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Not here to make enemies..((ATTN: Ata))


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Arcon stood, stripped to the waste in the garden of the Fortress. Saidin filled him completely. Sweat beaded on his brow, but still he wove. A tight ball of air, with strands of fire mixing with the first layer of air, and coating the rest. With this done, he whipped his arm, throwing a simple fireball. Or so it seemed. With a thought, he caused the inner weave of air to expand. The result was almost impressive, but far from the desired effect. The fireball simply expanded, instead of exploding. "Blood and Bloody ashes!"


All Arcon could do was stomp his bootless foot for the tenth time. The temporary anger gone, forgotten in the Void. He wrapped a glass of water in flows of air, and brought it to his waiting hand. A sip; it was a bit warm. Spirit drained the heat. Another sip; Perfect. Arcon did as much as he could with the power now days. He wanted to be the best of his class, well, in the entire Great Lord's army, but he doubted he could compete with the Chosen.


These thoughts aside, he again floated the glass away. He would have to rest soon, he only had one more experimental fireball in him. He felt like he was missing some piece of the puzzle, some crucial factor, but he wouldn't let that stop him until he was sure he wasn't simply weaving to slow. He was new; it was a possibility. Again he wove the pre-detonated fireball, and flicked his wrist.


Perhaps this was one to many, as it turned to the right, aiming for the walkway. He clenched his teeth, but wouldn't let bad aim stop him. Pulling on the tailing strand of air once again, he caused it to expand outwards. A satisfying 'pop' filled the air. Before it crashed into the stone, he heard the sound of steps coming around into the garden. Releasing the source completely, he fell to his knees, satisfied.


Fear entered his now unprotected mind, but he ignored it. He doubted he'd be in any real trouble; Especially if he designed a new weave. He steeled himself, rising to his feet again. Just in time for a woman to come into view..


((Have fun Ata. ;)))

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M'bela was none to happy to be unable to leave, a horse should be waiting by the gate, a nuisance that must be endured for as long as only those of highest rank was allowed to learn how to travel. She had intended to travel light and fast, only other things had come up, not only hindering her from leaving, but also occupying her now into the early afternoon. Indeed if all was as should the intiate she had sent this morning would have sadled and straped on the sadleback to the horse, and should still be waiting there even half a day later, unable to find another intiate to send out and give the counter order she now found herself walking out to collect her sadlebags herself and tell the student to stable the horse again.


She was just coming out and walked across one courtyard about to reach a corner to be rounded into another when some 20 feet infront of her across the crossway opening and into the oposite wall came crashing a fireball.


She already wore a frown and had saidar filling her weaving a shield, surely some of the patetic intiates was out practising without any thougth to safety of others with aiming it into such a place where men and creatures could come walking into the aiming line without them seeing it till to late.


She rounded the corner and instantly her eyes locked on to the sole soul in the other yard. He was sitting on the ground so she deemed it safe to let go the shield but let saidar still flow in her. Steady unconserned she walked up to the boy, "At least if you intend to kill someone do it for a reason and by plan, dont go around out of control, hurling things wildly against you like a todler in defiant age...." she didnt even question what had happened. "I care litle if you had one of those presumtious careless teachers, you best start learn to think for yourself or you are gonna end up down the same path as they eventualy will ...dead"


Luckily there werent to many fools in the shadow side, most would die during the training, burn themself out or die during testing, unable to hold up under the though training. A few unfortunantly snuck through, and in her mind should be killed outrigth hadnt it been for the use of sending them as young into suicide tasks or help teach simple classes freeing up those more skilled for more important tasks.


"Now as you seem to have none bether to do you can run down to the gate and fetch my stablebags, and tell that girl down there to stable the horse again and get back to her studies.." she futher explained the way to her rooms, turned around and walked away without leaving an option to reply or object.

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Arcon felt the skin on his arms tighten into goosebumps. Great, shes embracing the source.. He wondered if he too should draw upon the One Power, but decided against it as soon as she opened her mouth. She spoke with authority that she felt couldn't be challenged, meaning she was either an Adept, or much more likely a full Dreadlady. Secondly, his training thus far hadn't included how to defeat another channeler. It was a shame, he would have liked to tie her up and let the Fades have their fun with her...


She continued to speak, telling him to kill with purpose, and that he wouldn't make it. It took all of his father's lessons not to let his anger show. When she finally finished her berating rant, he nodded his head and muttered, "Yes ma'am." What else was he to do? As she turned to leave him alone, he briefly embraced the source to wipe the sweat from his body with air, and bring his silk shirt and coat to his hand. Donning them, he began his walk down to the stables.


His well trained mind was in loops for a way to get revenge, without the risk of gentling. Well, the way to do it would be to not get caught, and hope that his skills with the Power were at least great enough over the majority of his classmates to let it slide. Though he doubted she cared enough about new recruits to let a man with Chosen potential live if she was mad enough.


His brooding was intense enough that he hardly registered that he had reached the stables. He sighed, looking for the girl who had readied the Dreadlady's horse, Of course she couldn't tell me which bloody horse it was... He found a slender, pretty girl with blond ringlets adjusting the saddle girth of a particularly fine black mare. It looked to be a fine enough horse for the Saldean Cavalry, That just has to be her's..


"I take it this is the horse of that exceptionally moody dreadlady?" The girl nodded, "I believe so, that sounds like Lady M'Bela to me." A nod was given, "Well, she has decided against setting out, or something, and has ordered you to restable her horse before getting back to your studies. Now, I'll take her bags up to her room." The girl's fists curled up, it was obvious that stabling horses wasn't something she was used to. Probably a minor noble, most likely Andorian.


Goosebumps, and the saddlebags flew into his chest. With a loud harumph, he stabilized himself, and narrowed his eyes. She stared at him, but Arcon had no idea her power, skill, or rank, so he simply turned and walked up the stairs.


Half way to her rooms, he finally examined the bags. They were of fine leather, worn, but still in great shape. There was however, a bit of strain on certain straps, and the idea for his revenge came to him. Embracing the source, he wove a thin air razor, one of his favorite weaves. He scraped the weak points carefully, thinning the worn straps. He made sure cut away any signs of fray or other evidence of his foul play. Then, cutting just a small notch into the thin leather, he set them in front of her room, back peddled away from her door, and knocked with a flow of air. By the time she retrieved her bags, he would be around the corner, trying not to make a sound, and releasing the source.


The result of his tampering would be simple, if she handled her bags roughly, the strap would break, probably breaking anything delicate within when it came into contact with the ground. He hoped that M'Bela would assume that the worn straps had broken of their own accord, or better yet assume the stable wench was to blame. Either way, Arcon prayed to the Great Lord that he couldn't be proven guilty. He didn't want to be on the receiving end of the power..

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M'bela opened the door and frowned when none entered, walking to the door she found her sadlebags outside. Taking them in one hand and then tossing them over the back of a padded chair, the next she heard was thump and bang. She turned again to find one half in the seat of the chair, and the other one on the floor.


Walking over she found a botle of brandy broken and soaking the food. She had known it was worn, but for that very reason she had made sure to check it, heft it even with weigth in, to make sure it would keep till she could get a new one back in the borderlands. The only way this could have happened was with particulary bad handeling and neglect, and only two had touched it since she tested it yesterday.


Walking out she stoped the nearest intiate she found, and described both the boy and girl, with order to get her their names, later that evening both names made it onto her list.


A week past and nearing end of month she looked at her list as she walked down to find one of the people in charge of the cellars. Upon in quirery it became clear that the darkhound pit could need cleaning of the walls, and a shift of sand, a servant serving with the beasts enclosures where asigned to her use. Some quick instructions to him and she was off to hand a copy of the list to an senior intiate, sending the girl to notify all on it to meet on the gallery above the darkhound pit after dinner.


M'bela was already there with the servant as the people arived, looking at her list doing a call up. "Very well, all of you here has shown neglect or offence to those bether of you during the last month, some may think they had escaped this, and some may even be her inosently, but then take the time to remedy for something else done you have not made up for yet. Basicaly.." she motioned to the man beside her, "the servant here is your friend in the coming days, he will bring you sleeping mats later this evening and see you fed, because each and everyone of you are going down into the pit. "


Her eyes gazed over the row, "and there you will stay till the pit is clean, and the sand has been changed, sponges and water will be suplied you, though i advice against holding the sponges, use your skill, cause here and there salvia is bound to be around, so unless someone has a deathwish."


She turned to the man, "very well, you may take them down, and if anyone try and give you grief let me know, and i'll see to that they know bether next time." She turned around on the intiates again, "take this as the learning it is, a mistace here in the fortress as such may be remedied or made up for, in the real life there is no second chanse for those of our kin, perfection is the only way to life, mistep and your dead." She turned and walked away, her mind already realing onto something else.

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Arcon had almost forgotten the prank he had pulled on the dreadlady. Forgotten in weeks of grueling training, the Fortress was not a gentle place to learn. Then, he was suddenly summoned by her. His teeth gritted as she spoke. So, he was to clean the darkhound's pen? Wonderful. Poisonous saliva in the sand, and what if one decided to attack him? He looked at the others gathered, and sighed. If the hounds got hungry, his best bet would probably be to use them as bait to get away. Looking at the girl who had thrown that saddlebags at him with Saidar, it was not an unpleasant thought.


Without a sound they were led down to the Pit. As they descended, the girl ahead of him turned. "It was you, wasn't it! You angered her and now we're suffering for it!" His eyes narrowed at the accusation. How dare she accuse him of such, even if it was true. "Listen girl, you handled the bags, you threw them at me. All I did was carry them up to her room, and I passed several dreadlords on the way, ask Michael if I had embraced the source once on the trip up." His tone was harsh, and the thought of asking any dreadlord, particularly that dreadlord, such a trivial thing made her face loose color. Arcon silently thanked his father for all of those lessons in his youth.


He looked at the others, looking for allies down in the pit. He doubted that the girl who obviously had a short temper, judging by how she reacted to his simple act of delivering a message, would miss an opportunity to feed him to the hounds. He hoped the superiority he had briefly shown would allow him to get a small group of 'friends' should the offended woman already have some.


Finally reaching the pit itself, his nostrils were assaulted by the myriad of smells. The sands looked murky, and the walls basted in blood and darkhound footprints. How much he would have loved to have high ability in water right now, or earth for that matter. Cleaning would be oh so much easier if he had a more normal male power distribution. A couple females looked at him expectantly, "Earth is not my forte, so don't expect me to simply flip the ground under the sands to be done with it." He looked at the other males, hoping he gave them the idea to try such a tactic. Breaking his normal rules, he decided to take charge, if only in a small manner. He needed to appear strong, "So, let us begin." His skin tightened, and he and every other man down there seized Saidin.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Currents of air swirled through the sand, twisting them, spinning them into a fine mesh of fire and air. The Darkhound saliva evaporated, and was strained like a meal of noodles. Holding the two low power weaves didn't prove too much of a strain, at least for the first couple hours. Though it did add up on the would-be dreadlord. The fact that he was only paying half a mind to it probably didn't help. His attention continued to shift to the girl. She'd tried to kill him three times now, her and her growing faction.


The pit channelers had been separated into two basic groups, mostly by gender, though a few of the opposite sex sprinkled each side. He thanked the Great Lord for that. From them, he knew that some of the women had linked, "To do the task with more power." He could have cursed, the bloody creator had denied him that ability, and he refused to submit control of the source to the women who had offered. He feared treachery. Still, he had to admit, that high pressure weave of water and air that they had formed, blasted darkhound prints right off the walls and floors was rather effective.


He let down his straining weave, and instead let the air carry the cleaned sand away from the rest. Piles of darkhound defecation littered the now bare stone floor. He drew fully on Saidin, and wove fire into each, burning them to ash, and then used air to blow them into one of the many bins. He looked at his quickly tiring males, and called a break. Each immediately released the source, and he believed the women had too. He was becoming quite the leader. Father would be proud... He quickly squashed those thoughts, thoughts of home lead to one thing... Oh god Alice! Quickly he assumed the void, and then let it falter. He could not show weakness. Not here.


He and his men ate a pitiful meal, and he glared at the still channeling females. She was smiling smugly at him. Though he knew she didn't control the weave, so she was of little threat... A single air razor and.. Again he let the thought drop. All they'd have to do was turn that weave. Thought, after ten minutes, the girls too stopped, and the prickling on his skin faded. Good. Shouldn't be long now... Channeling in groups was more tiring, they should take a cat nap soon.


And sure enough they did. He considered a weave of air, to quickly snuff out her life, but knew it'd be too obvious. Instead, he turned to one of his specialists. A devious genius of a man, who pulled a vial filled with green goo inside.. Nothing to harmful, just a distilled mixture of herbs that made you sleep. Though, they were power distilled, and the sludge had a habit of letting people take naps that lasted for weeks. The man took the cap off, and floated it to her mouth, and emptied it. More air clamped her jaw shut, plugged her nose, and stroked her neck. His women had told him their beliefs that opposite side didn't have any with a real proficiency in healing. Arcon claimed them from the get-go.


With that, his voice boomed, "Alright, we should get back to work. We can finish this tonight and get out of this place." All awoke, except the girl. Arcon suppressed a grin, and seized Saidin. "Wake her up already..." With that, he and his men turned to the pit, and formed their favorite cleaning weaves. He heard them shaking her, to no avail. One, he was told, tried to heal her, but the pathetic weave only made her shift in her sleep. "Leave her.. It's probably this bloody place." A few of the women nodded, and went to Arcon's side. Traitors, he had to love them.


Hours later, they finally finished the cleaning of the pit, and M'Bela's servant lead them out, the still unconscious woman left in the pit. When brought before the dreadlady, whom Arcon had developed a rather personal grudge against, he smiled, "We're one down, someone wouldn't wake up. I guess she wasn't strong enough, Dreadlady." He bowed his head respectively, hiding a smile, before they left, an air razor had finished the job. Perhaps that would teach some of these fools...


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  • 3 weeks later...

M'bela nodded from the report infront of her, "Good on you, effective as such, and responsible, others have many times used more. If you have learned your lesson you wont find yourself down there again. Untill such a time, behave or cover your traces better." She let her eyes wander of each of them, meeting their eyes, the girl was the one missing, well they had been warned.


"Very well you may leave, and in the future be a little less visible and you will be bether off in your chanses."

She waited as they filled out, some would come to respect her for this, others would hate her, that was the way of the shadow. But in the end she had done her job, and hopefully more of them would rise to her kind for it, even though it would mean more eyes to watch her back from, the world was big, and more would be achived with more hands.


As they all had left she shut the door and went back to her reports, frowning over the papers and scribeling her odd marks on them to set them apart.

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Arcon let his facade slip an inch, a smile crawling over his features. "Yes, dreadlady, we will behave better than we have been." Of course, that meant very little. They were killers in training; misbehavior should be expected. He could have laughed at her dismissal, but wisely held her tongue. She knew as well as he did that there was very little chance of any of them actually behaving; so she gave advice that was just as sound.


As they filed out, Arcon took his customary position of the middle of the group. It had the dual effect of letting him blend in, and protecting him from any who might want to harm him after his little charade in the pit. As they left, those who hadn't turned to his side went in an opposite direction, Arcon doubted he'd seen the last of them.


What remained turned to him only just out of earshot. "You know, Arcon, we always thought you were a loner, and not at all friendly. Now we know the latter to be true, but you seem to know how to keep us alive. I think that the way for most of us to survive, is to stick together." Arcon looked at him; he'd expected things to return to normal after the pit. Still, this did offer new advantages. "Fine. I'll advise you where I can, but don't rely on me for every little issue, and let's not go flaunting me as some valiant leader; I won't tolerate it. In private though," he looked over his ragtag group of followers, "Well, we might as well have a name for ourselves. I think Pitfiends, will do just fine." Others nodded, and they separated.


This was a whole new game.

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