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its hard to welcome a brotherless strung from a tree


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Sirene looked at the white clothes she was wearing, she was suposedly some servant, and to act acordingly. Her first atempt on refusing had seen her birked naked in public like it was nothing, and not stoped untill she was howling at the top of her lounges. That had been two days ago and her skin was still sore, she had found it within her mind to make logic of playing along for now, at least untill she could escape or be rescued.


At the moment she was carying water which they seemed to think highly about, as she had seen others beeing punished for spiling mere drops. She filled it into the throw where they kept some of the few horses they had to pull wagons. Sudenly she became aware she was alone, no one close to her and the woods close by, looking around again she snuck to the end of the line before making a run for it in hope no one would spot her till it was to late.


No shouts, no one stoped her and she reached the treeline, she would make it, she blinked away a sentimental tear as she contiuned wrigeling her way through the tick brush, then sudenly felt a hand on her shoulder.


She turned and looked rigth up into the face of one of those female warriors. She made to tear loose, then tried to figth. To soon she found herself kicking and screaming thrown over a shoulder as if her fists made no impact at all on the womans back. No no this couldnt be happening, but surely she saw the camp materialise around her and she was carried through it till she was tossed down on the ground, rough hands seized her. She found herself striped as easy as a babe, her resisting making no mather, her feets tied togheter and the rope tossed over a branch to the side of the tree, then down to the ground where it was pined down by a spike.


She tried to plead by now but her hands where beeing pulled back behind the tree to either side of it and tied togheter, and then her screams words shut out by a ball of cloth beeing pushed into her mouth followed by a long strip going over her mouth and then around the tree, effectivly pressing her head to the tree.


Then they left her and she hang there helplessly feeling the strain on her muscles, soon enough she discovered that she had more to worry about as the sun shifted and caugth her mid on. Sirene wrigled as best she could from the uncomfortable heat, scrubing up her back against the tree. Her head felt clouded hanging upside down like this, and it was so hot, she couldnt help close her eyes to shield them a moment, then open them again as she heard footsteps close by. She tried her best to look up, to plead with whomever was close, then more footsteps, she seemed to be all but invisible to these peoples.




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It wasn't the first time that Fonn found himself remembering Deep Shade Hold, a memory that he could never have again. One decision, one choice, had taken that life from him forever. However, it had been his decision. And I'll be damned if I'm going to regret my own choices. That wetlander couldn't be the Car'a'carn, he thought as he walked. The trees around him barely registered in Fonn's mind; he had made another decision, and he was facing the consequences of that decision there and then. Ahead of him were several of the Mura'din, the Brotherless. Fonn had felt toh towards the Sovin Nai, his former society, for abandoning them the way he had at the treekiller city of Cairhien. Leaving behind the weapons gifted to him upon his acceptance to the society, Fonn had never even bothered returning to his brothers with the Shaido. His presence would only dishonor them even more.


Despite the less-than-welcome sentiments from the Shaido, Fonn felt that he deserved to be among the Brotherless. Or maybe it was because of the animosity. It was no less than he deserved. However, Fonn didn't share his thoughts with the Brotherless that were escorting him out away from the Shaido camp. He had been told not to speak, and Fonn remembered just how strict the Sovin Nai had been. Not for the first time, the tattoos etched into his shoulders seemed to burn, as if reminding him of his betrayal. As if I could forget.


The camp was just out of sight when the Mura'din stopped Fonn. Looking around, he took stock of his surroundings. They were in a clearing of sorts, with nothing stopping the sun from shining into the field. Curiously enough, there was a woman suspended in a tree nearby, probably one of the wetlander gai'shain that the Shaido had taken. No matter how hard he tried, Fonn could not make himself like or accept what was being done. They weren't Aiel; they did not know ji'e'toh. The woman seemed to be squinting against the sunlight. Fonn suddenly found himself attempting not to laugh; she had probably tried to escape, and the Maidens had caught her. They were not known for treating their captives with kindness. Fonn could not say why he did it, but he shifted his position slightly, placing himself between her and the sun. Maybe she'd find some sort of relief for a time before donning the white again.


"Who comes?"


The sudden voice in the silence brought Fonn's mind back to where it should have been: the ceremony. Solemnly, he replied, "One who comes friendless, abandoned by clan and society. One who is outcast, with neither hold, nor family. One who is brotherless."


"Why do you come?"


"Because, above all else, I am Aiel, and I wish to regain my lost honor."


"The Mura'din have many who seek their honor. Why should we accept you?" The speaker's voice was taking on an edge that made Fonn nervous, but it neither showed on his face, nor in his voice, when he replied, "Because I am willing to die if it would bring back my honor."


"Then prove this to us."


The words hung on the air when the entirety of the gathered Mura'din, save the speaker, attacked. The first twitch of a muscle among the gathered men had alerted him to their plans. Raising his veil as he winded the nearest man to him and dodged out of the collapsing circle, Fonn regretted moving for a moment; he had deprived the woman of shade. Nothing to do for her now, he thought as the Mura'din descended again.


It was a fight to keep himself out of the middle of the algai'd'siswai, numbering around twenty. Instinctively, Fonn knew that this was not a fight he could win. The thought made him smile, even as the first blow fell across his face. Spinning away from the punch, Fonn's closed fist connected with one of his assailants' noses, felling the man. As he readied himself for another attack, Fonn felt two hands close around each of his arms. Instinctively, he dropped to the ground, taking his two assailants with him and rolling onto his shoulders to drive his feet into the belly of the man sneaking up behind him. He sprung back to his feet, bringing the top of his head thundering into the face of another man. Even as he hit, Fonn felt the man's teeth tear open his scalp. Blood trickled into his vision, blinding him to a thundering right fist that leveled him. Fonn rolled onto his belly, levering himself up to his knees, only to have a foot crash into his ribs, flipping him onto his back. From there, it was only a matter of time until the flying fists and feet pounded him into oblivion. He had failed.


"Hold!" The voice of the speaker was almost a welcome sound to Fonn's ears. He lowered his veil and looked up, his face already amassing bruises, his right eye swollen shut, his nose and lips bleeding. The aches in his muscles told Fonn that there were more bruises to be found, many of them probably deep tissue bruises. His entire midsection felt as if it were on fire. However...


Without a word, Fonn forced himself to his knees, then to his feet, standing unsteadily as his agonized muscles bore his weight. His veil was dripping with his own blood, but it didn't stop Fonn from drawing it across his face anyway. "I'm not finished yet," he said, his voice muffled behind swelling lips.


"Yes, you are, Brotherless." Fonn cocked his head, blinking in confusion. What had the man just said? Had he called him... "Welcome to our society, Fonn of the Mura'din. You still have some honor left in you. Don't let it go." One by one, the society members departed, until only the speaker and Fonn remained. The two looked at each other for several minutes, neither speaking. Finally, as if he'd seen what he wanted to see, the speaker nodded and slowly walked away from the beaten and bloodied man. "Brotherless, indeed," Fonn muttered, taking a few steps back before casting his eyes to the clouds. One glance out of the corner of his eye showed him what he had expected to see. She was back in his shadow again.

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Sirene had problems hearing and following the conversation as her head was buzzing from all the blood runing down into it. She was gratefull for the litle shade she was given thoug by one of the ariving men.


She closed her eyes some to rest as she listened to the sound of the conversation she didnt quite manage to follow. Then sudenly she heard movement, her eyes snapped open and from her updown position she watched veils go up, her eyes widening, aiels only fought and killed when veiled, now her heart was drumming in her chest. What was happening, would she be rescued, would they let her or would she be killed in the batle defenceless as she was.


Even bigger was the surprise when she saw the men, all of them attack one of their own. He did well from her estimate in defending himself, but the attackers where to many. And in the end he was on the ground, geting beaten and kicked. She realised she had been screaming and quieted her mufled sounds as she watched.


A loud sound spoken by one of them brougth an end to it, and veils was droped. She watched the man strugle to his feet, blood having coulored the ground. Something that sounded objectivly was said, then an answer and the men was scatering, leaving untill only one of them and the wounded one was left, the one who had given her shadow. The wounded one moved and once again she found herself in the shadow.


Her skin was burning, yet it troubled her more to be strung up like this, helpless. She closed her eyes again to clear her head, it was spining, and she fougth the dizzyness to not go unconsious.

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