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  1. Eb cursed. Crouched at the ready, she kept her eyes fixed on Mehrin's form, rocking at the window. She'd expected him to be taken out the instant he'd crossed there, but somehow the seconds and minutes continued to drag on without retaliation. Her heartbeat pounded in her ears. The surreal sound of shirtsleeve scuffing against wooden sill accompanied muffled moans from the darkfriend as she swung. By the end of her broken arm. Eb gritted her teeth, biting back a new wave of nausea and a stronger string of profanities. The swinging movements intensified. " You won't escape, big man," the woman's threat to Mehrin replayed in her mind. "You can't stop the inevitable." And then, suddenly the words came to life. Eb saw - watched helplessly - as her ex-commander's body jerked violently away from the window. Almost in slow motion, he sank to the floor, blood blooming from a bolt-hole in the flesh of his throat. His eyes were wide, lifeless. Blood and bloody ashes, Mehrin! She snarled, shaking the scenario from her mind. Her hands clenched tight around her knives, choking them at the hilts. What in the Light have you gotten us into? Darkfriends, assassins, dreadlords? The swinging stopped. There was a second of utter silence. A wet and not-so-distant crunch. No calls of alarm, no clatter of footsteps followed. No thwack of crossbow bolts to Mehrin's chest. He leaned out and leered down the alley in both directions, then abruptly shut the window, drew the curtains, sank into a chair. Eb stood, releasing the breath she'd been holding with a sharp hiss. "Wh - " she bit the admonishments off before they even really begun. Mehrin sat in the chair, pale and looking for all the world as if he was about to vomit. She took a step back. He retched and his face contorted, crumpled. Tears began to flood down his cheeks. He gulped at the air, chest heaving, again and again. Eb drew a deep breath and turned her head away, and then back. Her hands squeezed harder on the hilts of her knives. The heartbeat in her ears picked up in tempo. "I -" he choked on the words, looking lost, and Eb felt her mouth go dry, her throat constrict. Mehrin drew deep breath after deep breath. Each one felt to Eb like he was sucking all of the remaining air from the room. Finally, he managed, "Aryik is back. At least we know who we're dealing with." He cleared his throat before continuing, "Go - go back to sleep. I need to think, and the Darkfriends won't dare to make a move against us tonight." Eb stared at him. "Go back to sleep?!" she shoved her knives back into her sleeves to stop herself from throwing one at him. "Go back to sleep? Mehrin-bloody-Mahrvon, you are - " she snapped her mouth shut. She couldn't finish the sentence. Her hands shook, and she didn't know whether it was because of the recent release of the tension they'd held along with her knives, or because the whole world had just turned itself upside down, and she was afraid. She folded them into her armpits. Eyes wide, she looked to the table of abandoned assassin-ware. To the window. The floor. Mehrin's face. "Who," she paused, pushing aside the memories of a name being murmured here and there in hushed tones around the campfires after Mehrin's first disappearance from the Band. "Who in the blasted dark is Aryik?"
  2. *feels ears burning* *watches Tay lob self through air* 😮 Impressive! *crashtacklehuggles all*
  3. @Maera What Tay said - Look, think quick! *Chucks a flask of Bandy your way* And, Dice already has a big head *nods solemnly* Good effort being at book 8! ooohboi yeah, it was a big slog waiting for each one to come out originally... I actually gave up after book 9 and only picked it back up and finished them this year <.< It was much easier being able to go straight on to the next one ( .. <.< don't think I'm gonna make it with these Rubik's cubes!)
  4. Also, HOW can you do rubiks cubes quickly?? Last time I solved one was only by pulling it apart!
  5. Welcome Maera!! Good to see you're finding your way around! ^.^ Where are you up to with the books now?? Oh, and us Aussies DOOO need to stick together, butttt honestly better not to let Dice have all the credit for anything Everrrrr 🤣 *runs*
  6. Emrin grinned to himself, unable to get a word in edgewise for a moment, for all the scout's words were woozy. Oh yes, the crimsonthorn is working full-force now! He snipped the tail of excess thread from the last stitch and shook his head, slightly bemused. Perfect timing, clearly. "Assassin I am not, friend, but..." he trailed off, studying what he could see of the knives on the scout's belt. "Perhaps handling something bigger than a scalpel is something I should learn to do, sooner rather than later!" He stroked his beard for a moment and then began to clean away the herbs and instruments left on his tray. "Mostly common moss, this one," he lifted both the original jar and the smooth-bowl containing the remnants of the packing mixture so that Arkin could study both versions of the plant he referenced. "Almost any moss - dry or fresh - will do the job. Many jobs, really - including most of mine!" the medic chuckled. "Like this it'll prevent infection, reduce inflammation, encourage faster healing. Light willing. Does the same in a dry powder mixed with honey. Can be used as a bandage also - many times more absorbent than any lordling guard's uniform, too!" Emrin winked and gave the bloody pile of clothes on the floor a pointed nod. "Speaking of which!" the medic stood and walked to the cupboard of spare clothes, sifting through to find a shirt and breeches that appeared about Arkin"size. "Sorry to disappoint, but I'm afraid it looks like we don't have any spares to match your previous attire! You'll just have to make do with these!" He gave a dramatic flourish and placed the finds on the stool by the bed and pushed that within easy reach of Arkin. "It'll take about another half an hour until for you to be able to think more clearly again, dress and continue on with your merry way, I should think." Emrin eyed the scout over, checking for any changes in his overall condition. Heart rate still up some. Colour a bit improved. Still alert. Good. "Don't suppose you'd be willing to teach me how to actually use those overgrown scalpels of yours some time? I tell you what, when you're recovered, and if you agree and are interested, I'll take you out and show you some more useful plants in the field in exchange for some of your skills?"
  7. *Drools at the pretty blade* *Throws an unspillable shot to Tay* *Wonders if Jea/Dice will have a trial* *Procures a blindfold, just in case*
  8. You've come to the right place then ^.^ A lot of DM is like a big ol' family, I find. Quite a few of us have traveled to meet each other IRL too, and for the super keen, there are the Jordan Con meets in the States each year too. I haven't been (?yet) but I've heard good things! ... Maybe there should be an Aussie version some time 🤔 @dicetosser1 , @The Bard Babe ?
  9. Hi Maera/April, Welcome to DM! I love your intro story and the question. Brave of you to buy the whole series at once, I'm so glad you're enjoying them! I started EotW in 1998, my first year of high school, at the recommendation of my best friend. We both came from a small country town (Aussies too - you're not the only one!!/ there's a few of us here 🙂 ) but we had been sent to different schools. WoT led us to DM, and we roleplayed characters here for years and years, all through school and beyond until uni/life caught up with us and dragged us away. The series, and Dragonmount, gave us shared and common experiences (waiting for that next book to come out; buying it, omg!!!!!) even though we weren't together, and escapism into a different world. DM definitely shaped my experiences and expectations of online forums and communities and my writing. I have had breaks away here and there, but have always been drawn back to the community and roleplay. I hope you enjoy it just as much! The series itself took me years to complete. I finished Book 9 and life got crazy before the release of Book 10. I only finished the series this year, by audiobook!! But it changed me mostly by giving me great characters to love, and curse-words to use ... "Oh, Light!", "blasted x!" are common utterances for me, and like you, "The Wheel wills..." is a common thought 🤣. @SinisterDeath I love your intro story too- can feel the horror you must've felt in that class!!!! And it's awesome to hear that the flame & the void are helpful for tics!
  10. *Pours the tea and runs around excitedly collecting all the kitties and bundling them into Taya's lap* ^.^
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