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Approaching the Boss (Part Two - The Legend)

Covai Seriba

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Stepping through to the Stone of Tear, Covai still felt it wierd to open a gateway inside of a building. There were lamps lit in the small room they were in, and he could still see the light coming from the sun at the Black Tower coming through the open gateway, but there was something just odd about it. Perhaps it was the smaller room for error indoors. Running his fingers through his hair as he pushed the door to the main corridor open, Covai had to remind himself to focus on what was important.


The two Asha'man on guard outside released the source when they recognised the Storm Leader attire Covai wore. One of them looked familiar, but Covai couldn't say if he had met the other man before. Stepping out of the door way so the others could exit the room, Covai returned the salute he was given.


"Tell me Asha'man, is the Lord Dragon in Tear at the moment?"



OOC: Another chance to jump in here. If the new person can just take us to a waiting room/audience chamber to wait for the Dragon, I'll take it from there will my reply. Any extra new people can join us in the room (if they haven't already)

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Ikki stood on guard by the door. He didn't like this country much, but he was on duty for the Lord Dragon, so personal preferance had to be put aside. He heard footsteps coming down a corridor and both he and the other Asha'man with him embraced the Source. As the footsteps got closer, he saw that it was a Storm Leader with some Asha'man. He let the Source go in releif. He didn't want to battle. Once he was nearly thee, he recoginized it to be Storm Leader Covai. A small grin crossed his lips as he saluted his superior officer.


"Yes, Storm Leader, he is. I'll bring you to his waiting room and notify him immediately."


With a nod to his companion, he opened the door and led the troup down a few halls and then into a large room where they were to be held. "Please wait here." Ikki took off out the door they entered from and went to notify the Lord Dragon.


Ikkiliad sur Paendrag


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EDIT: Sorry but I removed the quote of my post you had at the start here, its still at the top of the page so there's no need to use the quote feature. If you want to recap something someone's posted, just tell it again from your character's point off Reference  ;) ~ Covai

OOC: Omfg...usually manage to do that...stupid me. >.<

Thanks for the correction.


IC: Simmen still felt far, far away.

He hadn't embraced the calm before the shot yet. But he felt as if he were in a dream. A nightmare, almost.

He was dragged along by Attack Leader Arath, to the open field. There, he found himself in a troupe of people. In the middle of them. When a gateway was opened to some place dark and black, blacker for the daylight shining bright in a crystal clear sky, yet somewhat warmer. He would have called it cold some other time, yet it was warm. Very warm.


The troupe pressed through the gateway, and Simmen was pressed in with it.


By the 13 times damned father, the Ladies and the Creator, what is this place?


It had to be inside. Inside somewhere. It was huge. Even with all the shadows dancing among the columns, the room spoke of heights and depths hidden behind the shadows.

Simmen felt as if he were pushed into a cave. A dark cave where some beast was lying in waiting. A wolf, maybe. A bear.


"Tell me Asha'man, is the Lord Dragon in Tear at the moment?"


Simmen just went along with the group of blackcoats, having no other choice. When he heard that, instead of fright and horror gripping him like a cold winter-night in the mountains, he grew calmer yet.

He reached the calm. And the light and warmth of the Power whispered into his ear, from somewhere behind his back. Whispers of power. Whispers of death. Whispers of madness.


But he resisted the urge to reach for that. Grab it. Grip it. He was none here. Nothing. Floating in the distance, far away from true thought, he watched impassively as they proceeded, through a doorway with two Asha'man standing guard, one of these Asha'man answering the question:

"Tell me Asha'man, is the Lord Dragon in Tear at the moment?"


"Yes, Storm Leader, he is. I'll bring you to his waiting room and notify him immediately."


Simmen let himself be brought along. He would meet the man he was sworn to now, then. A man that could channel. A man that claimed to be the Dragon born again into this world.


He was the Dragon. And Simmen was his servant, whether the man headed the world into the Father's Pit or cleansed it in his fires.


Ladies to watch, Creator to make, Dragon to cleanse, Father to break. Dragon to cleanse, Dragon to break.

An old rhyme, told in Horn's End since time immemorial. He let that flow through his mind, far off, far away. He was alone in the void. Alone among his kin.

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Tai blinked in the relative darkness as Storm Leader Covai released the Gateway and stepped through the door into the hallway. The two Asha'man standing guard released Saidin and one of them grinned in relief to see it was Covai. He must not have seen Covai's face. Tai thought dryly.


"Tell me Asha'man, is the Lord Dragon in Tear at the moment?"


"Yes, Storm Leader, he is. I'll bring you to his waiting room and notify him immediately." The grinning man answered.


As they wove through hallways Tai took it all in. He was in the stone of Tear. He had heard of it of course being from Mayene, but had never been close to it, let alone inside. On top of that they were going to meet the Dragon! Awe warred with Pride in his chest, causing some difficulty in breathing. He had dedicated himself the last year to honing himself as a weapon for the Dragon, never expecting to see the man that some thought the Creator made flesh. Tai wondered to himself silently at Covai's intentions. He obviously had not known if the Lord Dragon would be here. That gave his intentions a desperate quality. No, desperate would not fit Covai. More like determined. Almost absently, Tai noticed shapes slipping down hallways watching as if for attack.


The Asha'man from Earlier led them into a grand room. As grand as squat stone walls could be with tapestries and gilded chairs. For some strange reason there were a large amount of tasseled pillows and brightly patterned rugs on the floor as well. They looked strangely comfortable. Tai studied the Soldier that Arath had dragged along and wondered why he was here. It was rare for a Soldier to ever leave the Farm, especially one so new in his training. He shrugged in his coat. Arath was an Attack Leader as well as a friend and Tai trusted his judgment as both. Tai adjusted his coat and glanced at Sereth. The man was still grinning but it had a thoughtful quality to it as well. Likely he was taking it all in more than Tai was.


After standing around for a while, and a nod from Covai, he took a place not far from the center of the room, settling himself on some of the tasseled pillows. They were oddly comfortable but it took him a moment of awkwardness to decide how to sit. After attempting to slouch, laydown, lean and sit stiffly his cheeks heated and he stood again, moving to a gilded chair of dark wood instead. Luckily, the others were either too distracted to truly notice, or they simply ignored him.


Bloody pillows. He thought to himself.


Oddly, Chaos was silent. He would normally have had some snide comment about something of this magnitude. It seemed to Tai that ever since the incident with Arath, Chaos had been more selective with the times he came to the surface. Tai shuddered slightly at the image that conjured up. Shoving down his fear he assumed the Void, refusing the lure of Saidin. Chaos had not attempted control lately, but he was not about to give him the chance now. Not when the Dragon would be here any moment.


Quietly reflecting on the moment he set himself to wait, wondering what the Dragon would be like.

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Sereth's eyes widened at Covai's words. The Dragon Reborn... The man of legend, the one hope between us and the Dark One! So many more titles, and even bits of the Prophecies of the Dragon burst through his mind. He couldn't believe he was actually going to meet the man! The one responsible, if indirectly, for giving Sereth the gift of Saidin. Altering the course of his life forever... I'd be a merchant by now, if not for him... His iconic grin widened. Oh! And there is bound to be a library here as well!


So happy was he at the thought of perhaps acquiring another copy of the probably destroyed book, it actually took the Asha'man a moment to realize that they were being escorted. Willing his feet to take a couple dashed steps, and falling back in line, his mind continued to race, before settling on wondering exactly what Storm Leader Covai was up to. Something important... probably something about Shienar. He must have taken it harder than I did... Are you blaming yourself Storm Leader? We don't... His grin faltered a moment at these thoughts.


After the battle he had personally thanked the man for giving him one more shot at the shadowspawn, covering the retreat. Sereth had stayed until his mind was far to exhausted to handle channeling, and still he was dragged. It had been his first battle. He had even been a part of the destroyed group... Blinking away the memories, he focused on the present. He trusted Covai, and by extension his mission here. Whatever it was.


As such, he was comfortable resuming his sideways, innocent grin. Watching every stone of the Stone, where the Sword-that-is-not-a-Sword, Callandor, was kept. Where it had all began. His inspection continued as he was led to the waiting room, suppressing a chuckle at the pillows on the ground. Aiel custom... if I'm not mistaken. He had found very little in the way of information about these mysterious people, but he prided himself on not being completely ignorant.


Finding a finely embroiled and silk cushion for himself, he crossed his legs and lowered himself into a sitting position, elbows resting on his knees. He found it far more comfortable than he would have thought. So there he sat, awaiting the Lord of the Morning. Or perhaps Car'a'carn would be better suited for this occasion, he mused. 

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Martyn had been standing guard with Ikki when the unmistakeable sound of a portal opening up was heard behind them. Given that he had quite a bit of experience as a soldier, and his block meant that he would not be making the High Lords... unnecessarily nervous, he was assigned to guard duty. If he couldn't channel, he wouldn't be causing any trouble weaving where he shouldn't either.


"Tell me Asha'man, is the Lord Dragon in Tear at the moment?"


He glanced to his side to see who had arrived, eyebrows rising slightly in surprise at seeing Covai where he had expected the next shift that was to relieve the both of them. And he was asking to see the Dragon? Whatever this was, it sounded important, though he honestly doubted his rank as a Soldier would give him clearance to join the meeting himself.


As Ikki went off to get the Lord Dragon, he couldn't help but wonder who the man really was. Guarding the portal room against anyone that might accidentally stumble in meant there was only a small chance that he would even catch a glimpse of the man destined to save and break the world, but he had learned not to have his curiousity get the better of him long before he went on his first campaign. The sergeant in charge of his initial training had made sure of that.


Looking at the others, he was able to recognise Simmen -- which was a small surprise in itself -- though the others didn't seem to ring a bell at that moment. He gave all of them a nod in greeting, though he remained silent himself as he was still on duty. With Ikki heading off, he was the only person guarding the portal room, and it would have been inappropriate to allow himself to get distracted too much in conversation.


Well... That, and there was a chance (albeit a small one) that he would be seeing the Lord Dragon. That alone meant he would need the time to mentally prepare for an encounter of that magnitude. Of all the Asha'men, he had been the one that had been channeling the most after the Forsaken, and he was curious to see just how far the Taint had affected his mental state...




...Still blocked.

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OOC: Cool, two more managed to make it :)


IC: Covai glanced around the audience chamber as they waited. The last time he had been to the stone was when it had fallen to the Dragon, when the man had claimed Callandor as his own. Despite the work done since then in hiding the scars of battle, Covai still couldn't feel a bit on edge around here. Whether it was the fact the most powerful Sa'Angrael was located in these walls or the fact merely being in the same city as the Dragon Reborn had an effect on people, he really couldn't say.


Eyeing the men in the room with him, Covai realised he had never really intended to bring any of them along. They had just somehow gotten caught and swept along in the heat of the moment, and now Covai was having second thoughts about them being here. Arath, Geirrin, Ikki, Tai, Sereth and Simmen. To be honest the soldier was the one he really wasn't comfortable with being there. The others had proved themselves, most of them at Shienar. The soldier had yet to prove his value, or his loyalty to the Tower.


Glancing around the room against, Covai felt a vague sence of rememberance. He was pretty sure he had been through here after the stone had fallen. Most likely that meant the Dragon had still kept the same quarters he had claimed then. That would make things easier. At least he had an idea where in the stone they were now.


"Simmen." Covai's voice broke the uneasy silence in the room. "Go stand guard outside the door. If anyone enters the room before you, they're dead." Eying the uneasy soldier as he made his way to the door, Covai waited until the dorr closed behind him before turning his attention to the rest of the men in the room. It was time he filled them others in on what was happening. But he doubted he had the time before the Dragon arrived, so things would have to be brief."


"Listen up. You'll hear the reason we're here soon enough. Before that though, I want each of you to pledge your loyalty to the Dragon here and now. And I mean loyalty to the Dragon about all else, including the Black Tower. Any one who refuses better get out before I throw them out."




OOC: Next advancement is the Dragon's arrival. Better be quick, the post will be up this time tomorrow  :o

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Tai sat there in the silence wondering what the Dragon would be like. It was into this silence that Covai barked a command.


"Simmen, go stand guard outside the door. If anyone enters the room before you, they're dead." He eyed the man as he turned to go and Tai almost chuckled as a sudden memory of his own arrival more than a year ago flashed into his mind.


Tai'Dashan slowed as he approached what everyone he talked to had been calling "The Farm." The dirt path he was on led to ominous, slick-looking, black stone walls. "Looks nothing like a farm." He mumbled to himself. On The outside, The Farm was a formidable looking structure, if unfinished. Through gaps in the strange shiny black walls, Tai'Dashan could see a bustling mass of people. He felt a stab of apprehension as he saw those people moving about purposefully and wondered if he would fit in.


'What are you thinking you goat-brained fool?' He thought to himself harshly. 'You aren't exactly here to make friends. It doesn't matter if they all hate you! You are here to test. Pass or Fail. Period.'


Already Tai'Dashan was missing his trade and his home back in Mayne. He sighed heavily in resignation and walked over to the only building that even looked somewhat familiar, an Inn. Scanning the Inn, his blue eyes finding the door, he saw men walking in and out with those black coats everyone seemed to be wearing. They seemed to wear grim looks as easily as their coats.


'What am I doing here? I probably wont even be able to channel. What good am I, a jewelry merchant, to these strong and confident men? ' He ran a hand through his dark hair and hoisted his pack to a better position. "I'm just tired from traveling and its got me acting like a child, nervous and doubting myself." he grumbled. A woman walking by with a basket of wash, hearing him speak, paused to give him a puzzled look. 'Great, already have people looking at me strangely.' He thought.


A long way from home, having given up everything he owned and loved for a dream, feeling quite despondent, alone and lost, Tai'Dashan sat on an overturned barrel next to the Inn's door and waited for some kind of direction.


Suddenly he was brought back to reality and the grin slid from his face at what Covai was saying.


-soon enough. Before that though, I want each of you to pledge your loyalty to the Dragon here and now. And I mean loyalty to the Dragon above all else, including the Black Tower. Any one who refuses better get out before I throw them out."


Those words rang in his ears and Tai blinked in surprise. Loyalty to the Dragon above the Tower? He had never considered that the two might mean separate loyalties. From the time he had decided to come to the Black Tower to be tested, he had slowly honed himself for one purpose. Through the sickening Taint, through the days of pain and fatigue, through the nights crying alone on his bunk in the Soldier's Barracks afraid of going mad, and finally comming to grips with the fact that he had begun to. Through it all he had one purpose. Serving the Dragon until the Last Battle was done was the only reason he still lived. His life was the Dragon's. He stood and walked to where the Storm Leader stood. Falling to one knee in front of him he bowed his head, and pressed fist to heart.


"Under the Light and by my hope of salvation and rebirth... I, Tai'Dashan, Asha'man and Guardian of the Light, do hereby swear my loyalty, my fealty, my very life and anything I have at my disposal to the Lord of the Morning, the Dragon Reborn for as long as he should have need of me or until the forces of the Light reign triumphant. This I swear above all other Oaths I have or ever will make, so long as I have breath."


Rising to his feet slowly his eyes wide, he shakily returned to his chair and sat back down. He had heard somewhere that being around the Dragon could affect things. That him being so strongly Ta'veren could change things. He had not meant such a strong oath but neither did he regret the words. He was merely suprised by the strength of his oath. Blinking, still in mild shock he absently watched as the others swore their loyalty.

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"Simmen, go stand guard outside the door. If anyone enters the room before you, they're dead."


Simmen did not know the man's name. Yet his manner spoke of authority. His bearing, his gestures, everything.

He seemed to be the one driving all this. Whatever this might be.

It did not matter. The man was in charge, he commanded, Simmen had to obey.


What orders might the Dragon, give, then...? He wondered, there where his thoughts drifted along. Apprehensively.


"...If anyone enters the room before you, they're dead."



Dead by whose doing? Simmen wondered. Mine? Yours? These others'?

He did not want to know what in the Creator's name these others were capable of. He knew well what he himself could do.

If anyone was fool enough to enter...Simmen hoped he could somehow scare them away by the mere fact of what he was, that the name "Asha'man" was known everywhere, and feared.

For fear was the only thing that male channelers inspired. In Horn's End, anyway.

Might be that everything else is crazy enough to not fear 'em, the thought slid along the edge of nothingness. Dryly. Dully.


Alone in front of the door, Simmen was left alone with his thoughts, wondering about this and that...They were in Tear, then? So this is the Stone? He had heard of this mountain of a fortress, that never fell to enemies. Untill the Dragon came.

It was a place fit for a children's tale: Gold and sparkling metals Simmen had no name for everywhere, rich carpets, pillows that could likely buy enough food for half Simmen's home, as far as he knew and his eye for that served...


A servant glided by, some tray in his hand.

Simmen eyed him. Warily. Attentively.


Got to be ready.

He reached towards the source, shining and slimy as it was. He more or less knew how to do what he was most familiar with.

A gust, neither cool nor warm went through the corridor.


The servant passed...making a point of ignoring Simmen. And speeding up his walk.


Ladies be thanked, not yet, then. That which was Simmen sighed, relieved, as the servant vanished out of sight.


He regained alertness quick enough.


All the while, the buzzing of voices in the room behind the door continued.

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Even Sereth was beginning to be affected by the mounting tension. His eyes traveled to those in the room, making his mind work to dissuade the growing unease. There is no reason for it. You are here to meet your leader. The thought sat uneasily with him. Something about it wasn't quite right... You are the tool who is to be made aware of the hand which wields you. Closing his eyes at the thought, careful to not change his features for fear of being thought mad at this critical juncture. Yes, that feels just right.


Turning his mind outward he studied Covai with his plain, yet intense, gaze. He admired the man, that much was certain. Regardless of his normally care free nature, the man deserved the coat he wore. He was a strong and gifted leader, yet still one of the men. He had proved that at Shienar, and that was what was important. He would lay down his life without hesitation for the cause of the light, and for the man whom they served.


His thoughts were side tracked as the Storm Leader spoke, and Sereth nodded once in agreement with his choice. He had nothing against Simmen; in fact he was quite intrigued by the man from the black hills. His culture, and more importantly him personally, were foreign to a man who prided himself on his vast knowledge and the ability to apply it. Despite his desire to know the man better, Simmen seemed unpredictable, perhaps waiting for something to happen to him, and that wasn't something needed in the presence of the Dragon.


Covai's next proclamation however, caught Sereth off guard. Swear my loyalty to the Dragon above the Tower? Are there those who think is more than tools in his hand? That value the organization above the cause? The image of the M'Hael sprang to his mind, and suddenly understanding flashed through his mind. That explains why he stormed out of Brent's office. Nodding agreement with Tai's oath, Sereth rose to speak himself. "I can't say it any plainer than Tai'Dashan has."


He fell to his knee, assuming his fellow channeler's former permission. "I, Sereth Arian," he left out the title for the nature of the oath. It was given by the Tower, and he was the Dragon's man. "Swear by home hope of rebirth and salvation to be naked steel in the Lord Dragon Reborn's hands, until such a time as I can rest comfortably sheathed, or lie broken and forgotten in a field of battle," a grin spread over his lips, "surrounded by the bodies of his enemies." His face again grew somber as he continued, "I swear this above any oaths or loyalties to the Black Tower."


Rising, and taking his pillow seat once again, he thought about the words he had spoken, having to suppress a laugh at them. He had known this since the day he had taken his first steps on the farm, known that he was to be the Dragon's sword. He supposed he had nearly forgotten the true meaning of that, at least, until Shienar. This second remembrance served only to strengthen that resolve. I vow never to forget it again, he added, watching the next man take his vows.

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Geirrin wondered how he got mixed up in all of this.  One moment he was being thrown out of the M'hael's quarters, the next he was being sent back in only to be hurried from the rooms again.  Somehow he managed to find his way to Tear unsure what he had gotten himself into.  This was his second time in the stone, the first was to play with the cache of angreal and ter'angreal.


Covai's words pierced the silence.  This was a different Storm Leader than he was used to.  "Listen up. You'll hear the reason we're here soon enough. Before that though, I want each of you to pledge your loyalty to the Dragon here and now. And I mean loyalty to the Dragon about all else, including the Black Tower. Any one who refuses better get out before I throw them out."  Why would an oath to the Dragon Reborn necessary.  Clearly they were his man down to their toenails.  So why the oath?  The occasion seemed momentous but he could not say why.


Suddenly he was jealous of Simmen's post guarding the door.  Taking a deep breath he fell to one knee with the others speaking the words.  Geirrin was not used to making oaths, clearly he was as perplexed as the others.  A strange oath indeed, the Lord Dragon above the Black Tower?  He like most had always thought of them as the same.  All it took was a brief glance at Arath then Covai and he nodded.  Each gave their oaths, some slightly different than the others depending on their country of origin.


"I Geirrin Hale, swear under the Light and by my hope of salvation and rebirth, that my loyalty lies with the Lord Dragon Reborn above all else."  It was plain and simple but that was Geirrin in a nutshell.


Remaining on his knee he looked at the others.  He knew his face held a look of shock and surprise.  Was this some sort of Ta'veren twisting the pattern?  What had he just done?  He was no fool to think that he was some hero from a book.  He was a common man still coming to grips with what he was.  No he was an Ash'aman, a guardian of those who walk in the light.  He had proved himself in Shienar though he was no hero.  Light! What had he just done?  Had he just signed his own death warrant?  What of the others back in the Black Tower? 


Geirrin was so unsettled that he forgot to rise.  He stared at the floor, studying it as if it held the answers...



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Arath silently watched as the Asha'man gave their oaths, one after the other.  As the last of them finished speaking, Arath took his turn.  "I Arath Faringal, under the Light and by my hope of salvation and rebirth, swear my life and service to the Dragon Reborn as his Asha'man." 


He had mixed feelings about this.  In part it was reassuring to see them re-dedicating themselves to their true purpose as weapons for the Lord Dragon.  But he also felt a sense of unease, as though they had just set themselves apart from, or against, the rest of the Black Tower.  If it is so, he thought grimly, then so be it.  We will do what the Black Tower is meant to, no matter the cost.

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The events that happened to suddenly after he returned from delivering the message were quite shocking to Ikki. The Storm Leader wanted oaths? He couldn't say it was a bad idea. After all, the Dragon was really the main purpose of the Black Tower. But he couldn't say it was a good idea, either. If the Black Tower was supposed to belong to the Dragon Reborn, why bother with a special oath...unless there were those who were branching off. That would explain a few things.


"I, Ikkiliad sur Paendrag, formerly of Mayene, do hereby swear my life and my very soul to the Lord Dragon Reborn, that under the Light, I may serve him in whatever he requires of me until I die or Tarmon Gai'don has been won."

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Martyn gave no outward sign that anything was wrong with Covai's request, though his mind was racing for a way to speak the Oath while keeping his true identity intact. And with it, the promise he had made to himself to keep his family safe from reprecussions should the Taint wrap its foul influence around him as well. He was grateful for the fact that others had arrived with the Storm Leader, using the time they took to speak their oaths trying to come up with one of his own. After a bit, he had decided on a wording, and spoke the words when there was an opportunity for him to without interfering with someone else.


- "Under the Light and by my hope of salvation and rebirth, I swear to follow the Light, and the Dragon, for as long as it is required of me."


It still sounded a bit odd to him, improvised really, but for something he had to make up on the spot it would have to do. He just hoped this oath he had now essentially been forced to take would never be getting in the way of the secrets he so carefully kept, but as long as he would keep his guard up he hoped those questions would never be asked.




Wants to keep his secrets

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OOC: Well this is it folks, the Dragon Reborn makes his appearance!!





IC:Jaron Al'Tanin paced back and forth along the length of the room as he palmed through another copy of the Karaethon Cycle. This copy he had managed to find in one of the libraries here at the Stone. It was a small, leather bound copy, and most of the pages had all but fallen out. Even the inscription on the spine and cover had been worn away beyond recognition. Running his fingers through his hair in frustration, Jarron the anger he was feeling in check. Light blasted prophecies! I really do feel light a wool headed fool trying to figure these out.


Collapsing back into the nearest chair, Jarron eyed the page that had been bothering him the most lately.


On the slopes of Dragonmount shall he be born,

born of a maiden wed to no man.


He will be of the ancient blood, and raised by the old blood.


The work was that of a nameless scholar some hundred or so years after the breaking of the world..... or at least a copy of it. He had already torn the first few pages when he first found it, but had no real knowledge of it other than it was old. None of the servants or lords helped to shed light on it either. The servants were either knew nothing or were too scared to speak properly around him, and the High Lords had made it a point of having as little to do with this things as was possible.


These two he had manged to figure out during his trip to Rhuidean. The wise ones had revealed his mother was Far Dareis Mai, a Maiden of the Spear. He also knew his home...the place known as Two Rivers, where he had be raised before any of this madness had occured, was once know as Manetheren. King Aemon and his kin were referred to as 'old blood', bloodlines from before the time of Compact of Ten Nations, from before the breaking.


The third passage of the page though, was the one which had been holding this thoughts...


Into the heart he thrusts his sword,

into the heart, to hold their hearts.

who draws it out shall follow after,

What hand can grasp that fearful blade?


Manetheren had been known as the Thorn in the Dark One's Foot, the sword that could not be broken.


But thanks to that damn Amrylin Tetsuan the sword broke!


Jarron looked down at the pages of the book at the base of the wall. He barely even remembered throwing it. Ever since Dumai Wells....


..Those so called Aes Sedai have NO claim to that name. At Paaran Disen even the young playing with children's webs could...


GET OUT!! Jarron bit back fiercely. Pounding his fist down on the arm of the chair, the only response he got was that blasted fool's laughter. He was more likely than not mad already, but he refused to let anyone else whisper in his ear, or his head for that matter. Sadly he seemed to have little choice in the matter with the damned voice. At least it shared he's hatred for Aes Sedai.


Jarron's thoughts were disturbed by a knock at the door. He was far from being in the mood to deal with another somebody coming to pay their 'respects' to him, but he did need something to distract him from those damn prophecies. It had been a long time since he had sent a man running in fear from his quarters either. It would do him some good to take his anger out on something...


"Come in."


Jarron paused when he say the black cloaked man enter the room. Asha'man. Guardians when all else was lost. He had first met these men when he had claimed Callandor and the Stone of Tear had fallen. He hadn't quite come to trust the men yet, but so far that had done what they could to prove their worth. He was also grateful for their usually blunt nature. At least military forces didn't bore you with all day with excuses and fake expressions of concern. These men knew they would most likely be dead already, and it was only a fluke of chance that they weren't. Jarron also knew he would need their power when Tai'Mon'Gardon came. If only for that reason, he had shown three of their leaders how to create gateways after they had pledged their allegience. His troops would need to be moved rapidly, and gateways would give them an advantage they desperately needed.


"My Lord Dragon, Storm Leader Covai Seriba is here to speak with you."


"Is he now?" Jarron replied. Truth be told he had had very little to do with the forces at the Black Tower, rather than tell them to become as powerful as they could, as soon as they could. He had been meaning for a long time to see what they had become capable of, but had never found the time. Perhaps today would be different. "And just what does the Storm Leader want?"


"I'm afraid I don't know my Lord. He merely asked for me to announce his arrival. He and some others from the Tower are in the usual waiting room." Jarron raised an eyebrow and the man flinched. He had made it clear all visitors were to announce exactly what it was they wanted to see him about before they came. It meant he could avoid dealing with the truly pointless meetings and leave them to the few people he had put in charge to run the city.


Using a simple weave of air, Jarron brought his Heron marked blade over from its resting place on the fireplace mantle. Staping it to his waist, he silently strode past the man, the reprimand unsaid. The complete dismissal made it clear he was done with the conversation.


Motioning to the guards at the door as he left his quarters to stay, Jarron Al'Tanin make his way down the tiled corridor to met with the tainted men who called themselves his allies. As he made his way, one more passage of the Karaethon Cycle came to his mind. There was just something that felt appropriate about it.


He shall heal the wounds of madness and cutting of hope.


He just prayed to the light any of them would make it that long.



Jarron Al'Tanin

The Dragon Reborn


Master of the lightnings, rider on the storm,

wearer of a crown of swords, spinner out of fate.

Who thinks he turns the Wheel of Time,

may learn the truth too late.



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Covai nodded as each of them gave their oath of allegiance. He was just about to open his mouth to speak when the door swung open. In the doorway stood Jarron Al'Tanin, the Dragon reborn. Even Covai could feel a shiver run down his spine being in the man's presence. He didn't know whether is was being around Ta'vern or whether it was just the natural sense of danger that seemed to exude from the man, but he thanked the light he was already standing when he entered the room. Everyone else had been sitting down in various places and had lept to their feet like startled lambs. He couldn't blame them, but it wasn't exactly the best way to make a first impression.


Wrapping himself in the void again, Covai stepped forward and crossed the room to meet the legend.


"My Lord Jarron, its been a while." Covai greeted him, bowing both out of respect and acknowledgement. "I thank you for seeing me on such short notice." The gaze he got in return scared even him. There wasn't so much a sense of wrath, but almost of annoyance, like he was insignificant and merely stating the obvious. Covai was grateful when the man's eyes broke from his to take everyone else in the room into his view. Not even a minute into the meeting and it was already off to an arkward start.


"So...who are these men with you Covai? I don't see Dalinarius or Andar with you, so are these men supposed to be their replacements?"


It was all Covai could do to shake his head. "No my Lord. These are men who were with me at the recent battle against the Shadow in Shienar. That is the reason I have brought them with me." Covai hesitated for a moment as he felt a chill run through him. He wasn't exactly sure why he said what he did next, but he certainly hadn't planned on it.


Turning to the Asha'man assembled, his usual attitude had finally broke the surface of the room's arkward atmosphere. "Well folks. How about you get off your arses and introduce yourself."

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As he watched the others give their oath, Tai's mind wandered to thoughts of the Dragon. He had heard tales of the tall, dark eyed, red haired man. As if his thoughts had summoned the man, The door swung open and in walked the legend himself. No one could deny who he was. Whether the dragons glittering at his wrists, the fiery red hair, or the commanding air, Tai couldn't say.


Jarron Al'Tanin filled the doorway and shifted his weight to one leg, hand on hilt at his waist. Something in his eyes, reminded Tai of a wild, well muscled lion tensed to charge. Before he could think, Tai had bolted to his feet, his muscles rigid. Adrenaline surged through him as he fought for the Void. Chaos babbled in terror somewhere in the back of his head about Power and Death. The lines of consciousness had blurred and he had felt Chaos fight for control when his eyes landed on the Dragon. Finally floating in the Void Tai shook his head muttering softly to himself. That had been too close for comfort. He resisted the light of Saidin for more reason than now was not the time. He would not give Chaos the chance. Not now, not ever if he had the chance, but definitely not now. Covai stepped forward and bowed.


"My Lord Jarron, its been a while. I thank you for seeing me on such short notice." The Dragon's eyes were hard and glittered at Covai in an uncomfortable way. Covai hardly seemed to notice however and Tai's respect for the man rose.


"So...who are these men with you Covai? I don't see Dalinarius or Andar with you, so are these men supposed to be their replacements?" the Lord of the Morning asked, his voice like steel sliding from the scabbard.


"No my Lord. These are men who were with me at the recent battle against the Shadow in Shienar. That is the reason I have brought them with me." Tai barely avoided staring at Covai in confusion and puzzlement. He had to know that Tai had not been in the battle of Shienar. Could he have simply forgotten? Or was it a general statement to explain their presence? "Well folks. How about you get off your arses and introduce yourself."


Tai swallowed hard, shoving down the icy fear gripping his spine along with Chaos' mad babbling about Death, He stepped forward and spoke.


"My Lord Dragon," He said pressing fist to heart and going to one knee briefly, head bowed. "It is an honor to meet you. I am Asha'man Tai'Dashan. I-" Suddenly Chaos leaped for control again and Tai's words died in his mouth for a brief moment. Luckily he recoverd quickly and coughed into his hand to cover his pause. "I am your man should you have need of me." Expression did not change on the man's face and Tai carefully kept his face from heating.


Walking back to his chair he did not hear the others make their introductions. Light, but why now? Ever since Chaos had taken control and battled Arath in the clearing, he had all but lain silent. Why now when the slightest sign of madness could incite the Lord Dragon to burn him to ash where he stood? Tai glanced at the Dragon but his gaze was for the others. He hoped he had not noticed his pause and guessed the reason. A fine mess this was turning out to be! He had devoted himself for over a year to serving this man who might well strike him down like a rabid dog before he could do too much damage to those around him. Ruthlessly he shoved Choas into a dark corner of his mind and forcefully cut him off. Staying standing, he was not sure he was allowed to sit without permission, he clasped his hands stiffly behind his back and took in the rest nervously. He kept his face still and waited for what would happen next.


Perhaps Chaos' actions had to do with Ta'veren tugging. Tai did not know but it worried him.

Thankfully Chaos seemed to have given up, for now...

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Geirrin had undergone some changes since arriving at the Black Tower as it was called nowadays though mostly he was still the same person he had been.  He was foolish, carefree, and very easy going.  Little had concerned him until that battle in Shienar and the discovery of his talent for shielding.  The last had been particularly uncomfortable since he had been summoned daily to the M'Hael's palace.  The M'Hael had desperately wanted to learn his method of shielding yet the man simply did not possess the ability.  The M'Hael refused to believe that he could not learn it and took his failure out on Geirrin as if he had been holding back from properly teaching him. 


Lounging in the chair he lazily drummed the fingers of his left hand on his leg as he stared at the floor tiles.  "Well folks. How about you get off your arses and introduce yourself."  Everyone sitting stirred, everyone but him.  Geirrin had been so lost in thought that he was the last to rise.  He didn't know what else to do so he shrugged knowing his face was tinged with red.


When he studied the newcomer he stared in disbelief, this was the Dragon Reborn!.  Jarron Al'Tanin, The Dragon Reborn was no older than Geirrin.  Clearly this was a momentous occassion, meeting the Dragon Reborn and their earlier oath must mean something though Geirrin did not see his part in it.  What would the Dragon Reborn want with him?  Geirrin was low born, a fisherman's son, he was not used to getting involved with matters involving his betters, safer to mind your own business.  Sure he was an Ash'aman but what was that to the Dragon Reborn?  How long had he been at the Black Tower?  He had never seen the man before so why now?


Geirrin waited for Tai to finish then added his introduction going next as if to make for rising late.  Bowing he said "My Lord Dragon, I am Geirrin Hale.  I am your man as well."  Was there something else he was supposed to say?  Jarron Al'Tanin, The Dragon Reborn studied him as if looking into the deep recesses of his soul to determine if he spoke the truth.  Suddenly he felt parched under that piercing gaze, if he had a pitcher in his hand he would have drained it in one gulp then asked for a refill.  When Jarron's eyes moved to the next man Geirrin let out a breath that he had not realized he had been holding.  Light what had he gotten himself into!

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Wondering how long they would be kept waiting, Arath took a place leaning against a wall.  He had scarcely brushed his shoulder against the stone wall when the door flew open and in strode ... a tall young man with red hair.  Arath made an effort to keep his face smooth.  He knew that the Jarron was young, but this was ... he couldn't have been much more than a year or so older than Arath himself.  Despite everything he had been told, he had expected someone a bit older.  A moment later though, when the Lord Dragon's eyes swept over him, Arath shed his first impressions.  This man had to be the most dangerous person he had ever lain eyes on.  And coming from a man who had seen more than one of the Forsaken, that was saying something.  He even seemed to unsettle Covai, the man who had just walked in and shouted down Brent Enios in his own office without a second thought.


As the wave of introductions swept around the room, Arath thought furiously about what to say.  It seemed foolish, but he dearly wanted to avoid making any mistakes at all around this man.  He settled for keeping it simple.  Saluting fist to heart when his turn came he said, "Attack Leader Arath Faringal my Lord.  I am yours to command."  After what seemed an eternity, Jarron nodded and turned his gaze to someone else.  Then Arath remembered to breathe.  It was an odd mixture of emotions that he felt at that moment.  Fear that he might be found unworthy and destroyed summarily, awe that such a man was ultimately his commander, and for some reason a newly strengthened loyalty to the oath he had just sworn minutes ago. 


Being around a ta'veren was unsettling business.

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OOC: Its cut a bit short here, since i'm still working on the next section. I've posted what I've finished so far since i'm sure people have been waiting for it :P You guys can post your reactions before we leave Tear. I should have the final post for this thread up on Sunday.







Jarron lounged down in one of the chairs after the Asha'man had finished giving their introductions, his leg hanging over the armrest. These men were hardly the figures of military might he had hoped to expect. His eyes moved between each of them around the room, looking for any outward signs of weakness or strength. The last time he had been in a room with this many channelers, it had been....unpleasant. At least with these men though he'd know the moment any of them were foolish enough to reach for the source.


Nonchalantly resting his chin against his hand, Jarron broke the silence. "So tell me...what exactly is it that brings you all here. I hardly feel you're here for a social visit."


It was the one known as Covai who spoke first. "No my Lord Dragon. We're here to report about the battle with the Shadow in Sheinar?"


Jarron's free hand clenched unwillingly around the armrest of the chair in anger. "What battle..?"





Covai barely even took the time to compose himself before continuing, the words flowing seemingly pulled out of him by the Dragon's presence.


"Last week, four of our Asha'man in Sheinar returned to the Black Tower. The one's that survived reported an army of Shadowspawn larger than anyone had seen before. But there was something else they had to report...."


Covai's next words made him feel as if he had summoned death itself.


"...the shadow had channelers admist their ranks."


The atmosphere in the room had frozen from the aura eminating from the Dragon. Covai had heard of people who cheer up a room just by walking in, but right now Covai doubted whether Jarron couldn't just kill them all through the sheer force of his presense.


Covai instintively moved to go back when Jarron stood, but his feet had been frozen to the floor in fear. Light! He hadn't even been this scared facing off against his first shadowspawn, and Jarron had yet to so much as seize the source or reach for his sword. His tounge though was a blade all of its own.


"And just how many of your boys did you loose in the battle against them?" The condesending sarcasm and contempt was clear in Jarron's voice for all to hear.


It was then something snapped in Covai's mind. Without even hesitating Covai crossed the three or so feet between them, his fist colliding with Jarron's face, sending him flying back into the chair.






Jarron instinctively seized the source as he pulled his legs up, pushing down on the armrests of the chair to send him spinning backwards onto his feet again. Eyeing the other men in the room, he could see all but Covai had seized the source and were eyeing the distance between their leader and himself.


The man had power. Not just in his fist, but in his presence as well. Jarron had heard the oath he had asked from each of the men with him before he had entered the room. But by the look of them, they all seemed ready to leap to his defence. Three of them seemed to hesistate, and the others he couldn't see clearly to gauge. It was the words that came next though that really caught Jarron's attention.






"At least those Asha'man died living up to their name. When was the last time you actually got off your damn arse and started doing something Jarron?" Covai could barely believe how he was acting. A few moments ago he was quivering like the rest from the Dragon's presense, but that last comment had erased all thoughts of subservience from his mind. He knew the others had all grabbed the source, and yet something in his head said there was no point in it. Besides, he doubted he could really stand toe to toe against the Dragon and survive, so siezing Saidin would do him little good. Still, all Covai could do was wait and see how this situation unfolded. Clobbering the saviour of the world wasn't exactly a bright idea, but the damn fool had deserved it.

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his fist colliding with Jarron's face, sending him flying back into the chair.  :o OH NO YOU DIDN'T!!!  :D




The Dragon settled into the chair still keeping that deadly grace of his.


"So tell me...what exactly is it that brings you all here. I hardly feel you're here for a social visit."


Tai suppressed the urge to laugh out loud at the absurdity of the comment. He found himself looking to Covai. The man had ordered them here, that was all Tai knew of their mission in Tear. Something tickled at the edges of his mind as Covai replied, but Tai couldn't quite put his finger on it.


"No my Lord Dragon. We're here to report about the battle with the Shadow in Sheinar?"


Tai barely had time to consider this however, the Dragon's hand clenched around the chair arm, producing a squeak of stressed wood. Anger flared in his face and he spoke through clenched teeth.


"What battle..?" Tai once again noted Covai's seemingly fearless attitude with the Dragon, caution was a screaming auger between his shoulder blades. The Storm Leader didn't even flinch, on the contrary. He hardly hesitated before answering.


"Last week, four of our Asha'man in Sheinar returned to the Black Tower. The one's that survived reported an army of Shadowspawn larger than anyone had seen before. But there was something else they had to report...the shadow had channelers admist their ranks."


The Dragon shot to his feet and Tai actually took a step back before catching himself. Light! The man was an avalanche hanging by a thread! He was glad he was not the only one who looked at least half concerned in the room. Glancing around the room he noted more than one furrowed brow.


"And just how many of your boys did you loose in the battle against them?" At the word boys, Tai's brow sunk lower. Some of those men had been his friends who had never come home. Tai had wept for some of those men, men risking life and limb for the Light. Men ordered to this end for Jarron! And this fool man, Dragon Reborn or no, had the nerve to be so flippant about the lives lost?! Anger seethed, white hot along the outside of the Void. Suddenly Covai crossed the three or so feet between the two of them, his fist colliding with Jarron's face, sending him flying back into the chair. He did not simply loose the Void, it shattered. Breaking into a million white hot needles, flaying his mind. His recovery was on instinct though, Tai could not tell who had Seized the Source first between himself and the Dragon. All he knew was Chaos was back, Screaming wildly in his head.


~No!  Light No!... Anything but this! Kill them all now! Now I say, before you are lost!... Oh Light!~ Tai could feel Chaos grasping at the Source desperately, it was like trying to keep someone from prying ice out of your hands, his grip slipping continually.Light not now! He held on by a fingernail. Stillness claimed his form and sweat poured down his face, as he battled for control. It felt like an eternity but Jarron had barely gotten to his feet when Tai was able to regain control. He had not sweated in a long time, Arath had shown him the trick of it over a year ago. Tai watched the two men in front of him warily. He was sure had he placed his hand between the two men's gazes he would pull it back burned, so intense were their glittering gazes. Covai had not seized the Source. Conflict warred within him, He could not let this young country boy strike down his Leader unarmed, on the other hand, the man was the Dragon Reborn... And he had sworn an Oath. Tai resolved to do whatever was necessary to protect Covai short of killing the Dragon. Covai was a Leader, and more importantly a friend. Light he really had struck the Lord of the Morning! Sweat was threatening his brow again and he had to clench his fists to keep from shaking. The tension grew as Covai spoke once more.


"At least those Asha'man died living up to their name. When was the last time you actually got off your damn arse and started doing something Jarron?"


The heated words struck Tai like gong peals , one by one. He changed his breathing as he had been taught, Saidin increasing his awareness and waited for the next move on the balls of his feet. He would be prepared.

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Geirrin backed away as the others made their introductions.  He took a seat in one of the chairs well away from everyone so he could lose himself in thought.  Unfortunately the only thought he could muster was why they were here. 


Geirrin leaned forward in the chair staring at the carpet, the pattern was Tairen maze.  Earlier he had been so certain that he wanted to be away from the M'Hael though now he was starting to second guess himself.  What under the Light had he gotten himself into.  Geirrin was so busy pondering the recently sworn oath and his presence here that he failed to realize that the introductions were over.


He plucked at a loose thread on his breeches, "And just how many of your boys did you loose in the battle against them?"  The Lord Dragon's words went in one ear and out the other, this conversation did not have anything to do with Geirrin.  He did not even want to be here.  "I'd rather be navigating the fingers of the Dragon blindfolded with torn sails" He thought to himself.


Geirrin heard the collective gasp, his head snapped to the side and his eyes locked on the reason for the reaction.  Storm Leader Covai was standing over the Dragon Reborn who was half sprawled in the chair.  What under the Light had happened!  Suddenly he realized that some had embraced the source, Saidin raged around him begging him to do the same.  Without concious thought he embraced Saidin.  It threatened to tear him to pieces, he clung to it, barely.  It was like trying to gather in a flapping sail in storm winds.  Blood and ashes!


Geirrin looked at the others searching for Attack Leader Arath though one of the others shielded him from Geirrin's sight.  What was he to do?  Run you fool the voice in his head told him.  He had sworn an oath to the Dragon Reborn yet he had served and been trained by Covai.  The Dragon Reborn was holding the source, it shocked Geirrin realizing how much the man held.  Geirrin was one of the strongest in the Black Tower but it seemed as if the Dragon Reborn was the sun while he was a candle. 


"At least those Asha'man died living up to their name. When was the last time you actually got off your damn arse and started doing something Jarron?" The Storm Leader spoke angrily, he had not even embraced the source, the man must be mad.  Could he shield the Dragon Reborn? he thought frantically though he knew if he channeled a hair the Dragon Reborn would turn him to ash.  Without realizing it he was muttering to himself.  What was he muttering?  Again Geirrin wanted to be anywhere but here.  He felt as if he had been poleaxed, as if he could not move a muscle.  The Light preserve them all, they were about to die! 

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Martyn had remained silent save for a salute when the Dragon, being his commanding officer, entered the room. Come what may, he was still on guard duty, and said guard duty didn't include sitting down to have a drink and a casual chat. He hadn't gotten to where he was now by shirking his duties after all, wouldn't even allow himself to think that way. Just fifteen minutes remaining though, unless he missed his guess. He would relax after his watch was over.


"And just how many of your boys did you loose in the battle against them?"


He said nothing, listening to Covai give his report to Jarron. Though a small tensing of muscles in his jaw and a look of irritation in his eyes would be the only sign he gave on what he thought of Jarron's answer, he knew he could do nothing about it. Jarron outranked him, plain and simple, and unless the Pattern changed its mind about who was to be the Dragon Reborn he didn't see that change anytime soon. The tension left his face as Covai punched the man in his stead. He didn't intervene, of course, he was just guarding the Portal Room.


Jarron stood back up, and not for the first time Martyn didn't regret being blocked. If he would have as much as grazed the Source in this pressing atmosphere he would risk to become a target of more than one angry channeler, that was the feeling he was getting from Covai and Jarron as they glared at each other. Yet, he felt oddly relaxed for some reason, knowing he could never survive a channeling battle if it broke out in the room. Taking a deep breath, he slipped into the Void, repeating a single thought in his mind as a mantra. The Wheel weaves...




When killing each other, don't mind the door guard please

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Ikki never made his introduction. Frankly in this situation, he was so nervous he was sure his knees would give out. The presence of this room was...overpowering. He was mainly focused on keeping himself from passing out or emptying his stomach. And he wasn't even holding the Source. It was just the setting and the presence of a ta'veren that wasthrowing him off. He wasn't sure he could embrace the Source right now with how nervous he was.


"And just how many of your boys did you loose in the battle against them?"


Ikki perked up at this. His face was obviously filed with hurt. He could feel warm tears roll down his cheeks. "Too many. Too many were lost. I couldn't save them all. I was too slow. There were too many..." He continued on with his murmurings that most would take as signs of madness.  He was snapped out of it when suddenly Covai punched the Lord Dragon in the face. Ikki gasped and nearly fainted from shock. He put his hand on Geirrin's shoulder to keep hiself from falling. It was all just too much at once...



Not very Asha'man-like...

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