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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

I Dare You ~Lorelai~


ashara
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You could almost call him seasoned, the way he strutted. And indeed, he was strutting. Back straight, chin up, small smile lingering on lips, Nerome Seshir now knew that travel made people adapt and change themselves no matter what the circumstances were. Already, he had adopted slight facial hair that fuzzed around his chin, going nicely with the dark hair that paid his careful coming little heed, suiting the dangerous, daunting look of a well traversed traveller, making pretty lasses smile as he thought playfully, ‘Ladies, I’m taken’. Somehow, the thought of Rossa quietened his animated mood down, making him tighten his grip on Ayende’s reins as they rode together. It had been a few months since he had been promoted to Guard, but the training, or rather, the extent of training, had gotten no less. It had only lengthened, with more additions and complications layering his learning as time rolled on.

 

This particular evening found him on a mission(unsurprisingly), carrying a message for an Aes Sedai who was travel bound herself. He had been told that such a message was worth the risk he was going to have to encounter, moving without any sort of company except for those who he met on the road. Nerome himself had studied the object he had been handed, but it held as much magic for him as a rusty weapon. The Aes Sedai he was off looking for would have better luck, he assumed. Studying the road ahead of him, he wasn’t surprised to see the heavy region of forest they were approaching. His journey thus far had led him into the woods many times before, and mostly the woods were peaceful, tranquil places that often provided fresh water and generous shade. Had Rossa been with him, she would’ve been tempted to sketch the landscape, he knew. Still, evening was withdrawing quickly and he would prefer not to camp out if it was possible. Applying pressure to Ayende so that the light trot became a gallop, Nerome looked back over his shoulder as the road turned. No one, which was both a relief and a cause for worry. So far, there had been little trouble but suspicion had been hammered into him for too long now to not prickle at the smallest change.

 

Lorelai's eyes narrowed as she realized that someone up ahead was coming in her direction. It was too far for him to spot her, but with her unique eyes she could make him out quite easily. He didn't seem hostile in any way, but Lorelai preferred to stay clear of two-legged. Whether they presented a danger or not. Most of the times it was the less suspicious ones that were the deadliest. Appearances were deceiving. That was a lesson every wolfkin learned eventually.

 

Finding a tree that served her interests, she climbed up it and made sure it concealed her properly. Sensing the man coming closer, she took a closer look at him. Was he…smiling? Clearly, the man was mad. And what was to be expected, really. He reeked of smugness and self assurance. Completely unaware of his surroundings. Too wrapped up in his little bubble to realize that there was a large group of two legged headed his way.

 

Raising her eyes beyond him she could make them out approaching. She first sensed their faint scent, but it seemed her prediction was a bit off. She expected five of them, when there were in truth eight. Even from that distance, she could smell the rotting smell of death and corruption. She looked down at the man while he was passing under the tree she was sitting on. If he didn't realize she was right under his nose, or rather up it, he would never spot the group of men until it was too late.. Lorelai blinked. Was she suddenly growing a conscience?

 

She supposed she couldn't let him die like that. And there was still the off chance that those men didn't mean him any harm, though she knew better then that. Sliding off the tree, she sneaked from tree to tree, taking cover behind them, in effort to remain as invisible as possible. If that man had any chance of surviving, she had to surprise them and to surprise them, she needed the man to seem genuinely surprised himself. It all made no sense, of course. But she did know one thing. If she revealed herself to the man, he would probably run away like a startled little girl, right in their direction. And she couldn't let that happen. So she followed him, until the dimwitted man finally realized he wasn't as alone as he thought he was.

 

It was strange how tempted he was to hum, even though his musical capabilities were of a shorter range than the length of his thumbnail. Somehow, the quiet calm of the woods was unlike the silence that had haunted his steps before. It soothed him, eased his mind of the suspicion he had felt so that he was light hearted again and in large desire of an apple. A red one, of the juicy sort, so that the taste filled one’s mouth the moment one bit into it. Shaking his head, he corrected himself. Two apples, just in case the first turned out rotten. Grinning at nothing in particular, Nerome was about to push Ayende to quicken pace yet again when he heard it, smile fading as the rustle of leaves, the crunching of dry ones became startlingly clear.

 

Footsteps. Here, where he had believed himself alone. Nerome hushed Ayende to a standstill with a quick pull at his reins, relieved when he didn’t whinny out in surprise. Summoning the Spring quickly, he breathed deeply as he waited, attempting to understand the situation he had wandered into. Quiet as the wood was, making things out wasn’t difficult. Atleast four men on foot, by the judge of the steps and…one more on a horse? No, there were two. If he listened very carefully, he could tell that there was a fraction of difference in the timing of the two. They were not very far away and judging by their effort to remain quiet, they were not just any wanderers. A chill ran down his spine as realization struck.

 

He was in so much trouble.

 

Foolish, foolish man. It was not the first time Nerome had wondered why the Creator had blessed him with such limited attention span, but now, upon finding himself as possible meat for six, not so innocent travellers, there weren’t many times before that compared to the urgency he felt to hide himself, to save his skin. And more important than that, was the message, which was obviously what they had come after as well. His mind raced with possibilities, but he already knew what to do. Disembarking noiselessly, he ran his fingers for a brief second down Ayende’s neck. I’m sorry, my brother. He knew that no matter how superior he was one on one to each man, the group of them would bring him down ruthlessly. Removing the bag he had packed for emergencies like this, he was on his feet when he yelled loudly.

“Ayende! Make haste!”

 

There was no time for sorrow, although it was pinning him down. He was unsure about what the strangers would do to his horse once they found him, without the rider they had supposedly caught up with. Even if they let him be, Ayende had been his brother and companion since he had come of age and to part with him like this was causing twinges of pain that only the Spring allowed him to ignore. Pressing himself to the trees as he heard the followers charge forward, he backtracked quickly. First, there was need to find a place to conceal the item. If he came out of this, retrieving the item would be all that mattered. Somewhere thickly covered, somewhere common that no one wou-

 

Gasping as he felt a sharp blow to his left, rather than turning around, Nerome released his sabre from its rest. He had been wrong in his count, wrong in his judgement and led his brother to a sorry fate for nothing. Stunned as he was, the realization spurted some anger in him and the fight was on. Even as he focused on the man before him, he could hear the second calling back the others.

 

~Lorelai and Nerome

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Lorelai peeked from behind a tree in interest. Sending his horse in the other direction to mislead the Darkfriends was not completely a bad idea. It left him on foot, though, which meant that running away was no longer an option. If at first they had the advantage of numbers, now they had the advantage of transportation as well. Ah, well. There was no such thing as good ideas, only bad ones combined with luck. But Lorelai gave credit when due. Perhaps the man wasn't as half witted as she found him. Unfortunately, luck was not on his side today. But it seemed Lorelai was.

 

Climbing up the tree she was hiding behind, she observed the man. His fighting skills were good, which she found rather surprising. He engaged the first Darkfriend and sounds of metal striking metal started to echo through the forested area. Another one of the Darkfriends was near by, whistling to signal the others to return. When he was sure the message was received, he turned back towards the man's direction. Lorelai peered into the distance. It would take the rest a little while to return. In the meanwhile, the other two had to be taken care of.

 

She waited for the second Darkfriend to come closer, and just as he was about to attack the man from behind, she jumped off the tree and landed on him roughly. Before the Darkfriend could recuperate from the impact, she took a hold of his neck and twisted it to the side sharply, breaking it. Satisfied, Lorelai raised her head to find the man staring at her, the other Darkfriend impaled and lifeless on the ground. Lorelai smiled widely. "OOps, I think I might have broke him. You just can't trust manufacturers these days, honestly. You buy something and then you find yourself disappointed." Looking down at the darkfriend, she shruged and got off of him. "Oh well, life goes on."

 

Standing up, Lorelai brushed her pants, her yellow eyes twinkling with amusement. Lorelai's smile deepened as she heard the sound of horses nearing. "Honey, I think we have company. Do you want to receive them, or should I?".

 

 

 

Lorelai

Wolfkin

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Well, this was unexpected.

 

While Nerome had been absorbed in his fight for a reasonably lost cause known as survival, keeping track of his environment was a tricky task. Metal clashed loudly, stirring the previously tranquil forest into life. With Spring, Nerome could hear faint sounds from a distance away- birds twittering as they fluttered away in nervous flight, the panic of a doe he had brushed past in his frenzy…the warning thuds of approaching enemies, both on horseback and feet. Butterflies galore; indeed, he was anxious. When he had left Ayende to his own defences, Nerome had done so assuming he would have time to dispose of the object, mesh it within the turf and go on fighting until he could lead the men a fair distance away and thus, manage to not fail his task completely. No one in their right mind would call him a pessimist if he were to state just then that things were clearly running downhill.

 

His opponent was not as skilled as Nerome, but he was a brute. A large, stumbling one besides who Nerome could move around with ease. Ducking by the means of quick swerves, striking blows while the man blundered, this was the easy bit. The problem, the lacking in Nerome himself that had made Speed such an obvious Discipline for him, had been his size compared to the average, shiny blade, swelling chest type warrior. He was not a midget due to some gratefully acknowledged mixed blood, but he was still Cairhienin in every aspect but his face and that truth was very much present in his movements. Pushing back the man with an advance, Nerome curved his weapon to the right to make for the man’s stomach. Smirking when he noticed how quickly the man sprang into a defensive state, he lunged forward and used his legs instead, giving the man a neat tumble. He raised his sabre and just as he was about to deliver the final blow, he heard the second man. He was close, too close. If he turned, the man would kill him in an instant. If he didn’t, if he pretended that he hadn’t realized, perhaps he would find the man to be a rare egoist, a man who appreciated moments worth sneering at.

 

Crack.

 

Blinking even as he swerved, it was Nerome who was playing defence now. His thoughts raced. Why in the name of the bloody Light would the Darkfriends have killed one of their own? Had they mistaken him for Nerome and while doing so, managed to successfully make Master Brute the Second, Master Head-loller the First? Nerome’s mind only stopped weaving the possible tangles when his eyes met with the killer of his foe.

 

A woman.

 

Now, he was no sexist little fool. Selandre as his mother had been terror enough to have left his remarkably fluff-filled mind bereft of such ideals and indeed, calling the White Tower his home had left several marks on his perception of women. There were many who he admired back in the Tower, a few who even called friends and then one particular woman who he aspired to Bond. However, the woman before him now was quite unlike any he’d seen before and Light knew, he’d seen a bloody lot of them.

 

Golden eyes, who would’ve ever believed such a thing? He felt his guard loosen a little bit in shock and then immediately straightened into position again. He watched her carefully for a few seconds, considering her face and her stance, as well as the growing closeness between them and the remaining men. He had never encountered such a Darkfriend before and there was something about her, a feeling he had that he couldn’t put a finger on that told him she wasn’t one of them. That didn’t rule out that she had her own agendas and that she was dangerous, but if she wanted to fight beside him for now, he would do so.

 

“A bit of both sound good to you?”

 

 

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  • 1 month later...

"A bit of both sound good to you?", the man asked. Lorelai shrugged. "Well I am a mix and try kind of girl. But small talk later." Lorelai disappeared behind a clutter of trees. "Where did you go?", the man asked. She smiled in amusement as she concealed herself. "You just appear confused. You're doing a great job!". Waiting patiently for the men to appear, Lorelai remained hidden. There were six of them. Two on horseback. Taking them out, even with the proficiency that the man seemed to have and her own talents, seemed unlikely. Strength in numbers. Freakishly annoying. Yet still affective.

 

One of the two on horseback was the leader. Taking the leader out, might chase the others away. It was not always the case, though. Regardless, the ones on horseback had to go first. They presented more of a threat. The man would have to keep the four on foot occupied while she took care of the two. Or at least stay alive long enough. She didn't care for the man to die. Especially since she wasted a whole lot of time in saving his neck. Not that she didn't dim it all a waste of time when she first laid eyes on the man, but still. Fair was fair.

 

Climbing up on a tree, she crawled on one of the thick branches the farthest she could. One of the men on horseback was riding awfully closer. Loerlai could see the four approaching the man, while the other two trailed back, following slowly and watching in amusement.

 

~ Wait for the opportune moment, black cub ~

 

~ pfft....shush, Nightfall ~

 

~ You've always lacked in patience, little one ~

 

~ Well, you're going to be lacking one black cub if you don't let me concentrate, Nightfall. Shush! ~

 

Lorelai could practically hear Nightfall chuckling. That is if wolves actually... chuckled. Maybe they did when no one was looking. Yes, yes. No one could prove they didn't and that was all that Lorelai needed to know. Tensing as the rider passed just under the branch, she leaped down landing on the horse, just behind the man. "I hope this isn't an inconvenient time? I brought pie!". Punching his face, the man fell off the horse and hit his head badly, leaving him unconscious on the ground.

 

Lorelai pressed hard on to catch up with the second rider. By the time she caught up, she could tell the man wasn't doing famously with the other four. She had to be quick. Riding side by side with the other rider, Lorelai flashed a winning smile. "Sweetie, you should know by now that riding so fast might get you....", Lorelai flung her leg to the side of his head and knocked him off the horse. "...Hurt. tsk tsk. They never do learn." Lorelai laughed and rode on to give the man a hand. Or two.

 

 

 

Lorelai

Ranger

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