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To Seek Amnesty (Part 2. Attn: Edvar)


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Sereth let a satisfied smile spread over his lips, as the silver slash rotated into a gateway. Oooh, a new soldier maybe? He touched the silver sword on his collar gingerly, not so long ago he was of that rank. Stepping in front of the familiar gateway, a few feet back to avoid getting barreled into, just in case this was an emergency. Then he saw the office in the Stone, and he knew his suspicions to be correct. When the initiate stepped through, Sereth's eyebrows raised. My my, he is a big one. Still, Sereth was hardly intimidated. They used a different strength here.


The Dedicated was dressed as he always was. His long brown hair pulled back and restrained with a length of black silk, to keep it from his plain blue eyes. His sideburns were shaved clean, though around his mouth a neatly trimmed beard was present. A hand reached up to stroke it in the manner of all great thinkers, dragging his thumb and pointer across the sides, while the middle traveled up his chin to form a triangle. He wore a black silk coat, without a wrinkle or a drop of sweat to ruin it. In fact, he wasn't sweating at all, which was, perhaps, the single greatest treasure of reaching the level of dedicated. Of course, the silver sword pin was on his collar, polished to a perfect sheen, reflecting every bit of light that hit it.


"Hello, I'm Sereth, Dedicated of the Black Tower, and formerly of Camelyn, as if that mattered around here." A chuckle rolled off his lips. He knew how most soldiers were, particularly nobles. Above all, nervous. Normally quite intimidated by the torrent of life beating in their skulls. As for nobles, well, they thought daddy’s silver spoon meant privileges. Though by the look of this one, Sereth doubted that would be an issue. Still, better safe than having to suffer through that whine.


"Now, I'm sure you’re curious about this place. This is, as I'm sure you know, the Black Tower, but more often than not, we call it 'The Farm.' To be honest, I never bothered to ask why." Another short laugh and he nodded to the Saldean on the other end of the gateway, and watched as it rotated shut. That business done, he returned his attention to the rather large man in front of him. "Here, your stripped of anything that you once were, it doesn't matter if you are beggar or king, treat the others of your rank well, and your superiors with a great deal of respect. Some of us go a little mad with the power." Sereth tossed him a wink, while deep within his mind the dedicated heard a chuckle. Quickly, he stifled it, no time for madness. He was being a tour guide.


"Oh, how rude of me! What was your name again?" He waited a second for the response, "Alright than, Edvar. I'll cover the basics in the Inn, if you'd follow me." He turned on a booted heel. Explaining a bit as he went, "Alright, the Inn is just about the only place we have to relax around here. You can get a cold drink, and a hot meal if you’re lucky, though the initiates, or soldiers as we call them, that’s you, I presume? Hardly ever get served. Personally, I suggest you learn to cook with the power, it’s quick and if you don’t you run the risk of starvation." They came upon the large wooden structure, and Sereth motioned for Edvar to halt. "Just one moment, got to report that have a new one." He walked to a man with the same black coat, with both dragon and sword on his collar. In addition, he had detail on his sleeves that marked him of particularly high rank. That accomplished, the dedicated motioned Edvar into the Inn, and rejoined him.


"Now, any questions?"

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As soon as he stepped through the strange doorway, another man approached him. One wearing the same black coat and a silver sword pin on his collar. The man appeared to be Andoran, as he was. Though he had not considered himself Andoran until he'd spent some time in the borderlands. No, the world had forgotten his homeland. He too, had put it behind him well before coming here.


"Hello, I'm Sereth, Dedicated of the Black Tower, and formerly of Caemlyn, as if that mattered around here." he said, confirming his initial impression of the mans heritage. Dedicated he thought. That must be a rank of some sort. Perhaps that is what the silver sword represents. "Now, I'm sure you’re curious about this place. This is, as I'm sure you know, the Black Tower, but more often than not, we call it 'The Farm.' To be honest, I never bothered to ask why." the man, Sereth, continued,letting out a short laugh before nodding his head. Sensing that the nod was not meant for him, he turned just in time to see the strange doorway rotate closed behind him.


"Here, your stripped of anything that you once were, it doesn't matter if you are beggar or king, treat the others of your rank well, and your superiors with a great deal of respect. Some of us go a little mad with the power." Edvar nodded respectfully even as he noticed a strange look come over the mans face. He looked....almost....insane. For a moment. Then the man seemed to pull himself together and asked his name. He answered briefly, no need to go into any detail just yet.


Then the man, the Dedicated? said they were going to the Inn. Being used to following orders, he quickly followed. The man was explaining to him what was expected of him and he nodded his head in response. His mind wandered a bit though as they made their way through this Farm, or Black Tower, whatever it was called. He saw men everywhere, using the Power openly. Something he had never dared to do. Though he had known he could channeler for years now, he knew little of it. These men were doing things he had never before imagined possible.


Suddenly, the Dedicated made a quick motion, drawing his attention back. "Just one moment, got to report that I have a new one." he said. Edvar nodded distractedly and went back to watching the men training. It was absolutely fascinating to him. Not just what they did, but the way they carried themselves. It was a bit overwhelming if the truth be known. This was what he would become. This was what he would be capable of. He found that he was quickly becoming filled with an intense desire to learn.


When the Dedicated, Sereth motioned him into the Inn and said "Now, any questions?" Edvar had only one thing to say. "When do I start?"



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Sereth shook his head that smile of his only growing. He was almost the same way, so eager to start, that he hadn't thought of the consequences. "You will start very soon, don't worry about that one Edvar, and once you begin, you'll never stop. Until you’re so mad you have to be put down, or your flesh rots from your bones." He had to make sure the new soldier new the side effects of tainted Saidin. "That of course, is if you manage to survive actually learning how to channel." Sereth turned to face the bar, looking longingly at it. "Now, I suppose you don't want to put this off till you get a bit of food? No, as eager as you are you probably wouldn't touch it." Throwing his hands up, he sighed, "Oh well. Now, come come." Knowing he'd follow, Sereth walked out the door.


He walked through the town swiftly, soldiers not fully engaged in Saidin parting for him, and he parting for Asha'mon. "Alright, a rule of survival. The more decoration a man has, the more you should worry. It means two things, he is of higher rank, and has been channeling Saidin longer. That means he is better, he is most likely stronger, and well, perhaps a bit mad." He pulled to a stop in front of a small building. Men of all ages, nationalities, and creeds entered, leaving with Black Coats. Some had pins on their lapels, "This is the Tailors, maker of these fine black coats you see all around you. The coat means he channels, the pins his rank. No pins, he is a soldier, a raw recruit, and you shouldn't worry to much. A silver sword," he pointed to the pin on his own coat, "Means dedicated, and should be treated as one. Basicly, from dedicated onward, you take orders from. A silver sword means you get it done as soon as possible, a sword and dragon, which means a full Asha'mon by the way, means you sprint to do it. If ever given an order from one with embroidery on the sleeves." His hand stretched, pointing to a man entering the shop. "It had better already be done, understand? Good. Now, to get you a coat."


Sereth stepped inside, finding a bit of a portly man inside, he nodded respectfully. "Just here to pick up a coat." The nod was received, and he went to the end of the rack to find one of the largest sizes. Finding something appropriate, he collected the other parts of the uniform. Shirt, breeches, boots, all of it. Handing them to Edvar, "Here, take this, and try to treat it well. These are of a particularly high quality." That accomplished he left the shop, leaving the new Soldier to follow, carrying his gear.


The Dedicated led him a fair distance away from the Farm, to an open field, bordered by trees. An incredibly large and straight oak stood along the edge, and Sereth looked at it admiringly. "This is one of my favorite spots on the Farm. I'll often come here to practice by myself." His swooping arm encompassed the huge craters, burn marks, puddles, and wind torn field. Though, the forest was left untouched by the carnage of the land. "As you can see, I practice a great deal, and it can get rather messy." Sereth held up his hand, signaling for the Soldier to stay where he was, and stepped forward.


Then, he embraced the source.


Weaving Earth into the ground, he lifted a boulder the size of Edvar out of the ground. Wrapping it in flows of air, he lifted it and spun it in a slow, lazy circle. "Now, this is a bit of the Power of Saidin. I want you to understand, that this is life, and it is powerful. Yet it is," he paused, weaving fire and air violently into the rock, causing it to explode, and only a wall of air stopped it from impaling them both, "quite dangerous." Sereth turned then, eying Edvar up and down. "I'll start you off on the path to controlling Saidin. First, I assume you know you can channel?" Again he paused for the response, getting it, he continued. "Good, now I want you to embrace the source, just a trickle at first. Then increase the amount, slowly. When the pleasure of channeling turns to pain, stop. If you don't, you could lose the ability to wield the One Power, permanently. You understand? Good. Begin."


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Edvar followed Sereth through the town listening attentively to his explanation of the rank systems. He also confirmed the growing suspicion he had that many of these men were mad, or close to it. They made a brief stop at a small building with many customers going in and out. They entered and the Dedicated ordered a new uniform for him. Once they had it they left the shop and continued on.


They wandered away from the main area into a field devastated by untold powers. It looked like Tarmon Gai'don had been fought right there just a few hours ago, if not for the fact that the forest itself remained untouched. The Dedicated motioned for him to stay back and instantly, Edvar felt the same sense of power and menace from him as he had that other man, back in the Stone. His mouth fell open slightly as the man picked up a boulder as big as he was and spun it around their heads. He gave Edvar a little speech about how dangerous the power, saidin? could be. Halfway through the explanation however, he paused and the giant boulder suddenly exploded. Edvar quickly turned, dropping into a crouch and covering his head with his arms. When they didn't hit he looked up wonderingly and Sereth finished his speech.


He stood up again, feeling slightly ashamed of himself for reacting so, but it was swallowed by his fierce determination as the Dedicated eyed him up and down. He quickly calmed his tension from the incident and focused on what was said next. "I'll start you off on the path to controlling Saidin. First, I assume you know you can channel?" He nodded his head once in response and the man continued. "Good, now I want you to embrace the source, just a trickle at first. Then increase the amount, slowly. When the pleasure of channeling turns to pain, stop. If you don't, you could lose the ability to wield the One Power, permanently. You understand? Good. Begin."


Taking a deep breath to steady his mind he entered the ko'di. Floating in the emptiness, re reached out for the sickly light and it filled him. Following the Dedicateds orders, he pulled more. After a few moments he held the amount that he considered his limit. He knew from experience that the slight tingling he felt would quickly start to hurt him if he drew anymore. He eyed Sereth and said "Now what sir?" He assumed that this man would be in charge of him from now on. He would learn all he could from the man and hopefully, soon, he would be able to harness the great power it seemed everyone here possessed.

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Sereth nodded, feeling the man's strain from holding the source. He will be strong... probably as strong as you are. He didn't bother wondering why he sometimes thought in the second person. The sickening feeling in his stomach, and the pure life running through his veins were answer enough. Don't let him be as strong as you are... End it. Sereth closed his eyes, silencing the voice with an effort of will. "Now, we will begin teaching you to do more than warm a bowl of soup."


Sereth pulled a strand of fire from the torrent of Saidin, holding it before Edvar, and did the same with the other five. "I do not know if you can see me weaving, but it matters little. Either way, I have just drawn out Saidin, and split the main torrent into the five elements it is made of. These are fire, earth, water, air, and spirit. I'll show you a quick demonstration of each." With earth, he lifted a small pillar that would come up to the men's knees at best, "Earth." He used the air to hack slices away from the stones, "Air." Weaving a tight ball of fire, he set it into the newly formed brazier, a small ball of flame resting in its center. "Fire."  He wrung water from the air, squelching the flame, and putting droplets on the dull stone. "Water." Finally spirit, "This will be the hardest, you may have to concentrate, but look for the strands of spirit, as I weave it." With that, he wove. Not so deftly as most, but he would first circle the edge of the brazier, then have the strand arc up, forming a cross about six inches above the center. He kept weaving, making a sort of fishnet weave of spirit. "This doesn't do anything, but we may use it later." He tied off the weave, not wanting to forget it.


"Now, you've held Saidin, the power, for a while. Now examine, look, prod, and feel it. You should find that instead of one flow of power, there is instead five, as I've shown you. Concentrate on anyone, and draw it out. One at a time. Then, bend it with your will. Wrestling it into submission, and do something with it. I don't expect anything spectacular, and do not worry if you mess up. I won't let you die on the first day." His somber tone brightened, even allowing a laugh to spring from his lips. "Light, I lit myself on fire my first time." Sereth wove a shield, "Don't worry, if you see this weave of spirit. If things go bad, it will just cut you off from the power, temporarily at that. I will teach you it later." With that said, Sereth inhaled. It was always nerve wracking showing new recruits how to weave for the first time.



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Edvar felt a strong sensation of anticipation as the man said "Now, we will begin teaching you to do more than warm a bowl of soup." He barely refrained from rubbing his hands together as the man started channeling again. He saw five separate flows, it appeared to be just the five elements. Nothing special really. He recognized them all after having been channeling on his own for a few years now, but had only tried to use Fire and Air. Then the man began his true demonstration, pulling a small chunk of earth from the ground and shaping it into what appeared to be a brazier. Then fire and water, and finally, the man formed some sort of construct out of Spirit, though for the life of him, he couldn't figure out what it did and was informed immediately after his conclusion that it did not, in fact, do anything.


Then he saw Sereth do something weird to the weave of Spirit, something he had never seen before. He couldn't quite figure it out and the man was speaking again so he turned to listen. It seemed that it was his turn now. After the man assured him that he would make sure nothing serious happened, Edvar attempted to emulate what he had done. He had never used Earth before, but nevertheless, he sent strands of the element into the ground and tried to pull the ground up with the threads. To his surprise a small chunk came up, loosening itself entirely from the ground. It was only about the size of his head, but he shrugged and glanced out of the corner of his eye at the Dedicated. The man gave no hint as to whether he had done well or not, so he continued.


He knew a little about Air, so he managed to carve the rock into a rough, bowl like shape, then he immediately set a ball of Fire inside of it. Water he thought. How in the Light am I supposed to use Water? Tentatively, he reached out with a strand of the element. After a moment, he began to notice that as each strand moved, it pulsed slightly. Face bunching up in consternation, he concentrated harder. Yes he thought. That must be it. There were tiny droplets of water in the air itself. What if I.... he carefully gathered some of them, one at a time. After a moment he had a ball of water about the size of his fist. He dropped it on the ball of fire and extinguished it.


Then he had only to replicate the construct that Sereth had kindly left for him, but it made no sense to him. After a few tries he had only managed to create a mangled jumble of threads that looked nothing like what the Dedicated had made. He released it and shrugged, looking to Sereth for the next part of his instruction.



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Sereth looked at the mass of spirit, and chuckled. "Very good, you managed to make yourself a new bowl. Might be useful later in life. Now, let’s be rid of that little tangle of spirit." Quickly, he wove air and fire, and sliced the weave. "I don't like to leave weaves around." Okay, so he might have been showing off a bit, but hey, it was a useful lesson none the less. "Now, Edvar, you have been on the road a lot, I presume? You ever been stranded, and needed to fix a tunic, cloak, or some other article of clothing? I ask, because you are about to work on your control. Specifically, you’re going to do something I like to call 'threading the needle.'" A fox grin spread over his lips, and he looked down at the small mesh of spirit on the brazier in front of him.


"It is simple, in concept. Though in truth, it is difficult. Especially for inexperienced power wielders. All you have to do is move your flows into the gaps that are in my spirit weave, and out another. Then, while holding that, put in another element, in a different gap. I'll show you." He pulled forth a strand of fire, and wove it into a gap around the base of the brazier, and out the other side. Then, he wove air into the top, and out the bottom right. He let the weaves dissipate, before looking back up to his student.


"I'm going to warn you, wielding two separate flows of the power is more than twice as hard as one, and three is more than twice as hard as two. So be careful, and I'll be watching. After you complete, or fail this task as it may be. I will show you some basic weaves, and then to your barracks. You'll be grateful for the rest, I assure you." Sereth prepared several cutting flow, and inhaled. He wasn't quite so nervous Edvar would find a way to kill him this time..."Begin."

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His face went a bit red as Sereth chuckled and made a small joke about his bowl, but he let it go as the man explained what he was to do next. He looked at the mesh of Spirit and then back at the Dedicated. He almost asked if the man were crazy to expect him to do that, but then checked himself and sighed slightly. Of course hes insane, he already as much as said so himself.


He crouched down on one knee to stabilize himself and get a better look at the weave. He started with Fire, being most adept at that element. He made it as thin of a flow as possible and began to slowly insert it into the small opening. After a few moments he managed to get it through. Breathing a small sigh of relief he began again, this time with Air. He found the going much harder this time. Within moments he began to sweat. A little further.....a little further. He paused to wipe the sweat from his brow and continued. After two or three minutes he managed to work it through.


He dared not stop though, the strain was already beginning to wear on him. He formed a thread of Earth, that seemed to come easily to him as well, though he had never really used it before. It took him almost a full minute just to get it through one of the many openings. Simply holding the other two was draining him quickly and he barely made any progress on this one. He kept at it though and made some headway. He was almost halfway through when it touched one of the strands of Spirit. He tensed, but to his relief nothing happened. His weave seemed to....displace the other one, but it went back into alignment as he corrected his own errant thread.


His breathing was coming heavy now, he felt his grip on the first two threads slipping. Hurriedly, he tried to push the thread through the rest of the way, but before he made it they all slipped out of his grasp and he was forced to release the power before it burned him where he stood. Gasping for air, he slowly stood and steadied his breathing. Wiping the sweat from his face, he turned to the Dedicated and waited to be told he wasn't good enough to stay. He fully expected to be put out for not being able to do it. He would have tried again, but he doubted he could even grasp hold of it again, let alone wield it. So he waited. He would do what he could, but he had never tried to use more than one thing at a time and it was so difficult. He never imagined it would be that hard.

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Sereth slammed his shield down, hard. To his surprise, Edvar had actually managed to release the source before it was needed. Still, he kept it in place. Sereth would take no chances of the man channeling in this condition. Walking over to the exhausted man, he knelt and placed a hand on his shoulder. "You did wonderful. The fact that you threaded a couple flows is simple astonishing, just how long have you been channeling?" Sereth's ever present smile returned to its normal self, all memory of that fox grin gone. As Edvar answered, Sereth nodded. "Makes sense that you have the skill you do. Alright, as promised, I will show you some basic weaves. You are shielded, you won't be able to touch the source. Still, you can learn them by watching."


Sereth wove air and fire together, outstretching his hand to the far left. The weave snapped into place, and a fireball was thrown. "Simple, yet it may very well be the most common weapon used. Followed by lightning, if you have the skill." This time the motion was a simple snap of his fingers, weaving earth as a tracer and fire and air to build the electrical charge. "The trick with lightning, make the flow of earth touch what you want to shock." "Now, there are three very effective wall techniques, air, fire, and earth. Depending on what your strongest element is, it may be best to use that one." With that, he spun all three at once, A tight wall of fire sprung up in front, its pillars of flame only reaching five feet. Earth moved to the same height, a solid sheet of rock. Air simply coiled on itself, solidifying. "Fire may be best, as I assure you, there are precious few better ways to stop charging trollocs." A laugh rolled of his lips.


"The best thing you can do, is experiment. We will teach you the more complex weaves, if you can learn them. Healing, more devastating ways to kill, and more subtle. How to defend and attack enemy channelers, and even bonding if you wish to learn it. For now, you deserve rest." He motioned for the man to stand, and led him to town, letting Edvar set the pace. When they pulled up to the squat building that was the soldiers barracks, Sereth motioned to the black uniform they had never gotten around to dressing him in. "From now on, wear the coat. Rest up, you will need your strength for tomorrow, soldier." With that, he turned on his booted heel, and went to that in.


There was a slab of mutton he was dieing to sink his teeth into.

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