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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Looking toward the future


Eqwina
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Long months had passed since she’d last seen Ghaul’s face, and she felt the weight of her loss fully. Sitting just outside her tent near a small fire, Covina did not hide the tears that fell from her eyes. There was no shame in her tears, not when any passer by could see her belly swollen with child; and there was not a person in the camp that did not know that the Clan Chief was gone. His loss was felt by all, and more than a few Aiel had shed tears over Ghaul’s disappearance.

 

Resting one hand on her belly, the other idly swirled the remaining dredges of her tea. Was it too soon to send another into Rhuidean? Would it be a betrayal to her husband? Or was it betrayal to her clan to not send another?

 

The nights had turned cool, though no more so than she was used to in the Threefold land. Letting her shawl fall down her back and rest near her elbows she took in deep full breath’s of the crisp night air. The near solitude of the darkened camp, combined with the crisp air helped her to focus. So much of her day was full that she was left with little time for personal thoughts. She was an arrow drawn and focused on saving her people, and not even her tragic loss or the thrill of her impending motherhood could detour her from her course for long.

 

In the near silence of the night Covina heard soft foot falls, but did not react to their approach. It was too late to duck back into her tent and feign sleep now; and likely whoever approached had important news to disturb her at this hour.

 

Reaching over to a small pile of brush she added it to the fire to rekindle the flames, and started a fresh pot of water. Talks that began this late in the evening had a propensity for long winded this, and she did not wish to be without tea.

 

Covina Arin Radic-Targaryen

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Nephuria was alone as she walked through the camp. The night was cold, she didn't care how old one was. She had her algode scarf bundled with her clothes, and a blanket made of fine wool in her arms. Hands clasped beneath the folded blanket she looked like a dark gai'shain. Her hair was wrapped beneath the scarf, and she wore only her necklaces as adornment.

 

She stepped lightly, but not so as to startle anyone she happened upon while making her way among the tents. Most were asleep by this hour, but she saw a few fires alight; one of which interested her particularly.

 

Covina was with child; she should not be up this late. They all hurt, but she had to remain strong. Altering her path, Nephuria made her way up hill toward the woman's tent. She approached her from behind, draping the blanket she'd had folded around her hands over the other woman's shoulders.

 

"I see you Covina Arin Radic-Targaryen, may I share the warmth of your fire, I have bread and goats cheese to share." She looked the woman over as she walked to stand near the left of the fire. Her tears were understandable, but she needed not risk a chill this far along in pregnancy. Nephuria would have made a joke about sneezing and quick delivery, but felt it bad timing.

 

Nephuria Sul'ron Raiden

Edited by Amore
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Covina only smiled as her fellow Wise One placed a blanket around her shoulders; biting back her desire to let loose the pain that tore at her insides. She had learned long ago that outward displays of extreme emotions were futile and pointless, and since Ghaul’s disappearance she’d been less inclined to any emotion expect sadness.

 

“My fire is yours” Covina replied as she added the leaves to the tea. Watching Nephuria from the corner of her eye she served the tea and had divvied up the goat cheese before they spoke.

 

“I know my company is not so good that you came to me at this hour for the pleasure of conversation.” She laid a few more branches on the fire and warmed her hands before continuing her thought.

 

“I know that my mood is infectious to the others, I can see it when they look at me. It is why I have taken to sitting out here in the darkness away from prying eyes, so that I may have my grief where it does not affect our clan.”

 

Nephuria only met her with silence and Covina continued. “I know that it is time to send someone else to Rhuidean, I can feel it as well as you..”

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Nephuria sat easily near the fire, breaking the bread to give them each a half loaf. It was flat bread, but fresh. She watched the other woman in the dancing low firelight, letting her speak. The world was as it was not as they wished it, but at times; despair at being unable, overcame us all. She met Covina's eyes as best she could in the dark, and could feel pangs of sympathy threatening to mingle with her own sadness. Strength was what her friend needed though, not someone else as upset as she had to be.

 

"Your mind is always on your duties, Covina, but if no one else sees it; I recognize you to be a woman, just like us all. You are given heavier burdens and duties, but it is because you are the most capable: it does not mean you will not face the same challenges that anyone else could. I did not come up here because of business or Rhuidean, I came to check on you and the babes. You have taken perhaps the most heavy toll emotionally of us in this; but you do see things in a fog because of it. I speak as a friend here, and hope you do not take offense, if you do I will have toh.

 

Your mood is understood by others. They hurt for his loss with your presence or without it. We all must wake from the Dream, but it is never easy for those we leave sleeping. Sitting in this darkness, withdrawing from the people whom love you, and seek to look to you for strength and compassion is not good for you, or them; no one could heal that way, not well. Show them your compassion, your tears are not dishonorable, they are proof of the love you had for your husband. I have never known another to touch my soul so deeply and cannot sympathize there, but you would be surprised at the understanding others will show.

 

Time alone is good for you, to process things; but too much and I fear your will stop taking care of yourself. The children do not deserve that. Keep his memory alive by the gift he left you, a piece of him to continue on. And come back to the tents, I will see to it you are not overly taxed. I have served as a midwife for a number of years now, you cannot be expected to act as your own."

 

She smiled at the other woman, scooting closer to squeeze her hand lightly if she did not withdraw it; before turning to her food, wrapping some cheese in bread.

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To be seen as merely a woman was not something that Covina was used to. In her younger years she had been seen as a spear, a weapon, and a spear sister. Then she had been an apprentice, and then Wise, but never simply woman. No Aiel would ever allow themselves to simply just be….but there was sense in her friends words.

 

She had not allowed any others to instruct her in the care of her babes. It was her own selfishness to hold on to Ghaul that had kept even those closest to her at arms length. Yes, she had served as midwife for countless women, but every good midwife knew that you could not care for yourself.

 

“You have no toh my friend. If anyone, it is me that has toh . I have allowed myself too much freedom. I think that I would be very happy to have you as my midwife, and I know that my children, Ghaul’s children would welcome your expertise. I am afraid that I have not been the best midwife.”

 

Finishing what was left of the cheese, Covina poured herself more tea. “Do you really believe that he has woken from the dream? I ask you as a friend, no more. I now that we all must wake, but there is something inside of me that just cannot believe that he has.”

 

“He was as strong as the Three Fold Land, and I find it hard to believe that he would wake easily.” Perhaps Covina had just needed permission to voice these feelings, but now that she had spoken the words she felt a weight rising from her.

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Nephuria nodded at the acceptance the woman showed for needing a midwife. Covina had never been one not to see sense, and Nephuria had counted on that. Given time and then time to reflect, she would find peace again, but only the Wheel knew time, and the Pattern was but it's outcome.

 

"Ghaul is one of the best warriors and has more ji than any man I have met. Although there were times he could be bull headed and stubborn, he is a good leader. if anyone could survive and still be breathing; well I'd place my wager on your Husband."

 

Nephuria placed some herbs from her pouch within a pouch into the small kettle, she embraced saidar and moved it into the hot coals to boil as she channeled water to fill it. Soon the scents of honey and chamomile came from the steam of the kettle. She pulled it out with a flow of Air, and released the Power, using her skirt as a mitten, she poured them both large cups of tea.

 

"The plant will help ease your tensions; the honey gives it a warming feel." Nephuria blew on her cup, before taking a large sip. Chamomile was natorios for helping with sleep as well, although she did not mention it. Covina would find rest soon, and if need be, Nephuria could help her move her things back with the others on the morrow. For now she leaned back on her side, propped up by an elbow and hand on her cheek. Her other hand held the cup of tea, and she smiled at the other woman; taking in the vastness of the Waste around them, and star above. It was true; Ghaul could be alive somewhere...the Light knew the World had known stranger things.

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For the first time in weeks Covina was able to smile. At hearing another speak of Ghaul’s stubbornness she felt as if he still lived. The man was more stubborn than a stone, that fact would not change even when he woke from the dream.

 

She watched closely as her fellow Wise One put herbs into the kettle. It was too dark to see which herbs, but she had no fear from this woman and would not insult her midwife by asking. With a grateful smile she took the cup and inhaled, letting the warm vapors wash over her. Taking her first sip, she luxuriated in the feel of the warmth as it slid down her throat and settled into her stomach. Few things were as comforting as warm tea, and the added herbs to this did in fact lessen some of her stresses.

 

“If I were in your position Nephuria, I would have given me something to help me sleep. I suspect that your sharp mind would not miss this chance to send a Wise One to bed, especially one who has been acting out of sorts.” Softening her words with another smile she set down her tea cup and clapped softly. While most of the camp still slept a single gai’shan waited to make sure she had no need.

 

The gentle sounds of the gai’shan clearing away the remains of the tea were an even greater comfort to Covina and she found her eye lids growing heavy. Perhaps tonight her dreams would not be so troubled.

 

Rising up from the ground with very little effort in spite of her growing belly Covina bid her new midwife goodnight. “I suspect you will be wanting to see me in the morning. In which case I will take to my bed. May you always find water and shade.”

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Nephuria's smile grew only once the woman was within her tent asleep. She clapped quietly and two gai'shain appeared, "Fetch two of the faer des mai for me, have them stand watch over the tent, after she awakens pack her belongings, set the tent up near mine in the camp."

 

Nephria turned walking from the tent, the relaxing effects of the tea common to her. She smoked tabbac in pipes, but only with close friends. She made her own temporary tent near the other woman, and found sleep easily within. The morrow would bring the heart back to the People. They needed something of their leader, and Covina represented that.

 

For now, the putting off of choosing could be excusable and used to carefully choose whom to send. It took six votes, and so she made four more stops that night, speaking at length with each woman within the Dream World. Time did not wait on the whims of anyone. However hard she wished otherwise.

Edited by Amore
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