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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Sherper

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About Sherper

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    Der'Ansoen of the Tuathan'an
  • Birthday 10/03/1995

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    What do you mean drinking is not a socially acceptable hobby?

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  1. It could have been the insult about his mother; or the implication that his family made a tradition of inbreeding; it may even have been the comment about his small pecker. Come to think of it, it was probably the small pecker thing which set the guy off. Light knows why, men were always so sensitive about that particular subject. Whatever the case, there was now a hand being swung at her – a clumsy haymaker, sure, but a declaration of aggression nonetheless. This happened every time Ellisha Falwain came out to drink away her sorrows. She had even taken precautions to not attract attention to herself from members of the opposite sex. Wearing beige trousers and a forester’s shirt and jerkin, she looked much more like a mercenary sell-sword than an eligible young lady. Yet at some point in the night, some loud-mouthed no-body was going to have downed enough liquid courage to start looking for something to savour his other base desires. She always shot these types down, and Ellisha has never known or cared to honey her rejections. “You lightskirted chit! I’ll have you know your place!” The man’s face was a mutton red, and she could practically see the veins popping out of his sockets from the corner of her eye. Maybe she pushed this one a little too far. He lashed out at her with an open palm, going for what appears to be a slap to the face. With an ease that bordered on laziness, she cut across the man’s attack with her left hand – driving the force from the blow – and performed an upper cut against the lower jaw in almost the same instance. She wasn’t sure if anyone else heard the crunch as her fist made impact, but no one could argue against its effectiveness. The man pitched backwards two feet off the air and landed head first a moment later onto the cold wooden floor. He didn’t get back up – the one blow was enough to completely knock him out. Feeling mildly smug at having dealt with the problem in such record time she had her glass of imported Caemlyn Wine half-way to her lips before she caught the look on the bar keeper’s face. “Wha’?” she snarled at the man in the clipped Caemlyn dialect she had adopted for the night. “Som’thin’ else the matta’?” The balding bar-keep turned to the side and pointed. Ellisha followed the contour of his finger and found the source of the problem. “Oh, Mother’s milk in a cup” she moaned, muttering darkly under her breath as she massaged the bridge of her nose. The guy she had just beaten up had friends, and they didn’t look too pleased. *** The air was driven from her lungs as her back crashed against the door, spilling wood chips in all directions. She landed on her side and rolled several meters out of the Inn before coming to a stop near the feet of a passing pedestrian. The woman seemed mildly surprised at first, bending over to examine the fallen figure. Ellisha rolled onto her back and when she saw the other woman looking down at her, she gave a toothy grin. The expression on the woman’s face turned from mild concern to fear almost in an instant, and she let out an ear-splitting scream. “Blood and Ashes, wha–” before Ellisha could get another word out however, the other had run off – still screaming – into the night. “Rude,” Ellisha thought moodily to herself as she hobbled unsteadily to her feet. What was that all about? And was that blood she tasted on her lips? She probed the inside lining of her mouth and when her hand came back covered in crimson, realisation dawned and she couldn’t help but let out a wry chuckle. The woman probably thought she was some sort of carnivorous demon from the blood staining her front teeth. She didn’t have long to muse about this fact however, as at that moment her remaining assailant (she had immobilised the other three back in the Inn), pushed his way through what remained of the front door. He was a heavily muscled man with thick shoulders and an even thicker head. Unlike the other four who she had used her superior training with the warders to gain an unfair advantage over, this one actually knew what he was doing. She rolled her shoulders and did a quick inventory to make sure everything else was still working. Satisfied, she wiped the blood from her mouth with one sleave and turned to face the man. “Nice throwing arm you’ve got there,” she barked, mirroring her opponent’s movements as he began circling her. “Who did you inherit it from? Your Trolloc mother, or your boar for a father?” The man’s expression didn’t change. He could have given stones a lesson on not emoting. Two seconds later he began his attack, levelling a tackle aimed at her midriff. She anticipated this move and sidestepped. What she didn’t anticipate however was that he would switch momentum at the last second and clip her with the edge of his shoulder. This made her tumble backwards, momentarily off-balance. She gasped, more from surprise at being caught rather than any real pain the blow had caused. The man took the opportunity and had both his meaty palms clasped around her throat before she could recover. “Ah, fish-guts,” she choked, and could feel the man’s hands settle around her. It soon became increasingly difficult to breath. She clawed at her windpipes, thrashed about wildly, striking the man’s arms and shoulders but ultimately to no avail. The man slowly squeezed . For the briefest of moments, she panicked and contemplated reaching for Saidar to save herself. She squashed that thought almost as soon as it came up. There was no way she could get away with using the One-Power on a citizen of Tar Valon out in the open like this. Instead, she stopped struggling for a second and withdrew into the void. She felt her heartbeat slowly decrease, her world no longer a sea of stars and dancing colours, but only containing her, the void and the flame. Slowly and deliberately, she calmed down and drew the shiv she had hidden in her pant pocket. As soon as she had stopped struggling, the man finally showed some emotion by the way of a self-satisfied smile. Evidently, he thought he finally had her; which made it all the more gratifying when she jammed the shiv into his side and repeatedly kicked him in the groin. The two of them dropped together, and Ellisha rolled away to gain herself some distance from her attacker as well as regain some lost oxygen. “Hey, what’s going on here?” Ellisha had just enough vision in between the violent coughing fits to see the blurry outline of four figures running from the inn on the opposite side of the one she had been thrown out from a moment earlier. To her utter amazement, her assailant, the ox-beast of a man, was getting up already. He climbed to his feet and turned to face her. This time there was nothing but murder in his eyes as he drew the shiv embedded in his waist and began slowly walking towards her. “Oh crap. This isn’t good”. Despite her best efforts it appears she will have to use Saidar after-all. This was going to get messy; maybe she could say she was out gathering intelligence for the Blues or something if her boss, Asyndara Sedai, decides to question her about tonight’s events. She would need to find a way to word it so that it wasn’t an outright lie. Before she could fully embrace Saidar, a figure came out and stood in between her and her attacker. “That’s close enough,” the figure said. It was a young voice but one that sounded confident and assured in his own capabilities. “Put the knife down, walk away and no one needs get hurt”. Despite the straight-backed stance her unexpected defender had adopted, she couldn’t help but notice he himself wasn’t armed with anything, whilst the other one still had her shiv. Her attacker didn’t slow down or hesitate, rather when he reached to within two paces of the younger man, he lunged with the shiv. Ellisha watched as her defender cut down on the knife arm, making sure the blade was pointing away from his body before gripping the hand that held the weapon and twisting the joints. The other man let out a pained grunt and let go of the knife. In a movement that was too fast for Ellisha’s half dazed eyes to track, the young man somehow managed to reverse the knife grip and delivered a sharp tap against the assailant’s temple using the butt of the weapon. The larger man dropped like a sack of potatoes and didn’t make another sound. Her saviour stood over the fallen man for quite a while, probably making sure he wouldn’t get up again, before walking over towards Ellisha. She accepted the hand that was offered to her and climbed unsteadily to her feet with its assistance. “Thanks, kid.” She rasped then cleared her throat. Evidently that choke hold had taken a bigger toll on her windpipes than she had at first anticipated. “Really glad you came and help me out. Was for sure, that ugly ba – Wait, WHY ARE YOU CUFFING ME?” she roared, as soon as she realised what the cold metallic sensation on her arm was. The kid, he mustn’t have been more than twenty by her estimates, gave her a deadpan expression as he closed the cuffs around her wrist. “I saw you drive a shiv into that other guy. Whatever happened here tonight, you’re going to have to answer some questions down at the station.” It was only then that Ellisha noticed the uniformed tabard the boy was wearing. “Oh, blood and bloody ashes” she cursed as the man secured the other end of the cuffs to his own wrist. It was just her luck that of all the good Samaritans out in Tar Valon tonight, the one that would rescue her just also happened to be a Tower Guard. She was going to have to start working on her alibi. ~ Sherper OCC: I would wait until we all get back to the Tower before doing the interrogation. We’ll see how we go from there.
  2. Heck yeah I am! I plan to slowly activate my old characters one by one, and I have this overall arc planned in my head that will eventually see my Blue roaming the four corners of the world on a grand ol' adventure of murder, intrigue and drinking. I'll be making a planning thread in the next couple of days (when I've straightened out a few minor details), so be sure to post your own wishes and suggestions when that comes up. I'm hella rusty as it has been a few years since I've greased my creative noggin, but hopefully I can get back into the groove of things very soon.
  3. Hey, thanks Jagen! I forgot a lot of things since it really has been a few years (forum-wise and WoT both. Ellisha I remember was a fresh blue who only just got her shawl, so 30-40?. And hello to you to Arie, I would most certainly be interested in doing some planning. Ellisha is my only WT character but she's pretty flexible (just like her morals) so she can be put in pretty much any situation. I can start a planning thread in the next few days and just see who else is up for a bit of literary tomfoolery.
  4. Hi! Returning old fart here. Not sure how many of you remember me or my character. Name's Sherper and I wrote a Blue Aes Sedai called Ellisha. Having sorted out my life issues and gotten it back on track (for the most part), I've decided to return to the boards and continue writing her story for a bit. So whats been happening here. It all looks so familiar yet so alien at the same time. Stuff has moved, and things have happened, I'm sure, since I've been away. Anyone feel like planning a story and in the process catch me up on what's been happening? *grin*
  5. Ellisha gave the other woman a small smile and an understanding nod. It was worth a shot anyway, and besides, the Green hadn’t outright refused her proposal. “If ever comes a time when you need my… ‘Particular set of talents,’ then just leave a message with the owner. I'll know where to find you.” She stood from her seat, her Southside dock accent back on her tongue. “And don’t try and go snooping about for me, you hear? You won’t get very far.” She took one last pull from her cup, finishing the last drops then settling it back down on the table. “Pleasure making acquaintance, Aes Sedai.” And with that, Margerit Cornsworth left the bar and disappeared into the Tar Valon night. ~ Ellisha Falwein Aes Sedai of the Blue Ajah. OOC: No sweats mate. Hope we get to continue this character arc in the near future. Had quite a bit of fun. Good luck with continuing the thread.
  6. Fawn’s mouth quirked in a lightning brief smile as he watched the girl run towards the last rope swing. The night’s sleep had done wonders to her performance and Fawn could see the deliberate care to which the girl took in not falling. She would make a good Infantryman one day, he thought idly as he watched her progress. Solid, dependable and stubbornly infallible: those were the traits of the humble footsloggers that made up the centrelines of the Band. With a sufficient amount of practise and yelling to mould her into shape, Fang could become one of the best. If only the Scouts hadn’t already called first dibs. Shame. The girl let out a long whoop as she cleared the last obstacle, pumping her fists in the air and bouncing up and down excitedly in exultation. Fawn flashed another of his half-smiles, then determining it would be best to leave her alone to her triumphs without some surly sergeant spoiling the mood, he extricated himself from the tree and began the long walk back to the Citadel. It would be another three hours before the sun hit its zenith, which was plenty of time to get washed and maybe even grab a bite to eat. *** “Alright you maggots, fun’s over.” He barked to the general chagrin of the eighth company, many of whom had already made preparations for yet another lazy afternoon. “Get your weapons ready, full packs on, we parade in five.” Groans and mutterings immediately followed the set of orders, and Fawn watched as he hefted his halberd and waited for the hundred and twenty or so men and women to retrieve their gear and line up into formation. In the busy throng of sword belts, boots and weapons, he could pick out Fang as she straightened up from her tent. She stifled a yawn, one hand cupping her mouth whilst the other rubbed at sleep deprived eyes. Even though she didn’t know it, Fawn had been forced to show her favouritism the previous night. Everyone else in the company had dug their own holes each time they failed, but Fang had gotten away with only digging some of hers. Nobody saw or knew, of course, and Fawn believed in his troops achieving their level best, which meant giving them a hand or two once in a while. But he was also a strict disciplinarian at heart. “Private,” he barked after the entire company had formed a parade ground line, a hundred and twenty shoulders wide. “Step forward and present your weapon.” Fawn’s face was a blank mask devoid of any emotions as he watched Fang draw her short sword. There was rust on the tip of the weapon. He had expected there to be rust. “There’s rust on this weapon, private,” he said, stating the obvious to everyone. “Why, is there rust on your weapon?” “No excuse, Sarge.” Fang’s face was passive, though Fawn detected an undercurrent of loathing emanating from the young woman. The answer had been brisk, and as toneless as she could make it. A smart move. She was attempting to deprive Fawn of ammunition to grill her. “Drop your pack and weapons. Get down on the ground and give me fifty. Then, when I’m next back and if I still see rust on this weapon, you can give me another fifty. Does that sound fair to you, Private?” It wasn’t, and everyone knew it, but a smart infantryman learnt to grin through the beatings. “Sir, yes sir.” Three bags full, sir, Fawn thought in the back of his mind as Fang gave him a crisp salute. “I’m your sergeant, I work for a living. The real ‘Sir’s’ coming right now.” And sure enough, Lieutenant Crawsby choose at that moment to appear riding on his large grey stallion from the direction of the officer’s tents. Fawn grounded the butt of his halberd to the floor which emanated a muffled thump as he did so. “Eighth company all present and accounted for, sir!” Crawsby nodded, dismounting and walked up and down the line a few times, inspecting the uniforms, checking weapons and speaking once in a while to the odd soldier about light knows what. After a few more minutes of this charade, Crawsby turned and walked back towards Fawn who still stood at attention. “Report Sergeant.” “Sir,” Fawn affirmed the order, snapping in his best parade ground accent. “Eighth company has performed as you ordered, sir. Full complement now able to complete the Obstacle Course.” Crawsby nodded, a hint of surprise showing through on his face. “Is that so, Sergeant?” He turned and addressed the line of soldiers. “Well done men! It appears you’ve met my expectations.” He returned his eyes to look at Fawn. “But tell me truthfully, Fawn. How many of them do you reckon could do it again? In one try?” Fawn hesitated a moment before answering. “Unit will take seventy-five percent casualties, sir.” “Ah! Good. Good. Then let’s see it.” Fawn nodded, waving the line into a marching column. *** When they reached the Course, Fawn was feeling worried. He caught Crawsby looking towards him a few times, a malicious grin plastered across the man’s face which quickly disappeared as soon as he saw Fawn looking in his direction. Crawsby was up to something, and Fawn didn’t think he would like it when he found out. A few minutes later, he was proven entirely correct. “Company, halt!” Fawn barked as they filed into the clearing that housed the Course. Crawsby trotted up behind him and remained mounted, a magnanimous expression on his face. “Company may begin the course,” he said, issuing the final instructions. But when Fawn was half way to repeating the order, the Lieutenant suddenly interrupted him. “The Company, includes you too sergeant.” Ah crap. “Sir?” he raised an eyebrow, and was forced to look up at the Lieutenant. “I don’t understand sir.” He understood perfectly; the Lieutenant was punishing him for something he did. Unlike the people in the rank and file, Fawn’s position as a Noncom meant he wasn’t as easily punishable. His expression was neutral, but inside he was snarling. “You are to lead the men through the course,” the lieutenant further explained, the sneer coming back as he dropped his voice to a whisper. “Oh, and for the record Sergeant. I know you weren’t sharpening the tools of your trade with that wine. Now, give the orders and let’s go.” “Sir.” Fawn snapped his boots and about turned. “Company, fall out!” “Oh, and if anyone falls from the course. You can expect latrine duty for the next week!” Sergeant Edward Fawn hasn’t had to do latrine duty for nearly ten years. Neither, for that matter, did he have to do the obstacle course. It was going to take all the field experience he’s got to compensate for his old and aged bones. ~ Edward Fawn Sergeant of the Infantry. Band of the Red Hand.
  7. Yeeeeelllppp! Splash! Flop! That was the collection of sounds a recruit makes when he or she loses their balance and falls into one of the course’s various mud pits. Fawn had quickly grown acquainted with that sound as the day wore on. Leaning against a tall oak tree, protected from the majority of the mid-afternoon sun, he watched as another recruit – this one a tall blonde girl – do what was essentially a mid-air cartwheel as she too fell victim. He shook his head, raised his mug of Kaffe to his lips then took a sip. He frowned at the weak unsatisfactory taste, looked up towards the position of the sun then judged it was probably late enough in the day to start drinking again. He then fished out a small hip flask which he poured into the mug. Splash! Yet another recruit bites the dust. Fawn takes a sip from of his beverage. It had become a continuous cycle. Out of the hundred and twenty or so members of the company, only a quarter or so had managed to complete the course by noon of that day. The rest, all of them already muddied from head to toe, were either digging holes with their shovels or climbing back on the course for another attempt. By late afternoon, that number had shrunk again until only thirty were left. Fawn watched as another recruit, fists pumping triumphantly into the air, crawled out and instantly ran back towards the direction of the citadel. A few of the remaining recruits shot resentful look towards the man, but he was already too far gone and tired to care what the others thought of him. The corner of Fawn’s eyes flickered as he turned to see one of the remaining recruits scramble towards the beginning of the course for another try. He had taken notice of this specific recruit for she seemed to be having the most trouble out of the entire company. She was on her twelfth attempt, though no one was really counting. She navigated the rotating floors, blocked with the length of her elbows the incoming mechanised staves, then did a forward roll into a long tunnel which she had to crawl through. But when it came time for the rope swings, she missed a jump and came hurtling down to the ground once again. Fawn sighed as the girl let out a frustrated chocking sound, extraditing her mud, rage and voicing her unfairness to the world. Fawn saw her running up towards the beginning of the course again, evidently planning to backlog the digging portion of her exercise until later, and once again falling helplessly once she reached the rope jump. Fawn decided he would go and have dinner then, the sun having already dipped below the horizon. When he came back an hour later, now carrying an oil lantern, he saw everyone had left except for the girl who was still trying the rope swings. She let out another moan of despair as she failed to grab hold and toppled to the floor once more. Fawn’s eyes were hooded as he saw her climb instantly back up again, and once again fail hopelessly to the floor. She huddled curled herself into a tight ball then. On the floor, her arms wrapped around her locked knees and after a moment Fawn realised that the girl was crying. The girl – Fang, that was her name he finally remembered, made no sounds as she laid down on the floor, huddled up in a fettle position. Standing there with his lantern, Fawn suddenly felt like he was somehow intruding on something deeply personal. She must not have seen him, for she made no move as the large burly Sergeant tiptoed silently away. When he came back an hour later, he saw she had fallen asleep, still curled up in fettle position. He sighed. He had to keep reminding himself not to get in the habit of doing that. It made him sound like a tired old man sometimes. Fawn walked next to the recruit, looking at the girl’s smooth yet mud caked face, then fished around his pack for a blanket. Inside he produced his old campaign roll which he draped carefully around Fang’s body to cover her from the night’s chill. Then, when that was done, he pulled the shovel from the mud bank nearby then walked towards an empty patch of ground. *** Fang awoke the next morning to find someone had draped a rough blanket around her. She felt surprised, though admittedly still feeling groggy from sleep deprivation, she didn't think too much on the subject. She yawned, then looking around at her surroundings, noticed the fourteen freshly dug holes, each roughly the size of her head. ~ Edward Fawn Sergeant of the Infantry, Band of the Red Hand.
  8. Trouble always came wearing heels, and in one late September afternoon as the autumn winds blew against the sides of his tent, it came sauntering in unannounced. Sergeant Edward Fawn had been about to subject himself to an hour of frankly undeserved drinking, the confiscated wine already half way to his lips, when the tent flaps opened. Fawn was the company sergeant, a non-commissioned officer and the only person who could enter the establishment in this way – apart from bloody Calder himself… “Sergeant!” the boyish lieutenant with the astonishingly feminine face gasped as he straightened up and saw what Fawn was holding in his hand. “Is that alcohol I see?” Ah crap, the weathered sergeant thought and struggled desperately to come up with some lame excuse. Fawn was technically still supposed to be on duty. “Yes sir,” he replied with only half a plan worked out in his head. “Just sharpening the tools of my trade sir.” He unsheathed his arming sword, a one handed weapon which he used as a backup to his halberd. “It’s an old technique which my gran used to teach me,” he continued, now committed to the lie. “Soak the whetstone in wine she used to say, until she passed away of course, god bless her soul,” he pulled out a small rectangular block of hardened sand then inwardly winced as he poured the richly textured liquid onto it. “Then sharpen it and reapply every few minutes,” he began whisking away at the edges. “Yes, yes, very good sergeant.” The lieutenant evidently uncomfortable with the sound, said as he began pacing around the tent’s single supporting beam. The ends of his riding boots, which to Fawn’s eyes resembled heels, clicked as he circled round and round the same spot. “I’ll be blunt with you Sergeant,” lieutenant Crawsby said after a few moments of awkward silence as he continued his pacing. “The state of this company is a disgrace.” “An excellent observation sir,” he quickly replied, “and my precise sentiments.” In reality, Fawn didn’t have a single bloody clue what the man was on about. The officer was young, twenty-one and with the air of someone who had something to prove. “In fact,” he continued “I was just telling Donald the other day that exact same thing. But err…” he needed to broch this carefully “Just which part of the company are you referring to sir?” Crawsby, his confidence bolstered by Fawn’s words beamed as he began pressing home his charge. “The part sergeant, where every company apart from ours can complete the obstacle course!” The sides of Fawn’s face twitched, “Ah! Yes, of course sir.” He lie, giving a smile that never touched his eyes. The only reason every other company could do it, he thought gloomily, is because they have seasoned veterans. Those men could avoid the various obstacles put in their way by using their extensive campaign experiences. Half of Fawn’s company on the other hand was comprised of newly initiated recruits. He wondered how he was going to relay this information to the over enthusiastic lieutenant, whose purpose here today Fawn was beginning to induce. “It’s none of the lads and girls fault. They just need a bit more training and some more experience out in the field,” Fawn said, cleaning the last of the wine residue away as he sheathed his sword. “I’ll be sure to have them doing extra drills and patrols by the end of the week.” He said, satisfied that would get the lieutenant off his back for now and leave the rest of them to doing some proper soldiering. Crawsby though had other ideas on his mind. “Actually Sergeant,” the lieutenant said, a silky smile touching the corner of his lips. “I want it done by the end of the week.” *** Fawn spit a stream of tabac juice from the corner of his mouth and glared across at the front ranks who returned his gaze with dread in their eyes. Fawn understood their fears, he had ordered the entire company into parade column, packs and weapons scrubbed for inspection, and even the new recruits could see where Fawn had taken them. It was the morning following his confrontation with the lieutenant and Fawn wondered again, as he had done throughout the entirety of the previous night, how he was ever going to achieve the man’s ridiculous demands in under three days. “Eighth company, -tion!” he barked, and was pleased to see every last person click their shoes and stand straight in rigid obedience to his call. He was proud of the progress this company had made. More than half of them had been civilians; thieves, rogues, outlaws and runaway princesses just three weeks prior, but now they paraded as well as any company in the Band. He never showed any of this pride on his face however, and the hundred and twenty or so men and women stood in silence as their sergeant strode up and down along the line, picking out small imperfection in this man’s pack or that woman’s spear. On the whole however, he had to admit they had done an admirable job. And Fawn, being ultimately a soft hearted person, would have wanted nothing else in the world but to commend them on their efforts. Instead, he was going to have to force them to hate him. “Company. At ease!” the soon to be soldiers relaxed their postures somewhat, though Fawn could still see from the quick sideways glances and rigid postures that they were on the whole still nervous. “As many of you are well aware,” he began, both hands clasped behind his back as he strode nonchalantly up and down the line, making sure every single person in the company could see and hear him. “Eighth company is the only company in our Division who has yet to pass the obstacle course.” He paused for emphasis. “As such, the lieutenant and I have devised a plan to knuckle all of you down to some proper practising.” He stopped his pacing and looked up, as he knew every person in the ranks would look, towards the colossal tangle of ropes, pullies and counterweights that made up of the dread obstacle course. It almost spanned the entire length of one of the citadel’s walls, a hundred metres long and thirty in width, it was a truly remarkable piece of creation. Fawn still remembered keenly the first time he had been forced to tackle the course, and he inwardly chuckled at the memory. The experience had given him a slight phobia of cushioned staves for the next few months, and he knew he wasn’t the only one. Since those faithful years however, the course had been constantly improved and renovated to fit the latest horrors the engineers could think of. Trip wires, spinning wheels and moving floors, not to mention the many pit falls made up the dangers of the obstacle course and Fawn knew it took more than strength or agility alone to navigate safely amongst that massive tangle of the hurt and shame. A small windmill which was also connected in the same building to a paddle pump gave the moving parts their drive and Fawn walked over and pulled a lever to turn the entire contraption on. They all knew what was coming, but Fawn had one last piece of news he needed to share with them before this was all over. He turned his head back to looking towards the men of the eighth company, and waited as the inevitable question was asked. “What are we doing with these, sarge?” the man gestured towards the entrenching tools Fawn had instructed them all to carry before the short march. “Why, I’m so glad you asked Timulton!” Fawn barked and gestured for them to pull out the wide bladed shovel out from underneath their packs. “These, gentlemen and ladies,” he gave them all a wicked smile, “are your tickets to light duty this afternoon.” He gestured to Timulton who handed Fawn his shovel. “Every time you fall over or into a pit on the course,” he explained, “I want you to dig a hole large enough to bury your head in. Whether you actually do it, perhaps out of shame, is completely up to you.” A round of nervous laughter rippled along the ranks as the eighth company fidgeted and fumbled with their tools. “You are to keep running the course until you complete it, and I don’t care if I have to keep you here all night. You may dig the holes whenever you like, I do expect them to be done by the end.” Fawn knew everyone’s head size was different, which was how he planned to balance out the work and not give an advantage to the larger men. Yet even still, the average time it would take them to dig a hole that size was around an hour a piece. They could all do the maths, and a few grins popped up as the more confident members of the group realised the sergeant was telling them the truths. If they could finish the course within a reasonable number of tries they could have nearly the entire afternoon to themselves to do as they’d like. “You have what’s in your pack to sustain you. The water pump is over there if you need it,” finally, he gestured towards the course. “If there are no more questions, you may begin the run. Good luck,” he added the last part in, for he knew most of them would probably need it. ~ Edward Fawn Sergeant of the Band of the Red Hand. Infantry Division.
  9. The other woman stayed silent for a long moment, puffs of ringed smoke escaping from the tip of her pipe as her green emerald eyes searched Ellisha for… something… a recollection, perhaps. The Green gave Ellisha a piercing gaze, which conveyed her suspicions as loudly as if she’d shouted them across the table. Yet only Ellisha’s experience as Aes Sedai allowed her to detect these subtle signs, for her companion’s expressions barely changed at all during the silence. Janine was older than Ellisha, though inexperienced eyes wouldn’t have placed the two woman apart by more than ten years. Aes Sedais stopped aging after a while, their faces becoming smooth and free from wrinkles: a side-effect from years of channelling with Saidar. Ellisha was already in her 30s, but was still considered a child by Aes Sedai standards, her face yet to bear the ageless mask. She kept up her own smile. She had no intention of being recognised here as Ellisha of the Blue instead of Margerit, trusting both in her ability to apply the makeup as well as weave the shield that prevented the other woman from seeing the tell-tale glow that surrounded her body.” She thought she had met Janine before; her own Ajah, the Blue, and Janine’s Green were on cordial relations with one another and thus knew the other’s sisters quite well. Janine returned the smile after a moment, a much more comely expression replacing the stony look of weariness that had been plastered across the other woman’s face. Edently, Ellisha had passed some sort of test for the woman seemed to visibly relax two notches and even offered her the bottle of wine that had been sitting on the table. Ellisha had a split second of indecision when she contemplated whether or not to pour the wine. It could be poisoned, she thought, but quickly shook aside that line of thought for it was she who had actively sought out the other woman and for no other reason than to find civilised company after a night of cussing and blaspheming with a crowd of dockworkers. There was thus no good reason to suspect Janine was working for the Black Ajah, or at least, she hoped that was good enough deduction. She knew very little of Janine. Apart from the few occasions when she had sparred with the other woman on the warder’s practise yard, the two of them had only met each other in passing. Her bruises, long having healed, nevertheless throbbed unconsciously and reminded her the Green was a mean fighter. She didn’t fail to notice the lack of “Sedai” at the end of Janine’s introduction. Most Aes Sedai flaunted their title and took every opportunity to remind everyone around them of the difference in social station. Janine’s absent title said something about the woman; that and the manner to which she talked – a plain straight forward voice that neither flowered nor cheapened her words – gave the impression of a person who was confident with who she was, and doesn’t give a rat’s rear hide what others thought of her. She found herself respecting that aspect of the woman, though she made sure nothing of her inner observations made it onto her features. Janine glanced at the table from where Ellisha had just made her exit. “So, any luck at the table? Those dock hands look a bit disappointed.” The woman was obviously trying to make conversation with her, perhaps as a way of making up for the awkward silence earlier. “Gambling has never been one of vices, sad to say.” “Neither is it mine,” she replied, a hint of mischief evident in the grin she gave Janine. She took out three bone cubed dice from a pocket in her skirt and placed it on the table. “Loaded,” she explained holding up one and showing it to Janine. “One the bastards back there was using one of these until I caught on.” She quickly made the dice disappear from underneath her sleeves using a trick she had picked up from a street magician. Many woman in the towerrelied too much on their ability to channel the One Power. They would look down upon simple things like pickpocketing, sleight of hand, or just plain old fist fighting as too low a practise for their station. Ellisha disagreed, she choose to rebel against common practise, and it had paid off by saving her life on more than one occasion. A thought suddenly struck her: an idea to make this an even more productive night than it already was. “Besides,” she continued, draining the remaining contents of the cup in one gulp. “I wasn’t there to win silver.” One of the Green’s eyebrows rose; an unspoken question for her. “I win by making people talk,” she went on. “And believe me, people do talk around me.” The rings of smoke paused for a moment then resumed again. “Talk?” the Green asked, tapping the pipe residue onto the table. “Talk.” Ellisha agreed, and smiled. She had the Green’s undivided attention now. “My trade does not only involve fish and nets, but with people and information.” She dropped the south dock accent suddenly and instead adopted a clipped silky tone of a Cairhien aristocrat. Learning the accents of the different continents was another of the skills that she doubted many women in the Tower possessed. “I’m sure a lady of your position could always use someone with my particular skills.” She wasn’t sure where she was going with this exactly. From her perspective, Janine on first impression seemed an amiable enough sort of person. She certainly wouldn’t have offered her service if she had turned out to be like any of the other stuck up woman in the Tower. Ellisha simply couldn’t stand the sight of most of them. If the Green agreed, she thought, then she was going to get something out of this arrangement too, for information always carried both ways and the more closely linked she was with the cobweb, the more likely she was to picking up something about the Black Ajah. “Well. What do you say, Janine Sedai?” ~ Ellisha Falwein Aes Sedai of the Blue Ajah
  10. Four dice rattled in the cup Tom was holding by his palm. “Bet you all two silvers I’ll get it this time,” he said, holding up the contraption to the other occupants of the table. He waved it back and forth, shaking it as if he were a knight and the cup was his battle axe. “Come on! Are there no takers?” he bellowed, but the others stayed silent. Most of them had already spent their nightly allowance, and those who were still conscious – that being about half the number that had started the night – preserved enough common sense not to spend the rest. Largely out of fear for what the wife would do if they went home drunk and penniless. The night was drawing to a close for this particular crowd Ellisha sensed, but it might as well end with another round of drinks. “I’ll do it, you flaming bastard,” she stood. Her words were purposefully slurred so as to give the impression she was heavily influenced by the drink. “I’m all out of silver though,” she went on, showing them all her empty purse. This was a lie, of course, for Ellisha Sedai of the Blue Ajah kept a second pouch full of fat Tar Valon Marks hidden beneath the folds of her skirt. Yet, although it was a lie in essence, it was a lie in which an Aes Sedai could tell without breaking her oaths. To speak no word that is not true. She was out of silver, true, but that did not mean she was out of money. Everyone would assume this was the case when she showed them her empty money pouch, but people could assume whatever the hell they want. She’d grown good at playing these word games these past few years. Ever since attaining the shawl, such methods had become second nature to her. She hardly even noticed when she was doing them anymore. Tom gave her a savage grin, whose effects were somewhat spoilt when his eyes went crosswise into each other. He promptly shook himself awake. “How about you give O’ Tom here a kiss,” his grin widened, and a dangerous glint in his eyes conveyed he didn’t just plan to stop there. Someone on the other end of the table let out a low whistle. “If you lose, that is.” “Give me your best then,” she grinned back, un-phased by the implied provocation. “Show me what a pig eyed goat-kisser like you could do.” Tom shook the cup, once, twice, three times before letting go. The gathered on-lookers tensed as the four bone cubes tumbled onto the table, spinning and skittering before finally coming to rest. Unseen by any of them, a faint glow suddenly surrounded Ellisha. It was faint; so faint that if one were not watching the young woman with close narrowed eyes they would have missed it completely. It lasted for the merest of seconds, and the final dice, which had been spinning peculiarly on its axis, fell loudly down and pronounced the final die roll. A One. Tom groaned loudly as Ellisha scooped up the two silver pennies. All four dies had come up the same result: all of them ones. “I don’t bloody believe it,” Tom huffed, sitting down and glaring at his now empty mug of ale. “I swear Margie you’ve got the ill cursed luck of those women in the Tower. Ellisha suppressed a sudden snicker that threatened to bubble over throat, so she instead coughed then shrugged in reply. “What can I say Tom, guess you’ll just have to shove that prick of yours somewhere else tonight.” This brought a general rumble of amusement from the other occupants. She briefly contemplated what would have happened if she had allowed the game to be lost as she called over the barkeep for another round of drinks, paying with the last of the game’s silver. Tom, she observed, was not a particularly bad looking man and it had certainly been some time since she’d let herself indulge in life’s other pleasures. Her thoughts were suddenly interrupted when a woman appeared through one of the many entrances which the bar sported. The woman wore simple linens. A cloak with its hood down over a simple green dress whose fabric looks as if it had been washed many times. It wasn’t shabby and it wasn’t prim either, yet the young woman – who looked to be somewhere near Ellisha’s own age – was on the whole rather unremarkable. So if it hadn’t been two words which had caught the Blue’s ear, Ellisha wouldn’t have given her a second glance.“Janine Sedai.” So another Aes Sedai coming to visit the bar. She thought woollenly, finishing the last dregs of her mug. I wonder what business she has here tonight. It wasn’t terribly uncommon to see other women of the Tower visiting this unnamed bar, for the establishment saw both men and women from all stations of society. Ellisha had gained entrance through rather unorthodox means. She often went out to Tar Valon under differing names; always in the hopes of collecting information and establishing contacts with people from both up high and down low. One of these outings had ended with her head-butting a burly dockworker, and to keep a long story short, events led her to being invited as a permanent patron to the bar. She observed the other Aes Sedai closely. The woman sat in a relaxed posture, taking out a pipe and satchel containing what was undoubtedly tobacco and lighting it with a slow flick of her hand. Her face was nearly as unremarkable as her dress, and say for a pair of bright emerald eyes, there seemed nothing else worth describing about the woman. After a minute or two, Ellisha decided the Aes Sedai was simply out to relax for the night. She looked around at her scattering of companions, all of whom were in varying degrees of unconsciousness by now, and decided she too should probably call it a day’s work and throw in the towel. It had been a productive evening and she thought she had gathered enough intelligence to work with for a while at least. She made her excuses with the others just as the next round of drinks were being brought up then made her way to the table where the other woman sat. “This seat taken?” she pointed to an empty chair opposite the Aes Sedai, then dropped herself down into it before the other woman could even reply. Janine Sedai raised an eyebrow as she watched Ellisha slouch down in her seat, puffs of smoke blowing out of the end of her pipe in a steady rhythmic pattern like that of a blacksmith’s billow, but otherwise said nothing. “Fine evening to be about,” Ellisha said into the lingering silence, smiling whilst maintaining her Southside dock accent which her current persona – Margerit – used. She had dyed her woodland brown hair a dark temporary black, and though the dye washes off easily with water, that in combination with the small dabs of foundation she had applied before coming here had changed Ellisha Sedai of the Blue Ajah to Margerit Cornsworth: fisherman’s daughter and patron to the unnamed bar. “What’s your name? I’m known as Margerit, though my friends call me Margie.” ~ Ellisha Falwein Aes Sedai of the Blue Ajah.
  11. Best of luck! Was there something else you needed me to do?
  12. Great, she thought in the privacy of her own head as she attempted to keep her smile from going crooked. The woman obviously wasn’t taking her very seriously; a fact made certain by the sudden change of topic and the Green’s divided attention between her and the Novice who had appeared bearing wine. “I trust you are finding comfort this evening?” Loraine Sedai smiled as she tilted her gaze to be staring into Ellisha’s again. She returned the smile though couldn’t help but put a sardonic tinge into her own inner response. “Certainly, there is much comfort to be found here tonight.” Especially when I can picture my hands closing around your wind pipes. Before any further response could be produced from the Green, another figure appeared wearing a dress of deep sea blue. The woman nodded to both of them in turn, before saying “Thank you Loraine Sedai, for the invitation to the festivities.” Kira Sedai of the Blue Ajah brushed aside a loose strand of hair, the sapphire pendant above her neckline extenuating a modest amount of cleavage. She lingered a moment on Lorraine before turning her attention towards that of Ellisha whose face had turned into ashen stone at the sight of the other woman. “It is wonderful to see you again Sister,” the woman continued, no hint of anger or insincerity evident from reading her mannerism. Ellisha felt the wine glass in her hand begin to crack under the pressure she was exerting upon it before consciously catching herself and relaxing her grip. She took a second to breathe, nodding to Loraine one last time before mumbling a half-hearted excuse for retiring. Never once meeting the other Blue’s eyes. She spun as quickly as dignity would allow, not noticing in time to stop from running into the Novice carrying the wine tray. Red fortified liquid splashed everywhere, crystal glass shattering into a million pieces as they hit the floor. “Idiot girl!” Ellisha growled. The Novice turning a new shade of white that matched perfectly the texture of her dress, say for the new red stain marks on her front. “Why don’t you watch where you’re going?” None of the liquid managed to get on her own clothes, though the act of being disrupted mid-walk was enough of a reason for her to feel irritation and even anger at the unfortunate girl. She had half a mind to backhand the little wench, and was only prevented from following through the action by the timely arrival of the other two woman. ~ Ellisha Sedai Aes Sedai of the Blue Ajah.
  13. Ellisha returned the smile, though it came out more as a grimace. “I thank you for your concern.” She said, trying to keep her tone even and her face as smooth as possible. “It is… good. To have people that care about you.” She paused, then deciding to say no more, for now. A light breeze was blowing, lifting the sand up until they whirled around the sides of their feet. She met the other woman’s eyes, trying to figure out the thoughts and intentions behind those clear bright spheres. Could she really trust this person? Trust hurts, she knew, and she’d been hurt before. The Aes Sedai seemed sincere in her offer of support, a gesture rare enough in itself, but could she really believe that support wasn’t just another knife in disguise? She was supposed to be alone in this fight, wasn’t she? Never had she considered the prospect of an alley before, or even more ludicrous, someone she could confide her worries to. No… she thought, mentally gritting her teeth. No, I can’t take the risk. “I’ll be down to the hospital ward to check on the Gaiden, and to offer my personal apology.” She had control of her emotions again, and it was easy to maintain a bubble of distance between herself and her expressions. “I hope this incident does not impede us working together in the future, or with that of Gaiden Rekinu. And… thank you, again, for offering to help.” She thought she almost meant that last part as she turned away, headed for the section of the Tower that housed the sick beds. As she walked, she couldn’t help but feel a nagging sense of something unaccomplished. Almost as if it were a missed opportunity of some kind. She sighed, looking up to stare forlornly at the Tower that skied above. Could she be missing something? ~ Ellisha Falwein Aes Sedai of the Blue Ajah
  14. Cocking an eyebrow at “The latest fashion from Cairhien,” Ellisha wondered, for not the first time in her life, what all the women in that light-forbidden-city did all day. Distant and now faded memories of geography lessons as a Novice of the Tower brought those answer all too soon back to the forefront of her mind. Apart from the questionably low neck line the blue silk dress offered, in addition, it had a certain air of flamboyance which sat in contrast with what Ellisha Sedai of the Blue Ajah usually liked in her appearance. Whatever happened to subtle modesty? “This,” she began, eyeing the seamstress who stood with both her hands clasped in front of her. “Is the only one you have available?” The seamstress nodded, bracing herself as if the Aes Sedai would somehow hurt her if given the wrong response. “Yes, Aes Sedai. I’m sorry, but you simply didn’t give me enough time to prepare one just for you. All the other guests ordered weeks in advance.” She continued blurting out as if the torrent of words would somehow forestall whatever Ellisha had planned to evoke upon her as punishment. She sighed, looking towards the ceiling with a look of resignation. Ancestors help me. “I’ll take it.” The other woman seemed momentarily startled by the response, then, seeing a way out being offered to her on a silver platter, she took it without another second’s hesitation. “Why yes, Aes Sedai. Of course, Aes Sedai.” Ellisha sighed again, letting her eyes glaze over and her mind to wander as the woman took out measuring tapes and scales in order to make the necessary adjustments. High Chasaline, she thought gloomily. She’d been certain that Asyandara would find a way to make her pay, though nothing in the world could have prepared her for what that old witch had conjured up this time. High Chasaline. The Twelfth day of Taisham. A time of dancing and celebration. She almost shuddered at the thought of having to do such things as mingle and make necessary small talk, in order to make it through the night. Whatever have I ever done to deserve this? You did beat up a Warder. It took another hour before Ellisha finally made her way out of the seamstress’ shop and towards the Tower, the light blue dress with all its final adjustments made, safely tucked away inside one of her bags. The sun had already fallen below the mountain mark, and night was fast approaching for the city of Tar Valon as she walked its familiar streets. All she had to do was survive the night. She frowned, agitation evident from her expression which she usually kept hidden behind an Aes Sedai’s mask of emotionlessness. She’d survived Novice-hood, then following that, Apprentice-hood; dodged countless assassinations, ambushes and even evaded being captured by the Black Ajah; so why the hell was she so worried about one stupid party? She thought she knew the answer, however. The Warder’s yard had seen a dramatic change since the last time she visited. Instead of the incessant grunting of men bashing each other to pulp with sticks, several long rectangular tables were laid across the sand, their surfaces covered with snow white linen and on top of them, placed endless collections of the Tower’s finest cutlery sets. She eyed the little name plates which indicated the seating arrangement, and give a visible wince as she read the names seated beside hers. Either fate was playing a cruel joke on her to be seated next to Abigale Sedai, a notorious claptrap even among the Yellows, or someone was trying to assassinate her by driving her mentally insane. Not if I can help it. She reached and grabbed her own name plate, but before she could do anything productive with it, she sensed the presence of someone approaching. Born out of necessity, in an environment where stealing pastry from the kitchen required fine-tuned situational awareness, she slipped the note under one of her sleeves, remembering at the last minute that she no longer had sleaves thanks to the ridiculous design of the dress. Hastily crumpling the note and hiding it inside her palm, she turned and directed a fake smile towards the tall blonde who was glided up to her. Her words can’t lie, but her expression and demeanour could do as damn well as they pleased. “Good evening Lorraine Sedai,” she said, eyeing the garb and the peculiar hair style the woman was sporting. “Why, where did you find that dress? You must tell me who your seamstress is,” she added, hoping her last statement would be interpreted as a compliment. She certain wasn’t feeling like giving out any compliments for real, that was for sure. ~Ellisha Falwein Aes Sedai of the Blue Ajah.
  15. Like the eclipse of the sun, the power, died, inside her. She gasped as one second she was filled with the sweet nectar of energy, the pulsating beat of life itself; the next, only a dark deep hollowness remained. Someone wove an air shield around her, pinning her in place, but no longer did she pay any attention to that. Her insides, were empty. For once she felt… cold. With the vengeful impulses that came with holding so much of the One Power having been removed from her, Ellisha began to see herself clearly again, to think clearly again. And only when did she force herself to look up, her eyes momentarily meeting that of the other Blue, did the full implication for what she’d nearly done finally begin to sink in to her mind. Light protect me. I… Black pitiless spheres peered across the clearing at her, studying her with a calculating look. Though the other woman’s face was smooth and without any sign of emotion, Ellisha knew the eyes on a person rarely lied about what they were truly thinking. There was anger there; maybe she even saw Ellisha as an abomination, a disgrace to the Tower. A monster. “Can I trust you to keep control?” the words left her mouth with hardly any tone to it, and it was set in a tight thin line. The expression on her face would have made the frost on an iceberg melt. It was what one might have said to a rabid dog; one who was being punished by being locked in a cage. Ellisha looked down at her feet in shame, unable to meet those hard stern eyes any longer. The accusation in them cut deeper than any knife could have ever done with her flesh. She heard the sound of the sand scrapping against knee and was surprised to hear the Gaiden’s voice speak across to her from the clearing. “Ellisha,” the Warder said, his voice sounding hoarse and laboured despite the remarkable amount of self-control it must have taken to keep it steady. “I commend you for the unexpected moves, though… remember to not drop your knife next time. It needs to stay…” his face contorted into a small grimace, one hand unconsciously moving down to the spot where Ellisha had hit him the most. “It needs to stay on you at all times. Setting it aside carelessly is bound to get you into a situation where it is needed to defend yourself, and you will not have it.” The man paused for a long moment, his large bright eyes watching her face with an intent expression. A single wet streak appeared down the side of her face as she felt her calloused hands grip the side of her wrist, fighting down the urge to shake and completely break down in front of the two. “Ellisha Sedai,” he continued, adding in the honorific this time. “What have I done to shame you so? If I have sullied your honour, just say the word and I will do penance.” His words were gentle and there was no malice there, only concern, as selfless as ever. She felt her control beginning to slip; first she began shaking uncontrollably, her arms barely keeping her body from quavering like a frightened bird through the bonds. Then, the bubble of tears that she’d been withholding back this whole time, finally broke down like a collapsed dam, and with it, the torrent of tears that rolled off the side of her face. “I…I…” she tried to speak, but was hardly able to string more than two words together to form a sentence. What could she say? What was there to say that could have excused her from what she did? What she had almost done? Nothing. “I’m… I’m…” she finally managed. “I’m sorry.” With a wave of her left hand, the weaves used to construct the air shield dissipate around her, as the Blue slowly released her own hold on Saidar. She slowly sank to the ground, and as the last of the air binding her dissipated, allowed herself to crash to the hard even surface on both knees. She held her hands up and cried into them, hoping the two wouldn’t be able to see the pitiful sight she was in. What were they thinking of her at that moment? She didn’t know as she lay crying on the floor. Probably didn’t want to know in any case. Scrambling to both feet, and without another look towards the pair of Warder and Aes Sedai, she ran out and away from the courtyard, out, from the Tower itself. The pair didn’t give her chase, not even a cry for her to stop as she ran out of sight of the two. Even the guards didn’t try and stop her or ask her any questions, though maybe they’d assumed she was just another servant working in the Tower. She wasn’t wearing her shawl, and had on work clothes instead of the customary Blue dress which would have marked her as Aes Sedai. She ran out of the Tower grounds and into the streets of Tar Valon itself. A few pedestrians shot her sympathetic looks as she ran past them, but otherwise left her unmolested. She ran, tear marks flowing freely from both her cheeks. She wanted to hide, to find a corner where the people and the world would forget about her. The insane women who some used to call Aes Sedai. She found the place she was looking for in a dark alleyway off to the side of the high street, where the lights from the sun couldn’t get an angle through the black crevasse in between the city’s roof tops. Slumping down against a dirty soot covered wall, she finally allowed the full extent of her emotions to flow out of her in peace without any restraints. She didn’t remember ever crying that much in her entire life as she did that day; not ever since the night she heard of Aril’s death. That night when the little bits and pieces she had begun to call her life in the Tower, had simply shattered like the shards of a mirror to reveal the lies that were hiding behind them. She realised then, sitting slumped against the walls of that dark dingy alleyway, that she wasn’t as strong as she thought she was. As strong as she needed to be. She had nearly killed an innocent man today; a person of the light who was doing nothing more than trying to help her. She allowed that information to slowly sink in, and would have continued crying curdled up in a ball, her arms wrapped around her legs and her head buried in her filthy trousers, had not a voice interrupted her quiet condemnation of herself. “What is wrong?” the quiet voice sounded awfully close to where she sat in the alleyway. She hadn’t heard anyone approaching, but that would have come as no surprise. She was so engrossed with herself, she barely registered the rumbling of the heavy oxen carts over on the high road. “Go away,” she sniffed, using one hand to attempt a feeble shooing motion towards her unfortunate visitor. Nothing moved or made a sound on the filthy rubble. Wiping her eyes with the corner of her sleeve, she looked up, allowing her eyes a moment to adjust from the tear marks and the brightness of daylight. A young smallish looking boy stood watching her, his large blue eyes wide in an expression of curiosity and worry. “Are you ok?” he said, his accent sounding of southern Andor, just like where had grown up with before she came to the Tower. The boy couldn’t have been more than eight years old, though he still stood a hand or two taller than Ellisha’s seated pose. “What do you want?” she snapped, instantly regretting the vile tone she used to fill her words. The boy blinked, but didn’t react like he should have to a crazy woman sitting on the side of the street. “You see a bit… lost.” Ellisha blinked a few times, both to clear the tears that still welled in her eyes, as well as to stare at the strange boy standing not five feet away from her. Was it her delusional mind or had she seen this person before? The features, though alien at first glance, were oddly familiar in a strange way. She sneezed, the temperature in the alleyway adding to the number of discomforts currently being endured by her body. But when she opened her eyes again, the boy was gone. She looked first left, then right in surprise, trying to see where the boy could have possibly gone but there was no trace. She was almost certain there had been somewhere a moment ago. Maybe you’ve been crazy this whole time and you just didn’t know it. “But are you?” the voice came again and Ellisha jumped into the air in shock only to land back down on the ground again a moment later. Not only was the boy standing where he had originally stood, but it seemed like he was reading Ellisha’s mind. “What. Who are you?” “Do you honestly want to hide yourself behind insanity?” Ellisha blinked once more, for the youngish boy was now the figure of an elderly woman. This time, Ellisha did recognise the figure. “Are you Aes Sedai?” said the woman, her hands hidden behind the sleeves of her light blue dress. “I…” “Are you Aes Sedai.” Mistress Dale repeated, annunciating each words in turn as if they held the most significant importance. “I… am.” Ellisha admitted, finally seeing something in the mist clouds of her jumbled conscious thought. The three oaths still bounded her, and she did uphold the light – be it in her own way. “I… am.” She repeated, be it more firmly this time. Mistress Dale nodded once, before walking away from where she sat. Ellisha watched as she went, feeling oddly numb at the thoughts that now swirled around her head. She was still Aes Sedai. Whatever happened, whatever will happen, nothing could really change that fact now. For better or for worse, she, like the rest of her sisters were bound to the Tower for life. She stood, wiping the dirt from the back of her clothes and with one sweeping motion of her hand, realigned the messy tangle of hair strands back into some semblance of uniformity. Thirty minutes later, she was walking back into the Tower grounds, intending for all the world to find the two people she had encountered this morning. She had used a bit of the One Power to make herself a bit more presentable than before. Her hair was now tied in a simple braid, and the stains from her face had been washed by the use of a water weave after she drew the liquid from a nearby well. She found the other Blue still standing in the courtyard where she’d left them that morning, though the Warder was nowhere to be seen, presumably having gone to the sick bay to heal from his wounds. “Kira Sedai.” Ellisha coughed to draw the Aes Sedai’s attention. She stopped her work with the quarterstaff, leaning the haft on the ground before turning to face her. “I want to apologise again for what I did this morning. I… was not myself at the time.” She looked to the side, avoiding eye contact with the other woman. “There is nothing in the world that could have justified what I did, and I won’t try and make any excuses for myself. Whatever pennant you and Gaiden Rekinu have decided I deserve, I will accept without any hesitation.” ~ Ellisha Falwein Aes Sedai of the Blue Ajah.
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