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Regarding Dreams (White Tower Dreamer RP)


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OOC: Continued from this thread.


It was raining, and there were still several hours yet to walk, but Mehrin stepped to the side of the road going north from Tar Valon and surveyed the city with eyes somewhere between brown and maroon, shuddering under his long black leather greatcoat. He had been to the city once before, and it was likely that there was still bad blood between him and some of the residents, but he had no choice but to return. The nightmares were becoming ever stranger, and he needed answers. Unfortunately, that meant Aes Sedai.


Mehrin felt no animosity towards the women of the White Tower, but having met a couple Aes Sedai in his life, he had grown distrustful of them. They never seemed to give a straight answer, always hedging their words in such a way that they could mean anything, including the exact opposite of what they suggested. The fact that they could channel that blasted One Power of theirs did not help. Mehrin was a large man, with muscles built in a forge and tempered by decades of rigorous training, but even the smallest channeler could make short work of him. You have no choice. Either ask the Aes Sedai for help or continue having the nightmares. The quiet voice in the back of Mehrin's mind was usually right, but it was becoming more of a bother than it had been in the past. It was almost as if another entity was forming there.


With a shake of his head, Mehrin cleared the thoughts away. "Have to do it," he muttered, adjusting the harness that held his massive flamberge and straightening his wide-brimmed hat. "Damn it all to hell," he added, then set off into the city.


Tar Valon was, Mehrin grudgingly admitted, the most beautiful city on the continent, possibly in the world. The shining white walls, often besieged but never conquered, contained a city of whimsical buildings. The Ogier had been allowed to create the city as they saw fit, and each building showed the care that they took in their construction. Mehrin paused in front of one of the myriad shops just inside the northern gate. The builder had taken the idea of a seashell and sculpted it into the building, creating nothing less than a work of art. Mehrin felt that it was nearly a travesty to treat it as a simple dress shop.


Walking through the streets, Mehrin saw people from every country. A Tairen argued prices with a Saldean at a spice dealer's stall. Two Shienaran soldiers, wearing the traditional topknot and bearing two-handed swords, walked through the streets with a small space around them. With a start, Mehrin realized that he was being accorded the same privilege. He stood in an empty space in a shoulder-to-shoulder crowd. On occasion, he spotted a man, a woman, or a child staring at him, which made him wonder just how far his name and features had reached. If you wanted anonymity, you should never have taken command of one of the largest standing armies in the land, he thought. Revel in it, his mind replied, causing Mehrin to roll his eyes. A part of him loved the idea of being a legend, but legends tended to die messy deaths, and Mehrin had every intention of avoiding that fate.


Inadvertently, Mehrin stumbled into a larger opening in the crowd, which was occupied by a single woman in a practical gray dress, an oddity. It was raining, and the woman was allowing it to soak into her dress and hair. At a glance, Mehrin took in every detail: brown hair cut to shoulder length, green eyes, pretty, skirts divided for riding. Ageless face, shawl! a corner of Mehrin's mind screamed as he noticed the shawl, its edge fringed in green. He expected Aes Sedai, but he did not want to run into them. With a cool expression on her face, the Aes Sedai glanced at Mehrin, then returned to her business, only to turn back to Mehrin with a start. Dammit! Mehrin thought. Of course the Aes Sedai would know Mehrin's face. "You," the woman said.


Sighing, Mehrin replied sarcastically, "Yes, me. I know who I am, what I've done, and everything else that's probably going through your mind right now." Tipping his hat slightly- it never hurt to be polite- he added, "You obviously know me. And you are...?"


The Aes Sedai did not react to the sarcasm. Instead she said, "The reports said that you did not mince words. My name is Janine Alastarn, Aes Sedai of the Green Ajah."


"Yes, I know," Mehrin replied. "The shawl sort of gave it away."


The woman glanced at her shoulders, then chuckled briefly. Mehrin was taken aback. Less than a minute, and this Aes Sedai had displayed more emotion than any other Aes Sedai that he had met. "Quite. Might I ask why you are in the city? I understand that there are people here who would rather you not be here."


"I assume you know my favorite color, too?" he muttered before answering. "I assume that they know better than to try anything while I am in the city."


"I assure you that they do," Janine replied. "However, that is not an answer."


"I'm actually on my way to the Tower," Mehrin said. "I have questions that, unfortunately, cannot be answered anywhere else."


"Don't care for Aes Sedai, then?" Janine asked.


"Not one bit."


There was a tangible silence from the crowd close enough to hear the exchange. The Aes Sedai even seemed surprised. "Most would not dare to say such in Tar Valon."


Mehrin shrugged. "The Aes Sedai won't kill me for saying so, and I doubt that anybody in this crowd is going to kill me for being 'too arrogant for my own good.' I may not like Aes Sedai, but I know when I need their help."


"You realize that there is likely to be a price, then?" Janine asked.


"We'll see."


"Quite. May I join you? There is much that I would like to talk to you about. We Greens tend to know what is happening in every military force in the land, and your career has always been interesting to me." The curiosity in Janine's face was undeniable.


Mehrin shrugged. "I'd rather not, but I will be in Tar Valon for a few days, at least. Perhaps later."


The Aes Sedai nodded. "Very well. Until we meet again," she said, turning back to her business. A gardening shop? Mehrin wondered silently.


The crowd grew thicker as Mehrin approached the White Tower, though there was a remarkable emptiness right at the gate, filled only by a handful of guards. As Mehrin approached, one of them stepped into his path. "What is your business, friend?" the man said in terms that clearly stated that he was not really Mehrin's friend.


Rolling his eyes, Mehrin replied, "I need to speak with the Aes Sedai. Beyond that, my business is my own. Believe me, though, I would not be here if I felt that I could find answers elsewhere."


"Right," the guard muttered as he examined Mehrin. Sword, whip, and knives were mentally recorded. Finally, the guard said, "Name, please?"


Here we go, Mehrin thought as he responded, "Mehrin Mahrvon."


The guard in front of Mehrin did not react, but he could see that one of the other guards at the gate jumped in recognition of the name. "Right, then, Mehrin. We are going to have to ask you for your weapons. You will be-"


"That will not be necessary," a voice said behind Mehrin, who turned to find Janine Alastarn standing behind him. "I will vouch for him."


"Very well, then," the guard said. Standing aside, he added, "Welcome to the White Tower."


"Shall we?" Janine asked, a small smirk on her face.


"Why not?" Mehrin replied, offering his arm. After a moment's hesitation, the Aes Sedai took the proffered arm, and the two walked through the gate.


Mehrin was first struck by the beauty within the walls of the Tower. There was a massive amount of empty space, but most of the grounds were occupied by gardens. It was to one of these that Janine led Mehrin. "I must leave you here," Janine said. "The micro-climates around the gardens need to be checked. The main hall is straight ahead. Tell the Accepted on duty what you need. Add that I sent you, and you may receive service faster, but don't count on it." With that, Janine strolled into the nearest garden. Mehrin turned away, but not before noticing that, while it rained around him, there was no rain falling in the garden. "Strange," he muttered.


In the Tower hall, Mehrin looked around at the other occupants. There were apparently several petitioners to the Tower, and it was apparent that not everybody would be helped today. These men looked dejected. None of the women, though, seemed to be so. Mehrin had heard that women tended to be treated better by the Tower, and he found that, when he saw it, he did not care. He doubted that complaining to the Tower about it would resolve anything.


Striding to the counter, Mehrin nodded to the woman seated there. She was dressed in white, and Mehrin could see bands of color around the hem of her dress. Must be the 'Accepted' that Janine mentioned. "Good day. My name is Mehrin Mahrvon, and I need to see anybody who knows about dreams," Mehrin said. He could see some of the people close to him look in his direction, but he ignored them.


"Dreams. I will see if anybody has time to see you today," the young woman responded. With nod, Mehrin walked away from the desk and leaned against a wall, his eyes constantly moving around the room as he stood. Idly, he wondered how long he would be standing here. Hopefully not all day, he thought. His attention was once more grabbed by the other petitioners in the room. But I am not that lucky, am I?

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