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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

On the edge of the Haddon Mirk


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"He'll come."

 

Answering Lyv's idle question, Lillian wasn't so sure herself but she kept faith in it nevertheless.  They'd been camped out on the edge of Haddon Mirk within a small wood for the past week now.  Her last instructions she had discovered from an Eyes & Ears along the road was to wait around that area and that the man would reveal himself when he felt it was safe to do so.  That and when he was sure that he had evaded any pursuit, which meant they could be waiting further still if the hunt was particularly dogged.

 

Still, it had given the pair time to work on Lillian's skills when it came to blade and fist, not that Lillian felt she was going to achieve a great leap in her bladework, but it was good to keep her skills honed.  That and it gave her a chance to understand Lyv's abilities better, and to take from that what she could use in order to complement her own ability.  The similarities in their respective styles made it an easier thing to achieve, though she preferred to work on the defensive rather than offensive.  Her first concern when it came to fighting was to stay alive, she was little good to others dead.

 

Mounting up

 

Added to that, it almost felt like a holiday.  A chance to get away from it all, save for the fact they were embroiled in the current trouble, and Lyv was easy enough to relax around.  They might have simply started acting as if they were sisters, but as time had passed there had developed some element of truth to that.  Lillian was fairly certain that Lyv didn't even attach the honorific of Aes Sedai to her within her mind anymore, let alone whenever she spoke.

 

"Look."

 

Turning to Lyv, Lillian followed the woman's gaze and smiled.  About time, a single rider amongst the trees who was now approaching.  Embracing the source briefly to enhance her vision, Lillian smiled to herself as she recognised the man, Calero.  That was her informant, and now maybe she could get to the bottom of whatever had caused such a buzz that it had led to the man being chased.  Waving to the man, Lillian turned to her swordsister.  "Its Calero, all is well."

 

Releasing the one power as the man came closer, Lillian's smile slipped as she saw the state that the man was in.  Haggard and weatherbeaten were but two of many words that could have been used to describe him.  If he'd ridden from Tar Valon to Cairhien in a day, Lillian doubted he would have looked much worse.  Even as the man dismounted, he seemed a little wobbly on his legs, how long had he spent in the saddle?  "Calero, are you alright?"

 

"I'm al-"

 

Jumping back as the man's words ended with a gargle, the crossbow bolt protruding from the man's chest revealed that the man had been followed.  Clearing her sword from her scabbard, Lillian ducked down low as she raced to Calero's side even as men began to call out to attack.  Nothing could be done for him, his breathing rapidly degenerating as his lungs filled with blood, yet even in his last moment he managed to serve Lillian as loyally as he ever had, freeing a tube from within his jacket and pressing it into her hand.

 

Feeling Lyv grab her shoulder, Lillian cursed inwardly that she could do nothing for Calero even as she followed Lyv.  Ducking low as quarrels filled the air, men were making their way through the trees towards them, most of them armed with bludgeon weapons, clearly they wanted prisoners.  They'd not get the chance, the pair getting to their horses even as the danger closed.  No time to collect their camping gear, but all their important valuables were already in the saddlebags in case they'd needed to leave quickly like no-

 

Lying on the ground, Lillian gasped for breath even as a whine escaped her lips, her right thigh pierced by a bolt even as she'd tried to swing her leg over the saddle and knocking her clear.  Yelling even as she tried to get to her feet, she scrabbled over towards her sword.  She couldn't use the power openly, if she did and was caught or died, the Tower's hand would be revealed.

 

Her hand grasping the blade, she was lifted to her feet by Lyv who pulled her over to a tree so she could lean on it to stay upright.  A fighting chance.  They didn't even need to talk about what was going to happen, Lillian would keep Lyv's back safe while Lyv took care of the attackers.  That or her career as an Aes Sedai was about to come to a rapid close.

 

Snarling as the first man came at her, Lillian slid down as she bent her knee, ducking underneath the blow and lashing out at the same time.  Her blade cleaving through the man's knee even as his mace created a shower of bark above her head, her returning arc slit the man's throat.  The next man that followed somehow lost the grip of his blade, wrenched from his grip and falling to the ground as he was run through.

 

From there, it was chaos.

 

 

Lillian Tremina

Sister of the White Ajah

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Calm was something Lyv was not very well used to, but she enjoyed it. The calm of a good night’s sleep and waking up without having to rush to duty. She was not used to sleeping through the night as back home she shared her room and it was always her or her roommate who had to wake up for night duty. But here, out on the road one would expect a certain bustle and a lot more work. Yet, the Aes Sedai used her wards to make sure they were warned when someone came near. Lyv did not quite understand it, but when they had used this system on the second night in an inn, the innkeeper had tried to come in their room and Lillian had woken Lyv up before the man could put his hand on the door handle. They had both grabbed weapons and stood ready to welcome the poor man who claimed to only want to check that none came into their room.

 

Since that night, Lyv trusted the White with her life and understood that she did not need to know exactly what Lillian did, but that the White could also protect the pair of them. It did not bother Lyv as she did not believe it was a solo job to protect the Aes Sedai and they had become friends, or as much as was possible since Lyv still tried to keep in mind whom she was traveling with. It was difficult though as she was not using the formal terms, speaking and laughing with Lillian as easy as she had with Rosheen or Elia, it becme more natural to call her friend instead of Aes Sedai. They were riding out again, this time waiting for one of Lillian’s contacts to deliver a message. Lyv was calmly gazing around when Lillian showed her that the man was coming near. She had missed him before and berated herself inwardly for not seeing him. What if a fiend came this close and she did not see, Lyv kicked at some stone on the ground and felt a pang go up her left foot as it was actually a sharp piece of stone.

 

“Ouch” she mumbled and this feeling occupied her mind for a few moments, just enough not miss the arrow in the man’s back, the man falling down and Lillian calling his name. “Calero are you alright?” she heard Lillian call and Lyv rose her head, attention back on what was happening. She turned to find that Lillian was no longer standing next to her but was running up to the fallen man, she was ducking to avoid getting hit by an arrow and Lyv followed quickly behind her. The moment she had used to rub her hurt foot was the moment she now missed in chasing after Lillian. Just a brief instant in time was between the two women, but it was enough for Lillian to get hurt by an arrow herself. Her hand stretched out to pull Lillian back as an arrow soared past the woman’s ear. She took a deep breath and pulled the White back as the man was no longer in need of Healing, he was gone.

 

More men appeared, Lyv quickly scouted their surroundings and tried to figure out how many exactly where there. She thought about her next move as she counted at least four, one of them with a cross bow and a steady aim. She had her katana at the ready as one of the men came striking towards the pair of them. Lyv was not sure what their goal was, did they know this man Calero? Did they want to kill him and did the two sword sisters merely get in the way? Did they look for money or was it something else they expected to gain from hurting the two women? That would mean they need them alive, but the arrow that landed in Lillian’s thigh proved they did not need warm bodies after all. Lyv thought quickly as the man was struck down by her blade, three more left and maybe more were out of sight. She kicked the man who had fallen near them and his body turned round to the side like a dead weight. She pulled on Lillin’s arm to pull her down, they used the man for a shield. That one instant they had, Lyv said in a low voice to Lillian, “I think we cannot try and beat these men, but we can wound them enough to reach the horses and get out of here, you cannot channel and save us,” she understood, “Or you would have already, so trust your blade and we will move towards the horses, back to back or as close together as we can be. I’ll take the lead, but do not hesitate to pass me if needed,” more explanation could not be given as a large arrow landed just an inch from where Lyv rested her hand on the ground. She pulled it back in and shouted, “Ready!” then started to move slowly, a few feet away from the corpse.

 

She noticed Lillian was struggling to get up and hurried back, then pulled the Aes Sedai back on her feet and said, “Revert to plan B, stay as near me as you can, try and stop the bleeding when we reach the horses,” the two men who were still standing came running up towards them. They were a lot faster than the two women who tried to move around the arrows. Then the arrow rain suddenly stopped and Lyv pulled on Lillian to move faster. “Out of arrows!?!” she shouted, a mixed voice of panic and pride, she would get her friend out of here and she would not allow another arrow to reach Lillian the way the first one had hurt her. They finally got near the horses and Lyv pushed Lillian forward, “Get on!” then turned to find a fight right behind her, clash of swords and another arrow that soured past her head. “Bad aim, but still dangerous,” she whispered as she drove her katana into the man’s soft belly and pulled it back as his weight dropped to the ground. “Are you in the saddle?” she called after Lillian who was behind her back. She hoped he White had managed to reach the saddle, despite the hurting thigh and when no answer came, Lyv became a bit desperate. She turned to find that Lillian was indeed in the saddle, looking pained but also safer than on foot. “We go! Now!” Lyv called and ran towards her horse, ready to heed the stag off into the distance, when a new face appeared under the horse’s reins. “By the Light, this can’t be happening,” she called and the Spring surrounded her once more as she drew her katana and took Lillian’s horse reins to lead the woman away from this new attacker.

 

Lyv Tylin

Uh-Oh we're in trouble...

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Her back slamming against the tree, Lillian growled from the pain as much from anger as she shoved off and ran another assailant through as he was about to serve a coup de grace upon her.  Withdrawing her sword in time to parry another opponent, all the time she was assisting her ability in small ways.  Ones that weren't obviously the work of the power in case things went badly, but they made it easier to parry and dodge, to free her blade for killing her assailants and otherwise supplementing her mediocre skill.  Not that her skill was much of a consideration in her mind, it was survival.  Though ho-

 

Screaming involuntarily as someone kicked her wounded leg from behind, Lillian's blade fell from her hand and she would have fallen herself if an arm hadn't snaked around her waist and a dagger beneath her chin, threatening to spill her lifeblood with a single twist.  She couldn't quite still herself, the pain was too great, but she made sure not to make any aggressive move even as the man holding her was calling everyone to stop.  The men that were around Lyv were already backing away, giving her space and time to realise Lillian's predicament.

 

"You!  Throw down your sword!  Do it or so help me I'll slit this bitch's throat right now!"

 

"Don't you dare do it!  We're both dead if you do it! H-"  Crying as the man unmercifully kneed her wounded leg, it was only the arm he had around her which kept her upright as he spoke again.

 

"You want to listen to her?!  Then I'll kill her now!  Or you going to drop that sword?!"

 

"Don't.  Please, don't do it, save yourself.  Please."  Shaking her head at Lyv, Lillian stopped as she was shaken by the man.  If Lyv dropped the sword, she was as dead as surely as Lillian was now.  Even if she used the one power, she couldn't kill the man who held the knife at her throat and all it took was one survivour to spread the tale.  Even if she killed all those who were surrounding Lyv and sacrificed herself, there were still the archers amongst the wood, like the one that had lodged the bolt in her leg.

 

 

Lillian Tremina

Sister of the White Ajah

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