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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Kura

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  1. OOC: Fixed IC: Dhjorn was pleasantly surprised when he wasn't knifed. He figured that this was about as good of a start as he was like to get. She has children, hmm? Maybe... no no, its best to leave this one alone. He somehow doubted that threatening one who had earned such a title would work out in his favor. As such, he decided to do an unusual thing for his race. More so for himself, and go the direct, honest route. "You are the Shar Mahdi, and I wish to learn from you." His voice was an icy death, emotionless yet still promising a slow and torturous end. Perhaps this once however, it was an empty promise. At least for now. "Teach me to wield these." His daggers appeared with a flourish, "Make me silent enough to creep into an Aiel's den, and all other things that go into the trade we have chosen." With his gaze still low, he sheathed the daggers once again. "I have come a very long way for this Shar Mahdi. Will you train me?"
  2. Darial was not amused. In fact, he felt the icy rage flow up into his chest at the man's impudent speech, and once again he was filled with that chill, deeper than any Saldean winter. He whipped his wrists, knowing that this power would be yet again unleashed. "You will not-" His self righteous scream was cut short with a wince. He felt the power ripped from him. Glaring up, those icy blue eyes still managing to promise death. Despite his size, despite the fact that his power was taken from him. The man returned the stare. Taking a deep breath, Darial thought. Wait... Ardicus had known my name, and he did not seem one that would go through unnecessary trouble... His rage nearly doubled as he realized what had transpired here. "You were trying to trick me." His voice was filled with the wind's of his northland. Low, with an icy bite that bit to the bone. Darial was surrounded by more of these bullies, these arrogant fools who thought him inferior. No! He would get this one as he got the others! No one would ever walk all over him again!
  3. Arcon was busy inspecting his fellow classmates a bit further, getting the feel of the area. He noticed something odd, those hailing from the borderlanders stared at the instructor with an odd mix of fear and hatred. What is that all about... Then she spoke. Her voice was like nothing he had ever heard... it was an evil sound, that was the only description he had. Every borderlander present moved their hands to the hilt of their blades. Then she turned. Fear gripped Arcon as he realized what was standing in front of him. He almost tried to reach for the source, but resisted. I wouldn't be able to break through the shield... Instead he followed the example of the north men. His hand went to the hilt of the longsword on his hip, prepared to enter Unfolding the Fan. All of this before her eyeless gaze met his own. He kept his hand locked into position; he was simply no longer ready to draw the sword. He wasn't prepared for what this beast could do, and the pale adept was shaken to the core. Steeling his will, he returned the gaze. He felt fear... but he was returning to his senses. Thats what a Myrddraal can do... Fearsome, but not strong enough to keep me from blowing its head off... Despite his strong thoughts, not even a single muscle twitched in Arcon's body.
  4. Dhjorn had come a long way. He began his journey in the blight, on the traditional night of his and Calaun's meeting. Each had spent time in the fortress of the dreadlords, and each had learned much. Calaun had even taught a group of the channelers about their species, her amused as she compared the bunch to Trollocs. Dhjorn had learned something deeper though, as he learned his letters, and made his way through the library. There was a group of humans who specialized in assassination, the best that the shadow had to offer. The Shar Mahdi. Once he learned of this dark guild, he made it his mission to seek them out. He asked around, getting the names of the ranking members, and their specialties. He had no use for the poisons of some, the Thakan'Dar forged daggers he would gain would take care of that. Besides, as non-channeling humans, there would be only one worth taking the skills of. The best of them. He decided he would learn from Cari herself. He traveled far, all the journey on foot. His face remained passive over the length of the journey, but inside he was seething with rage. Never before had felt the need for the black steed of the Myrddraal so keenly. The borderlands were the worst, avoiding detection was easy enough, but the bitter chill of the northland's winters. Never would such cold touch the blight. Still, after far to long, he had made it to this accursed ranch. He had made it to the Shar Mahdi herself, and he would receive his training. At least, he hoped. There was the chance that she would turn him down; or slay him outright. Unlike most of his race, he did not fall into the trap of arrogance. Her species meant little; she could kill him. He raised his pale, pasty hands and knocked once on the door, his black hood pulled tight. He prepared himself for death.
  5. CC'd, again. When I get home I get the feeling I'm going to be checking shadowhall for a new DL bio...
  6. Asha'man Sereth Arian had his trademarked grin on his plain features. He had meant to speak with the M'Hael about acquiring permission to take a few dedicated with bright young minds along with himself to his family home, and the library that his Teacher had assembled there. He had even actually taken the time to write the speech he would give in a formal, yet sub servant voice, speaking of how a few more educated weapons might be better for the tower and its leadership. After all, in the three times that Sereth had met the man, arrogance was one of the few words that seemed to stick in the young philosopher's mind. Of course, he had seen Tai'Dashan in the area, his nose in a book that had been loaned from the meager collection of books he had managed to acquire since arriving here at the tower. That one would be good for Tai, and Sereth was practically brimming with excitement about having someone to discuss it with. It revolved around some pretty radical concepts, as well as new ways to approach thought itself. All in all, it was would be interesting to hear the man's thoughts. As he was about to open his mouth, of course planning on acquiring his preliminary ideas and reactions, Sereth saw with dismay Tai get grabbed by the front of the coat and dragged, the Andorian soon following suit. A physical pain settled into his chest as he watched what the wheel put his beloved book through; he had searched for three weeks to find even one full copy. Still, the Storm Leader's current mood had to be taken into consideration, and he simply nodded his head, speaking only, "Yes Storm Leader." Of course his mind buzzed with ten dozen questions, but he had the feeling the answers would reveal themselves soon enough.
  7. Arcon laughed in response, smoothing his jet black hair. "If I was drooling over her, it was only because she entered first Rendra." He tossed her a wink, or maybe he blinked, it was hard to tell when one only had one eye, and laughed again. "Or perhaps I had other reasons for examining a woman who is supposed to be my competition in this place, particularly one who was about to demonstrate what she knew of weaponry." He still held his fox like grin, but inwardly grimaced. This woman did lack the tact that Rebecca had seemed to have, but she would still suit his purposes. Arcon moved his left hand to the hilt of his blade, angling it towards the right for ease of drawing with his right hand. "Still, I fail to see how my... other interests should distract us both from a bit of good natured exercise? Both of us can use the practice, I mean I am still adapting to the fact I only have one eye." That was a blatant lie, but it sounded good and would hopefully take out any insult she might take from the 'needs practice' remark. "Besides, what do you have to loose? The peace of shadow holds, so even if I had some elaborate plan to assassinate you, for whatever confounded reason, I can't do it here. Meanwhile, you stand to gain a chance to demonstrate and improve your skills with those twin blades." His tone was light hearted through out his speech, even if he was slightly annoyed that she hadn't immediately accepted his proposal. Not everyone can be quite so easy as Shad, Arcon. He thought to himself, a flicker of hidden amusement filling him. Yes, that one had been a gift from the Great Lord, a perfect tool that was easy to keep in perfect working order. "So? What do you say?"
  8. Again, Simmen was having extraordinary difficulty with channeling, but that was not so unusual. Again, though, the man had accomplished what he was told to do, spinning together the flows as he was instructed. The man needed practice though. Still, there was little Sereth could do to aide him, as only time would further his ability to weave. "Good Simmen. I know how difficult that was for you, but I can promise that it will get much, much easier. You just need practice, and with time it will come as naturally as breathing. As such, I suggest we go back to town, and you practice. There is very little I can do for you at this moment in time." Sereth stood, stretching his limbs. He had been sitting still for quite a few hours. "I can escort you back if you desire. Though I'll be walking, not traveling to get back to the farm. Never ignore your body, just because you can channel. The source draws on your endurance, both mental and physical." With that, the andorian began the short journey back to civilization, and to the inn. Tea was well and good, but it did not fill his belly as properly roasted mutton would... ((You made word count, and I'm kinda tired and hungry. Finishing this up, but if you want you can extend it for conversation and the like, it'll just take me a while longer to respond lol. ))
  9. ((OOC: Hmm, Dhai, was that last one in stanzas or is it just me? lol)) Sereth watched patiently as Simmen tried to push forth the threads of Saidin. He seemed to have excruciating difficulty with even this. Still after a long while, he managed to do as he was told. Though he held back on informing Sereth which he preferred, which irked the Andorian a bit, but he kept it hidden. "Good, you seem to have strength in fire, water, and air. An unusual combination, but not completely unheard of." Pouring himself another steaming cup of tea, Sereth drank deeply before continuing. "Now, select any two, and simply spin them together, this will be your first exercise in weaving. These are simple training spirals, and won't actually make a visible effect, however they should demonstrate the basis for channeling quite well. Begin." ((Sorry that it was so short/metagaming, but I was having some difficulty working with that last one, no offense of course.))
  10. Sereth heard the man speak, and nodded. The man was an archer, as such perhaps a bow technique would work better. Either way, the man looked to have achieved the void, even if it couldn't technically be called as such. Sereth's eyes widened as he felt the man seize Saidin, and instantly he grasped the power himself, weaving a powerful shield and holding it aloft, ready. He had not expected the man to seize it so quickly. "Good, though it appears you have skipped a step in my tutelage. That feeling you are experiencing, it is the fight with Saidin. Never succumb to it, that way leads to death, or worse, loosing the ability to channel. That flilth is the taint covering Saidin, which will drive you mad, or cause your body to rot while you still live. it is not an easy life for us." Sereth still couldn't quite crack the man, and it was starting to perplex him. The tower was a magnet for the dirty, the unstable, and all other kinds of men who would stick out in every day settings. Sereth had been quite good at getting in the head of most of these men, and prided himself on that fact. Simmen however, was proving quite resistant to his probings. Still, the class had to go on. "Careful how much you draw, to much and you run the risk of burning yourself out, or loosing the ability to channel. Now, I want you to examine the power, you will notice that it is not as solid as it first appears. You should discover five distinct pieces of the power. These are the five elements. They are fire and earth, the two most men are proficient with, water and air, the so called woman's elements. The final, is spirit, which is generally split pretty evenly among us." He gave the man a moment to study the source. When he felt he had enough time, Sereth took a deep breath, preparing to slam a shield home. Hard. "Now, grasp one of the strands, and try to extend it. One. At. A. Time." He punctuated each one of the last words, he didn't want the man waving around multiple flows just yet. "Some will be easier to use than others, tell me which you find the easiest to use."
  11. Sereth rose a brow at the man. What has happened to the boy? His depression is almost palpable... Normally even the hardest nut is cracked by this point. He filed it away for future study. "Simmen, I didn't say you were no good. Ignorance does not mean inferiority, especially when one is working to correct it." Sereth took a deep breath and continued. "Very few can do this, but I feel I must tell you. Your old life means nothing when you come here, I am sure you have met Attack Leader Arath. He is a great man, and a fantastic leader, but from what I can gather he was a slummer in Camelyn. I was a merchant's son, but my families wealth bought me nothing here." He looked directly into Simmen's eyes as he spoke, trying to drive the point home. A depressed solder was less likely to defend himself on the battlefield, and though he hated to think of his fellow men this way, each Asha'man was far to valuable to throw themselves away. "Ironicly, the first step to channeling may help you in particular. You see, when we wield Saidin, an intense battle wages in our mind, and we can not allow our emotions or thoughts to distract us from that battle, but at the same time can't ignore the world around us. As such, we use a swordsmen's concentration technique called Ko'Di, which translates into 'the oneness', but is far more commonly known as the Flame and the Void." Sereth took a breath, sipping his tea to let the information seep in. He knew he had a habit of talking to much or to fast, and these pauses were his effort to correct the mistake. "What I want you to do, is picture a flame in your mind. A candle flame, a bonfire, or hell a forge fire if that is what suits you, just picture a flame." He waited for the man to do so, and spoke softly, a few seconds pause between each sentence. "Now, feed everything you are into the flame. Start with your past. Then let it consume your emotions. Last, your thoughts. When this is done, a void will be in your mind, and you will have achieved Ko'di." Sereth waited, watching for any signs of struggle within the man. He knew that for beginners, this could be infuriating, but the self-proclaimed philosopher had faith that Simmen could accomplish the task set before him.
  12. Arcon stood in the courtyard of the Fortress, not yet having left for the Southern lands. It would be a long time before he had the opportunity to return here, and there were many things he wished to accomplish before he left. He would have to send a message to his father, telling him he needed time to settle matters before returning. The old man would understand, if not approve. He knew he trained his son well, no matter how much the boy Arcon had been resisted the tutelage. Today, he sent for an opponent to test his blades against, and perhaps spin yet another web to snare the girl in. She had been in the last weapon's class he had participated in, though he had barely noted her at the time, he had noted her rivalry between her and the woman who had caught his eye. He could use that, that much he was sure of. He just needed to figure out what purpose the girl would serve in the grand scheme of things. He knew she had one; all people did, and he was confident he could discern it. His thoughts were momentarily interrupted as the girl he had invited to the yard appeared, and did not appear to be in the best of moods. Arcon put on a slight smile, though he doubted his tight, almost skeletal features would do much to comfort her. "Hello Rendra, I am Dreadlord Arcon Dadread." He had to add the title, the pride of earning it hadn't worn off quite yet. "I remember you from a weapon's class, and I thought perhaps we could spar to improve our skills a bit. We don't want to fall behind the other students now, do we?" The last bit sounded so much like an afterthought, at least that was how Arcon had meant it to sound. Of course he was trying to goad her into agreeing to train with him. He knew her abilities were around his own, and she would be good to match off against. "Well, what do you say?" ((Edited cuz I'm a fool and bad with names. :)))
  13. Sereth's lips turned down into a frown, and a soft sigh rolled off his lips. "Ladies? Well, he was taken care of if thats what you mean. We have a very special drought to take care of those who succumb to the taint on Saidin, well, those who succumb past a certain point. If we took every man who heard a voice whisper in his ear, there would be even fewer of us Simmen." With flows of air he poured both of them a cup of tea. Taking the cup gently in his hands, he sipped, the slightly bitter taste bringing a smile back to his lips. "Oh, and I do apologize for lack of familiarity with your home's customs, and here I prided myself on knowledge of all the lands." A chuckle escaped, and again he smoothed his hair. A habit he had developed when he was slightly embarrassed. "But in truth, that hardly matters. What matters now is that you learn to wield Saidin, and become the greatest weapon the Light and the Dragon have to wield. It is a sad truth, but no less true because of it. I have struggled against the fact myself, but I have recently seen battle Simmen. I can tell you that we are needed." His blue eyes grew misty for a moment, again pushing away the memories. I will find you dreadlord... Have no fear of that. Sereth recovered quite quickly, and looked again at the man, his quizzical eyes examining him as he did all. "Unless you have other questions, we should begin. Tell, me, do you know anything of seizing Saidin? Or even what it is? Or will I have to start from the beginning?" Realizing that the last bit might push the solder into saying he knew a bit more than he actually did, he added hastily. "It matters little either way, by the end of the day you will have touched and used the source." Again Sereth flashed his grin. He was ever confident in his abilities to teach.
  14. Darial's lips did curl at the man's expression. Not that he thought for a moment this hulk's expression was real, but at seeing through it. This one had a long way to go before he could pull the wool over Darial's eyes. At the man's response though, he saw an obvious opening. His mind filled with any number of possible names ranging from gleded-swine to vile goat, but none of those would fit. So, he went a different route. "Southerner suits you well. Every one of you thinks he a hard man, yet I bet you'd never seen a single Trolloc before coming here, if your new leash holder has even introduced you to the beast-men." A sadistic smile came over his lips, "Oh how I do hope to be there when you first feel a Halfman's gaze, it'll be oh so satisfying to watch you curl in fear." An icy laugh spilled from his lips. "It has been fun Southerner, and I'd love for us to meet again, but I do have duties to attend to." With that, the half-breed walked past the larger man without sparring a backward glance. Arrogant? Most certainly, but Darial sincerely doubted he would be attacked. The Southerner had himself under to much control, and would not risk himself for the Saldean. At least he sincerely hoped.
  15. Sereth sat in the middle of a field, a league or so away from the main settlement that they had affectionately deemed ‘the farm’. Why so far out? Well, he liked it out here first and foremost. It was peaceful, when the farm had a near constant sound of explosions, shouts, and was quickly gaining the bustle of a small city. Though he came from Camelyn himself, he had to admit that the noise never suited him, and he had long since tied off a ward of silence around his own quaint home. But of course, there were other reasons. There almost always were, after all. He was to introduce another to the wonders- and terrors, of Saidin today. Though if the reports were accurate, the man had already supposedly been addressed. Why then, was the Asha’man being asked to go through the steps from the very beginning? The Andorian could only assume incompetence on the part of the man’s earlier teachers. The thought saddened him; many good men had been lost in Shienar… Blue lightning, arcing from the sky. Every bolt thicker than his wrist, every bolt taking a life… He pushed the memory aside, something he had become increasingly proficient in. I survived, and I will not fail this man. Yet another reason for this spot, he was able to raise a simple yet comfortable chair and table for the two, in case the recruit would have any questions for the far more experienced man. One that Sereth wouldn’t be sad to see destroyed when they did get down to business, not even the earthenware cups and teakettle that had been similarly constructed with the source. The thought of tea brought a smile to his lips. It would serve as a gentle demonstration of the wondrous things that the solder would be able to do. Speaking of whom, Sereth’s sharp eyes caught him approaching from across the field, and he put on his warmest smile, his light blue eyes gentle, but examining. When the other man finally reached him, Sereth spoke in his usual light manner. “Hello, so sorry for the walk, but I prefer this spot to the usual training grounds. It is more personal, don’t you agree?” The Asha’man chuckled, running his fingers through his short brown hair, “Oh yes! I almost forgot, my name is Sereth Arian, and I am sure you’ve surmised, I will be teaching you about Saidin, the male half of the true source, today. What is your name, and have you any questions?” Sereth already knew the man’s name to be Simmen, but he wanted a way to get the man to speak. What could he say; the Asha’man liked people, fascinating as they were. While Simmen answered his inquiries, Sereth seized Saidin, the familiar life or death struggle exhilarating now as it was when he first embraced it with Drak, and the taint still as vile, but the struggle was in the back of his mind. Experience had been a wonderful teacher. He strained water into the pot, and threw in some herbs with flows of air. “Tea?” He wove fire, bringing the pot to a quick boil. “It is my own recipe, and it does wonders to calm the nerves.”
  16. Darial's eyes tightened slightly at the man's comment, that one struck to close to home. I will make you suffer for that one Southerner. He hated being toyed with, and he wouldn't let this one walk away the victor. But what could he do, his comments didn't seem to cut the man like they should. Not to mention it was obvious that the man had been here far longer than he... "The cold serves only to sharpen us, while you Southlanders sip your mulled wine, wishing for a taste of the northern chill. The heat reducing you all to sweating pigs." He was not surprised when he got no reaction from the man, but spite had required he respond. His frozen glare watched the motions of the man's daggers, and he held back a grimace. Again he toyed with him! This man would sleep in the cold hard ground for this! "Darial, and am I to assume whatever kennel master owned you gave you a name as well?"
  17. Arcon was back in his rooms at the fortress, practicing combing his sword, dagger, and the power, when his arm was suddenly covered in goose bumps. He thought idly that it must be Terra, and thought very little of the intrusion, until his door flung open, banging off of the stone walls with a loud bang. A dreadlady he had never seen before, but looking over her curvaceous body he would love to see more, stood stoically in the entrance to his chambers. He lowered his blades, but held onto the source, not sure exactly what was happening. “Adept Arcon Dadread, come with me. You are to be tested for the rank of dreadlord this day, no speaking, and absolutely no channeling, I have permission to break the peace.” Arcon immediately let go of the source, stunned by what he had just heard. Not the part about him being ready to be raised, that was far past its proper time, but that she held permission to break the peace of the shadow… She could kill him. Abruptly she turned, setting a brisk pace through the halls of the fortress, leaving Arcon to jog to keep up with her, knocked out of his stupor. He could never get any of the fully ranked Dreadlords to speak of the test, not even the normally free-with-information Thom Malard. As such, he had no idea what was to be expected of him, and his quick mind was running through scenarios. Would it be another maze, like his adept test? He doubted it, the shadow was not known for being repetitive. Finally, he gave up. He wouldn’t know until he entered the testing grounds. Speaking of which, the dreadlady stopped abruptly in front of a pair of double doors, a set of doors that Arcon knew very well. The Mae’Shadar council chamber. A sudden flood of desire nearly overwhelmed the pale faced Adept. He had dreamed of sitting on that council since he learned of its existence. “Enter; the test will take place within.” He pushed open the doors, stepping inside. For the first horrifying moments, it was pitch black. Resisting the urge to seize the source, he stepped forward. Four brilliant lights lit up the room, his arm tightening up providing further proof that two of them were made of the female half. “Arcon Dadread, you have been deemed worthy of the test for the rank of Dreadlord. Be warned, the peace of the shadow does not apply in this room.” Arcon nodded, figuring that this would be an all out test. “Step forward, and embrace the source. These four dreadlords are your opponents.” Not even his father’s training could keep his eyes from widening at those words. Four dreadlords? How the hell am I supposed to survive! There must be a trick, there must! Regardless of his inner turmoil, he stepped forward. He would not appear weak, not here. He drew deeply on the source, filling himself with the one power until he felt he was about ready to burst, the taint still bringing bile to his throat after all of these years. “Begin.” Arcon dove to the left, the spot he was standing suddenly filled with shards of ice and exploding earth. He wove quick weaves, air razors and fireballs, at the dread ladies, hoping that they would be distracted by the visible weaves and ignore those they couldn’t see. He felt each one of them cut to ribbons, and wove air just in time to shield himself from a return assault. Five seconds in and he was already on the complete defensive, as wave after wave of assaults battered his defenses. A stream of lightning finally broke through, sending Arcon spiraling to the ground. He shook off the hit, weaving several scythes out of fire and air, sending them spinning towards his opponents. As expected, each was blocked, but he quickly followed through with a sleep weave. The weave was inches away from sinking into a dreadlady when it was sliced, and Arcon winced, weaving waves of fire in short bursts, and cutting weaves himself as he was assaulted. They moved to surround him, and Arcon gritted his teeth, preparing himself to weave his explosive fireballs, when suddenly, a Mae’Shadar shouted, “Stop!” Arcon froze, he knew that voice. It was the same woman who sent him to the darkhound pits all those years ago… Watching the dreadlords, noting that they didn’t release the source, he followed suit. “You have failed Arcon, good bye.” Dread hollowed out his heart, but was quickly forced out by pure, unbridled rage. No! He had not fought so hard over all these years to be stopped now! He screamed- his control bursting as he came to one conclusion. He would not die alone. He moved to draw deeper on the source, sending out a ring of fire with the same kick that his explosive fireballs had, only on a much grander scale. Just as he could feel the power crushing down on him, it was gone, cut off from the source. He clawed at the shield with every ounce of his willpower, trying to burst through the barrier to the power. The assembled dreadlords gazed at him, some smiling, some horrified. He was willing to destroy them all when they denied him his place. Knowing that none of the women were strong enough to cut him off, Arcon realized that only their combined powers had saved their lives. They had linked to stop him. Just then his dagger appeared in his hand, and he cocked it for a throw at one of the dreadlords whom he knew wasn’t holding the link, and again her voice cut through the air. “Stop. Go back to your rooms; you will swear your oaths in the morning.” With that, the Mae’Shadar council filed out of the room, followed shortly by the dreadlords, as Arcon digested the news. It was just another part of the test… and I passed. I will be a dreadlord! He stretched out for the source, letting it trickle into him, thankful he didn’t burn himself out in his moment of rage. He walked slowly back to his rooms, breathing shallow the whole time. He forced a sleeping draught down his throat, knowing that he wouldn’t be able to rest without it, and laid down to rest. --- Arcon was already awake when the knock came on his door. He was dressed in his finest silks, groomed to perfection as the door opened. A dreadlady smiled in at him, and gestured for him to follow. “Do not channel in Shayol-Ghul, the Great Lord does not approve of it.” Arcon nodded his head, following without a word. After a seemingly endless journey, he found himself at the mouth of a great cave. His guide stopped there, “Arcon Dadread, enter and swear your vows to the Great Lord of the Dark, and receive your protection from the taint on Saidin.” Again, speechless, he entered the cave. Long, jagged rocks forced him to duck down as he passed through, the entire passage resembling a great stone gullet. Finally he found himself at the center of the cave, in a small chamber. Suddenly, he felt a great pounding in his head that brought him to his knees. “ARCON DADREAD, DREADLORD OF THE FORTRESS! YOU COME HERE TO SWEAR YOUR VOWS TO ME!” It could only be him, tears streamed down his face as he realized the Great Lord was speaking to him directly “Yes! A thousand times yes master! My life and soul are yours!” “THEN SWEAR IT! SWEAR UPON YOUR SOUL THAT YOU WILL SERVE ME UNTIL I BREAK FREE OF THE WHEEL!” “I swear it Master!” “THEN TAKE MY PROTECTION DREADLORD, RISE AND SPREAD THE SHADOW THROUGH THE LAND!” Arcon convulsed as he felt strands covering him, no, that wasn’t right. They were inside him too, filling him with a vile sinew. “Thank you Great Lord!” He screamed at the top of his lungs, laughing joyously as he exited the cave. The trip back to the fortress was agonizingly long, he was itching for the chance to seize Saidin. When he did finally reach his rooms, he drew deeply on the source, again until he could feel the pleasure turn to pain. He couldn’t help it, he laughed, a thunderous sound. It was pure! By the Great Lord the taint was gone!
  18. Arcon was tired and saddle sore. In fact, he couldn’t remember a time when his legs felt the desire to fall off quite so strongly. The pounding rain was not helping the situation in the least, he had been forced to drop his ward against the water a few leagues back. Looking through the pleats of rain to his fellow travel worn dreadlord, no, he corrected himself, not a fellow yet. But soon… he could feel it. Soon the Great Lord of the Dark would embrace him, and cleanse him of the taint, and he would channel pure Saidin. There wasn’t anything that Arcon dreamed of more, except perhaps, what he was about to begin. Despite weeks of hard riding, a sadistic smile spread over his thin lips. I am coming old man… He had spent years, ever since he was an Acolyte, plotting of how he would take his house from his father, and now almost seven years later, that dream was coming to fruition. Still, he would have to play his cards perfectly. After all, Arcon had inherited his suspicions. For the first time in days, he opened his mouth to speak to his escort, a fellow he had known since his early days at the Fortress. Thom Malard looked at him and threw his trademarked smile. “Now remember boy, you promised me a very specific book from your father’s library. You wouldn’t go back on an old man who helped you find your first book on tactics, would you?” Despite himself, Arcon chuckled. Not even his ruthless heart could find a place for hatred in regards to this man. “I keep my promises, but you have to keep yours. I will need plenty of time alone to spin my web, old friend.” Thom merely nodded, as the pulled up to the city of Arcon’s birth, their horses moving at brisk walk through the Foregate. The rain managed to keep even those garish people indoors. The thought widened his already ghastly grin, and decided he liked the setting after all. The two managed to get inside the city with little trouble, the customary bribe for silence that would of course be countered by a higher bribe to wag his tongue. As soon as he entered this place, he reflexively made his face neutral, even though he doubted anyone could even see him, let alone his face, in this downpour. As they traveled through the city, Arcon nodded to an inn, and his escort nodded back, mouthing, “Good luck.” The thought brought a cold laugh; luck had no place in Daes Dae’Mar. Arcon kicked his horse into a trot, wanting to arrive at his old home before the cold seeped too far into his bones, he couldn’t have memories aboard a certain pirate ship clouding his mind. He brought his horse over to the old family stables, and tossed the reigns to a very surprised stable hand, “My lord, these stables are reserved for the Dadread family and their honored guests…” The rest of the comment cut off as Arcon pulled back his cloak, revealing the black silk with three vertical slashes of rank. “My old friend, I am of the Dadread family.” He forced his voice to take on a happy tone, trying to be the prodigal son returning home. The man nodded, recognizing Arcon after a few moments, and then the sword on his hip. The son of house Dadread didn’t give him any chance to consider his situation further, pushing past him, and bursting through the doors to his family home. He walked the still familiar halls, memories rushing back to him. It was getting easier to fake the sadness as he walked these halls, remembering his childhood. Laying his head in her lap, she letting him lay his unpracticed kisses upon those full, perfect lips. Oh god I miss you Alice… He broke stride for a moment, letting the memories wash over him, particularly his first moment of channeling. Fire flew from his hands, as he reached for the heart of the one woman he could ever love, bursting through her chest and burning her own to ash. He breathed deep, and began his walk once again. He found his father where he knew he would, his study. He bursts through the doors, looking at the man who had condemned his love to death, and put relief into his voice. “Father… I am home.” As expected, the older, stronger jawed version of Arcon stared back at him, eyes misting slightly. It took every ounce of training that this man had given him to hold back his disgust, and put that lost look in his eyes. “I… I know you probably hoped to never see me again, after everything that happened. But… I didn’t know where else to go. I wandered everywhere, even got aboard a ship, that’s where I got these.” His hand moved to the long sword on his hip and the eye patch over his eye. “Along the way… I learned what I did was channeling, I could feel the Dark One’s taint in me father…” Secretly he was proud that he remembered to use ‘Dark One’ instead of the proper title of Great Lord of the Dark. “But it felt so wonderful even with it… Still, that doesn’t really matter… The red ajah found me, and the witch gentled me on the spot.” He knew his father knew of the stories of those who were gentled, and how they never lasted long. This next part was the biggest leap… “I only managed to survive, because a tavern girl found me. She was so wonderful, I hope you let me bring her here some day, I just couldn’t die when I had her.” Still the old man was silent, gazing up at his son. Arcon was losing patience, he should have reacted sooner, and so he needed to throw the clincher on his little act. “I’d have to go back and get her, way up north in Saldea, but…” He seized the source, weaving air into his eye to agitate his tear ducts, forcing a single tear to fall from that ghostly pale face. “That is…if you’ll have me. I’ve missed you…” The old man rose, glaring down at his shorter son, his eyes filled with too many emotions to accurately read. Arcon resisted the urge to go for his sword as the man advanced, instead choosing to keep his hidden dagger ready. He never expected what happened though, as his father embraced him, letting out a single sob as he did so. Arcon was confused, out of his element. Tentatively he wrapped his own arms around his father, patting him on the back. To be honest, he had been prepared to torture his father into letting him stay, not to have him holding him in his study. “You go and get your girl, but stay here for the night at least. We have much to talk about.” Arcon nodded, breaking the hold his father had on him, and taking his old chair opposite the older man. His father sat as well, regaining his composure. Through the hours of the night they talked, Arcon relating his prepared story, his father nodding his head, gasping at the right times, doing his best to feel his sons pain as he ‘lost the source’. Arcon had to consciously control his features, wanting to put on his skeletal grin as he wove his tale, telling of getting caught up on a ‘merchant vessel’ and the ‘rough and rude first mate teaching him the sword.’ Bitterly he swallowed a vile curse involving flesh eating fish and Mr. Sweeper’s private parts. When he was done, his father related the events that had transpired after he had left, noting that for a while the family had fallen on hard times, but the clever old man had managed to reverse their fortunes. Even passing tales that his channeling son was in the Foregate, loyal to the house and disposing of its enemies. A few well placed assassinations helped keep that rumor alive, and with Arcon’s return, the fear could only grow. Still, they would have to play it off, gradually reintroducing him to court, letting the rumor mill do its work. Arcon went to bed that night, in his old room, filled with thoughts of working his way up in Nobility. He thought of how wonderfully clever his father was, having nearly forgotten that in the years that had passed. To bad I’ll be slitting his throat before too long… The thought brought his ghastly smile back to his lips, as he quickly fell into a deep slumber. He had a hard ride back to ‘Saldea’ to pick up his ‘lover’ and ‘friend’ who had saved him when he had lost the source…
  19. Darial let out a soft grunt as a much larger man had the nerve to charge into him, sending his writing implement and map spiraling out of his hands. His tilted, ice blue eyes narrowed as he looked up and down the man. He was big, and from the south, that there could be no doubt of. Thinking quickly, he brought up his country of origin as Ghealadin. At the man's comment, bile rose up in the Saldean mix's throat. Though ice was in his tone as he spoke, "Well, you aren't worth the effort of taking the proper time to flatten Southerner." Quickly, he snatched the now crumpled peace of paper from the man's hand. The creases adding to that cold rage that had been growing all his life. He thought bitterly that he would have to copy the notes onto a fresh peace of paper, perhaps vellum in case of oafs. He supposed he was a bit of a fool for assuming that the Great Lord would bless only the best and brightest with the gift of channeling... All of these thoughts rambled through his head, as he stood, glaring at the much larger man. He knew that if it came down to it, he wouldn't stand a chance in a physical confrontation, and his hold on Saidin was to tentative to truly be effective. Still, fear froze to death in the storms of the north.
  20. Arcon sighed, raising his arms up in a shrug. "Actually, there is. I have equal talent in fire, air, and spirit. However, my talents in earth and water are next to nothing. This weakness suits me however, as air and spirit are used for more subtle forms of killing, and fire can be added to form the devastating weaves that every dreadlord should know. Still, I hold a modicum more skill than most of my 'allies'," he said that word in a way that made it mean inferiors. "At least the male ones, not to mention my odd strengths provide and edge. They expect me to tear the earth asunder, when I choose to turn the air they breathe into my weapon." In secret, Arcon hated admitting his weaknesses, and his inherent lack of strength in the power. Even so early in Shad's training, he could tell he would be the better channeler, and Arcon was hoping he could keep him from learning as such. Alas, the man was proving to be to observant for such maneuvers... which just meant that he'd have to change his tactics.
  21. and as promised. CC'd by CotS. Sorry for the wait Sieve. ;)
  22. Darial was pacing the halls of this monolith of dark power known as the Fortress. Over the first few weeks, he had learned to embrace the source, though it still took effort to do so, and much about the Great Lord of the dark. He was however, discovering that this fortress was a labyrinth, with more twists, turns, and dead ends than any maze he'd ever heard of. As such, he walked with paper and charcoal in his hand, mapping out this seemingly unmappable place one corridor at a time, knowing that there had to be passages through the rock that he was unaware of. He thought that maybe if he got an idea of where all the walls were, he would be able to find them. Not to mention the secret pride he felt for sticking with something for more than a week... Engrossed in his thoughts, he was nearly oblivious to any of the people around him, these being seldom used corridors he thought watching for people was a bit useless. At least with the peace of the shadow firmly in place...
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