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The Woods (Nynaeve)


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Wayward_fool wrote:


The woods were dark and silent. Silent enough to echo the drifting leaves, the quiet rustle of branches and the timid scurrying of miscellaneous furry creatures. The shadows were long and the air hung with a miasma of death. This was not holy ground. The sickle moon that glowed wan in the sky did little to illuminate, if anything, added a harsh grimness to the atmosphere. This was not the Blight, but it was not holy ground.


"This is not holy ground." A male voice, deep and firm broke the silence. Clad in black, he could hardly be seen, but the horse he rode on was impatient and stamped on the ground. He moved gracefully, a deadly grace that threatened to explode into violence. Tightly chained violence. The worst sort. "Hush, Ar'wan. We would not want to attract unwholesome company."


"Where are we?" A second rider rode out. This one was shorter and by the sway on its stead, was female. Her voice was higher, but as firm as the first rider’s. Disconcerting in such an atmosphere of desolation. "I have not seen a night this sinister in a long time. Speak to me, Skechid, there is no call for a Yellow Sister in this place. And I am weary from riding."


"A woods in Far Madding, Aes Sedai. And a place where a battle was fought a long time ago." The black clad rider lowered his hood to reveal a fair faced man, with eyes of death. His hair was short cropped and an air of nobility sat about him.


“And why, might I ask, did you bring me to such a forsaken piece of land?”


“That we might learn how and where this terrible turn of events began, Camigwen.” Skechid lifted a hand and suddenly the clearing flooded with an incandescence that wavered in the still air like sheets of glowworms.


“I see.” The Aes Sedai called Camigwen, too, lowered her hood. A breathtakingly beautiful face framed by long black hair stared into the night. She sighed and held out her hand, palm up, and a ball of light appeared. “This does nothing for my mood, which has deteriorated since we left Cairhien. I wish for Inns, not this sort of nonsense.”


“I understand, Aes Sedai.” Skechid lowered his head slightly in apology. “But this is ever essential.”


“Let’s get on with it then.” The Aes Sedai slipped off her horse and sniffed. “This place stinks.”


“Perhaps.” Skechid got off his horse as well and patted Ar’wan. “Stay, beast, we will return shortly.” The stallion whinnied a little, but did not move to follow his rider. Skechid walked hardly five steps when his night vision spied a fire in the distance. “We’ve got company.” His companion nodded.


They both inched forward.



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Nynaeve sat on the rough ground, feeling irritation and stubbornness shooting through the bond. She ignored the worry, though, and let the other two emotions feed her. Damian was far from pleased when she told him she had to take this trip on her own. Her Warder didn't understand, of course. How could he? He had to relinquish a child as well, but he could never comprehend what it was like to carry it inside of her. It was part of her, once. But not anymore.


The decision to travel to Far Madding was made shortly after giving up her little treasure. Nynaeve managed to convince herself that he would be safer from both danger and persecution as long as he remained a secret. An event that never took place. Aes Sedai, after all, were true to the cause above all. There was no place or time for family and children. The last battle could occur at any moment and preparing for it was all that mattered.


Despite that, Nynaeve opted to visit her parents' tomb. It had been years since she thought of them and they would have undoubtedly disapproved of her having a child out of wedlock, but they still deserved to be told they were grandparents. The idea of removing herself from the Tower for a bit also agreed with her. Out of her element, the pressure seemed to dissolve. But when she told Damian she needed this time to be on her own, he refused her. No amount of talking, convincing or even feminine wiles seemed to work. Unfortunately, she had to leave him in her room, tied up with air threads and gagged. She made the weaves so they would dissolve in a couple of hours. It's all the time she needed for skimming to her destination and spending time in her birthplace.


But not until morning. It had been a long while since she visited Far Madding and she wasn't as familiar with the surroundings, so she waited in a nearby area. Which gave her warder enough time to lecture her with his emotions over the bond. Damian was wrong, though. She didn't need him at all times. What were the chances of her encountering anything but villagers in this place. After all...


A rustle of bushes made her snap back from her thoughts. She embraced Saidar and spun to face her visitors.






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Wayward_fool said:


Camigwen frowned in recognition of the woman who had embraced Saidar. How could she not? A Sitter of the Hall and one of her own Ajah, Nynaeve Maryim was strong in the Power and skilled in Healing and proving to be a huge asset to the Yellows. But Camigwen had found her flighty, often disappearing for months on end without a word.


“Peace Nynaeve.” Camigwen’s voice whispered at the ear of the other Yellow, a Yellow weave that was not known to other Ajahs. The ability to throw one’s voice even as a whisper as opposed to a scream that would echo through the night and surely attract unwholesome things.


“Camigwen?” Nynaeve’s startled voice responded.


Only then did Camigwen emerge from the shadows with the Storm Leader Skechid behind her. Camigwen ignored the crook of the other woman’s brow at the sight of the Storm Leader. It was not her time to know. For while Nynaeve was a treasured member of Camigwen’s Ajah, the First Weaver had experienced too much to trust easily. It was a difficult admission, but the White Tower was tainted with the Shadow now, and Light only knew how strongly


“Yes, Nynaeve. I am surprised to see you here. This is tsorovan’m’hael Skechid, or Storm Leader Skechid if you prefer common tongue.” Camigwen gestured to her companion, who bowed. “We are passing through and saw your fire. Perhaps we might share it?”


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  • 1 month later...

"Camigwen?" Nynaeve had to invest an enormous amount of self control to keep herself from gaping. Her eyes moved from First Weaver to the man by her side and then back again, confusion settling in. What was she doing there in the middle of no and where with an Asha'man? What was she doing there at all, company aside? It was all so obscure that words seemed to to evade her. Not that she would know what to say. Questioning Camigwen's presence or company was inappropriate at best.


"Yes, Nynaeve. I am surprised to see you here. This is tsorovan’m’hael Skechid, or Storm Leader Skechid if you prefer common tongue." Camigwen gestured to her companion, who bowed. "We are passing through and saw your fire. Perhaps we might share it?" Nynaeve hesitated for a moment before nodding. "Of course, you are welcome to join me." Nynaeve was content that she didn't have to clarify on who she referred to in her invitation.


Taking a moment to clear her head, she spoke, picking her words carefully. "I have come here to honor the tombs of my kin. A brief visit. I shall be returning to the Tower tomorrow at noon, the latest." She hoped the explanation would satisfy the Ajah Head. It was true enough, if a remnant of the real reason of her visit. She let the silence linger, wondering if it might lure Camigwen into sharing her reasons for being there. Somehow, though, she doubted she would. Being of the same Ajah didn't guarantee anything, nowadays.


Removing a pot from her bag, Nynaeve filled it with water from her water bag and produced some herbs. "Would you like some tea?"






Yellow Sedai

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  • 3 weeks later...

Camigwen sat down and eyed Skechid as he sat down next to her with a cocked brow. This was highly unexpected. Which made it slightly uncomfortable. Skechid's face was expressionless, but that was the way he was, Camigwen had always been impressed with the Noble Storm Leader's ability to mask his emotions. For an Aes Sedai. Camigwen herself was an enigma, perhaps that was what made the two partners in crime. But this was not the time to ponder about these things.


"Tea would be good, Nynaeve." Camigwen spoke warmly to her sister. She knew she had to put Skechid at ease. It was unlikely Nynaeve would be interested in their pursuit, but then again, these days, noone was to be trusted. Camigwen hardly trusted Skechid. But when things had to be done, you worked with a wooden spoon as likely a metal one. "It is good of you to honour your ancestors. Light knows there are much to remember them for." Camigwen did not talk about her own kin. Most of them had forgotten about her, even if she did send a stipend home to her family regularly. But being as old as she was, most of her generation and the generation before had passed on. In fact quite a few of the generation after hers were no longer around either. She had her own memorials annually, but they were not for the moment.


"Thank you, Nynaeve Sedai." Skechid said politely as his cup of tea was passed to him. That was what Skechid was abhout. Politeness, decorum and Daes Dae'mar. A Noble to the tip of his fingers. Had he been born a woman, he would have made a fine Aes Sedai. Camigwen did not even think about the man's ability to Heal. Some of the things she had seen put her own Talent to shame. But then again, Nynaeve's skills were bordering on legendary as well. She wondered if it was fate the two of them met.


"Skechid and I have been following the threads of a rumour. Pertaining to a battle that was fought here. It is of no moment, but we think there may be more than mere armies involved." Camigwen did not elaborate further, since there was no need to. "Perhaps we can head back to the Tower together. I expect Skechid would not be accompanying us?"


"Nay, Camigwen Sedai, there are already a few of the Black Tower emissary at the White Tower and I have no desire to be involved." Skechid's voice was cold. Camigwen drew her cloak closer to her. "I will remain here to study the histories further. If it is as we think, there maybe something to be gained by both Towers. And perhaps an understanding of the Dark forces that are abroad in the world. We will need to speak about this again soon." Skechid sipped at his tea.


"Indeed." Camigwen mentally sighed. More Noble talk. She wondered what Nynaeve thought. Her own tea tasted delicious. And perhaps that was good enough for now.

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