when he probably wouldn’t have let me see this. Obviously he doesn’t have any doubts to where my loyalties lie. She would never betray his confidence to the Children. Darkfriends were a different matter entirely. It seemed with her promotion to Lord Captain, that things had become so different. Things had become less about spreading Light to the world and stamping out the darkness as it had become military exercises and political posturing. She caught herself in mid-thought. She’d come here to escape these thoughts for a bit, but they just kept intruding.

 

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

Lolaria Kamiaine

Lord Captain

Council of the Anointed

Children of the Light

 

Amon paused for a moment, realising that Lolaria did not know everything that had transpired, or had forgotten. It had been so confusing in the aftermath of the battle at Emonds Field that Amon could not remember if she had been there when Owen had read the proclamation about the setting up of a homeland for those who wanted some safe refuge in a world that was growing more and more dangerous. “Well it was decided that if we are going to resurrect Manetheren then we should do it exactly as it was in days past. Apparently the Wolfkin found some written records deep in the mountains, about the old Manetheren; apparently it caused quite a stir amongst them, something to do with their history. What it was, they would not say, but I do know that almost as soon as they found this out they called a meeting with Mehrin, some of the Aiel and one of he Aes Sedai that was in the village at that time. The outcome of that meeting was the declaration, there has been talk that there will be a Queen, when, I am not sure, but Scouts have been sent out as far as we dare, in search for this person.”

 

Amon felt a quiet satisfaction creep over him, as he noticed the expression on Lolaria’s face, she obviously had had other things on her mind when all this had been announced. Although she could not have forgot the reaction from the villagers. There had been representatives from all the local villages, not only Emonds Field, and they had wholeheartedly thrown their weight behind the idea. It had been many moons since any of the Queen of Andor’s troops had been seen in this area, and many had whispered about how the Guards had been most prominent by their absence from the fighting with the Shadowspawn.

 

“It would seem the Wolfkin had quietly been helping all the people in the local vicinity, many of them did not even realise where the help they received originated, I tell you there is more to that bunch than meets the eye, it would seem there is no where they can go, and hardly anything stops them. We have been running a few exercises with them, and even though we know they are coming, they still manage to penetrate the walls, or if we are out in the countryside, they always get through our sentries. So far we have caught only two, and one of them had a sprained ankle and that was the only reason we caught them. Whatever Owen teaches them, it certainly works, there is talk that our Scouts have been wanting to learn with them, but nothing has come of that so far.”

 

As he was talking, Amon made his way over to the table in the corner where there were several bottles, picking one, he grabbed two tankards, and seeing the dust on the rim, quickly wiped them on his shirt. When he turned he watched Lolaria for a moment, she was staring at the plans and model in front of her, a far away expression on her face. It had taken Amon a while to get over the failed relationship with Ehlana, and he had promised himself that he would never get serious again, there was too much pain and anguish involved, Yet as he stood her watching Lolaria, her hair illuminated by a shaft of sun light through the open tent flap, he could feel the same growing attraction that he had felt for Ehlana.

 

Shaking his head, Amon walked back to the table, and placed the two tankards on the top, quickly he uncorked the bottle and poured two generous amounts of the dark red wine. “This is a local vintage, that you can only find in these parts, I think you will find it more than adequate.”

 

Amon

 

Under Commander, BotRH

 

Berserker for Hire

 

Pulling her mind back to the present and to Amon she listened as he told her of the supposed rebuilding of Manetheren. It was difficult not to let her face darken as he spoke. Lolaria kept her face studiously blank as she listened. Manetheren…a country destroyed…and they wanted to rebuild it? And these Wolfkin…so stealthy were they? She’d heard whispers of them in the Fortress. Many of the Children thought they were darkfriends…but they thought that of the Aes Sedai as well. And a Queen? Was it going to be a kingdom like Andor? Andor had its own problems.

 

“It is a noble thought…but something I would be skeptical of. It seems that all of us have our prejudices and in times such as these, this world of ours is ever more dangerous.” She nodded and still stared moodily at the model before her as the Band Commander continued to speak of the virtues of these Wolfkin.

 

She almost didn’t notice when he appeared beside her with a bottle of wine and two tankards. Until she saw the bottle, she hadn’t realized how hungry and thirsty she was. There was an odd look on Amon’s face as she turned to him. For some reason, she couldn’t help but smile. A genuine smile spread across her face as she watched him pour the deep red in to the tankards.

 

“Has it really been that long since I was here? It feels like the whole world has changed somehow.” She chuckled wryly and accepted the tankard, taking a deep drink. Amon was right. The local vintage was quite good. Sighing, she shrugged her shoulders about willing some of the tension to leave them as they stood there looking at the grand designs of a new monarchy. “Why a Queen? Why do everything as history dictates? Is it really better? And who are these Wolfkin…to dictate how a new land will be? If they won’t share their secrets…how can you trust what they say to be true…even if they seem to be helping?” It was difficult not to be taken aback at the harsh words that spilled so casually from her mouth. Had the CoL really served to make her this paranoid? What if these Wolfkin or whoever they were really were helping.?

 

---------

Lolaria Kamiaine

"Keryn"

CoL, LC

 

Amon smiled at the torrent of questions that spilled from Lolaria’s lips, they echoed his own questions when the Alliance had been first mooted, but back then Amon was only a Sergeant and had no say in Command decisions. Sipping his drink, he rank his hand over the three long braids that he always wore his hair in.

 

“You are only echoing the same questions I had and continued to have for sometime Lolaria. But, they have proved themselves, have fought by our side, and if it was not for one of them managing to get the warning about the battle at Emonds Field, to me, then we could be running for our lives now with a hoard of Shadowspawn chasing us. I don’t pretend to like all of them, but then i do not like all of the men or women in the Band. So until they prove otherwise I will trust them, it may be a wary trust, but trust it is.”

 

Taking a sip of his wine, Amon signalled to Lolaria to sit down, and the two of them sat facing each other in the room’s two chairs. “As for doing what they want? We have equal say in this, it is not just them dictating to us, it is a partnership of equals, each bringing something that will help the other.” Lolaria still looked sceptical and Amon was not sure what else to say to her, even though he had moved past his own prejudices, he could remember the feelings of doubt and uncertainty he had felt upon meeting Ehlana’s Bodyguard Owen, it was not until much later that he had found out he was her brother.

 

“What does the Band get in return for it’s services then, it does not seem likely that these people would have much you could use.”

 

“Like any army we need to finance ourselves, it was decided when the Band first formed that we would be beholden to no one, that we would choose our battles and fight for our own reasons, what we have been offered allows us to achieve that aim, and more. I mean look around you, do you think this just happened? Maybe we could have managed a rough copy of this, made of wood and pitch, but we would never have met the Ogier and been able to secure their help.” Sipping from his drink, Amon hoped that his words were making a difference, he did not want their to be a problem between them, over the short time he had known Lolaria he had come to enjoy her company, finding her to be a good conversationalist, a more than able warrior, and possible a friend.

 

“If none of the above convinces you then I do not know what would. After the battle their Healers treated out wounded and helped save many from death, and serious injury. Although we do not know the location of their village, which is easy to understand due to the persecution they have gone through, and still continue to. To be honest, we would do the same if we were in their position I think.”

 

Amon could see that Lolaria needed some time to think over what he had said, so grabbing her hand, he led her outside and through the camp towards a small wooden building, that resembled a small barracks. Lolaria asked where they were going, but Amon only said it was a surprise and would not answer any more, despite dire threats from her.

 

Once inside, Amon could keep the smile from his face no longer and with a big sweeping gesture informed Lolaria that this building was a bathhouse and that if she was half as dusty and grubby as he felt, then this was the best place to be. “And if you ask nicely I am sure they can find a bath we could share.” Lolaria’s head whipped quickly around, catching the grin on Amon’s face.

 

Amon

 

Under Commander, BotRH

 

Berserker for Hire

 

It was difficult not to smile as Amon smiled at her. How did he do it? No matter what type of mood she was in, she grinned the most foolish looking grin (in her eyes at least) every time he smiled at her! It was infuriating. She had real reservations about these wolfpeople... But the Band Commander was a good judge of character usually.

 

If he had been asking the same questions...but hadn't gotten answers... It was all just a little too mysterious for the Lord Captain. But she had gotten used to a life of questions and uncertainties. Nodding, Lolaria found it hard to continue to mirror his smile. Why did her situation continue to plague her?

 

Mentally shaking it off yet again, she listened intently as Amon spoke on the Band's interactions with these men and women. The fact that these wolfkin had made friends with the Ogier was definitely a step in the right direction. Lolaria had seen a few Ogier in her life and they always seemed to radiate calm and a great and ancient intelligence. There were few things in the world that still managed to surprise and delight the stern Lord Captain.

 

Before she finished her thought, Amon grabbed her hand and dragged her excitedly from the tent. With one glance at the model sitting on the one table in the tent, she allowed herself to be pulled through the camp and in to a nearby building. Despite her willingness to walk with him, it seemed that the man just had to drag her the whole way...arguments included.

 

The building, where they arrived, looked like a barrack from the outside. Raising an eyebrow, Lolaria shook her head and chuckled as they entered the building and Amon finally revealed the building's purpose. Loalria couldn't hide a glint in her eye as a bath was mentioned. It was something that soldiers saw few of and a definite luxury!

 

If her eyebrow could have crawled further toward her hairline, it would have. "A shared bath? Now, Amon...what are you thinking?" The shocked and scandalized look on her face was obviously a put-on expression. " I'd like to see how you're going to manage that, just out of idle curiosity! Though how you could make it decent...I can't guess..."

 

Crossing her arms and looking playfully firm, she stood and waited to see what the band Commander would come up with. What indeed!

 

--------

Lolaria Kamiaine

"keryn"

LC, CoL

 

“What am I thinking Keryn? Why that it would be easier to have someone wash your back, instead of struggling to reach all those places you know you never will, what did you think I had in mind?”

 

For a moment the silence hung between them, both of them stood there looking at each other, but Amon could not hold his expression for long and burst out laughing. Eventually Lolaria’s face broke into a smile as well. “I do not know how you do things with your other employer, but here we follow the Aiel tradition and all bathe together, it is quite liberating, but took some getting used to. Obviously, if M’Lady is to prudish, we can always provide you with a screen.”

 

Amon just managed to dodge the floor brush that Lolaria threw at his head, and even this did not stop his laughter, nor the scowl that had momentarily appeared on Lolaria’s face at the mention of her former employers. There was more there than she had said, but Amon thought that it was better waiting until she wanted to tell him, rather than force her to. This was not the first time she had shown up out of the blue and whatever kept bringing her back here, it was not just to see Amon, there was something else there and if pushed Amon would have said she was running away from something. Although Amon did not think Lolaria was the type of person to run away from anything.

 

“So have you finished trying to embed things in me, or should I stay safely crouched here until you have vented your fury?”

 

Slowly, Amon stood up and came out from behind the screen, a sheepish grin still on his face. “Come on, the baths are this way.” Amon moved over to a flap in the tent and held it back. Through the flap the next room had been separated into two halves by the expedient of hanging sheets from a rope strung from one side of the room to the other. Stripping off his shirt, Amon moved to the right and hung his shirt on a peg. “The left side is your side Keryn, we can talk through the blankets as we luxuriate in the warmth of the water. I hope it is what you were expecting?” Waiting for her response, Amon started to remove his boots, placing one on the floor under his shirt, and hopping, on the spot, he started to remove the other, waiting for Lolaria to answer.

 

Amon

 

Under Commander, BotRH

 

Berserker for Hire

 

Lolaria remained studiously silent as Amon spoke but couldn’t help but join in the riotous laughter that followed the restrained pause. He spoke of how they bathe communally in the Aiel fashion. If she had been a younger woman…or a woman who had not seen more years of soldiery than not, she might have blushed. Instead, she bent down quickly and hefted a small scrubbing brush and launched it at his head. The movement hopefully hid the grimace that crossed her features at his mention of the Children. She didn’t want to think about it right now. The Lord Captain wished that she could just put it out of her mind forever. It almost seemed that the Children couldn’t touch her here…the damage she was doing was her own fault.

 

The momentary thought was chased away by another quip from the Band Commander about a prudish nature. “Prudish? I’ve spent more than half my life around soldiers…men more often than not. You become somewhat desensitized after some time…” She hardly got the words out around the laughter. She almost had to hold her sides. “If I decided to vent my fury, I don’t think crouching would help…” She couldn’t seem to stop laughing now.

 

As Amon stood and came out of his hiding place, the laughter subsided in to a low chuckle at the grin on his face. Nodding, Lolaria followed him through the building to a place separated by a curtain. He held it open so that she could venture through. On the other side, a room divided by a curtain waited. Following Amon’s suggestion, she entered the left side. Shaking her head as she listened, she divested herself of her clothing slowly. She could feel the heat coming off the water and it felt luxurious indeed! “To tell you the truth, I know very little of the Aiel. I’m not sure how they might bathe…

 

After so many years of living in armor, it was actually almost complicated getting a normal woman’s clothing off. It took more time than she expected. She hung her clothing slowly on the pegs provided and placed her boots on the ground. It was all neat and orderly, as she’d always been. At the last, she removed her warm woolen stockings and undid the tie on her hair, letting the black curls roll down her back.

 

Parting another curtain that hid the water from the changing area, she slid in to a shallow but warm pool. It really was like no other bath she’d ever had. There were few in metal tubs here and there... But warm water…a natural spring? Lolaria wasn’t sure how it was accomplished, but it was wonderful! “Are you going to join me?” A slightly lopsided smile rested on her lips as she waited for Amon’s reply. She hadn’t heard him get in to the water…so intent was she on sinking in to the tepid waters. A thought struck her… He might already be in the water…

 

---------

Lolaria Kamiaine

"Keryn"

LC, CoL

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Amon heard Lolaria get into the water and wondered how she would react when he joined her. The mixed bathing had been Mehrin’s idea, and although he often had many a strange thought, this time it had turned out to be a good one in Amon’s opinion, not that Mehrin really listened to Amon, well not on less serious matters.

 

Once he had disrobed, Amon picked up his towel and for modesties sake, draped it around his waist and then left the changing area. When he saw Lolaria, Amon grinned, she was lying on her back with the water up to her nose, her eyes closed and a far away look on her face. Not wanting to disturb her, Amon let the towel drop to the floor and then slowly slipped into the water. The pool was fed by an underground spring and they had lined the pool with stones brought from the mountains. When the Ogier had helped build the Citadel they had helped with the design of this pool and all of the stones were smooth to the touch and held the heat.

 

Slowly Lolaria’s eyes opened and she raised, slightly from the water, a smile appearing on her face to match Amon’s. “What are you smiling about Amon, you look like the cat that got the mouse.”

 

Settling across from Lolaria, Amon let the warmth of the water seep into him before answering. “I was just thinking that I couldn’t think of a more enjoyable way to spend some time. The only thing that could improve this would be a cold flagon of ale, but that can wait for later.” Amon stretched his arms and flipped over onto his back, moving his arms in lazy circles helping him to move closer to Lolaria. As he drifted, so did his thoughts, reminiscing on how they had met, and how different Lolaria was to Ehlana or Corlinny, now there was a name Amon had not thought of in a long time, or so it seemed to him. An image, unbidden, of Corlinny in bed with his best friend threatened to ruin his good mood and he ruthlessly squashed it, forcing it back into that place where only the memories he wanted to forget were stored.

 

Manoeuvring so that he faced Lolaria Amon slowly raised himself from the water, letting it wash down his torso. “I take it you will allow me to escort you to the dance tonight, as I recall we made quite the couple at the last dance we attended.” Amon hoped that Lolaria remembered the last dance with the fondness he did, it had been a turning point of sorts for him and he believed that was largely due to the woman in front of him. “I tell you what, while you think about it, why don’t you wash my back.” Grinning like a young child Amon handed her a bar of soap and turned his back to her, giving her a wink as he did so.

 

Amon “Tik Tik” Turamber

 

Under Commander, BotRH

 

Berserker for Life

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The bathing area that Amon had showed her was amazing. It looked impossibly built, but Ogier work could defy the abilities of any other builder. She'd never met one of the elusive creatures, but she'd seen them building from afar once.

 

She breathed in a deep breath and let it out, relaxing as she hadn't in years. She felt small ripples in the pool as someone joined her in the water. Her eyes opened and her head tilted forwards so that she could see the man as he settled in to the water.

 

"This is truly divine. You know very well that baths can be few and far between in our...line of work..." She smiled ruefully and shook her head, leaning back so that the hot water ran through her hair, soaking it and plastering it to her head. She sat up again and squeezed most of the water out as they chatted. "A cool glass of something to drink would be pleasant, but this is more than I could have hoped for."

 

She watched as Amon paddled about in the pool and grinned lopsidedly. They were both reveling in the luxuriant natural spring that had been molded carefully in to a wonderful bath. As suddenly as he was swimming about, he was standing before her, water running down him in rivulets. Raising a dark eyebrow, she smirked at the man. "Dance? There's a dance tonight?" She nodded in remembrance of their last dance. It had been quite the evening. A flush came to her face despite the ready flush from the heat in the bath.

 

With a mischievous grin on his face, he waved a bar of soap in her direction and turned his back on her, sitting down close so that she could reach his back. She'd been momentarily lost in the memory of that dark night, the firelight, and the frenetic dancing. Smiling and shaking her head, Lolaria adjusted the bar of soap in her hand and began to run it across the man's back.

 

"I suppose that we had better go and dance. Your soldiers and workers expect you to be there... And it will be good to see some of them again. It's been quite a while." It was good that he was turned from her. Her face momentarily darkened as she thought of why she'd been away, why she'd gone, and why she'd returned.

 

Why couldn't things be simple? It seemed that when you were a Soldier, things were...you followed orders, you did what your superiors said. When you became one of those superiors...when you gained a position of Command, you realized that life was much more complicated.

 

Through her musings, Lolaria passed the bar of soap lazily across Amon's back, mind not really on what she was doing.

 

---------

"Keryn"

Lolaria Kamiaine

Captain, Children of the Light

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As backwashes go Amon was not that impressed with Lolaria’s technique, if he did not know better he would have thought her mind on something else. Amon was not a vain person, but it did annoy him that here he was, naked as the day he was born, with, he might have added, a rather attractive person of the female persuasion, and she was distracted by something. Amon did not understand why Lolaria had these moments, she could come and go as she pleased, had full run of the camp, and could leave when ever she liked. Yet, even with the level of trust she was being shown, she was still not totally at ease. At a pause in the lacklustre soaping, Amon turned to face Lolaria, keeping his gaze firmly on her face, and told her it was her turn for a wash.

 

Amon worked with a controlled vigour, massaging the stresses from Lolaria’s muscles and tendons, not saying much, just concentrating on the task in front or him. Once he was satisfied with his task, he placed the sponge on the side of the bath, just as a page walked in bearing a tray with two tankards of, what Amon hoped, was Dark. His hopes were rewarded when he took the tankard from the page and sipped, apprehensively, at the dark brew. “I think you mentioned something about a cool drink earlier, well let it never be said that the Band of the Red Hand do not look after every whim of their guests.” Grinning at the expression on Lolaria’s face, Amon dismissed the page and then took another sip of his drink. “I’m not wanting to pry or anything, so if you cannot answer that is fine, but how long are you staying with us?”

 

Amon was unsure whether he wanted to hear the answer to this question, it was certainly a huge benefit having Lolaria around, but she had her own duties to attend to, and he did not want to be in anyway to blame for her not fulfilling them. Sipping on his drink, Amon watched Lolaria over the rim of his tankard, waiting for her response.

 

Amon “Tik Tik” Turamber

 

Under Commander, BotRH

 

Berserker for Life

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Breaking her train of though, Amon turned and stared at the woman for a moment. Lolaria felt herself starting to blush, thankful that her dark skin would hide most of it, and the heat of the bath would probably hide the rest. She hadn't been really attentive to his back washing and from the look on his face, he wasn't terribly happy about it. She smiled apologetically as he turned her about, telling her it was her turn. Shaking her head, she turned around so that Amon could not see the slight smile on her face.

 

She had to keep her mouth clamped tightly shut, or she might have let a sigh of pleasure escape. Well, so he could fight, he could lead, and he could give one hell of a backscrub. It was difficult not to pout when the scrubbing was done. The Captain did finally let herself experience a deep sigh of relaxation as she willed herself to move. It would be so easy to melt in to the warm pool of water.

 

A young boy walked in the room with something on a tray. A smile really did break out on her face as she scooted over to where Amon had the two mugs. He took a pull from one and handed her the other. "I shall hail the hospitality of the Band from the highest hilltops, indeed! My wishes are always met promptly." She grinned a lopsided grin and took a drink of the rich, dark ale. It was quite good and quite cold, a perfect balance for the warm water.

 

Sighing and shrugging deeper in to the water, Lolaria took another sip before she answered the Band Captain. "You're not prying. It's your right to know that...I'm not sure." She shrugged and smiled ruefully at the man across from her. "What's the occasion for the dance? Another "day off" from hard labor?" She smiled, remembering how they'd danced until they could hardly breathe, managing not to step on each others feet and making it look like they actually might have known what they were doing.

 

"While you're telling me, I'll make up for the inattentive job I did earlier on your back." Reaching over to grab the bar of soap, she waved her hand for Amon to turn around. It was difficult juggling soap and a tankard of ale, but Lolaria figured that she'd done a much better job this time. For a few moments, she even put the tankard down and held on to the soap with both hands, working out muscles as best she could. She imagined they both looked quite crazy with soap all over and beer in a tub full of water. She finally finished and couldn't help but laugh, drinking more of the cool ale.

 

-------

Keryn -

Lolaria Kamiaine

Captain, CoL

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"You're not prying. It's your right to know that...I'm not sure."

 

This seemed an odd answer to Amon, how could she not be sure unless she was waiting on something, was her presence here wholly innocent or did she have some ulterior purpose. Or was this, as Amon was hoping, just a pleasant diversion for her, something to allow her to gather her thoughts and decide on what she wanted to do next with her life. Amon thought Lolaria had some issues she needed to work out. From their earlier talk it seemed to Amon that she had done what she had with her life to honour her fallen husband. If he had not passed away would she have taken a different path with her life. Now events had forced her to revaluate her ideals and goals and this is what Amon was hoping was the reason for her recalcitrant when it came to why she was here and for how long.

 

Turning his back on her, Amon let her work on the muscles in his back and shoulders again, this time with far better results. Sighing in relaxation, Amon explained that there was no great reason for the dance that night. “Life is to be lived Lolaria. We both know that our lives can be brutally ended at any time, so when we are in a safe place we play as hard as we fight, so to speak.”

 

Her hands had stopped their work on his back, and Amon turned to face Lolaria and leaned in and gave her a quick kiss. “Thank you for that, I did not realise there was so much tension in me, obviously I should get you to massaged my back more often.” The smile that split his face showed some of what Amon was like as a much younger boy, the innocent cast to his features, and the playful gleam in his eye. It was not that he was old exactly, but in his time with the Band he had seen many a thing that could tax even the strongest of people and they all came with a price, some heavier than others.

 

“So, what would my Lady like now?”

Amon “Tik Tik” Turamber

 

Under Commander, BotRH

 

Berserker for Life

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OOC: I must be in a weird mood today... It's not often that Lolaria lets her guard down and acts playful.

 

IC:

 

Not able to see Amon's face because of her intent scrubbing on his back, the dark haired woman imagined that they both wore the same tired and worn look on their faces as he mentioned the hardness of play to make up for the hardness of life. One could not be a soldier and be insulated from loss. As a result of that, they tended to also be the best at celebrating anything...and nothing at all. Who needed a reason to honor one more day of life.

 

As was another uncommon reaction from her, Lolaria couldn't help but smile somewhat foolishly as the Band Captain leaned in to kiss her and thank her for a much better job than she'd done last time. Shaking her head, wet curls still plastered to her back and smiling lopsidedly, she mused about the fact that she had not acted like an addle-pated child since she'd first started pursuing Devin.

 

"I'm not much sure what good a swordswoman's hands are at relieving tension, but I am at your disposal, Captain." Her voice only held a hint of wry humor as she watched some of the years and the weight melt off of her bathing partner. She knew that look in his eyes was going to get him in trouble some day...most likely already had as well...

 

Raising her tankard and finishing off the last of the ale that was quickly starting to warm, Lolaria surveyed her surroundings and pondered Amon's question. What now indeed... "Well, I've had a bath, have had good ale..." Deliberately slowing her response, she waved legs and arms through the delicious water, enjoying the feeling still. "I have found the company to be most adequate..." The Ebou Dari woman reached a slim finger over to wipe a drop of water off of the end of Amon's nose, enjoying her game. "I suppose all thats left is food... And you might have mentioned something about dancing?"

 

Not able to keep up the haughty facade for long, Lolaria barked a laugh and waved a through the water, aiming a splash the Band Captain's way. Wasn't there something she'd learned about the combination of hot water and cold drinks before?

 

---------

"Keryn"

Lolaria Kamiaine

Captain, CoL

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“Ahhh yes, food, dancing, some more ale and good company, what more could we ask for from life? I mean does it get any better than this Keryn?” Amon did not expect an answer to his question; it was a rhetorical one after all. Just as her was finishing his tankard, a wave of soapy water engulfed him. Spluttering through a combination of ale and soapy water Amon glanced over at Lolaria, a small mischievous smile playing across her lips. “Oh so it is like that is it Keryn?”

 

The sounds coming from the bath house were not untypical for the Band, and it was with no great surprise that passers by heard the laughter emanating from the fight Lolaria and Amon were having. Amon and Lolaria were laughing so much that they had to call a truce, that and most of the bath water was now anywhere but in the bath. Eventually Amon climbed out of the bath and grabbed the nearest towel, wrapping it around his waist, Lolaria’s unexpected laughter made him stop short and his quizzical expression, aimed her way, was the cause for even more laughter from her. “And just what is amusing you now my Lady?” Amon tried to sound all haughty, but at the sight of him standing there with a very small towel wrapped around his waist, Lolaria could not answer for laughing. Eventually she managed to control herself and just pointed to the towel Amon was wearing. Realising how he must look, Amon smiled at Lolaria. “It could be just as interesting for you if this towel here is as small as mine is, or I could just leave, and take the towel with me.” Glancing around the bath house, Amon saw that there was not another towel in sight, and he knew he could get to Lolaria’s clothes before she could, a wicked plan sprang to his mind and without another word he quickly exited the bathhouse, on the way gathering up all the clothes that were stacked in the changing area.

 

“Have fun Keryn, I am sure no one will notice your condition. Amon’s laughter faded into the distance as Lolaria considered her options. Outside the bathhouse, Amon had crept back, hiding next to the only door. He got a couple of strange looks from passing soldiers, but most of the Band knew about Amon’s strange sense of humour and so did not pay him much attention. Sooner or later Lolaria had to emerge, and Amon would then return her clothes, but until then he was going to enjoy seeing how she coped with this prank.

Amon “Tik Tik” Turamber

 

Under Commander, BotRH

 

Berserker for Life

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“Oh so it is like that is it Keryn?”

 

She knew she was in for it then... One simple sentence could change things so. The both of them laughing outrageously, the fight began in earnest. There was water everywhere, and Lolaria was certain that she'd probably swallowed half of what wasn't in the bath anymore... She coughed as she and Amon called a temporary truce through the suds.

 

Amon made his way out of the bath and wrapped himself in the towels left for them. The look of the man and the sound of his voice had her in laughter again, her voice almost hoarse from the rigors of their previous battle. She made a vain attempt to compose her face in to something more appropriately stern, but wasn't doing a spectacular job of it.

 

Or I could just leave, and take the towel with me.

 

He wouldn't... That grin on his face told her that he would...and at any moment. She tensed slowly, hoping that he wouldn't notice. He took a look around the bathhouse and Lolaria knew she was in trouble. Still in the water, it would slow her and there was no way she would catch him. Interrupting her train of thought, the Band Captain sprang in to action. Not even thinking about giving up, she lunged, trying to at least snare his ankles or something...

 

Sighing deeply and with a dark eyebrow raised high, she watched and listened as he exited the bathhouse. "Well, what have I gotten out of this? A few bruises and a pair of boots...and not much else." 'Keryn' rolled her eyes in mock exasperation and took stock of what was around her, trying to enjoy what was left of the bath. Benchs, brushes, soap, rocks... She let out another sigh. Before she could get it all the way out, she paused, smiling. There was her answer...it wasn't great...but it's what she had to work with.

 

"Someone will just have to come in and fix this later. Hope no one out there is terribly shy." Shrugging, she lifted herself out of the water and squeezed most of the water out of her hair. Turning to the curtain that could be pulled across the water for the sake of some modest soul, she untied one of the knots and let the fabric slide in to her hands, gathering it quickly so it didn't get damp in the bathwater.

 

Well, it wasn't pretty, but it did its job. She had the sheet wrapped around and tucked and tied somewhat... At least she was covered. She slid on her boots, not relishing the feel of them without stockings on. "Perhaps I should look in to a new pair of boots..." Shaking her head at her attempts to distract from what she had to do, she straightened herself almost to marching attention. As much as she'd not missed that part of her, she pulled the Captain back in to place and steeled her face to cold command. Perhaps it wasn't a very 'Keryn' thing to do, but some of the citizens of the Citadel knew that she wasn't what she claimed to be. She'd seen them in battle before.

 

She emerged from the bathhouse, face stern and set out towards her tent. Who knew where Amon might be hiding, watching to see her reaction. Oh...she'd get her revenge...someday when he wasn't expecting it. Lolaria noticed the shocked faces turned her way, but she was a Captain. Say what they like, she could drub just about any man out there for saying a word about her state of dress. And the look on her face said it all.

 

--------

Lolaria Kamiaine

"Keryn"

Captain, CoL

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Amon had been distracted by a couple of new recruits who had just signed on and not knowing who Amon was had engaged him in casual conversation. While explaining the finer points of etiquette in the Band, Amon had suddenly noticed the trouble they had had keeping a straight face. This somewhat puzzled him, as he had never found this to be amusing before. Turning his head he was just in time to see Keryn, buck-naked, purposefully walking away from the showers. Quickly Amon made his way after her, calling himself all the names he could think of. He had never intended for her to walk through the Citadel half naked only covered by a flimsy sheet.

 

Dodging around some very dubious looking piles of muck, Amon quickly reached Keyrn’s side just as a platoon of Infantry came around the corner of the street, They were obviously in high spirits and exchanged a dew less than salutary greetings with Keryn, until they saw Amon there, then they quickly made their way past the pair, and tried to disappear, which they did with some success. Handing Keryn her clothes, Amon apologised for his joke back firing and hoped she would accept it, as he did not want there to be any chance of bad feelings between them.

 

“If there is some way I can make it up to you then let me know, sometimes my jokes go further than I mean them to.” That was not an exaggeration on his part, he had once inadvertently managed to infect all of the Cavalries horses with ticks, thanks to not thinking through his practical joke that he had played on the then Commander of the Cavalry.

Amon “Tik Tik” Turamber

 

Under Commander, BotRH

 

Berserker for Life

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  • 3 weeks later...

OOC: And finally I post!! Sorry for the wait! My internet’s been giving me FITS! It’s short, but I didn’t want to force Amon around any and I wanted to get her dressed before the rest of the camps’ eyes all fell out. ;)

 

IC:

 

Waving to the recruits, that were keeping very little attention on Amon, the half-clothed woman made her way towards her tent. As much as she wanted to be angry at Amon, “Keryn” couldn’t help but chuckle as he jogged to her, himself dubiously clothed. She took the bundle of clothing from him and arranged it in her arms so it would not get too wrinkled. They didn’t stop walking, but continued on towards her living quarters. “Oh, don’t apologize. I wouldn’t have survived this long if I couldn’t take a joke…” She smiled crookedly and paused for a moment, raising an eyebrow at Amon. “Besides…retribution will be swift and come when you least expect it!”

 

The crooked and slightly dangerous smile changed in to a bright and happy one as they arrived at her tent. Reaching over, she pulled the flap aside motioned in to it, disappearing in to it herself. Luckily, it was a generous enough tent to give her some room. She had enough space for a small bundle for clothes and personal items a small portable table, and her cot. Not waiting for the man to enter, the Captain set about dressing herself. She found a cloth to bind up her hair and squeeze the excess water out of it.

 

 

------

Lolaria Kamiaine

"Keryn"

Captain, CoL

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