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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

In search of a man’s past [Rosheen & Aran]


Guest Celes
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Guest Celes

The chat in the inn a few days before had stirred up some ideas in the back of Lyv’s head. She was not sure how or why, but there was something about Aran that stuck with her. They way he knew Anton, the things he said and the few tips of a greater story they were dying to unravel, but didn’t. Rosheen had come up to her that same night confirming Lyv’s own thoughts that there was something fishy about Aran. Aside from his slacker behavior and his relentless pranking without truly getting caught. There was someone looking out for this guy and Lyv wondered just how true this was, who was looking out for Aran and why did he get away with everything he did?

 

She sat in the training Yards, watching as a couple of trainees were practicing blindfolded sparring. It was something they had invented themselves and Lyv did not really watch over, but was more enjoying the sunlight on her face and chuckling as they tried to stay in spar formation at all times. One of them was quite new to this, while his opponent had been one of them who had thought it up. The new guy was helplessly hitting air and the guys standing around him were only directing him further away from his target. “That’s what friends are for,†Lyv murmured and at that, a thought hit her. She jumped off the fence and ran back to her old office. Yes, her old office for she was on longer the Mistress of Trainees. Ginae had taken that spot a few weeks before, but Lyv knew her way around there. And nobody would really be suspicious to see her enter, Lyv sometimes helped Ginae out with the records and the old files. This help would come in handy now as she slipped through the door and entered the MoT’s office.

 

She knew that Ginae was out with a few trainees who had gone off on a drunken spree the night before. They were dancing the barrels in a pond near the Grove, an old punishment passed down from MoT to MoT. Effective as well as cold, as the trainees would dunk under water more often than not. Buts still effective as they learnt that the price to pay for stepping out of line was physically hard, cold and made you sore for days after. Lyv knew, she had been a trainee on those barrels herself once, pity the fool to go out and drink and think they’d not get caught. Lyv had no time to reminisce now though, she was out to find something.

 

The filing cabinet was locked, but Lyv knew where the key was kept, she had shown Ginae that on her first day and the other woman had not found it necessary to find a new home for it. She took the key and opened the drawer, flipping through the pages quickly. She had to go back a few years, after all Aran was about her age and would have been a trainee either before or after her. Then again, she had never seen him around when she was a trainee herself. And after her traineeship was over, she had started to travel around. So he either did the same or came in after she was gone already. Lyv frowned as she could not find his name, she did not know his surname but some files only contained a first name. After running her fingers passed all the files, she started over when suddenly she heard the familiar voice of Ginae outside. She quickly closed the drawer and with incredible speed put the key back in its place as the door swung open.

 

“Lyv? Fancy seeing you here, you missed your old chair?†Ginae’s voice sounded cheerful, she was not alone, there was a young woman behind her. “I have a new student to enroll, care to take on a mentee?†she asked with a wink. Lyv shook her head, “No, you know that I’m leaving in two months,†she turned to the young woman and said, “Welcome,†then passed the girl and left the office. Ginae called after her, “Was there anything you needed me for?†but Lyv smiled and called back, “No you were right, I missed the chair!†then ran off to find Rosheen.

 

Lyv Tylin

Ex-MoT

BladeMaster of PoW

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Rosheen had her arms crossed as she watched the two trainees balance on the beam between two platforms. One clearly had more talent at balancing, shifting his weight easily from one foot to another as he caught the other’s strikes with his lathe. Still, the other had an admirable determination to learn. He might not learn to balance as well as some, but that didn’t mean he wouldn’t learn at all. As it was the other trainee was cocky, which meant he got hit a lot more often than he should have. Rosheen didn’t particularly like the sight of it. She’d have to have a talk with him eventually.

 

But now was obviously not the time. Rosheen’s somewhat stern expression shifted into a grin as she saw Lyv approach her. The usual bounce was in her friend’s step, but Rosheen could also see that something was bothering her. At least it wasn’t the same weight she had felt on her shoulders when she had been Mistress of Trainees. It was good to see that Lyv was finally feeling more like herself again. Rosheen turned to look at the two trainees, just in time to see the cocky trainee fall from the beam. “All right, that’s enough for now. Same time tomorrow we’ll start some serious training.†She could see their shoulders slump a little. You’d think that they’d be used to the fact that there was always more to learn by the time they were at the Yards for more than a year.

 

Silently Lyv and Rosheen watched the trainees walk away from the training area, towards the barracks. “So… What’s up?†she asked. She was fairly sure she knew exactly what Lyv wanted to talk to her about. They’d discussed it after all, and Lyv had better access to old records than she had. “Aran.†The former Mistress of Trainees stated, and Rosheen nodded. They had both watched him change from his usual cheerful self into someone a lot more… self-destructive, during that time they met up with Anton. Anton had shared some of the bleakness that had fallen over Aran, but not all of it. Whatever their past was, it weighed a lot more heavily on Aran than it did on Anton. “So what did you learn?â€

 

~Rosheen Tahn Sakhr

Tower Guard

Balance Disciple

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Guest Celes

Rosheen walked up with Lyv as she dismissed her students. For a moment, Lyv’s thoughts wandered over her time as the Mistress of Trainees, then she contemplated how much more free time she had on her hands these days and decided she would soon take on a few mentees of her own. Soon that was, first she would find out about Aran, yes that is what she came to talk to Rosheen about. “Well, I did find something out, but I’m not sure what to do with it,†Rosheen looked eager to find out more and Lyv waved to some friends while they kept walking. “Not here, too many ears,†she said and smiled at a tower guard who just came down the wall.

 

“Good day to be on the wall, hey Aidan?†she called and he nodded, about her height and twice as broad, Aidan made a good friend in any battle. “Yeah, you should try it some time, Miss Tylin,†he called after her and she grinned at him. “I’m up tomorrow morning, don’t you worry about me,†and then they were out of ear shot. Lyv directed them smoothly away from the main crowded parts of the yards until they found themselves in a more secluded area. Green Sisters used this area to train their weaving. Somehow, Lyv always felt like the One Power left its marks on these dead grounds, but behind it ran a small path that led to some quieter space where hardly anyone showed their face unless they were hiding from punishment or a bad chore.

 

They relaxed against one of the trees and Lyv could tell that she had made her friend wait too long. “Alright, I went into my old office, I mean, Ginny’s office and flipped through the cabinets. The old files are quite up to date and easy to go through, yet I could not find Aran’s name at all. It took me quite some time to come up with something, which was in fact nothing. He is not recorded as at trainee in any of the files dating from years before I became a trainee even.†Rosheen was still listening so Lyv drew up the conclusion herself, “This means that he is either lying about his age, making him in his sixties,†she made a look here that told that this was not a real option, “Or, he was never enrolled as a trainee, which makes me wonder how he got to be a Tower Guard here.†After some silence she asked, "What do you think? Do I need to go back and search again, I'm not sure it would do any good..." she sighed and closed her eyes for a moment. There was something fishy about Aran, they had both come to that conclusion earlier, but to find no record from his past in the Yards as a trainee at all was more than fishy, it was damn odd.

 

Lyv

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Trying to look inconspicuous while scheming, or sharing secrets had never been Rosheen’s strong point. She had to force herself to keep her eyes on Lyv, instead of staring around to see if no one was listening in on their conversation about Aran. She kept quiet as Lyv told her about what she found out, smiling when she heard Lyv slip up, calling the MoT’s office her own for a moment. She knew that Lyv didn’t miss the job at all, but that didn’t mean her friend had let go of it completely either. Once the Mistress of Trainees, always the Mistress of Trainees, she supposed.

 

She was as surprised as Lyv herself had been to find out that Aran hadn’t been enrolled as a trainee at the yards. Then again, it wasn’t entirely impossible. She knew that the new mistress of trainees had only spent a few months in training, due to her experience in battle. “I don’t remember his arrival.†She muttered. Not that meant anything. There were plenty of people at the yards that she didn’t know the name of. “I remember seeing Alexander Namere chase him around the yards. And I remember him trying to kill his liver on several occasions. I just don’t remember his arrival to the yards. But like I said before, that’s not all that strange.â€

 

For a while Rosheen listened to Lyv, reaching the same conclusions as her friend had. “Something is definitely strange about this. Lyv asked her if they should search again, and Rosheen shook her head. “I don’t think that will do a lot of good. Ginae keeps the same system as you did, and if he’s not in there then… well, he’s just not in there.†She rubbed her brow for a moment, a bad habit she had whenever she was pondering on something. Corin had jokingly said that it looked as though she got a headache from thinking. That was probably why she kept the gesture. As long as people thought she was stupid, they wouldn’t look any further into her ponderings. She didn’t follow the Path of Misdirection just because it sounded cute, after all.

 

She looked at Lyv for a moment. “It’s a pity Con isn’t around. I’m sure he was commander of the Guards back when Aran arrived. He would have told us what was up in no time…†finally she glanced around her, seeing no one. Lyv really had picked a good spot for exchanging secrets. “Maybe we should ask Krelsa?†as soon as she suggested it, she dismissed that notion. “Or not… I don’t want to get Aran in trouble over something that might mean nothing at all. So I guess that leaves us with one option. We should try to get it out of Aran again. This time we have some proof to back us up, after all.â€

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Guest Celes

Proof, did they really have proof? What proof was that, other than that Lyv had not been able to trace Aran in any of the files in the MoT’s office. Maybe if she had had more time to look in there, she would have found something. Was it enough to get more out of Aran? He was a nice enough guy, but he was also closed up when it came to matters of Aran himself. Lyv sighed and said, “I’m not sure it will work, but we could try and bluff him into telling us more about himself,†she said and Rosheen nodded. “We might need to get him drunk first,†Lyv added in an afterthought and grinned. She remembered how well that passed on the last few times they had been drunk around the man. It was usually one of them who fell of their chairs, started to chant silly drunken songs or blurred out in an emotional way about lost love, loss of family and most o fall, how much they loved their fellow guards at the table. Yes, they had to pay the price, for Aran would openly mock them for days and they cold do nothing about it, for it was quite funny if you were not the one being mocked.

 

“We could set up some kind of a trap for him, then make him tell us,†Lyv mused openly and thought about how they had put a trap out for Corin, back then still a trainee who they had hung up from a tree, by a sling on his ankle. She waited for Rosheen to come to a different conclusion but it was clear to both of them that trying to get Aran drunk enough to tell them the truth about his past, would only result in headaches for each of them in the morning. “We could mask ourselves, blindfold him and tie him to a chair, then wait until he is tired and make him tell us,†it was a wild thought and Lyv chuckled at the idea. “Maybe that’s a bit cruel, Aran never did try to kill us,†she traced her finger over the creaks in her pants and thought about what they could do to get Aran to open up. Because he was hiding something from them, that much the two of them were sure of.

 

Lyv

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The more things Lyv suggested, the harder it got for Rosheen to keep from laughing. By the time Lyv mentioned masking themselves and tying Aran op she was clutching her sides, laughing almost soundlessly. The soundlessness of it faded soon though, as she threw her head back and laughed openly. “You know, I still have that peacock mask left from that Age of Legends party, I could wear that. and you could wear that blue dress, that ought to loosen his tongue a bit.†She thought of Aran’s own attire for that evening, and succumbed to another fit of giggling. “We could threaten to paint him red… or worse, pink!†she wiped the tears of laughter away from her eyes as she straightened herself.

 

“I think it might be best if we checked the Tower Guard records first… you know, before we try out drinking Aran, making fools out of ourselves, and get out to torture devices to get him to talk.†Lyv nodded, and they made their way across the yards, towards the office of the new Commander. Krelsa spent most his time out in the yards, training, so they were relatively confident they could sneak in without him noticing. If only Rosheen could stop laughing. Her shoulders still shook a little as they arrived at the office. “I wonder if Aran’s ticklish. Maybe we should torment him with feathers until he tells us.†She suggested, which brought on another bout of laughter.

 

Moments later Rosheen was clutching her sides to try to keep from shaking, while also putting her finger to her lips and shushing Lyv. “Shhh… what kind of… secret investigators are we… if we can’t stop laughing?†She peeked around the corner of the building, and saw Krelsa several yards away, teaching a young tower guard an advances Sword Form. “Ok, you go in and search for the record. You have more experience in this paperwork stuff than I do.â€

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Guest Celes

Lyv agreed that trying to search the Commander’s records was a good next step, but she felt a little uncomfortable finding a way to enter Krelsa’s office. Of course, she had been the MoT and could therefore find an excuse to visit Ginae’s office, but Krelsa, the new Commander. What could she tell him if he found her browsing in his files? “Better not get caught then,†she told herself in a low grunt and opened the door as Rosheen took a position of look-out.

 

The office was quite dark and Lyv had to wait a few moments for her eyes to adjust to the lack of light. She took a step and bumped her knee into the point of the desk, Lyv let out a muffled, “Ouch,†then moved towards the file cabinet. Like Ginae, Krelsa had a cabinet that was filled with files from all the guards on the staff. She opened a drawer after finding the key on a peg next to the cabinet. “Such careless behavior,†Lyv grinned and then set off to find what she was looking for.

 

After about ten minutes, she looked up from her work, listening carefully for Rosheen to sign off that Krelsa was moving into the office, but no sound came. She kept looking and was fairly disappointed that she had not come up with anything. Then finally her luck seemed to change as she found a file in the back with a single name on it, Aran. She did not find anything in the file though, just a record of his recent mishaps and workings in the Yards. No history and no last name, unfortunately. She knew that this was it, no history, no last name, no more information to tell her or Rosheen anything about him. A look of disappointment did not leave her face as she quietly exited the office and found Rosheen a few steps away.

 

Krelsa was still working on the forms with his student and they made way as soon as Lyv was far enough from the Commander’s office not to attract his eyes. Rosheen stopped Lyv a few minutes later and they looked around for snoops and unwanted ears. “I found nothing more than we already know,†Lyv hissed and her disappointment grew with every word as she quickly reported what she had done to try and find Aran’s history. "It's like he has no history at all," Lyv ended her tale and sighed.

 

Rosheen looked just as disappointed and Lyv tried to cheer her up by offering to buy her a pint of ale, she jokingly added, “Maybe we run into Aran and get him drunk after all,†and Rosheen nodded. They had both had wall duty that morning and were off for the night so that was alright. “We need to forget about our misfortune and drink to the mystery that roams these Yards,†Lyv said as they set off for the city. They found the Sirens Inn was closed for the day, something about a big clean up so they kept walking. There was a market in town that stopped them from trying two of their other favorite inns, so they kept walking ahead.

 

“You know, Neroin once took me to this small place near the harbor, the innkeeper serves fresh fish and it’s quite a good place to hang,†Lyv offered and Rosheen agreed to give it a try. They found the place, but Lyv discovered the owner had changed and so had the environment. Where it had once been a place where everyone was welcome, now it was a dark, shabby kind of place. She was about to turn back when Aran caught her eye and she gestured at Rosheen. “Shall we use this turn of fate to find out from the master himself?†and was already moving over to his table without waiting for her friends’ reply. “Hello there Aran,†looking around the table she nodded at the other occupants and smiled, “mind if we take a seat?â€

 

Lyv

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"No! No! No! Don't even get me started! I've tol-"

 

Aran lost track of what he was saying as he saw Lyv and Rosheen enter the tavern. Aran couldn't quite precisely remember the name of the tavern as he realised, but just as quickly he realised the name was of little import as long as the drinks kept coming and he was able to relax. It was the latter that had now become an issue.

 

The two had been trying to find out stuff about him, they even did it while he was drinking on the odd occasion. Last time they'd really taken a shot at it, Rosheen had ended up feeling quite ill the next day. Hopefully that meant they weren't going to be bothering him with such nonsense, or so he hoped as they meandered over and asked if they could join him.

 

"No! You're banned!" Seeing the surprised look on their faces, Aran grinned at them. "You're banned unless you're drinking with us! Oi Savi! More drinks!"

 

The last yelled across the common room to the barmaid who waved him off before heading behind the bartop to open up another keg. Business was good, with sailors from different merchant ships in. Which was kind of why he and his friends had decided to visit, it was the perfect place for making some coin. Buzz and Maude were throwing knives with a couple of Altarans, Fenwin and Elvar were doing their best at wenching at the bar. Walten, Calen and Reynold were playing some dice at another table and earning a bit of coin as best they could.

 

That had left him with Marie and Jakob, at least until Lyv and Rosheen had pulled up seats. Grinning at the pair as he rocked back on his chair, Aran cocked his head to one side as he spoke. "Aren't you two entirely too straight laced for this sort of thing? I thought you disapproved. I must say that I'm rather fla-"

 

"You're in my seat."

 

Turning about, Aran found a rather large man standing behind him, along with a couple of friends behind him. He was one of the men that had been throwing knives with Buzz and Maude, from the look on his face he'd lost a few coins as well. Andoran from the accent, damn Andorans.

 

"Really? I'm sorry, one of your husbands must have forgotten to save it for you."

 

The man stepped forward but one of his friends caught him and whispered in his ear. as the group moved away, Aran turned back to Rosheen and Lyv again. "Where were we?"

 

 

Aran

Tower Guard

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For some reason, Rosheen wasn’t entirely surprised to find Aran in the seediest place she and Lyv could find. He looked quite at home there, no doubt drinking more than he should again. Rosheen grinned at Lyv for a moment, before following her over to the table. While Lyv did the talking, Rosheen merely looked around her, noting that there were a few familiar faces, and some unfamiliar faces as well. All in all the tavern looked exactly like it should. Her attention was drawn back to the table when a mug of ale was placed in front of her.

 

She had just taken a swig of it when Aran spoke. "Aren't you two entirely too straight laced for this sort of thing? I thought you disapproved. I must say that I'm rather fla-" Rosheen almost choked on her Ale.

Straight Laced? She was about to say something about being shocked that Aran was obviously too drunk to recognise who he had in front of him when a rather ugly big fellow walked up behind him. He looked a little too menacing for her taste. Immediately she found herself thinking of the many ways to disable him, either with her bare hands or with the dagger she carried. Or perhaps with the mug. Aran would appreciate that.

 

As it turned out her ponderings had been premature. After a few words from one of his mates, the man decided that Aran looked just fine in his seat. Rosheen chuckled softly, more at her own willingness to tear a chunk out of the man if he acted up than at the way he’d walked away. If he’d had a tail, it would have been tucked firmly between his legs at that point. “I didn’t think I looked that scary.†She joked. It was kind of peculiar though. The other man had definitely looked at Aran when he was whispering with his ugly friend. “Or maybe you’re the scary one, eh? I can see how Andoran’s would think those sideburns are intimidating.â€

 

She glanced over at Lyv for a moment, instantly seeing that her friend was too pre-occupied with her mug to answer. She almost snorted. The ale hadn’t tasted all that good. Not even after spending all that time to find out what was up with Aran’s past. “We just craved your company, Aran. Actually, Lyv was so amused by the hangover I had a while ago that I suggested she tried one on herself. So here we are, for a rematch. Well, Lyv will do the drinking of course. I’m just going to sit by and mock her.†Rosheen ducked just in time to avoid the coaster that the former Mistress of Trainees chucked at her.

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Aran grinned at Rosheen knowingly. "Oh come now, thats not good form at all. You at least had a chance, we both know the that Lyv doesn't drink anymore, quite the teetotaller now." The splutter that was an attempt at three different retorts simultaneously got a laugh out of him. "You're just lucky I don't make both of you play catch up, but I'm a magnanimous fellow like that. Ow!" Marie was quick with her fists where Aran was concerned, inceasingly so in fact, Aran was going to have to do something about that at some stage.

 

Rosheen sniggered when Marie took a swipe at Aran. “I see some people are starting to catch on.†She grinned at Marie, who shrugged. “But really, that isn’t fair Aran. Lyv deserves a shot at killing her liver just like the rest of it. It’s just that my own liver is starting to rebel. But Lyv decided she wanted to give it another try. And I’m here for… ‘moral’ support. People don’t carry themselves home, after all.†She glanced over at the Andorans. The one who had wanted his seat back from Aran still looked quite upset. “I think he’s going to cry soon.†She stated. “So what was that all about anyway?â€

 

Aran laughed as he shrugged innocently "I don't actually know. Probably just an Andoran who see's a Cairhienin and wants a bout. We don't really need much of an excuse to go at it. I have to admit, I'm actually hoping he does come over, its been awhile since I've had a brawl. Besides, he's Andoran... What can I say? Its in my blood."

 

Rosheen laughed at that. “You see, that’s the good thing about being a mutt. I can pick a fight with anyone, and the chance is still pretty big that it’s in my blood somewhere.†She took a swig from her Ale. “I thought you Cairhien folk were more inclined to stabbing people in the back then getting into an actual brawl though.†She jested. She was pondering on ways to direct the conversation to the absence of Aran’s name in the trainee records, but found she was quite hopelessly lost. Not enough Cairhienin in her blood, she supposed. “So when was the last time you picked a fight? And getting spanked by Krelsa doesn’t count.â€

 

"Of course it doesn't count, how dare you refer to our domestic disturbances as fights. We love each other and I won't have you sully our love so." Smirking as he helped himself to his drink, Aran leant back on the chair again. "As to stabbing people in the back... Well, consider my desire for brawling a novelty."

 

Rosheen glanced over at Lyv, who was smirking for one reason or another. “You’d think he was avoiding my question again. And it was such a harmless one at that. I didn’t even mention his sordid past, or his relationship with Lonrick.†The sound of something crashing to the floor drew her attention back to the Andorans. Two of them looked about ready to start something. “It’s the Mohawk. People just can’t resist it. Brings out their primal urges and such.†She muttered. “Speaking of Krelsa, I thought he objected against seeing his boys and girls hang out in establishments such as these?â€

 

"He did? I don't recall any objection. Then again, my hearing isn't what it used to be, and my memory isn't that good either, its entirely possible." Aran was quite aware that Krelsa disliked Tower Guards frequenting such places, but he couldn't recall it being a strict order either. Until he was ordered, he would spend his free time as he wished, and probably would after an order for that matter.

 

"By the way, if those Andorans come over, I want first crack. Like most Andoran's they're lacking a certain something up there, and there's something about teasing the retarded that appeals to me. Sort of like how you know you shouldn't keep poking a fire with a stick in case sparks catch on something, but you can't help it. Or maybe I just can't help it, fire is pretty after all."

 

“Orphans… never learnt to share.†Rosheen said, shaking her head with a solemn look on her face. “And here I thought you grew up with a bunch of kids. The big one with the beard is mine, no matter how much you like sparks. He’s been trying to look more fierce than me ever since I walked in. We can’t have that, now can we?â€

 

"My my, its that time is it?" Smirking at Rosheen from across the table, he shook a finger at her. "No means no, except when it means yes, and it definitely means no. They singled me out, that means I get choice. When someone singles you out for your haircut, you can pick how you want to play it. My game, my rules. Even as a kid I learnt that when you're invited to play someone's game, you should follow their rules."

 

Rosheen laughed at that. “I’m sorry, but to have the king of rule breaking talk about playing by that same set of rules… It’s just too funny. So I guess No means Yes in this case after all.†She grinned at him. “Unless of course you feel like distracting us otherwise.†Rosheen almost cringed at her own lack of subtlety. She could hear Lyv sniggering next to her. “You could for example, tell us why your name isn’t in the trainee records?â€

 

Aran blinked for a moment, then he grinned at Rosheen. "It was a matter of time I suppose. Look, I'll let you in on a secret." Sitting the legs of his chair back down as he rocked forward, he gestured for the others to lean close. "I'm a Prince of Cairhien, and my mother was the Amyrlin Seat."

 

Laughing at them as he leaned back "no no, wait, really, its true. Born and breastfed on her, its why I'm so big and strong. Come on, why all this interest? You don't trust me all of a sudden?"

 

“I’ve never trusted you with more than watching after my seat while I’m fetching us drinks, Aran, and I only trust you with that because I know your self-interest will prevent you from letting someone take it.†Rosheen said with a grin on her face. “You and I both know that you can’t be trusted farther than I can throw you, and that might be stretching things a bit far as it is. As for our curiosity… well, you know how it is… women, cats, we’re one of a kind when it comes to people keeping secrets. We just can’t stand it.â€

 

Aran looked hurt as he heard what Rosheen had to say. Well, he would have if he hadn't started laughing by the time she was finished. "Cats are pussies. Dammit woman, stop that." Rubbing his shoulder from another one of Marie's blows, he glowered at her. "One more time and woman or not you're going to regret it."

 

"I swear, women don't know their place anymore. Put her in leather, give her a sword and suddenly she thinks she can give orders." He didn't get punched that time, but Marie was pointing at him warningly and that was a sign. "You know Rosheen, some people would consider it the height of rudeness to spending so much time investigating someone without cause. I forgive you though, because I realise stalking comes naturally to you."

 

"Yes, thats right, stalking. I've understood there has been alot of tension between us for sometime. With my natural good looks, my charm, sense of humour and adventure, you were bound to fall for me my little mohawk. But I'm afraid it has gone too far now, I need my space, and we just don't have that space. We're going to have to put the love to rest."

 

Going to take another drink, Aran swore as he realised he was empty. "Oi! More drinks over here!"

 

“More like fall over you, you little runt.†Rosheen muttered, quite disgruntled about the way Aran had once again eluded her attempts to question him. The first time she tried it she got the mother of all hangovers. The second time he’d gotten drunk too swiftly for her to get anything sensible out of him, and right now he wasn’t getting drunk swift enough, and being far too witty for his own good.

 

“Would it really hurt you to answer the damned question seriously for once?†she said, even though it was more of a snarl than anything else. “You know, for me to not trust you is one thing, but for it to be the other way around? After all the times I’ve had to come up with some story about why you weren’t on your post? Talk about rudeness.â€

 

She rose from her seat, leaving a half full mug behind. “I’m done with this, Lyv. I’ll see you around the yards.â€

 

Taking his drink from the maid as Rosheen made her frustrated spiel, Aran decided to put down what was said to her anger and replied in cheery fashion. "Be sure to unbunch your panties by the time you make it out the door ya silly wench."

 

The look Rosheen gave him was murderous but he missed it completely as he looked at Marie and deliberately brought his fist down on her leg. After being punched for the third time, he was going to get his own back. Judging from the look on her face as it connected, he'd definitely given her a dead leg.

 

"I told you not to."

 

"You! Short stuff!"

 

It seemed like the Andoran had finally found his excuse. Turning about to find the man taking the final few strides towards him, the man surprisingly didn't swing yet. "Think you're a big man hitting women do you? Go on then, anything you do to her, we'll do to you twice as bad."

 

Looking at Marie, the thought hit him, it was perfect. "Trust." She only got a chance to look at him quizzically before he leant forward and kissed her. The fact that she didn't immediately uppercut him was a sign that she realised what he was doing, or that she was plain shocked.

 

Leaning back, even as everyone who was watching, including the Andoran's friends, began to laugh, Aran grinned up at the man. "So, what are you waiting for?" Puckering his lips up at the man whose face had gone to red, and then purple, what followed next was inevitable.

 

Rolling sideways out of his seat even as the man threw his punch, everyone was out of their seats and converging on one another as the fight began with zest. No one was stupid enough to pull a blade though, brawling didn't concern the Aes Sedai but deaths did. Having said that, fists weren't anything to laugh at as Aran launched them at his opponent. He wasn't making the best accounting of himself by any means, but he was holding his own, even as the rest of the room dissolved into chaos.

 

 

Aran

Tower Guard

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Rosheen wasn’t particularly surprised by the fact that Aran chose to throw yet another insult at her head as she made her way out. In fact, as she flexed her fingers, she had almost hoped for it. She turned back, quite ready to stalk over and give Aran a nice shiner to go with his attitude. She was surprised by the fact that the Andorans finally decided to do something about it though. She shook her head when she saw that Aran had no intention to play nice, mocking the Andorans into an even greater stage of rage. “Pitiful.†She muttered, seeing the way Aran took a punch. “Doesn’t he know better?†The table they had been sitting at splintered under the weight of another Andoran that was tossed there by Jakob.

 

After the first punch that had been thrown, chaos ensued in the tavern. She’d seen it all before. Tempers flew, and soon enough everyone was fighting with everyone. Rosheen crossed her arms, quite intent to watch Aran get pummelled by three Andorans twice his size. “He deserves it.†When a mug flew towards her, missing her head by no more than an inch she’d had enough of it though. The big bearded Andoran that had been scowling in her direction earlier was the first to go down. A swift kick at the back of his knees and an elbow in his neck was all it took.

 

“You embarrass me.†She casually told Aran as she punched one of his attackers in the gut. “Pride of the Tower Guard…†She had to duck when someone threw a chair through the tavern. “And you can’t even deal with a bunch of Andoran sailors.†She chuckled when Marie decided the best way to beat an Andoran was by climbing on his back and hitting him on the head with a mug. She turned, and walked over to the bar, where the fighting was less chaotic.

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Guest Celes

Lyv listened as Rosheen set into questioning and decided not to interfere, as Rosheen was on the right path. Besides that, she had her eyes on the mug in front of her and Rosheen had made it clear that she wanted to take it slow on that part of the evening. No need for Lyv to join her or even embarrass her friend by saying something stupid and ruin Rosheen’s line of questioning. Of course, even half drunk out of his mind Aran did not feel like talking and Lyv was about to try and find a way to help Rosheen when she jumped back and announced her leaving for the Yards. As the events seemed to speed up from that point, Lyv noticed Aran kissing his friend to impress the Andorrans, who were indeed impressed enough to return the favor with a few fists and flying chairs. Lyv ducked just in time to avoid getting the better end of a chair against the back of her head and found a way to punch the guy who was trying to throw it again full on the jaw. She had to grab her fist after this attack as she could feel her hand start to throb painfully. “I do hope your jaw hurts more than my hand,†she called after him when suddenly the door to the inn flung open and a young boy’s voice hollered in: “A fire, a fire right down the street here! Everybody! A fire!â€

 

As Rosheen had made her way to the bar and Aran was helping one of his friends introduce the Andoran to the table top, Lyv decided to head outside and see if this was true or not. Just one step outside told her it was as a whiff of heavy smoke entered her nose and coughing she headed back inside and called, “Aran, Rosheen! A fire! It’s real, and it’s close!†then walked back outside to see where the fire had set off. They were not quick to follow, nor was anyone else but the smoke became more thick and as Lyv walked over to where the boy had pointed the fire had started from, she began to cough and it became more difficult to see anything. Shading her eyes, Lyv walked up to a small group of people who stood gaping at a tall house just a street behind the inn they had been staying at. “What’s going on?†she asked a woman who stood with her hands before her mouth. “There are people in there,†she said and Lyv’s eyes slowly moved towards the building. She noticed a silhouette of a man clutching on to the window sill and then falling back. Uncontrolled by thought, Lyv’s hand moved over to her mouth to protect her lungs from the heavy smoke as she was pulled back by someone.

 

“We can’t do anything for them,†an old man told her, his face creaked by age and his eyes small from the thick smoke. “We can’t become victims like them,†he told Lyv and pulled her along with the woman who had informed Lyv there were people inside. “But what about those people, we need to help them!†she called and caught sight of Rosheen who came running up to them. Just then, the house started to creak and the top part of the roof came crashing down. A part of it was still burning as it flung to where Lyv had found the group of people staring at it, she had just been saved from death from gawking. “Bloody…†she said and found Aran and Rosheen, a little ruffed up and dazed from the smoke and recent events. She walked over to them and finally got her words out as she said, “I heard there were people inside, I saw a man… there was nothing we could do,†and swallowed hard. “I don’t know what happened,†and stared back at the fire which had moved over to the houses next to the main house now. The smoke was thick and people were coughing and moving back. There was nothing to be done for those who had not been able to escape the fire.

 

Lyv

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"They're still in there?!"

 

Shoving his way through Lyv and Rosheen, Aran was running at full tilt, dancing by the flames of fallen timber as he yelled "Tess! Anwyn! Loric!"

 

Getting to the door, he didn't even slow down as he threw himself at it with his elbows up and one of his knees connecting with it in a blow strong enough to knock it off its hinges. What he didn't expect was for the flames to suddenly rush out to greedily grasp the air. The wave of heat and flame buffeted him before he could get his footing and knocked him to the ground, and out of mind....

 

Until consciousness decided to return at least, painfully so at that. Everything seemed to ache as Aran opened his eyes to find the house still aflame. Looking about to find himself propped against a wall a bit further down the street, it took a moment to register what had happened before, but now that he was thinking rationally, he knew it was too late. All the buckets of water that were making their way to the house weren't going to make one bit of difference, everyone in that house was dead.

 

In his daze, it was difficult to focus, but he managed to put his hands to the wall and push himself up. As he did so, he felt something slip from his hand to the cobblestones underfoot. It took him a moment to locate it, a piece of paper no more than four fingers wide. Taking it in hand, he perused the message to be found on it.

 

Walking over to the fire in a slightly disjoiunted manner, ignoring everyone around him, Aran flung the piece of paper into the fire, watching it curl into ash before turning and walking away.

 

 

Aran

Tower Guard

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She’d been too distracted by the fight to notice at first. The chaos around her ensued as she stood aside, watching people trying to beat each others brains in. Her own anger still burned hotly, but it could wait. Rosheen could be patient if she wanted to. Aran would have to tell them what was going on sooner or later or… an angry frown formed on her face once more as she thought of ways to make Aran talk. They’d been nice so far, but that was going to end soon. Rosheen just couldn’t stand the fact that Aran felt the need to keep secrets from them. “The innkeeper trusts his guests the way he is to be trusted himself.†She muttered, remembering her mother’s words. Maybe their trust had been wasted on Aran.

 

Rosheen found herself staring at Aran’s back as he was trying to fight of a semi-conscious Andoran. She shook her head, pushing away from the bar, ready to leave when Lyv came rushing back. A fire. Now that she’d heard the words, she could smell the smoke. She was out of the tavern within seconds. Sure enough a house down the street was in the process of going up in flames. Rosheens cheeks burnt with shame as she realised that she’d smelled the smoke before, but had been too distracted by the fight and her anger to understand that something else was going on. She ran towards the house, catching up with Lyv. She was too late though, as the roof of the house gave in, collapsing.

 

“I heard there were people inside, I saw a man… there was nothing we could do,†Lyv’s words seemed to echo through her. She felt her knees go weak as she realised that there was no way those people could have gotten out in time. Aran pushed past them, and Rosheen’s legs gave in. She sagged to the ground, her mind drifting back to the fire that had taken Orion’s eyesight. “No!†she shouted after Aran, clearly seeing what he intended as he shouted names she had never heard before. Another piece of the puzzle, but she was too dazed to see the connection. These people had been burning while she’d been pre-occupied by a pair of light-blinded Andorans.

 

Lyv was still on her feet, running after Aran only moments after Rosheen lost her footing. She was too late to stop him from barging through the door, but in time to drag him away from the flames, to keep him from burning alive. A few of the other tower guards took charge of setting up a line towards the well, and soon enough buckets of water started arriving at the house. Rosheen rose slowly, and took her place in the line, even though she knew it was too late to save those in the house. At least they could stop the fire from spreading further. By the time the fire was under control, the city guard had arrived to take over from the people in the line. Rosheen could feel the muscles in her arms burning from the lack of air. She wandered towards Lyv, who was staring at the wall of one of the buildings close to the fire. When Rosheen realised she was staring at the place where Aran had been only moments before she cursed. “Where did he go now?†she remembered the names he had shouted. “He knew these people…â€

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