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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

A Couple of Ale + A Pretty Face= One Angry Warder?


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It was a long trip to the Borderlands for Slade.  He traveled alone and he traveled light.  His horse in which he named Sereh in memory of deceased twin.  The horse was vibrant and full of life, traits that always made Slade think of his sister.  After a few weeks of sleeping on the ground had made Slade's eyes perk up the sight of the small town he now approached and the fairly sized Inn that was within.  It would feel good to have a bath, a warm dry bed to sleep in and a good meal.  And of course an ale or 2.

 

Slade made his way to the Inn.  It was coming on dusk and the townsfolk were closing up shops for the day.  Making his way to the Inn Slade handed the stable boy a coin and the reins to his horse.  "Treat her well my friend." Slade said to the boy.  After making his way inside Slade went to the Inn Keeper and got a room and hot water brought up for a bath.  After cleaning himself up Slade got dressed and headed downstairs for a meal and a drink.  He found a table in the far corner where he could keep an eye on everything at once.  Not that he suspected trouble in a Borderland town where order reigned but he had learned in his life not to take anything for granted. 

 

After a very good meal Slade ordered a second ale and tried to sort through his thoughts.  On his sister's death, his parents disowning of him and his decision to become a Warder.  It really was the only decision for him.  He knew that had Sereh went to the White Tower he would have went with her to be her Warder.  Slade knew that it was his destiny to become a Warder and he was well aware of everything it entailed.

 

Slade had kept to his thoughts listening to the woman singing at the front of the bar until he noticed a beautiful woman make her way into the bar.  She had an air of confidence about her and striking eyes.  Slade watched as she took a seat and ordered a meal the servers knew her so he assumed she was a staying here as she certainly didn't look like a local.  Slade was sure he shouldn't approach her but something compelled him to.  Slade made his way over to her.  "Hello my lady my name is Slade Draken and I was wondering if I could be you a drink."

 

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Even after days of rest Kabria still felt as if she’d been run through a key hole backwards. Sometimes when she stood for long periods of time her legs quivered and she had to steady herself to keep from falling. In all her years channeling she’d never done it for so many hours, for so many days and had no real idea as to how bad the effects would be. Another of her Ajah Sister’s had passed through the Inn on her way South and had refused to wipe away Kabria’s fatigue, claiming that it would teach her a lesson. So for three days she’d rested when she could, and not left the four walls of the Inn.

 

Her Perivar recovered quicker than she and was growing restless. Even marathon evenings couldn’t keep him worn out enough to stay in bed much passed day break. She could almost taste his desire to ride North once again, but he was respectful of her fatigue. In fact for the first twenty four hours he hadn’t allowed her to leave the bed. He had her meals brought to her, and if she hadn’t bound him with bonds of air he would have insisted on feeding it to her. Even that small channeling had slowed down her recovering, and so now she’d vowed not even to embrace the Source without great and dire need.

 

Smiling over the top of her book, she studied her Warder as he moved. Truly he was her gift from the Light, and now that she’d found herself again she could truly appreciate all that she had. He could, of course, feel her eyes on his back, but he didn’t cease his fluid dance like movements. He wouldn’t until he’d completed his hour, not unless she insisted. Placing a Green ribbon in the book, she closed it and sat it on her chair. Looking around the disheveled room she wished again that she’d found time to hire a maid for the two of them. Then again, no maid could keep up with the pace they set themselves.

 

She reached to open the door to their room, and found a sword blocking her path. With a smile Kabria stood on tip toe to kiss her Warder. “You have nearly an hour left of your fool dancing and as much as I enjoy watching to stumble around, I am ready for my meal…and a drink.” Giving Perivar a wry smile, she tried to make her face stern, though in the bond he would feel her amusement. “Do not worry my great protector. I am only going down to the common room. I will not leave the Inn and you can join me when you are done…and washed.” Blowing him another kiss she opened the door, once he’d removed his blade and found an empty table near the walls.

 

This town was no rougher than any other, in fact it was far safer than many outside the Borderlands, but discretion was in her bones. With her back to the wall she ordered her meal and wine, and leaned back to enjoy the music. The girl’s voice was pleasant if not exactly in key, though not enough off to make a difference.

 

Here in the Borderlands Aes Sedai were highly respected, and while it was better than in the South, people still tended to give her space. She didn’t yet have the face to name her, but arriving with Perivar at her back, coupled with the gold serpent encircling the first finger of her right hand the title had been easy enough to pin to her. So yet again this would be a night where she dinned alone, at least until Perivar was done with is training.  As if the thoughts had summoned an interruption she looked up to see a young man smiling down at her.

 

"Hello my lady my name is Slade Draken and I was wondering if I could buy  you a drink."

 

My lady? He must not have seen the ring. Keeping her face smooth Kabria eyed him up and down and assessed him not to be a threat. She was rested enough to channel in any case. “I suppose you may buy me a drink, as long as that is all you have on your mind.” Giving him a small grin her eyes said that he would find short shift if he pushed his luck. “You were kind enough to offer me a drink, so I suppose I can offer you a seat.” Gesturing to the bench opposite her, she waved over the serving girl. “This gracious..man has offered to buy us drinks. If you would please bring me an ale.” Passing the girl a few silvers she turned back to her guest. “Slade, I am Kabria Delondre, I will reserve my judgment on wheter it is a pleasure to meet you just yet; but what brings you to the Borderlands?”

 

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"The drinks are on me Kabria....Aes Sedai" Slade corrected himself as his eyes caught the golden serpent ring on her hand.  Swallowing a little harder then normal he continued in a slightly lowered voice. "I've come from the Tower to assist here in the Borderlands.  I hear they can always use another sword and body this close to the Blight." Slade finished handing the serving girl some coins and handing Kabria's back to her. Slade hoped his voice didn't sound too eager; Slade was always looking for a chance at redemption...to appease his demons from his past and what better way then to dance the forms on the battlefield.

 

"I apologize if I'm inconveniencing you at all Kabria Aes Sedai, I meant no offense."  Slade replied.  Slade knew she was Aes Sedai and by her demeanor he bet a moth's pay she was a Green. The Battle Ajah, somehow Slade had pictured himself bonded to a Green if he was ever chosen by an Aes Sedai.  Battle is where Slade's heart truly was a need to prove himself to....himself.  Slade also knew as he adjusted his seat that where there was an Aes Sedai there was probably a Warded not far behind.  After the slight adjustment where he could watch the entire bar he continued.

 

"Do you know where they are looking for swords the most Kabria Aes Sedai?" Slade made sure to use the honorific title.  She was Aes Sedai she had not just earned it but deserved it as well.  Slade was trying to not look directly at her.  He had already probably put his foot in wrong with her and he was having some difficulty concentrating while looking directly at her...Man she is beautiful Slade thought but common sense would likely keep Slade alive and not harmed.

 

As Kabria was about to reply Slade noticed a man coming down the stairs staring through him assessing his every worth and measure.  Slade could tell he was a Warder through his movements and also knew his thought a buying a pretty lady a drink was about to take a turn for the worse....

 

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Kabria’s lips twitched into a half smile, but she sighed inwardly. She’d hoped for at least a few minutes of ‘normal’ conversation, before he noticed the ring. Slade being sent from Tar Valon was a shock, and a surprise. The Tower often sent contingents of guards when too many Sisters’ were involved, but a lone guard could only add so much assistance. The only answer that made any sense was that he’d been restless and little use on the walls so they’d sent him to a place that was in need.

 

Sipping at her drink she watched him carefully. It wasn’t as if she suspected him of anything, or was afraid; her years wearing the ring had made her attentive to detail and she often had a penetrating gaze when meeting new people. “I assure you, there has been no offense.” The habit of mentally cataloging everything she observed had been of use more than once in her travels. Watching the young guard shift in his seat Kabria laughed, her voice tinkling like a song. “You need not fear my Warder either Slade, truly he is as harmless as……..yes, well. Needless to say you’ve nothing to fear.” Not even looking up Kabria slid over on her bench, making room for Perivar. The bond was still, cautious perhaps, but there was no hint of anger. Her Perivar could be jealous of Kabria at times; Of his place as her Warder, and of his place in her heart. Often she wondered that if she were simple looking or plain, if his temper would flare so often.

 

“Perivar, this is Slade. He is one of the Guards. Sent to lend his assistance where he could.” Kabria’s face was smooth, but inside she bubbled with amusement. “Slade, this is my Warder. Lord Perivar Tarigan.” Watching the two men look at each other, she was reminded of a Lion watching a deer. The Lion always appeared at ease, lazy and often lethargic, lulling the deer into a false sense of security. The deer was afraid, knowing that he was seeing death in the Lion’s eyes and yet, rarely did he run until the Lion charged. It was almost as if the deer was asking for death. Not that she thought Perivar would fight Slade, but she could clearly see the men sizing each other up. Just in case there would be a fight in the future. Waving for another round of drink’s Kabria also ordered all three of them meal’s. “I allowed you to pay for the drinks, but the meal is on me.” She insisted when Slade reached for more coin. “What kind of hospitality would that be; For the White Tower to send you to fight and for me to show such discourteousness?”

 

The bond pulsed with a kind of well contained patience. Perivar could sense her amusement, and even if he didn’t know the reason why he knew her well enough to take a guess.

 

“You won’t have to travel far to find fighting. The entire Border is alive with raids. We’ve just pulled back ourselves to rest. Perhaps you will find a group to join with, they pass through every few days.”

 

Kabria Delondre

amused

 

 

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"Thank you Kabria Sedai and a pleasure to met you Lord Perivar." Slade responded.  "I had assumed there was a fiar bit of raiding up here.  I guess I felt like I was growing a little complacent back in Tar Valon, felt the need to stretch my legs and put my training to use." Slade knew from the moment Perivar appeared that he had was assesed and probably deemed a very minimal threat.  Not that Kabrai couldn't have tied him up in Air and bounced but it was a man thing.  Slade made the assement as well. Slade could tell he was a Blademaster and Kabria's choice in him was well warrented.  Slade could also tell that there was more to their relationship then meets to eye but some things are best left unsaid.  "Perhaps Perivar Gaidin if were are here for awhile he could practice the forms together.  That is of course if you two aren't busy."

 

Slade ached for battle ached to prove himself ached to erase his demons.  Here he was miles away from the Tower Walls here in the Borderlands so close to the Blight.  Sitting was an Aes Sedai and her Warder having a causal conversation.  He hoped he was being too informal.  But he hadnt had alot of experience chatting with an Aes Sedai before.

 

"How long have you been here in the borderlands anyways?" Slade asked casually.  "Ive only just arrived here but I've gathered along the way that its been worst then usual."

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The boy…no Slade she corrected in her mind. He couldn’t be more than a few years younger than Perivar, and Perivar was no child..was polite. He was well spoken and seemed to understand his place in this company.  He knew the respect due to them both and yet was not afraid to ask questions. All admirable qualities in a young guard. She hoped that Perivar was taking note.

 

By the sudden spike in jealousy in the bond he’d at least taken note of her approval. Patting his arm lightly, she smiled. “I am sure Perivar will be happy to spar with you. He’s been growing anxious these last days. Isn’t that right my Gaidin?” The hand that rested on his knee under the table tightened, expressing her disapproval at his delay. It wasn’t until he’d nodded that she released her nails from his skin. Really! She never used the bond to compel him and she rarely gave commands. You’d think he wouldn’t get into such a huff over this one little request.

 

“We have been here nearly a month and we’ve seen some of the hottest battles I’ve ever witnessed. Truly the Dark One is stirring. We have lost a many great men to Trolloc raids and the Light cursed Eyeless. The situation is grim, but it is not without hope.” Her mind flashed to the carnage of the killing fields, where all had been dead except for that one boy. The one solider who’d clung to life. Was that really hope?

 

“Perhaps, in a few days when we set North again you will accompany us? We will meet up with other bands as we travel and I will never turn down another sword.” The bond surged, but at that moment their plates of food were sat in front of them, ceasing all talk for a time.

 

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"Thank you and yes I most certainly would be honored to accompany you. Hopefully with some sparring time with Perivar Gaidin I'll be more help then a hindrance.  I often wonder about hope...is it real, is it reachable.  One must rely on hope you can only rely on fate"  Slade finished more to himself then was meant to be said out loud as the server appeared with their meals and refills.  Slade hoped he was bothering them.  He would have to excuse himself after their meals.

 

Kabria and Perivar were both quite as they went about eating.  Slade was certain that he had found the right company for the excursion north.  Slade knew in his heart he was ready...he would either live or die.  Death wasn't a fear of Slade's.  Helplessness and failing were.  He had vowed to never fail again and he meant it.  He wanted to be a Warder or die trying.  He was sure he'd achieve one of the two.  Perhaps if he made a good showing Kabria would recommend him to someone.  Perhaps Perivar would help him become a better fighter.  Perhaps he could find the thing he needed most but would never voice out loud....hope.  The word and concept he despised.

 

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Perivar eagerly made his way to the common room of inn.  He was hungry and looking forward to a decent meal after weeks of eating meager food from their saddlebags.  Kabria might have been finished with hers though she would stay with him and keep him company.  Hopefully they would be left alone, most Borderlands were very accepting and respectful though they gave them their space.

 

The smell of a roast or maybe it was a beef stew wafted into the spacious stairwell and he nearly smiled.  He never complained about their lackluster rations when traveling though he certainly enjoyed fine meals.  The scent nearly brought a smile to his face.  His expression changed as he got to the bottom of the stairs where he saw a man a few years younger than himself conversing with Kabria.  Perivar was known to be very protective of her and could be overly jealous.  Unlike Perivar, Kabria did not shy away from conversation with strangers.  Too often Kabria forgot just how beautiful she was and how easily she attracted the attention of men and even a few women who enjoyed the company of other women.

 

As Perivar made his way to Kabria’s table he weighed and measured the man as if they were opposing combatants on the field of battle.  He quickly took in the rest of the common room before focusing on the man who appeared a few years younger than Perivar with dirty blonde hair and brown eyes.  It was not easy to judge his height or weight with him sitting but the younger man seemed to be of similar size to Perivar.

 

Perivar sauntered towards the table with the deadly grace of an experienced swordsman.  Several patrons in the common room stared from Perivar to the man speaking with Kabria obviously sensing some sort of tension.  Clearly they were curious to see if a brawl would ensue.  Perivar knew it would not come to that but the patrons had no idea of knowing.  Most were probably wondering if they should leave so as not to get caught up in someone else’s trouble.  Most had enough worries of their own given the harsh climate of Borderlands.

 

Kabria never looked at Perivar though she slid over on the bench to make room for him.  Perivar would have preferred to stand though Kabria would have upbraided him for doing so.  “Perivar, this is Slade. He is one of the Guards. Sent to lend his assistance where he could.”  Perivar nodded to the man.  The bond carried amusement of all things! For the love the Light! Kabria must have had a smile a mile wide on the inside.  Perivar was like a predator ready to pounce on his prey and she was amused!  Bloody women! he thought to himself .  Kabria enjoyed getting a rise out of him.  “Slade, this is my Warder. Lord Perivar Tarigan.”  Perivar nearly hissed at her use of the honorific.  Sure he was a lord by all rights, but it was not something her advertised for numerous reasons.

 

Perivar had worked on his shortcomings yet he was still not as patient as some warders.  Out in the open field or in the Tower around other Aes Sedai and warders he could be the model of patience though he had an issue with the cramped quarters of taverns and the like.  Perivar possessed little patience for the nosy patrons and staff that often inhabited those establishments.  Some people were too curious about the comings and goings of others.  Many would sell the information they gleened for the common room chatter for a sum as small as a mug of ale.  Perivar possessed little patience for strangers as well, even less for those who spoke to Kabria.  Perivar used the aid of the void to push his emotions away so he would seem as relaxed as a man lounging in front of a roaring fire with a pipe full of good tabac.

 

Perivar listened to the conversation nodding wherever appropriate while dividing his attention between the common room and Slade.  Perivar had a few questions for the guardsman though he remained silent content to just listen for the time being.  Now that the three were conversing the patrons in common room relaxed resuming their chatter.

 

Perivar very nearly scowled at Kabria when she offered his services in training Slade.  Kabria knew how much he disliked training others.  If only Kyn were here.  Kynwirc Gaidin was a Grandmaster and he enjoyed training others.  Perivar simply lacked the patient and the desire to be an instructor.  Perivar was a little late with his nod of acceptance so Kabria made her displeasure known.  Likely she would scold him later for being rude to the newcomer.

 

Light! Perivar bit back an oath when she offered to let Slade accompany them.  Perivar did not need a liability attached to their party.  He preferred it just being the two of them.  A lone guard would be more of a hindrance than a help.  Well there was little he could do, Kabria had already extended the offer and she did call the shots.

 

Perivar began to eat as soon as the meals were delivered.  He was thankful for the brief respite in the conversation as they all concentrated of their food.  Perivar reveled in it for he knew it wouldn’t last long.   

 

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Kabria had forgotten just how famished she was until the plate of food was placed in front of her. Eating ravenously she didn’t concern herself with being overly polite, or demure. Perivar knew and loved her, and this new young man would soon enough know the true Kabria if he saw her in battle. She saw no reason to stand on ceremony.

 

Their meal passed mostly in silence. Kabria was too engrossed in her meal to prompt conversation, and the two boys didn’t seem to be in the mood to play nice. She could sense the tension in the air and wondered if she had been wise to ask Slade to accompany them. Perivar was not the most patient man, and while he was a fabulous teacher he did not enjoy the task. Examining them over the rim of their cup, she hoped that she hadn’t made a large mistake.

 

Once the meals were taken away Kabria ordered more ale for the table, and gave coins to pay for a round for the entire room as well. She was determined to see these two get along, or at the very least become less wary of each other.

 

“Slade, how much experience do you have with that blade? I do not ask to be rude, it is just best for me to know. So I know how best to defend you.” She also secretly hoped that if she could turn the subject to battle they would find a common ground.

 

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A very good meal Slade thought to himself as he finished.  Slade could tell that there was a bit of tension between Perivar and himself.  Perivar of course would be very wary of his Aes Sedai and Slade was only wary of the fact that if Perivar wanted to he could end his life fairly quickly.  Slade knew he'd give no reason for that cause so he decided to ease the mood.  If Perivar was going to teach him and Slade was going to accompany them he was going to make sure that he was a real liability.

 

“Slade, how much experience do you have with that blade? I do not ask to be rude, it is just best for me to know. So I know how best to defend you.” Kabria said.  The question certainly wasn't rude she wanted to see if Slade was going to be more of a help or a hindrance.

 

"Well Kabria Sedai I've served in the Tower Guard for almost 4 years.  I've fought bandits numerous times and even faced Trollics once before.  I've dedicated myself, my life to my blade." Slade said as he patted the Bastard Sword on his side.  I believe my dedication to the Flame and he Void has greatly helped me in my training.  I can truthfully say I have no fear of death. I know I'm certainly not a Blademaster like Perivar Gaidin here." Slade responded with sincerity and respect to Perivar as he nodded his head towards him but I can promise you won't have to baby me or spend any extra time watching my back. I've been waiting my whole life for my chance to fulfill my Vow to my sister and I have NO intentions of failing Kabria Sedai."

 

Slade knew in his heart his words rang true to himself.  His Mentors had remarked that he was a very good study with his Sword and he was only going to get better.  He just hoped Perivar would see that as well when they trained and that Kabria would know his words to be true.

 

"What are your thoughts on battle Lord Perivar Gaidin. I would value any insight you care to share."

 

 

 

 

 

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"What are your thoughts on battle Lord Perivar Gaidin. I would value any insight you care to share."  Perivar nearly grumbled an oath at the use of his title.  Kabria touched no she squeezed his leg beneath the table as a warning.  Taking a calming breath he spoke with as much civility as he could muster.  The slightly younger man was a Tower Guard after all.  It was his duty or at least his responsibility to help the guardsman especially since his Aes Sedai had offered his services. 

 

With all sincerity he spoke "Avoid battle if you can." he locked eyes with Slade to make sure he realized that he was not being sarcastic.  "If you can't avoid battle then kill your enemy before he kills you."  Perivar offered a wry smile and a shrug for his answer seemed too simple but it was true. "Expect the unexpected, the best laid plans go to the pit of doom in the opening moments.  Your enemies rarely do what you want or expect them to do."

 

"Now if you are finished eating then go get some rest.  We will be leaving before sunrise, if you are not ready then you will be left behind.  Good night Slade."  Perivar nodded at the guardsman then waited for him to leave the common room before turning his attention to Kabria.  She could tell from the bond that he was against the inclusion of Slade to their party but he was going to voice his complaint anyway.

 

"You know he should not be out here alone.  He should be with a banner of Tower Guards.  You are putting yourself in danger Kabria by allowing him to travel with us." It was pointless she would not change her mind so he stopped trying to convince her and drained his mug.

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Kabria watched the exchange between Perivar and Slade, trying to gauge if the two men would have any hope of getting along. Though she had confidence in Perivar’s ability to do so, the bond showed her that he had no intention of being kind. He was jealous of his place near her, and fiercely protective. If he believed anyone was a danger to her, he would sooner take off their head then risk her life even for an instant.

 

 

She waited until she was sure the young man was out of ear shot before she responded to Perivar. Had she not had the bond to tell her that his possessiveness and protectiveness stemmed from an undying love she may have been more annoyed with him that she already was. But it was hard to maintain any kind of anger when those veins of gold shone so bright. “My love.” She said quietly, running her nails along his thigh. “You know that if that boy does not accompany us he will take it into his head to go off to the Blight alone. Even you, with all your skills and gifts, are in danger. Without our protection he will be nearly as helpless as a babe. Besides, since when are you so willing to turn down an extra pair of eyes?”

 

 

A slight smile on her face coupled with what he would be feeling in the bond, said she was more than ready to be done with this discussion and on to more…exciting..activities. “I for one will welcome any help we can get, small or grand. Had the other boy been willing I would have kept him with us as well. The more swords you and I command, the less the Trolloc’s get to use for fodder. I will not be privy, even by proxy, to filling one more of those beasts bellies.”

 

 

Standing she  straightened her skirts and started for the stairs, pausing at the landing to call over her shoulder. “Besides my Gaidin, I have lain my heart and my life at your feet and you have never before left me disappointed.”

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Finsihing his Ale he stood and bowed.  "Thank you both for the excellent meal and company. Your advice is very sound indeed Lord Pervair Gaidin.  I will be ready before sunrise.  Good evening to you both." And with that said Slade turned around and headed upstairs to his room.  A very interesting pair Slade thought.  It will be quite interesting to travel with them to battle.  As Slade entered his room be began his bedtime ritual of situps, pushups and sharpening his blade.

 

After finishing with that Slade washed up and had all his bags packed to be ready in the morning.  This would finally be his chance to test his training so far.  Slade has full intentions of not disappointing Kabria and Pervair, to not be a burden to them.  Slade knew the Warder would be wary of him but Slade knew he would to his best to overcome that.  Slade realized that he could gain some valuable experience from this and perhaps even some friends.

 

After undressing Slade laid in his bed.  Thoughts of his life and feelings were running wild through his head.  Slade hated reflecting on his painfull memories.  Taking a deep breath Slade seeked The Void.  As he pictured the Flame in his mind he feed all those feeling into the Flame.  A tiny spark soon became a blazing fire.  Slowly Slade beame calm became only what he needed to be, Ready.  Tommorow would be the day where Slade could begin to test his meddle, his courage and his decisions.  Tommorow Kabria, Pervair and himself would had to the Blight...to the home of the Shadow...Slade allowed himself a smile as he drifted into sleep.  "Finally my chance.  Kabria Sedai and Pervair Gaidin will not be dissapointed.

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