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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

What one dont know, cant hurt someone...Not for your eyes [attn Lara]


Liitha
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M'bela made sure once again she had it all with her, then opened the gateway, she was out of the fortress, having ridden out to make sure she was alone before going to her liar number one. Tuggin the horse reins she steped through into lush forest in Andor with a smile, the nervous horse didnt setle as normal when through, at first while closing the gate she didnt take notice of it, but when she turned she saw its focus being set to one specific direction, looking up she saw what shouldnt be, not here deep in these frorest.

 

Instinct reacted and lashed out, wraping the woman in treads of air and gaging her before looking around for signs of others. She wove and streached out treads in one direaction at time to listen for signs of more disturbance, there was none, so a lone hunter. She was no fool though, if there was one others could be further away. Leading the horse over she looked up and down on the woman coldly, then lifted her over the horseback and starting leading her away. Best be home safely within her wards, it would yet take the better of the night, use of air swept away all trails behind her as she walked.

 

As dawn came the forest opened up into her glen with the old hunting cabin, and she shoved the woman off the horse onto the ground, making sure the mare was set with water and would be fine she turned. Inside she had roped and she used them to tie the woman properly down to her bed before leting the other air ropes go, as well as  having removed all weapons from the womans body.

 

"My my, what do we have here, one would think people knew not to wander into dark dusky forest at night. Do you not know the worst of creatures prowl the forest at night, you do be lucky I came upon you" She was busteling around making tea and finaly setled down looking at the woman, nothing special. "So what brings your presence to come vistit humble me?" there was a dangerous undertone to the last words.

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~Dilora~

 

She had not been prepared for what she saw.  Dilora’s shock had stunned her into the same sort of silence and stupefaction that a rabbit feels when staring into the path of a wagon, unable to move in time.  Was that her fate now?  She tried to move but was unable; something was pinning her arms tightly to her sides, her legs were held by the same invisible bonds and, just as she tried to cry out, some substance filled her mouth so she were unable to summon help.  Not that anyone would have come.  The girl she was travelling with would have been useless, and had probably run away now to safer grounds.  Prudent of her, Dilora decided, her eyes rolling around wildly trying to find some way of escaping this woman’s bonds. 

 

Little details, she had to remember the little details.  They could save her life later on.  No speaking, no words of explanation, just actions that were nothing but hostile.  The ground receded under her feet as Dilora lifted up into the air and across, over to the back of the woman’s horse.  Altie! she thought, considering her horse and hoping the mare would not be harmed.  Her wagon was still out there, somewhere, and she’d have to get back to it.  But just how did she plan to escape from a woman that could control air like this?

 

An Aes Sedai had captured her.  An Aes Sedai had business with her, either for her intrusion into some plot or because Dilora was prey for something.  From what she remembered, an Aes Sedai could not use their powers to hurt people.  And from the intent and the way this one were looking at her, she wondered just how true that was.  Craning her neck, she tried to see the woman’s hand to see if she wore the golden ring of a Great Serpent on her finger, but she saw none.  She had the same proud carriage as any Queen would.  Why had an Aes Sedai captured her?  Unless…

 

She did not want to think of anything more, but Dilora had nothing but time as she was jostled on the horse’s back.  Their midnight prowl through the forests of Andor gave her nothing but time to think.  She felt the muscles play under her skin: the smells of horse mixing with the damp smells of earth and her own sweat.  Was she afraid?  Yes, she was.  Her jaws ached from the gag in her mouth.  This night was never going to end! 

 

In a way, she was relieved to get to the small hut in what appeared to be a glen.  Dilora made note of a few of the details; soft moss decorated the sides of trees here, and the grass appeared to be lush but there was a sense of chill and doom.  This was by far the worst situation she had been in since the carnival at Caemlyn!  With a shiver, Dilora swallowed, trying to bite back her fear. 

 

Within moments the invisible bonds had been freed and Dilora was tied with ropes to the strange woman’s bed.  She was saying something Come on Dilora, think, think! Blinking back tears, she looked at the woman with wide eyes as she heard her say something about not visiting the forest at night because of dangerous creatures or something, and then asking why she was visiting her.  She fought for rational thought.  Illianer, she decided, the accent was definitely Illianer.  For the rest she would have to watch her.  Swallowing again, Dilora spoke.

 

“… Heard a noise in the forest.  I wondered what it was and came to have a look.”  She felt so naked without her weapons.  Sweat trickled down her brow and she felt uncomfortable in other places.  At least she was comfortable on the woman’s bed.  “Water, please?  And how about untying me?”  Oh yes, she was afraid, but she’d be damned if she was going to be treated so!

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

M'bela snorted, "You wont need water if you cant answer satisfiedly, now who else are with you?"

 

She looked at the woman and then let a thin edge of air mixed with fire touch her cheek, it didnt breach skin, but would stil sting. "Mayhaps I'll let you out of here without a visual mark so you do not have to remember forever.." she walked over and trailed a finger over the womans troath, scraping against the troath "..or maybe I wont, petulant child come intruding where you have no place to be, mayhaps a mark to remember by will make you stay on the roads from now on."

 

For now she would let the woman think she would escape alive, it would give her hope, and make her answer instead of subcumbing to panic, there would be time enough later to deprive her of hope, give the gifts of glorious pain that was so precious to watch.

 

She picked up her cup of tea and blowed at the steam while leting the woman think on her answer.

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~Dilora~

 

Dilora swallowed, and for long moments after the woman had started sipping her tea, she felt a sting on her cheek and the finger that had traced a line across her throat lingered as an imaginary reminder of just how precarious her situation was.  That was all she had to cling to, that shiny wire of hope, being allowed to leave with a scar to remind her against carelessness.  She shivered, realising she had not seen the woman touch her and yet her face hurt meant the woman had to be an Aes Sedai, unless Lanfear had come to take her or something.

 

Yes, and pigs were going to fly overhead.  Sweat blossomed on Dilora’s forehead and the temptation was gnawing at her to rub her cheek where the fire-touch had landed.  The restraints saw that she could not.  She rubbed her cheek against her shoulder instead.

 

“I set up camp with some stray girl that wanted passage from Tar Valon, but I think she has run off by now, Aes Sedai.”    Perhaps that’s what it was about.  Maybe this strange woman was after her companion, not Dilora.  Her mind raced, watching the woman staring thoughtfully over the edge of her teacup, eyes a mystery above the faint steam. 

 

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M'bela acted swifly and threw the rest of the tea on the woman, then went to hover over her. "You will not speak the silly title of those ignorant witches again if you want to leave here with your sanity" she cuped her chin, and stared down in her eyes. "Aes Sedai is ignorant filt, you all think they can save you, they are to bussy playing their own games of stupidity, but my can they scream when they see their world fall before them" she grined, "yes they make for good play"

 

M'bela trailed a nail down the wet troath, then licked the tea of her finger, her dark eyes piercing into the womans. "Now tell me about your companion" she needed to find her, no loose strings, the more she knew the better, and the easier to find her. It was still dark outside but it wouldnt last forever, come morning the other stupid as most humans would likely look after this girl. Or if not she would move on, mayhaps if she could prevent that her liar would be safe for yet some decades, it was a good one and she didnt like the idea of moving.

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~Dilora~

 

The hot tea splashed over her, and she gasped at the sting.  Dilora’s mouth opened and some of the liquid just brushed her chin, but mainly it scalded her neck.  So, this was a prickly one.  She would not call the woman Aes Sedai any more – that she did not like it was obvious and the contempt with which use had replied to her was obviously not feigned.  The other possibility now made her shiver.  She had fallen into the hands of Darkfriends, powerful ones, and it would be best to comply with their wishes as much as she could.

 

It was odd how even at the most dangerous moments, Dilora’s mind ran to matters of trade.  Well, bribery was probably the more correct word.  She had lots of useful items in her wagon that might be of interest to the woman.  Again, it was unlikely that some trinket would sway her interest in Dilora’s companion; nothing she had was of sufficient value to be of use here.  The Light burn her!

 

Struggling, she tested her bonds again.  “She was a stranger I picked up in Tar Valon, saying she wanted to be out of the city.”  Dilora remembered something.  “She was a strange one, too, keeping going on about things that I couldn’t hear.”  In a confiding tone, Dilora nodded and said: “between you and me, I don’t think she is entirely sane.  Some noise spooked her when I set up a camp, and she’s probably hidden so far in the undergrowth by now she’ll be picking twigs out of her underwear for months.  If she hasn’t been eaten by wolves or something.”

 

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A shiver went down her spine, she knew this, not much but enough to recognise it. If it was the wolves and someone befriendly to them then this was no longer ever to be a safe place. She provled over to the window and looked out, she had been to long gone, normaly she made sure the wolves just naturaly would shy away from the place, but they must be on to something, and she didnt have time for this now.

 

M'bela sighed and cast a last look out the window before turning, "you should have stayed away, you caused me a lot of inconvinience." she started opening cabinets and roam through shelves, some things made it onto her tables, others was hasardless thrown onto the floor. She reached onto the shelf above the bed starting to tip down books to reach behind to the hiden panel, fliping it out she took out several posetions as well as a couple books who had some real use.

 

Looking around she started over to a box nearby starting to flinging things out from over her shoulders, diging around till she was sure she had goten everything in it that she would need, or which could point to her, no mather she would set the place on fire. She smiled, hopefully the woods would catch fire and it would throw them off. Moments later she heard rain tap on the roof and cursed the creator, so much for those plans, but better times was coming one day, and she intended to be alive for them.

 

"Describe the girl" it was said as an order now not a question, just in case she would spread the word in her network, if nothing else she would have her revenge one day if she could help it. She felt cheated, and was infuriated, but it didnt show on her face as she roamed through the last box. Her step lead her next to the fireplace, and she used the power to quickly dismantle it and get at her hiding places. Then turned and looked at the bed and the girl.

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~Dilora~

 

She breathed heavily, swallowing the fear that was rapidly building in her.  Perhaps she had pushed this woman too far.  Here, now, in the little cabin in the middle of nowhere, nothing seemed to exist but the two of them, and the noise that her companion had heard in the glade seemed so far away.  Hoping she was miles away by now and that she had left her horse and wagon alone, Dilora recalled how she had last seen her companion.

 

As the woman was turned away from her, Dilora tested her bonds again.  They were so tight; every little attempt at movement caused her pain.  She gritted her teeth in case she cried out.  Her shoulders were beginning to ache and the day’s events were making her weary, but sleep was as far away as the moon, she felt so awake.  In any case, she dared not speak in case she never woke up again.  Frantically, she told the woman holding her against her will the description of her travelling companion.

 

"Blonde hair, she had long blonde hair.  She was of a build similar to me, and had lovely eyes.  They were captivating.”  Dilora risked a look at her captor, who was still regarding her levelly.  Dilora swallowed again.  “What else?  She was always listening to things that I couldn’t hear.  Birdsong when there were no birds immediately around, that sort of thing.  It was strange.”  She tried another gambit.  “Please, good mistress, you should let me go!  I can tell you know more!”  Panic began to rise in her, panic that she would not leave this place.  “Please!”

 

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"Be quiet" she had what she needed, and what she had time to get, grabing a sack she started neatly packing half the content into it, the other would go in a similar one, and she could tie them together hanging down each side of the horse's back. Finaly she was ready but for one thing, she turned to the girl. "Time to move my dear" she used air to lift her of the bed, then floated her with some strain through the air towards her, she couldnt help but stop and stroke a stray hair out of her face while looking into her eyes. Then she focused, air was not her strong element, and now she was drawing on it as best she could, twisting the girl and then flinging her towards the wall with as much force she could muster. She turned after having released the weave, it was done, she could hear the shatter of window behind her, the wall caving out, the stronger tap tap of the rain. She bendt down and reached under the bed, weaving quickly she removed floor boards and traps, then reached inside for the baged package she knew was there, a shiver went down her spine as she almost droped it in disqust. She drew out and then packed it on top of the second bag, she was done here.

 

M'bela walked out the door, then turned and even as rain was runing down her face she made a sawing weave, she took out the remaining suport beams and watched the hut colapse with a crushing sound. She barely cast a glance towards the girl, no living being would survive the toss, and the body lay flung over a broken tree. She bound the sacks over the horseback and set off back in the direction she had come from, but causiously. She had yet to see any signs of a living being when it closed on morning, geting off the horse she was making ready for traveling when she looked up, and through the forest stood the girl who could be no other then the others travel companion. Leathal weaves flew, but somehow was off in her rush of anoyanse and tiredness. She took up the hunt, but as morning closed descided to get out, she would take a roundabout and then back to the fotress through the dream, from there she could send a fade to hunt, she had better to do. And with that, without looking back, she left the forests who had so long been hiding her liar.

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~Dilora~

 

The world flew past in arcane motion; suddenly she was no longer on the bed but looking directly into her captor’s green eyes, feeling fearful for what would happen next.  Once more the world blurred, and once more Dilora moved through the air watching the powerful woman recede into dimness; only the reddish hair visible as she hit the window.

 

Shards of glass splintered out behind her, catching her skin painfully as her body hurtled through and out into the night.  Pain enveloped her, clashing with the shock of impact and the change in temperature from the heat of the cottage to the cold of midnight.  Stars punctured the blackness overhead; it may have been fragments of glass flying out with her, but Dilora could not tell.  Her flight continued until it ended abruptly against a tree, pushing all of the wind in her lungs out to steam in the chill, and she slid down to the ground below, awareness gone.  Her last conscious thoughts were of the hut creaking and her horse, and then it faded to black.

 

It was sunlight that woke her.  Warm, dappled rays lingered on her face like a lover’s touch and brought her senses to awareness.  Light, she was so tired.  Light.  Oh.  Achingly, she opened her eyes.  The wrecked pile of timbers before her swam into view and solidified into the ruins of the hut she had been a captive in the night gone by.  Disbelieving that she had escaped alive, Dilora bit her lip and sobbed.  Many times she had narrowly avoided conflict or fighting, but this was the second time she had cheated death.  She felt certain she should not have survived the carnival at Caemlyn when the horrors came, and now she had survived something that others could not have. 

 

She lifted her hands to her face.  Stinging pieces of glass caught the sunlight like ripples of water, framed by her blood.  With an agonised yell, Dilora pulled the shards out, throwing them to one side with as much strength as she had.  They tinkled in an increasing pile beside her, flashes of bright with the crimson of her blood.  Her back, she knew, would have similar fragments embedded in the skin; she could feel them as much as picture them.  Her back ached anyway from where she had hit the tree.  Luckily, she had caught it on her shoulder rather than her spine, or she would not have been able to move at all. 

 

Slowly, as her consciousness further returned, Dilora grew strong enough to move.  She pushed herself to her feet unsteadily and looked down at her outfit.  It was a ruin.  The cloth was tattered in her skirt, and her blouse was barely intact.  Moving her shoulder hurt, but she knew she had to get the embedded glass from her back or it could fester and go bad.  Infection was the last thing she needed.

 

Half an hour later, more glass lay on the pile.  She used strips from her skirt to bandage the cuts on her arms, and looked over to the ruin of the building.  Maybe there was some medicine inside still usable, or some food.  A cursory examination of the wreck revealed nothing, not even any food to take the edge from an increasing feeling of hunger.  Sighing to herself, and then wincing as the motion pulled her shoulder down and made it ache sharply, Dilora turned and walked ahead.

 

Not having the faintest idea where she was, it took Dilora several hours’ walk to find the edge of the forest.  The wagon was a mile away, a blissful mile away and visible in the late afternoon sun.  Her heart sang.  Altie and some brandy were little over a miles’ walk away!  The woman had taken her weapons from her; she’d need to either make more or buy some, and lots of them.  She felt the need for increased security around her wagon that only sharp, pointy things in close proximity could provide.  Filled with a mixture of joy and pain, she set off towards her wagon with a bit more vigour than she had previously shown.

 

Altie came towards Dilora as much as the mare could with the reins so tethered.  There were no signs of the blonde girl that Dilora had travelled with, and the remains of the fire were burnt into the ground now, a pile of ash marking the spot.  Her pans and the rest of her camp lay intact, miraculously.  Dilora supposed the woman had pursued her other prey away from her camp.  She nodded to herself and started to pick up the scattered pans to set the camp to rights.

 

Her shoulder ached furiously.  In the privacy of her wagon, Dilora removed the tatters of her former shirt and looked in the mirror at it; bruises greeted her, black and ugly across the whole of her left side.  An angry bump on her head gave her some cause for worry.  She had best find a Wisdom or something tomorrow.  For now, all she could do was keep it clean and try to prevent infection.  And, of course, eat something and rest.  Eating a little bread with some honey, Dilora poured herself a large measure of brandy and sat down on the bed.  Light!  Altie!

 

Giving Altie some oats, Dilora made sure her horse was secured.  Locking the door to her wagon, she withdrew and finished the first cup of brandy to settle her shakes.  Then, pulling the spare knife she carried in the strongbox under the wagon floor, Dilora sat with the blanket pulled tightly around her, moving at every noise.  Tomorrow, she would head to the nearest village, and then onto the civilisation of Caemlyn for a while to recover.  But first she had to get through the night…

 

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