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The Dream Has Ended....but not this day


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Cara took a sip of her tea, glancing over the rim of her cup at Liitha. She could feel the impatience from her Gaiden through their Bond but was at a loss to know what the cause was. She was only half listening to the woman on the other side of the table who was explaining the recent news from Tar Valon. Her name was Morgana al’Bowen, a friend to Cara’s mother Tania. She had sought out Cara when she heard that Cara had been raised to the Shawl and their relationship had grown since that day. Morgana was a useful source of information for Cara, one that meant Cara did not have to return to the Tower to learn what was going on there. How Morgana came by her information Cara did not know, but she suspected that it was from Morgana’s daughter who worked in the kitchens in the White Tower. Most of the news was nothing more than gossip, but occasionally there was the odd nugget of information that made it worthwhile for Cara to spend time in this ramshackle village that had sprung up on the outskirts of Tar Valon.


The latest bit of gossip that interested Cara had to do with an Accepted called Kiya, who had apparently had some miraculous near death experiences that no one could explain. Something to do with poisoned food, a lucky escape when some granite blocks had nearly fallen on her head, and most bizarre of all, a runaway horse and carriage that had nearly run her down. This last episode she had managed to avoid only because of the timely intervention of a stranger who had popped up out of nowhere and pulled her out of the path of the runaway horse and carriage. There was much speculation as to the identity of not only her rescuer, but also to who could be behind these attempts. One could dismiss one or two as accidents, but now there had been five attempts, that Morgana knew of, and that was too many to dismiss as accidents.


Cara filled this information away for further study. Although Cara was of the Brown Ajah, she did not like unsolved mysteries and certainly did not like ones that appeared to be attempts on the life of a member of the White Tower. Her mind was working furiously to see if there were any links between these attempts and the mysterious person who had tried to kidnap her and Liitha. Lord Camlon was the only name Cara knew this person by, and he had an annoying habit of popping up in her and Liitha’s life. Cara desperately wanted to find him and bring him to justice for his crimes, but so far Liitha and she had not had the opportunity to do so. It was beginning to annoy Cara more and more that some who should have been brought to justice for his crimes was still wandering freely. However, it was not his crimes that bothered Cara the most. He had threatened Liitha and that was something that she would never forgive or forget. Feeling her anger rise, and catching the questioning look that Liitha sent her, Cara took a calming breath and refocused on what Morgana was saying.


Cara and Liitha eventually left Morgana’s dwelling and wished they had not. The biting wind cut through the heaviest cloak and the road outside Morgana’s home had been turned into a slushy mess by all the carriages and horses that travelled this way. The mud had a glutinous consistency to it that could suck the shoes from their feet without the wearer noticing. Even the sturdy boots the pair wore were not immune to this and so it was with great care that they made their way to the stables where they had left their horses. Neither of them fancied losing their footwear so their concentration was on the ground more than anything else. “So where are we headed now Cara? It has been some time since we were in the city and i think it might be time to return and pay our respects.” Cara pulled a face at Liitha’s remark, but she knew her lover was correct in her statement, but Tar Valon was not a place Cara wanted to spend any more time in than she absolutely had to. She had been hoping that on their journey they would come across something to help delay their return, but as they had got closed to the city, so she realised they were going to have to return and that she would have to spend sometime in the Tower.


Emerging from the stables, mounted on their horses, Cara reluctantly turned her horse towards the road to the city, only the strength and love flowing through the Bond from Liitha giving her the courage to yet again face the place where she had grown up and spent far too many years of her life. “Blood and bloody ashes Lii, i so do not want to have to spend a moment longer in that light blasted place than i have to. Our place is out here on the road, not cooped up in there like some prize possessions doing Light only knows what boring tasks.”


“Oh don’t be so melodramatic Cara; it is only a city like any other we have been to.”


“Precious, you know that is not true, i have spent nearly all my life in that place, cosseted against the world outside and you know i feel like a bird in a cage, a gilded cage at that, when i am there. Why can we not just turn around and go somewhere else?” Cara’s question was a rhetorical one and Liitha did not respond, instead fixing her Aes Sedai with her sternest gaze. Not because of Cara’s outburst, but because of the use of Cara’s pet name for Liitha. It had been a standing joke between them for some time, and although Liitha hated it, she understood that Cara used it to hide something, usually her reluctance to do a certain task, or to have to be somewhere where she did not want to be. Suddenly an impish smile appeared on Cara’s face. “We could always visit that dress shop i told you about, they have your measurements now and i am sure they will have finished that dress i have asked them to make for you. We could spend the afternoon in our rooms and you could model it for me.” Now it was Liitha’s turn to scowl, she hated dress’ almost as much as Cara did, and hated the teasing that Cara so loved to indulge in when it came to seeing Liitha in a dress, especially the sort of dress that Cara wanted Liitha to wear. “Perhaps it would be better if we did not return to the city just yet Cara Sedai”!

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Esther stood with arms folded as the grooms readied what seemed to be a veritable stableful of pack horses. She glanced again at the note in her hand, pondering the incomprehensible way in which Aes Sedai worked. The day before she had been called to the Amyrlin's study and told that she, along with a few other Aes Sedai - she still felt a thrill at that word "other", even after six months of being raised to the Shawl herself - were being sent on a mission. Granted, as missions went this wasn't a very important one, but it was her first chance to get out of the Tower since being raised! At least, hunting for girls who could learn to channel was an important thing, to be sure, but from what the Amyrlin had said it seemed quite clear that their group was only one of many sent out on a similar mission.


Still, that brought her back to the mysterious way in which the White Tower operated. She had listened carefully to what the Amyrlin had said, and despite taking a while to get over her goggle eyedness over being in that exulted woman's presence, she was certain sure no mention had been made then of them having to report to a Cara Sedai in some obscure village. Why wasn't the woman meeting them here? In fact, why had the Amyrlin sent a note this morning instead of just telling her this yesterday?


Esther shook her head and blinked owlishly as a groom appeared at her shoulder with a murmured "Your horse, Aes Sedai". There had been a slight pause before the "Aes Sedai" part, despite the Great Serpent ring on her left hand and the gray-fringed shawl draped across her shoulders. Esther took the horse's reins from him, then had to grab her shawl as the dratted thing almost slid off her shoulders. Again. She managed a quite friendly "thank you" despite that, then blinked again as the man gave her a wink! Before she could figure out what that was all about, her attention was grabbed by the sound of footsteps approaching. Hopefully this would be the rest of the group and they could now set out on their journey!



Esther Tremaine

New Gray ready for adventure!

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Rochel had been somewhat of an oddity as an Accepted, and still found herself that way as an Aes Sedai. After all the ceremony and whatnot that had followed her raising, the young Domani rarely, if ever, wore her shawl. Most young sisters clung to their shawl like a lifeline, at least until the ageless look set in. Rochel had abandoned it at the first convenient moment, bringing it out only when required to. Today was no exception.


As she walked through the halls of the Tower, blissfully shawless, she contemplated the assignment in front of her. This would be the first time she would be out of the Tower, out of Tar Valon, in years. As she had correctly suspected, the real training hadn't begun until she had sworn the oaths, and her time had been consumed by lessons. And teaching. The Mistress of Novices had seen it fitting retribution to saddle her with difficult novices. But that was at an end for a while. She was being set free to hunt for new candidates to become novices. A chance to get out into the world and do something. She wondered how much the world had changed. Half of her life had been spent behind the gilded bars of the cage that was the White Tower. Little to nothing of the world entered these walls. Little news filtered down to the initiates, and she had found that it was still dificult to find out anything without your own contacts throughout the world.


What better time to start then now?


She soon found herself at the Tower stables, where she had been told a horse would be waiting for her. She was greeted by the sight of Esther Tremaine being winked at by a stablehand. That was certinaly interesting. Esther had been raised around the same time as Rochel, and appeared to be having the same sorts of problems. It must be a common thing.


"Making friends Esther?" she asked with a grin. "I didn't think he was your type."

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  • 2 weeks later...

In the end it turned out their meetingpoint would be in one of the villages conected too the city, she could have left Cara to go say hello to old friends on her own, but had descided too stick it out. She was still not completely sure that Cara was back in full health, though she knew better then too say so, and now she was checking in on the horses. They were fine just as this morning, it was more that she disliked the waiting, and contemplations of whether she had made the right descision not going into the city, so close as they were Cara was likely too be heeded if she revealed herself for what she was, so there wasnt much danger.


Mayhaps she should take a round of the village though and see if there was any tower guards around, she could feel bemusement on the other side of the bond. She wasnt sure what Cara was up too, though she had a feeling the bemusement had more to do with her own person and her pacing all day, then whatever it was her Aes Sedai was up too.


When it all came down too it she felt bored today for some reason, and she did not know what they were waiting for, though for sure there must be some Aes Sedai buisnis that had brougth them here, Cara wasnt likely too go near the city if she didnt have too. She pulled up the hood of her cloack and headed out into the snow, it wasnt snowing as such, but she had learned her lesson after geting a dump of snow in her head off one of the roofs after Cara had descided too turn back to Morganas inn. She headed towards the nearest tavern figuring at least she could get some mulled wine and maybe a few good stories even if it was still early in the day.

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