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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

The Hills have Eyes ~Indira~


ashara
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He may have been Raised, and had the hangover after the Raising party several weeks ago, but if there was one thing that hadn’t changed about his life, it was the ability of people around him to delegate. Now. Nerome wasn’t complaining, he didn’t mind stepping in for another Tower Guard when the other was shipped off for more important missions, or teach a young Trainee besides one Tinker on the philosophy of Spring, then another, and then another.

 

Patience was a virtue that he had cultivated rather than been blessed with, but since it fitted his easy going nature like a glove, he had worked hard to retain the quality. However, as his clusters of students grew, and the lengths of occupied Tower Guard rooms shortened, he began to feel a spark that he knew would only grow as the days went by. It grew as he bid farewell to yet another new friend, as he or she set sail on a mission of importance, usually with an Aes Sedai as company. It grew as more unfamiliar faces gathered around him, taking up even the remains of the stray strands of free moments he had left.

 

It grew until, someone else intervened.

 

The bell clanged loudly, clear notes announcing the morning ringing all the way through, past the gleaming structures of Tar Valon, through the winding courses of the Tower, rising in arcs and then falling down, near him, by one gateway. Ayende was with him, his speech-bereft best friend as calm as the air around them, waiting with about a quarter of the anticipation Nerome felt himself. The news of the mission had arrived a week ago and he had prepared since then. Some of his closer friends had found this amusing, because although the changes in Nerome’s personality had started to emerge during the latter half of his Trainee life, no one had foreseen that he would become the Yards most paranoid packer. When Ayende had managed to trot out of the stables gracefully, without the slightest hint of struggle, Nerome had been pleased.

 

The instructions had been simple enough. First task, better not fail, with Aes Sedai. The second bit was what made the whole journey trickier of course. Had it been that he had to go complete this on his own, it would mean protecting only himself and well, Ayende. The arrival of an Indira Sedai in the picture made things far more complicated, but as he sat pondering, Nerome reasoned that if it weren’t for the currently unknown Aes Sedai, none of this would’ve been happening in the first place. As the briefing had stretched, his interest had heightened with it. If he had comprehended correctly, he was to look out for this Indira Sedai, but not approach her, make sure that she was safe, but without her knowing this as much as possible. He had not bothered to puzzle out why anyone would trouble with such difficulties, but then again, as long as he did his task well, he didn’t need to.

 

She came garbed as they had told him she would be. In fact, the correctness of the detail provided amazed Nerome. He only got a glance, but the general feel that someone leaving the Tower had decided to play the tree of the day had let him know that the brown-coated, green breeches-wearing Indira Sedai had arrived. He let her pass without any hindrance, and only moving himself after she was not exactly a speck, but not close enough to turn and face him, as her immediate neighbour.

 

Now to follow.

 

~Nerome

Tower Guard

 

OOC: The post drooped midway, got tired. Sorry. :S

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She had felt eyes on her back from the very moment she rode out of the gate and across the bridge. Though she had travelled alone for many years, it hadn't been until the previous trip that she had actually gained an awareness of such things. And it hadn't been until the debacle of the last trip that she decided to pay attention to it. The grip on her staff tightened slightly, and she sifted the butt of it in her stirrup, readying it the way the man who trained her taught her. Should the bastard following her try to attack her now, she would break his nose before he could even touch her. Wouldn't that please Darienna?

 

That of course had been the reason for her early and somewhat rash departure from Tar Valon. Again. It had happened several times over the past fifty years. Sometimes Indira would merely grow tired of the walls that closed her in, or the Aes Sedai that saw fit to treat her like an inexperienced toddler still. Other times it was Darienna, who worried about Indira not feeding herself well enough, or Indira getting herself into trouble, or not taking care of her health during her travels. It got even worse when she was right. Yes, she had gotten careless. Yes, she'd gotten mugged. She had even gotten a nice bump on her head to prove it. But that didn't mean she needed to be pampered endlessly, and it most certainly didn't mean she needed to bring a Tower Guard. The idea of it...

 

So there she was, slipping out of Tar Valon like some thief in the late afternoon. With some luck Darienna wouldn't find her note for a few hours at least, when it would be too late to send a pack of Tower Guards after her. She dig her heels into the sides of her mare, spurring the fast little horse on. The road was crowded still, but with the passing of the hours, more and more people decided that it was time to return indoors. Soon enough Indira found herself alone, with only the sound of hooves on the road to keep her company. Two pairs of hooves, from two horses. She wouldn't have heard the second pair without enhancing her hearing with saidar. But there they were. When she glanced back, she noticed that whoever it was that followed her chose to remain out of sight.

 

That suited her just fine. A simple illusion had her riding ahead undisturbed, while her actual self stole into a little grove by the side of the road. There she waited for the brigand to show himself. She had the element of surprise. She was going to give whoever it was a thumping they would never forget. Soon enough she could hear the hoofbeats without using saidar. Just a little longer now... With a fierce roar she let her horse lunge forward, out of the bushes. "Stand down, bastard, before I send you to meet your maker!"

 

~Indira Sedai

 

Not to be trifled with.

 

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Tricked by the Power. Again.

 

Ayende’s neigh echoed the surprise Nerome himself felt. All those lessons Saline, Lillian and Rory had provided him with were proved futile in the eventful beginning of his first mission. He had dogged Indira Sedai’s movement with caution, but not without suspicion at the fact that the Sister hadn’t turned to look back even once since they’d departed. Eyes on a person’s back, unseen or not, were always felt. Yet the Sister had shown no sign of discomfort, and it had made Nerome expect her to suddenly turn on her feet perhaps-well, rather her horse’s hooves in this matter- or lead him down a path where she could successfully harrow him into answering exactly what he thought he was doing. He’d expected something like that yes, but as their distance lengthened from the Tower, worry had lurked constantly.

 

This latter feeling was a good thing, because with anticipation came awareness. Had it been that he had assumed that the Sister was merely fluff headed for instance, or decided that since she bore no concern, he needn’t focus on her being a threat either, he would’ve been part of the dust that rose from the ground when Indira Sedai appeared from his left, roaring as she prepared to beat him down. Luckily, he was still breathing. He felt no surprise when he looked up to follow the other Indira just as he had all this while, that she had vanished into air just as quickly as this one had appeared. Saline had taught him nothing of an Aes Sedai’s capability to do so, but perhaps that was due to the fact that such weaves were only taught after you were raised. Which according to Nerome, was perfectly fine. Or perhaps not. Looking back at Indira Sedai evenly, he found himself staring at someone who had not only prepared to ambush, but to get ready to beat him to pulp as well. Nerome sighed. This was not the way he had hoped to make a first impression.

 

“I can’t afford to go back ‘there’ just yet, Indira Sedai.” He used her name with purpose, and spoke courteously. Courteously enough at least for to eliminate the possibility that she was about to smack down a common bandit. And even if he had tried to mug He waited for a flash of hesitance in her eyes, and when it came, he pointed to the red cloak. “I’m Nerome Seshir, of the Tower Guard, Aes Sedai.” He wondered whether he should explain further, but decided to hold back. In case the woman still felt like hitting him, he would rather be ducking than explaining he had been chosen to shadow, er, accompany her for the journey.

 

 

~Nerome

TG who can't stalk people properly. Boo. :(

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<i>oh for the love of the Light...</i>

 

Indira's shoulders slumped in a way they hadn't done since her accepted years, when she had been told that she could not spend any more time outside of the White Tower than absolutely necesarry for her education. Even though the Aes Sedai had remarked that the outside air seemed to be doing her a lot of favours. Even though she had remarked that her ability to concentrate during her classes had increased remarkably since she had started her weapons training. Even with all those benefits, rules were rules, and rules had to be obeyed. It was all bloody unfair, if you asked her.

 

"Darienna sent you?" she asked after taking a few deep breaths to get rid of the excess adrenaline pumping through her veins. The Guard nodded. Red Cloak. Sent by Darienna. "Well, I suppose she's informed you that you are to stick with me at all times then? Never let me out of your sight? make sure that I don't get in touch with any dangerous people? all that and more?" She chuckled softly at the look the Tower Guard gave her. "It's been a point of dispute between us for many years now. She seems to think I am utterly incapable of keeping myself out of harms way, and I think that she needs to have a little faith. And you, my dear Tower Guard... Nerome, you said? well you, dear Nerome, are caught in the middle."

 

No doubt she was not what he expected from an Aes Sedai he had been sent to guard. No doubt he had expected someone more regal, more stern, more... Aes Sedai-like. He would find soon enough that the Creator had blessed him by putting him in her path, instead of Adrai Sedai's path, for example. "I suppose there's little to be changed about that now. I can't send you back, so I will have to take you with me. Tell me, Nerome Seshir, has Darienna at least told you what we're looking for?"

 

~Indira Sedai

Whitey

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Nerome’s thoughts had been split into two neat divisions due to this first meeting with his ‘mission’. One half suggested that he scowl, and grunt something akin to the English language about protectin’ the Lady and that was all, and then slump his formerly anticipative self beside the Aes Sedai and move on. The prevailing half was the other, twinkling out the best of Nerome in a good natured smile. While he could not exactly sit over some piping tea and hum along in tune to the Aes Sedai’s frustrations, Nerome had a few friends who had shared the same concerns as the White Sister was listing now.

 

It was those friends he thanked as he nodded politely when the Sister asked for his name again. Nerome, yes. So Mission Lady wasn’t your stereotypical Servant of All, so she had resembled a crumbling wall-if crumbling walls could be described as attractive-as he had stated his name and purpose. So he was caught in the middle. He’d been there before, but then again, that was not something he would be telling any Aes Sedai except for one Rossa. Shrugging mentally, ‘Rome decided that if Ashley could dance his way around the Yards without much hindrance, he should be able to adapt to all this peculiarities quickly enough.

 

When the focus shifted and it was his turn to speak, the neat organisation clammed back into his head in the hope of providing swift response. Now that he’d caught a little of Indira Sedai’s mannerisms and behaviour, he felt more relaxed. “Other than mentioning…all those things you mentioned?” The warning in her glance did not go unheeded, and Nerome quickly carried on. “Darienna Sedai said that we would be investigating some rumours that have been circulating. I supposed that meant we’d go find out the ones who are causing the stir, successfully stamp them down and follow that up with quelling the rumours?”

 

Shifting his gaze back towards the Aes Sedai, he considered her questioningly, waiting for a response. “I think that was about all she told me. The nature of the rumours themselves, I am still in the dark about.” Continuing to give her an apologetic glance, he spoke once more after a short lapse of silence. “Frankly speaking, I think she wanted you to tell me more about it yourself.” It was not a dangerous thing to have said, but what it implied made things trickier. He could not have blunty stated that he suspected Darienna most certainly had intended for him to be caught, especially not since the two Sisters seemed to be close friends. “That is, if you wish to, Indira Sedai.”

 

~Nerome

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“Dear, tapdancing Creator.” Indira muttered to herself, rolling her eyes. Of course that was the twist Dar would give to it. Quelling rumours. Indira would have snorted, if she’d thought that it was useful. “Well, ride with me then Nerome, and I will tell you what the purpose of this journey really is.” As it did so often when Indira spoke of the myths and legends that took up such a great deal of her life, her voice settled into what Darienna called Gleeman mode. Her words, given emphasis by the way she used her voice were bound to make an impression on any but an Aes Sedai, who would no doubt fail to appreciate the subtleties of a good story.

 

And what she was about to tell Nerome was a good story. She had heard about it years ago, but as it was with some things, it had drifted to the background. Other quests and discoveries had seemed more important at the time, but recent events had forced her to re-evaluate her priorities. Or, as Darienna would no doubt call it, she was merely in need of a good excuse to leave the White Tower as swiftly as she could.

 

“There once was a young woman who travelled to Tar Valon to become an Aes Sedai. She was certain, deep in her heart that that was her goal in life, her destiny. She was not surprised when the mistress of novices discovered that she could channel. She had talent this girl, and her studies went well, until she had to go through the test to become an Accepted of the White Tower.” The full story said that the girl had fled the tower after her second arch. Not all young women could bear the futures the arches showed them. This wasn’t something she could tell a Tower Guard though.

 

“Before she could finish the test, she fled though, suddenly afraid of fulfilling her destiny. She fled, not to her home of old, but to the Mountains of Mist, which is where we are heading.” She glanced sideways at Nerome, to see if her story had caught his interest so far. “Years after she disappeared, rumours started to come from the Mountains of mist. It was said that a woman dressed in white was roaming through the forests, enchanting travellers where she went. People went into the woods to look for her, but only one man returned, raving about the white witch and spiders. Thus the legend of the spider queen came to be.”

 

“There’s always a truth hidden deep within myths and legends. It has been centuries since the Novice fled the Tower Grounds, never to be seen again. It has been years since the rumours of the spider queen faded into legend. Until now. A few years ago new rumours started, from that place in the mountains of mist. The spider queen has awoken, so the locals say, and she still hungers for the soulds of weary travellers.”

 

“So that’s what we’re going to look for, Nerome. We’re going to find the source of this legend and the current rumours. The truth is out there somewhere, waiting for us to discover it.”

 

~Indira Sedai

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Although Nerome had never chanced upon such a concept as a Gleewoman before, as Indira Sedai progressed through the tale, spinning weaves together so that one layer over the next only made the imagined reality in his mind more vivid than before, he realized swiftly that he would warm to such a possibility, should it be considered, without any restraint. He decided that if she could look at him as more than the inexperienced and ever so slightly dense character that he was making himself out to be somewhere along their journey, he would tell her so too. No doubt she would’ve heard it before, but her dynamic reactions, which were by far more unpredictable than the story itself, were worth listening to.

 

The facts that were interlaced in her charismatic narrating, when put on the table and looked at closely, were curious. Nerome found it strange that the Tower hadn’t intercepted the escapee before she had managed to cover a distance to large to follow. Surely an Aes Sedai would be quicker on her feet and as a traveller, when compared to a Novice? Even if the Novice had journeyed whole chunks of her life before Tar Valon, the Aes Sedai should be adapted to dealing with runaways. However, this was something he didn’t voice because again, he preferred to wait and see. Indira Sedai before him certainly looked capable of dragging any Novice back by her hair and then some, but he could only put the woman to test when the journey really began. And what a journey it was going to be. Voyaging to the Mountains of Mist was no easy feat, but he would lead her there and safely. The idea of returning to Tar Valon, facing Darienna Sedai and a few others with a wounded Aes Sedai by his side was not a very welcoming prospect. It was not that the importance of completing this mission successfully had escaped Nerome. It was his belief that with every triumph he could tack to his shoulders would give him just a little more to show Rossa, to prove to Rossa and her Amyrlin Mentor about what he was capable of doing.

 

When she finished, Nerome still had questions. Several of them actually, because it would give him an idea of what to expect. He didn’t want to find himself in the uncomfortable position of being the one left in the dark while Indira Sedai herself glided through things swifter than required, assuming that what she knew, he ought to too. First though, he got back on Ayende. “Ready to leave when you are, Indira Sedai. If you don’t mind questions along the way, that is.” He had wondered if he was supposed to help her back on her horse, but the idea of offering wasn’t a pretty one, just in case the Sister still found some of the rage blackout power from a few moments ago, still present. Each Aes Sedai was different to the next and for a Tower Guard, it made it difficult to do anything but watch and learn. At first, anyway.

 

One thing though that he could not keep from his mind no matter how he tried, was a fear in him of facing a channeler again. Light knew, that hadn’t ended well the last time. There would be a channeler of hopefully equal strength and skill in the lady beside him, but he needed to know, before it ate him up. Glancing sideways, he asked abruptly. “You stated that it had been centuries. Would the Novice have aged like Aes Sedai then, where one can’t tell the difference between young and old? If there truly is a Novice who is creating this havoc.”

 

~Nerome

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