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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY
DhaiMon

Beyond a rise

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The wind seemed to be the only thing that kept Endric in the saddle. It was a strong blast from out west, ever present since a few days ago. The border to Amadicia was close now, so he'd been told in the last town he'd frequented a tavern, a mere two day's ride. It wouldn't be long now, Endric Liander knew.

 

Weary of weeks upon weeks of constant traveling on horseback, Endric still knew one thing for certain: He never looked back at his decision.

 

My father, a Darkfriend...

He still shuddered at the mere thought, was horrified that over all these years suspicion never rose within himself. Not once, not even a stir.

My own father...

This treachery did not bode well for the rest of the household. If Lord Azan was a Darkfriend, then who else? Who else of those residing  in the manor served the Dark One? Who?

He just hoped his brother would soon return to succeed their deceased father...But then, couldn't he be a Darkfriend too?

Soon he'd be with the Children. And one day he would return to his home and root out the corrupted seed, Light willing.

 

Rumors had been flying around lately among the peasants and merchants, of weird happenings out west, weird even in times when more False Dragons than ever before were loose in the world. Endric and most others did not believe a word of them: Hawkwing's armies returned, the coming of the Return and some Empress...yet the gossip wouldn't vanish and the rantings persevered.

 

Endric did not have the time to concern himself with these tales that either came from Darkfriend scum or deranged fools. His way led eastward, in any case away from where they originated from.

 

 

Riding on, he suddenly heard sounds. Cries, shouts. Up ahead, beyond the steep rise.

 

In the Light, what is...?

He soon found out.

 

OOC: Okay...Hope that's well enough for a setup. Your turn, Mys. ;D

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OOC: Kendra's Bio

 

 

The Death Watch Guards stood rigidly in attendence as the Daughter of the Nine moons emerged from the cabin beneath deck. Sinking elegantly to her knees, head appropriately bowed, Kendra didn't notice the veil that was hanging from the cleanly shaved head of the next rules of the Sanchean Empire. Years of training have a tendency to imprint manners and responses into one's bones and she felt herself rise again and automatically follow her mistress Mina Latelle, keeping the protocolary two steps distance behind Mina's right shoulder. Da'covale of the High Blood, Kendra had become accustomed to the accompanying respect and deference that her position alloted her. Though it never pleased her as her mind was ever fully focussed on serving her mistress, the ultimate confidant of the Daughter of the Nine Moons, Manu Hawkings.

 

Their company disembarked and instead of heading towards one of the buildings that had been prepared for the reception, the Empirial party mounted on horses and they set out over the country side. Kendra heard Her Empirial Highness speak the wish to overlook the land that had been reclaimed by the Corenne and so it was done.

 

They rode for long hours without pauze when suddenly one of the Death Watch Guards brought the entire company to a halt and sent out scouts to check out the ladscape beyond a hill up ahead. The scouts went on foot and crouched over the hill, avoiding walking unawares into an ambush. They soon turned around and ran back, the lead already flashing the intricate hand signals to the head Guard and instantly the whole of their ranks formed a full circle around Manu. Orders were barked and before they were fully given the entire military guard, excepting the Death Watch, stormed up the hill surrounding a lone rider.

 

Manu, may she live forever, remained utterly calm and her pose and stature never breathed a hint of anxiety. She ordered her Guard to move forward, so she could take a look at what caused the commotion. Kendra obediently followed her own mistress, who would not dream of leaving her niece's side and looked down upon the man that was sitting his horse in the middle of the circle formed by the Sanchean military. He had the look of one that had been on the road a long while and yet, he did not show any fear.

 

Bravery or ignorance? Kendra wondered silently. Manu led her horse forward to stand in front of the stranger, while two of her Guards forced him off his horse and to his knees. Honestly, don't these people know proper manners? Kendra sighed to herself as his head was forecfully pushed down to avoid looking at the Heir's face. She was gratefull to the Guard, though no doubt the man wouldn't be. For his life had just been saved by that push. Gazing upon the face of the High Blood uninvited equalled treason and there's only one punishment for treason in Sanchean. Death.

 

Manu's fingers moved slightly and her Voice addressed the man, 'What is your name, stranger? Have  you given the oath?'

 

 

 

 

(OOC: I hope this is ok.... :look )

 

 

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Endric did not know too much about soldiering, yet when he found himself surrounded by outlandish looking soldiers he knew he could do only one thing: Surrender.

 

He had never seen their like. He could barely understand their strange, alien way of putting words, although figuring out that they wanted him to stay where he was wasn't too difficult. Nor had he ever seen nor heard of helmets shaped like...insect's heads?

It's only a rumour. It can't be.

 

All of a sudden an opening formed within the circle, and two of the horsemen unmounted and headed straight to Endric. Two riders, clearly not soldiers, one bald, passed through the men, both again in garbs Endric had never seen before.

 

"Off that horse. Now.", one of the two slurred, clear enough, pushing him off his horse to the ground together with his compatriot.

Endric did not even think of reaching for his sword. Judging by the force with which he was forced down they could easily break his neck.

 

'What is your name, stranger? Have  you given the oath?', a woman's slurring voice sounded from up above.

"My name, it is Endric Liander, I am just a traveller on the road. The oath...what oath would that be?" He tried to look upward saying that, yet was weighted down by his two captors' grip.

Endric recalled that, according to rumour, the strange invaders demanded some oath to be taken...he just could not remember what exactly that oath entailed.

 

In any case, he did not think he would willingly take that oath, if the other rumours about these...people being allied to the Aes Sedai should prove true as well.

"Besides, who would-"

 

An iron-gauntleted punch into his face silenced him.

 

"Only talk to the Blood when talked to", one of the two men holding him captive barked.

 

I walk in the Light..., Endric started to incant in his thoughts, his head still ringing and blood sliding down his chin. Yet he wondered why they hadn't taken away his sword if they wished to take him prisoner or worse.

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OOC: I am SO sorry, Dhaimon, I totally lost track of this. I have now put a notification on this thread, so that I can't overlook it anymore. Please feel free to come poke me if I take too long.  :-[

 

IIC:

 

Kendra heard the slight intake of breath from Manu and her Voice lashed a command to the Guard that had hit the man. Granted, trying to raise his eyes to look at the Blood was foolish, but the Precepts of the Return were clear. Some amount of leniency would be needed to teach these people the proper way of dealing with the Blood. After all, they had been deprived of proper upbringing for a long time. Kendra was immensily proud and greatfull to be in the service of her mistress. For both she and her Empirial Niece had shown a remarkable and, for some, exotic sense of justice, open mindedness and fairness. Though only a fool would take either one of them for easy prey.

 

The Voice gave the man the words to the oath and presented him with the chance to serve the Empress, may She live forever, as a faithfull and obedient subject. 'Please accept' Kendra prayed silently, as she had seen the fire in his eyes when he briefly tried to lift his face and had recognised the pride that was in them. She could only hope that he had not allied himself with those marath damane that called themselves Aes Sedai in these parts. Who in their right mind would let such people run free, let alone alow them to hold positions of power! Really, it's been way passed time for the Empire to come home and clean up the place. The Light only knew how much damange they'd need to heal after so long.

 

Silence stretched the field as all awaited the man's response. What would he do? It was a mistake to think that all of them would willingly fall in line. Even if it was for their own good.

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Endric was less and less sure what to make of these people. One of the women snapped at the man, something about him watching it. Endric couldn't make it out too clearly, what with their slurring speech and him still dazed from the man's fist. Next, that same woman adressed him, his eyes still focused on the ground in front of him, blood dripping down:

To answer your question, the oath you are to take is to await the Return, to serve and obey the Empire once called upon. Take this oath, and we'll let you go.

 

Endric did not like it in the least: He did not know whether these people even walked in the Light, whether they were Darkfriends or not. Yet he had not set out for Amador just to die somewhere on the way.

 

Me, I better serve the Light by getting out of here alive.

 

Taking in his breath, trying to compose himself as good he could while avoiding to look up at the woman's face, Endric intoned:

"I, Endric Liander, hereby swear, under the Light, to await the Return and to serve and obey once called upon."

 

What other choice did he have? Someone had to verify the existence of these invaders, after all...

 

OOC: My turn to apologize...just somehow forgot about this. :/

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OOC: Myst needs one more post and then you will both be done with the requirement (of course you can continue the thread beyond that).

 

 

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Kendra let out a silent sigh of relief as the man spoke the words. He would not be harmed this day. Though there was no saying how he would do tomorrow. She had heard stories of oaths being broken before in these lands. Her mind still found it difficult to wrap around that possibility. Why would anyone endanger their soul and lower their eyes so far willingly? The entire party breathed lighter now and the Guard stepped back, releasing his grip yet staying close just in case.

 

Manu kneed her horse closer to the man but ignored him fully. Her attention was completely on the man's horse. A fine animal, yet travel worn. Her fingers flashed and the Voice gave orders to provide the man with a package of food and fresh clothing and to see to the horse's comforts. One of the servants came forward, carrying a bag that held some of the party's refreshments and started taking out pieces of dried fruit, toasted bread, butter and jam. Another hung a bag of fodder over the horse's head while a third started to undo it's riding gear and set to brushing it down using the massaging method that would relax the muscles and sooth the nerves.

 

The man, Endric she thought he said his name was, looked utterly stunned. Kendra allowed herself an internal chuckle. Manu, in her immense wisdom, knew that you could gain more by fairness and kindness than any method of violence. This man would walk away, knowing that the Seanchan did not break any nonsense behavior yet at the same time that they took care of those they consider under their protection. Kendra didn't know if this man would be so easily swayed, but it was definately the best way to start any person in their new life of service to the Empire.

 

"We move", the Voice called out in a clear voice and immediately the Guards set out followed by the Blood and their servants. Kendra looked down from her horse onto the man as she passed him and saw him looking back at her. Their eyes met and she knew. This one will not be swayed so easily, she thought and turned to follow her mistress.

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Pherno stepped out from behind his Invisibility Weave that he had discovered by chance a few years back and watched the strange warriors ride away into the distance. He clucked his tongue in annoyance a few times, praying to the Great Lord that this would not interfere with his plans. Pherno sauntered jovially towards the stunned stranger that the Seanchan had left in their wake. "Hello, stranger, I thought you were in danger. I hope you are okay, but it appears that you will live this day." Pherno spoke the words cheerfully but inwardly cursed the voice that forced him to always speak in rhyme. But you enjoy it, don't you? Damn that voice!

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