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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Elilliane

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  1. A shaft of gold pierced the velvet skies when word arrived at last. The captured woman had barely stirred but the hours that’d trickled by nonetheless had been barely endurable, her body tensing whenever there came a distant sound of yet another patron moving through the entrance door, or worse still, of someone mounting the stairs. Halvie knew precious little about the woman and could harbour only guesses as to whether she’d travelled solo or in a group. And so it was with relief that no regrettable incidents did in fact occur, by the time the crumpled note came, with directions regarding the location of her small collection of wagons. She penned a swift reply for her agent alongside a strange request for a thick portion of unused metal to be placed within one of her vehicles. The man would no doubt be curious but money would ensure he held his silence & kept any negligible thoughts to himself. Right now, she desired only to reach the sanctuary of the Tower to truly subdue the wild channeler of hers. Reaching the common room, now nearly empty given the early hour, there was a rapid exchange of information in hushed whispers with her hired servant as Halvie mentioned needing an extra pair of hands in carrying a woman to the wagon; sick and still unconscious – not quite a lie so that the three oaths once sworn were not broken. There was a small infernal commotion then that caught her eyes, causing her to end the conversation abruptly as she spotted the arrival of the young Accepteds; three of them, all in all, including one who’d been injured. The Healing, Halvie concluded promptly, could easily be dealt with by the Yellows as she had no wish to linger in the midst of a swarm of humanity with her captive. She could only grasp at the true potential and depth of talent her enigma possessed but to know she was a danger was enough. She had to be contained. ‘Accepteds?’ Halvie kept her features impassive as a round of perfunctory greetings was offered. ‘You are early; that is just as well.’ Reaching deep into the folds of her pocket, she handed each of the girls a slip of paper. ‘Directions to the wagons are written on them, alongside a list of items that should still be there. Report to me if any item is missing. That will be all.’ Nodding coolly in dismissal, she caught the eye of her awaiting help before going up to retrieve the woman. Once she’d determined that the Accepted had left as required, they began transferring the woman down the narrow stairs and out past the door to where an empty wagon stood not far from the rest. It would hardly do to have the Accepted come any closer and discover the woman’s ability to channel; such a scenario would likely bring about a deluge of queries she was ill-equipped to respond to, let alone deflect. ‘There, just place her here,’ Halvie directed, frowning slightly in consternation at the metal purchase she’d ordered him to acquire earlier on. Too little for her intentions but better than none, she concluded reluctantly. ‘Aes Sedai?’ Biting back a sharp oath, Halvie then swerved around and half-dragged the girl behind her far away from the wagon before unleashing an inimical glare on her. ‘Never appear behind someone unannounced, never,’ she hissed emphatically, struggling mentally to control the paranoia that had sharpened due to her ignorance of her captive. They could be watching, these possible friends of hers; it could be anyone. ‘Have you finished? I have more for you,’ she announced gratuitously before leading the girl back to her group of friends. ‘Here, see these knots joining the wagons? Test them, make sure they hold. And feed the mules while you’re at it.’ She made to leave then but paused briefly, noting the unspoken questions being directed at her. Alas, her captive had been seen, but that was all unless Halvie read her wrongly, thank the Light. ‘That woman is… a friend of mine. She is very ill and requires immediate attention. I’ll handle her.’ So saying, she abandoned them just so, picking her way through to the front of the awaiting wagons. Checking to ensure the woman remained unconscious, Halvie seized the power and began moulding the metal into two rough sets of restraints to bind both the hands and ankles. An additional precaution she personally felt quite unnecessary but it wouldn’t hinder her progress by much so it mattered little. Task concluded, the woman was then unceremoniously dumped into a box & securely fastened - easily done. Soon enough, they found themselves on the way back to the Tower, each step taken lightening the burden Halvie felt on her shoulders. A meeting with the Amyrlin Seat would be required, coupled with an extensive research into the woman’s background... so many things but at least, with this particular catch, she could label her journeys beyond the Tower a resounding success. Mayhap she’d stumbled upon a secret society of channelers who rejected the sway of the Tower; given the dwindling numbers of channelers, it would be glorious if proven so. Nonetheless… the creeping sense of unease was approaching once more. Pebbles that littered the path rattled, almost as a portend, as they drew nigh their intended destination. Nudging her mount forward, Halvie hesitantly reached forward to pull back the cloth covering the little prison box, an act to comfort her unfounded misgivings. And then… the explosion came. Halvie Sedai Sister of the Battle Ajah Ooc: Many many apologies for the lateness. The internet at home went down & I've only just arranged for a connection in the school. ;)
  2. Shadowing; its meaning ran almost parallel to the word, spying. And disobedience to indicate her level of wilfulness not to mention the streak of stubbornness required to elude let alone locate a one held a place in the ranks of the legendary. And finally, sheer stupidity. Most novices would’ve learnt the appropriate conduct expected by them by now, if not bred into their since birth from before. This… impudent menace of a child showed none. And most importantly, Tirzah had violated the golden rule of defying the command of an Aes Sedai; Halvie’s word. It was enough for the mild irritation to morph into a silent rage kept well beneath an exterior of absolute indifference. Privately, she itched to drag the girl straight back into the Tower for a switching or even better, a sound flogging session. So Tirzah thought herself a boy and aspiring fighter to boot. Halvie had witnessed the army discipline enforced cruelly with a horse whip; such a punishment could help the girl end her gender confusion very quickly… If only. ‘You must think yourself, funny, even smart,’ Halvie hissed, eyes narrowing slightly. ‘You have not run your rounds and still you come. You are incapable of your studies in the Tower and even now in the grab of a trainee you fail. Most would jump at the chance to take your place, or have you forgotten? The Tower has no place for weaklings; weeds such as those are eliminated, if not immediately than eventually.’ These were harsh words that held a steely ring of truth but an element of spite gave the speech a nasty twist. Uprooting her authority in such a brazen manner was something Halvie would never tolerate as it gave rise to questions regarding her own competence as a leader. For a fraction of a moment she recalled the vicious blade of despair and desperation, of all those tall numinous sisters clad in ceremonial green, the heartless cold voices as they threw her petition out within moments upon receiving it – rejection, for she had not been unable to measure up to their standards. But that was years ago, so many seasons had passed since she’d gained full rank. Why? Why couldn’t people ever accept her capabilities and just bloody follow? ‘Go back,’ she stated simply, eventually. ‘Apologise to the trainee and do your rounds. Do this and I may consider a lighter penance for you later. If not…’ she trailed off somewhat suggestively, ‘You will regret. You are no one and you’ll remain so unless you do something about it.’ Already, her mind shifted towards an intended meeting with a smith regarding a particular weapon she’d commissioned; there were variety of weapons out there that were subtly different as each was adapted for a particular purpose. Using such knowledge gained, she had an artists’ impression drawn of the ideal kind of light, small blade that would suit her purposes perfectly. It was a personal matter and if the cursed chit would not leave, she would most certainly be forcefully ejected out. One way or other, she was leaving. Halvie Sedai Sister of the Green Ajah Ooc: Felt under the weather while completing this so I apologise if the post is somewhat hard to understand. I wouldn’t know; the words are swirling like mad in my head.
  3. ‘*’ Voices drifted towards the darkened corridor as Halvie descended the first flight of stairs, raucous laughter along with the abrupt banging of the front door as another patron entered a now familiar, almost welcomed atmosphere. Almost, given that unless the hands of fate had dealt her an unexpected hand, she would be encountering only strangers and thus feel no obligation to chat. And yet, almost instantly she sensed her presence, a compelling kind of force that made the game of hide & seek impossible to play between channelers. Amelia; she ranked amongst the selected few who’d been informed of her presence; another Green sister though much younger, by several decades and recently raised. Surprisingly enough, it had taken little effort to recruit the young woman and if she were so frank, Halvie had much to thank the brutal rejection of petition tradition her Ajah favoured so highly - a most ironic situation. ‘*’ Drawing her hood further forward so as to conceal her conspicuously red mane, she raised her head only high enough to navigate between the mazes of tables of creaking chairs that occupied more than half the room. The tavern was enjoying another night of brisk business, it would seem. Noting that the woman had prudently arrived alone, Halvie casually took a seat opposite her before signalling imperiously towards the innkeeper. ‘A glass of water, iced.’ Turning back to scrutinize her sycophant, hooded similarly as herself, she just managed to hide a reaction of surprising at the grey smoke drifting towards her. A quick blink of eyes before glancing at the area again confirmed that it had been a mere mirage. The exhaustion due to her travels was catching up on her sooner than expected. ‘*’ ‘Well than, Amelia, this is unexpected. What brings you here?’ "To Tar Valon . . . or to 'here'? I've always been interested in Tar Valon, especially after I was told not to visit. I figured there must be some reason, some . . . something more. But there is nothing. Nothing but water and more water." Emelia made a sour face and then brightened, "Ale?" ‘*’ The feeling of uneasy heightened as Halvie stopped herself just short of grasping saidar and blasting the woman off her chair. Only her Tower training, a curious streak of self-preservation and control had prevented her from acting out the urge. This wasn’t Amelia; that voice and mention of ale signalled danger all over. She abhorred ale; a fact few knew but then, she did trust a little more those she owned by revelling more personal traits to them; in private, naturally. And that mist, or steam, had not been imagined. The woman was channelling… but playing harmless thus far. Yet that relaxed posture could easily turn into something else when provoked, she suspected instinctively. 'Tar Valon is decent enough. More crowded than most places, don't you agree? But visually, I’d say it’s quite a sight. Can't imagine why you were advised against coming...’ Her soft voice trailed off subtly. Emelia snorted so hard that she blew bubbles into her ale glass, which was currently raised to her lips. Realising this, ducked her head, blushing. She placed the glass back on the table, too embarrassed to mention how her offer had been ignored. Maybe later. "Crowded? I don't . . . know. Is it? There are people wherever I go. It is pretty, I guess, but not that pretty . . ." her eyes began to wander to the hearth-fire, reflecting the flames she found there. "Oh. Yes. Neither am I, really. Something about aes sedai being dangerous. So far I've seen mostly water. Yuck." ‘*’ 'Then I suppose you'd object to my having this glass of water?' Halvie enquired lightly as though out of politeness. 'I'm afraid ale and I aren't on the closest of terms. I'd rather appreciate the things Tar Valon is so famous for sober than drunk. The Tower for one... people travel there often enough for help. I was thinking, a visit there for memories sake... interested?' The person was fascinating and if the element of power had been absent, Halvie might even consider her humorous. "Object? No, no, by all means." It was not imagination that her jaw was set rather tightly as she said that; again she stared into the fire. "Water can be dangerous. It takes very little to get wet and not much more to drown. Ick, ick, ick. Horrible, clingy, damp wet. I don't understand how people can live here! You're going to 'The Tower'? That big white thing I saw over there?" A wave of her hand to punctuate the question. "Of course, it looks fascinating. Shame about the colour scheme though. You know what would look nice? Red stripes." ‘*’Again with the loathing of water and coupled with the steam that continuously surrounded her in a gentle envelope, it made Halvie ponder upon that unique fact further as she plotted a careful move. Outwardly, she chuckled softly, leaning forward a little to take a sip of her drink before carefully placing it between her two palms. The ice was melting, fast. She signalled once more to the innkeeper who obliged by bringing a tiny metal bucket that clattered softly with its load of ice. 'Come back in summer; I'm sure you'll be singing a different tune by then. I hear it burns. Hot. Like the Aiel Waste. I think I'd like to visit the desert once, for memories sake as well. Hopefully...' The part on the Tower now, she’d return to later. Water and the Tower; they made an unusual combination for a conversation. The metal bucket made a sloshy, ice sound and Emelia's focus changed with the alarming speed of a crossbow firing. Her expression clouded, features and carriage morphing into things unpleasant. With the same pace she collected herself and returned to 'normal'. Emelia shifted uncomfortably for a moment before displaying a smile of white teeth. "The Summer, you say? I just might do that. And the desert, too. Warm, dry, like something from a dream. Is . . . is all that ice really quite necessary?" ‘*’ ‘Not really, I suppose. I could have it taken away, if… if you insist,’ Halvie agreed somewhat reluctantly, eyes sharpening with interest. ‘Do you have a phobia of water? Childhood tragedy perhaps?’ The tension in the air was mounting rapidly now and there was a sense, a strong horrifying suspicion that the unspoken time of peace was about to break. ‘Everyone’s got their own tragedies. Mine… I lost my family in a fire.’ They were playing a fine game of words, with her partner confirming with every passing second to meet the delicate prerequisites of the term ‘unstable’. A dangerously temperamental enigma unleashed; it had to be every Aes Sedai’s nightmare. Mentally, she began shifting thru the list of protective wards and best way to contain the unknown danger. People, they were everywhere. Deaths; they would occur unless… Water. Too much. The conversation was beginning to make her uncomfortable. She was not afraid of water, she just didn't like it. It was dangerous, dangerous and subduing. No one should have to go through life doused and sodden, unable to burn. That was a terrifying thought. But no, she wasn't afraid of water. A fear of water would just be silly. Yes. Her parents died in a fire . . . and so did Emelia's. The memory brought back sensation and for a moment she was naked and alone among the burning embers of her former home. The moment passed and she longed for its return. Emelia's cheeks began to flush and her breathing became heavier. Her eyes lost some of their focus. "A fire you say? That is very . . . unfortunate. I am sorry for your loss. That, too, is how my parents died. Please . . . tell me all about it." ‘*’ The explosion was drawing nigh; Halvie could sense the slip in the change of the tonal inflection, as though the woman was sinking, sinking deeper into a realm where sensibility had no hand. She had to act, quickly. Reaching deep within her robes she withdrew a small bottle of oil before pushing it across the table; none too quickly so as not to startle. She noted the immediate alertness at her introduction of a new item in view. ‘It’s getting frightfully cold in here, don’t you think? I was wondering… could you help me fire this up, please?’ Fire – she’d made a slight emphasise on the word and prayed it would go, for the most part, unnoticed; to be registered only at a subconscious level. Odd. Emelia's mind took a breath, trying to consider this new truth in her very narrow universe. It was a candle and she had been asked to 'fire' it. There were not many ways she could interpret such a request. Fire, the woman wanted; fire she would have. Her mind knew what was coming, as did her body—fire. Her breathing became shallow and rapid; her skin, comfortably warm. Her skin tingled with eagerness and her eyes and her thoughts reached out for the candle. There was a hissing sound, a pop and a flare of bright fire. The candle burnt hot and quick, an outward sign of Emelia's desire. She gave a helpless shrug and apologised for the loss of the candle, for it would last only moments longer, but all the while her thoughts were enveloped by the soft glow. It smelt lovely. She would have to enquire about that scent later. Emelia rubbed her eyes; followed the action through by stiffling a yawn. Some part of her acknowledged the wrongness of her situation; the rest only longed for sleep. Her glass of ale tipped, its contents sloshing across the table as her head fell onto her arms. . . . ‘*’ Success. Willing a calmness that had nearly failed to materialise, Halvie had prudently held her breath as the woman fell straight into her trap; hook, line and sinker. The scented oil had been bought earlier more as a quick remedy to her recent insomnia plague; she would’ve never imagined its eventual usefulness. Indeed, it was just as well she had bought a large supply of such exotic items back with her as a result of her journeys aboard - evidence to support her travels, in bulk. The wagons would be arriving in the early morning carrying her other goods and she was certain it would contain enough leftover space to include one more passenger. The Accepteds would come in handy tomorrow, to assist in carrying a rather sick friend of hers. Struggling slightly with the door, Halvie discarded her catch onto the nearby bed, covering her almost gently with the bedspread before removing yet another small oil lamp to be used. She would take no chances with this wild one, not tonight. Even without the precautionary use of the second lamp, the woman should by rights be sleeping through the night, the Light willing… Halvie Sedai Sister of the Green Ajah Ooc: It was fun, Sam, truly. And Accepteds, it’s almost time for you to meet our explosive little package! ;)
  4. Ooc: Don't mind me; just a temporary vessel posting for James [on LoA], who expended a great deal of effort completing this using his X-box controller due to a malfunctioning computer. And I suppose Sam deserves a mention too... ;) ------ The rising upset in Sial was plain for Lillian to both see and hear. It was not some foreign concept or feeling for her, she herself had once been in Sial's position. Decades may have dulled her memory, but she could still recall her frustration with the earth element. Her own mentor had shown nothing but disappointment at her failure, she would not treat her own student so. Especially when the problem lay not in weakness nor laziness. "It isn't what you would think". Smiling reassuringly as she shuffled closer to Sial, Lillian took the girl's nearest hand in her own and squeezed it gently. "It isn't because you aren't trying hard enough, in fact, it is because you are trying too hard". That had Sial's attention, and now Lillian would make use of it. "You've overpracticed enough that you've ingrained your fire use subconciously as a crutch. That is one of the dangers of pushing yourself too quickly". Another hint at Sial's illicit activities. "Sometimes one should know when to be patient and, when necessary, know when to take a step back so they may take two steps forward". Lillian doubted that Sial would know where this was about to go, but it was for her own good. "For the next tenday you are forbidden to embrace the source". The look on Sial's face betrayed surprise and more, but Lillian simply forged on. "If you embrace it for even a moment, I will find out and your week shall begin anew. Once it is done, we shall re-examine your earth weaving and you shall have the fresh eyes necessary to do so, eyes unclouded of frustration". Taking her blade, she got to her feet as she added. "Your other classes involving saidar are cancelled and other tasks shall replace them. And when we renew your training, you will not resume your private self improvement sessions". Pausing for effect, Lillian's countenance softened. "If you wish to study beyond the curriculum, you may come and find me so I can at least supervise you. If you burn out, you not only harm yourself but put others at risk. When someone burns out they also lose control and anything can happen". "Think about that during the week, and on my offer. I'll see you at dinner tonight". At that, Lillian left Sial's company. There was still plenty to do before the day was done and it gave Sial time to gather herself. Lillian was her teacher, not her mother, and she doubted that Sial would appreciate her acting like one.
  5. So she’d been wrong. She’d underestimated & played her cards wrong, to an astonishing degree. Lillian was, Halvie judged, more emotionally battered than she’d bargained for. In hindsight, however, taking into account the sheer number of years the White had had to nurse her antipathy, it was predictable. Wounded animals were indulged warily & dealt from afar with a hard pole and Halvie would oblige by treating her former charge as such but other little tricks like kindness and gentle words were no longer a part of her arsenal. It was clear that she would not be able to obtain what she wanted from the woman today, not with her being so belligerent and Halvie herself, still mildly disorientated. Besides, she was already sick of being snubbed and lectured at as though a mere mindless girl in white. She’d had enough. ‘Maybe it was just as well you were assigned to me after all,’ Halvie commented ruefully. ‘I never wanted to be a mentor in the first place. I was furious but Nynaeve would hold with no such nonsense. We may not have had the kind of relationship you’ve witnessed between other Aes Sedai and novices but at least you learnt something. If only it is at reading people, I know it’ll serve you well. My own mentor, well, I never knew her. The first time I met her upon my arrival was also my last.’ She remembered well the hurt and confusion, the periods of self-contempt as she sought, futilely as it proved, to discover her own failings and perhaps regain the concern of a mentor who seemed to shun her instantly and fully. She didn’t even know where the Yellow was located currently; even the name was a struggle to recall. Lillian was better off to have at least known her mentor but then again, it was obvious such a bitter fact wouldn’t be so easily swallowed. Not here, not now. Turning away from Lillian, Halvie walked sedately towards the crumbling blocks of stone that’d once been a part of the entrance hall. There’d been guards here once, elderly and present more for ceremony then actually usefulness in bloody skirmishes. Along with everything else, they had perished. The soaring arches, once a minor architectural marvel of the household, were long gone but she remembered. Snapshots of another life wrapped in the cobwebs of time, images stained with regret & bitterness. They crowded into her mind, voices both shrill and deep, hushed conferences, shifting eyes and hooded figures entered and left the very entrance she had just passed. The actual words had long since been forgotten but the feeling of trepidation… Fear seemed to have permeated the very core of where she stood unless her own mind was beginning to betray her. The rearing heads of shadows turned the fields into a boiling league of Dark minions come hither. Déjà vu. The sky a canvas of vitriolic red, like a spew of fresh blood spilled… Blood – it forced her to recall of the masked master of secrets, the assignment, the Andoran gold exchange, that solemn promise… the assassination plan. The chilling coils of fear began to slip past the simple weave previously erected to ward off the cold, permeating in a way that only the mind could banish. Dear Light, but she had forgotten. Lillian… it’d slipped her mind. Sunset, he’d vowed, when the crowds were ever-changing and business was most brisk. He had not mentioned the venue but it could only be at the inn, her inn. The assassin; she didn’t even have an inkling of who he would be let alone the features, turning every stranger into a potential candidate for the task. Such foolish lapses on her part; it could turn bloody fatal one day, but not today; not if it could be helped. Digging her heels into the sides of her mare, she rode swiftly back into Caemlyn, eyes skimming through the crowds with the dimmest hope of spotting that ridiculous mope of black hair dipped in brilliant red. Failing so, Halvie travelled as fast as discretion would permit back to the little hole where the agreement had been made, bullying the weaker mind to give what she sought regarding his whereabouts, overriding indignant protestations, desperate by now to root out the devious master she had contracted to kill; to no avail. There remained the only other option of informing and dragging the White out of immediate harm’s way but doing so would ruin whatever link that still held between them with her pride taking its biggest blow yet. Too late – there came the sonorous ringing of bells as workers surged towards a variety of inns, their nightly refuge. It would happen any time now. It could not happen; would not, Halvie thought frantically, determinedly. Her erstwhile charge was made of good strong mettle and worldly enough to always be on guard. But no one was infallible. Anything could happen... and it did. It was a macabre scene as Halvie dashed past the stunned ring of patrons, taking in a quick glance the drying pool of dark glistening red before reaching the foot of the steps. Encountering resistance, Halvie coolly removed her hood to reveal the mass of fiery hair, emerald eyes and… ageless countenance. A silence even thicker than before laid over the nearby onlookers as whispers broke nervously. The wave of bodies pressing against the wooden steps parted as though by magic, beckoning towards a door half-open. The wisdom, young by all accounts, came hurriedly to the door as she sought to clean her bloodied hands upon her apron. Halvie’s eyes shied away from the sight as she entered the room quickly emptying of people, and saw her. Grimly taking into accounts the knife wound in the abdomen and the ragged breathing of her wounded Sister, it was clear that little enough time remained. Such a wound would quickly prove fatal and even know, Halvie had little doubt that blood was beginning to clog up the wind pipes and if that happened… Drawing a deep breath to soothe jagged nerves, she began reaching towards the sweet siren of power, drawing saidar in cautiously before manipulating the threads of spirit and water even as she mind rapidly ran thru the limited list of healings she knew. It would have to be enough, unless a Yellow could be located within their immediate vicinity soon. It was an exhausting process – both hard and challenging, but not impossible. In the dead of night she stood, looking down solemnly at her patient, checking her bandages and wounds for infections and satisfied, ran a tired hand across her forehead. Signalling to the maids nearby, she issued simple instructions that ought to be done well enough before turning to the door that stood slightly ajar. Hesitating slightly, she paused to turn around, taking in the dim surroundings with a few candles to chase away the gloom, then left. Halvie Sedai Sister of the Green Ajah
  6. ‘You flaunt your emotions for the world to see, Lillian,’ Halvie noted aloud in a strangely serene voice, eyebrows quirking in a habitually derisive manner. ‘Has your time in the Tower taught you nothing?’ Her fingers absentmindedly worried the sides of the pouch; leather, a little worn on the edges and small, containing something hard, something that very much felt like… In a spark of clarity, her hands quickly loosened the strings that bound the opening of the bag shut, grasping hands reaching in to enclose around a cold hard object that she knew could only be the signet ring of the House Faury. At last. It had not been lost after all, traded to some foreign merchant who knew not the value of such an item to an Aes Sedai. Bitterness was deeply laced within the revelations Lillian chose to throw at her with all the fury and indignation of one who’d felt cheated, wronged and most uncomfortably for Halvie, betrayed. Interesting for a White to prove so emotional; her fellow Whites were universally known as the epitome of coolness and prevailing logic with little patience for the more emotionally unbalanced ones. The latter normally ended up in the Battle Ajah, a place where passions often ran high. The girl, no, woman now, was expecting an answer Halvie was hardly likely to offer. ‘You seem to have expended a decent amount of effort on my behalf, neglecting your own cause; not what most Whites I know would do but then again, you never did allow others consider you as conventional. On purpose, I wonder?’ A soft laugh escaped her then as she lifted her gaze straight into the stormy ones of someone who’d once been entrusted into her care. It was clear now that someone of Lillian’s constitution had required a mentor who understood the meaning of compassion and love rather than shunning it but fate always did enjoy playing its quirky jokes on such little arrangements. ‘You would’ve benefited being under the influence of someone else, I suppose,’ Halvie mused wryly as she got somewhat unsteadily to her feet. Another heady flood of queasiness near sent her plunging to the ground but somehow, and this could be attested to the sheer amount of pride the Green had cultivated, she did not. But the effort it took was immense, nonetheless. Halvie casually threw the pouch back to its owner, carefully pocketing the signet ring; a small additional weight she was none too bothered in carrying. ‘Since you’ve uncovered my past then perhaps you would know, suspect… I was never one for emotions. I’m incapable of them. The Tower’s influence, I suppose you’ll believe,’ she continued, guessing aloud the thoughts that must surely run thru Lillian’s own distraught mind. The White was far from serenity but how much was an act, and how much stock did she dare place upon her previous dealings and distant observations of her former charge was something Halvie chose not to ponder, for the moment at least. When she returned to the comforts of her rented room, then it would be a different matter altogether. ‘I could not give you what you most wanted before and for that, for the…,’ there was a catch in her voice, perfectly timed as her features drew together in a lesser version of remorse, ‘For that failing, on my part, I apologise.’ She had not apologised to anyone for a long time now. She couldn’t even trace back the last time it had happened let alone to whom, even to the time before she had been accepted into the esteemed ranks of the Aes Sedai by all except her chosen Ajah. The word tasted bitter, like swallowing a mouthful of vinegar involuntarily along with the feeling of gagging, although some of the uneasiness could doubtless be attributed to her recent assault. Halvie was certain she had come across as open and completely sincere, more then she ever had with anyone back in the Tower but her devious mind had also been working hard as she determined to best way to lower the antagonism of a person who held something she wanted. Not yet, the time was not quite ripe. ‘You asked me before about my past, I recall, and I refused then to divulge for obvious reasons. That has hardly deterred you from progressing up to this level. Well done,’ she murmured lightly, something akin to amusement lighting her otherwise smooth expression. Cara too, had questioned her about her past, as had various others but none had possessed the tenacity this particular woman had. For the briefest moment, a curiously warm feeling came only to be swiftly cut short at its roots; pride now? Displaying calculated emotions was well and good but the unexpected ones would not be entertained, not here, not now, not ever. ‘What will you do now, I wonder? What, indeed, are we to do with each other?’ The lightest of humour coloured her tone as at the back of her mind, she fretted, contemplated whether the act was enough to fool a White. The Light knew she was getting all she’d ever desired from Halvie in one explosive package, right after attempting to murder the latter in a most ingenious manner. Yes, this had evolved into a test of the mind now, her favourite kind of game. She was impatient to see the next act unfold. Halvie Faury Sister of the Battle Ajah Ooc: 5th post. Five. I can scarcely believe it. :o
  7. Tirzah Behen was in grave need of a flogging or a mouth stuffed with ginger, a particularly nasty thing novices detested, as Halvie had discovered none too long ago. She had encountered Tirzah’s more feminine twin several weeks back, one whose face no doubt haunted quite a number of young trainees during their rare idle moments. After a moment longer of scrutiny, she concluded that perhaps there was a certain strong resemblance between the two after all, made harder to detect given their polar personalities. She frowned impatiently at the impudence Tirzah was flaunting and briefly considered assigning the girl even more rounds around the yards just to be rid of her incessant chatter. The girl had no dignity or respect to her peers and it was tiresome, not too mention distracting when there was a whole score of business to be attended to before the day drew to a close; a packed itinerary that held no space for a garrulous additional baggage. ‘Indeed, the one who thinks herself a boy’ Halvie muttered, aiming a sharp frown that was doubtlessly lost upon the intended recipient. ‘Then I recommend the next time you find yourself with some spare time to come to me; there are plenty of things that I want done but have insufficient time for. However, I recommend you shadow another peer as I am done.’ So saying, Halvie casually ran a hand through her tousled hair which glinted a brilliant red as light rays speared through them, before proceeding to head towards the gates leading towards Tar Valon. Unbelievably enough, the girl failed to register a dismissal unless blatantly issued. Either that or she had underestimated the girl’s impertinence by a far mile. ‘Are you tailing me?’ Halvie hissed somewhat more vehemently than calculated. ‘Don’t. If you have so much additional time, go run 20 laps around the yard. Now.’ Pausing expectantly, arms delicately folded against her chest, her narrowed eyes must have finally had some effect for the girl, following some hesitancy, began a decently paced jog away from her. As soon as Halvie judged the girl immersed enough in her own activities, she left. Catching eye of a lounging trainee on the way out, her mouth twisted somewhat with amusement as she gestured curtly for him to approach. ‘Keep an eye on the girl for me. Make sure she doesn’t leave the yard until her time to return to the Tower. Understand?’ The boy nodded nervously as Halvie began to stroll pass him. ‘Good. See that you don’t fail me.’ Halvie Sedai Sister of the Green Ajah
  8. Nature had gone wild, literally. For a moment, the sweet sensation of the power had helped up her confidence in overcoming her enigmatic opponent along with a growing sense of every other living thing that surrounded the ruins of her previous home. Then, the brief thought was blown away. No, it exploded. The assaults seemed to come from all directions, several opponents surrounding her was what she considered but even that little thought slipped through her fingers like burning liquid. The solid sensation of her feet connected to the hard ground disappeared, as if she’d been thrown into the air whereas the pain intensified, blinded, deafened. It was a curiously numbing sensation where Halvie felt as though she’d been thrown into a void, only the void was encased in a fiery sensation that could only be described as… wrenching agony. She was still incapable of coherent thoughts, her body’s reactions beyond control when something cooling flowed through. Something that could only be described as… there was a word for it, just beyond her reach… something soothing, welcomed - healing. A pathetic sense of satisfaction came as her mind managed to squeeze out the word and with a slight groan, Halvie struggled to right herself into a sitting position, cautiously using a hand to shield whatever intense light source that had scorched her eyes, a kind of power both awesome and terrifying. And then, the words came. She struggled to decipher the meaning, to place another name to a voice at once familiar yet anonymous. An overwhelming sense of grogginess was a maddening impediment where her limbs failed to function as smoothly and efficiently, if at all. Debilitated, cornered, defenceless; what kind of Green allowed herself to be caught so? Green - the word caught her attention as her focused her mind onto it, twisting, assessing and most importantly, remembering. A ruined charred manor house – chilling screams, the sickening smell of burning flesh, timber & cloth, a dense mushroom of smoke & ash, a macabre scene so beyond the realms of possibility that the ability to cry was lost. But there was no smoke now, no creaking of falling planks burnt beyond recognition. There had been people, heartless scavengers, initially, who absconded when the guards came while she remained hidden. Silent. Watchful. Still seized with shock. But now, there left only the laboured breaths of herself and the shadow of someone towering above her. The curious crowd of onlookers had long since departed, their footprints washed away by rain and snow. She recalled the feeling of soreness during the journey… a niggling, ominous presence pushed into consciousness as she reassessed her thoughts, barely succeeding in stifling a gasp. It couldn’t be… ‘Lillian?’ she whispered softly, her right hand reaching up absentmindedly to touch a flushed cheek, a physical stimuli that couldn’t possibly be imagined. It was a struggle to accept that her own erstwhile charge had been the prey she’d considered seriously of eliminating for the past consecutive days. A grown woman now with her own ring and shawl, someone who’d managed to come up from behind to trap her own mentor. She would’ve never bet on such a scene, her arrogance had never permitted the possibility to be entertained. Sentimentality was crouching at the edges now, longing to pounce. Blood and bloody ashes, of all places to hold a touching reunion, it had to be at the one place she considered… private & sacred; her secret hellhole cum temporary haven. This place had awoken many emotions she had long considered dead and just as she was falling victim to them, belatedly by a full century no less, a witness had to be present. And that witness had to be her. Heated shame, fury, frustration - so many feelings coursed through her veins with frightening intensity, awakening dormant sentiments once locked up tight. Regret, remorse and wistful longing - that image of her begging to the clear skies for the past to be rewritten. And then came that secret little desire of ending it all, a thought so dark that it had stained all her childhood memories with its ugly silhouette. It remained the sole reason why she was ever self-deprecating despite her high achievements, the key to her maintained coldness towards everyone and that obsessive need to forget her life before reaching the Tower. She had contemplated suicide. ‘Why are you here, Lillian?’ Halvie asked softly, green eyes gazing far into the distance. ‘What do you seek?’ After so long following the tragedy, the tears still refused to be shed. Her vision had reverted to normal and her breathing had calmed to a degree. She wondered briefly at the silence, why her former charge had not tried barging into her thoughts before it occurred to her that she was now Aes Sedai. In Lillian’s boots, she would’ve been engrossed in the act of scrutinizing and storing whatever hints her defeated opponent foolishly reflected. In fact, Halvie almost hoped that that was exactly what the White was doing as it would’ve somewhat obscurely hinted at Halvie’s hand in developing the woman into who she now was. Uncertainty – that was becoming a fairly common theme today. Halvie Faury Sister of the Green Ajah
  9. The fifty-foot stone wall that surrounded Caemlyn towered imposingly over those within the city. Doubtless for most folks it was seen as a comforting buffer against assailants and minions of the Dark One whereas for the less naïve and smaller cluster of people such as Halvie herself, it was an important matter to be considered in every escape plan. Essential moreover for one who travelled with no protective guardian & unable to determine how many channelers were concealed within such a dense crowd of humanity, the ones that held ill intentions close to their hearts. Earlier on, she had passed through the heavy gates and already, had encountered countless members of the Queen’s Guards, noting with approval their efficiency in resolving conflicts as they flared and died. Small wonder the Queen of Andor managed to command utmost respect from other nations, having successfully governed her own prosperous country. A city that had once been home to a little red-headed girl called Halvie Faury. Having disposed of her small travelling bag in an inn, Halvie took to the bustling streets of Caemlyn with hands deeply concealed in the pockets of her travelling robe. Her attire was a common white and lacking of embroidery to deflect any unwanted attention. The Green Serpent ring had been taken off, her auburn hair dyed to a darker shade of brown, now tied back with a simple ribbon. Her attempts to conceal her ageless features had been torturous to say the least but eventually, coupled with lessons learnt from a certain Domani woman long ago, she had hit upon the simplest formula that could be executed within a limited time frame. So long as none looked too closely, she could easily pass off as one of many noblewoman come to curry favour from the Mantears. The New City had not changed and its activities had only heightened over the years, Halvie noted somewhat wryly. Small obscure shops she had once visited remained but the owners were different from those in her memories although their features bore a startling resemblance… a whole new generation had come to take over while her back had been turned while she herself, well, no doubt she would live to see many future generations continue their family tradition if the Light was willing. Through her contacts in Low Caemlyn, beyond the city walls, she had determined the vendor she sought would be located nearby. A pawnshop, to be exact, that most likely dealt occasionally in the black market. To have escaped the attention of the authorities for so long signalled an owner with a shrewd mind but she had come so far to play mind games. ‘Master Peren, I presume?’ she inquired coolly before reaching deep within her pockets to withdraw a list of items, along with some roughly sketched drawings. ‘I seek these artefacts and have been told that you are capable of providing them. I pay well. What do you say?’ Haggling thus ensued and keeping well in mind the common greed factor of every normal men, obtained a satisfactory number of items soon enough. But the list was long and many were missing although with the delicious bait of more silver, she had high hopes of attaining them. And most importantly, the signet ring of the House Faury. The night meals in the following days were spent in the solitary confinements of her room as Halvie plotted her next move, marking down rumours heard and worth investigate, tiny traits of the people she’d met and of a darker nature, the official aftermath of the House Faury. She had been adopted but having known no other family, they were as close to kin as she would be formally known as. There had glimmers of hope of tracking down her biological family but that was a quest to be launched at another time. Tomorrow, she would venture into the Inner City via the Origan Gate for a little tête-à-tête with a certain Master Krad, a wily little man by all accounts. But that was the common nature of those who dealt frequently in secrets, the kind who knew the best routes out of a city without raising any alarm whatsoever. It would prove interesting, she mused, as fascinating as learning that by the records, she had officially died over a century ago. Unsurprising but the twisted side of her had nearly laughed out loud after coming across that particular announcement. And the fact that the Trakands now controlled her lands brought about bitter resentment and disgust. There had been little love lost between the two Houses… ‘What do you mean, it’s no longer here?’ she demanded, white hot fury underscoring her softly-spoken words. Disbelief and outrage clouded her mind as she stopped herself just short of slamming a black clad fist onto the ancient mahogany table, a relic of some other fallen House with its own tragic past. The ring had been sold days ago to a woman just as many other items before that had been, and based on the descriptions of each individual seller, she was facing the exact same person or opponent if her instincts were right, and they often were. No one could possibly have any interest in as minor a House as hers and indeed, the sole reason Halvie was pursuing these items was due to the sentimental values they held. A new dangerous player had emerged, one who masked her trails well at least on the point of her place of refuge, but challenges uncovered were always meant to be solved. Not many people dealt in these matters, making her endeavour less of an impossibility and more a question of when. Soon enough, she vowed. She would play the role of the hunter than as an unsuspecting prey. Having cultivated links with several unwitting Andoran preys, it still took Halvie several days more to confidently connect the woman sporting a black bob with reddish tips with the description her own contacts had procured - a showy personality. Worst still, the woman was a channeler. A conspiracy then, it was confirmed. And the woman was journeying beyond the outer city, out the gates towards… her fears and incredulity began to bubble to the surface as the intense concentration she’d sustained throughout the past few days seemed to break. Meeting up with her fellow colleagues, perhaps? It could turn nasty, more so if it evolved into an ambush. For once, at that very moment of realisation, Halvie began to sorely regret her lack of a Warder or Tower Guard, even a hired mercenary would do; someone who would assist in a fray. It dawned upon her with crystal clarity why so many of her fellow Green sisters bonded more than one but regret, for today at least, had to be pushed aside. The Tower was many miles away and bonding was hardly a matter to be considered flippantly. Crouching silently, Halvie cautiously eyed the woman who had begun picking her way through ancient stone arches, shattered rubble and treacherous undergrowth. Not much remained to indicate the type of manor house it had once been, built more for comfort than defence although she would always remember the thick and heavy stone walls. She’d once thought them impenetrable, even better than the Royal Palace itself; such foolish notions. White, she recalled abruptly. Her… mother had always insisted the walls be painted every year during the Dahan festival, something about starting anew with a new clean sheet, a symbolic gesture. And the nauseous small of paint would linger for days, thus disrupting studies and armed with such an excuse, she would wander off as she pleased…Those ancient memories. She’d forgotten about that. A branch snapped. Fingers tightening around the handle of a dagger, Halvie cast a single cursory glance around the scene and realising her prey had ventured further into the ruins, bit back an oath before approaching the place she had once lived. The place a little girl had once died a whole century ago. There, a shadow, just beyond the columns. None too far but while unaware of her presence, miraculously enough, she would do well to trap her now. Closing her eyes briefly for concentration, she began to reach for her power… Halvie Sedai Sister of the Green Ajah
  10. Everything froze. The novice with raven hair in slight disarray, the gangly trainee and blonde cropped hair, both wearing mirror features contorted in horror. The faint blush on their cheeks deepened as Halvie continued to regard them aloofly, her steady pace never faltering as she walked on, approaching, drawing closer to where both sat until... she was walking past them. The girl released a half-strangled whimper then, shattering the disquieting silence, and causing Halvie to pause in mid-step. Foolish girl, she mused wryly, as her voice, smooth as refined glass with a nasty twist of sarcasm, almost mechanically flogged the two verbally before allotting a suitably punishing penance that sent them scurrying in opposite directions soon after. Fleeing would’ve served as a better description, judging by the small cloud of dust their running feet left in their wake. A brief rueful grain flitted across her façade though to any casual observer, her granite features remain as remote and ageless as ever. She’d never fooled around with the male trainees before, thank the Light, but nonetheless the experience would have probably interesting and memorable, even. Not that it made her any less a person for not looking for more than casual acquaintances in her days clad in white apparel. The wave of nostalgia hit her cruelly from behind, unexpectedly. Simple memories, treasured snapshots of a life that had once been, a past so tightly guarded and suppressed that looking back, those times seemed to have belonged to another person whereas she’d been a mere observer. The crisp chirping of blackbird shook the last vestiges of sentimentality from her system as she resumed her brisk pace towards the training yards, anticipation of honing her more physical skills growing with every step. The sabre she’d picked long ago as a mere Accepted she had long since replaced with another more finely handcrafted blade, a hefty commission she’d never been given cause to regret. The single-edged blade was so often carried around she barely noticed it now though she would have to start working on her daggers as well, soon. The sun was a blistering red against a clear blue sky but despite the heat, there remained a decent number of people training around the large yard. The sounds of clashing metal that rang sharp and sweet, groans of pain but above all, a sweeping grace that governed very movement as opponents advanced and retreated, absorbed fully in their own fight. Halvie chose a position that took advantage of a large oak’s shade, an obscure corner nearby the creek that would offer her some small form of privacy. She abhorred the limelight and little choices such as this reflected her personality. Besides, this northern part of the yards was the precise location where she had first been initiated into the world of the tower guards and warders, albeit in a more diluted form. Alriand. She hadn’t seen him for some time now; no doubt involved in some distant assignment along with his Aes Sedai. She began the forms slowly, almost cautiously slipping into the kind of mindless training mode where muscles instinctively reacted before the mind registered its movements. Some would call it instinct, Halvie deemed it as self-preservation. Heron Wading in the Rushes. Many of the more advanced forms she’d slowly picked up after attaining the shawl, manipulating her timetable until some empty slots materialised before picking certain Tower Guards to help her improve. They were nearly always different but that was expected; each had their own lives and no doubt many priorities to take care of. Hummingbird Kisses the Honeyrose. She remember insisting they teach her the Flame and Void, how frustratingly hard it had been to grasp and the hours spent just trying to understand the concept of something so… insignificant as a single licking flame. The Boar Rushes down the Mountains before launching into The Courtier Taps His Fan. Colourful names that understated the powerful, lethal strikes each described. There were eyes on her. A casual glance as she twisted with her blade sweeping forward before reverting into a guard stance confirmed her suspicions. Tiresome and irksome, to be the object of someone’s keen scrutiny or worst, admiration. It was past time to be gone, she decided, bringing her blade down with a sweeping slash to end with Folding the Fan. Sweat slicked down her back as she coolly regarded the girl before her appraisingly. A familiar face within the Tower, a novice surely, problematic if the rumour mill was to be trusted and one did manage to uncover gems of information through it with some perseverance… She had a block. She was… not a novice she’d ever noticed before. Light, she ought to have paid more attention to the grumblings of other Aes Sedai regarding their charges. ‘Your name, child,’ she requested. ‘Surely you have better things to do at this time of day?’ She’d place a name to this face before leaving for Tar Valon, cut the conversation dry at the next instance. The girl meant nothing to her, after all. Halvie Sedai Sister of the Green Ajah
  11. Ooc: Please forgive the rambling descriptions. I’ve been deprived of them for over a year. ;) The shadows of rafters thrown against the walls were lengthening, the bustle of the marketplace subsiding, the Tar Valon population dissipating quietly to various unknown locations. Familiar wafts of spicy aroma drifted in the air as Halvie drew near her favoured inn, The Golden Crow. A missive had been sent earlier on via an Accepted to subtly announce, or warn, of her return to the precious few she owned. The Accepted would be back tomorrow to help haul certain items back and assigned whichever other task Halvie deemed her capable of accomplishing, perhaps with a friend or two. But for now, she desired only a night of peaceful solitude away from the tendrils of manipulation her fellow sisters were ever absorbed in. Dwindling moments of contemplation, to ruminate over the few bits of information she could gather from the Accepted regarding the most recent of developments back in the Tower. Two years. Light, it hadn’t felt so long; her travels being more of an eye-opener than she had bargained, such that she’d extended and overstayed her welcome at far too many places. Her journal was guarded jealously and armed with many invisible traps that would confound most unwanted readers yet additional precautions would still have to be taken. Much had occurred during her absence, not the least being the election of a new Amyrlin. It was an astonishing development and it could only be hinting of some darker, more devious intents of someone, or more likely, a group. This was made all the more mysterious considering the previous Amyrlin Seat had been a woman of immense pride and duty. She would never have forsaken her duty willingly hence leaving many other possibilities to be considered. Alas, to be immersed in the Tower’s political intrigues would be a heady thing now and for some reason she was reluctant to be thrown back into that frighteningly threatening world again sooner than necessary. Reluctantly, she considered that her ability to hold her place in the same hall as her more illustrious and decorated sisters might be a cause for serious concern. And there would be the meetings and endless explanation regarding her abrupt disappearance, proof would have to be procured and the other secrets she had uncovered would have to hidden. It would count as her first major step in regaining respect as one who wore the shawl, along with the ring that had remained hidden in a secret compartment within her pouch for far too long. She would not fail. A tap came meekly on her door, removing her from her cogitation, as she was informed by an apologetic servant girl of an unfortunate mishap within the kitchen, hence a slight delay in meals. The slight anxiety normally accorded to channelers was missing, for which Halvie was thankful for. The mistress of the inn had kept her word and concealed her identity. Hooded as she was with her back turned to an open window, anyone would’ve mistook her for a rich merchant or perhaps, a noble seeking a favour from the Tower’s occupants. Then again, what the girl thought was none of her immediate concern. She waved away the hovering servant just as the mellow chiming of evening bells resounded soothingly in the evening air. Names, once achingly and even horrifyingly familiar, came to her mind slowly as she recalled of her previous doings, of past favours and humiliation, of her reason for returning. She had been so arrogant back then and while experience had matured and calmed her to a degree, she was still coldly aloof as always. But she had determined one thing she could excel at, a game she played with relish, to the hilt during the past two years. Subterfuge. She would have to meet up with her erstwhile mentee again, the silently rebellious Lillian Tremina. The nightmare image of a grave, sobbing black figures and rain was etched deeply within the shadowy recesses of her mind. Something in her had changed that day, softened. Then there was Cara Ramsey and that night, the question of why still hung ominously above her head, leaping into consciousness when she was off-guard. The question of how she’d let herself be warped into the ideal Tower puppet, distant, powerful and utterly alone. Wistfully, Halvie wondered how far her former friend had progressed, how far that sharp intelligence of hers had carried her. A force to be reckoned with now, no doubt, and bosom buddy no longer. So many memories and relationships she’d never placed much significance before… only now upon reflection did she belatedly realise how every individual had affected herself and the undeniable feeling, niggling suspicion, that she regretted, even missed the people of her childhood, figures who had moulded her into the person she now was. The velvet spread of night slowly encroached upon the washed out hues of amber of sunset. The sundry of stars pinned on it were few and the moon, absent. Just like those nights… those bloody, frigid nights where too many had been heavily injured, waves of opponents, her energy and power plunging, exhaustion so complete, so absolute that… that… Mechanical, cold-blooded murders; she had fought to save yet there was a nasty, bitter taste following that coupled with an overriding sense of guilt, making her feel as though the fight had never been even, too strongly tipped to her side. And yet, she had been outnumbered. But her subconsciousness could not be so simply soothed. For days after, the very smell of blood and sight of butchered meat had left her nauseous, dispelling every coherent thought where only two distinct choices had remained, fight or flee. And she’d chosen the latter. Those nights of utter isolation in the uncivilised countryside, she refused to dwell on now. Another gentle knock came. Dinner. A twinge of unease came and passed. Hesitating, her hands hovered above the bronze doorknob for an instant, before reaching down to turn it. The mistress had promised her some turkey, one of her specialties. For just one night, it would be nice to blend in with the commoners and experience their simple life with none of its discomforts. It would be a simple welcoming home celebration of sorts, all by herself. Halvie Sedai Sister of the Green Ajah Brooding Ooc: Bet you never expected this to materialise! You have leftover time, inspiration & a faulty internet connection to thank. Cheers.
  12. ~’*’~ A moment of confusion, of miscommunication; a simple matter of narcissism & shattered emotions… then all hell had broken loose. Weeping more like a child than a woman, she buried her auburn crown head deep in the goose-feathered pillow. It took more will than she currently possessed to eradicate the vivid scenes from her mind; it required a better person to do such a thing. What had possessed her to place her position, her career, in such terrible jeopardy? The worse was far from over and there was still much to be done. All the years of meticulous planning… gone. Worthless. She would have to start from scratch, to rebuild her all too fragile reputation throughout the Ajah. Thank the Light the whole tower did not know of it though with eyes and ears ever present in her world, she would not care to bet on that. Why? A fresh wave of misery & grief hit her. Why had she done it? How could she be so dumb? ~’*’~ But there was hope yet. It was not over. All she needed was a little solitude to recollect her thoughts, pick up the loose ends of many a political piece, and continue. Foolish she might be, but coward she most certainly was not. She refused to allow her vows to another, decades past, be broken. Despite the person not being able to watch her honour her vows. No; because she could not. Halvie had only a shadow of a recollection of that day now, but the words… they had not faded. Obsession had driven her over to transcend her limits by simply repeating those vows, childishly simple but enough to carry her through many hardships. It had brought her this far; it could bring her further. She would be a shining jewel in the tower, the bright untainted beacon for the downcast, the catalyst. It was not too big an ambition for someone as determined as her. It had never been. Hopefully. ~’*’~ The abrupt knock caused her heart to skip a beat; all constructed concepts & theories fleeing her mind in an instance. Surely, surely she couldn’t already have returned to inflict further psychological damage; but it would be so like her. Whoever it was that sought to enter her sanctuary however, albeit a temporary one, would doubtlessly have little appreciation for waiting long. Her visitor was a shock. Her greeting robbed her of speech. “Greetings… Sister,†Halvie responded somewhat less confidently as she would have desired. Why had Kaylan come, and so early at that, so unexpectedly? What were the appropriate protocols during such events; the rules had all escaped her and it became one of those rare times when her mind drew a complete blank. The Green could not possibly be serious with her proposal; Halvie herself had dared not hope too much during the brief exchange of words. Was this to be an omen? Kaylan Sedai’s reputation was widespread and she greatly valued those with knowledge and experience she lacked herself. ~’*’~ A miraculous intervention, a chance to escape the machinations of the tower temporarily. Expand her horizon. Make contacts. Learn to lead a battle beside a true Green. Nothing would deter her from seizing this opportunity; she would obliterate the fools who dared. “I’m honoured, and accept your invitation. When shall it be?†Halvie Sedai Rejected Aspirant of the Green Ajah
  13. ~’*’~ She abandoned a scene that was both wild and unsightly, fleeing a site where flames ruled. Her feet pounded against solid ground, arms raised to shield her head against extended branches, eyes eying to ground for any raised roots that could bring her crashing down. She ought to be crossing familiar territory, spots where Dias had habitually brought them out for a certain aspect of their training but not now. With panic shrouding her mind, Alaina discovered it near impossible to be able to mask her passage through the dark woodland with half the deadly stealth taught to her. Perchance it would have made marked difference if she had not thought to glance at her master, back in the farmhouse, thus allowing all her fears to surface. He was suppose to be their shield, always one step ahead of all foes yet this time, the tables had been turned on them. The hunters were the preys, with no relief in evident sight. ~’*’~ Triumphant shouts drifted in the smoke laden air, sounding jarring to her ears. The ground trembled with the running & stomping of an overwhelming swarm of Whitecloaks, with the familiar drumming of horse hoofs approaching with alarming swiftness. Guided by moonlight and fire, Alaina found herself bending to crouch behind a large shrub as a pair of running Whitecloaks dashed past her, heart pounding fiercely as she willed herself to take in short gulps of fresh air. Fear made the adrenaline race and she found herself glancing down at the blade in one hand, stunned to see thin lines of sweat decorating the handle, the weapon and limb shaking uncontrollably in the dark. The desire to quench her lust for blood battled with that of judicious reasoning, as she debated her next move. Unless she had lost her bearings, the main congregation of foes came roughly from the right, where a fiery blaze of daunting height was still noticeable amidst all the branches & foliage. ~’*’~ A large clump of sere leaves on the floor rustled as she moved, accompanied by that of a whistling that flew by her ear. She froze in spot, flushed cheeks feeling the increasing heat stirring in the air, and impending danger. Vulnerability. The startling realisation snapped Alaina out of her trance, body instinctively resuming bending position when she caught the sight of a white cloak by her side. Another bolt hummed past her; again another narrow miss. Frustrated, she grinded her teeth to prevent another sound from escaping as she shifted position in the shadows, manipulating the dark as she had learned to do during training. Nerves at an edge, Alaina observed the Child approach with a smug complexion, sword out of scabbard as though meaning to finish the job. Time for vengeance. ~’*’~ She grasped the opportunity when a compatriot of the man rushed up, causing momentary distraction. A calculated throw of dagger in his direction had him choking on his own blood seconds later, followed by a strangled cry she could barely make out. No matter; swift hands immediately reached for another longer blade to thrust into the middle half of her other startled opponent but tense as she was, could not manage to be swift enough to avoid a minor slash by the side. The pain was sternly ignored as her legs came from under to throw the man onto the floor. He came down easily enough, evidently not anticipating her strength. “Dallying is death,†she hissed into his ears, dark eyes gleaming maliciously before slinking back into the shadows to await the next group of opponents. Nowhere to run, but at least she would go down fighting for the dark. Her hands still ached from having trying to twist the neck of her latest opponent, him having possessed a far thicker neck than she had anticipated. She smiled ruefully, wondering exactly how many Children were making their rampage through the forest to cut off all escape routes. There was always a chance at freedom but with the seconds ticking by… too late. ~’*’~ They began to surround her, from all sides, materialising out of the sinister darkness that was no longer a friend. Fear had drained her of much strength and despite accuracy still being somewhat on her side, hope of freedom had long disappeared. The Children attacked as one and a strangled scream was ripped from her throat. Pain exploded in her head as swords arched above her, swung beneath her and left their bloody marks on her. Alaina could feel a warm wetness soaking her black clothes coupled with growing fatigue, knowing that she was losing too much blood in too little time. Where was help? Where was death? Distantly did she observe the burning inferno coming towards her and wondered as to whether she would be burned to death instead. Mayhem. Pain. Swords. She gladly welcomed darkness… ’*’ It began as a gradual sensation that her mind instantly dismissed to be inconsequential. A murmuring of voices, blood pounding like a gong; a sense of being dragged & roughly handled then… blissful oblivion. She was woken up several times but lost consciousness each time. Perhaps it was having surpassed her physical limitations and her mind, seeking refuge from whatever horrors that prowled the waking world, kept her unawares for some time. Perhaps. Whatever it might be, enemies at least are unlikely to be considerate towards your plight. ‘*’ What would you do if you woke to the smell of burning flesh? What if your first sight was that of a large pool of dried blood? Then you see those knives dangling inches from you, sharp edges glistening with some strange substance. Nauseous, isn’t it? But wait; there is more - the people themselves. They drift around you in some hypnotic dance, interspaced with heavy stampings of feet. Clothed in white, you could almost be forgiven to believe these strangers to be your saviours from the demons of fire & sword. Indeed, it isn’t fair that anyone should be treated as anything less than a human. But what is fairness when you have already sold your soul to darkness? The Dark Lord is harsher & crueller than these petty... beings combined, and more. Or so the rumours go. I’ve never had the opportunity to confront Him personally. No, life has yet to be so... kind. ‘*’ The Children made it clear from the start which instrument of pain they favoured, alternating between her and Riyk. They were pernicious. She was belligerent. The results of such exchanges were obvious and almost identical. They had already narrowed down her allegiance, yet they sought elusive information only she could offer, it would seem. Indeed, they didn’t even grant her time to counter the questions. No, giving pain was a more satisfying chore. She understood their feelings and would’ve agreed with it, if she wasn’t the person they were working on. Now there was a painful thought. No, wait. How was it even possible that she was still thinking? Pain. Hot pokers. She would bear many scars from this ordeal. What would others think? Those were details to be thought out later. No, wait. She had to survive first. And if she didn’t, she would know soon enough. Unless they were experts at prolonging lives; didn’t they often do these things? Questioners - that was what they were called. Blood and bloody ashes, where was Dias?! ‘*’ Sleep was a long way off when bloodcurdling screams served as sweet lullabies. Despite the harsh regime Dias had put her through before Alaina had not found sufficient courage to look when they’d lifted the glowing pokers up, not dared to know what was to be branded upon her skin. Guilt & regret almost immediately suffused her when it began. Out of pure instinct, she struggled against her tight chains and the violent clanging of metal was magnified a thousand folds in her mind. A brilliant flash of light momentarily blinded her. There were more murmuring of voices starting and the buzzing sound was starting to hurt; she was losing consciousness but they refused to allow her to slip into that beckoning darkness. How many times had she been cuffed? How many threats had they uttered? How many times had they cauterized her wounds & salted others? She was already broken from the surprise attack and subsequent defeat. What more to say… ‘*’ Thirst burned her throat. They had placed a glass of clear water tantalizingly close, but unbearably too far due to her chains. It was enough to cry from frustration but she refrained, not just to preserve some petty dignity. No. They sought to break her down even more. It was all meant to achieve some psychological effect; she had to bear that in mind at all cause. “Who is your master? What is his name?†His tone had risen in anger and that translated into his flushed features; a darkly handsome young man surely not out of his twenties, young fool. He had been considerably flustered when ordered to break her; she had regained enough sense to make note of that particular scene. A simple memory that helped strengthen her fortitude, helping her clamp her mouth shut against all the threats, insults and… things. He had begun tentatively and her eyes had mocked his every move. But he was creative and innovative; she had to give him that much. A female looking down upon him was apparently a humiliating matter, despite the surroundings. ‘*’ He took his sweet time. The nails went first; she had not known it possible to take so long to pull one nail. His air of expertise was something that earned her grudging admiration while causing bile to rise to her throat. Every open wound was salted, slowly, delicately, like a chef would towards his masterpieces. It was unnerving. Large, cumbersome weapons did not strike fear into her the way smaller items and spices did. After every incision he made, the man would leave her; she had lost count of the number of times he had left her already. Occasionally, he would return with companions. And those people in turn would stay and have a go at the captives with malice written into the lines of their smooth complexion. An endless cycle; pain renewed and subdued, the room fading into a hazy red, parched skin jumping when chilling water was dumped unto her. Utter madness. “Tell us your name.†“Alaina.†“And your master?†“I… I’ve forgotten.†“Bastard! Whore!†Alaina Caoimhe Assassin Apprentice
  14. ~'*'~ A harsh scenery cloaked in inky velvet was laid out for miles on all sides, pinpricks of light and the distinct slopes of buildings having rapidly drawn into obscurity by the early advancement of night. The final fading light of day splashed gilt across her sharp features though little material warmth could be said to be derived from it. A chilly breath touched with frost swept her tumbling red curls backwards, leaving the few parchments ruffling and scratching in its wake but apart from that, little else moved. Her perception of her worldly companions & respect for the dazzling political legerdemain of her sisters had shifted, unsurprisingly. Intrigues came thick and fast nowadays where stealth & discretion were ever employed. It made her wonder, frequently, as to what the incalculable mass of missives that arrived daily contained, and the kind of ripples or waves it might create should a slip be made. One erroneous misstep could easily break a pretty neck. Such was life in all its fragility yet such strength was to be found in some. Like the tender veins that formed a leaf; links easily extinguished by external forces but unhindered, throbbed fiercely with the fire of life. ~'*'~ Never under the Light would any find her freely admitting to having committed more than one faux pas in her short lifetime & only recently, had managed to chalk up her most severe blunder. The mere hint of the memory was capable of choking all other thoughts and it was with utmost trepidation that she moved planned her first moves in the dangerous dance of power; her first genuine venture in Daes Daemar. Enough disgrace encumbered her person and should her misfortunes have befallen a person of smaller intent and ambition in life, they would have long disintegrated to dust and ashes. Yet from another standpoint, a lesser person would never have found themselves caught in their own swirling emotions and succumbed to the urge to flaunt them all, in public no less. So much drama; it would be long before she could even consider recovering from it. Oh, but a moment of reprieve from such intense scrutiny! ~'*'~ There, just beyond the smooth marble bridges running parallel by each other, their long shadows cast upon its passers-by that appeared little more than brightly moving dots. Their immense dimensions drew the eye despite it been situated in the midst of many other architectural splendours, where every brick and stone had been lovingly placed by the renowned Ogier stonemasons. The sheer magnitude of engineering work that had gone into the construction of Tar Valon was on so grandiose a scale as to be intimidating. No other human could dream of imitating the work of such masters and any effort would prove a pale imitation. This was an island like no other, a fitting location for ultimate power wielders to reside. ~'*'~ She commanded a vastly altered view of the world beyond the window nowadays and despite its many advantages, Halvie suffered numerous moments of weaknesses when nostalgia hit her with all its inherent force. Everything seemed so much farther from her, ironically depicting her current situation. Casual relationships severed at the most convenient hour with careless abandonment until one fair evening did it dawn upon her that there was next to no one she could call an acquaintance now. On purpose did she publicly humiliate those once her kindred companions and the ever intense emotions that flitted across facades did not escape her observation. It had been too easy to be engrossed in maintaining an air of superiority over them and the effect it had on her to see them leaping as she once had was.... It was lamentable. ~'*'~ A decision was quickly made. All her sources had strengthened her suspicion regarding one particular sister and until now, she had hesitated to act. Yet time would only serve to wear down her fortitude; that she knew all too intimately. The element of surprised stood by herself but just how far would it serve to her advantage? The Blues were a conniving lot and she was ever around any of them but still... The innkeeper had been most helpful and unnecessary as it was, the lady had gained Halvie's gratitude. She would be suitably repaid. Now it all boiled down to her executing her part in the scheme. She left her quarters in a flurry of bronze skirts and a sharp bang of door. ~'*'~ Fire flickered on walls and the nightlife wailed their melody. She took the path less frequented by the Tower's inhabitants with a rapid pace, slowing only when she was but paces from her destination. Appropriate sentences had been formed, ready to spill from her lips. A dozen possible scenarios flitted across her mind once more, none really registering. What was she, a fool to contemplate such a move against this sister? She would pay dearly for this transgression... perhaps. A sharp knock officially announced her presence and it was with a steady composure that she greeted the woman who opened it. "Evening, Serena Sedai. May I enter?" Halvie Sedai Sister of the Battle Ajah
  15. ~’*’~ Her hand shook with weakly suppressed rage; that fool of a child, to have attempted to try her patience. The girl held potential and leaned strongly towards the Greens yet that tendency for other frivolous affairs had resulted in neglected work. The problems had spiralled until she had been forced to wait over an hour for the novice to materialise for her lessons this morning; she of all people, when a swarm of agents & delegates were banging on her door, with shadows fraught with uncertainties creeping in. The novice had suffered swift retribution and Halvie suffered from no compunction whatsoever, so terrible had her temper been. Practiced protocol and suitable decorum had been pushed to the edge within the confines of her quarters, shied from the prying, shifting eyes of strangers. She still shivered from its effects; not for the biting wind that now whistled through the elegant halls. ~’*’~ Little wonder perhaps that Halvie was turned on when some unknown force collided forcefully into her precipitately. Only training prevented her from reacting viscerally and that could only be counted as an understatement. Vaguely was she aware of the apologies that came tumbling forth, an elegant bow sketched as precise and immediate as one would expect of those born into the dark intrigue of convoluted courts & strict decorum. The Tower trained its raising generation well but perhaps even it was not perfect. A bare handful littered the lower quarters of novices and accepteds yet there were always the few who slipped past its heavy disciplinarian hand, whether unwittingly or by means of some devious source. ~’*’~ As it was, Momentarily thrown into disorientation, she forgot that yet another the novice waited to hear her speak. It would never do to display any slip of emotion however tempting, and so she purposefully took her time in regaining her composure, allowing the clumsy child to remain deeply bowed; a most uncomfortable posture to be sure. Sharp green eyes traced the slightly tousled hair with its bright highlights dressed in elaborate curls, down towards features meekly cast earthward and her distinctively white dress. Aramina sur Dulciena, an aspirant of the Battle Ajah; she knew of this child through the occasional note her informants passed to her. From information garnered, the child had vast potential that only invited to be manipulated by her betters, more so when she seemed to be withdrawing from the inhabitants of the Tower. Taciturn. Quiet. Almost shy. She would soon determine how true they were. ~’*’~ “Clumsy, aren’t you? What were you thinking of, blundering about the hallways in such an ungainly manner? Accepted you may be but I should have expected even someone like you to know how to walk properly, or do you possess some form of physical disability?†she questioned cruelly, with more intention in knowing Aramina’s reactions towards her words rather than the answers given. First impressions were so vital; she might even consider showering special interest on this girl if she was as talented as her informants suggested, whether she would be worthy of any investment of time from Halvie. She wondered, and waited. Halvie Sedai Sister of the Green Ajah Ooc: I know. I’m terrible. Shame me. :P
  16. ~â€*’~ The moment of shock passed as they quickly turned towards the final obstacle, with her wearing a slight triumphant grin. His defeat was testimony to how every move was essential in ensuring victory though it could hardly be called so for them just yet. The taut ropes above their heads were an irritant and hindered her to a large extent, while the squelching of mud beneath her was another matter that could hardly be ignored. Heart pounding fiercely, she attempted to move in harmony with her mentor and impulsively increased her speed when she heard the other pair fall in behind them. ~’*’’~ A clock seemed to tick deafeningly in her hand and not once did Carla worry that some part of her was beginning to feel the strain of such exertion and cramping. Short periods of anxiety soon forgotten in their haste to reach the opening, she heaved a huge sigh of relief when their goal was actually reached. She stumbled a little when they got to their feet and the edges of her vision turned black until everything before her was consumed by darkness. The dizzy spell lasted for only several seconds and she shook her head to clear away the feeling of confusion that came with it. She had overstretched herself too far in the race. Exhilaration was an emotion that was a long way in coming and even when it suddenly upon her that they had won, she could only manage a weak, hesitant smile. All she longed for was a shower and her bunk. ~’*’~ “You were… good,†she commented shyly towards her male opponent, wincing at the condition of his clothes and tousled hair. It did not take a fool to know that she too was a sight to behold. “Perhaps you could show me some of the moves you made?†She suggested further, when she perceived no response from him. Uncertainly, Carla then cast a glance towards Con and Rosheen, standing awkwardly though still breathing hard, waiting. Little streams of cold wet mud continued to drip and form puddles at her feet, little oblong patterns that grew larger as time passed. It was so cold. Carla Sades Tower Trainee Mentee to Con Stavros
  17. ~’*’~ A startling riposte from so young a person, still drabbed in pristine white. Could she perhaps have glimpsed briefly the promise of another potential nemesis, sharp and conniving as herself? Her heart seemed to constrict at what sounded like harsh accusation from the novice, who dared to discount her questions and hurl poorly veiled insults undoubtedly meant to hurt the recipient. Halvie could not have felt more rebuffed and insulted at that moment, not when the shadow of the hurt acquired through her rejected petition still hung conspicuously above her. Then, her illustrious and almighty company were people she was not on equal footing with; people she would still have to grovel and serve for now. But this mere novice was altogether a different matter and in so abandoned a place in such an unearthly hour, vulnerable and naïve as the child, anything could happen. ~’*’~ “You are delightfully presumptuous, my dear. One would wonder why but then, is it worth the bother to speculate?†Her eyes flashed menacingly as she took a step forward, another hand casually dusting the sides of her dress in a meaningless gesture. It was highly doubtful that the girl would think to read more into such an action in her current state & apparent lack of schooling in the ways of a manipulator; subtle movements that were suggestive only to the most astute. Nevertheless, it would never do to attempt to underestimate another despite their rank, as many in past history had learnt to their own sorrowful end. Halvie always had been one who treasured such things, to the extent that she had once considered joining the Browns in pursue of ancient knowledge. In retrospect, it might not have been so dreadful if she had. ~’*’~ “Come along with me,†she commanded condescendingly. Not a few days had passed since she had been one of the nameless insignificants dressed in white, albeit with the additional seven-coloured hem. Her control over areas most Aes Sedai would have treated as second nature was still unsteady at best, but she was learning. With the presence of this particularly enigmatic child, perhaps she had found someone to practice and eradicate those flaws. And without stretching herself too far, she began to harbour hopes of being able to initiate a certain tie with this other person, for her own benefit. It was a bitterly fragile hope, but it was the only reason she could give herself for even asking the novice to accompany her, instead of simply issuing a harsh penance and severe further communication. ~’*’~ Sharply did she recall the feel of the rod, how cold it had been and the tightening of chest when she spoke the oaths; there had been an eerie sense of foreboding, though she had not wanted to admit that to herself then. The thoughts passed through her mind at her dizzying pace as she walked by the individual representatives of every ajah within the tower, dismay & regret mingling as she imagined each door slamming shut behind her as she walked pass them. She would never be one of them and never had there been so much dread in her steps. Fortitude had been the only thing that drove her own, well rehearsed words leaving her lips almost mechanically. Encompassing apprehension, then the surge of joyous release when it finally dawned upon her that she had taken the first real step towards her destiny – a shawl now rested upon her slender shoulders. She was Aes Sedai. ~’*’~ Now Halvie realised that after the magnitude of recent events had hit upon her, arrogance began to govern her every move, albeit slowly. She had considered the steps to be taken upon achieving her goal during the odd moments of leisure & peace as novice and later as Accepted, but never seriously. So confident had she been to be admitted, so full of herself, rationalizing that she of all people could bring this prideful Ajah down to their knees, begging for her to enter their ranks. Who was she to have entertained such thoughts? Barely more than a child. With that sudden revelation, she began to view things in a different light. ~’*’~ She had no friends. She never had a loving mentor the way most of the other girls had, so that advantage was lost upon her. The Yellow sister had never really cared for her, having left Halvie to fend for herself, stumbling around mistakes, lost and alone. Intentional? Perhaps. To have been abandoned so had hurt her more than she cared to admit, more so when the tragedy that had befallen her… family remained so fresh, the wounds still raw and open. How many times had she sought for someone to offer comfort, the nights when her pillow was stained with salty tears? Acquaintances were formed out of necessity but never encouraged, strengthened; except one, only….no. It would not do to relive the unfortunate incident. The insomnia was creating disorder in her mind. A frown crossed her features at the thought. This would not do. Halvie Sedai Rejected Sister of the Green Ajah Ooc: Trust me to keep you waiting. Again. :roll:
  18. ~’*’~ It was a frantic scramble down the mountain of logs that resulted in not a few heart-stopping moments when Carla felt her foot slip, body instinctively bracing for the crash onto the ground that never came. During instances such as those, she found herself dependant upon Con to steady herself & recover her equilibrium, barely having time to heave a sigh of relief when her feet did eventually touch the blessedly solid ground. The weapons were snatched from the ground before they immediately swirled around to confront the other pair already in position, waiting. A small part of her cringed in disappointment to find that they could not be so easily beaten, having formed an absurd notion that they could perhaps have attacked while the other two was still unarmed. That was hardly meant to be. ~’*’~ The basic guard stance was promptly assumed as instructed; she could not have acted otherwise. Too long had she been training under him, his heavy Illianer accent filtered pass all doubts & contorted forms of anxiety; she simply obeyed. But spars would always limit the amount of conversation and instructions that could be shared and thus Carla soon found herself frantically thinking of ways to deflect a stinging blow, angling her in a certain manner to met his. A frantic exchange that only grew more desperate as time wore on, before Carla found it best to simply quit thinking and allow her body to remember the movements she had trained hard to master. It did not entirely dispel the fear and uncertainty shifting deep within her, but at least she managed to meet him blow for blow. ~’*’~ Yet she was forced to adapt to the situation, when arms instinctively moving downwards would meet with resistance, when a step back proved unbalancing for she had neglected to remember the bonds around her arms and ankles. Hummingbird Kisses the Honeyroses was attempted with relative success, a quick thrust that quickly resulted in the heavy clash of wood against wood. Rebounding, she altered position slightly and parried the slashes and blows that were aimed at her, unnerved when one came unfortunately close to drawing blood. She did not fancy continuing the parry with open injuries however minor, though there was a sneaking feeling that she would be sporting several bruises as souvenirs from today’s fast-paced events. ~’*’~ Muscles strained to maintain momentum and she came to rely upon Con when she slipped or dealt a blow that lacked the strength, leaving her vulnerable. A strong gust of wind that blew in their direction momentarily blurred her vision as she squinted, head shaking slightly to clear the few strands of hair from her eyes. Her complexion was scrubbed raw by the sheer intensity and chill of the wind, a minor distraction that very nearly caused her to miss the shadow of a lathe arching down towards her. Carla raised her own weapon to block its descendent, although it was already far too near for her to be able to block it successfully. Its unexpected weight had her staggering, consequently placing Con in a rather awkward position. In a more… calm situation, she would have felt mortification to cause discomfort of whatever form towards her mentor but with the stakes placed so high, she hardly dared to so much as glance at what he did. Or what his opponent was dealing in response to his retaliation, though she did occasionally observe those graceful, flowing movements; unknown forms that did not register in her mind. ~’*’~ A surreal moment came about during the time when their blades were clashed & locked, causing her to twist her blade to prepare for a counter attack. It spanned no more than a split second, but Carla could have sworn to have noted a shadow of… something cross her opponent’s features, so distracting that he paused a while longer than was wise. The opportunity presented, Carla manipulated his apparent hesitation with a swift disarming tactic, The Grapevine Twines, delighting in finally being able to catch him off guard. It was a classic move that did not fail, for them. Carla Sades Tower Trainee Mentee to Con Stavros
  19. ~'*'~ Curious, how easily the true meaning of words could be misinterpreted by another. It served as a severe reminder as to how much power these utterances held and Halvie took a moment longer to meditate on the words that were to be shared. The last sentence had hardly been meant for Kaylan but it would serve no purpose to correct the august veteran, certainly not when she saw the person as one who held the keys to her advancing through the rigid ranks within the Tower. The invitation offered she would grasp will both hands willingly if somewhat tentatively, for she had yet to formulate an appropriate plan to manipulated a peer of such high seniority & distinction. Still, that the Green had even proposed such a possibility spoke volumes, for she was well aware of the many affairs these pompous Aes Sedai had to deal with on a daily basis. For Kaylan to have offer her a slot in her timetable was a wicked opportunity she would never let escape. But first, her eagerness would have to be closeted. ~'*'~ "I will strive to learn, Kaylan Sedai. You will not be disappointed," Halvie vowed softly, her voice wavering ever so slightly as she allowed herself to speculate where such a promise would lead her to. Such a foolish move; there was no need to trumpet her trepidation being in such illustrious company more than necessary. A courteous nod was once more directed towards the elder Aes Sedai as they began to move away from the door, down the hallway towards yet more Greens. She wondered how long the trial would last, but feared to know. Fatigue was already beginning to cloud her judgements and the sheer effort of maintaining an indifferent façade was taking its toll. It would be so easy to give in to grief and frustration, too easy to scream abuse and beg them to re-evaluate her petition, to create uproar, just about anything, if only they would accept her now. Even though deep within she already knew it would not occur, but her mind could not accept it. Still refused to. ~'*'~ A door behind them swung shut. There was neither a soul in sight nor a hint of movement save theirs now. "How many left, Sirayn?" she queried casually, sating a sudden need to break the icy silence between them. "They are not much different, are they? They're all the same. Why the need to greet them all? Tradition?" She babbled, though it could not be helped. So much tension was building and she felt compressed, constrained, limited. There was no need to further emphasise her rejection. Far better for all that she was released to return to her quarters, to weep sorrowfully, alone. Halvie Sedai Rejected Petitioner for the Green Ooc: An opening for you, Sirayn, on a silver platter. I beg of you to take it.
  20. Posted: 29 Jun 2005 11:53 pm Ooc: Deepest apologies for the delay on this one. I'd like to add for the sake of clarity that anybody raised after Halvie on the timeline, that is Eadon, Tinnulim and Karissa, strictly may not post. Much love, but the timeline would scream. : : : : Of all the recruits who had passed under her tutelage, and they numbered many, Halvie concerned her most by a fair margin. She had liked some better, others less; been angered by some and proud of a few; but this species of watchful distrust rang foreign to her. Her meagre strength had been bettered on many occasions. However, never before in her memory had she met a woman who was so skilled so young in the same fields she had made her own. It gave her the eerie sense of looking in a mirror and seeing her initiate self, only more confident, more powerful, and all round better. This was not a comfortable thought. : : : : None of this showed on her serene face when Sirayn tapped at the unmarked door and summoned forth her recruit. In the space of the hour since she had been turned out of the Captain General’s office, rejected, her dreams shattered; the young woman had drawn about her an unnerving air of cold competence. Sirayn studied her in silence for some moments and thought once more that if she was to keep Halvie in line and under control for any length of time it would require every scrap of wit she possessed. One advantage she held might be telling … that for all her undoubted talent, Halvie still wanted to learn certain ways from her that she ordinarily would not teach. That instruction she might yet hold back as a threat or a bribe. Only time would tell. : : : : “I’m about to introduce you to your future sisters. It’s for ceremonial purposes only. Be polite and try not to say anything outrageous.†She couldn’t imagine Halvie needed that warning, but she had seen some interesting confrontations in her time. “Ready?†Upon confirmation she turned away from the plain door and, passing by several quarters either empty or whose occupants were presently away, approached another door and tapped crisply. It yawned open and Sirayn composed her expression into one of fitting gravity. “Sister, this is Halvie Sedai. She is bound to the Battle Ajah, yet not a part of it.†Keeping a wary eye on Halvie she waited for some response. Sirayn Sedai Sister of the Battle Ajah Posted: 01 Jul 2005 02:14 pm OOC: Ok so according to the timeline Halvie is a generation younger than Tia so I’m going to say this is after Undercover Shadowspawn and Tia and Andular’s trip to Ebou Dar. If that doesn’t jibe right please poke me! Tiassale had just returned from a breathtaking ride through the countryside on her mare, Ayende. With flushed cheeks and bright eyes she smiled and nodded at passing Sisters as she made her way to her quarters within the Green Halls. Out of the corner of her eye she spotted Sirayn leading a young woman down the hallway, pausing at each door. Light! How could I forget today was Halvie’s initiation? She glanced down at herself, mud splattered boots and the hem of her riding dress wet to the knees. Not quite the image she’d wished to present to their newest Recruit. Swiftly she opened the door to her rooms and slammed in behind her with a flow of Air. In the bedroom she rifled through the contents of her dresser and finally found a cleaner divided skirt. She glanced longingly at the silk dresses hanging nearby as she donned it and wiped her shoes clean with Saidar. But the tight, fancily embroidered dresses were impractical for her daily life in the Tower. And besides, they made a much bigger impact when worn sporadically and for the right reasons. Similarly she passed her jewellery box and mirror without so much as a glance. Though a pretty enough young woman she had no time for fretting or primping. At least not usually, unless it was to attempt to tame her wild curls into some semblance of order. A knock at the door told her it was too late for anything more. Crossing the room she swung the door wide and smiled. Halvie Faury had been one of her first students when she was herself, newly Raised to the Shawl and Tiassale felt a special affection for her. Halvie’s earnestness and hard work in her class had helped Tiassale feel more confident in her position, and the young woman truly felt like a younger Sister. “Sirayn, it’s good to see you again. Halvie, I do apologize for being absent during your Oaths and your first petition. I only returned from Ebou Dar late last evening. Welcome to the Green Halls.†Squeezing both the woman’s hands warmly she went on, “You must come for dinner when you’re settled in. I know you’ll be working hard these next few weeks but a bit of relaxation may do you good.†Tiassale Morobin Green Sister Bonded to Andular Rojvas Posted: 24 Aug 2005 02:29 am ~’*’~ The lady in black stood tall & erect facing the unfolding scene of bustling activity where many others mingled and conversed freely, from afar. Occasionally she would avert her eyes somewhat slyly back to the near bare room, towards the solid closed door. Her hands were clasped behind and her body would stiffen when a particularly harsh thought entered her mind. For those unlike her this was the dawn of a new beginning, not the dusk she saw stretching out into limitless horizons. They couldn’t have known the fear she now felt so keenly, the trepidation and reckless… enthusiasm. ~’*’~ The cold seeped in unbidden – oh, even nature mocked her. Seconds trickled by, turning to minutes over & over until the harsh knock came. And still she had not made a decision. Nothing except a single-minded determination to not break, to remain impassive & indifferent to the world. Pathetic, aye; inconsequential, never. Given half an inch she’d blast the woman into bloody cinders, but taking another half second to rationalize and it would be deemed folly. No, she’d bid her time well and for all the misfortunes that now fell on her in heaps, she still carried some form of dignity. She towered over the woman, after all. That had to count for something. But Light forbid she fall in public, like she nearly had. Light, it was all a trial. A bloody, murderous trial. ~’*’~ Harsh echoes littered her path towards her first confrontation, and it was as though she floated in an abyss, so cold did she feel. Not through physical receptors, but rather the chill that could reach into the spirit, the soul. Something akin to her being severed from truly interacting with the Tower because… she was better, melded to take part in the grander schemes of life. Soon enough, anyway. She held a crystal clean slate and what of the black sins too many sisters had already chalked up? What of Sirayn, whose demeanour had so captivated her in her brief ingenuous age, enthralled her even? Halvie’s very own supporter during crueller times though the Green herself remained unaware; she’d been careful after all. ~’*’~ She bit down an acerbic remark towards Tiassale and instead, preoccupied herself with examining the other woman in her present world. Ebou Dar, last evening? she thought curiously, and willed herself to look into the pair of eyes that stared straight at her, in front, and smiled shyly. “Naturally I shall accept, good sister. Anything for a chance to know one another better.†Nodding courteously towards Tiassale, Halvie bowed her head a fraction more, caught the undivided attention of those stormy grey eyes, and gave Sirayn a teasing wink. The coin spins now; where it stops no one knows. Halvie Faury Rejected Green 11 Sep 2005 01:08 am : : : : A brief, rare smile touched her mouth at the welcome sight of Tiassale Morobin and she cast her eyes down rather than respond. She was unaccustomed to wanting to see anyone and it made her uncomfortable. Particularly this sister for, while they were currently on agreeable enough terms, much history lay behind them which was less than pleasant. Their acquaintance using the shared link of a woman who had once been so special to both of them; who now lay mouldering in the ground while they, once shadows cast by her flame, laboured on … the hard times after her death when accusations, grief and loss divided them both. She had known for so long that Tiassale, whom she had loved as a daughter, rightly blamed her that it was difficult to remember that they were on the same side now. : : : : Dismissing those thoughts in the quiet while the two women talked Sirayn cut a glance sideways to her companion. From the young woman’s serenity one would never guess that such scheming thoughts went on behind the cool green gaze; scarcely an inch out of whites and already Halvie had a better command of composure than many among her sisters. It was nothing short of masterly. She resolved to keep her eyes on Halvie and note what other mannerisms the new recruit might have picked up from her peers. The smile which Halvie offered so innocently to the older sister rang hollow with her; she knew how the woman thought better than to be taken in by that. Narrowing her eyes, she studied the fair face seeking to discern its secrets … then stilled as Halvie winked at her. : : : : Startlement flared and distrust wound its creeping tendrils through her thoughts. Some sort of code? A threat? A warning? She disliked not knowing. Frowning, she asked herself what else Halvie might have in store for her, weighed risk and game. All of a sudden this so called game seemed a lot darker. She shot the recruit a look of cold condemnation; that stare presented one with the definite impression of being shown before a judge for sentencing. “Thank you, Tiassale Sedai.†Drawing composure about her she tipped a courteous nod to the woman and beckoned Halvie onward. At her most forbidding, a chill silence froze out any attempt at conversation as she listened intently for any sound. The door closed behind them. Thus released Sirayn stopped, turned, and snapped: “What are you playing at?†: : : : Her tone betrayed too well that she was rattled. The slightest shift in Halvie’s gaze proved that the recruit had picked up on that change too well. Even as she registered the advantage she had gifted so cleanly to the other side … steps echoed through the hall as another sister entered it; shooting them a dark glance she bit off the questions that hovered on her tongue and jerked her head toward the nearest door. “We will discuss this later, Halvie Sedai.†None too well hidden, anger painted her tones. She turned and without waiting to see if Halvie followed headed onward; taking this respite to order her thoughts once more perhaps not to be caught out again. The next door bore a different stamp in the making of the sword carved upon it and its paints and colours. She tapped twice and waited until the door opened before speaking the ritual words. “Sister, this is Halvie Sedai. She is bound to the Battle Ajah, yet not a part of it.†This time she would not be startled. Sirayn Sedai Sister of the Battle Ajah Posted: 17 Sep 2005 07:23 am ooc- I am assuming that this would be when Sirayn and Jade were still best friends and not fighting all the time, so I will go with that! *G* IC- Jaydena sighed and looked around her rooms; she should have cleaned them earlier or at least called the cleaning staff to do it. For some absurd reason she had not done so and now there was at least an inch of dust on everything. She had been so busy with her duties lately that she had neglected her precious room. Being a novice and having next to nothing still was clear in her mind, being an Accepted hadn't been much better but she had survived it and been given this wonderful room. With that her lips twisted, she couldn't lie to herself as much as she wanted to, she hadn't been given anything, she had paid for it in blood, sweat, and tears. Days where she had come back to her new rooms, bare of any decoration, and wanted to curl up in a ball and cry. She had been denied of the right to enter her ajah until she was worthy, she had hated every moment of it but it had tempered her like a blade in the bilges. Today she had had to deny another woman the right to become a green; it was the worst duty she had taken on when she was chosen as sitter. Of course she had wanted the job and her ajah had chosen her but sometimes it still wore on her, at times it felt like a set of chain mail made of the heaviest steel. Turning back to her room she looked at the daggers and swords throughout the room, she had started collecting them as an Accepted and the collection had grown. She had been given daggers and swords by her friends, by her sisters, by kings and queens; she could look at each one and remember exactly who had given it to her. Of course she could also look in her journals and find the exact spots where they were given. Walking gracefully she picked up one with a green jade handle, roses ran up the hilt and were actually carved into the blade. Just tiny roses with thorns running up the metal. A matching sheath with accents of jade and rose graced the spot on her shelf behind the sword, resting up against her books, another passion of hers. Around her room, were paintings done by herself and other artists, on one wall was a painting off a famous battle sister fighting a fist of trollocs with nothing but serenity on her face. Another wall contained a soft seascape she had picked up on another trip from a man selling on the street. She had paintings and art pieces from urchins and from ladies intent on being something by a lady or just thinking paiting was a lady like pursuit. Time was running short and here she stood buried in old memories! She looked around her and then embraced the source; she picked the dust off with a swirl of air and pushed it out the open window. Using close to the same weave she flew the pillows to the windows and thumped them clear of dust. A polishing weave she had used more than she liked to remember as a novice was used on her swords and the vases and such sitting around the room. She scrubbed the table with air and water and then looked around again. It would have to do and her company was bound to be here any minute. With that she walked back into her bedroom and repeated the same process. Soon she had a fairly clean room and she was back in the living area. The room was as clean as it was going to get so she decided to work on some more paperwork. However before she even had a chance to sit down at her desk, the knock she had been expected sounded at her sword inlaid door. With quick strides she reached the door and pulled it open, in front of her stood Sirayn Sedai and the newest recruit, Halvie Sedai. Sirayn spoke the customary words, “Sister, this is Halvie Sedai. She is bound to the Battle Ajah, yet not a part of it.†Jade nodded and regarded the woman in front of her; the woman looked more than a little angry and Jade couldn't help but remember the scene in the office of the Captain General. Adopting full serenity until she was blanketed in ice she spoke, "I would say welcome to the rank of Aes Sedai, but at this moment you don't look like you want to hear anything of the kind. All I will say is that if you study hard and prove yourself to your instructors than all the sooner you will be raised to the shawl." She nodded and waited to see if Sirayn or the girl had anything to say.... Posted: 24 Oct 2005 02:17 am ~’*’~ Her eyes widened a fraction in astonishment; too stunned to immediately comprehend the implications of events such as were happening at that very moment. Emotions witnessed in public Halvie had never anticipated from Sirayn, her ideal of Aes Sedai serenity & indifference. The beginnings of a friendly grin died on her lips the moment their eyes locked in contact, and to her dismay, some small tendrils of fear & diffidence continued to gain strength in her. Her resolve to stay impassive wavered a little more as Halvie steeled herself for a confrontation that would surely arrive soon enough. That was certain from Sirayn’s remarks, albeit expressed somewhat curtly. ~’*’~ Halvie clenched her fists out of frustration behind her back, disliking the hostile feelings shared between both of them. She caught herself just before she began regretting again having not attempted the bridge the gap between her and the sister before. Perhaps in a friendlier atmosphere she might’ve found it substantially easier to learn what she wanted from Sirayn. Halvie shook her head slightly to clear the confusing thoughts. There was little time as it was to waste feeling abashed & allow the sister an upper hand again. ~’*’~ Out of habit, Halvie eyed the diminutive figure walking ahead of her warily, wondering just how easily she could crack open a sister that’d already been well tempered by bloody battles & murky Tower politics. She held the advantage of being younger, however much that was being contested in her current situation. But she had to remember that the Greens had done so to instil respect & the importance of subjugating to higher authority into their newest recruits. Well, she could offer them that in spades, easily when required. Halvie shook her head again, this time out of impatience. Too many plans yet to be laid, let alone carried out. Just before the door was pulled open, Halvie recalled enough to adopt a façade that carried the anger of a rejected child suited to her current situation; a move some might call deception. ~’*’~ Fury & shame rushed into her with renewed intensity the moment Jaydena began to speak, in a cold, harsh voice she’d never deserved. Halvie barely recognised the lady Green, had never been one to pull pranks on the sitter to merit being greeted so callously. Oh, she would acknowledge the fact that her lower rankings were asking for watered-down veneration willingly but this could very well border on the edge of cruelty. Halvie offered a weaker smile in return to the sitter, realising that the brilliant mechanisms of the Green Ajah itself were not to be overlooked. The trial was roughly a simple act of continuous snubbing that created waves of psychological effects on the victim; an ingenious step. Briefly, Halvie wondered whose brainchild it was, more so she would understand better the person whose achievements she would one day overshadow. ~’*’~ “Your words,†she began calculatingly, “Are a gift that I do not deserve. But rest assured you shall not regret my entry into the Green Ajah, Jaydena Sedai.†Her eyes began to shine with a hidden light. No, regret would be the last thing on their minds. Halvie Sedai Rejected Green Aspirant Posted: 24 Oct 2005 01:17 pm Long years have never dulled tradition, hundred, two hundred? How long had this one been around. She couldn't remember just how long it had been since she had raised girls to the Green as Captain General. Most who held the title were inclined never to return to the Tower, as if their job was done. A few did the last couple. Lanfir now held the Amyrlin Seat, it was good to see a Green holding such a postion. In this time it was prudent that the Battle Ajah be Ready. From what she'd heard from Jade, it seemed to the old Green that this wasn't happening. I stand ready, how many times had the words been uttered in this hall. Mandi could scarely guess, but as the years went by she said it over and over, yet she was one that meant it, she owed that Light that much. Stepping into the hall, sapphire eyes cool and collected, shawl looping on her slender elbows. It was the formal one that hung nearly to the floor, she had worn creme today, setting off her coppery skin. The old Green stood towards the back of the room, watching in silence. For some reason she felt as if she didn't belong here anymore. She'd been gone too long, was too far out of the loop, yet still she was here, to give this girl her proper send off. Standing tall, as most Domani do the woman watched, in silence waiting for the ceremony to begin. Seeing both Jade and Sirayn here, returned her to the days that she had accepted them into the Green. Sira had not been happy when Mandi had turned her down, none of them had been. But it made them stronger, in the Green Ajah no one could be weak. Posted: Thu Dec 29, 2005 7:58 pm The serene, arresting beauty, the regal bearing and the carefully tempered manner, all were as well learnt to her as the face which looked back from her own mirror every morning … if significantly easier on the eyes. Being confronted by the Banner Captain in all her splendour brought out a tumultuous mix of feelings: regret, loss and resentment; bitterness and dark envy toward the woman who had stolen everything she wanted; the same creeping sense of longing, small and plain and ill favoured as she was, nothing beside Jaydena. It reminded her bitterly why she did not stand as an equal here but merely as an obedient servant to be controlled and directed. All these were some excellent reasons to avoid these quarters in future. None of this she let show even a hint through her composure. Had she ever told the whole of what was on her mind when she was around this shining example of sisterhood? Not, she thought, and fortunate with it … for Jaydena already had enough to laugh about in her cups when she had drunk a little too much and had her satisfaction from other people’s stolen Gaidin. She could just imagine how they would mock her together. Resentment had taken her wits and rather than speak and show a trace of her feelings she remained silent, kept her secrets close. Her apprentice she kept under a stern grey gaze while the young woman spoke; marking as she did so the subtle note of cunning behind the words, the slightest of warnings, for any who chose to heed it. Burn her if she would be worried over a green student barely out of banded skirts. If the child ever got the courage to come after her directly Halvie would find that a wolf lay in waiting: old and graying, perhaps, but vicious fast, and backed by friends the likes of which she could never match. And that contest would be done on her terms, on her territory … and she would see if this pup could not be taught some respect than to be so insolent in front of half a hundred watchers. “Your time is, as always, appreciated Banner Captain.†She let only a trace of irony colour her tone and the slight lift of her brow; her secret jest against the mockery of life. “I expect that our recruit here will have cause to reflect upon your words before long.†And perhaps that was true, even for one so young and arrogant as Halvie, for even those gifted among them had moments of doubt and darkness; or maybe she too would discover a life of solitude, its benefits and drawbacks, even as her initiation leader had done before her. “Now if you will excuse us …†cutting a brief and guarded glance toward Halvie, who at least had remained civil on the surface, “we must move on.†The silence echoed empty round them while they crossed the white corridor toward a different door. Half a hundred comments she might have made came to her tongue, but she stilled them all, guarded against showing the least hint to Halvie of the direction in which her thoughts lay. At the next door she tapped briefly, a cool look toward Halvie warning her of the consequences of any moment of creativity on her part, and reeled off the ritual words: “Sister, this is Halvie Sedai. She is bound to the Battle Ajah, yet not a part of it.†Sirayn Sedai Sister of the Battle Ajah Posted: 02 Feb 2006 11:34 am The knock on her door startled the green-clad woman into poking a knot on the branch in front of her, and she immediately winced. Nothing good ever came from accidents with her subjects, and sure enough, putrid yellow liquid poured out and immediately started to eat away at the wood of the desk she was sitting at. With a loud curse, Kaylan embraced the source, Water and Air cleaning off the once-pristine polished surface, now inlaid with a pattern that she was at least thankful had not ended up on her skin. The pen that she'd been holding, though, had suffered a far worse fate - the nib entirely gone, and half of the shaft with it. Someone was always disturbing her during her research, it had been that way for years, and seemed unlikely to change any time in the near future. She realised as she was grumbling what it was that had made her end up in this situation, and with a dark expression on her face strode over to the door, flinging it open with Air as she approached it. Flinging long blonde locks behind her shoulders, Kaylan fixed the pair of women in front of her with a hard stare. Sirayn was standing with what was obviously a new recruit, but the older Green let the woman say the ceremonial words anyway. It would not do to interrupt the ceremony, no matter how Kaylan felt about it all. Sirayn was to teach this one, no doubt, if she was leading her around like a stray puppy for the introductions, but the older Sister well remembered how Sirayn had acted at her own initiation - like a spoiled child who never deserved the ring, let alone the shawl. "Yes, yes, another bright eyed girl wanting to be a part of the Battle Ajah, I can see that." Green eyes swept over both of them, a reminder to Sirayn that she remembered well, but her gaze landed on Halvie and took her measure. It was whim more than anything else that determined how Kaylan behaved on these occasions, and the stub of a pen that she was still grasping was a reminder that she didn't appreciate being disturbed. Especially not for half trained girls who presumed that they could be soldiers. "Do you know what it means to be a part of the Battle Ajah, Halvie Sedai?" There was only a hint of amusement in the honourific, she had earned the Shawl, after all, and had given no reason to assume that she'd followed in Sirayn's footsteps in terms of her behaviour. Not allowing the woman to answer, Kaylan continued. "Do you know what it is to fight with all of your strength, to smell the stench of those dying around you, the ones that you killed, and the ones that you could not save? Do you have any comprehension of what it means to stand ready? We all say the words, I stand ready, but none of us can truly understand them just from standing secure within these halls, secure in our traditions and assuming ourselves better than the men who die fighting for our ideals while we sit by and watch." She realised that she was about to launch into a tirade, her irritation directed at entirely the wrong person, but none of the girls who petitioned the Green could understand, none of them could know. She had not known, and she wished that she had. Blinking to clear away the memories that were replaying in her mind, the Battles fought and won, the price she and her Warders had paid over the years, Kaylan focused her attention once more on the new recruit. "Welcome to the halls of the Green Ajah, Halvie. My door is always open if you wish to discuss anything over tea." They seldom did, Kaylan had earned herself a reputation for a bad temper and a collection that ranged from the interesting to the downright dangerous, but those that did... The Green had spent over a century researching and fighting the Shadow, and while she had a temper, it was true, those that she held close would never want for help. ~Kaylan Sedai Battle Ajah Posted: 03 Mar 2006 05:10 pm ~’*’~ With eyes meekly cast earthward, the disparagement from the other older sister came as a large surprise. So startled was she that Halvie found herself half staring at the Aes Sedai before the gratuitous words came to a halt, as silence resumed and the attention momentarily stolen reverted back upon her. Kaylan could not know of the profound effects those words had on her, it was not possible. She stood before a formidable personage to be sure; whose astounding arrogance was the underbelly of most aging war veterans. It even amused her to a certain extent when she analysed the words so bluntly uttered, no doubt to petrify but succeeding in only making her smile in response. Lovely flowing words that gave life to the dreams she once held during stormy nights, promises tightly laced with danger that had her gravitating towards. ~’*’~ “I am not ready,†she whispered softly, eyes glazing over at the memories that continuously haunted her unguarded moments. “Only ready to learn, if you would care to teach.†Her voice hardened into steel, features twisting slightly to show some misleadingly conflicting emotions. Halvie could barely restrain the anger that came with the following words, learning together with the others present just how fragile her hold was over feelings decades old were. “But it seems that some would refuse to pass on their knowledge, and we all wonder why. “ The ambience evolved into something oddly menacing then, shivers creeping down one smooth arm and she with considerable effort, unclenched her fists. She had just stepped over some set boundaries. ~’*’~ “Why?†The word was echoed bitterly though she took care that little else was given away to the two sharp observers. Disdain & some form of cold hostility still emitted but she restrained herself from retaliating more than required. Halvie shifted her weight slightly for equilibrium and lifted her gaze from the tiled floors to linger fractionally at Kaylan, before resting upon a pair of flint grey eyes. “Inappropriate perhaps, or something else?†A curious supposition came to mind and her thumping heart came close to skipping a beat at the likelihood. So many hours spent in meditation whilst she turned the issue inside out, ever wondering how relationships could have been better handled to deter such disastrous… results. Suspicion had been sown in the hearts of many due to her severe lack of discretion and now she struggled to overturn those impressions; a failing battle. In a rare moment born purely of frustration & impetuosity, she hurled one final, feeble contumely. “You fear, do you not?†Halvie Sedai Rejected Green Aspirant Posted: Tue Mar 07, 2006 2:03 pm "I am not ready." The words that came were unexpected, and Kaylan's eyes opened wide. Not many would say such words, even with the idea firmly ingrained by the Captain General and Sitters upon a petition for the Green Shawl. "Only ready to learn, if you would care to teach." Halvie's face changed, looking beyond the old Green to another place or time, and the words delivered with clenched fists made no sense to Kaylan. "But it seems that some would refuse to pass on their knowledge, and we all wonder why." She'd never involved herself in politics, even less in the lives of new initiates to the Tower, so whatever it was that Halvie was speaking of was not familiar to Kaylan. Her Warders, her research and her travels were the only things that she paid attention to, it was a rare Sister who could hold her attention long enough for Kaylan to want to learn all the gossip about them. Oh, she heard it, it was part of having Eyes and Ears in Tar Valon, but she wasn't overly interested in guesses and rumours of some perceived breach of conduct. The amount of reports that she saw about her own behaviour did nothing but amuse her, some of the things she was rumoured to have done went further than her imagination had ever previously stretched. And yet, sometimes it was good for inspiration along with a laugh. Keep them guessing and entertained with frivolous behaviour and most people would underestimate you, even those skilled in the Great Game. It was a game she tired of. "Why?" The new Aes Sedai's words brought her out of her thoughts, and Kaylan merely raised an eyebrow as she listened to the woman talk. "Inappropriate perhaps, or something else?" Ready to bark out an answer, Kaylan was left with her mouth open at Halvie's last words. "You fear, do you not?" She did not pause to think about her answer. "Of course I fear. Fear is a constant companion to one who walks this path. You would be stupid not to fear." Her mind rattled through all of her own fears, but she did not speak them. Fear for loved ones, for the world itself, fear of such a horrid inadequacy that utter failure was the only possible result, fear of death and missing it all, that this whole life and those sacrificed in protection of it meant naught... "Not all knowledge should be shared. There are some things best left unknown." Her research on Shadowspawn... even if she could figure out how they were made, and she had inklings here and there, she'd never record it. To leave that somewhere for the wrong person to find and use; or even for a person with good intentions to discover in some distant future without a proper memory of the horrors... "Yes, there are some things best kept secret." The Age of Legends had been a time without war, she'd been told, but the books recording such things had remained, and war had indeed broken out. Knowledge was not always a good thing. "But I will teach you what you need to know, if you wish it." Blonde hair with strands of white coming in spoke a testament to the life she had lived, and her eyes met the newest Aes Sedai to tie herself to the Green Ajah with interest. She did not know anything of Halvie beyond her name and status, and Kaylan's curiosity was kindled by her behaviour. "Yes, I will teach you, if you will learn." ~Kayls OId biddy Greenie
  21. Posted: 07 Dec 2005 06:08 am Post subject: Racey Racey (Carlz, Roshie and Caddie) Spacey? Not Lacey "I know." Reaching up and scratching Stephanos behind the ears, Con waited patiently as he sat on the fence. He was here early, nothing unusual about that, and he wanted a moment to himself anyway. Lathe balanced on his lap, the lead that ran through it gave it quite a hefty weight. Wielding it as quickly as a lighter one, the weight gave an advantage when taking the blows of others and more importantly, to beat past an opponent's guard. Today that would be important, as the test that faced Carla required both mentee and mentor to participate. The race was an old tradition of sorts, and although the way it was run, what was used for obstacles and such changed, the basics remained the same. Con himself ran a similar race under Mikalen Gaidin, except it was with fellow trainees only who ran alone. One of the obstacles had been collapsable pits, and while Con had gotten through, one of the other students had fallen in. Hearing her cry of shock, he'd gone back to pull her out, which had resulted in him being overtaken by everyone else. Together they'd finished the race, coming last but in Mikalen's mind coming first. The object of the race then had not only been to show athletic ability, but also to work together. But back then, trainees had been left to figure that out for themselves. Now the mentor and trainee worked together in the same course against another pair. It had become alot more competitive as a result, and the competition would prove interesting. One of the new trainees, Cado, was a bit of an unknown in terms of ability and his mentor, Rosheen, was an accomplished fighter in her own right. He'd been unhappy to lose her from the Tower Guard to an Aes Sedai, but that was each man and woman's choice. Still, Con had a great deal of faith in Carla's ability. The girl was shaping up well, and though his instruction was harsh to some and constant, she had a degree of natural ability which stood her in good stead. Still, he knew from his own time as a trainee, it must seem to her that her victories were far and few between. Today he planned to give Carla one of those rare victories. He could hold back in the spar, but that would be unfair on Carla as she was going to give her all, he could do nothing less. Still, the course would prove interesting, very interesting. The first task they had was to climb the wall, a fifteen foot set of logs. Using the niches between the logs, they were to make their way up and over. Lathes waited on the other side, and once people were across they armed themselves and sparred. Whoever won by disarming the other pair then got a head start on the final obstacle. In this case, the pairs had to crawl across the ground underneath nets which made sure they could barely rise. The prize for winning the race was a weekend free, though in common practice, the mentor of the trainee who lost the race often gave them the same leave for the weekend. Then again, not every mentor did, so it was incentive just the same to try your hardest. Getting off the fence, Con walked over to the other side of the wall, Stephanos still sitting on his shoulder. Laying the lathe on the ground, Con went back to his seat, thinking about his own race as he waited for the others to arrive. Con Stavros Commander of the Tower Guard Note: Retro RP Posted: Wed Jan 18, 2006 12:40 pm As Rosheen calmly walked around the lap once more, she allowed herself to be overtaken by the trainees that had been running the same lap as she had, only with less ease. One of them grinned at her, as though he seemed to think she was tired. She grinned back at him, as if she meant to tell him he was a fool. He was, of course. Running laps was something she had done with a great deal of joy ever since she had arrived at the yards. In a way it still reminded her of her life before she had taken up the challenge, and aimed towards becoming a Tower Guard. She took a moment to stretch, making sure that her muscles were loose enough for the challenge that was to come. Moridin was the first trainee trained by her who would go through the race. That also meant that this would be the first time Rosheen did the race as a mentor, not as the trainee. She wondered what it would be like. Back when she had been a trainee she had won, mostly due to the similarity in size that she and Raisa had. It had made things a lot easier. She would have to see how things turned out today. Moridin’s style of fighting was still influenced a lot by the things he had learnt before he came to the yards. She wasn’t quite sure if that put him at a disadvantage or not. Either way, she hoped he would do well. He was dedicated enough as it was, even if he didn’t always seem to know what he was dedicated to. After she picked up a lathe which was weighed down slightly at the end, she walked over to where the obstacle course was waiting for them. As it turned out, it wasn’t the only thing waiting. Rosheen grinned as she saw Con sitting on the fence, with his trusty squirrel on his shoulder. She had kept squirrels when she was younger, until her mother told her that she couldn’t take them with her because it wasn’t fair to take them away from the forests they grew up in. She guessed that Con’s mother had never bothered telling him that. She waved a greeting at the commander of the Guards, and placed the lathe behind the wall. She eyed the one Con had brought for a moment, trying to see if it was special in any way. It looked normal enough. She grinned briefly before walking back to the fence. Mumbling a greeting she sat down on the ground, with her back against the fence. “Moridin had better not be late.†She said. She didn’t think he would be late, but one could never be too sure with trainees. Even if they were the same age as you were. Rosheen TG here, I suppose. Posted: 18 Jan 2006 10:32 pm OOC: Wow we sure let this get away from us... glad you noticed it Rosh cause i'd completely forgotten. IC: Moridin had been up long before the sun as the little sleep he'd gotten hadn't come easily. He just wasn't tired. Physically he had been fatuiged but his mind was racing and wouldn't allow him the rest he was going to need for the days training. He was also reasonably anxious with regards to the lesson he had before him today. Rosheen Had talked to him briefly about the obstacle course yesterday but the details on it had been vague. It was his first official lesson here at the tower. In the time he'd spent here ha hadn't recovered any memory as he'd hoped. Nothing had come to him as the brief knowledge of warders had when he had entered. It was mostly these thoughts that kept him awake at night. He had spent over an hour running in hopes of clearing his mind though the irony of it was that it was a clear mind that troubled him. Basic worldly knowledge was simply gone. He head words and names used frequently by most but understood none of them. He made a mental note to spend some time in the Towers library in hopes that learning something might trigger a memory. He continued running all the same, almost trying to outrun the sun that was slowly rising behind him. He was a fairly decent runner which only wound up spawning more questions in his mind. There were a fair number of others running who were faster then he but as time went on and more people came out he discovered that he was in the minority of those who ran well and with ease. Before the sun completely cleared the horizon he stopped and found a darker and more reclusive spot of the yard to rest briefly. He was able to watch the yard and it's occupants going about their routines from where he sat. He watched them mill about in groups or alone, practicing with their swords or other weapons, exercising and stretching. All of them with a purpose and a goal. and the knowledge of where that goal or purpose came from. His eyes also came upon his mentor Talking to an older looking man with a small furry animal sitting on his shoulder. He chuckled a little at that and decided to go over and greet his mentor. "Good morning Rosheen." He said as he drew close enough and gave her a small bow. "And good morning to you Sir." He gave the man a bow as well. He wasn't sure who he was but he had seen how his Mentor had regarded him and guessed he must but a superior officer. "I hope i'm not late." Seeing as Rosheen had only just arrived he assumed he wasn't but it was good to be sure. Noticing they both held training lathes he decided it would be best if he himself got one. He chose one of a slightly smaller build then most in the same design of the sword that he wore. It was strong but light as well and allowed him to quickly get inside another’s defence. He only hoped he was well enough rested to be able to do that in their lesson today. Posted: 02 Feb 2006 12:46 pm ~’*’~ The smallest tendril of fear wound its way through her as she stood lurking beneath pale shadows, hands nervously tugging the edge of her light apparel. A washed out grey that had been painstakingly ironed the previous night; Carla wondered briefly how much dirt & tear it would bear much later, if not worse. Even now she hesitated to walk towards her mentor, no uncertain amount of doubt making her pull back until her back bumped against the hard, cool wall that loomed above her. Con had trained her well & hard to the extent of her being resentful of their lessons during the odd occasion but now, to test those honed skills… an intimidating prospect. He would be discontented if they lost, she was certain, while she would combat the mortification for having not been on par with his expectations. ~’*’~ She lifted her gaze to behold the morning sun light up the yards in a pale, mellow glow that threw shadows onto hard soil. Verdant floras and the sleek ivory tower were the only vibrant colours patent against the general blandness of surroundings that was regarded through her hooded eyes. Brown eyes shrouded deep in obscure maudlin contemplation though there really wasn’t much to be considered, should Carla ever decide to be truthful with herself. It was best the event come to pass promptly so as to allow more time for the memory to be coated in grime; at least she hoped it to be so. She hardly dared to risk herself to speculate on the likelihood of a victory just yet. ~’*’~ A forbidding mass of logs rose before her as she stepped cautiously towards her mentor, eyes shifting slightly to note the few others that littered the grounds. None too many present as witnesses; thank the Light. Carla lifted a hand halfway to still the apprehension that was wrecking havoc within her but paused a terrible moment before it came to settle on her middle. A red flush coloured her pale cheeks when the others turned their impassive face towards her, observing her walk towards them, scrutinising. She was the last to arrive, oddly enough. Suddenly, the brisk morning air felt too cold & compressed and the land too open & steep; far too vulnerable for suitable defence. ~’*’~ Winters past, she had stumbled in to train for the right to protect yet never had the notion of such omnipresent danger being applicable to herself occurred, until now. She had abandoned the abode of her past for what she had deemed far loftier & appropriate, eagerness crowding her thoughts until all other specks of doubt were compressed thoroughly. Those early days she had managed to endure by virtue of her eagerness to prove her worth, her steely character carrying her through many unbearable days. But she had shifted through mentors with an abandonment that frightened her witless at times; to wake up another day and wonder whether her instructor remained the same person, or had they reckoned her too fickle & weak for their time? Too many times had it occurred in the past to the extent that she no longer dared attach herself to one mentor for fear of discovering one day that they, too, had abandoned her to yet another. Left alone. Cut off. Deemed worthless. And so it was that her whittled determination wilted away… ~’*’~ Such dark uncertainties as they were Carla kept shuttered safely in the back of her mind, as she bowed her head meekly to hide any emotions that managed to escape. A sere leaf, crushed with its brown veins protruding by its side; she concentrated on that as the greetings slipped out from her, soft and respectable. She traced its translucent membranes studious with her eyes, noting how fragile its connections were, how it held itself together by a thread. A gentle wind would suffice to shatter its attachments, or perhaps a feet; it hardly mattered. Her world swirled to a standstill as she heard the words being spoken, words that would carry such momentous consequences. Thump! It starts now. Carla Sades Tower Trainee Mentee to Con Stavros Ooc: My apologies for the delay. Posted: 08 Feb 2006 01:12 am "You're late" These days it was rare if Con smiled, yet there was a hint of one as he looked to his twin sister who was approaching with the ropes. Mia was going to act as their marshall for the day, so as to ensure things were fair. Catching the ropes thrown to him, they were a foot long in length with each end in a noose. Slipping his right hand through the noose, he tightened it before moving onto the ankle rope. Looking up to see Mia collecting the remaining lathes, she was putting them on the ground of the other side of the wall. Once they'd made it over, they'd be able to take their lathes up, so as not to impede their climb further. Turning to his student, Con laid his free hand on her shoulder as he spoke. "Remember, unity of movement. Lead off with your left, and I'll match your pace. At the wall, we scale at the same pace, everything in the same motion. As long as we maintain that, everything flows from there." Clapping Carla on the shoulder, Con turned towards the wall, his knees bent and leaning forward, ready to start when Mia called out for them to begin. Even if they didn't win, they were certainly going to make Rosheen and Cado earn their victory every step of the way. Con Stavros Commander of the Tower Guard OOC: Rightio, best way to unfold this... Rosh you take us to starting off and reaching the wall, Cado you get us halfway up, Halvie you get us over? Dunno, should do it though Posted: 09 Feb 2006 06:54 pm OOC: Sounds good to me IC: Rosheen only had a moment or two alone with Moridin before the race would start. And even that was stretching the definition of alone a bit far, as Con could hear every word she said. That was the one thing she didn’t want, as he would be a part of their competition during this race. She didn’t have high hopes of winning this, as she had only known the trainee she was working with for a few weeks, and they hadn’t done any serious training together, aside from a few runs. It was too soon. “The sooner we get this over with, the better.†She muttered under her breath. “What’s your sword hand?†she asked, embarrassed that she had to ask. Still, it would be even worse if she didn’t ask. She imagined her trainee being defenceless because she had picked the wrong hand. Moridin kept his voice low as he answered. By the time Rosheen was ready to tie them together, Carla also appeared. Rosheen greeted her briefly, and wondered if she looked as tense as Carla did. The trainee/mentor pairs were just tied together by their ankles and wrists on one side of their bodies as Mia appeared, ready for them to go. Rosheen leant over to Moridin, hoping that Con and Carla wouldn’t be able to hear. “Just take moderately sized steps. We’re of equal size, so it should work in our advantage. Start with our tied foot, and then with our untied foot.†And then there was no more time for instructions, as Mia called for them to get in their places. As Rosheen had expected, the first few steps went fairly well, considering the fact that they’d never ran with someone tied to their ankle and wrist. Then things got worse. Even though Moridin had her height, his strides were slightly longer. Rosheen silently cursed the male arrogance in him that wanted to get to the wall before Con and Carla did, and wanted to reach it by sheer force. “Steady.†She said, barely unclenching her teeth enough to make herself heard. Con and Carla had just found a way to work together better even though they had a size difference to deal with. Even though they had stumbled slightly at the end. Rosheen and Moridin arrived at the wall just a few paces ahead of their competition. As Rosheen looked up she realised that climbing the wall would be harder than she thought. Posted: Sun Feb 19, 2006 6:17 pm OOC: alrighty then. good ol' weekends and having friends who havn't broken their computers. Yet... IC: “What’s your sword hand?†Moridin looked up and noticed Rosheen had walked over to where he was. Carla and her mentor Con were nearly ready to begin and he realized he must look stupid standing there doing nothing. Quickly though he looked over the course once more and ran his eyes over the log wall. Alone the wall would have been scaled easily as the grooves were easily large enough to provide a decent grip. But, attached to another person... "My right hand." he replied in as much a hushed tone as she had. It was at this point that someone he hadn't met before came over and began tying the pairs together. He didn't like the idea of being patially immobalized but for the moment it was a necessary evil which had to be over come. “Just take moderately sized steps. We’re of equal size, so it should work in our advantage. Start with our tied foot, and then with our untied foot.†Aknowledging her with a nod of his head he was about to say something but he was interupted by the woman who was governing this exercise. They had no more time to prepare and Moridin knew he would have prefered to stretch a little more before they started but that time had passed. With the sound of a sharp whisel they began. They began well and their steps were fairly sincronized but after a few more Moridin began to feel some resistence against his movment as Rosheen took ever so slightly smaller steps then him. Why do women always have to be all slow and calculated... He thought to himself. But, as he heard her mutter to slow down he realized there was no time for discussion on the matter and paced himself to her. Upon reaching the wall he had an idea to more control their movements. "Tied on one. Free on two." Glancing at Rosheen he saw her nod her head to say she understood. Without timing here they would surely fall. Wasting no time he began. "One" They both moved there tied foot in unison and found a footing on the first log. "Two" Bracing himself he moved his second foot to the log above. "One" Grabbing a higher log with his hands he moved his tied foot once again with Rosheen. "Two" One log higher. "One, two, one, two, one, two..." OOC: Alrighty then. Up to you Carla. ~’*’~ She drew in a sharp breath and took a brief moment to steady herself. The instructions were acknowledged with an imperceptible nod she knew Con could hardly miss; she trusted that he knew her well enough. It was to be hoped that her anxiety would not serve to enhance the confidence of their opponents, both possessing skills as yet unknown to her. Her limbs were stiff with tension and for a long moment, her eyes rested upon the length of rope that was to prove a hindrance during their journey across the wall. The trills of many a creature grew muffled as literally everything faded into obscurity exempting the obstacle that lay before them, waiting. And then they were off. ~’*’~ The first steps taken were done hesitantly and Carla gritted her teeth whenever the other pair seemed to cover the ground at a speedier pace. During those times she would attempt to hurry only to find herself close to stumbling and that would leave her more frustrated than ever. And fretting as to how her mentor regarded her progress thus far, fearful to know how he analyzed her performance. “Unity,†she muttered almost agitatedly, despair giving way at the sight of the pile of logs before them. They were doomed. ~’*’~ “You first,†she gestured slightly towards the front before hastily scrambling forward. It was a painstaking progression that soon commanded all her attention and had her ignoring the advancements of the other pair. Frozen fingers assisted in her getting into position as they climbed, with Carla ever wary of maintaining her balance lest she slipped. And there were such moments when increasing confidence had her rushing forward, recklessly destroying their steady tempo. Those were the times when realisation would hit her with all force, reminding her of her companion and the extra care that had to be taken into consideration. Cursed game! Carla Sades Tower Trainee
  22. *laughs* A poll glorying James? You must be joking. :P
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