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Aiel Have What She's Having - Dilora/Crew/Aiel

Winter Mist

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The camp was small, but perfectly formed nonetheless, away from the rigours and realities of the past day, and would be suitable for the party if they wanted to rest a few days. The small pond supplied by a narrow brook from a much larger river would provide them with water and the stand of trees made it a very defensible place, if the need arose. Dilora considered it a shame that she had to think that way, particularly when she had never been troubled before while she had journeyed from one land to the other and now, after one rumble with some darkfriends and a bad time to be in a bar, and she was constantly looking over her shoulder, looking for arrows with her name on. Still it had been relatively calm so far. Tonight even looked like being a nice night for a little fishing, if the men were up to it and maybe a song around the camp fire. And then there was the matter of the small barrel of Illian red wine in the back of her wagon that would be a nice accompaniment to the small barrel of apple brandy... Some nice fish would be a treat, fried with some tasty herbs... Dilora could feel her mouth watering at the thought and licked her lips as she tidied up inside her wagon.


Ogier feet had made large footprints in some sticky substance in the back of her wagon. It turned out to be a bit of squashed fruit, but at least it hadn't been worked into the small rug she had by her bed. If it wasn't cleaned up soon though, it would start to ferment and she would have brandy-soaked floorboards. That wouldn't be good. From shelves high and low she grabbed tin cups and tankards, and put them on the top step of her wagon, and then turned to roll out the barrel.


It landed gracefully at the bottom of the steps with a bit of sloshing, but nothing more than a tiny trickle went to water the grass with it's alcoholic wonder. This would be the brandy, the one she had broached just before she arrived in Caemlyn. Had it really been less than a week ago? Light, it seemed longer... Dilora imagined that everyone present could use a drink and a hot meal, and when the men had finished fishing, she would be able to slip into the pool and have a nice hot bath. She had some screens she could put up to protect her modesty, and a glass of wine and a hot bath were calling to her. Maybe a read of one of the books on her shelf.


The smells from the cookfire were very inviting, but the food wouldn't be ready for a little while yet. Time for a drink or two before things really got too dark to do anything. Dilora rather fancied doing some singing around the fire, letting her hair down and having a good time to try and forget the hardship they had endured in the city. For now, ale.


"Who's for a drink?" She called.

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It was getting late, and dark. Slowly the activities of the day gave way to the silence and peace of the evening and early night. At this time, the roads were empty of all but highwaymen, and even those were not missing, due to the Aiel being present. News of what they did in Cairhien spread fast, and most decided not to take the chance. So this is why the small column of Aiel was advancing without any trouble what so ever, a welcome change, even for warriors like Ghaul. The last dance they had, it was unusual even by Aiel standarts. It was not the Shadowtwisted or the One Power, they were quite used to dancing with Lightnings by now. Nor was it the Shadowsouled himself. However seeing warriors who you saw being torn a part by explosions walk amongst the living again was not something you see everyday. Even the coldblooded Aiel had a hard time accepting that as a fact, but eventually they managed. In fact there were a few people in the group right now who were ressurected by some amazing way, and no one treated them any differantly than before. The dream continued as it always did. One thing bother Ghaul though. Only those killed by the One Power have been brought back, those who died of steel, be if of man or beast, remained dead.


"We've found their tracks. A relativly small group and there are a few wagons, they are definatly not of the Lost Ones, so it must be the group peddlar we heard about. They are not that far ahead, about half an hour run. They have made camp near a river" - a word that would once have caused them to stutter was not spoken freely, how did things change. - "They haven't noticed us, old habbits."


Traders in Camelyn were not yet used to the Aiel, most just closed their shops when they saw Aiel heading their way. And the Car'a'carn orders were absolute - no one was to be bothered, and the daily lives of Camelyn's citizen were to remains as undisturbed as possible. So the Aiel had little choise left but to turn to peddlars, who were more willing to trade with them.


"And good ones" - added Ghaul - "They've kept you alive so far. Now let's go and meet the peddlar, there will be no need to sneak to them."


They Aiel soon reached the camping site. It was indeed chosen well. As they came, the group was just gathering arround one of the wagons. A woman had just rolled out a keg out the wagon, and was asking others for if anyone want's a drink. They did not answer though. The Aiel walked into the camp, shoufas down, and everyone's attention was turned to them. Ghaul stopped and looked at the woman standing at the wagon. It seemed that she was the peddlar. So he greated her.


"I see you. I am Ghaul, Clan Chief of the Dragonmount Aiel. We mean you no harm, we're here to trade. If you're opened for business at this time of day, that is."



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The first thing she knew about it was the strangely quiet voice announcing his presence. Aiel? Dilora hadn't even seen an Aiel for so about a year now and here were a party coming towards her camp and headed by a Clan Chief no less! In her travels she had heard that the Aiel liked peddlers, and welcomed them in the Threefold Land where they would have turned other Wetlanders away. If she was going to write up all of the day's events in her journal, she would be here all night at this rate! Still, it would be therapeutic to sit and write, and she could see the entry in her mind's eye now...


...Everything I imagined could happen today, did happen. Chased by Darkfriends, fighting in a tavern and then just when I think we're away from it all, Aiel come to our campsite to trade! I think with all the troubles in Caemlyn that the owner of the tavern will have too many other things to worry about rather than coming after the likes of me. I'll send them some gold and a trinket, and hopefully it will see them through the hard times. They might even thank me...


She had no idea how to respond to the tall Aielman, but curtsied and put on her most winsome smile - the one she used when meeting someone of importance. And Dilora straightened her skirts, conscious of the fact that a barrel of ale was right next to her and that she was holding some cups in one hand. Unsure of how to respond, she tried using her initiative, and used something along the lines of what he had said.


"I see you, Ghaul, Clan Chief of the Dragonmount Aiel. I am Dilora Fashelle, and I am a peddler. You are welcome at my wagon and, of course, there are no closing times for trade with me. If I am awake, I am open for trade." The others might be on edge when they realised there were Aiel in the camp, but they were here to see her and did not have any malicious intent. Dilora was sure of that, and her instincts were pretty good on such things. Her mind flew over the contents of what she still had available in her wagon that would be good to sell... The books, the trinkets in her hidden draw, the melons that the Ogier had sat between... there were lots of possibilities, and maybe she could get some more information of what was happening in the area. People paid good money for a peddler's knowledge, and she did so hate to be out of the loop when it came to current affairs. In the morning they would set out for Tar Valon and Dilora could find more items to peddle along the way. For now, it was time to trade. She could feel the familiar excited bubbling in her stomach at the thought of doing business again, as even though it couldn't have been more than a couple of days since she had encountered Nerome and Rosheen, it felt like forever.


"What might I interest you in? I would be happy to show you my wares." Oddly, she liked the look on his face and he appeared to be around the same age as herself, but she did have to crane her neck to look up at him. She had heard the Aiel were tall, but this being the first time she had encountered one, she had been unprepared. You didn't usually see an Aiel unless he or she wanted to be seen, even in the cities. To her companions, Dilora raised her voice and said: "There are cups here and some drink if you want it - I'm just going to do a spot of business, and then I'll join you. Come and help yourselves and if you, like, come and make yourselves useful." Dilora then turned back to Ghaul and flashed him a cheeky smile. "Can I offer you a drink too? I've ale, or brandy. And there is always plenty of fresh water behind the wagon..."

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Thorfinn had hobbled Mani and went off into the coppice to look for some dinner. He warmed his bow up and nocked it in one go. He lightened his step and stalked into the thicket.


He scanned the ground for signs of wildlife his eyes skimming over the surface. Then he caught a sign, i half foot print in some soft earth. Pheasant. He carried on into the thicket following the few signs the bird left. With ever step he placed his foot down testing the ground for twigs, he moved silently. Then his ears picked up a noise, wings bein fussed over. Thorfinn slowed even more and slipped slowly towards the noise, lowering his stance. He slowly drew an arrow from his quiver and nocked it. The bird was cleaning its feathers, then found something on the ground to pick at.

Thorfinn drew the fletchin to his check and steaded his breathing, the pheasant continued to pick at the thing on the ground, He let the arrow loose and the arrow hit home spearing it to the ground.


He walked over to the pheasant and removed the arrow, as thorfinn tied a peace of twine around the pheasants neck he started to head back to the camp when he caught somthing out the corner of his eye. Movement beyond the trees. He moved to within 5 paces form the edge of the wwod, keeping out of site.

By the light, Aiel?

He could see a band of Aiel marching on there position with veil down.

Interesting, i should head back and see what their wanting.


Thorfinn broke cover and started walking back to the camp, he assumed that it didn't matter weather he hid or not they weren't looking for trouble. As he reached the camp one of the aiel had approached Dilora, they were talking and by the look on Dilora's face she was doin well.


Thorfinn headed for the fire.

'Easy guys things are good.' He lay the pheasant on the ground and unstrung his bow. He watched the Aiel fetch some water as he started plucking the pheasant....

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This was indeed a fine place to camp. It was some distance away from the road and the foliage cover quite splendid. But not cover to where one could not stare up to the skies. The deepening sun, half moon and the stars out at once was a great time for Malic to admire, which has become one of his favourite times to think. What lurks out their in the dark, is not always so beautiful. There was no sense of paranoia present in Malic’s mind, but he knew there had to be a little care taken in such days as these.


Malic sat cross-legged wrapped in his gleaming bright yellow cloak while the others rustled about the camp with whatever belongings they needed out from the wagon, he already had everything he needed unpacked just by the camp. With the campfire already made and the catch made over at the brook cooking slowly simmering into tasty chowder, he leant back deep in thought about how he imagined the sights of Tar Valon to look. He had never been there before, and from what he heard, the white tower could be seen many miles away from the city itself. He had no real interest in meeting an Aes Sadai, they weren’t particularly very great conversationalists, also from word of mouth. But still, it would probably be an unavoidable event seeing as though he will be roaming their beloved city!


Does he intend to stay with this company after going the distance of this city? Where will he go next? These are questions he needed to share with another. Maybe he could be apart of this company permanently, but first he needed to get to know the company much better before he can make such decisions. He decided to keep such questions to himself for now, which was probably for the best anyway.


Thoughts of bettering his skills with the five knives leather strapped to his waist nagged him also. This was something he intended doing something about soon. The battle he encountered on the way to Caemlyn was an embarrassment to him. There were many of the darkspawn set on chopping him up, which to most folk could be classed as a very good effort to have eventually overwhelmed them. The fact that he fell unconscious and split up from his company could have been avoided only if he was more accurate with his weapons. He had an idea, I must train, surely there’s one amongst this crew that is good with a blade.


The one they called Thorfinn had disappeared into the woods perhaps an hour ago, apparently on the hunt for another meal, which would be a welcome addition to the meagre chowder that should be about ready – it would have to be rationed out considering the amount of folk about the camp. Malic jumped slightly as Dilora called out, "Who's for a drink?"


The question had to be rhetorical. Malic was always partial to a drink, being brought up in an inn meant he had lots local to practice with! Jumping to his feet, he made his way over to her and the barrel. “Very kind of you Dilora, I will sample perhaps a little ”

He didn’t even notice the newcomers while he poured himself a mug of apple brandy. They silently made their way into the camp, but of course Malic knew that even when Aiel were not even trying to move in stealth, they still managed it spontaneously. It seemed they were interested in buying from Dilora, who went off to talk with the Aiel clan chief. Malic had seen Aiel wondering his home city of Cairhien and so seemed no strange thing to have them visit. Malic had to keep to his priority’s though, looking around he attempted to search out the one called Rosheen…the heron marked blade she owns must mean one thing!

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Cor eased out of the thicket directly behind the hunter and casually watched him unstring his bow. A careful man, thought Cor. And after observing him move through the heavy undergrowth tracking the bird, one who also moved well. This wetlander is probably a good dancer.

“You stalk well, wetlander,” the young Stone Dog prompted to the huntsman, just in case he hadn’t been heard himself. Judging from the man’s quick turn, Cor hadn’t been noticed.


Conversely, the Aiel had noticed quite a lot of things while fulfilling his duties as a rear guard. After trailing well behind the other Aiel to watch their back trail, he had circled the clearing before spotting the stalking hunter and carefully monitoring his activities. It paid to keep an eye on any unknown wetlanders you ran into. Who knew how these wetlanders might react? He saw the rest of the unusual group although he didn’t get close enough to see any faces. Ghaul was taking care of that, anyway. He did see two Ogier, however, and he definitely wanted to visit with them. And he took special note of the woman with the sword and the crested hair. She was dangerous.


When the hunter finally laughed, Cor joined him with a laugh of his own and then loped over to speak with Ghaul, his veil hanging loosely. Perhaps there will be no dancing today, he thought. It looked like the introductions were already finished, because the peddler was digging through her wagon while Ghaul and the other Aiel were sharing water and mingling with the peddler’s entourage. The gleeman was preening like a rooster.


“I see you, clan chief,” Cor said with a grin, his brilliant blue eyes twinkling mischievously. He and Ghaul got on well. Ghaul had a great sense of humor, and Cor’s adventures and eccentricities were often the target for his taunts, as the older chief tried to keep the young warrior’s ego in check. Cor admired him greatly.


“There is a large party of wetlanders coming this way on horseback, Ghaul. They don’t look to be traveling very far, because they aren’t carrying travel gear. Also, they are heavily armed and those with bows have arrows nocked,” at his announcement, all heads turned toward him like metal shavings to a lode stone. “I wasn’t seen, but they’re coming this way.”


With his news, the bustle from inside the wagon became a vision of wonder. Cor’s eyes widened with surprise. “Dilora?!?”

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  • 2 weeks later...



Her head turned at the sound of the familiar voice. "Cor, is that you?" A second glimpse of the tall man revealed her guess at identifying the owner of those dulcet tones had been correct. The Aielman she had encountered a while ago in the Mountains of Mist stood before her, sharing a look with the Clan Chief, Ghaul, that spoke tellingly of nothing much at all really. It was difficult at the best of times to read the expression on some Aiel's faces, particularly when they wanted to hide something. In some ways they were similar to the Cairhienin in that respect, but she kept that observation under her hat. Her arms were full of books and carved wooden ornaments or animals she had encountered in her travels and had taken a liking to. It gave her something to do in the evenings, along with embroidery and drinking in taverns, singing songs.


Dilora kept herself under too rigid control to drop the books at the sight of him though. She would never put such precious cargo at risk, not even for a pile of blankets. One never knew what the ground would be like when something tumbled to earth, and since she had to absorb losses from her profits, Dilora tried her utmost to not let anything like that happen. He hadn't changed much though from what she remembered. Setting the books down on the nearest flat surface, one of the figurines would have fallen off the pile if the quick movements of the Aielman hadn't saved it. He turned it over in his hands while she looked him over.


"Bear with me just a minute, Cor. Oh, I see you, by the way. I must just finish seeing if I can help the good Clan Chief here."


She arranged the titles on the surface in front of her, idly wandering over to fetch a cup of ale and lightly touch Malic on the shoulder to make sure he was still comfortable with the situation. Knowing him, he was probably lining up a funny story to tell so he could amuse everyone later around the fire before they all sought their blankets. Returning to the spread-out selection of books she had accumulated on her travels, Dilora realised her journal was among the spines she saw down in front of her. Quickly, she picked the volume up and held it close to her chest. There was no way she would sell this one yet. Her journeyings were not anywhere near over. With a tankard in one hand and a book in the other, Dilora turned to face the assembled Aiel and smiled.


"Please, come and see what wares I offer. If I do not have anything here, just ask, and I, Dilora Fashelle, will try and get it for you." She took a sip from her drink and, seeing Ghaul occupied looking at the titles available, Dilora turned her attention to Cor. "It's been a while, hasn't it, Cor?"




As Dilora disappeared in her wagon and the activity in the camp returned to normal Ghaul took sometime to take a more detailed look arround this camp. Of course his attention was drawn by the two Ogier in the camp. Their presence was one of the main reasons Ghaul was certain that this peddlar was indeed honest, as the word of mouth circulating in Camelyn was. And it was at this time, as Dilora came out of her wagon carrying a big pile of books, obviously she have traded with Aiel before, Cor arrived.


I see you, clan chief.There is a large party of wetlanders coming this way on horseback, Ghaul. They don’t look to be traveling very far, because they aren’t carrying travel gear. Also, they are heavily armed and those with bows have arrows nocked,” at his announcement, all heads turned toward him like metal shavings to a lode stone. “I wasn’t seen, but they’re coming this way.”


Armed wetlanders with arrows at the ready? After a peddlar? Ghaul has indeed heard that there was an incident involving Dilora Dashelle in a Camelyn's inn, but she has paid for the damage done, and the innkeepers did not held a grudge against her, in fact they were the one who strongly recommended Dilora to the Aiel, so it did not make sense for them to have sent raiders after her. So this was something else. Well usually Ghaul would not get involved into wetlanders business, but peddlars are a different matter. Not to mention that there were ogier in the group.


"Well Cor, whoever those men are, they are in for a surprise which I am certained they never expected. Have the warriors prepare for the dance, if those wetlanders start hostilities to this group will dance alongside this group, we'll honour the wateroath to the Treebrothers, as always."

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  • 2 weeks later...

Cor’s happiness at seeing Dilora Fashelle was tempered by the fact that duty called first, for both of them.


After his announcement, he listened as Ghaul gave instructions to what the Aiel would do at the appropriate time. Cor had expected no less. Peddlers and Ogier were both held in high esteem by the Aiel, and they would almost always dance to protect them. Talk of the upcoming conflict was halted by Dilora Fashelle’s sales pitch and the appearance of several books she had for sale, however.


"Please, come and see what wares I offer. If I do not have anything here, just ask, and I, Dilora Fashelle, will try and get it for you."


Her proclamation was followed by murmured enthusiasm as the party of Aiel pored over the offered texts. Cor was about to do the same, until the peddler turned her attention to him. "It's been a while, hasn't it, Cor?”


Smiling warmly, the Stone Dog looked down into the lovely face of Dilora Fashelle and recalled their first meeting. How long ago has it been? It seems like Ages. Things on this side of the Dragonwall have made a mess of time and the world.


“It’s been far too long, my friend. I see that you’ve finally managed to dry yourself off, but I still say that we must have been at the bottom of a lake the first time we met. It’s a shame Nei’din isn’t here. He’d have really enjoyed bothering your horse.”


The absence of his brother brought a quick flash of pain across his face, but hopefully it went unnoticed as he replaced it with a smile. Reunions were supposed to be a happy time.


“Tell me, oh peddler extraordinaire,” he prompted in his best peddler impression, complete with arm waving and grand posturing, “How are things? And why are you being hunted? I didn’t know peddlers were so tasty.”




Forge was busy talking with Rosheen when the Aiel appeared. The blademaster became very tense at the unexpected arrival of the legendary desert warriors.


In his memory, the Aiel had never come to Stedding Madan, being as far from their beloved Threefold Land as it was, but Forge knew something of their ways. He assured her that there was nothing to fear and told her of the special reverence the Aiel had for peddlers. He also knew of the Water Oaths shared between the Aiel and Ogier, but he didn’t mention those.


Leaving her to consider their plans for the Darkfriends that surely followed them, he went to speak with Jeran about the Aiel. His friend had been wanting to talk with an Aiel for quite some time for some reason or other, and knowing him he was so consumed by a book or idea that he hadn’t even noticed their visitors. After a quick word with his fellow Ogier, Forge went to speak with Dilora.


By the time he approached his Little Bee, she was chatting warmly with one of the Aiel.

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Cor was as boisterous as the young lion she remembered. His companion, she wondered what had happened to the great beast he had wrestled in the foothills of the Mountains of Mist all those years ago. A look as though to ask “why are you asking me that?” crossed her face and she bit her lip, letting the object she was holding fall back to the counter-top. Still, she supposed that she would have to explain what was going on, and Aiel were good in a fight, if it ever came to that. She cleared her throat, and began.


“It happened back in Caemlyn. One of our party,” Dilora resisted looking over to where the sleeping form of Beatrice lay, peacefully lost in a dream. “One of our party got into a little bit of trouble back in the tavern we were staying in. We decided to help her out … wait, wait, something happened before that. Light, I’m tired.” She passed a hand over her forehead in memory; surprised her hair wasn’t a mess. Casting her mind back, Dilora remembered the early morning foray to find a house full of darkfriends, and the young trainee Warder she had found outside.


“Darkfriends are not something I enjoy having behind me – you know me, I am a peaceful sort. Anyway, one of our number,” Dilora avoided looking anywhere except down at the counter. “One of our number has some past history with these darkfriends, and I wanted to help him out. I don’t hold much with injustice, and I do like to help where I can.” She sniffed, and folded her arms defensively across her chest.


“Anyway, we managed to fell a few of them, when it looked like they were going to attack my virtue, and escaped as there were far too many for us to take on alone. I’m not stupid.” Another sniff, this time accompanied by a wistful sigh that she hadn’t hit one or two of them a bit harder. “We ran back to the inn I was staying in, and then the commotion with the tavern brawl started. I’m not sure if anyone is following us, but I’m sure they won’t be happy if they find us.”


The Aielman listened carefully, as he always did, and then Dilora’s attention was diverted by a huge form approaching. Forge. The Ogier was bending his head down, and his brow appeared to be furrowed with thought. She had never known an Ogier to not be thinking about something, though.


“Forge!” Dilora called out to him, beckoning with more enthusiasm than she felt. “Forge! Have you met Cor here?” She introduced them, and took a long pull of her drink while they exchanged pleasantries. And if they were being pursued…


“I don’t think we should stay here much longer. If we are being followed, then we really should make tracks. Anything you would like to have, please, feel free to buy and then we had better move on.” She hoped they would contradict her, and say they could take care of it, but she hated feeling like a weak woman and would not display that openly if she had to.

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Cor was rapidly thinking of how best to handle the situation when one of the Ogier strode up. He was huge, even for one of his kind. The young Stone Dog smiled up, WAY up, at the massive mountain of muscle that towered over him.


He introduced himself, “I see you, Forge Tree Brother. My water is yours. I am Cor, a Stone Dog of the Deep Shade Sept of the Dragonmount Aiel.”


Forge smiled down at the young Aiel warrior who was so happy to see him and clapped a massive hand on his shoulder. He answered the formal ritual in kind, his deep bass voice sounding like a giant drum speaking. “I see you, Cor. My water is yours always.” With the formalities over with, Forge turned to Dilora.


“These riders Cor spoke of may be trouble, Little Bee. If they turn off the main road, that can only mean they are pursuing us. I don’t like the idea of Darkfriends chasing us, but I can’t say I like the idea of running from them either. If we keep running, sooner or later they will find us, and who knows if we’ll be expecting them or not. I’d rather surprise them before they surprise us.”


His hand is big enough to cover half my body, thought Cor. Still, as the subject of possible conflict came up, he listened attentively and set aside his urge to converse with the Ogier about happier things. “If it’s true that Shadowrunners are chasing you, then there is only one choice.” Smiling wickedly, the Stone Dog added, “We must invite them to dance.”


Forge’s ears lay down flat against his head and his bushy eyebrows came together, as he focused on the two humans and the situation at hand. There was no time to waste. “Dilora, I think you should take most of our troupe and continue on. Perhaps, Thorfinn may wish to remain here with me.” Turning to Cor, the giant Ogier continued, “If you and the other Aiel would be willing to help, I’d be in your debt. There is likely to be bloodshed, and none are better in the art of war than the Aiel.”


Cor shook his head, “Tree Brother, we share Water Oath. There can be no debt. Let me get Ghaul, and we shall plan this dance properly.” Smiling at Dilora Fashelle, he winked and said, “Every time I see you, it’s an adventure.”


With that he loped over to the Clan Chief who was intently reading a book and quietly told him of the situation.

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~Dilora and Nerome~


She nodded. The last thing Dilora wanted was more fighting – her nerves were worn a little thin and she wanted to get to the relative safety and comfort of a city for a little while where she could relax. The open road was a nice place to be, usually, but the crowd she had managed to attract had stumbled across first one problem, and the next, and all Dilora wanted to do was return to a nice peddling lifestyle. Gathering books and trinkets, she hurriedly started to put things away from their recently set up camp and asked for the fire to be put out. The books went on the shelves, the trinkets in the drawers and the barrels back in their corner where she knew she would have some brandy as soon as it was safe to stop. Turning, Dilora put a hand on Forge’s massive arm.


“Take care, my friend. I feel like I’ve known you for an eternity and peddlers are not known for losing things of value!” To Cor, she smiled and touched a fingertip to his cheek. “I know you and I will meet again, Cor.” The words were enough. She could feel herself starting to blush a little anyway, and to cover it, Dilora turned and started collecting her wares again. Out of the corner of her eye she spotted a figure that had been quite quiet since Caemlyn. Nerome.


The morning was settling in glumly on a rather ponderous Nerome. Today was to be his day to "accept" and adjust and he knew it well. He had known it as he had watched the sun climb up the shadows into the morning sky. He had known it when Rosheen gave him the final nod before turning away to attend to her horse. He had known it when he himself was faced with the troubles of packing away the little that he had carried. However, he only accepted it as he looked upon the little map he drawn in a time and place that seemed so far away. A rough sketch greeted his eyes of a hastily drawn map. The map had been the one his contact had drawn him in Tar Valon, just before wishing him the best luck...and endowing him with the worst glare. It was the directions to the Darkfriends base, their home and shelter. Brushing his fingers carelessly over the creased paper, Nerome knew it was time to leave.


Folding the last of his clothes into his pack, Nerome lifted himself off the now comfortable grass with a sigh. He still felt that he could fight, and after all, it was due to his faults or intelligence that the Darkfriends were now following him, so was it not right for him to dance beside the Aeil? He had been there right from the start after all, and it should've bloody well been his right to end it! Glowering, he picked up his belongings and looked towards where Rosheen was sitting. Her back was turned, but Nerome still shot his mentor the best glare he could, simply because, when one's helpless, petty things seemed rather exhilerating.


Moving towards the brightly coloured caravan, Nerome gave the others- some of whom were now dear friends-only half hearted smiles, and thanked them silently when they didn't try to converse with him. It was no secret that he was unhappy about Rosheen's instructions, and it was certainly no secret that most of them seemed to agree with her point of view. Nodding at Forge as the Ogier passed by, Nerome tried to smooth his hair out of habit. Accept and Adjust, he told himself.


Anyway, Dilora would be there on the trip back, not to mention Tyosh and the other Ogier whose name Nerome always found himself forgetting. While Dilora was more skilled than him with weapon and skill, Nerome knew that he would be the one who would have to take on the responsibility to bring them back safely. It was his duty, he realised with a seriousness that surprised him. Perhaps he had learned something from this journey of his.


"Good Morning, Dilora. Are you quite done there?"


From her point of view, a quick trip into Tar Valon would be best. Dilora saw Nerome approach and wondered if the two Tower Guards would leave at the first sight of the Shining Walls. As to whether she was done there… Dilora snorted. “I don’t really have a choice as to whether I’m quite done here, Nerome.” The fire was dying now, the ashes Dilora would gather up for a side project she was going to try. “Here, hold this for a moment would you?”


Dilora pass over a large glass jar and bent down to the embers, scooping up a load in a trowel. She filled the jar and screwed the lid on tightly. “There, that’ll do it. I’ve a couple of projects I want to try out.” She did not mention the fact that she desperately wanted something to take her mind off the events of the last few days. Soap, face-paints … all things she could sell to overweening nobility wanting to take good care of their appearance. And they’d fetch a pretty penny too…


Puzzled though he was, Nerome took the glass jar without question. As curious as the sight of Dilora scooping up ashes was, here was another time to accept. And certainly adjust, he thought as he tilted the jar slightly as she rose again to pour in some more ashes. Besides, he had had his glimpse of Dilora the peddler and her goods. Noted Books, delicate trinkets, flowers, feathers and even the rare gemstone, Dilora's vendibles were catered to be bought. So if Dilora told him to hold glass jars while she picked away what most others would dust away, he would do so as best as he could. "What is this for, if I may ask?"


“This, my dear lad, is going to be sold to areas of society that need to put on a good face.” She laughed at his puzzled expression and took the jar off him, replacing it with a second empty one. “Hold this again, would you?” Dilora repeated the process and screwed the lid on to that one too, before giving him an earnest look. “Mixed with other ingredients, this ash will go on to become a cream that women can apply to their eyelashes to make them look darker. I found this out when I visited certain places in my earlier wanderings.” Dilora put the two jars into a cupboard and started collecting cups and plates to go in her rain bucket. They could be washed up when it was safe to stop again.


“I had heard that one of the ingredients in soap is potash, and I didn’t know if it was this kind of ash. Well, when I get the chance I shall have a go at making my own soap. I’m sure you can see the need for that.” The camp was starting to resemble a clearing again. The Aiel were milling, squatting in corners and talking or discussing the things they had bought from Dilora, and waiting for the order to dance.


“Right now, we need to get moving.” She busied from person to person, asking if they were going or staying. Jeran, the smaller of the two Ogier, readily agreed to go with her, wanting to see some more of the world even though he had wanted to talk at great length with the Aiel about the Tree of Life. “Whoever doesn’t come with us can catch us up on the road to Tar Valon.” She told them, wanting to make sure everyone was okay, but knowing that she had to get to safety, and soon.


Nodding as he heard her words, Nerome felt a sudden thrill of excitement run up and down his spine. Back on the road again, with half the original party. Tar Valon was only a short while away, but then again, the worst things tended to happen in the quickest of times he had realized. "I've packed and am ready to move when you are. Which I'm guessing is now.." he trailed off with a smile, and turned towards his horse, Ayende. Stroking his hair once abruptly, Nerome swung himself onto the back. "It's time for the road again, brother-mine," he said softly before digging in slightly so that Ayende moved. Leading him through a slow trot, Nerome approached Dilora, who was waiting with Tyosh and Jeran. Giving both a pleasant smile, he spoke in spirits more cheerful than the ones he had risen with. "It shall be good to be back on the road."

She heard him say how good it would be to be back on the road, and in her heart of hearts, Dilora agreed. The feel of the wheels rumbling beneath the wagon, taking them closer to another horizon, another hilltop … it was inexpressibly liberating. And now, the hardest part of all was at hand. Dilora had to say goodbye.


“To all of you I make an open offer. My wagon is always open to you, should you need trade, shade or lemonade!” Dilora moved amongst the waiting forms of the Aiel and said her goodbyes, making jokes with Cor and throwing herself about him, gave him a huge hug. She did the same with Thorfinn, whispering into his ear to follow her tracks when he was finished and to meet her. Forge she shed a tear over. “Come and meet me when you’re done.” She told him, hoping he hadn’t forgotten the little amber trinket she had given him in payment for the pins and needles he had made for her. Gravely, Dilora went over to Ghaul, the Clan Chief, and stressed the offer she had made. Her wares were always there for sale to the Aiel.


“We have to make for Tar Valon now. Forge, Thorfinn, come and find me if you ever need me, or send me a message somehow and I’ll be there. I owe you a large favour for this and rest assured, I’ll help you out when you need it. Thank you.” She clucked the reins, now back in the wagon seat, and turned to head to the direction of the Shining Walls.


OOC – this is a share post between Nerome and Dilora to get things moving. Anyone of the original posse that isn’t accompanying the wagon to Tar Valon, feel free to follow and look up Dilora anytime. Some goodbyes left to RP and then the fighting remain :D

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Though reading a book, and quite an intresting one - The Adventures of Jaine Farstride, Ghaul did not miss the converstaion between Cor and the ogier, who introduced himself as Forge. As he heard his name mention he put his book down.


"As Cor have pointed out, there will be no debt, Forge Alantin" - Ghaul doubted that the Ogier would like such a formal adressing, a few Ogier did, but it costed nothing to be polite. - " The Aiel shall dance today along side you, treebrother, and you have my word that the dance will be swift and will end in our favour"


The camp got busy with activity, as Dilora decided to follow Forge's advice and move on, and leave the fight to the Aiel. Two of the group, namely the Thorfinn and Forge decided to stay and fight alongside the Aiel. Ghaul had to admit that he was a bit surprised that Forge wanted to fight, Ogier were usually peaceful. Until you harmed their Grooves, that is, or enraged them. And the shadowrunners chasing the peddlar and her crew seem to have done just that. Oh well, on their head it be. Literally. Now speaking of Shadowrunners - Ghaul already had an idea how to tackle them. Cor mentioned that the wetlanders were on horseback, though in the forest they will probably dismount. No matter how crazy, the wetlanders were not stupid. However they would still have to fight in a forest, which provided an excellent stage for an ambush. Ghaul knew the Aiel will have no problems concealing themselves here, even a child could hide in all this, and he was not worried about Thorfinn finding cover either. After all the man was a hunter, stalking was the root of his craft. But the treebrother had Ghaul worried. With his size, it would be hard to hide him, unless they can have him pose for a hill or a mount. But then again, there was an alternative. Ghaul was about to set a trap and each trap needed a bait. It was a dangerous job being the bait, and Ghaul would not even dream of asking an Ogier to do it, but something told him that Forge was a different kind of Ogier, so perhaps he might agree?


"Forge?" - the ogier turned to Ghaul. - "Treebrother, the plan I have come up with to fight the shadowrunners chasing your group is simple - a trap. But as you know, each trap need a bait. And since you'll be the one who will have the hardest time concealing himself, and you are a quite well known part of Dilora's crew, will you agree on being the bait?"



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Forge looked down at the formal and respectful Aiel He must be a chief, the way the others defer to him.


The Ogier knew a bit about the Aiel, including the fact that Aiel viewed their leaders much differently than people on this side of the Dragonwall looked at nobles or others in positions of authority. Any Aiel warrior was free to speak his mind to anyone including the chief, and often did. Aiel leadership was based on respect and ability, as he understood it, not on the status of birth, but even the most respected leaders could be argued with on occasion. Although, he’d heard that Wise Ones were spoken to only with respectful tones, except when they argued with the highest-ranking chiefs.


“I will do as you suggest, battle leader. What is your plan?”


Forge, Cor, and the other Aiel gathered around to listen to Ghaul’s words. The dance was about to begin.

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