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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Weakness and Strength {Attn: Rurak and Gang}


TaiDashan
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OOC: Really don't know much about the band, figure we can get it started and go from there.

 

IC:

 

Tai quickly scanned his room at the Black Tower. He made sure he had not missed anything. Grinning he stuffed an extra coat into his bag he slung it over his shoulder.Checking his belt pouch to make sure it was there, he strode down the hallway whistling a soft tune.

 

He was going to leave the Tower for the first time in the year since coming here. Tai hadn't been told much other than he was headed to a group called the Band of the Red Hand. He was to accompany two Asha'man on their trip there. They were a force somehow related to the Dragon as they were, although how was never explained, and the Asha'man were to be stationed there for a short time due to some alliance.

 

He wandered out the kitchen door and walked backwards looking at the house for a moment before continuing on normally.

 

Here I am, running around like a little kid excited to go to Feast Day!

 

He chuckled to himself as he gazed at the cold blue sky above. There were few clouds this morning and the pale sun shed no real warmth. His breath misted in front of him but he did not feel the cold. Arath had taught him that trick at his request, after they had built Faringal Manor as it was fondly referred to by its occupants. His sword was belted at this waist, silver worked vines climbing hilt and scabbard.

 

Approaching the Traveling Grounds, Tai suddenly felt a stab of apprehension run through his excitement. He had not left the Farm in a year or more. His grin faltered and he slowed his walk. One of the Asha'man turned and noticed him with a wave.

 

"Too late to turn back now." he grumbled to himself. He returned his walk to a brisk pace.

 

Walking up to the men, one hand on the strap of his bag he grinned his best grin and thrust his hand out. He had never met the men before. Not surprising with how much training he had been doing on his own lately.

 

"My name is Tai, and I guess you are the two I am going with." One was of a height with Tai, Ched by name, and gripped his hand warmly. The other man was shorter and had a darker complexion. Tai's grin flickered as the man took his hand. He had a look in his eye that set the hair on the back of Tai's neck on end. Hastily retracting his hand he turned to Ched.

 

"So when do we leave?" He asked the man.

 

The man answered by turning to look at the silvery line that rotated into a view. Tai got a view of some low hills with a copse of trees nearby before they stepped through. There was a breeze here. Tai closed his eyes for a moment.

 

Let this be as much as an adventure as I hope! He thought silently.

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OOC: All right, I'll assemble the group and then we'll head out to pick you guys up. Basically we'll have Rurak planning to incorporate the Black Tower into the training exercise after they meet, but as they approach the meeting place, things go bad and the Band has to truly intervene. Just sit tight until I get everyone assembled and on their way I guess.

 

IC: Rurak lounged at his ease near the band's great iron gates to the citadel, his chin resting on the end of his longbow. Today he was planning to take a mixed party out for some small group training exercises. He had selected some regular soldiers to help augment his group of trainees that was going to be coming. He had invited some of those he had trained in archery to come. So far he knew that Saira was coming, and also Shaylor the medic should be coming as well. He didn't know if any of the others would be. At his sides already at their ease were a couple of infantry regulars, and also another medic as well as scouts to make sure the others would have some experience to draw on for the training exercise. The cavalry were being left behind on this one. These woods didn't lend to Cavalry charges and the idea behind this training exercise was the principle of getting cut off from a section of the army and having to operate on their own in small groups. Well, the new soldiers would come excited, it wasn't too often that soldiers got to wander out of the citadel for very long.

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OOC: Sounds good, I will just cool my heels here. Take in the sights etc.  ;D

 

IC:

Tai opened his eyes and turned to Ched.

 

"So now what?" He asked. He hoped the man would be a little more talkative than he had been so far. The other man made him nervous and Tai didn't even know his name. Come to think of it, he didn't really care to.

 

"Now," Ched said, his voice low and pleasantly gravelly. "we just relax. Orders where to meet up with a group of soldiers from the Band. Got told we would be given orders from there." He grinned then, wide and friendly. "And you are to come along for the ride. From what I hear, you aren't too far from being full rank and stationed out here yourself!"

 

The man clapped Tai on the shoulder in a friendly manner but his grin died as he saw the other man standing a ways off, staring over the hills. Tai glanced at the man uneasily. The man made him uncomfortable but he couldn't quite put his finger on why. The look in the man's eyes had made him uneasy, but that couldn't be all of it. Tai's brow drew down lightly as he puzzled.

 

"Hey Dantar," Started Ched. The man seemed to be on the point of saying more but just shook his head sadly. Instead, he turned to Tai and lowered his voice. "Bloody man hasn't quite been himself lately. We came to the tower about the same time you know." His voice stayed low but he turned to look at Dantar again. "He used to laugh, he used to flaming laugh all the time. Now he just mumbles to himself and hardly says a word to me. Wont share a drink at the inn with me, just stays in his bloody room." Ched shook his head again. Breaking out of his reverie he clapped Tai on the shoulder again. "Be that as it may, feels good to get away from the Farm doesn't it?"

 

Tai hesitated staring after Dantar before idly answering.

 

"Yes, yes it does." That had been what had bothered the man. He just seemed...odd. Being odd didn't make the man dangerous, but Tai felt as though he had been stuck in a sack with a bloodsnake.

 

Shrugging uncomfortably he walked over to the copse of leatherleaf and sat down as Ched walked over to Dantar and began speaking to him in low tones. Tai sat and leaned his back against the bole of the tree. Looking to his right he noticed there was a small road leading past where they were. Dantar didn't seem to notice or care. He didn't seem to notice much of anything but the hills he was gazing out over. Tai sighed and turned his gaze back to the road. If the men they were waiting for where coming, that would be the way they would do it. Pulling a long piece of grass out of the ground and chewing on it, he settled down to wait crossing his legs at the ankles out in front of him.

 

Some exciting adventure this was turning out to be! He thought, stifling a yawn.

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OOC: Brining along my Horse so we can get Rurak back to the tower fast!

 

IC:

Shaylor looked in the mirror, one last time, before deciding she looked perfect.  Her breeches fit perfectly around her hips and the boots were not as big and bulky as her old ones had been.  The shirt she wore was loose on her figure and she felt comfortable and not so naked as she had at first.  Grabbing her sword and placing it on her waist, she eyed her new bow and arrows.  Since Rurak would be there, it would probably be best if she took them along.

 

Making sure that her hair was back in a perfect long braid, she grabbed the Bow and Quiver, along with the medic bag that Cameron had given her, and set out towards the stables.  Since she was taking the medic bag with her, she had decided it would be a good idea to take Cubiyar with her.  And besides, her darling horse did need a good walk outside of the walls.

 

Finding that her heart was Saddled and ready, she placed the Quiver of arrows, Bow, and Medic bag all on the horse and walked her slowly to the front gates.  There was Rurak, standing at ease, waiting for the others.  He had a slight smile as she walked up, and Shaylor nodded her head, half in respect, half in greeting.  Donning a smile, she said, "Good Morning, Rurak.  I hope you don't mind, but I decided my horse could use a nice walk and I am hoping to pick some herbs while we are out of the walls.  I cant exactly carry that back, so having her saddlebags will be useful."

 

Shaylor

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Saira was feeling a bit nervous, though she found it hard to put her finger on why she was feeling nervous. Sure, she had never been on a training exercise that took her out of the Citadel, but some of the other training exercises she had had generally tended to include more people than this one so it wasn't like they were having a full scale manoever or something.

 

Trying to shake it off, she picked up her two shortswords as well as the bow Rurak had picked out for her. Given that he'd be in charge of the exercise today, she didn't doubt she'd be ending up shooting a couple of arrows given half the chance. Not that she was against archery practise, but she couldn't help but wonder sometimes about just how much fletching all those arrows would cost the Band on a monthly basis. Even if they did make their own.

 

Taking a deep breath, she made her way to the field where she needed to gather, waving at Rurak as he spotted her. She got closer, looking at the others to see who she recognised and who just looked familiar, before almost jumping to the side like a cat as her ears picked up the trod of a horse. Walking off to chat with someone conveniently located a good distance away from Shaylor and Rurak, she would occasionally glance towards them to see if it would have gone away before she'd go and report to Rurak.

 

 

Saira

Equinophobic

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OOC: HAHA @ Saira... equinophobic :D Just stirring the pot here, things wont get too crazy until you guys are ready to start heading over.

 

IC:

 

Staring out over the road Tai thought about the other night. He had healed Michelle's arm, and that had opened a whole new range of possibilities. Arath hadn't been able to be much help in that arena when asked. He told Tai that he wasn't very skilled in that and that he should ask another instructor. Being shown the weaves had been fairly simple, others had struggled now that he recalled. Did he like healing? Healing was noble wasn't it?

 

~Healing?~ Snarled the voice contemptuously, interrupting the thoughts in his head. ~A skill for weak cowards who wish to hide behind the front line without risking their necks!~

 

"Oh shut up!" Tai mumbled angrily.

 

Suddenly Tai realized that the two men were speaking heatedly. Dantar waving his hands wildly as he spoke, Ched plainly insistent. Tai could only catch a word here and there on the breeze but he men were obviously not happy. Tai edged closer not wanting to join the conversation but hoping to help somehow.

 

"Treacherous fool!" spat Dantar. His voice was unpleasantly high pitched for such a big man. "You betray the Dragon and the Tower!"

 

Tai's eyebrows rose as he heard the accusation. He liked Ched, but that did not mean that he knew everything. What if Dantar knew something he didn't? Wide eyed and indignant Ched spluttered in response to the accusation.

 

"W-why that is ridiculous!" Ched was clearly upset. "We both had orders you know that. Blood and bloody flaming ashes Dantar, you were with me as we got them! And Flaming surprise that you were, you never come out of the bloody house anymore!"

 

Dantar grinned a dangerous grin and snarled back at the man.

 

"It was all planned, I will not be a fool. The Shadow take you for a fool if you think i will allow you to deceive me! You wish to destroy us all!" Howled the man.

 

Suddenly he realized both men had seized Saidin. Out here alone with two full Asha'man, and they were going to try to kill one another. Tai's blood ran like ice. Ducking into the trees he seized Saidin and tried to puzzle out how best to do his duty. Luckily neither of them had channeled and were simply holding Saidin. Dantar had that crazed look in his eye he had seen before at the Farm. He was raving about wild accusations, it all stank of madness. Tai felt a stab of pity for the man. He was a fellow Guardian. It just wasn't fair! Tai prepared and discarded multiple weaves. He was not good enough at shielding to stop the men from channeling, and he still wasn't sure which side to take as far as offensive weaves were concerned. Dantar seemed to have gone mad but what if he was not? He didn't know either one well enough to say what they were like. Light, these were full Asha'man! Tai watched uneasily, mind racing. Luckily, for the moment, the two men seemed to have forgotten everything but their argument.

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OOC: Okay, once everyone's posted that we're traveling, go ahead and post the ashies going crazy tai, then whoever posts first after that can post about hearing the explosions off in the distance and seeing fire over the trees or something like that. Have fun everyone!

 

Rurak watched as the two recruits approached. Shaylor was of course a lot more forward and outgoing, walking straight up to him to report. Eyeing her apparel as she talked, Rurak nodded to himself. She had come well prepared, weapons, bows, medkit,  even a horse. Nobody else had thought to bring a horse. He hadn't exactly set specifications on what could and couldn't be brought, but that had been done to help people learn by experience what they would need in situations like these. The medic bag would be useful for the exercise...well, for the practice exercise at least. Don't want to jinx things by thinking bad thoughts like that. From his cursory glance the bow looked well cared for, as did her clothes, her hair, and pretty much everything about her. Well things probably wouldn't remain that way for long.

 

"Your horse is welcome here. Good thinking on bringing it. You look well prepared." As Rurak was saying that though, his thoughts were distracted as he watched Saira. She had starting to approach him earlier, but for some reason she was being uncharacteristically shy right now. Not that she wasn't normally a little shy, but right now a little more so than usual. "Wait here, I've got to round everyone up."

 

Stepping away from Shaylor Rurak headed to Saira. Not wanting to make things awkward he chose to comment on her bow to break the ice. "I'm glad you brought that bow. You'll be needing that today, but more important than that, you'll be needing to think. I'm glad you brought other weapons as well. Better to be prepared. Now, I think that's just about everyone."

 

Stepping back to the front of the group Rurak addressed everyone. "All right everyone, this little exercise is supposed to simulate small group maneuvers, such as if you were cut off from the main army in a battle and are left with a mixed group. Here, we have scouts, cavalry, archers, and even a couple of medics, though hopefully we'll only be using them on fake wounds today. Now, there's a little surprise waiting for us a couple of miles out over against the mountains of mist, so we'll fall out for now. Scouts, I want you out front, give me recon, but stay close enough to be back within 5 minutes. Saira, I want you on the left flank. Keep your bow up and your eyes open, from these gates out, it's a potentially combat situation...but please, if you startle some other band scouts by some stroke of luck, don't shoot them, though I think they'd rather be shot than admit to the other scouts they had been caught by some recruits." Rurak said with a grin. "Shaylor, you're in the center of the formation, medics are too valuable to waste on attack. If you hear someone go down, then go help, but not until then or on orders. I'll be taking the right flank. Ready?" With that, he gave the motion for everyone to move, and bow in hand, took the right flank, watching the surrounding area. Hopefully the surprise he had waiting for everyone wouldn't be too much trouble for the recruits. They'd get over it though.

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OOC: ...What? It's still an existing trauma. ;)

 

IC:

 

Saira watched Rurak approach, thankfully leaving the rider where she had stopped to speak to him earlier. She bit her lip nervously, not really knowing what to say should Rurak bring up her sudden change of mood. Thankfully, he didn't, and instead chose to comment on the good idea she had had by bringing along weapons suited for both close and ranged combat. Though she didn't really know what he had meant with 'her needing to think', she was nevertheless grateful for the compliment as sh listened to what Rurak had planned out for everyone.

 

As he walked away, Saira looked to see what position he chose for himself on his right flank. It seemed he stuck to the front of 'his' flank, and she copied the positioning on her own left flank. Bows at the ready, the small group of assorted Banders moved out, and Saira scanned the countryside like never before if only to forget about the rider located at the heart of their formation. The scouts spread out in front of their group as they started to scout ahead, but she was trying to keep them in sight if even to practise her own skill in spotting potential threats.

 

Still, there was a tickling between her shoulder blades, giving her an uneasy feeling that something was about to go wrong. She had had it since this morning, and it hadn't gone away yet, but she was blaming it on having a horse too close to her -- as in, within visible range close. After a deep sigh, she focused her attention on the terrain again, trying to spot the scouts spotting her in turn.

 

 

Saira

Female intuition beats any Talent :)

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OOC: Mmmk We can just prolong the argument for one more post, maybe let Tai get involved. Would hate to have a scout tell you there were two ashies and then find me hidden in the trees during all the craziness... In battle surprises get you killed.  :-\

 

Tai watched from under a thick branch of the leatherleaf as the two men began shouting at one another.

 

~Kill them both you fool! They will go mad and kill you!~ Crowed the voice in his head. ~Kill them! Kill them NOW! Quickly, quickly before they realize you are missing, strike unseen from the shadows and KILL THEM!~ It howled.

 

Shut up, Light! Shut. Up! He thought desperately at the voice.

 

Now was not a time to be worried about his own madness let alone what it was saying to him. One of the men, Dantar, had drawn steel and was waving it dangerously at Ched. In a flash Ched had his blade out and the two were dancing the forms.

 

Tai thought fervently, maybe if one went down he could heal them. No that was not practical, the two were blind with rage. They would just as soon kill him too. Plus, healing was new to him at best. He could try to distract them calm them down but- Tai frowned. This was not a good situation. Tai had spent about a year at the farm, had seen men die. He had seen men go crazy and be carted off after dying from a poisoned goblet of wine.

 

Light! He had even seen men hanged as deserters and traitors, but this? THIS?! He had never seen two Asha'man dueling one another other than practice. Everything had been theoretical up until this point. Battles always had happened away from the Farm, or when Tai was not around to witness them. Now two male channelers had taken it into there goat-brained heads to flaming try to bloody kill one another! Tai realized that anger floated outside the Void. Rage burning white hot in its fury. These were two men, sworn to the Dragon, sworn to be Guardians of All, and here they stood about to kill one another. Madness or no, Tai was furious at them.

 

The life of Saidin, howled along his veins. The taint filling his mouth with its foul taste. Filling himself near to bursting with Saidin, Tai stepped out of the trees as the two men danced. Holding this much Saidin came close to pain and he felt tears leaking down his cheeks as if it were someone else's face. He would do what he must.

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OOC: Last Chance to join in people!!!  Sorry, didn't realise it was my turn to post!  I am scared of horses IRL :D

 

"Your horse is welcome here. Good thinking on bringing it. You look well prepared." Shaylor smiled, glowing from his praise.  She watched as he walked off to meet the rest of the group.  There was quite a few people out here that she had never seen before, but she was ready for anything.  After a while, it seemed like the group was complete, and Rurak had them heading out towards the Mountains.  Staying towards the back with a few other Medics, she rode her horse slowly, watching everyone.

 

It was all rather boring, and Rurak was yelling out orders, but Shaylor was just enjoying the nice fresh air.  Every few minutes she would fall really far back, then let her horse gallop a bit to catch back up and stretch her legs.  Light, she would have to let her horse out more often, as she was rather antsy out here.  Wait, this was far beyond normal.  Something was wrong.

 

"Uhh... Rurak?" She said, calling out to the Sergeant.  His head had hardly turned back to look at her before Cuebiyar reared up, startled by something.  She tried to settle the poor beast, but it was frightened to death.  The Sergeant came running up and grabbed the reigns, trying with Shaylor to calm down the magnificent beauty.  "Something is seriously wrong," she said, hanging on and soothing at the same time.  "We should turn back."

 

Shaylor

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OOC: Woot! *runs off to go get crazy* ;D

 

IC:

 

Tai stepped out of the trees as Dantar thrust his fist to the ground beneath his feet. The earth heaved, ripples surging outward as if some giant hand had dropped a boulder in a lake. Ched was flung away and thrown to the ground before he could react. Scrambling to his feet he wove fire, hurling fireballs at Dantar. Ched channeled and bolts of silvery blue lightning arced wildly, tearing rivets into the ground around Dantar.

 

Dantar wove Earth and a 4 foot thick wall of stone shot up to meet the fireballs, barely shielding the man in time. Lightning stabbed at him from a clear sky and he dove from the shelter of his wall, his clothes smoking from the heat.

 

Light! Tai thought wildly. He could see the two men attempting to shield one another every opportunity they had. Dantar was grinning, grinning! The man shook with silent maniacal laughter as he wove razor sharp threads of Air attempting to slice the man in half.

 

Ched sliced his weaves and gusted wind back at the man, blowing dust into his face. To cover his momentary blindness, Dantar wove Earth on a massive scale pulling a handful of boulders bigger than either man up to dot the field between them. Lighting split the ground randomly now, neither men could see each other but they were both throwing lighting at whatever channeled. From his vantage point Tai could see Dantar crouched behind one of the boulders. Just as he spotted Tai, the boulder exploded, showering pieces of stone and sending the man flying to land face first in the dirt.

 

Rolling to his back almost as if he had not been wounded he channeled and the earth erupted near Ched, fountaining grass and earth high into the air with a deafening roar. Tai saw Ched limp around a boulder into view and watched as 3 more fountains of earth ripped the ground close the the man. Ched pulled deeply on Saidin and wove an interesting weave of Fire, Air and Spirit that sent a spiraling column of flame boring through the rocks, melting them where they touched, and straight for Dantar. Dantar pushed up on his elbows and wove a shield of air laced with water and spirit to protect him from the inferno. Before the column could spend itself Tai watched in horror as Dantar wove  minute threads of razor sharp Air and sent it flying up the column in return. Hidden by the flames, It was too late by the time Ched saw the nasty weave. He did not even have time to slice the weave before the flows of Air took him from face to knee, neatly slicing the man into hundreds of pieces.

 

Tai, looked at Dantar in a near panic. Dantar's full attention had been focused on him and the man was very obviously mad. Licking his lips, the man pulled himself unsteadily to his feet.

 

KILL HIM! Screamed the voice, and Dantar grinned unpleasantly.

 

OOC: You guys can show up or just let me play with him for a bit before stepping in  ;D

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OOC: Guess I'm Playing with him for a bit.  :D

 

IC:

For once the voice had the right of it. He was going to have to destroy Dantar or he would hurt more than just Tai. Weaving Air, Tai drew shards of stone to Dantar like a lodestone. Dantar channeled air and fire in a circular wall around himself that incinerated the stone shards on contact. As Tai was wondering which weave to use to get past that, the Earth erupted with a roar to his right flinging him to the ground to roll to his feet. Tai grimly wove Air, Fire, and Spirit, with a thread of Water, and Lightning arced to the ground. Dantar was thrown to the ground as he released his weave of Fire.

 

The ground opened up beneath Tai and Fireballs streaked through the air where his head had been moments before. Tai channeled without thinking and a platform of Air halted his descent moments before he was impaled on thick stone spikes. Weaving Earth, Tai cut steps to the surface and looked around warily for Dantar. The man was preparing a particularly nasty weave to launch at him but had not completed it yet.

 

Too slow, you goat-brained, Light-blasted... The oaths continued in his head as Tai sliced the man's weave neatly. Quickly bringing his hands together in front of him, palms out, Tai funneled Fire, Air, and Spirit into a thigh thick bar of spiraling flame. Bending at the elbows he shifted his arms back and thrust them out again, launching the weave at the man. Pushing with Spirit, the Flame spiraled outward hot enough that Tai's throat constricted, and seared a furrow into the ground. A small tree burst into flame as the spiral streaked past. Dantar rolled to the side and Tai shifted his hands, following the man's movements and destroying a swath in its path.

 

Remembering the weave the man had used to counter Ched's Tai cut off the spiral and wove Earth. A wall of Stone rose as Tai flattened himself against the ground. The Stone showered down onto him as Dantar's weave shredded it. Suddenly the ground was heaving as Tai tried to get to his feet. Weaving Earth would be useless as that was his weakest element. Deciding not to try to stabilize the ground beneath him, Tai rolled over and over until he touched grass. He was not doing so well, just barely surviving and he was tiring. He was willing to bet that Dantar was as well but Tai was not willing to bet his life on that fact.

 

Light save me i wanted an adventure. He thought grimly. If something didn't change soon, he was not sure he was going to last much longer.

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Things were going Well. The recruits seemed to be doing well, learning from those experienced people placed into the group. Rurak noticed Saira glancing over and copying his search pattern and positioning. Smiling to himself, he kept a sharp eye out. They wouldn't be to where the excitement was for a few minutes, but it never hurt to be careful with Asha'man.

 

For some reason he heard a soft call from the back. It was Shaylor, turning, he was startled to find that her horse was suddenly spooked by something out there. It took some time to calm it down. "Something is Seriously wrong, we should turn back." Maybe the horse was afraid of the Asha'man? Well, he couldn't fault the animal for that. Most men were afraid. Just as he was about to reassure Shaylor that it was nothing, the forest up ahead a little ways erupted in a loud explosion and a column of fire. Lightning was stabbing out of a clear sky, and the earth was heaving. The Asha'man were definitely NOT doing things according to plan, something was as Shalyor had said, seriously wrong.

 

"All right Banders!" Rurak said bellowing to be heard. "This is not a drill, repeat, this is not a drill. We have Asha'man up ahead, and we're not sure what's going on. Maybe someone attacked them and they're in a battle, or maybe they've all just gone crazy, who knows, but we need to find out and neutralize this threat if possible before it gets to the Citadel. Saira, keep on that flank again. Infantry, spread it out, some on the left, center and the right. I'll be in the center myself. Medics, this might get a little hairy. The One Power is clearly being used so do all you can to keep from being seen. If you're seen, you're as good as dead unless we can take out whoever is out there. This is simple recon right now though, we don't know what's going on out there so figure it out. Only use force in defense of your life, otherwise stay hidden or run. Whoever gets a good read on what's going on report to me."

 

There was another reason he was taking the Center. The Center was one of the most dangerous positions at times, and would probably be so here. He wanted the recruits protected, most of them might not have even seen a real battle situation yet. Besides, given a chance he might be able to take whoever it was down with his bow before anything could happen. Even though they had a lot of power, an unseen arrow would still take Aes Sedai or Asha'man down.

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Arutha watched from the shelter of a large rock, almost a boulder even, as the two Asha’man threw the One Power at each other.  He had not witnessed much in the way of the power but it was certainly quite the spectacle.  Huge mounds of earth heaved under their feet and spikes of rock and fire launched at each other like enormous arrows.  He recalled watching in horror as the one man had been sliced to ribbons by the other man’s use of the power.  The victor had turned his attention to the other man who had been left unnoticed during the first fight. 

 

How had this happened, Arutha thought to himself, this was supposed to be a training exercise.  Rurark said this was going to be a training exercise.  Now there’s a dead guy and two other guys trying to kill each other with the power!  Light what did I do to deserve this?  Rurark had sent him out to be the forward scout when they had left the Citadel that morning.  It was an honor to be granted the position of forward scout, even if this was simply a training evolution.  It showed that his commander trusted him to collect information and give an accurate report of what he had seen, all without being noticed by the enemy.  Arutha took pride in his ability to get dangerously close to an enemy target without revealing himself.  I guess I was a better hunter than I thought, he thought to himself.  But it won’t do me any good if I get myself killed by two bloody Asha’man.  Light Rurark this was supposed to be a training evolution. 

 

The men were still at it.  The one with the crazy eyes, the one that had successfully shredded the other power wielder, seemed to have the advantage.  He had the young man on the defensive and it looked like this would end soon.  He still wanted nothing more than to get out of the area before crazy eyes killed the second man and discovered he was being watched by a lowly scout with nothing but a long bow and a slew of daggers hidden about his person. 

 

Arutha took one last furtive glance at the two men and turned, rushing headlong down the hill, bounding over rocks and fallen logs to reach Rurark and the rest of group before they reached the hill where the men were attempting to annihilate each other.  After about five minutes of running and jumping he caught site of Rurark leading the column of trainees and waved his red armband in the air so they would recognize him.  He skidded to a halt in from of Rurark, popped to attention and saluted with a fist over his heart.  “Forward Scout Arutha al’Cartair reporting Sir”

 

“Make your report,” Rurark said briefly

 

“Sir the one Asha’man is dead, sliced to ribbons by his comrade.  And the other two are attempting to kill each other on the other side of the near hill to the north.  Blood and bloody ashes sir, what the light is going on? I thought this was supposed to be a training evolution!”

 

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Tai fingered the burn in his sleeve as he crouched behind one of the fallen trees. Dantar had almost hit him with a fireball and only quick thinking had saved him from a hole in his chest much less a burned arm. After that Tai had almost thought he had seen a flash of- Tai frowned. No, he was being paranoid. That really no longer mattered anyway. Dantar had long since shattered what had quickly become a battlefield a long time ago. Long after he had thought he had seen...whatever it was he thought he had seen. This was leading him in circles and getting him nowhere.

 

Light this was supposed to be an exciting trip to the Band to meet some of its members and relax! He thought angrily.

 

~You wanted adventure.~ Murmured the voice darkly in the back of his mind.

 

Not this, never this. I simply wanted to be away from the farm for once, off meeting new people that don't only think of killing one another and the Taint!

 

~You are scared boy. Admit it, the first battle you have seen and you crouch here like a coward! A sniveling, coward. A worthless wretch not worthy to-~ Tai shoved the voice angrily out of his head. It was right. Dantar was about as strong as he was. He had been puzzling what had kept the man the upper hand. There it was, spoken by the darker half of him. Borne of the Taint and everything that was vile about him distilled and given life by the madness the Dark One had put upon them all. Fear. Fear was what had him by the throat and gave the man the advantage, seconds lost in paralyzing fear.

 

Hatred boiled outside the Void. Hatred for the voice. For the taint, for Dantar, for his efforts to kill him. Hatred for the Dark One and all borne of the Shadow. Red laced the outside of the Void and Tai's breathing came faster, through clenched teeth. Silently,unknowingly, he snarled.

 

I am no easy meat.

 

Rising from the crouch, he wove Air and Fire. The other man had to know what the Flame Aura was, but seeing someone apparently on fire had to be a psychological strain, even if you were crazy. As the Power wreathed his form in flames. He felt the other man channel. Tai had known his channeling was all Dantar had been waiting for, and he was ready for him to strike. Feeling the man weaving Lightning Tai wove Fire, Air, and Water, grounding his shield as the bolt struck a hammer blow above him. The sound hammered at him like being trapped in a small room with thunder. Before the sound had faded Tai had struck with his own bolt. The other man had given himself away as well.

 

The ground was a ruined mass of stone and fallen trees. The very ground had been sent heaving towards the sky in great mounds, tearing the once gentle hills into monsters rising three paces or more in some places. The broken land was hard to maneuver in places. Dantar was out of sight for the moment and Tai strode through a low hollow, sweeping around the curve of a hill. Weaving small amounts of Fire, Air, and Earth, Tai braided them into Flame Arrows. Capable of piercing armor and walls. He held the two at the ready and grinned. He would not be held back by fear anymore. Distantly in the back of his mind, he heard the voice cackle wildly.

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Right after having issued orders, Rurak noticed one of his advanced scouts returning. Light, it was Arutha! He would have said some things but every second was important when the one power was involved. "Report" Rurak barked. The man's words sent a chill down his spine. It was everything that he had feared. An Asha'man gone crazy, and what was worse, the sane one looked like he was losing. Light, this was a tricky situation...and he was the commander in charge who would have to make the call. These men and women were depending on him. He looked around at the group. It was a fine bunch, but they weren't ready...however, the rest of the band was depending on his decision here as well. With the Asha'man distracted in battle the band might have a chance of taking him down...or the band could provide distraction for the other Asha'man. However, an Asha'man with no distractions let loose in the citadel...well that could be bad.

 

"His decision made, Rurak gave orders. "All right, deploy as ordered, Arutha, you can shore up that right flank over there, try and take the crazy one down, but don't expose yourself. Stay low, this is going to get real dangerous, real fast. If you feel like you're being targeted, don't do anything stupid, run, find cover, something to that effect. there's nothing you can do against the one power. Our job here is to use the distraction provided by the Asha'man battle to take down the crazy one. If that doesn't work, at least us attacking him might buy our other friend some time to finish the crazy one off." Rurak hoped that he wouldn't lose anyone under his command today, not if he could help it. This whole situation was his fault for daring to train with the Asha'man and he was going to handle it one way or another.

 

OOC: Okay, banders, go ahead and post about you sneaking up, seeing the battle and trying to attack the Asha'man (most likely with arrows) key part being trying, Tai is going to be the one taking the Ashie down. Tai, once all the  banders have posted go ahead and target saira with a fireball by the crazy or something like that, I'll take it from there and get burned, then you can wrap things up.

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The hair on Saira's neck stood on end at hearing explosions in the distance. Training exercise or not, Rurak sure was pulling out the stops to make this as real as it could be. Still, she became increasingly worried after hearing the sound come from one direction rather than several, and it took one of the archers behind her bumping into her to snap her out of the trance in which she had gazed at the lightnings stabbing down, her mind racing to fathom what was going on there -- and how she was supposed to survive being in it.

 

"All right Banders! This is not a drill, repeat, this is not a drill."

 

Oh Light, it was real. Burn me, but it was real. She could almost feel the blood flow through her body, which wasn't very surprising at the rate her heart was trying to beat out of her chest. At least it was beating though, and she intended to keep it that way. While ordered to remain on the flank however, she ran back to Rurak, eyes set on the ground before her as she tried very hard to ignore the explosions, or the flashes of light, and especially the horse next to Rurak. If that Asha'man reached the Citadel, there wouldn't be a Band to liberate the Borderlands with!

 

- "Sir? I'd like to volunteer to move ahead and shoot a couple of arrows to lead him after me into the forest. I-i can remain unseen, just shoot at their approximate location, and the Band has a chance to take him down by circling out behind him."

 

She was so nervous she was almost crying when she told Rurak of her plan. Her mind was screaming furiously at her at what in the Dark One's name she was thinking -- which was ironic if she'd have the time to think about it -- but if their group would be spotted it'd only spell disaster for everyone. She knew the Asha'men would have to be led away, but be it stress or something else, she honestly couldn't think of forcing another to put themselves at such a risk. Thus, she needed to volunteer herself. She needed to be strong.

 

 

Saira

Hopefully not going insane as well

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At one moment, Shaylor was trying to calm down her horse.  Rurak was near her, confused and worried, when a loud noise came from in front of them.  She looked up from Cuebiyar to see smoke and fire rise above the tree line.  Rurak began shouting orders and Shaylor looked around, frantic.  She saw the other medic that had come with them dashing away, and Shaylor knew that now, the health of all of the soldiers was in her hands.  This was her time to shine... and hopefully not die.

 

Racing her horse fast, she ran to the nearest tree and slid off of the saddle, tieing Cuebiyar to the tree while soothing her.  She looked at the items with her, and decided that the bow and arrow was useless.  If this was channeling men they were dealing with, then all she could really do was try and help those hurt make it back to the citadel.  Her gladius, however, remained at her side as she grabbed the medic bag and threw it onto the ground.

 

"Ok, fire.  And channeling.  I need salv and bandages."   Thoughts rushed through her mind as she dug through the bag and talked to herself, searching for all she would need.  Finding a can of salv, she groaned, knowing it would be no where near enough.  Also finding bandages, she looked for the last few things - water and alcohol.  Water was at the bottom of the bag and she pulled it out, tossing it into the pouch that she had stuffed the salv and bandages into. A soldier was nearby, scared to death, and she saw him pull a flask from his  pocket.  Racing to him, she grabbed it and took a sniff.  Well, brandy wasn't the best, but it was better than nothing.  That went into the pack as well.

 

Her bag went back onto Cuebiyar and she looked up to hear another explosion.  Rushing forward into battle, she knew where she had to go and where the damage was being done- the center frontlines.  There at the front was Rurak, and she took a moment to watch him fight.  A scream knocked her back into reality, and Shaylor knew that it was now or never.

 

Shaylor

 

 

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Rurak heard Saira out. After all, it definitely took a lot to volunteer for something like htis. Unfortunately Saira definitely didn't have the skills needed to pull off this kind of mission. If anyone was going to do that kind of foolhardy thing, It would be himself, but it was definitely only going to be as a last resort. "I'm sorry Saira, I can't allow you to do that. Stick with me though, if he targets someone or if he targets me I'm going to need you to shoot him while he's doing that." It was a poor excuse really, Saira could shoot the person from anywhere, he just wanted her near him where he knew he could watch her and make sure she was taking the proper precautions.

 

Rurak flopped down on his belly and moved up. Peeking up over a small pile he could see the battle. Fire was flying everywhere, the very ground was rent in a number of places and lightning flowed so heavy his hair was standing on end. Unfortunately one soldier wasn't good enough at hiding and the crazy asha'man sent a fireball his way. The infantryman managed to duck behind a tree before the fireball hit, lighting up the tree. Another was clubbed to the ground by...something, he was unconcious but still breathing. Rurak would have taken the shot, but the asha'man had a clear line of sight towards his position. Hopefully someone else on the flanks would get a shot, the terrain didn't look like it would help them though.

 

OOC: If you want, you can have Saira disobey orders and be a decoy anyways, or you can have her do it on accident by just getting so scared she runs and gives away her position, just make sure somehow you give yourself away, then Tai can target you and the fun/craziness can begin.

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Saira didn't know whether to be sad or happy that Rurak had turned her offer down, but decided to just follow orders and stay with the officer anyway. Her bow at the ready, she flopped down on the ground, still trying to awkwardly keep an arrow half-nocked to save the time it would have taken to draw it from her quiver should she need to get a fast shot in. The nervousness she was feeling wasn't subsiding however, getting worse the more the signs of the One Power became present. Burned patches of ground, the air static with lightning... How was she, or anyone else for that matter, going to be a match for this?

 

On her left, a tree catching fire. On her right, a soldier falling by some unseen force, though still alive. From the placement of the attacks, she figured they were in a direct line of sight, and she pressed herself as flat to the ground as she could while trying to triangulate the Asha'man's position by looking at the angle at which the balls of fire and pieces of rock flew over the battlefield. She looked to her side, at Rurak, knowing he couldn't take a shot from where he was. And she did something she was going to kick herself in the backside for for weeks to come.

 

- "...Sorry, sir."

 

Rolling away from Rurak before he could grab her, she kept on roling until she ended up behind a tree. Knowing the Asha'man's current position helped a great deal in keeping out of sight, though it was still far from easy despite the treeline, even while remaining low. Thank the Creator for hooded cloaks. Eventually, she got to a position that was angled enough for her to allow herself to peek, and saw Tai not looking at her, instead focusing on another target near where Rurak was. Taking a deep breath, she picked up a rock from the ground, tucking it behind her belt as she re-nocked her arrow.

 

Calm... Relaxed... There is only the Void... She repeated it in her head like a mantra, drawing her arrow and releasing in what seemed like one fluid motion. She wasn't attacking a man. This was target practice. Just target practise, that's all. As soon as the bow left her arrow, she ducked behind the tree again, grabbing the rock to toss it into a bush away from where she was hiding. Let the madman believe she had ducked away to there, rather than follow her arrow back to the trees. She slid down to the base of the tree herself, keeping out of sight without looking to see if her arrow hit its mark. Even should it have missed, she would have forced his attention away from Rurak, and she hoped the man would be able to take advantage of it or she'd have more than weeds in her shirt to worry about...

 

 

Saira

At least there are no horses here..

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Tai had long since let the Flame Aura vanish as it did not seem to be doing any good. Tai ducked behind another piece of shattered rock as a flame arrow flew past. The ground shook as Dantar crouched, thrusting both palms into the earth. It was as if a bell had been struck and the earth flattened in a massive ripple around the man. Weaving Air he brought up a shield just in time to shield himself from the rock and debri that crashed forward, clearing a space around them. Hatred glittered in Dantar's eyes, but Tai did not see it. Below and to the left of the man crawled two soldiers.

 

Tai had seen some of the soldiers in the beginning, and feared they would attack him as well. Apparently they somehow knew the situation and were attempting to help battle the crazed Saidin wielder. He could only assume this was the party of Band members they were out here to meet.

 

Thank the Light for that. He thought to himself. Suddenly the hair on his neck rose and he wove without thinking, deflecting a lightning bolt. He had to keep the man's attention focused on him. Scooping to pick up a rock, Tai channeled a hair thin thread of Fire into it. Adding Spirit he focused and compressed the weave. Flinging a fireball from his left hand he rolled to the side and hurled the stone. Dantar caught it easily in a flow of Air. Slicing the weave, Tai grinned. As the stone exploded, dust rained down and pieces of stone flew out to pierce the man's cheek and left eye. In a rage, the man channeled. Flinging Earth and Fire about in generous quantities. A rough stone pillar shot from the ground to catch him under the chin just as he saw an arrow fly past the man, grazing his sleeve. Stars danced across his vision. He felt the man channel and his vision cleared in time to see  a wall of flame shooting towards the treeline.

 

That was the vague direction the arrow came from! He thought. Without thought, he channeled Spirit and felt the shield slide home, cutting the other man off from the Source while he was distracted. Dantar howled as Tai wrapped him in flows of Air. Tai sighed and straightened his dirty, torn uniform.

 

"You can come out now, if there are any of you left for me to thank." He called weakly. Light but he was exhausted. Glancing at the sun he realized they had been locked in a battle for survival for nearly two hours.

 

OOC: I can have Dantar break free, or one of you can put an arrow through him where he stands. Let me know if i need to edit for the burning thing. Tai is also a fledgling healer although he wont be of too much use as he is pretty wiped out.

 

Oh, and Happy Thanksgiving for those of you who celebrate!  ;D

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OOC: NO! Bad Ashie! No Healing!  Ok, in all seriousness, Shaylor is supposed to bandage up Rurak's hands to try and repair the damage, but not heal them up fully.  We figured, he wouldn't exactly trust an Ashie after THAT display.  I can help mend up your wounds as well, but not until after rushing Rurak back to the Citadel.  Anywho, I don't see where a good place for me is, so I am gonna post up until where the battle seems over.  Blade or Jehaine can post the fire at them.  BTW Tai, I am gonna yell at you on this character too.  YAY for verbal abuse on multiple personalities!

 

 

IC:

As Shaylor ran to the scream, her heart settled down.  She saw that no one was dead, but a few had burns on their arms and bodies from Light knows what. They all looked bewildered, as if they had no idea where was safe and where the battlefield was, and she had to admit that she had no idea where the battlefield was either.  Whoever these men were, they would get an earful from her when this was over and done with. 

 

"Come with me!" she yelled at the men that were bleeding and burnt.  They stared at her for a second, and she saw them move apart to show her what was on the ground behind him.  She gasped, seeing a soldier dead where a huge circle of fire had landed.  His face and body was completely burned, and she rushed forward to check his pulse.  The smell of burning flesh made her eyes wet and she flinched as she dropped the dead wrist, not feeling a single beat.

 

Taking a bandage from her sack, she opened it up wide and layed it over the soldier's face.  No man should lie like that.  After the battle, he would recieve a proper burial, but for now, she had to worry more about the living than the dead.  The soldiers followed her as she led them back behind the line, and began looking at the men, one at a time.  It seemed like days went by as she checked every soldier's burns.  None were too bad and would heal within a week or two.  Those she had mended went out to find more soldiers, to lead them back to her, and after a while, they were all taken care of.

 

A scream came from across the field, and Shaylor grabbed her bag, rushing back into the line of fire.  She knew this was dangerous, as she had been well protected back in the back with the other men, but she couldn't leave someone out here where they could be dieing or worse... already dead like the other man.  That image would be scarred in her mind forever, and she hoped to never see another body that badly burned.

 

Shaylor

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Rurak cursed out loud as Saira rolled away before he could catch her. The only problem was he couldn't go after her, plus this might lead to an opportunity. Staying low, Rurak rolled sideways til he was behind a tree where could half sit up. The problem with his bow was that it was much too large, it could only be fired standing up. Of course, no bow could be fired while you were lying down. Rurak peeked around the tree to check on Saira's position. She was in a good position, if she could just get the man to step out another step or so Rurak would have a good shot on the man. He pulled himself upright behind the tree and knocked an arrow to the string, holding it at the ready. Peeking around again, Rurak watched as she shot at the Asha'man. It was deflected of course, but now he had a shot and Saira seemed to be covering her tracks well, throwing a rock another direction to throw off the trail. He'd have to commend her for that. He had the arrow halfway drawn when he realized all her stealth wouldn't matter, there was a wall of flame coming right at her! He had a split second that seemed to stretch into eternity to decide his next course of action. He could take the shot she had bought him, but that would require sacrificing her life probably. On the other hand he could hope that the other asha'man might have gained some kind of advantage from this. It was a tough choice, he knew without a doubt he could take the Asha'man right here. He had seen to much carnage though...

 

Tossing down his bow, Rurak ran across the open ground. "Saira get down" Rurak shouted. It wasn't going to do any good, but suddenly Rurak spotted a shield as he ran, lying next to an unconcious soldier. Scooping it up on the fly, Rurak tackled Saira and dragged her behind the shield just as the wave of flame washed over them. The air heated and the fire burned quickly through wooden shield and was doing a number on his hands and lower arms before it went out. Bellowing in rage and pain, Rurak dropped what was left of the shield and writhed on the ground in agony. "Oh Light! Oh light, my arms!"

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Saira was crouched behind a tree for cover, making herself as small as possible to avoid getting caught in the crossfire. Though whether she would be lucky or unlucky that this didn't allow her to spot the wall of fire heading for her is debatable, but the fact remained she was expecting a fireball or one of those exploding rock thingies to come flying past her. Now, if only her plan wuld end up work--

 

"Saira get down!"

 

Surprised, she looked in the direction the sound was coming from, spotting Rurak as he came running towards her. Though she was racking her mind to come up with an explanation, all she could really think of was wonder what he was doing. Her distraction worked, save for a strange roaring sound it sounded a lot quieter in the clearing now. Why was he giving her position away? What was going on? What--?

 

She just looked at Rurak as he slammed into her, tackling her to the ground. As they rolled over the ground, making quite a bit of noise, she wondered whether he had gone mad, or she, or the both of them. She was about to ask a single question, Why?, but as her mouth started forming the word it was drowned out by the roar of fire that washed over them. The smell of burning and charred wood and the fire singeing her hair was enough to snap her out of it, and when the ringing in her ears died down again she could clearly hear Rurak crying out in pain next to her.

 

- "No. No, it wasn't supposed to go like this! You should have taken the shot, why didn't you just take the shot?"

 

Her words were soft, as if thinking out loud, though her manner and voice did little to hide the panic she was feeling as she tried to help Rurak. Every time she started however, she hesitated and stopped as she doubted what she was about to do would do him any good. She knew nothing of medicine, it was hard enough to just think! Shaylor would find her like this, desperately wanting to help but wondering what to do that wouldn't be making things any worse.

 

 

Saira

Umm... Is that skin coming loose? o.O

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Tai tied the flows holding Dantar, except his shield, and walked hurriedly over to the spot he heard the most commotion from. On his way over he sadly looked over the dead littering the field. There were so many.

 

~So much death. No one to hear the screams, screams that echo through the pattern.~ Tai shrugged off the voice as he approached through the trees. A man was lying on his back, his hands and arms burnt and blistered horribly. A couple of women crouched around him, one looked like a medic.

 

"I have some small ability with healing," he began. He didn't get to finish. As he took a step towards the man the medic exploded, shaking her finger under his nose. Tai was suddenly quite aware of Dantar pushing at the shield that held him from the Source. If he broke free... Tai was brought back to the scene in front of him and was surprised when he realized he had stepped back a few paces under the onslaught of the woman medic.

 

"Look, ok.." He said weakly spreading his hands. "No problem." Without letting her finish her tirade he turned on his heel and strode back to where Dantar was being held. The man was pushing hard at the shield and Tai could feel it bending. Horror streaked outside the Void and Tai's pace quickened. Dantar was still in the same position, hands pressed to his sides, but he grinned at Tai wickedly. He could feel the shield bulging outward and Tai was weak from the fight. Light he was strong! Panic threatened to shatter the Void, if he got free... Tai glanced back toward where the others were. Those lives were in his hands. Sweat beaded on his face from exertion.

 

~Do it boy! Kill him! Kill him now before he breaks free!~ The voice was right, a simple weave and.. Tai cut off that thought but another replaced it. Quickly he ran through the options in his head. He was quickly weakening, Dantar apparently still had enough strength to break through the shield and Tai could not hold out forever. The man was mad and a danger to himself and anyone who came in contact with him.  Tai could not remove the Source from the man's grasp forever except by-

 

Tai quickly sacrificed some of what he was putting into holding the shield into a tight spiral of Fire. Weaving it tighter with a flow of spirit he launched it at the mans head just as Dantar broke through the shield. The man's headless body fell to the ground as Tai turned and retched. He had never killed someone before.

 

~He would have killed you and the others!~ Crowed the voice triumphantly. ~Do what you must, weep for it later.~ The voice burst into fits of giggles and Tai wept.

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