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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

"The Way of the Leaf" -- A Tinker's Song


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Clop.

Clop.

Clop.

Clop.

 

The rhythm was almost hypnotic.

 

Clop.

Clop.

Clop.

Clop.

 

How many hours had passed?

 

Clop.

Clop.

Clop.

Clop.

 

Sometimes it was hard to stay awake.

 

Clop.

Clop.

Clop.

Clop.

 

"Davie?"

 

The voice from the small window beneath his seat brought Davie out of his trance and back to the real world.  His bottom ached.  His legs were asleep.  He could barely feel the reins in his hands.  He was sure that if he had a mirror that he would see red, tired eyes staring blankly back at him.  Although his mouth was dry and his tongue didn't want to work properly, he attempted to answer.

 

"Yes..."

He had to clear his throat.

"Ahem..."

"Yes, mother.  What is it?"

 

"Please signal the others that we should stop for a while."

 

"OK, mother...I will."

 

Giving a sharp whistle to get their attention, Davie raised his hat high above his head and waved it back and forth several times to let the People in the wagon in front of him know that he needed to stop.  When Tina turned and saw him, she urged her brother Skip, their driver, to pull over.  Davie stood and turned to face the wagon behind him.  After repeating the signal to them, he tugged the reins to lead his team to the shoulder of the path that they had been following.

 

Clop.

Clop.

Clop.

Clop.

 

"Whoooaaa."

 

As Davie tugged on the reins, the horses instinctively halted and shook off the boredom that they had endured during their work.  They stood patiently waiting for their next command.  A well trained team knew what was expected.  Proper behavior earned satisfying rewards.  These fine animals had worked together long enough that they could pull the wagon through almost any kind of terrain under any weather conditions and deliver their passengers safely to the next camp site day after day after day.  They were worth their weight in hay.

 

Davie climbed down from the driver's seat and jumped to the ground.  At the ripe old age of seventeen, he was almost skilled enough to have a wagon of his own.  That is what he would do when the time was right.  For now, he removed the steps from their hooks and attached them below the door.  By the time he had dipped up a ladle of water from the barrel, his mother was at the door waiting for it.

 

Davie was somewhat surprised but not shocked to see the other wagons continuing on without them.  A year ago, this would not have happened.  Back then, everyone would have pulled over to lend whatever aide was needed.  Things were different now.  All of the People seemed to be obsessed with getting to Rhuidean.  Like moths being called to a flame.  They had to keep moving. 

 

There had to be several hundred wagons in the group that Davie and his family had been traveling with.  Each day, more wagons joined.  Each day, some would fall out and be left to fend for themselves.  Davie imagined that the stragglers would be along shortly in a different group that he and his mother could join.

 

The group that they had just left were all four horse team wagons.  They could make better time than the two horse team wagons which were traveling in a different group.  Yet another group was oxen wagons.  Another had mules.  Many of the two horse wagons had been abandoned to combine two families into a single four horse wagon.  Davie's world was in chaos.

 

Groups of wagons were groups of families.  Small, tight knit groups.  These huge bands were unheard of.  Nobody knew anyone.  There were no greeting ceremonies.  There was no celebration.  The very fabric that wove the People into the Pattern was torn to shreds.  The Way of the Leaf seemed to be forgotten.  All that mattered was Rhuidean.  Davie took his mother her drink of water.

 

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Clop.

Clop.

Clop.

Clop.

 

The rhythm was almost hypnotic.

 

Clop.

Clop.

Clop.

Clop.

 

How many hours had passed?

 

Clop.

Clop.

Clop.

Clop.

 

Sometimes it was hard to stay awake.

 

Clop.

Clop.

Clop.

Clop.

 

"Papa.  Are we there yet?"

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  • 2 months later...
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Olaf and Anna had made the trek into the city last night on foot.  Rhuidean was far too crowded to allow travel by wagon.  Their visit to the Tree of Life had been divine but it was cut short because of others wanting to have their turn.  Shortly after they had arrived the tale had reached them about some of the People entering an ancient Aes Sedai terangreal accompanied by Aiel then emerging as enlightened "People of the Dragon".  Anna had been intrigued about the story.  Olaf had not.  In his way of thinking there was nothing wrong with the life that they had shared for the past forty seven years.

 

But, to keep the peace as he had so many times over those years, he was giving in to his wife's desire.  The last of the heavy wooden blocks was in place to support the wagon.  He had been very careful to place them so the wagon was level and stable.  Just because he was beginning a new life did not mean that he had to become hasty.  Virtues such as patience should never be abandoned.  He had learned long ago that an ounce of prevention was worth twenty pounds of cure.  With one last glance at his permanently placed dwelling, Olaf sighed and turned to join his beautiful bride.

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  • 7 months later...

OOC: It has been some time since I last visited this thread...fond memories, indeed. I thought it was here that I described "Randland's first trailer park" but it must have been over in the Gateway to a New Age thread. Someday, time permitting, I'm going to re-read all of these posts as well as Gateway and UP THERE. Maybe some of the Last Battle stuff, too. Yup. Lots of good memories.

 

 

 

 

Olaf could hardly believe what he was feeling. In all of his married years he had never allowed himself to be jealous of any other man's attentions toward Anna. But this was different. Anna had actually spent several days inside those glass columns with ANOTHER MAN! And one of the Lost Ones, at that! Well. There just wasn't anything else that he could do. He glanced toward the Aiel woman who had been chosen to escort him. She tried to smile but he could tell that she was about as happy about all of this as he was. Reluctantly, he held his hand toward her and she just as reluctantly accepted it. Olaf turned to look in Anna's direction. She was smiling a huge, glowing, proud smile. He smiled back briefly then turned and stepped bravely toward the columns with his escort. The Pattern would guide his steps for the next several days.

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  • 2 months later...

yeah, the memories were good. *nostalgic smile* it sucks that no-one posts here anymore. so sad.... :sad:

 

i've been re-reading some of the threads, way back from my first year in dragonmount. now i know how old people feel... :P

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  • 2 months later...

OOC: this post might not make sense if you have not read the posts in the "Gateway to a new age" thread. For those who did read those posts, ENJOY!

 

 

GrandpaG and Ghina had Traveled to just about every corner of Randland. Since they had decided not to marry their journey couldn't really be called a honeymoon but it still almost seemed like one. Many, many moons had passed since he had spent this much time in the company of a woman. In some ways it felt good and right. On occasion he remembered why he had chosen to remain single. Overall, she had proven to be a good companion. He really did believe that she felt the same about him.

 

Homesickness for her and curiosity for him had brought them back to the place that they had met. Rhuidean. Seeing the glass columns reminded him of what he and she had shared. The strange bond that they now had with each other seemed to be magnified by being here.

 

 

OOC: the "honey do" beacons...to be continued.

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  • 3 weeks later...

OOC: continued...I hope...we'll see how long it takes "honey" to discover what I'm up to. :wink:

 

 

 

GrandpaG noticed Roy relaxing under the Tree of Life. That would likely be where he ended up spending the rest of his life. Roy had said as much yesterday when he had disclosed that he only had a short time to live because of some oath that he had broken. Even though he was not much more than a teenager by Ogier standards, he seemed to be very serious about his inevitable demise in the very near future. For now, at least, he seemed content. Perhaps it was the influence of the Tree that made him look as if the entire weight of the world had been lifted from his shoulders.

 

Or, maybe he was just glad to be done with all of that singing. Prior to his announcement Roy had been joining with all of the Aiel couples to sign the wonderful growing song while the Nym danced on the newly planted fields. The miracle of watching the seedlings spring to life here in the middle of the Aiel Waste was almost too much to believe. Had he not witnessed it with Ghina inside the glass columns the shock might have been too much. With all of that singing done, Roy deserved his rest.

 

Thinking of the new crops made GrandpaG glance in the direction of the new fields. A line of Aiel and Tuatha'an children happily carried all manner of containers of water dipped from Lake Rhuidean to be lovingly poured onto the flourishing vegetation. At this rate, there would soon be enough food to feed all of the gathered Aiel and People with a surplus left over for new arrivals. Since the dream walking Wise Ones had been in constant contact with all of the clans, a flood of new Aiel was expected. More wagons of People arrived each day. Rhuidean would soon rival Tar Valon for population. Each day more couples entered and exited the glass columns.

 

The Song. Actually finding it here after all of those centuries of searching was bitter-sweet. The old memories from his childhood were full of mystery and longing to find the ever elusive Song. It was a driving force for his family and all of the families of the Nestley wagons. Finding the Song gave them a reason to exist. It was the same for all of the People in all of the wagons. Now that the song was found, what would become of the Tuatha'an? Most wagons here had the wheels removed. The People had no desire to ever leave this place it seemed. It felt good to finally hear the Song and to experience it's magic. But, at the same time, it was sad to think about the end of a way of life.

 

Part of his teaching as a youngster learning the Way of the Leaf was that nothing lasts forever. Even the strongest stone will some day be turned to sand. All things change. Denial of that fact is senseless. Acceptance is logical. To truly enjoy life you must accept the flow of the Pattern as it carries you toward your awakening. The bad things happen for a reason. They must be there for balance. If there was no bad, you would never recognize good. Change is necessary. Those old teachings helped him cope.

 

 

OOC: to be continued.

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  • 2 weeks later...

OOC: continued...probably not for long...grandkids are here.

 

 

Ghina squeezed GrandpaG's hand and motioned with her head toward the Tree of Life where Roy was relaxing. The thick headed old coot didn't get her meaning so she curled her eyebrows and tried to whisper. "Go visit with him a while. He looks like he needs to talk."

 

As if awakening from a dream into sudden understanding, GrandpaG squeezed her hand and smiled. In a flash he was headed toward the lounging Ogier with a spry spring in his step. It still amazed her that he was well over two hundred years old. In more ways than one he had proven to her that he was still in very good physical and mental condition. Of course, being male, he still needed to be brought back to his senses now and again. Overall, he wasn't too bad of a person to hang around with. Their new invisible link since the glass column trip was something to get used to but rather neat just the same. It wasn't as intense as when they had been joined in the link but still it was somehow similar. Kind of like having a near sister.

 

For not the first time Ghina thanked her lucky stars that they had decided not to marry. Sure, she was over three hundred years old herself and probably wouldn't live forever and might never again find anyone as interesting and easy to get along with as GrandpaG but she had just gotten used to being independent. And there had been times that GrandpaG had accidentally reminded her why she had chosen to remain single. Sometimes men could just be so...so...MALE!!!

 

GrandpaG took a seat beside Roy and Ghina sighed in relief. Now she could wander about this wondrous new infant of a city by herself and check things out. She was, after all, still a Wise One. Her Traveling about with GrandpaG might have distracted her some, but she still had duties to her people. Plus, there were a LOT of new shops and vendor stands to explore! Ghina really LOVED to go shopping. Maybe one of the places would have some CHOCOLATE!!!

 

 

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GrandpaG had barely gotten seated next to Roy when he noticed Ghina slinking off in the direction of the shopping district. He couldn't blame her he guessed. They had been on the move so much that she was probably having withdrawal from not shopping. Personally, he detested shopping. Get in, get what you came for, get out. That was his idea of going into a shop. Most women just have to handle every item in the place and comment on it's poor quality or extreme price. Or they say "isn't this cute", fondle the item for a while or worse yet play with it, then put it back to move on to the next item. He just couldn't understand that fascination. But, if that's what she enjoyed doing then he'd just sit and visit with Roy while she was off having fun.

 

Roy had seen GrandpaG approaching and had smiled and patted the ground next to him offering a spot to relax but now that GrandpaG was seated Roy just stared off into space as if in a trance of some sort. Just as GrandpaG was considering some small talk to break the ice, Roy whispered in his loud Ogier way.

 

"She's a good woman. You should marry her." He smiled his huge Ogier smile.

 

GrandpaG could feel his face turning red and he felt like he wanted to dig a hole to hide in. Even the calming affect of the Tree of Life couldn't totally settle him. He didn't want to upset his Tree Brother but at the same time he wanted to punch him. Instead, he relaxed.

 

"Yes, she is. For a woman. And a Wise One. She's not bad at all. Probably the closest that I have ever come to wanting to settle down. But, it's not the Will of the Pattern. My every instinct tells me that it would be bad for both of us. Over the years I have learned to listen to that 'little voice' inside my head." Roy nodded. He seemed wise for his relatively young age. "My heart tells me to marry her but my head tells me no.".

 

"We don't always agree with the Pattern but to fight it's Will is futile.", Roy said aloud now that Ghina was out of sight. "I have learned that lesson well over the past few years of being away from my home.". A sudden sadness appeared on Roy's face. He looked as if he might tear up. GrandpaG reached down in front of him and picked up a pebble and rolled it between his fingertips to give Roy a moment to collect himself. "Sometimes I miss the stedding terribly.", he murmured in a lower rumble of a voice.

 

GrandpaG had a momentary flash of his youth among the Nestley wagons. He couldn't help but wonder how memories a couple of hundred years old could still remain so clear. He promised himself that one of these days he was going to take the time to really try to remember what those days were like. "Yes, Roy, I think I know exactly what you mean.", he offered then turned his attention back to the pebble for his own sake.

 

Several minutes of silent contemplation passed before Roy spoke again. "GrandpaG. I would ask of you a very great favor.". He hesitated as if searching for the right words then continued. "This favor is so important I almost wish that I didn't have to ask it of you.".

 

GrandpaG looked his friend squarely in the eye and said, "what do you need, Roy?".

 

Roy looked nervous and somewhat hesitant. He almost squirmed. Eventually he reached into his coat pocket and produced a large, tattered book. The cloth covered wooden cover was stained and the corners were worn off. It had obviously seen lots of travel. Roy held the precious possession between his massive hands as if he was trying to keep it warm. He closed his eyes and hummed a low, soothing hum for several seconds. When he opened his eyes the sadness was within them again.

 

"This is my journal. It contains important notes of my travels since leaving the stedding. I wish you to...", he paused and regained his composure, "I NEED you to deliver this to my...", a stick had to be cleared from his throat, "to my...mother". He let out a huge sigh as if getting those words out had been the hardest thing that he had ever done. Then he concentrated a longing stare upon GrandpaG that made him feel as if he were being probed.

 

GrandpaG thought for a moment before responding. "I am getting pretty good at this Traveling thing. If you could show me a map of where your stedding is I could probably open a gateway within a few minutes walk of the place and then you could deliver it yours...". He didn't get to finish his offer.

 

 

NO!!!

 

 

When Roy realized that he had shouted, he tried to shrink out of sight. A normal Ogier voice is quite loud. An Ogier yell is REALLY loud. Hundreds of nearby Aiel and People looked to see what the sound was. Some looked concerned and started to approach but Roy smiled and held up his hands to them while apologizing for his outbreak. When the crowd was settled and back about their own business Roy turned back to GrandpaG. His voice was much quieter now.

 

"I'm sorry, my friend. I appreciate your offer. I regret that I cannot share every detail with you but trust me that having you deliver this treasure is for the best of everyone. Trust me, please.". He held the book toward GrandpaG. It obviously took all of his grit to do so. It took most of GrandpaG's strength to accept it.

 

 

OOC: grandma is calling...to be continued.

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OOC: continued..."honey" is napping. :biggrin:

 

 

GrandpaG tucked the precious package into a hidden pocket inside his gleeman's cloak. The random pattern of colorful patches helped to hide the bulge but it was still visible. He promised himself that he would deliver it at the first opportunity. Roy had seemed very concerned about his prized possession and GrandpaG was NOT going to let him down!

 

Patting the bulge while Roy nodded in approval, GrandpaG finished the conversation with some small talk about the weather and the crops and the joy of singing then told Roy that he needed a nap. Roy seemed pleased. Apparently he was ready for a nap of his own. The pair settled back against the trunk of the Tree of Life and were soon snoring peacefully.

 

GrandpaG could feel the waves of peace falling over his resting body. At times he could almost swear that he heard voices singing some of the most beautiful songs that he had ever heard. He couldn't make out the words, but that didn't matter. Just the sound of the voices all melting into one was so wonderful that he just had to relax. It reminded him of the ancient tale about "Rype VonVengler" who fell asleep and didn't awaken until he was very old and his family thought that he had died. The thought almost made him wake up but not quite. As relaxed as he was he didn't care if he ever woke up again.

 

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"Gree. Gree. Where are you? You need to get cleaned up for supper. Gree?", the voice was beginning to sound concerned. Gree grinned and hunkered down next to the ground under the bush where he was hiding from his Muhmah. He had played hard all day and some of her vegetarian chili really would taste very good right now but he just couldn't resist having just a little more fun before calling it a day. He tried to lay perfectly still. "GREE! I know you can hear me!". Just a little longer. Let her come closer so he could spring up at her and watch her jump. "Gregorian Goolaska! If you are not standing by my side at the count of three you will feel a switch across your bottom before bedtime that you will still remember tomorrow morning! ONE!".

 

Gree knew that tone. He had carried his fun just a little too far. His mother's red hair had always been a sign of a short fuse. Over the course of his eight long years he had learned that when she called him by his full name that he was either already in trouble or soon would be. "TWO!". Oh crap! She was still close enough that he might make it if he bolted right at this instant. But, what if he didn't make it in time? What if he got there just as she said three? Would he still get the switch? Was he better off remaining hidden? After all. She hadn't actually found him yet. He could think up some whopper to tell her later explaining that he was busy playing and didn't hear her calling. His little voice told him to do the right thing. He sprung to his feet and yelled toward her, "SURPRISE! You couldn't see me even though I was right here! Did I do well, Muhmah? Have I learned the skill of hiding? Are you proud of me?". He waited.

 

His mother only barely jumped at the sudden appearance of her son. Then she was all business. Her left hip jutted out to the side and both of her hands rested on her hips. She tapped her exposed toe onto the grassy ground. Her face was stern and her eyes were locked solidly to his. Her expression dared him to be so bold as to look away. Gree knew that a good tongue lashing was headed his way but he had the feeling that his little voice had saved him from the switch.

 

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"Quiet, son.", Gree's Pahpah whispered as he pointed toward the approaching she wolf. "Remain perfectly still. Try not to blink. Try not to breath. Silence your heart beat." They were perched on a flat stone outcrop high above the deer path. They had been watching the family of deer grazing nearby for a long enough time that Gree's bottom was getting tired. One of the young deer had a broken leg and was lying down unable to eat. Gree felt sorry for the injured deer. He had wished that there was some way that he could ease it's suffering. Pahpah had explained that the Pattern has a way of taking care of things.

 

In a matter of seconds three more wolves appeared behind the first. Then two more. Gree wanted to yell to alert the family of deer but Pahpah continued to urge him toward being quiet and observing. This was one of his life lessons. It was important to his learning the Way of the Leaf. He needed to understand the Pattern. The lead wolf must have given some secret signal because the entire pack sprung into action at once. The family of deer began to flee in every direction. The pack leader soon discovered that the injured deer could not escape as fast as the rest so she headed in it's direction. Hobbling as fast as it could on three legs the deer tried to run but the pack was soon upon it. The end came swiftly.

 

On the way back to the wagons Pahpah explained that the wolves serve the Pattern. They are not allowed to grow their food. They must find it. The strongest deer are able to run. The old and sick are not. Gree did not like the idea of killing for food. Fish was OK. That was different. But, he did understand what Pahpah was telling him. The Pattern is very complex. Each thread has it's own purpose. Some threads might appear to be bad but they are necessary in their own way. No living thing lives forever. The Pattern remakes itself to it's own design constantly.

 

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OOC: "honey" is done napping...bye for now.

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OOC: he's still dreaming peacefully...somewhat.

 

 

 

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Today could have been the most wonderful day of his life. If only things had gone differently. For many of his seventeen years he had dreamed of this day. Rae Anna Moreese. The words flowed through his mind like fallen leaves floating in a creek. Rae Rae. His forever beloved. Today should have been the day that he would ask her to share his wagon for the rest of their lives. It should have been. With that sad thought in mind, he nodded off for a quick nap.

 

Bears won't harm you unless they are protecting their young. They don't eat people. Not usually, anyway. Not unless they are REALLY hungry and there isn't any other food for them to eat. They prefer sweets. Berries. Honey. Thistle vine. Toad stools. Keep your eyes on him and back away slowly. Not too fast. Watch where you're stepping...".

 

The Pattern must have laid that log there. That could be the only reason. Rae Rae would normally have seen it in plenty of time and stepped over it backward with ease. Any other time. Not this time. The hem of her dress caught a broken branch. The ripping sound was her only warning. Her heel stubbed against the log and she tumbled back onto the ground in a heap. Her head banged against the trunk of a huge tree and he eyes bulged before closing. A terrible, painful scowl appeared on her face. Gree wanted to go to her to help her but the bear was quicker than he was. In a matter of moments that lasted for hours his beloved Rae Rae became a mangled mess of bloody flesh. The bear looked at him with no emotion then turned to casually leave.

 

Gree awoke in a cold sweat. Men his age were not supposed to cry. He couldn't help it. That memory was so real. Even though that day had never happened, it might as well have. That was the way that he felt when he thought about her. She was gone forever. Never again would he gaze upon her beauty or enjoy the soothing sound of her laughter. Another man from a visiting group of wagons had whisked her away to travel with him in his wagon. Gree's dreams were not to be. The Pattern had it's own Will.

 

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OOC: "honey" has stuff for me to "do".

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OOC: why isn't there a tinker discussion forum?

 

 

There used to be one. I was their "Honorary Gleeman". The ratings fell off and it was closed. That was my original reason for starting this thread. Since no other tinkers posted here, I just sort of...took over. :rolleyes:

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that's too bad. i hope they'll consider restaring it. sounds like it would be fun, and i don't see how it could use that much bandwidth, anyway.

 

i like reading your stuff, though.

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OOC: yet another dream beneath the Tree of Life in Rhuidean. Maybe he WILL end up like Rip Van Winkle!

 

 

 

Gree couldn't believe his eyes. Rae was walking toward him! How had she returned to the Nestley wagons? Why was she walking as if she were in a dance? Her blouse was pulled off from each shoulder exposing the tops of both of them. And she was showing...gulp...cleavage! This was NOT like her at ALL! She threw her head back and laughed yet he heard no sound. When she finished laughing her gaze upon him looked...almost WICKED! She stepped toward him in a hunting manner that he had only seen performed by much older women enticing their men at an evening's campfire. She wasn't old enough for such behavior. She had only been gone for a few weeks. And he wasn't her intended. Or was he?

 

He tried to get a word out to ask her how she had returned to him and why she was acting so strangely but she reached out and gently covered his mouth with the tips of her fingers while holding the pointing finger of her other hand to her own beautiful lips signaling him to remain silent. That sign was universal among all Tuatha'an. He complied automatically. When she was satisfied that he would follow her command she went to work.

 

Her finger nails were not sharp but the pressure that she applied down his cheek was almost to the point of discomfort. When she reached the base of his neck she reversed direction with the back side of her nails all the way to the hair line on his forehead. She narrowed her eyes to catlike slits and smiled another wicked smile. She now used the fingers of both hands to rub the hair above both of his ears. Slowly. Gently. She closed her eyes and smiled a pleasurable smile. Small circles. Larger ones. Caressing. Tugging. Playing. Her shoulders began to sway slightly. Gree tried not to notice that lovely cleavage because he didn't want to embarrass her but he couldn't help an occasional peek while her eyes were closed.

 

She kissed him softly on his left cheek. Then the right cheek. She opened her eyes and stopped feeling of his head. Her face became very serious. Gree wished that she would go back to playing. She grabbed his head firmly at the ears and pulled her lips forcefully against his. He didn't know what to think. She had never acted like this before. Just as he was thinking that it wasn't so bad and that he might learn to like it she jammed her tongue into his mouth. He convulsed away from her and began spitting. HOW DARE SHE!!! Rae laughed that wild silent laugh even harder than before.

 

Slowly, carefully, so as not to frighten him away, Rae gradually eased her way toward Gree as if to reassure him that she wouldn't do it again. She lead him toward a nearby bench and urged him to sit. Then she crawled gracefully onto his lap. The reaction from this move caused him some embarrassment and caused her to smile again. She kissed him reassuringly on the cheek. Then she fixed her eyes on his. His reaction intensified and so did her stare. He was quite positive that they had never been together like this before. She leaned down and nibbled at his right ear. Then she left a long path of gently placed kisses down the side of his neck. Occasionally she would nibble just hard enough to almost hurt but not quite. Gree reacted even more and Rae squirmed slightly.

 

Just when Gree was about to stand up Rae stood up. She stared him straight in the eye and dropped the left shoulder of the blouse. Then the right shoulder. Cleavage was soon replaced by something even more lovely. Rae smiled a loving smile then knelt down in front of him. He tried to cover what she had caused but she moved his hands and began loosening his belt. That's when he saw the light.

 

A dim light at first, there in the background behind her. Not strong or brilliant, nowhere yet everywhere. Kind of pulsing but not really. It made him mad that the light was distracting his attention. He had seen night flies attracted to a campfire to the point that they flew into the flames and were consumed. That was how he felt. Rae might as well have not existed. Where ever she was, whatever she was doing, didn't matter. All that mattered was that blasted light. He had to get closer. He had to touch it. He didn't care if the flame consumed him. There it was! Within reach! Reach out! Grab it!

 

 

KKAAABBOOOMMM!!!

 

 

 

Gree woke with a start and fell out of his bed. The light was gone. Rae was gone. The side of the wagon was gone. It had all been a dream. She had not really been there at all. She was still riding on some other man's wagon. He would never really experience the wonders of that beautiful dream. But the hole in the wagon WAS real! They must have been struck by lightning or something. He collected his composure and stepped outside to find out what had happened. The unexpected daylight made him raise his arm to shade his eyes. Now he remembered. He had been strangely tired in the middle of the day and had taken a nap instead of eating lunch.

 

A crowd was gathering to see what the noise was. There wasn't a cloud in the sky so it could not have been lightning. The boards from the side of the wagon were strewn on the ground. They had been blown out from the inside of the wagon. They had come from beside his bed. Where he had been napping. There was no fire in the wagon's stove. What could have caused so much damage.

 

Master Klem was one of Gree's favorite people in the whole world. Strong. Wise. Fair. He had a good sense of what being Mahdi meant. Klem Nestley was renowned among all the People who knew him. As he approached with that stern look on his face Gree knew that something was terribly wrong. He looked at the debris, peeked in at Gree's bed, then hung his head sadly. After several moments he looked at Gree's father.

 

"You know what must happen.", was all that he said then he turned and walked back to where he had come from. The others who had gathered turned and left also. Gree's father stood motionless watching them leave. His face was an awful color of pale. When everyone was well beyond hearing distance and nobody was looking, he turned to face Gree.

 

"You are no longer my son.". The tears that formed were quickly erased. "You have channeled the One Power. You will one day go mad and destroy everything and everyone around you. Even the Way of the Leaf will not be enough to stop this terrible thing from happening." A brief pause to find more strength. "You are no longer welcome at our fires. The colorful clothing that you have grown up in is no longer yours. Leave it behind. Leave here in your skin and never return. If you have any decency left in you, you will not eat so that you may awaken from the dream and be done with this nightmare." A father can sometimes find strength when there should be none to be found. "Go, now. Leave us." Struggling to fight back the tears. "GO!!!".

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the problem is that tinkers are inherently non-violent, and very passive. therefore only RPers who enjoy writing about non-violent and passive pursuits join in, and those are few in number.

 

i for one am completely unable to write non-violent RP, it is just, for lack of a better word, boring for me.

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i dont RP so much anymore, but i used to do it alot. Check out a few of the threads below this one and i likely will have been a big part of it.

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OOC: here are some more boring Tinker dreams for the faithful forty to enjoy. How many millions have read the series and only those who have read these few posts will ever know how the Channeling Tinker Gleeman came to be. :biggrin:

 

OOC: after I got to work it occurred to me that perhaps I had been a little graphic in the last post. I apologize if I offended anyone. My intent was to show a strong impact for the first time that Gree channeled. The lead in was supposed to distract the reader until the moment that he saw the light. Sorry if I got carried away.

 

 

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Two weeks alone in the wild was no big thing. Gree had often trailed behind the wagons on his own, with his father's blessing, of course, just to experience the solitude. Sometimes it actually felt good to be alone. He would check in long enough to let everyone know that he was OK, then slip away into the underbrush again. Foraging for food and water. Avoiding wild beasts. Finding shelter in a storm. It was good training in the event that he had to run away from the wagons for some reason some day. Such behavior was encouraged. Now, that training was keeping him alive.

 

The only part that he was not used to was being totally exposed to the elements. Usually, his well built clothing kept him cool in the sunlight and warm at night. The lack of covering meant that his skin became quite sunburned and he had to gather large quantities of leaves and other debris to sleep under. Packing his nest tightly about the base of a bush helped some but it still did not replace a nice warm cloak. Besides missing his family, he also missed his clothes.

 

His father's recommendation had entered his thoughts many times. Perhaps it would be better if he simply did not survive. He had even tried going several days without eating even though there was plenty of nourishment readily available. Not drinking was pure torture. He finally resolved that he would not put himself through that again. Starving could be tolerated. Awakening from the dream due to thirst was not an option. And freezing to death was sounding more like a bad idea every day.

 

He didn't plan it. It just happened. It must have been the Will of the Pattern. One afternoon as he was getting a drink from a small stream he heard the sound of a small bell. At first he couldn't tell where it was coming from but with time he located the source. Peeking around the trunk of a large oak tree he spotted a cow grazing in a pasture. A bell was tied around it's neck. The tinkling sound was produced each time that the cow moved forward and lowered it's head for more grass. The sound was quite soothing but Gree thought to himself that it would make it hard for the cow to hide during a trolloc attack. Then he thought, "what is a cow with a bell doing out here by these woods?". It dawned on him that he must be near a farm.

 

A farm. People. Not his People. The other kind. The ones who hated his People for no reason. The ones who lied about his People stealing children. The ones who made fun of the "Tinkers" but stood in line to have their pots mended. Those self-righteous fools who condemned the "wicked Tinkers dancing" but hid in the bushes to watch at an evening campfire. The people who wore drab colored clothing.

 

Clothing. Drab colored, yes, but still it would provide protection from the sun and warmth at night. Even the dreary colors would be better than nothing. But how would he pay for them? He had no coins. He couldn't very well approach the farmer's good wife while he was wearing no clothes to ask her if he could do chores to earn a pair of trousers. And, what if he was sleeping in their barn and had another of those light dreams? Would he burn down their barn thus killing all of the poor fellow's stock? No. Perhaps he should just move along. But, dark was approaching and so was another lightning and thunder storm. Perhaps the farmer had a stack of hay in a field that he could dig into to stay out of the rain. He decided to check it out.

 

Gree followed the edge of the woods and tried to avoid being seen. Even in his brightly colored clothing he had become quite good at hiding. It was even easier with his sunburned skin. After a short while of sneaking he spotted the barn that he really did not want to burn down accidentally. Beyond it was a small house with a thatched roof. Several other out-buildings and pens stood nearby. This was definitely a small farm. The vegetables growing in the garden looked very tasty but they did not belong to him and he was NOT going to the door to ask permission to eat some. Stealing them wasn't an option, either. He had learned that lesson as a very young child. Then he saw it.

 

Attached to the house near the back door and extending out to a nearby tree was a rope. On that rope hung various pieces of bedding, under garments, and CLOTHES!!! SHIRTS!!! TROUSERS!!! SOCKS!!! There was even a hand woven door mat waiting to be beaten. That could make a most excellent rain shield. Much better than leaves. Gree's little voice was screaming wildly that what he was considering was TOTALLY WRONG!!! His own conscience told him the same thing. Every fiber of his being said that he should turn away. Move on. Leave this place quickly and quietly.

 

Dusk was not far off. Soon, the farmer's good wife would be coming to the clothes line to collect everything so that it would not be dampened by the evening dew. Gree had to leave before she appeared. He did not want her to see his sunburn. He had no right to any of those clothes. They were not his. He needed to be away from here. NOW!!! He made one more quick surveillance of the area, saw nobody, and made a quick dash to the line. Without bothering to untie the pieces of string that held the clothes in place he jerked a pair of pants and a shirt free and tucked them under his arm. A pair of socks. The door mat. A plain brown cloak. In seconds he had them in his possession and was running for dear life back into the underbrush. "THIEVING TINKERS!!!", he heard a voice in the back of his mind yelling. He tried as hard as he could to ignore it. "I'm Tuatha'an no more", he told himself sadly.

 

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Rae visited Gree's dreams often. Many times she sat quietly beside him at an evening's campfire after a hard day's travel. Sometimes she danced for him. Those dreams he enjoyed. On the rare occasion when the terrible dream occurred that had brought the light that made him channel he quickly recognized it and forced himself to awaken. He wanted no part of the One Power. He had no desire to go mad. He did not want to have to heed his father's advice. There just had to be some way that he could grow old and awaken from the dream without ever again touching saidin. That was his plan. It seemed to be his only option.

 

The clothes that he had stolen several months earlier were now getting thread bare from all of his travels. With no shoes, the socks had long since torn to the point that he carried them in his pocket and went barefoot until night fall. Every day he was haunted by the fact that they were stolen. How many times had he considered finding his way back to that farm to beg forgiveness and to offer to repay his debt? He knew that the debt could never be erased. The damage was done. The memory of his actions would follow him to his grave. Justice. He should have listened to his little voice.

 

Avoiding other humans had not proven to be difficult. The drab colored clothes were even easier to hide in than his sunburned skin. People were not specifically looking for him. As long as he saw them first, which he usually did, they were avoided. On the few occasions that he had slipped up, he ran away quickly. No body bothered him and he bothered no body. He didn't channel. He had his dreams. Life was not so bad.

 

Who was he trying to fool? He missed his family. His missed conversation. And music. And vegetarian chili. The simple things in life. A cool drink of water out of ladle instead of cupping your hands in a creek. Freshly baked bread. Churned butter. The nuts and berries and grasses that he had been eating to survive could not compare to some of his mother's homemade vegetable soup. Even a chunk of the nasty, strong cheese that his great father preferred would be a pleasing treat. There was really no danger in being near people and enjoying the simple pleasures as long as he avoided any contact with his People.

 

Those thoughts were in his mind as he came to the top of a rise and saw a small village at the foot of the hill. Was this the work of the Pattern? Had it provided this village just for him? Probably not, but his little voice told him that it was OK to go there. So, he did.

 

The Nestley wagons had always been careful to avoid these types of places. The people who lived in villages and towns and cities had no use for the Traveling People other than to get their pots mended and to take unfair advantage any way they could. The little coin that was gained was not worth the problems. Master Klem had told many terrible stories at many campfires about why he chose to steer clear of town people. Gree had listened in earnest to those tales. At this moment he felt genuine fear as he approached this village in the middle of nowhere. But, his little voice said it was OK so he pressed on until he found himself standing in the middle of a dirt street staring in awe at all of the buildings.

 

"There's a gleeman at the inn!!! There's a gleeman at the inn!!!". Several small children were running down the street yelling into the doorways of every shop that they passed. As they moved on, the townspeople who had been inside the shops gradually emerged and looked around at each other wondering if they had heard correctly. As the news sunk in and they saw others headed toward the inn, they hurried off in that direction. Gree did, too.

 

Ignoring his instinct to be away from the crowd, he joined them in trying to catch a glimpse of the exotic entertainer. In all of his years he had only seen one and he had been so young that he remembered nothing of the experience except for that feeling of excitement and awe. His curiosity over powered his fear and he pressed harder into the crowd as he was pressed from behind. Everyone wanted to see the gleeman.

 

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Richmond's Mill. That had turned out to be the name of the village. Apparently, some many years earlier, a person named Richmond had built a mill near the stream that now passed through the center of the village. Some homeless wanderers had found the mill and settled down to build houses and small farms nearby. Some of their children had decided to open shops to sell this or that. Now, the village had a name and a history. Gree learned that this was how many villages had been established. With time, some had grown into towns. Others had evolved into great cities. Even Tar Valon had once been a small fishing village.

 

Several days had passed since he first arrived. He had only caught passing glimpses of the gleeman and could hear little of his performance. Even so, it was something that he would never forget. Especially the cloak. It was not much different than the one that Gree had stolen but it had the most glorious array of brightly colored patches sewn all over it! The colors made him think of home. Sadness tried to creep in but he chased it away. He resolved that he would have fond memories of what was lost. The Pattern had given him a new path to follow and that is exactly what he intended to do. The Way of the Leaf was deeply embedded in his bones. Accept the Will of the Pattern.

 

Several of the elderly women in town had noticed the rags that Gree was wearing. They found them to be quite unacceptable. He was allowed to do several chores that they just had to have help with at once. Then he was rewarded with a warm bath or a hot meal or some under garments or some shoes or whatever piece of clothing that the women felt he had earned through his labors. Soon he had a decent hair cut and shined from top to bottom. The clothes were drab in color but appropriate for a young man of his age. Several of them commented that he "cleaned up nicely" which made him blush and made them laugh. He appreciated their generosity but still was not quite comfortable being around them.

 

Just as he was considering moving on and getting back to his traveling ways, it happened. With no planning on his part whatsoever, out of the clear blue, totally by accident, he rounded the corner of a building while heading into an alley and came face to face with the gleeman!!! Talk about a twist in the Will of the Pattern!!! He was stunned. Speechless. Motionless. Staring wide eyed. Mouth hanging open. For several long seconds he just stood there unable to move.

 

"Are you OK, boy?", the gleeman asked with a concerned look on his face. He didn't appear to be much older than Gree's father. Not nearly as old as Master Klem. Yet, he had a certain look about him that spoke of volumes of knowledge from many years of study. Gree still couldn't move enough to answer. The gleeman squinted as if studying him then smiled and held out his hand. "I'm James Armstrong Younger, lad. Folks call my Jay because of my initials. Pleased to meet you master...", and he waited for Gree to respond.

 

Gree swallowed hard and tried to speak. All that came out was a squeak so he cleared his throat. He accepted the gleeman's hand. With great effort he was able to push out a coarse whisper. "Gregor...Gregorian...Goolaska...of the Nest...", he stopped. "Just Gregorian Goolaska, master gleeman...sir!" The gleeman chuckled.

 

"You seem to be in a hurry to get somewhere. Where are you headed, son?"

 

Gree looked at him with what must have appeared to be an angry expression. He was NOT this person's SON! Then he realized that the man had not meant any disrespect. These new people would take some getting used to.

 

"I'm following the Will of the Pattern, sir. Where it leads me, that's where I will go. At this particular moment I was headed that way for no particular reason.", Gree pointed down the alley. The gleeman glanced to where he pointed then brought a deep stare back to Gree that almost made him nervous.

 

"The Will of the Pattern, eh? That's what made you bump into me? You wouldn't by chance be looking for an apprenticeship now would you?".

 

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OOC: and that's how GrandpaG got his start. A couple of hundred years later, he's sitting under the Tree of Life in Rhuidean taking a nap next to Roy the Ogier. "Honey" needs help trimming a tree. To be continued...

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OOC: here are some more boring Tinker dreams for the faithful forty to enjoy. How many millions have read the series and only those who have read these few posts will ever know how the Channeling Tinker Gleeman came to be. :biggrin:

 

OOC: after I got to work it occurred to me that perhaps I had been a little graphic in the last post. I apologize if I offended anyone. My intent was to show a strong impact for the first time that Gree channeled. The lead in was supposed to distract the reader until the moment that he saw the light. Sorry if I got carried away.

 

 

 

 

(if i was bored, i wouldn't read all the words. you tell a good story.

 

and i don't think you offended anyone. it did distract the reader, and did as good a job as violence would have in the narrative. i believe the internet encourages impure thoughts, possibly due to the forward leaning seated position from which we post. but you go ahead with your naughty self :smile: .)

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OOC: my wife says that I am maturing...into a dirty old man! (I used to be a pervert) :biggrin:

 

OOC: ...continued.

 

 

 

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The sun seemed brighter than normal. It only took a few moments for GrandpaG to remember that he was in the Aiel Waste. Even beneath the shade of the Tree of Life the heat was enough to fry an egg on a stone and the sunlight bored it's way through the foliage.

 

Roy was snoring like an Ogier. Every so often he would kind of grunt and squirm and make a terrible face. A couple of times GrandpaG thought that Roy was in pain. When Roy's stomach rumbled a huge rumble GrandpaG feared that a cloud of "silent but deadly" gas might erupt. During one particularly painful looking episode GrandpaG gave Roy a tender poke in the ribs to divert his attention from the less than desirable dream. Roy grunted then sprang to his feet in a start with both fists tight and ready to face his assailant.

 

"Why did you do that?", he asked GrandpaG accusingly. "I was dreaming about my girlfriend's ears!". Roy's ears twitched then quivered. He rolled his huge eyes skyward then grinned as if remembering his dream. "She is a VERY desirable individual! She likes to hear me singing to the trees. Her gaze can melt your heart. When she blinks her eyelids...", he shivered and smiled, "it's like no other feeling. She likes me. The REAL me! Not the one that I show everyone. She knows me to the depth of my soul and she STILL likes me!". He let out a long, peaceful sigh.

 

"I thought you were in some kind of pain. The expression on your face was very different than what you describe. I'm sorry.". GrandpaG felt the memory of some of his dreams creeping back into his head and quickly shut them out. For years he had successfully forgotten that crap. Reliving it now after all of this time was irrelevant and unnecessary torture. The past was past. What the Pattern lead him to cannot be changed. Today is all that matters now. And, tomorrow.

 

Roy looked down at GrandpaG. "That's OK, my friend. You didn't know. Strange that I should dream as I did. It has been some long time.". Roy looked at his toes and wiggled them as if he were making sure that he could. "We of this age have much to learn about the Tree of Life. Even the old books cannot accurately describe what it actually feels like to nap here.".

 

GrandpaG nodded in agreement as if he had actually read the ancient Ogier books. Now that he was awake he could feel the peace that he had experienced earlier. The unpleasant memories were gone. They left their imprint on his brain but they were no longer clear. He briefly remembered thinking recently that he might try to revisit his younger memories. Now that he had he wished that the thought had never crossed his mind.

 

His mind raced. "What if I had never started to channel? What if we had never met that other group of wagons that stole Rae away from me? What if I had never stolen? How could my life have been different? Would I have been a better person? I would have been dead long ago. Maybe the wagon that I built for Rae and our family would have tumbled over the edge of some steep path while crossing to the Waste. My CHILDREN!!! I might have had CHILDREN!!!".

 

"Are you OK?", Roy asked looking very concerned.

 

GrandpaG could feel tears building but he stubbornly subdued them. He tried to answer but had to clear his throat first. "Ahem. AHEM! Yes. I'm OK. Just thinking.". Several long moments passed. The concern did not leave Roy's eyes. "Roy, I know that you consider yourself young, but you seem quite learned for your age. Almost...wise. Have you ever thought about how things might have been? I mean...", an awkward pause while searching for words, "what if the Pattern would have led you down a different path?".

 

Now it was Roy's turn to pause. "Thank you for the complement.". More deep thought. "Yes.". He nodded. "Actually, I have wondered many times how my life up to now could have been had things happened differently. I accept the Will of the Pattern, yet I can't help wishing that I could have changed some of my actions. I could have stayed in the stedding and I might have become a Grand Singer of Trees, given a few hundred years practice, of course. My mother would have mated me to someone of her choice and I might be a young father soon.". That thought put a startled look on Roy's face as if he really had never had that thought before. "I would not have written my book.". He glanced toward his treasure. "I might always have wondered what the world outside was really like.".

 

GrandpaG nodded. "We cannot possibly understand the Will of the Pattern. It must be accepted. We don't have to LIKE it or AGREE with it, though.".

 

Roy smiled. "I like you, GrandpaG.". Another awkward pause. "I am happy that the Pattern caused us to meet.". A gong went off in GrandpaG's head.

 

"That reminds me. When we first met you mentioned that you had knowledge of me but you never finished telling me where that knowledge came from.". GrandpaG stared into those huge eyes and waited expectantly.

 

If Ogiers could blush it appeared that Roy would have. He gulped. Finally he answered. "We have a mutual...acquaintance.". Even more embarrassment shown on his face. "A certain fellow who...can channel the One Power.". Roy lowered his eyes and dug at the ground with his toes while stalling. "He likes FIRE!". Roy glanced around at the charred ruins surrounding them. "I believe that this was some of his doing.", he waved his arm in a long arc.

 

GrandpaG was shocked as the reality slammed home. He knew EXACTLY who Roy was talking about. Reflexively he took a step away from Roy and got ready to run. He half expected to see trolloc horns poking out of Roy's forehead. "You're...you're...", he couldn't force himself to say it.

 

"A darkfriend.", Roy whispered and nodded.

 

The shock sent GrandpaG to his seat with a thud. This was his friend. Ogier couldn't possibly be seduced by the Shadow. They were too kind and gentle. "WHY?" The word slipped out before GrandpaG could drag it back.

 

Tears formed in Roy's eyes. It was his turn to clear his throat. "AHEM!!!". Coming from an Ogier it sounded like nearby thunder. When he finally could speak he did so with embarrassment.

 

"I was young. Barely ninety. Cocky. Impulsive. Self-confident. Everyone told me how I was destined to be a great leader some day. I came to believe them. I felt that the Pattern had chosen me for special things. One day a stranger visited the stedding. I am convinced that the Pattern led him to me. There can be no other explanation. He told me that with his help I could become the greatest leader the Ogier had ever known. All of the books would tell my tale. I allowed my head to swell with his words. When he said that all I would have to do is to swear an oath it all seemed so simple.".

 

Roy could not continue. The huge Ogier tears flowed freely. He sobbed hard. Every so often he would exhale hard then suck in as much breath as he could before continuing. GrandpaG waved away some curious onlookers. Roy sat on the ground with his eyelids in his hands. GrandpaG stood beside him and put his arm around Roy's shoulder. A couple of minutes seemed like hours. Roy's sobbing gradually diminished and GrandpaG sat cross legged in front of him. There were no trolloc horns. Roy continued with occasional gulps of air and sniffs.

 

"I found out what I had done after it was too late. I was instructed to leave the stedding. I was to meet a young man at an inn in Caemlyn and was to befriend and accompany him. I was told to keep notes about his activities. You do not want to know what would have happened if I had disobeyed. It all seemed so simple. I now realize that those notes could cause real problems at Tarmon Gaidon should the Shadow get their hands on them. I didn't mean any harm. I wanted to follow the Pattern. I just didn't recognize the path that it had chosen for me.". He hung his head and closed his eyes for several long moments then looked back up with a smile.

 

"But, now, none of that matters. They no longer have their dirty hold on me. I am a free Ogier once again! I have denounced that filthy oath! In my final days before I awaken from this dream I can stand with my head held proud! I'M FREE!!!". The people nearby looked toward the loud shout and Roy bowed several times in their directions. They applauded. GrandpaG looked puzzled. "I don't understand.".

 

"When I swore off the oath, a timer started trickling sands through an hourglass. When the timer runs out I will awaken from this dream. It is the penalty for ending an alliance with the Shadow. All darkfriends know of this option but very few choose it. Most continue to serve their dark masters until they awaken. I chose it freely and willingly. I have no fear of awakening. It will be good to have the burden of that one mistake removed from my soul.". He smiled a peaceful smile that the onlookers probably mistook for the affects of the Tree of Life. GrandpaG smiled with and for him.

 

"I'm going for a swim.", Roy stated quite matter-of-factual. He glanced toward his notebook then looked GrandpaG square in the eye. "Goodbye, my friend. Remember your promise to deliver that to my mother." GrandpaG nodded. Roy smiled and turned to strut toward Lake Rhuidean. His pace didn't slow until he was chest deep in the water. Then he dove in and came up laying on his back and kicking his feet. After a while all that could be seen was a small splash from those huge feet. Then he was gone.

 

GrandpaG felt his tears swelling and did not try to hold them back. After all that had happened today he needed a good cry. After a while, when his sobbing had stopped and he was once again basking in the peace beneath the Tree of Life he thought that perhaps he should take another nap. "Nah. Better go see what Ghina bought.". He practiced looking interested as he walked away.

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

GrandpaG stepped into a wayside pub for some lemonade mixed with a local hooch called oosquaw or something like that. It went down smooth, quenched his thirst, and was dirt cheap. Two would put a person under the table. What more could you ask for?

 

As he bellied up to the bar he heard a familiar voice and turned to see Ghina sharing a table with Jake, Erina, and a lovely young Aiel woman with the same mark on her shoulder as his. He ordered his drink. "What a nice surprise.", he thought. "I had no idea that Jon had brought his wagon here. I wonder if he will go through the columns, too.". With that happy thought in mind he paid for his drink and went to join them.

 

 

OOC: this could take many turns. Just for fun, you can take a shot at it if you like. :biggrin:

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Jake leaned over toward Erina and whispered into her ear.

 

"See that old guy in the gleeman's cloak being escorted out? Does he kind of remind you of GrandpaG?".

 

Erina took a glance then sipped her drink and shrugged.

 

"Maybe.", she replied absently.

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OOC: quite the opposite...I was trying to pick up where you left off.

 

 

 

Sandy sprang to her feet and stabbed her dagger into the table top. Ghina opened herself to the Source just in case.

 

"You wetland Lost Ones are all so soft! Jake obviously asked you to join him in the sweat tent later! His eyes have been seeing you there for the past hour! And you don't have the decency to give him a straight answer? What is this "MAYBE"? Either join him or don't!".

 

Ghina released the source. There would be no murder at this table today.

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