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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Myth

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About Myth

  • Birthday 01/01/1
  1. Drak awakened to an empty room and a note on the pillow. Drak, I didn’t want to wake you, but I had duties to attend to and I needed to think. If it pleases you, I would like you to meet me at the front gate of the Fortress at nightfall for dinner. And wear something nice! Zoe Rubbing the sleep out of his eyes and scratching the morning’s stubble on his face, he pondered the mysteries of women. “They are beyond me,” he announced to himself and the walls of the room. Sitting up and stretching as a big yawn interrupted his soliloquy to no one, he swiftly began to sort out his plans for the day. With Zoe occupied, he had work to do that… “What’s this?” Looking down at where his hand was scratching, he noticed a hickey near a rather sensitive area of his body that he couldn’t remember getting. “And when did I get undressed?” “Evil woman!” he declared with a grin. “I’ll get you for this!” Laughing softly to himself, he imagined the many enjoyable ways in which repayment could be met. Pulling on a pair of thin linen sleeping trousers, he stepped out of his room and requested water be heated for a bath. By the time it was ready, his mind had gently nudged thoughts of Zoe to the back and pulled more pressing concerns to the fore. The numbers and figures of business certainly weren’t as pleasing to behold as Zoe’s figure, but he had responsibilities to uphold and work to do. By midday, he had met with his rather invisible servants and sent them out to do various assessments of his dealings in the area, and he had sat down to lunch with the same noble that had thrown the party a few days prior. It was good to see that he was not only “feeling better,” but that he had finally fulfilled his end of the business venture that Drak had entered into with him. Sitting down to lunch with a re-motivated business partner conveniently served two purposes at one time. It filled his belly, and it showed that when things were done properly all was well. Drak had no need to hold grudges. Inviting the business partner’s family to the meal served a third purpose, one that was obviously successful judging by how thirsty his partner was. It would have been crass to threaten a man’s wife and children. However, reminding said man that further cheating of one’s partner would end in a less compassionate response the second time was simply good business. Liars and cheats needed a firm hand, which was why Drak tried to do business with them as seldom as possible. They were simply bad for business. By dark, Drak had managed to finish all his work and even found time to enjoy a ride in the countryside before getting dressed for his rendezvous with Zoe. He dismounted at the front gate of the Fortress of the Children of Light and handed Blue’s reins to a handy hostler. He thoughtfully looked over the guardsmen and the imposing walls of the fortress while he waited for Zoe to arrive, smiling slightly at the thought that he could tear it all down with a thought. More importantly, though, were his thoughts on what Zoe had planned for the evening. He hoped he was dressed appropriately. Dressed in a cardinal red silk shirt, tucked into comfortably loose black linen trousers with sharp creases, and clasped with a black leather belt with a silver belt buckle, his black leather boots peeked out from under his trousers, he was dressed comfortably but in finer attire than all but the wealthiest merchants could afford. He also wore a black linen jacket made of hundreds of tiny pleats with a red rose that matched his shirt in the lapel, a black flat-brimmed hat with a cardinal feather tucked into one side to offset all the black, and his sword was slung low on his left hip, with his sword belt over the belt holding his pants. He was uncertain whether or not it was allowed to wear it inside the Fortress, but he could always take it off. Standing casually with his thumbs tucked behind his belt buckle, he waited for Zoe to show up.
  2. Drak stepped back, then back again, and yet again. Before long, the Captain had backed him up at least ten paces. While the young Dreadlord was working as hard as he ever had, Captain Bobby seemed to be the epitome of relaxed composure. While Drak was swinging his katana wildly, his motions over-exaggerated by his nervous tension, the more experienced Captain was almost motionless. His only movement at all was the small balanced steps of a skilled swordsman and the subtle, yet swift, flicking of the wrist that held his blade. The touching of steel on steel punctuated the otherwise normal early morning sounds of ship life like some discordant wind chime as Drak constantly strove to catch up to the pace his teacher set. Only when his mentor’s blade once again rapped his body, this time a stinging slap across his shin, did the pieces of the puzzle shift in the young channeler’s mind like a blacksmith’s puzzle. ]I have gone about this all wrong, Drak thought in the emptiness of the Void. I am waiting to see what he does and trying to react, rather than forcing him to react to me. He is merely toying with me, like a cat with a mouse. If he hadn’t been safely wrapped in the emotionless of the Void, this notion would have embarrassed the tall Tairen immensely. As things were however, the Captain’s latest lesson simply prompted Drak to recall an earlier one. I am no mouse. I am the wolf at the door in winter. The thought, as distant as it was with the Void shielding him from emotion, lent a new perspective to the young swordsman. With the mental breakthrough, he saw what the Captain had been doing. Herding me toward a corner that would be impossible to escape, like a sheep to slaughter. But I am no sheep. Subtly, almost imperceptibly at first, Drak changed tactic. Instead of retreating straight back to get away from the Captain’s attack, as he had been doing, Drak stepped slightly to the side. A smile might have flashed across the Captain’s face at the change, or it might not have, it was hard to tell, but Drak suspected the Captain immediately understood the tactical change. But regardless, within moments Drak had managed to lead their duel into the open area amidships, away from the corner he had almost marched himself into. Thus far, Drak had been content to merely try and avoid Captain Bobby’s attacks, though at the cost of bruised knuckles, a bruised shin, and very bruised ego at his own lack of composure. But no longer. Drak deflected one of the probing semi-thrusts of the Captain’s blade with Low Wind Rising and rather than retreating as he had so many other times already, instead stepped forward with a quick combination of The Swallow Takes Flight followed by The Swallow Rides the Air, a thrust of his own then a short swiping motion that placed the flat of his blade against the Captain’s neck. Stepping back swiftly, Drak truly smiled for the first time since the Captain had begun this lesson. “That’s one for me. So that still leaves you ahead, 2-1.” Captain Bobby’s smile this time was quite obvious, and Drak had to admit to himself that it was about time he had shown some of what he’d learned. This time, it was Drak who re-initiated the action, though he had learned not to be too aggressive. The Captain was quick, and much more experienced, and too much aggressiveness would leave Drak vulnerable to counter-attack. This time, the two men moved as one, their blades whistling through the air like barely heard promises of vengeance. Each time the metal touched, it was a gentle caress, an odd counterpoint to the deadliness of its meaning. Now that Drak wasn’t holding himself back, the Captain’s swordplay became much more intense. And for the time being the pupil was holding up his end of the bargain. Their feet moved across the deck of The Merry Pauper seemingly in time to some unheard drummer, and then back again. First one man pressed the advantage, until his attack was foiled and countered, then the other. Like something out of a gleeman’s tale, the two swordsmen fought up stairs, atop boxes and barrels, and even at times used the ship’s rigging to either cleverly escape a trap or to spring one. Safely wrapped in the void, Drak was distanced from whatever fatigue his body felt, but the hours of toil he’d put into since boarding the vessel were revealed now. Despite the passing minutes of the fevered sparring, the lean muscles of his body still moved fluidly and with quickness and strength enough to give lie to the sweat that poured from his body. Each man landed strikes to his opponent, with the Captain maintaining an edge. But the student was showing that his teacher’s efforts had been well received. Only vaguely noticed in the back of Drak’s mind was the sun’s climb into the sky and the crew’s climb o various vantage points, as they watched the scene play out in this floating universe amidst the waves.
  3. Drak smiled at the eager young channeler. With sweat pouring from his face, and smeared with ash and dirt, he looked like some sort of weird mud man. It was enough to put a big grin on his face. “Sereth, I think you’ve done enough for one day. Something you should remember is that using the Power taxes your body as surely as swinging a blacksmith’s hammer or carrying logs on your back. As a warning, you should also know that the more tired you become, the more likely bad things will happen.” Drak paused for a few moments to let the words sink in before continuing. “When you are tired, as you noticed I’m sure, holding weaves becomes much more difficult. It’s also very easy for you to lose control of your hold on saidin. “That. Is. Bad.” Staring intently into Sereth’s eyes, Drak spoke emphatically, “Very bad.” After Sereth gave a painful-looking, nervous swallow, the blue-eyed Tairen continued. “That could mean nothing more than losing your grip on saidin. Or it could mean burning yourself out so you can never feel channel again. Or it could even mean blowing yourself up. So if you feel like gambling with your life, feel free to wear yourself out and try to channel. Just do me a favor, and let me know ahead of time so I can make plans to be elsewhere.” Smiling to take the sting out of his words, Drak stood up and offered a hand to his pupil. “Come. Starting tomorrow, you will do your own cooking or not, depending on how well you learn. But tonight, we can still get you one more good meal and maybe visit a bit. Not everyone here is crazy,” he said with a chuckle that Sereth echoed. “Yet,” Drak added with a wink. A bit of humor made the madness of the world seem less oppressive.
  4. Drak sat casually in his chair at the head of the table and drummed his fingers on the tabletop, thoughtfully considering the man’s response. “You are a man of discretion. I can appreciate that.” The hint of a smile might have flashed across the mercenary’s lips. Or not. Either way, the feeling of tension in the room eased considerably. Taking up his wine glass, the blue-eyed Tairen addressed his supplicant before taking a sip. “In addition to other things, I am a businessman. And sometimes I require certain… jobs to be done that require discretion. You will learn everything that is necessary in time, but for now I want to learn more about you. Tell me, and there is no need to name names, about some of these works you’ve handled. If you please,” he added politely with a slight nod of his head. This time, there was no doubt about the small smile on the seeming-mercenary’s face, one of openness and civility. It was like a wolf smiling. The man at the opposite end of the table began, haltingly at first but then picking up steam, telling of various accidents he called them, that he had heard about. He repeatedly mentioned that “It could have happened to anyone, milord,” at the recounting of a man shooting himself in the throat with a crossbow. Or of a man who somehow tripped in the forest and impaled himself on his own spear. Or of a woman who seemingly choked on a bone that had strangely found its way into vegetable soup. “It could happen to anyone, of course,” Drak echoed, and the regular-looking fellow seemed to gain confidence in his position here in the room. Easing his collar with a finger, he no longer had sweat beading on his forehead, as his nervousness eased. Drak didn’t ask for names, only locations and times of the accidents. It would be enough. After the average-looking man had listed several seemingly random, if decidedly fatal, accidents that could have happened to anyone, milord, Drak waved toward the two other men in the room who silently, but quickly, left. With their sudden departure, the room became silent again, but for the ticking of the clock over the mantelpiece. Letting the silence draw out for a bit before speaking, Drak finally broke it with an explanation. “My two men will be… checking your references, you might say. They will re-join us as soon as they complete their verification. But that may take several days or even weeks. Have you eaten? No? Well, we need to change that. And your throat sounds dry from all that talking. Here, have some wine while I see about getting you something to eat.” Sliding the bottle of wine that he had been pouring for himself across the table, Drak stood and walked toward the door. “Oh, by the way,” he said, pausing just before he exited. “You may call me Drak.” After he had requested an extra plate to be brought in, he returned to his seat. “What do you wish to be called? And do you have any questions for me? Mrs. Adlin is a tremendous cook, just so you know.” Drak steepled his fingers and waited.
  5. Drak watched as his pupil struggled through the exercise, forming each of the elements in turn to some sort of effect. He seemed to struggle the most with Water for some reason, but that was not uncommon. His weave of spirit was interesting. A little clumsy and ineffective, but he had a good start on weaving a shield. "Ignoring the heat is a trick we teach when you reach Dedicated rank. Think of it as an incentive to progress quickly." Drak grinned. He would probably end up teaching him the trick in a week or so, but he would work extra hard during that week. "Good work on each of your weaves there. Your spirit weave was interesting. It didn't do anything at all really, but that's mostly because you still lack the skill to complete the weave. If you sharpen the edge and weave it tighter, you form the base for what we call a shielding. With it, you can prevent someone from seizing the Source. It's a useful skill, but a little beyond your abilities just yet." Drak turned away from Sereth and looked at the Black Tower grounds around them. "This lesson is mostly over. I'll show you a few more things you can practice with on your own time, but how quickly your strength develops depends largely on you. You will have many chores around here, assigned by any of the Asha'man, and maybe even some Dedicateds. Unless you are specifically told otherwise, you are to perform all of them with the power. From cooking your own food, to hauling water. All of it with Saidin. Understood?" Using Earth and Air, Drak brought a large stone out of the ground and placed it between them. "This is a weave you will find yourself using almost every day. Lifting things with Air can be difficult, but it's generally the easiest way to do things." Drak showed Sereth how to wrap weaves around the stone and lift. "This exercise will help develop your strength." Using the same weave again, Drak pulled a small bag which had been laying a short ways away over to him. Retrieving a small bundle of sticks from the bag, he continued. "This will help teach you control. It's a simple matter to light a fire, but keeping it small is sometimes a problem for new channelers. What I want you to do with these is practice weaving tiny flames on the ends. Doing one at a time is simple enough, but I want you to practice with several at a time. Many tiny weaves at once to light just the ends of the sticks. It's harder than it sounds, trust me." He tossed the bundle to the soldier. "Once you have a sufficient amount of strength and control, you'll be taught more complex weaves. But until then, you’ll be doing your own cooking and cleaning in addition to your other lessons, so it’s best to get control of the simpler uses of the Power as quickly as you can. Eating un-cooked food gets old real quick." OOC: Officially you only need one more response for this thread to count for you, but we can extend it a bit if you want. Keep things interesting.
  6. Drak said nothing as Zoe told her tale. He listened intently, and watched her face as she recounted the sorrow that had befallen her family. It was heart wrenching. When she finished, he stood and moved over to sit next to her on the bed. He said nary a word, just sat there sharing her pain. Long moments passed before she slipped her arms around one of his and leaned her head on his shoulder. Then she began to weep, the tears coming from a well of hurt that she had long fought to fill in. He could understand very well what she felt like, but sympathetic words wouldn’t make things better. So he said nothing. Instead, he just wrapped his arms around her protectively and gently rubbed her hair while she cried. Zoe was strong enough to handle it, but his being there for her would hopefully provide some comfort. The room was silent but for the soft sounds of her weeping, and he sat there even as the hours passed and the room grew dark, until she finally surrendered to the rigors of the day and fell asleep in his arms. He carefully eased her under the covers, and lit a fire to keep the room warm, then pulled up a chair and set it next to the bed. Tonight, he would watch over her and be ready if she woke. Nightmares could be dreadful. He was still sitting there, waiting in case she needed him, when the sun rose, though sometime in the night fatigue had defeated him. He was sound asleep, his sheathed sword lying across his lap and his hand holding one of hers when she woke up.
  7. OOC: this post is short, and it sucks. but i was stuck a bit, and i thought you could get things rolling. at least, that is my hope. 8) Releasing the Void, Drak grounded his sword point and looked at the Captain. He is right, the young Dreadlord thought to himself. Not about the Void, but about being nervous. I DO need to loosen up. He has taught me well, and I am making a fool out of not only myself, but of him too. I either give it my all, or it’s not worth doing. Coming to the obvious conclusion seemed to focus his mind. Like a wolf that had picked out which elk to stalk, he resumed the Void. Drak saluted his mentor and Captain before speaking, the lack of emotions in the Void making his voice sound cold, but the Captain had more than earned his respect. “Let us begin again, shall we. Your terms are more than fair, and I won’t let you down this time.” A simple nod from the Captain said all that needed to be said, and the second round of the duel began with a blur.
  8. Riding into Baerlon, Drak scanned the town. Like a wolf looking for sheep and the wolfhounds that guard them. Unlike many men, overconfidence had been stripped from his ego like a thorn from one’s finger. It was painful, but necessary, and had been replaced by much more meaningful notions. Captain Bobby had done his job well. Sitting casually on his sorrel mare, her hooves slopping through the muddy paths that passed for roads in this backwater civilization, his piercing blue eyes never stopped searching. A hunter who knew what it felt like to be hunted. Word had reached him in Four Kings only days after the ring and letter had been shown, but he had taken his time coming to this out-of-the-way locale. And he had done it with a purpose. Three weeks was plenty of time to let this new applicant reveal the real kind of man he was. That was essential, because Drak was very selective of the men he took in his service. The requirements of the job meant they had to be just so. Letting the man wait was just the first test of many. As he meandered through the nearly empty streets, the cold and damp keeping most folks indoors unless something demanded going out, he noticed the lack of any sign that trouble awaited. His men knew their business, and would have left one of their many signals if something were out of sorts. They were good at their job, his fellows. All the same, he kept a keen pair of cold, blue eyes watching for trouble. Overconfidence had foiled many a plan. He pulled up in front of The Dancing Man and dismounted. With one last look around revealing no threats, he strode through the double swinging doors, the back of his left hand pushing the door open. In places such as this, it paid to be careful. The young vagabond paused just inside the doorway. His eyes swept the well-lit, fairly crowded room, noting the subtle all-clear signal of the two nondescript fellows, though without pausing. Spying the short, fat man tending the bar, the tall Tairen walked over, spurs clinking softly. Leaning casually on the bar, he spoke softly to the innkeeper. “Where is he, Bartrum?” Bartrum turned to the voice and gasped aloud. “Milord!” The exclamation seemed completely out of place considering Drak was appeared to be an out-of-work mercenary. It was his favorite guise when he didn’t want to draw too much attention to himself. His clothing was faded and somewhat threadbare, the chainmail he wore showing through in patches. His steel helm now sitting on the bar’s surface, as well as his boots, bracers, and gloves were all well made but scuffed and worn from use. The three-day growth of stubble on his face, and the slightly sweat-dampened hair that hung just past his collar certainly did nothing to earn the innkeeper’s respectful deference. But looks were often deceiving. His pudgy hands rapidly dry washing themselves, Bartrum seemed on the verge of bowing until Drak gave him a disgusted look. The motion seemed to remind Bartrum to lower his voice as well, for he now spoke in just more than a whisper. “Er, your room is ready sir, and I’ll have a man out right away to take care of your horse,” a constant, sort of almost-bow caused the portly man’s jowls to wobble like a large vat of jelly. “The inn is yours, sir.” Waving away the innkeeper’s words like they were mildly annoying flies, Drak reiterated, “Where is he, Bartrum? You know I dislike repeating myself.” “Er, who, milord?” The answer pleasing Drak more than the innkeeper could have imagined. He’s not drawn attention to himself. That’s a VERY good sign, Drak thought to himself. “Oh, yes!” Bartrum remembered, keeping his voice pitched low enough for no one else to overhear it. “The man who showed your ring and letter. He is upstairs, milord. He keeps to himself, he does. I’d hardly know him to look at him, even with him being here these three weeks and all.” Nodding distractedly, but not before flashing Bartrum a warm smile, Drak said, “I’ll be using your private dining room, if that’s okay.” “O-of course, milord.” “Thank you. And if it wouldn’t be too much trouble, would you have your lovely wife make me one of her delicious meals? She’s the best cook in these parts, I imagine, and my stomach seems to think I’m already dead.” Grinning brightly at the fat man’s obvious pleasure, Drak continued. “Oh, and send for that fellow. Will you, please? I’ll be waiting for him.” Not waiting for Bartrum’s hastily voiced assent, Drak walked casually to the private dining room in the back of the inn, sitting at the head of its lone table and propping his still-sheathed sword against a table leg. The two average-looking men followed at a discrete distance before taking seats just inside the doorway of the room, barely noticeable in the light of the room’s four candles. Drak was sipping on heated wine when the applicant entered, but his meal hadn’t yet arrived. Motioning for the fellow to take a seat, he spoke casually. “So, what brings me for this visit? Please, tell me what makes you worthy of my attention.” At the conclusion of his voice and before the newcomer spoke, the two other men in the room shifted in their chairs slightly to better observe the interaction. It pays to be careful, Drak admitted to himself.
  9. Drak didn’t break eye contact. Rather, he looked intently into Zoe’s face, as if trying to see behind her eyes at what caused this sudden uncertainty. The poise and effusive self-confidence that had drawn him to her had fallen away like flower petals in a drought. She was no longer the Whitecloak soldier, but a frightened, vulnerable woman. Softening his expression, he nodded, though reluctantly. He would answer her questions. And the best part was, he didn’t have to lie. “I don’t really like talking about it, to be honest. Killing isn’t something I take pleasure in. I prefer to use this,” he began, tapping his head, “Rather than that,” he continued, pointing at the sword propped against the wall. “But if my using a sword troubles you, I will tell you of it.” “I guess it began in Tear, where I was born…” As they sat there on the bed, only feet separating them but seemingly worlds apart, he recounted life as a boy. He was the third son, and as such was never worthy of the attention the first two received. He was left to fend for himself. As it was highly unlikely that any inheritance that his father managed to leave behind would go to him, he wasn’t important enough to worry over. “As a boy, I quickly noticed that I was good with my hands. I picked up skills quickly. And, not to be vain, I learned things quicker than other folks, as well. I was blessed in both body and mind. But being a third son, I had limited outlets for my energy.” He went on to tell her how he’d begun working with horses, and before long learned enough to get a job with a horse trader. Before his fifteenth nameday, no less. His father was more than happy for him to get out from underfoot. “One less mouth to feed, you know,” Drak interjected with a wry chuckle. He went on to explain how, through a bit of skill and a lot of luck, he had quickly moved up the ladder of success. And as young men with a little gold to spend are wont to do, he picked up a sword to try and look important, though he hardly knew enough not to stab himself in the foot. Eventually, he established enough of a reputation to get a job as a guard and horse trainer with a man who sold horses to the military. Armies always needed good mounts and lots of them, and business had been good. At least until a trip to the Borderlands. The horse trader, Manny LeFlure by name, died to a Trolloc’s axe, as had most of the other men. The few that survived managed to stick together. “I still don’t know how I managed to live through that, but it made me realize how important it was to know how to really use a sword. So, I began learning it. First, from anyone who was around, and then with a man who truly knew what he was about. “As time went by, I met a man who was a bit of a rascal, I must admit. He used to say, ‘You can only kill a man once, but you can steal from him time and time again. If you’re clever.’” Laughing at the memory, Drak continued. “I never knew him to steal so much as a pint of ale. He just talked like that. He taught me a lot.” “Since then, it’s been a learning curve as I’ve tried to make something of myself. And I am thankful that using the sword is usually the furthest thing from my mind.” Pausing, he looked quizzically into her eyes as he finished. “So here I am. Would it be improper if I asked the same of you?”
  10. Everything in the lab was perfect. Well, almost everything, Aginor thought to himself with a giggle as he peered around his pristine laboratory. It was like a room made of freshly fallen snow, though without any of the soft comfort that snow often held in people’s minds. No, the laboratory was forbiddingly sterile. Definitely not a place one would find any comfort. It was a place of hard, angular lines, and sharp and ominous devices. Strange flasks bubbled over strange red-hot metal coils on a white table, while on another white table what appeared to be a half-dissected Myrrdraal head lay resting as if he had just lain down for a nap. Another white table held a large number of hard-bound books. Strange burners fed carefully controlled blue flames that heated, in turn, glass tubes so fine nary a bubble could be seen on still another white table. In fact, if one had the presence of mind to look closely, precise increments measured the amount of liquid in tubes all around the room. Though, to be honest, other than the man in the pure white lab coat, none of the room’s visitors were ever in the state of mind to give a lot of attention to the lab’s finer details. Giggling madly, Aginor thought to himself, No, I think they’ve more ‘personal’ things on their minds. The mad scientist strolled around the room, caressing the various instruments with more love than he would ever show another living thing. This room is where he worked his “real” magic. Looking around, he surveyed his carefully controlled, completely immaculate laboratory and smiled like a king looking at his treasury. Finally, he turned to the figure in the middle of the room, to his most precious gem. Rubbing his hands together gleefully, he gamboled about the room, celebrating the fine specimen that he had acquired. “But you are NOT sanitary, no sir. Not even clean! But that is no matter.” Continuing his insane dance around the room, he finally slowed down and approached the central table, “Oh, this will be fun!” he cackled aloud around the cigar in his mouth as he patted the giant, unconscious, nude man. Heavily bound by wrists, ankles, and throat in a spread-eagle, the man obviously wasn’t there of his own volition. “Well, it won’t be fun for you big boy, but don’t feel bad. You’re doing it for SCIENCE!” Giggling more madly still, he looked around for a place to put out his cigar. “Burn me, nobody these days appreciates a good cigar. Now where is my ash tray?!” Looking around the room, and running his hands through his already disheveled hair, he spotted the only likely repository for his lit cigar… the large man’s closest eye. “RAAAAAAAAAAAAGHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!” the man bellowed as the intense pain of the burning brand in his left eye ripped him into consciousness. “Oh!” said Aginor happily. “Are you awake? Then we will begin… this is going to hurt a bit. Well, likely more than just a bit.” Giggling again as he held up a wickedly sharp looking scalpel, Aginor pulled a sanitary mask over his mouth and nose. Isha, bound and filled with impotent rage and terror, screamed again. It was only his second scream of the day, but he would soon lose count.
  11. Cor could tell that she had come to the same conclusion that he’d reached several weeks ago. The Treekillers and the Aiel were just too different to ever reach an accord. Their views of the way things should be were simply incompatible. But she had courage, and she wasn’t giving up simply because of a setback. He admired her for that. “My name is Cor. I am a Stonedog of the Deep Shade sept. May one day we all find peace, Raina noble of Cairhein. But I fear that peace won’t be found until we wake from the dream. And this dream is filled with trouble and strife.” Before he could continue his thoughts on life on this side of the Dragonwall, a Wise One entered the tent. “It is time,” she said. Motioning for the woman to follow her, she turned and ducked out of the tent. Cor took one last chance to speak before his duty was discharged. “If the Light wills it, mayhap we will talk again after the troubles between our people have come to a halt.” Escorting the noble to the Wise Ones’ tent where she would be questioned, Cor left her there and returned to his own tent, pondering the strange twists his life had taken. OOC: I think we should end this here, at least until after the LL timeline plays out. Don’t you? Then, if you want we can do some more inter-cultural roleplay or not, as you choose.
  12. Cor paused to look down at the world beneath him. He wasn’t sure how high he was, but the earth spread out beneath him like the maps these wetlanders were so enamored with. Everything looks so small. I wonder if this is what the Creator sees when he looks down on us? the young Aiel warrior thought to himself. From his vantage point, the lovely Dilora Fashelle looked like some sort of strange bug. It was odd, but he felt like an eagle himself now that he was perched in the sky. It was a truly breathtaking sensation. Ever since he had begun climbing as a young boy, he had enjoyed the challenge. The possibility of death only made it more exhilarating. His brief respite allowed him to reflect back on when old Mund had first taught him to climb. There are many keys to being successful when it comes to rock climbing, Cor. But the most important is patience. Otherwise you make mistakes, and mistakes are fatal. Second, you must carefully plot your course. If you don’t have a good plan, you’ll end up with no way to get higher and no way back down. Obviously, this is very, very bad. The final two keys are to always keep three points of pressure on the rock face and to not extend your hands over your head. Keeping three points on the rock face at all times makes falling a lot less likely. Though it isn’t always possible to do this, it’s best if you can. Not reaching above your head keeps the blood flowing to your hands better, and it keeps your arms from getting fatigued as fast. Most new climbers try to pull themselves up with their arms, but this is a mistake. Experienced climbers let their legs do most of the work. Coming back to the present, Cor managed the final few feet of the ascent, his body dripping sweat like the rain he’d never seen before crossing the Dragonwall, and his muscles reveling in the feel of achievement. Pulling himself up to a comfortable position, he peered into the eagles’ nest, his eyes finding the soft, vibrant bodies he had been seeking. There were four chicks, three females and a male, judging by their size, with the male being smaller. Gently cupping a female cloud eagle chick in his hands, he carefully placed it into the pouch slung over his shoulder then quickly scanned the skies to catch sight of its parents. It wouldn’t be pleasant for one of them to return while he was near the nest. Thanking the Creator for his good fortune, he began his descent. As Mund had taught him, going down was far harder than coming up.
  13. Drak sat on his bed, legs crossed beneath him, and his left elbow propped on his knee. His chin rested on his left hand, as he peered studiously at the Aes Sedai before him. She was quite a woman, this one, and not just because of the barely-contained, succulent flesh under the gown she was almost-not-wearing. No, what lay behind her eyes was what captivated him, though her body was certainly worth enjoying on its own merits. He needed to keep his wits about him, lest she became the hunter instead of the prey. Tucking his hair back behind his ear, he considered his next move. She has taken the bait and has made the connection with the Black Tower. I knew she was clever, he thought to himself. Inwardly pleased at the talents of his target, he quickly assessed the situation. She still doesn’t know that I know about her time there, and for now that won’t change. Time to change the subject, I think. “Life has a way of taking strange turns, sometimes, as the Wheel weaves us into the pattern. Like your visit, for example. But all the same, I think I can manage to stay up as long as necessary,” the double entendre hinting at sexual escapades to come. Grinning devilishly as he purposefully eyed her body, he continued, “The Black Tower? There are as many rumors about that place as there are tongues to speak them. I think our time tonight can be better spent than discussing those poor fools, don’t you?” Reaching out slowly but confidently with his right hand, Drak brushed the hair from in front of her face. In one continuous motion, he brushed his fingertips on down her cheek, before cupping her chin gently in between his thumb and forefinger and running his thumb across her lips. With a mischievous wink, he sat back for a moment, then channeled. A small blade of Air sliced up the front of her dress, like a hunter would gut a rabbit. Her dress fell off her like a forgotten dream.
  14. Drak smirked as Sereth tried to put himself out, the fire leaving his clothes scorched and singed like a piece of old parchment. The fires in the surrounding area weren’t that humorous, however. With a thought, the Tairen gathered all the fire into himself with the Power, leaving the brush singed but no longer smoking or even warm to the touch. He didn’t put the fires out, though. He formed them into a ball of flame and suspended it in the air, hanging it over Sereth’s head. When his pupil finally finished doing his fire dance of panic, flapping his arms like a chicken trying to fly, and finally noticed the ball of pure Fire over his head, Drak spoke again. “That was foolish. Now, try again and keep things small. You’ve got to crawl before you walk, else you’ll burn yourself to ash.” At his last word Drak forced the ball of fire in on itself, smaller and smaller and hotter and hotter, lowering it incrementally towards Sereth’s face, until it became a brilliant white light hotter than any blacksmith’s furnace. He winked it out with a flash just before it did any damage to his student, leaving Sereth’s eyes to blink away the afterglow and his nervous arms to wipe away the nervous sweat that had appeared. “Do I make myself clear?” Grinning to take the sting out of the words, he added, “It pays to be careful.”
  15. Mat laughed at Damon’s antics. The smaller boy seemed to have completely relaxed after yesterday’s freak show escapades. Still, Mat wondered how Trench Coat was doing… he’d heard nothing but nothing regarding the surly loner. Not even whispers about the “lightning” strike. Responding to the Drex’s comments without averting his eyes from his smaller friend’s humorous attempts to show off to the girls, Mat acknowledged that Drex’s hunch had been correct. “Yep, Ms. Bernes,” he said. “A fitting name, too. Cause she is hot! But when I talk to her it gives me the creeps, for some reason. Like she’s trying to see inside my head or something.” Laughing at the absurd notion, Mat added, “That’s not normal, even if she’s a teacher-type. And I guess she just wants to see how I’m adjusting to the new school. Today is just my second day at this academic paradise.” Mat wasn’t about to talk about his dad to a complete stranger. Neither Ms. Bernes nor this guy Drex, even if Mouse seemed to think he was cool. Finally seeing that Damon was finished fooling around with the chicks, Mat started walking toward the cafeteria, with Drex matching pace alongside him. When Damon caught up with them, he added his own “helpful” suggestions. “She is kinda creepy. I have her for the next two weeks. I guess my lack of ‘motivation in the classroom’ has made me her current victim. Hey Mat, if you want I can start crying in my session…maybe she’ll have to spend so much time comforting me that the session will run late and cancel yours for the day.” Laughing at the notion, Mat just shook his head. Damon didn’t have any shame at all! Winking at one of the girls who was looking their way, Mat changed the subject. “Mouse, I think she likes you. But if you’re done tackling girls in the hallway, we can go get something to eat. I bet they’ll even have some cheese for you!” Laughing out loud as Damon voiced his indignant protest, Mat temporarily managed to put the thoughts of his upcoming counseling session out of his mind.
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