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GrandpaG

"UP THERE".

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OOC:  For more information about how this thread came to be, see reply #40 in the Gateway to a New Age thread.

http://www.dragonmount.com/forums/topic/45357-gateway-to-a-new-age/page__st__20__p__1459308#entry1459308

 

 

The location is a remote volcanic island somewhere between the Isle of Madmen and the Sea Folk islands.  If seen from a few thousand feet up, the top of the island would look like a butt hole with huge surrounding hemorrhoids.  A ring of volcanoes rise to peaks in a large circular pattern.  A large plateau exists inside the tops of the volcanoes.  This is Jurassic Park type territory that is avoided by the natives who live along the coastline below.  "Bad joo-joo be der mahn".

 

This should be a fun thread limited only by the imagination of those who post here.  ENJOY!

 

P.S.

Please remember the PG-13 guidelines.

Edited by GrandpaG

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John run away from the big reptilian creature that was chasing him.It looked like the over sized lizard but it was more dangerous than any lizard he encountered.He wondered is this a Shadowaspawn of some sort,but he doubted.If the Dark One had something like this he would use it in the Last Battle.He cursed the day when he trusted the mysterious woman who tricked him to follow her.She was beautiful so he didn't think that she could harm him in any way.He hoped  to get a kiss or something more from her but he woke up here totally unaware where this place is.He tried to open the Gateway to Caemlin or Kairhien,he tried to every place he knew on the continent,but the weaves rejected to form.Luckily he could use all other weaves he knew so he was capable to defend himself but not from a creature like this.He was not strong enough to form a weave big enough to do some harm to that bloody animal or whatever it was.

 

OOC: God topic Grandpa G.This is just a start of the story hat will affect the whole Randland.Enjoy :)

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Gorgeous.  Simply breathtaking.  Almost literally.  Jym was having to breathe in and out about twice as much as normal.  Each time that he exhaled a cloud formed in front of his face.  He had never seen anything like that down home.  It never got this cold below the cloud line.  Just one more wonderful new experience.  This trip was well worth the effort.  Deciding that this must be as far up as he could go, Jym sat down to rest for a minute.  The view was magnificent.

 

How many times over the past thirty years had he dreamed of this moment?  How many different ways had he imagined things would look from up here?  How many attempts had failed before he finally got everything just right to make it up there?  Or should he say, "up here", now that he had finally made it?  How many bones had he broken?  How many cuts and bruises?  How many missed meals?  It was all worth it now.

 

Jym couldn't wiggle his toes.  Long ago they had stopped hurting.  They were cut but not bleeding.  He could see his feet but he could not feel them at all.  A small price to pay for success.  One ear had all but fallen off.  Pieces of skin were gone from his cheeks.  His hands were as blue as his feet and he could barely move his swollen fingers.  Small consequence.  Well worth it.

 

His eyes were still working just fine.  Jym looked at the nearest volcanic peaks to either side.  He could easily see that they were similar to where he was.  They were white just like his.  They must have the same cold cloud stuff stuck to them.  Jym had heard traveler's tales about stuff called "snow" but he didn't think that it really existed.  This cold cloud stuff that he was sitting in sure did match up well with the way snow had been described.  For lack of a better word, Jym mentally accepted snow as a name for this stuff.

 

There were a multitude of other snow covered peaks stringing in both directions.  This was no surprise to Jym.  He had been all of the way around his island home in his family's fishing boat.  The white peaks have always been easy to see above the clouds.  Each volcano had a name but the names varied depending upon which villager you were talking with.  Everyone agreed the Dorphalia had a total of twenty-seven volcanic peaks in the ring.  Jym was the only person who had ever climbed even one of them.  This was his first.

 

In the far distance, just barely visible, was the peak of Jordan's volcano.  At it's base was the village of Terms.  That was where Dora lived.  Thinking of her made Jym smile and his heart skipped a beat.  She was very good company.  Until today, Jym had thought that she was the most beautiful thing on earth.  She was still a strong second.

 

Clouds covered all of the area inside the peaks except for one spot near the center.  Even at this distance Jym could make out a large bulge sticking up above the cloud layer.  It resembled the top of a gigantic tree even though it couldn't have possibly been.  It had taken Jym several hours to climb from the start of the clouds to where the clouds stopped.  Several hundred feet, easily.  For that bulge to be a tree it would have to be a thousand feet tall at least!  And several hundred feet in diameter!  NO WAY!  Maybe that would be his next trip.  He'd have to find out what the bulge was.  Then he'd visit Dora.

 

A strong gust of wind cut through his clothing and made him hug his knees up near his chin.  Jym tried his best to ignore the cold.  He did not want to leave.  He had worked so long and hard to get here.  It was SO beautiful!  If he had food and a nice, warm, dry hut here he would stay.  Oh.  And Dora.  But, he had none of those things.  His lips were raw, his throat was parched, and he had no more water.  Eating snow provided some relief, but he knew that, sadly, it was time to head for home.  He would have to visit the healer woman right away.  All of those cuts would probably start bleeding again as soon as he got to where it was warm.

 

Taking one last look around at all of the splendor, Jym stretched his muscles as best he could and tried to stand up.  He was careful.  On the way up he had learned the hard way that this snow stuff was slippery.  Going down should be easier that climbing up had been.  His weight should help him go down.  Coming up he had lifted his weight much of the way.  Rock by rock.  Ledge by ledge.  Yes.  It should be much quicker going down.  With that thought, he gave one last push and managed to stand upright.

 

Jym took slow deliberate steps.  He knew that he had to make good time to be down to the clouds by mid-day.  He should be below the clouds before dark.  If he could find the path that he had taken from his village, he could be home, healed, and in bed by midnight.  He tried to take a bite of the rock hard piece of fruit that was all that he had left to eat.  His tongue and lips stuck to the skin of the fruit.  When he pulled it free, some of his skin stayed on the fruit.  He was glad that he couldn't feel the pain.

 

A small pebble.  One lone small pebble.  He couldn't feel it when he stepped on it.  He couldn't tell that it was sliding across the snow on top of the rocks underneath.  Jym had no way of knowing that the pebble was causing him to lose traction.  Until it was too late.  By the time that he realized what was happening his leg was already in motion out from under him.  He didn't have strength enough to recover.  The leg kept going.  He lost his balance.  The other leg could not hold him.  Down he went.  It hurt when his butt hit the rocks that the pebble had been resting on.

 

Had both legs been pointing downhill, Jym might have been able to dig in his heels to stop.  But his left leg was trailing behind him uphill.  He tried to flop his body forward to grab at the passing snow covered rocks.  It didn't work.  He accelerated.  His right heel did finally catch on a rock.  It worked like a pole vault.  His leg stayed stiff and his body shot upward.  It seemed like a lifetime before he finally hit solid ground again.  With all four limbs spread as far apart as he could force them, he tried to grab the slippery ground with his fat numb fingers and toes.

 

Just as Jym was thinking that he had slowed a little he felt wind passing along his back and belly.  Not realizing that he had closed them, he opened his eyes.  Nothing.  There was nothing below him.  He took a quick glance back toward the edge of the cliff that he had just slid off from.  It appeared that there were clouds below him.  For a brief second he wondered if they would cushion his fall.  He felt the wind rushing past him faster and faster.  He closed his eyes and imagined the beautiful scenery from the top of his volcano.  Then he remembered the shape of Dora's face and her lovely eyes.  He smiled.

 

 

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Norg was not stupid.  He was smarter than most of his tribesmen.  He knew where to find the sweetest berries.  He could trap a rat and have it cooked before others could even smell that a rat had moved in.  He knew the art of spear point sharpening using only the finest grade of stone.  It was his hunting party that had bagged that big hairy creature that had fed the entire tribe for a whole week last summer.  Norg was proud of himself.

 

The mist seemed thin today.  Must be the sun was burning hotter than normal.  Maybe the god Ruben was angry again.  Time to sacrifice a goat.  Norg liked goat meat.  Well done.  He sat licking his lips thinking about eating some juicy goat meat when he heard a crash in the tree behind him.  It startled him for a minute.  It might be a warrior from a rival tribe.  He sneaked toward the sound and found a man wearing strange clothes.  He had blue hands and feet.  He couldn't be a god because he was dead.  Norg shrugged and grabbed the man by what was left of one of his legs and headed for home.  Meat was meat.

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OOC: Just so you know, i do not appreciate my character being moved without my consent, especially since he cant remember how to channel and even if he did gateways wont work on this island. Not meaning to sound rude, at all.

 

IC:Pherno was paralysed with shock. First thing he had been sitting on a bed next to Leah, next an old man had walked in and Pherno had begun floating through a hole in the air. Very, VERY strange. Or was it normal? He couldn't remember... Suddenly a large, man-sized lizard walking on two legs burst out of the bushes next to him, let ut a strange cry, and charged.

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Dora tugged at her father's nets with all of her might.  Papa just did not understand that she was not as strong as her brother had been.  Petra had been one of the strongest boys in the village before he got too brave for his own good and decided to try to climb Jordan's mountain.  He had been listening to the nonsense that the silly man named Jym from the village across the island spewed.  It was two weeks now since Pet had left her to do all of his work.  She was beginning to think that he would not return.

 

Dora saw a man staggering about on the beach nearby and pointed toward him.  Her papa did not like to have his fishing interrupted.  If he didn't catch fish, they didn't eat.  Begrudgingly, he turned his rudder to point their small boat toward shore.  Dora tugged at the heavy net until it was aboard.  Soon the sand was dragging under the bow and the breakers were beating at the stern driving the boat aground.  As a precaution, Dora's papa tossed out the small bow anchor.

 

Dora jumped out of the boat and ran to the man.  He seemed to be in some kind of daze.  She took him by the arm and motioned for him to sit down on the sand.  He held his head between his hands and shook his head as if he was listening to a voice that he didn't like.  Dora tried to comfort him.  Her papa came ashore and asked the man his name.  "Baren", he replied.

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He didn't know how he had survived that creatures' attack.... one minute it had been about to rip him apart, the next it had exploded like an overripe melon. He had looked around for the cause of this, but no-one was around. Strange.... Like when that  old man through him through that... doorway thing.

 

These two people, a small girl and a middle-aged man came up to him, seeing if he needed help. the voice sounded in his head again. Interesting... natives. They could be useful in helping us get off this island, and back to civilisation. Baren held his head in his hands, and thought "How could they help us get off? Surely if there are those creatures than no-one would want to live here, and would have left if they could?" The voice paused, as if considering the answer.

 

Fair enough, but we need help, anyway, and they can provide it. Then you can kill them. Baren was startled. "Kill them? Why would i kill them? They have shown nothing but kindness to me." The voice sighed, like a teacher with a particularly dull student.

 

Suddenly the strange people asked him his name, although it was hard to understand with there strange accent. He replied, and they led him inside their hut down the beach. When he was seated on a crude stool, the litte girl gave him a drink of water.

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He wove the Air and made an obstacle with it.Not strong enough or big enough to hold the creature that was chasing him but he had other thing in mind.He was hungry,and the creature looked eatable.He eat lizards before,it didn't mind him it was oversize lizard.Better to him,It meant more meat.

Just as he expected,the creature begun to run in the moment it saw him.It tripped and fell.It was enormous,but he knew what to do next.He channeled all he could in the gigantic spear of Air and he plunged it down right through the heart of the thing.In a matter of seconds it was dead.

He ripped the flesh from the rib section and cleaned it from the scales that were big as his arm and thick as an wrist but surprisingly easy.The would be useful for soldiers breastplates.

He was surprised on how the meat was tasty almost like eating the chicken.Lizard meat was ordinarily tough and bitter  but this was not the case.When he finished it was almost evening.He had to find a shelter,some cave would be the best,he didn't mind sleeping on the open but not here,where Creator knows what things are hiding in the dark,waiting for him to fell asleep.

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"Darn it, Dahrn, will you slow down a little?  My legs aren't as long and strong as yours are!".  "Sure thing, Ping.  I suppose you'd like me to carry you for a while?".  Ping didn't answer.  She simply stopped dead in her tracks and stared at the back of Dahrn's head.  He must have felt the stare or heard her stop because he turned to face her.  He was NOT happy.

 

"How many times do I have to explain this to you?  We don't have time to waste!  If we don't make it to the hut before nightfall, we'll be facing all sorts of weird creatures out in the open!  It will be bad enough even with the safety of the hut and a warm fire!  If you can't keep up, you'll just have to go back and I'll go ahead on my own!!!".  No.  He was NOT happy at all.

 

When Dahrn had first told Ping about this place that he had built up there near the cloud line it had sounded like it would be a really grand adventure to travel with him.  Now that they had climbed for several hours she was having second thoughts.  Climbing was hard work.  They had already popped into several small clearings that revealed beautiful views of the ocean over the tree tops.  Ping just wanted to stop and rest for a while.  That's all.  "I'm OK.  Let's go.".

 

They had started following a path early this morning.  Many people over the years had taken brief excursions in the direction of up there.  That path was hours behind them now.  Ping imagined herself being in territory that had never before been seen by any human.  She knew that was not true because Dahrn was leading her to his private sanctuary near the clouds.  Certainly at least HE had trod here before.  She missed the easier travel of the path.

 

Dahrn turned back up slope and began climbing again.  Small pebbles broke loose beneath his weight and tumbled down the slope.  Ping had no choice but to dodge the falling stones and follow Dahrn's lead.  His way up really did appear to be the fastest and easiest.  She did not want to try to make her own trail to either side of where Dahrn had gone.  Here and there a scruffy bush provided a temporary hand hold to aid the climb.  It seemed like the higher they went the steeper the slope became.  Ping really did hope that they would reach the hut soon.

 

Shortly after midday they reached a small flat outcrop where they could rest for a few minutes and eat and drink.  The dried smoked fish was a little salty but very welcome.  Dahrn shared some of his water since Ping had finished hers some time ago.  There was no privacy for relieving oneself and only dry leaves for cleanup.  Some adventure this was turning out to be.  But the view really was spectacular.  The fishing boats looked like tiny water bugs bobbing on the waves.  Ping's village was almost invisible amongst the trees.  Even the long dock that stretched several hundred feet out into the surf looked tiny from here.  It looked almost natural instead of man made.  An untrained eye looking down from here would not know that people lived down there.

 

"We'd better get going.  It's still quite a ways up to the hut.".  Ping looked up.  The cloud line was much closer now but still a long ways off.  More and more she was beginning to wish that she had not asked to come along.  Why couldn't she just be happy living the boring life that she lived every day?  What was so bad about being a fisherman's daughter?  Who really needed adventure, anyway?  She stretched her muscles once more and turned to follow Dahrn further up there.

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Jung took a deep breath and held it.  He still did not know why, but somehow he always felt better after one of these burns.  Several of the others from his village had helped him to chop down the small brushy plants a few days ago.  They had stripped the tough strands to use in the making of rope.  This pile of dried waste needed to be disposed of so it was being burned.  When he exhaled he coughed.  The smoke irritated his throat.  His head spun some.  He sat down and relaxed.  A smile crept onto his face.  Yes.  He really did enjoy these burns.  But they also seemed to give him a really big appetite!

 

Learning how to make rope had been a huge discovery for his tribe.  Like many great inventions, rope had been stumbled upon by accident.  A small group of children had been playing tag in the underbrush when one young girl tripped and fell into a stalk of the rope plant.  She grabbed the plant out of reflex to slow her fall.  As she fell she stripped some of the fibers.  Several days later a villager found the dried exposed strands.  One experiment led to another.  Before long, Jung's village had rope.

 

It was almost as important when the tribe learned that the seeds could be planted to grow more of the rope plants.  This meant that the tribe would not have to wander into potentially dangerous territory in search of rope plants.  They now had a small patch of ground where the plants seemed to grow very well.  They would have rope for generations to come.

 

Some of the plants were harvested young to provide finer strands.  These smaller strands were used for fine work such as stitching hides together to make clothes or shoes.  One villager had even learned that the fine strands could be used to hang water skins up off from the ground out of the reach of rats.  The larger plants supplied larger strands for making heavier ropes.  These were used for everything from plowing harnesses to hut pole lashing.

 

A somewhat recent use for rope had been found by one of Jung's rivals.  Jung usually had nothing but contempt for Loor's lazy attitude but since the invention was so useful, Jung had to admit a slight admiration for Loor.  All Loor had done was to hoop the end of a short rope to the butt of his spear.  Now when Loor throws his spear the rope slings the spear faster and farther and with more force.  He can hunt from a much safer distance than before.

 

Yes, the game of tag that led to this village having rope was indeed a stroke of luck.  Jung thought that perhaps he might even try to grow enough rope plants to make a rope long enough for him to climb down the side of the mountain to the unreachable pond.  He had seen it once when he wandered past the edge of the mist and nearly fell down the slope to certain death.  Everyone knew that if you got too close to the edge that you would fall off and never return.  But Jung still wanted to grow that really long rope.  Maybe he'd start planting seeds soon.  Right after this burn.  He took another deep breath and smiled.

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He bite the flesh of the lizard he killed,sun rays told him that it was morning.This forest was like nothing he saw before,trees were different,thick and tall,taller than any tree he ever saw.And the animals were much bigger than he imagined.He saw the bird on the sky when he came on this strange place and it was big as Horse.He thought that his mind was playing games with him,but better to be prepared,after this creature attacked him he didn't want to be killed because he was unprepared.He climbed to the top of the nearest tree and begun scouting the place.It was mostly forest but on the north he saw the mountains rising from the forest.They were big but they were no match for the Spine of the World where he grew up.

He will go to those mountains from there he will be able to see where he was and find a direction to the Caemlyn or some other place.He must report the Lord Dragon of the woman who tricked him.She was one of the Forsaken he was now sure in that,nobody else could send him to the place like this.He looked at the remaining body of the bog lizard.It was pity he had to leave him,it would be a good source of the food at least a week,but he could not take him with him,it was too large.

He didn't worried for the food,he was trained by one of the Aiel to eat what was not edible for the other people.And judging by the lizard and the bird he saw,there was enough meat to sustain him.

He left the cave behind him and begun to walk.By the noon he was at least thirty miles from the cave.He encountered few animals,but they were not as big as the bird he saw.Some of them looked like the animals he saw but not the same.

When the rain begun to fall,he created a bubble of air around himself and continued walking until it was raining so much that he couldn't see further than his nose.

Despite his training he was tired,his body was aching for the rest and he was hungry.

Weave of fire cut the trees around him and hit the bubble of air that protected him from the rain.In a blink of an eye he adjusted the bubble,heat from the weave was so strong that it passed through the bubble and warmed him.He prepared few weaves that were strong enough to resist anything except the Balefire.He waited,it was the best thing to do if you didn't know where your target is.During the Last Battle it was one of the most successful tactics against the Dreadlords who were outnumbering them in most of the battles.Dragon reborn divided his forces in three places,Shayol Ghul,Tarvin's Gap and the Tar Valon.Rest of them were scatered on the continent defending the people from the Trollocs and Dreadlords.

He waited,in one moment he thought about adjusting the bubble in a cloak,but it would uncover his position.

From the bushes woman appeared,young and stunningly beautiful,but she was dressed like the Lady Min in her early days.She was searching for the person she attacked.He attacked her,wrapping her with the air,from head to toe.He wasn't sure how skilled she is so he placed the shield between her and Saidar.She widened her eyes and started to scream loudly.

"Do not scream",he said to her."I did not still you,it is just an temporary shield."

"When I let the weaves it will disappear."

She stopped screaming but she still looked him like he was Dark One himself.

"Now,we will talk."

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"Dad gum ravens!", Jaja muttered to herself.  She took her time and concentrated so the beam of Fire and Air would be very thin but as deadly as an arrow.  Aiming in her mind, she zeroed in on the trio of circling scavengers then released a deadly burst to each of them simultaneously.  Like three night blossoms the birds exploded into a shower of black sizzling feathers that slowly drifted toward the ground.  "There.  Much better.", she sighed to herself as she sat back down under the Great Tree and released the True Source.

 

Jaja had been taught as a youngster that ravens were spies for the Dark One.  She had no way to confirm or deny it but she would never take the chance.  If the Dark One ever learned of the Great Tree and it's link to the True Source the world would never survive the aftermath.  The Guardians were the only ones ever allowed to know of this secret and they were always hand picked by the Old Ones.  The world must never learn what Jaja and her partners knew.  That much power in the wrong hands would spell certain disaster for the entire world.

 

It was hard enough hiding the existence of such a huge thing without being careless while killing ravens.  It's base could house an entire village easily.  It's top grew well above the clouds.  Every village in every direction knew where the Great Tree was.  They also knew about the Guardians.  They would stay away.  To visit here uninvited meant death.  Spears and arrows were no match for Fire.  Even the wild life had learned to steer clear of the Great Tree.  Except, that is, for the occasional ravens.

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"As the duly elected mayor of this fine village, I hereby declare today to be a day of relaxation and enjoyment!  Anyone caught doing any kind of drudgery today will be tossed into the punishment pit until tomorrow morning!  Go!  Have fun!  Enjoy life!  Give thanks for all that you have been blessed with since last year at this time!  Travel to the other villages if you are of age and find a suitable mate!  Eat!  Drink!  Be merry!  Your mayor has spoken!".

 

The small band of citizens that had gathered around Been for his annual speech applauded politely.  Some shrugged and turned to go about their business.  A few remained to visit quietly.  Old Tumbly the town drunk raised his mug in salute and let out a war hoop before taking a celebratory swig.  A couple of young men made a beeline for a small boat that they had tied up earlier in anticipation of the announcement that it was OK to go girl chasing.  Of course, they both had plenty of food stashed away to get them through the trip.

 

Been stepped down from his ceremonial stump and headed off to follow his own commandments.  He had spent yesterday preparing today's feast.  In years gone by Loris had done that for the two of them.  Since her passing he had picked up the task.  There was less to prepare for just one person than there had been for two.  Been would have gladly prepared for two if he could have Lor back with him again.

 

There were twenty seven villages participating in Dorphalia Days today.  One at the base of each volcano.  Over the centuries this day had been observed to promote interaction between the settlements.  Sometimes it inspired new trade.  Mostly, it reduced inbreeding.  To some extent, it gave people a reason to relax and enjoy life for a moment.  Most days left no time at all for taking it easy.

 

As Been shuffled toward his hammock outside his hut, he heard a twig snap and turned to see where the noise had come from.  Standing there just inside the underbrush peering out nervously was one of the most beautiful women Been had ever seen...next to Lor, of course.  He guessed that she was perhaps a year or two younger than him.  His naughty thoughts while eying her up and down made him blush.  She obviously read his thoughts but rather than walking over to slap his face she smiled pleasantly.  He blushed even more.

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"Who are you",he asked her.She looked at him like looking in the dangerous animal.She refused to talk.Although he enjoyed the view,she was beautiful,he didn't have time to play games with her.She will speak one way or another.But first he will try nicely.

"If you refuse to speak i will not remove the Obstacle that is blocking your contact with the Power.Her eyes widened even more if that was possible.

"I will speak",she said finally.

My name is Andrea from the Sieran village.When she noticed his blank look she made annoyed sound and show him the mountains on the south that were barely visible from the place where they were standing.

"Who was you teacher Andrea",he asked her.When she looked at him confused it was his turn to explain.

"Who taught you about the power."

She was still looking at him confused.

"The force that you used to create the fire.

Finally she understood and her face enlightened with pride.

"I am a witch",she told him,all witches learn how to control theirs abilities before they become full sisters.

"Who teaches you?"

She looked at him surprised that he is asking such thing.

"Nobody teaches us,we learn it by ourselves.When the Creator touches us we have an illness that doesn't last long but those who survive it are the ones who are chosen to be witches.After that we begin to meditate and read the scrolls of ancestors to show us the path."

He was amazed by the thing he learned.So called witches were the women born with the spark to channel.Everything she said to him was similar to the things that happened to the wilders  who were not found by the Tower on time.

"Why are you here,so far from your village?"

She laughed at him when he asked the question.

"You must be from the far away when you don't know about the customs of the witches.

"I am here to find my path.I learned all i could from the scrolls and from the other witches  but I am more powerful than any witch today.I must learn from the jungle itself.Spirits of the jungle will guide me and help me reach my full potential."

He wanted to laugh  but he didn't.Spirits and learning from the jungle,it was all superstition.They sent her to the jungle from the fear of what she will be capable of doing when she reaches her full potential.

Aes Sedai would be pleased to have such powerful Novice if her words are true,and he will not mind company on his journey to the mountains.

"If you want you can travel with me.I am going to the mountains",he said showing her the mountains ahead.

In the moment he thought that she will faint but she recovered soon.

"Those are the Jordan mountains,they are cursed and filled with many dangerous creatures."

He smiled to her.

"Trust me I've faced more dangerous creatures than you could ever imagine.I will protect you."

He released her and let the shield vanish.

She smiled to him back and came closer.

"I am John"he said to her.

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Ithlyn, Cartographer Extraordinaire of the Magnificent Master Mapping Project clubbed the fool sailor who tried to hop out of the Grand Guild of Master Mapmakers' Landing Boat One onto the sandy shore. As if I would allow a commoner to take the first step. Tucking the Master Cartographer's Cane back under his arm, Master Ithlyn moved to the bow of the rowboat where he could step off directly onto the beach. He stood, unnaturally balanced, on the tip of the bow for a moment before casually dropping to the radiantly white sand. Three months ago he had left Seanchan Ebou Dar and in that time he had found three islands of note, though this appeared to be the largest so far.

 

Turning back to the landing boats, Ithlyn raised his voice to be heard over the crashing waves, "All ranked crew onshore! Deckhands, return to the Eloquent Pathfinder of the Grand Guild of Master Mapmakers and bring ashore the settlement supplies; we'll need two weeks here with those bloody mountains." Taking in what he could in a glance, Ithlyn knew this island would be his pride, he could feel it.

 

OOC: GrandpaG, we could use your unique world-building touch in "Conflict in the New Age". Right now it's just me, Narisma, and Blackhoof.

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OOC: thanks for the invite but I must decline the offer.  I'm a lover not a fighter (see the Tinker thread).  ;)  I'm looking forward to some interesting discoveries by the cartography team.  Please tell them to watch where they step...there are some really NASTY critters lurking about UP THERE.  :)

 

 

 

 

Rocktaah gave the signal to get down and remain hidden.  The three hunters with him complied at once since he had been given the lead of this party.  He had served on many hunts.  Some successful.  Some not.  This was his first time to lead.  He yearned for success.

 

The prey that he had selected was not going to be easy meat.  The gronn were tasty when properly cooked.  They could be deadly if you got careless.  Rock had no intentions of losing any of his party today.  Taking short, silent steps while hunching close to the ground he stalked slightly closer to the unaware target.  Remaining absolutely still except for the motion made by his right hand he signaled for the others to join him.  When all four were in position he gave a blood curdling command to attack.

 

Four spears struck home at almost the same instant.  One took the gronn in the center of it's forehead.  One protruded from just above the left shoulder.  Another just above the right shoulder.  Rock's spear point was buried deep inside the chest cavity where the beast's heart could be found.  The plan had been executed to perfection.  Now all that was left was to see if it would work.

 

All four men went into a crouch and froze.  They watched and waited for a reaction.  If luck went their way, they would eat good tonight.  If not, they had best be ready to run.  The gronn looked puzzled.  Not upset.  Just curious that it had somehow grown spear shafts so suddenly.  It tried to use it's right leg to reach for the one sticking out of it's forehead but couldn't because of the shaft sticking out of it's shoulder.  So it tried the left leg.  Same result.  Each movement caused blood to ooze from where the spears had penetrated the thick hide.  It shook it's head and that spear leaked blood.

 

Maybe it was the loss of blood or maybe the gronn just stumbled.  Either way, it lost it's balance and fell to the side where Rock's spear had entered.  As it fell, Rock's spear was forced further into the animal until finally that same spear was all that held the gronn upright.  The spear tip must have done it's job because the prey let out it's last breath and collapsed in a heap.  The four hunters grabbed at each other and danced with joy.  They didn't see the gronn's mate approaching until it was too late.

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OOC: I know, but the Westlands are devastated, they could use a little love.  ;)

 

Just an hour after landing, Master Ithlyn found himself on that marvelously white sand once again. This time he was running, well, sprinting, for his life. Looking over his shoulder he called back to his men, "Someone stop this bloody behemoth!" His voice was not frantic, most certainly not, but he wasn't too keen on the idea of being gored on that creature's horns. It was unfortunate that his years as the Master Cartographer of the Grand Guild of Master Mapmakers had not required much running. The lumbering beast ran dripping blood from the many crossbow bolts clinging to its side, but even so, Master Ithlyn was tiring faster. Curse this bloody island and all its bloody wildlife; a man as bloody important as himself should not be fleeing from a bloody animal that didn't have the sense to go in for the bloody rain!

 

Why couldn't the bloody Cowlizard, that was the only way he could think to describe it, just turn around and impale the fools running behind it? He was a man of importance, not some silly mouse for the bloody cat to chase! Grumbling under his breath, that wasn't coming very easy now, he spun and dove into the thick jungle that seemed to come right up to the beachfront. Immediately the air changed, but he didn't have time for that, just a few feet through the thick foliage a shape loomed before him. A shape with a very familiar skin texture, bloody island! Rolling to the ground, Master Ithlyn found himself on the other side of the new Cowlizard, his thick grey beard and magnificent clothing liberally smeared with mud.

 

He heard the bleeding Cowlizard crash through the undergrowth on the other side of the one above him. Then he heard both animals roar, maybe scream, who could tell with wild beasts, as his attacker impaled the one above him. Master Ithlyn threw himself to one side, but he felt something heavy crush him into the mud. He was alive though, a tail then, and he heard his men arrive at the scene seconds later. Struggling to no avail, he yelled at the men, "Get these bloody monsters off of me you bloody fools!" Someone laughed, he would take note of that, he most certainly would, but they shifted the dying beasts quickly. Standing, Master Ithlyn tried to scrape off some of the mud coating him, but he stopped as he looked down at his cane. What had been the Master Cartographer's Cane.

 

"Someone find me a new cane now, this instant! ...And who has my hat!?"

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Dora sat daydreaming beside the door to her family's home.  A fine hut that her father had spent weeks building long before she was born.  Every year he had to replace broken or rotted pieces but overall it was still as strong as the day it was made.  She plucked at the petals of a flower playing the "It will rain.  It will not." game.  The last flower said that it would not rain.  This flower predicted a downpour.  The sun felt wonderful today.  She considered taking a nap.  A noise beside the hut attracted her attention.  She turned to see her mummuh coming toward her with a basket of fruit.

 

"Be careful, mum, or they'll toss you into the pit!".  Dora smiled and so did her mum.  "Carrying a basket of fruit might be considered work by some folk.  Especially that lazy old heifer Jorscalia Benlictus.  She considers it work to get out of bed to go to the bathroom!  Dorphalia Days fits right into her way of life.  Do nothing all day except eat and wait for a man to knock on your door.  Yup.  Today was MADE for the likes of HER!".

 

Mum smiled and hesitated before she spoke.  "Uhm, well, Dora dear, you know, well...you could be right, I guess.  But, you should not be so judgmental of others.  You know that poor Jor has that condition that makes her muscles ache.  Try to show a little compassion for her.  She can't help it.  Besides.  Her mum is hyper enough that Jor doesn't need to lift a finger.".

 

"Condition?", Dora almost spat the word out.  "Condition!  The only 'CONDITION' that she has is an extreme case of LAZINESS!!!  She's spoiled rotten, to boot.  I heard that her pahpah builds a fire and boils water for her to sit in because it", Dora changed her face to a pout, "makes her sore muscles feel better.  BAH!!!  She knows how to get pampered, that's all!  I hope some poor sap from across the island comes today and sweeps her off her feet!  She'll soon learn how good she had it.  Either that or the poor bugger who she ends up with will go running UP THERE and never come back when he learns what he has ended up with!  Condition!!!  BAH!!!".

 

Dora's mum tried not to encourage Dora's tantrum by smiling too much.  She even tried to hide her smile by taking a bite out of a piece of fruit.  The juice drizzled down her chin and they both laughed.  They were thoroughly enjoying each others company when mum got a startled look on her face.  Dora turned to see what mum was looking at.  The tallest, darkest, most handsome man in the entire world, next to her dahdah of course, was walking from the beach where he had parked his boat and was headed straight toward Dora's family's nice, strong hut.

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Bunga sat cross legged in the sand listening to her daadaa give his annual speech about the state of their family farm.  Her younger brother Kahwah was almost asleep.  The combination of the dry oration and the warm sand made for good napping conditions.  Bunga did not want to offend her favorite person in the whole wide world so she struggled to stifle her yawns.

 

"The sun god Synomin has smiled upon our crops this year.  He has coaxed them to grow and they have responded well.  Rahzeen, the goddess of rain, has also blessed us.  The Mother Earth goddess Buddar provided a place to plant our oat seeds.  Dung, the goddess of nutrients, fed our seeds and helped them to grow into strong, producing plants.  We should remember on this day of rest to give thanks to all of the gods for their mercy and for watching over us.  We should throw a feast to celebrate and invite our gods to join us.  We shall have a meal of oats.  An oat meal with Synomin, Rahzeen and Buddar.  Such a feast it will be if Dung can attend!".

 

"Can we go play now?", Kahwah whined.  Bunga gave him a swat and a nasty glare.  Daadaa just smiled knowingly and nodded.  Kahwah didn't wait for him to change his mind.  He was off like a shot headed straight for the surf.  That was his favorite place to play.  Bunga enjoyed swimming, too, but not as much as her brother did.  He swam like a fish so nobody worried about him running for the water alone.  Because she had nothing better to do, Bunga decided to join him.

 

When they were well into the water and it was too late to turn back for shore, Bunga noticed that nasty show off Kahoo Nuuh swimming further away from shore than where she and Kahwah were.  She had hold of a large piece of driftwood or tree bark or something.  It was longer than her and about as wide.  Ka kept trying to get up onto it but she couldn't.  After many attempts she finally straddled the large board and sat upright.

 

Being the audience lover that she was, Ka started waving her arms and yelling to the other swimmers and people on the beach.  She sat so proudly, bobbing with her hands on her hips.  BAH!  Anybody could do that.  Out of nowhere, Bunga saw a large wave forming beyond Ka.  Ka saw it, too.  Instead of diving for the safety of the sea, she started paddling her board toward shore.  She must have thought that she could outrun that wave or something.  Bun was convinced that she would witness the drowning of the sassy miss Nuuh today.

 

The large wave began to rise as it neared the shore.  The top started to curl into a giant white curtain of death.  Everyone who lived near the ocean had respect for the white waves and steered clear of them if possible.  The sea god showed little mercy to those who were careless.  Ka must have realized that she would lose the race.  Instead of diving though, she stood up on that stupid board!  She would surly die quickly.  Probably break her neck and then drown.

 

The wave came closer.  The board supported Ka's weight enough to keep her from sinking.  It was rising with the wave and lifting Ka along with it.  Then, it started to move toward the shore.  Ka and the board were falling down the wave.  Faster and faster they fell until the wave was breaking into a white curl ABOVE the board that Ka was standing on.  As the wave reached Bunga and her brother, Ka waved and yelled to them.  Kahwah!  Bunga!  Cow-a-bunga!

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Norg stood straight and proud.  He would not cower before these men.  The counsel of seven were important leaders of the Effee tribe.  HIS tribe!  No, he was not the chief.  Toerak still held that position...for now.  Norg knew for sure that one day he would be given that title.  When the chief god Ricky felt that it was time.  But, all of that was a bone to chew some other day.  Today, he had to deal with these morons!

 

"Norg, son of Borg, son of Korg,", the eldest began as the tradition dictated, "you stand before the counsel of seven.  This is not normal.  Most men live their entire life without a visit to the counsel.  Know full well that you are here out of necessity.  You should be honored that we have agreed to hear your case.  The shame of your guilt in this matter is widely known.  You SHOULD fear our decision!".  The eldest glared at Norg for emphasis.

 

The seven were assembled in a semi-circle around the fire in the middle of the counsel lodge.  They were all facing the door that Norg had just entered through.  He was well aware of how seldom the seven sat in judgment of any tribal member.  His case was special.  He could feel the heat from the fire and the heat from their eyes.  He had no fear of their judgment.  Once they heard his side of the story, all of this scandal would be erased forever.

 

"The only fear that I feel is that you will not hear and recognize the truth.".  His words struck home like a club to the temple.  The seven looked at one another and whispered among themselves.  The looks on their faces did not say that they were most pleased.  He quickly scrambled to make his case while they were still off balance enough to let him state it.  "I have been falsely accused.  I demand justice.  My accusers must know the truth.  All the Effee must know the truth.".

 

The seven huddled together to discuss Norg's comments.  A long minute or so later they returned to their semi-circle places and sat cross legged on the ground.  The eldest motioned for Norg to sit also.  He declined the offer defiantly.  When the eldest was convinced that Norg would not sit he told him to proceed with his statement.

 

"I was hunting with three of my brothers.  Rocktaah had developed a good plan.  We executed his plan flawlessly and it worked.  My superior spear points dug deeply into the flesh of the gronn.  It was brought down and we rejoiced.  Our spears were still stuck into the downed gronn when we were attacked by it's mate.  With only our knives to defend ourselves, we split up and ran in several directions.  This is a regular tactic for hunters.".  He waited for that much to sink in.  The eldest nodded that he should proceed.

 

"My path took me to safety.  After a short while I was able to return to the site of the kill.  When I arrived there I found a hunting party of the lazy Geegee tribe gathered around our prize.  They out numbered me five to one but I showed no fear.  I strode directly to the animal and claimed it as Effee meat.  I pulled my spear from the beast and put the shaft on the ground to lean on.  I did not threaten them in any way.".  The eldest nodded again.

 

"I do not look for war.  But, I will not allow those lazy, worthless oafs to steal the meat from the bellies of my tribe.  For a while I tried to convince them to leave in peace.  They would have no part of it.  They were determined to fill their tribe's bellies without having to face a live gronn.  When one of their hunters came to close to me and stabbed at me with his spear, I showed him the superiority of a Norg spear point.  His meat was added to the pile.  I had to put down two others before the remaining two ran for home with their tails between their legs.  Our stores now include the gronn and three extra carcasses.  Our tribe will eat well for a long time.".  The eldest looked toward the others.  They huddled up again.

 

"Your story shows bravery and skill.  The meat that you have brought to our tribe will sustain many for a long time.  If the Geegee counsel demands revenge, we will offer your story as an explanation.  Let us all pray that they do not demand war.  Full bellies are good.  Dead tribe members is not good.  You have this counsel's permission to tell your story to all who will listen.  You may go now.".  The seven turned and walked away.  Norg headed for the door.

 

Outside, Norg stretched and smiled.  His tight muscles told him that he had been more tense than he thought.  As he headed back to his hut for supper he lengthened his stride and used his spear as a walking staff.  There was still unfinished business.  After supper, he would head off to try to find the remains of Rock and his fellow hunters who had not returned. 

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Bayree was glad to be a male guardian of the big tree.  He had a dream once that he could fly.  Now he will try it by channeling.

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OOC:  I had dreamed up a really shocking revelation about that darn guy being an honored citizen of his village every day except for Dorphalia Day when he became a serial killer and this year's victim was Ping but if you censored my last post, this one would not have had a prayer.  Looks like it's up to someone else to entertain the troops UP THERE.

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Somebody didn't like Bayree learning that it was wrong to be a peeping tom so they wiped it out.  That's OK.  I need to get off my butt and do something different anyway.  This could have been a good thread.  Oh, well.

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Jamaykah ran toward the beach pointing.

 

"Look, mama, look!  It's a sea folk ship come to visit!  Maybe they'll buy some of your candy or rum!  Come quick!  Look!".  Her mama sat down the laundry basket and looked around the wall of their hut.  "Yes, dear.  So it is.".

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