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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Fleeing From the Past (ATT: Edana)


JainFarstrider
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Elyan was in his room, hurriedly shoving his things into a traveling pack. The day he feared had finally arrived, they had found him somehow, tracked him to Tar Valon inside the very grounds of the White Tower itself. It had been so long, he had thought himself safe, how could he have been so foolish.

 

His hands stopped their frantic motion, he was trembling out of anger… no, out of fear, but not for himself. Looking over the pack that lay before him and the remaining items, things that were given to him since joining the trainees, each item carrying with it its own memories and reminding him of the people he had met since coming here. Quickly shaking himself, no time to reminisce, it was nearly dusk and he should have been gone an hour now.

 

Quickly packing the rest of the things, he picked up the pack and held it for a moment, examining it closely while lost in thought. Then giving the leather a quick polish with the end of his sleeve he set the pack down next to the bed and swiftly unbuckled the swords from his waist. They were masterfully crafted, inspecting the hilt, he fondly remembered the day he received them, Thera had scolded him for getting blood on the weapons, he thought chuckling to himself, she said they were fitted for his hands. At first he had been unsure, not thinking he had made the right decision, but in time he realized there was wisdom in her words. Surfacing from the memory he placed the swords next to the pack beside his bow, and removed the cloak he had been wearing. It was black made of fine silk, he received it the first day he arrived at the tower. He had not wanted to accept something so luxurious, but Sandre had been insistent, and who could argue with that man, it had been the first meeting of a fine friendship, one Elyan would regret losing.

 

None of these things were his, they were gifts from decent people that had been too kind to see past his lies. A street rat in noble clothing is still nothing but a rodent, and Elyan had been one of the worst. Removing the rest of his clothing, Elyan dressed himself in the tattered rags he had arrived with. They had tried to throw them away, but Elyan had rescued them out of the trash and mended them as best he could. They weren’t much, but they were the only things here that actually belonged to him. Removing the letter from its hiding place in the floorboards , he tucked it into his back pocket while examining himself in the mirror.

 

He was no longer gaunt, but muscular and well fed. Still, under that toned frame he was nothing more than a coward. They had caught him in the alleyway while he was on a job for one of the Guard, messed him up pretty good, he had been a trembling weakling, cowering and begging for his life. He was thrown into a wagon with his hands bound, but they hadn’t anticipated his training or experience in such situations. They kept a poor watch and once he had sliced through the bonds, he simply rolled out of the wagon when they were distracted. He had to move quickly, stay ahead of them and go to ground before they caught him again. His time at the yard was just another stage in his struggle for life, a foundation built on lies and deceit, he tried to tell himself that he would not miss it.

 

Elyan turned to go, leaving his things where they lay.

 

OOC: Writing is harder than I remember, but this will have to do.

Enter Roommate Stage Left.

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Edana returned from a particularly brutal training session, cursing because she'd forgotten her change of clothes and bar of soap in her rush to make it on time this morning. Now she was filthy, her face streaked with mud and her braid a mess of matted sweat and dirt. She heard motion inside her room and paused. Elyan was supposed to have training with someone this morning, wasn't he? She didn't remember him still being in the room when she ran out this morning and had assumed he had an early morning planned.

 

She wrinkled her brow and opened the door. The hinges swung soundlessly and she stopped in the door, watching Elyan pack his belongings away. She leaned her shoulder on the door frame, her brow furrowed as she watched his movements. When he finished and turned towards the door, leaving a collction of things laid on the bed behind him. She tilted her head and crossed her arms, thoughts of the planned bath forgotten for a moment.

 

"I can't possibly be that horrible a room mate, Elyan," she said softly.

 

~Edana

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"I can't possibly be that horrible a room mate, Elyan,"

 

Blood and ashes, Elyan thought, as her soft words brought him out of the conflict between his mind and emotions. This had been what I was trying to avoid.

 

“It’s n…” the words caught in his throat. “You h…” still unable to form the words, his eyes dropped to the floor in embarrassment.

 

She wouldn’t understand. His mind raced, trying to decide what lie to tell her. Elyan didn’t think that she would just let him go, he knew her too well to think that, she could be more stubborn than he was. And if this came to a physical confrontation, Elyan didn’t have a chance, but words could be sharper than any sword.

 

Elyan looked Edana in the eye, cold determination in his stare. He had to convince her to let him go, the alternative would leave her hating him forever, but he couldn’t risk her involvement in his troubles. She was like a sister to him, the only real family he had, he wasn’t going to put her in danger. Even if she never forgave him, at least he would know she was safe from his demons.

 

“I’m leaving,” he said clearly, “There was never a place for me here,” he continued while taking a step towards the door. “Your path is at the tower, don’t trouble yourself with where mine leads,” Moving to go through the door, “Stand aside.” He finished, hoping she would as he had no intention of forcing his way past her.

 

Elyan made a quiet prayer, to whoever might have been listening. Let me go Edana… Please… You’ll be better off…

Elyan Marne

Trainee

Edited by JainFarstrider
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...don’t trouble yourself with where mine leads...” Edana flinched visibly, as if he'd struck her. She managed to keep her mouth from dropping open, but it was a close thing. This was not the Elyan she knew. Something was very wrong. "Stand aside."

 

Edana tilted her head, seeing the determined set of his jaw. If his words alone hadn't done it, that surely did. She stepped back, raising her hands and moving out of the doorway. "Far be it for me to remind you this is about the only home you've had since you dragged yourself through the gate. They've only taken you in, fed you, trained you so you don't kill yourself with that sword and tried to make you feel welcome and accepted." She paused and stepped into the room, pushing her way past him, instead of letting him out as she'd intended. She scooped up the sword in question and tossed it at his feet. "You're forgetting something," she said stiffly. "Or are these insignificant people too inconvenient a reminder to take along with you while you're out getting yourself killed?"

 

No, she hadn't forgotten a moment of their first meeting. She hadn't been the only one hiding from the guard that night.

 

~Edana

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Elyan moved to the spot at the door that Edana had vacated, and rested his hand on the frame, feeling the worn grain of the wood. Home, he thought trying to memorize the feeling, I don’t expect I’ll have a place to call that again. He spoke without turning, only half to her and half to himself.

 

“You’re right,” he said with a sigh, “if I could give back everything they have given me, I would.” A brief moment of silence passed. “Not burdening anyone with myself or my troubles is the only thing I have left to give,” he said, voice trailing off, “perhaps it would have been better if I never made it out of that tavern,” he added, quietly mumbling to himself.

 

Glancing back over his shoulder at her, “I don’t know what the gratitude of a coward is worth, but thank you… for everything,” She would never know how much it all meant, “I..” He dropped his eyes to the floor as the words caught in his throat, moisture started to form in the corners of his eyes, he had to leave before he completely lost control,

 

“Well…” he said clearly, nodding to himself as if reaching a decision, and turned to go…

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Edana snorted, shaking her head. "If you're ready to push me out of the way to get out of here, Elyan, being melodramatic isn't going to soften me up. You can't give things back, it just doesn't work that way. Whether you hold the thing in your hand or not, it will always be a memory you can't drown in self-pity. You may as well take the light-cursed junk with you and carry it as a reminder, instead of wishing you'd have brought it with you while you remember it."

 

She dropped onto his bunk and crossed her arms stiffly. "Fine thanks it is that you can't stand the reminder of it and you leave it here. Do you have any idea why these people gave these things to you, you ungrateful wretch? Do you think they had enough money to spare that lavishing you with presents was a silly past-time?" she ran her fingers over the cloak, so neatly folded on his bunk. No, Sandre didn't part with things loosely. She learned that the hard way. She shoved those thoughts aside roughly and looked back up at him. "You can show your thanks by not leaving these behind. You can't convince me that they'd add so much weight to your pack or that wherever you're running off to would be better off without them. You'll freeze to death the first cold night without this cloak. You'll die under the blade of the first bandit in the forest without your sword. Your 'friends' gave these things to you so that you could meet your fate, whatever it is, knowing that they were here to help you. Even if you turn your back on the people, Elyan, their support is laid out right here on your bed."

 

She stood up, her fingers curling around the dagger at her hip. She'd had it since she left Camelyn so long ago. She moved to the doorway, grabbing her bathing supplies on the way. She paused behind him, his back still facing her. She growled irritably and unsheathed the dagger, stabbing it into the door frame between his fingers. "And don't forget me when you go, either. If you won't let me help you, if you don't trust me to help protect you, then at least let my blade do it for me. You're the last brother I have, Elyan. Don't take that away from me, too."

 

The last came out as little more than a whisper as she brushed past him and started on her way down the hall.

 

~Edana

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Elyan listened to her footsteps fading down the hallway, the echo of her words still ringing in his ears. When she had disappeared around the corner, he removed his hand from the wall and pinched his finger to stop the bleeding. Her aim had been true, as it always would, and he would be unscathed if he hadn’t flinched when the dagger thudded into the wall. When she had drawn the blade a small part of him feared it might be aimed at his back, that was also the small part that thought he deserved it. Perhaps she was right, maybe he was just feeling sorry for himself. It was always easier than making a change himself. Did he want to leave because he might actually have something here and that it would force him to reconsider his view of the world. The need to be leave tugged at the back of his mind as he surveyed the items spread out on the bed before him and the sword that now lay at his feet.

 

No, he thought, it might appear that way, but if I want to change then I must leave. Edana thought he wanted to rid himself of the memory of this place, but these things were given because of a lie, not to him but to an imagined persona. It might appear that this was a spiteful act, but Elyan thought taking these things that were given to an illusion would be a worse betrayal. They would no longer be gifts, but spoils conned from some innocent bystander. Perhaps they were tricked into parting with them out of kindness, but the items were stolen all the same.

 

Elyan wanted to change, to break the cycle of deceit, but he couldn’t do it from the protection of the tower. As long as he was safe inside the tower grounds, his demons would stalk the entrance. He needed to face them, to truly cut the ties of his past and he couldn’t do that without leaving the tower. If he was really going to transform himself, he couldn’t do it while continuing to live in a lie. Besides, where he was going he would inevitably be robbed, and he would be dead before seeing these things in the hands of a thief… well, another thief.

 

 

He was exhausted, but fear kept his legs pumping as hard as ever. Fear that he might lose resolve in the face of what he must do, that he would return to the tower like a wounded pet looking for comfort. He could no longer see the tower behind him, but on he ran, the last conversation he might ever have with Edana playing itself over in his mind. She had not insisted he stay, and he did not exactly tell her the truth but he had hurt her all the same. He was prepared for that, she would be better without him, so he could live with that. She had known him longer than the others, seen him before the tower, maybe not at his worst moments but certainly close. Still she had cared for him as family, trusted him, that thought helped drive him onward. He would return to the tower one day, lay his life at its feet and let it decide his fate, but not until he had changed himself, not until he saw in himself the same man Edana had seen. Not until that day, he thought as blood seeped through the sole of his sock, his foot had been sliced in the middle of his unrelenting sprint by a certain dagger tucked into his boot… some memories he couldn’t part with… but he would return it… one day.

 

Elyan

Trainee

 

OOC: Let me know if you were planning on getting a final word in, otherwise, it's been fun.

Edited by JainFarstrider
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  • 2 weeks later...

Sandre did not fear heights. Lately he had not felt much of anything though. Calmly he listened to the sound of the stream as he dried in the sun upon a high rock and chewed on some boar he had killed the day before. The rock was in an outcrop of trees. Clumps of trees littered the plains around Tar Valon. It was a good place to grow them and many orchards were in the area as well. Sandre let out a sigh. Even from this distance he could see Elyan running, evading. He would run right into this copse simply because his training told him it was the best place to do so when you did not wish to be seen traveling. Elyan had the look of flight about him his whole time in the yards. Sandre knew that Elyan's sense of self worth was low. Perhaps that is why he took to him so quickly. He reminded him of his own brother, Dante.

 

He climbed off the rock and dressed and leaned against the tree. (One more day of peace.) he thought to himself, but duty was duty. He waited until Elyan almost sprinted past him. "Going somewhere Elyan?" He looked ragged again. He must have been running all night. "Come friend... you have cut your foot. I give you two days more of running before your foot is infected." He turned and walked towards his camp. He had water boiling already with beans,veggies, and boar inside. Since people had a strange tendency to stumble into his camps, he had made it a point to always cook extra. He also had a pot of water for tea and sticks with boar meat drying out. "Sit." he said more of an order than request before pulling out some of the supplies he brought with him. Lengths of cloth for bandages. Salt he had been using for his food but would do well here. Pine based soap that he used and pine sap itself. He took Elyan's foot with a stern look of Dont you dare protest and cleaned it with hot water and soap before applying a mix of pine sap and salt which of course burned like hell but would make sure there was no infection. Then he rewrapped it and afterward poured two bowls of soup, handing one to Elyan.

 

"So... you were just going to leave without saying goodbye?" He tried to keep the agitation out of his voice but it was there. "I thought we had moved past this Elyan. When you put your name in that trainee book you gave up the right to run away again. Your duties will not be as easily cast aside as you had planned to do with me and the rest of your friends." He noted Elyan did not have the cloak he had given him. He was just starting to grow into it, but he had a dagger he had seen on Edana many times. Sandre felt more than a little jealous about that. Yet also a little sad, Edana too had led him and cast him out of her life. Elyan really was the last friend Sandre had.

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Elyan was too focused on keeping his pace to notice Sandre standing amongst the trees and nearly jumped, almost losing his balance in the process, when the man spoke. He was barely able to hear Sandre over the sound of his own labored breathing. Looking over his shoulder, Elyan considered if he would be able to make a run for it, but even if he wasn’t exhausted Sandre could probably catch him anyway. Now that he was no longer moving, it began to dawn on him just how tired he was and his legs felt weak, as if they wouldn’t be able to hold him upright much longer.

 

Using Sandre’s order to sit as an excuse to collapse on the ground, Elyan tried to catch his breath and slow his racing heart while Sandre rummaged through one of the bags strewn throughout the pack. He didn’t notice what Sandre was doing until he held Elyan’s foot in his hands. One look at Sandre’s eyes was enough to stop his feeble attempt at escaping the iron grasp. Pulling the knife from his boot, Elyan went to tuck it into his belt, realized he didn’t have one, looked around for a place to set the dagger, and settled on griping it in his hand. Which was fine, he needed something to squeeze to keep from crying out when Sandre started his torture. Thankful that Sandre was skilled and able to work quickly, Elyan endured the brief pain without screaming or even losing consciousness, though it was precarious for a minute. Before long Sandre had finished his work and Elyan was holding a bowl steaming with some sort of soup, the appetizing aroma made his stomach grumble as it reminded him when he had last eaten.

 

"So... you were just going to leave without saying goodbye?" Sandre said, his voice containing traces of agitation, "I thought we had moved past this Elyan. When you put your name in that trainee book you gave up the right to run away again. Your duties will not be as easily cast aside as you had planned to do with me and the rest of your friends."

 

Holding the bowl in one hand, Elyan gripped the dagger with the other and planted his fist on the ground, which he used to push himself to his feet. His bandaged foot protested the weight with a dull throb, but Elyan ignored it, the blood was starting to pool in his legs and he could already feel them getting stiff. If he did not move and stretch them out, this was going to be a short journey. Elyan avoided looking at Sandre, but felt the disapproving glare all the same.

 

The day was almost cool with the occasional breeze, perhaps even chilly, but the wind felt wonderful flowing over his sweat drenched figure. With eyes closed, Elyan took a moment to enjoy it, face drifting upwards to the sky as his head tilted back. It was simply amazing how easily the simply things can make one forget their worries. With eyes still shut, Elyan finally broke the silence, “Nothing about this is easy,” he said softly, opening his eyes and turning to Sandre, “and I don’t expect you to understand, but it’s something I have to do.” This was different than the conversation with Edana, before he had been trying to convince himself as well, but now he was confident in his actions, an emotion that bled into his words. “I don’t have many friends, and am grateful for the kindness you have shown me. I’m sorry if you are upset at my leaving, but if I ever wish for the Tower to be a real home then I need to take care of some things that I thought were left in my past.” He stood for a long moment staring over his shoulder at where the Tower would be if it could be seen through the trees, before returning to the conversation. “Goodbye my friend, may you find whatever it is you seek.” Turning to go, a small smile formed at the corner of Elyan’s lips, the first in a long while. He was looking forward to returning, perhaps he could deal with his business quickly.

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