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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

The Arrival


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Toram and the Asha'man were preparing to go to the Black Tower...

 

"Do you have all your things together?" The Asha'man asked. Toram nodded yes. "Good. Let's go." They left the inn where he was staying and rode out of Tear to the north. Once they got far enough out of site of the gates and any guards that might get too curious, the Asha'man led them off the road a ways, acting like he was looking for something. "Here it is." All Toram seen was a few trees, one with what looked like a scrap of cloth tied to a branch. Out of nowhere a thin vertical line appeared and seemed to rotate. What is that flaming thing!? Toram asked himself. It looked... great. I wonder if they will teach me that. Then suddenly it dawned on him.

 

"I thought the Tower was in Tear? Why are we out here and what is that?", he exclaimed.

 

"The rumor that the Tower is in Tear is just that. A rumor. And as for that thing it is called a gateway. You will learn about that soon enough. For now just go through it."

 

Toram walked up to the gateway? I wonder what that is. "Well what are you waiting for? Go through!" Toram realized that he had been staring at it for a couple of minutes. Slightly embarrased he walked through, and was amazed. Where did this take me? Are we even in Tear anymore?

 

The Asha'man walked through behind him and the gateway winked out of existance. "Welcome to the Black Tower, also known as The Farm. You are now in Andor if you're wondering." Andor! we came leagues in one step... I can't wait until i can start learning to channel.

 

They walked through what looked like any normal village to an inn. Along the way he noticed practically every man that he saw all wore a black coat and some of tham had pins on their collars. "Just stay here, and get something to eat or whatever. Someone will be along for you soon enough." And with that the Asha'man walked away.

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Arath left the inn just in time to see an Asha'man abandon a new recruit, easily identifiable by the lost, slighty awed, and overwhelmed look on his face.  Shaking his head, and making a mental note to reprimand the Asha'man next time he saw him, Arath walked up and spoke with the new man.

 

"I assume you've been tested already?"  A quick nod of the head.  "Very well then, come with me."  With that, Arath turned off and walked briskly toward his house where he kept his office.  In short order, Arath was seated behind his desk and rumaging around for a pen to write down the man's information.  "Well then.  First off, what is your name?  And where are you from?"

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Toram saw an Asha'man walking up to him and thought well is this the guy that "will be along for me"? The man had asked him a question he suddenly realized. After thinking for a second he came up with it. "I assume you've been tested already?", Toram nodded quickly to recover from his initial shock. He looks normal. "Very well then, come with me." The man turned and left without another word.

 

As he walked with the man he noticed that they were going to what looked like a house. He took Toram into an office. As the man was rummaging around in a desk he asked "Well then.  First off, what is your name?  And where are you from?"

 

"I am Toram Eldin from Four Kings." He looked around the room noticing the things that the Asha'man kept in here.

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"Well to put it simply sir, I want power. I want the power to stand against the shadow and protect the light." Oh Light, I hope that wasnt as paltry as it sounded to me. "If you don't mind my asking sir, what is your name?", Toram was hoping not to anger the man that could incinerate him on the spot, but his is a very curious mind.

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Arath stared pointedly at the recruit for a moment, then deliberately returned to his book.  He quickly scratched in a few notes. Desires power.  Watch closely.  He looked the other man over again before saying, "I am Attack Leader Faringal.  I oversee training here at the Tower."  He stood and walked over to the closet against the far wall and began rummaging through the black coats within. 

 

"Once you walk out my door you will be a Soldier of the Black Tower.  You will obey orders without question, or you will probably be killed.  Pay heed to anyone with pins on their collar and you should do fine." Pulling out an appropriately sized coat, Arath tossed it to the man and returned to his desk.  "If you have any questions, now would be the time to ask them."

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The Attack Leader stared at the new man for a moment. "I am Attack Leader Faringal.  I oversee training here at the Tower. Once you walk out my door you will be a Soldier of the Black Tower.  You will obey orders without question, or you will probably be killed.  Pay heed to anyone with pins on their collar and you should do fine. If you have any questions, now would be the time to ask them."

 

He squirmed a little under a direct penetrating stare, but did not look away. Putting his new coat on, Toram felt as if he was slipping into a new life. One that he never dreamed he would be part of. "Understood. Well sir I would just like to know what is expected of me, and what it is that I am to do here."

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Arath nodded.  Good questions.  Surprisingly few people asked them.  "You're expected to follow orders to the letter, like I said.  You will begin learning to channel today, and you will be pushed to your physical and mental limits.  You will perform all of your chores with the power, prepare your meals with the power, and do just about anything else you can think of with the power.

 

"In the end, we expect you to be a weapon for the Dragon Reborn.  To be able to slaughter his enemies and help win Tarmon Gai'don."  Arath smiled. 

 

"It's pretty simple really.  Follow orders and win the last battle.  Nothing to it."  He made a few last notes in the log book and closed it, rising to his feet.  "Any more questions?"

 

 

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"You're expected to follow orders to the letter, like I said.  You will begin learning to channel today, and you will be pushed to your physical and mental limits.  You will perform all of your chores with the power, prepare your meals with the power, and do just about anything else you can think of with the power. In the end, we expect you to be a weapon for the Dragon Reborn.  To be able to slaughter his enemies and help win Tarmon Gai'don. It's pretty simple really.  Follow orders and win the last battle.  Nothing to it. Any more questions?"

 

"I will do my best sir." Do my best not to go mad. Toram thought to himself. "I have one more question sir. What is the average life expectancy of a person around here?"

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Arath laughed.  "It's best not to dwell on that.  I've seen some men go mad from their first brush with Saidin, and others that have lived with this for years.  But if you want the cold numbers ... one man in ten dies in training usually to their own mistakes.  One in fifty succumbs to the madness within their first couple of weeks.  That number only gets larger as you stay here longer."

 

Arath shook his head.  "See?  Best not to dwell on it.  If you wake up sane, or if you wake up at all, it's a good day."

 

Ushering the man out the doors, the Attack Leader showed him where he would need to go.  "The soldier Barracks are to the north.  There are six of them there, big long buildings.  You will be in the eastern most one.  You can take any belongings you have their and claim a bed.  The other soldiers there will help you get acquainted with the tower grounds.  To the east," Arath pointed to the large field where men were hard at work with sword and Saidin, "are the training grounds.  You'll be spending a lot of time there."

 

The grand tour didn't take that long to finish.  It took a couple of days for newcomers to get their bearings anyway, so Arath usually let them explore for themselves.  After pointing out a few more vital facilities Arath turned the new soldier loose.  "You have an hour or so until your first lesson.  You will meet at the south end of the training grounds with any other new recruits and you will learn how to touch Saidin.  You're free to do what you wish until then.  Get your things squared away, get something to eat ... whatever.  Any questions before I let you go?"

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"It's best not to dwell on that.  I've seen some men go mad from their first brush with Saidin, and others that have lived with this for years.  But if you want the cold numbers ... one man in ten dies in training usually to their own mistakes.  One in fifty succumbs to the madness within their first couple of weeks.  That number only gets larger as you stay here longer." The Attack Leader shook his head in resignation. "See?  Best not to dwell on it.  If you wake up sane, or if you wake up at all, it's a good day." The Attack Leader said as he showed Toram where he would be living.

 

"No more questions sir," Toram responded. After The Attack Leader left him Toram went to put his things away.

 

He looked at his sleeping quarters noticing that the new recruits didn't have much in the way of comfort. A bed, a chest for his things, a washstand with a small mirror, and a small wardrobe. Good thing i don't plan on having too many things, he thought. After he had put his meager possesions away he introduced himself to the few soldiers that were around, then proceded to go and get something to eat.

 

After about an hour he went to the south end of the training grounds as he was told to do, and watched the others practicing various weapon forms and One Power things. Hopefully someone will be along shortly, he thought.

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