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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Arath Faringal

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Everything posted by Arath Faringal

  1. Rochel was a little surprised to have company. It was rather early, so most of the other girls wouldn't be down for another half an hour or so. But company was welcome to have, especially after such a frustrating night of studies. "I didn't get to eat last night, so I thought I'd get here early and beat the rush." She grinned at Amadine, who judging by her own heavily loaded tray had similar problems. "I had to copy notes for a Brown sister last night. That's never a good thing, even with the best of them. The sister I was scribing for kept falling asleep, but she'd manage to wake up every time I thought about leaving. Then I had to finish some of my own studies on the different ajah's, and kind of forgot about eating altogether." Tearing a large piece from her second sweet roll, Rochel let out a disgusted sigh. "Ajah studies ... if there's anything I'd rather not do, it's spend hours on end comparing the qualities and values of the different ajah's. I don't even understand why some of them exist, let alone try to understand what they hold dear." Loading her spoon with another mouthful of oatmeal, Rochel tried to steer the topic away from ever frustrating ajah's. "Anyway, that's my excuse. What brings you down here so early? I don't remember seeing you in the Brown quarters last night."
  2. Stifling a yawn as she stepped into the room, Rochel shuffled her way toward the pleasant smelling side of the large dining hall in the White Tower. She'd ended up skipping her evening meal the night before, and breakfast seemed like a wonderful idea. After loading up her tray with as much food as she could reasonably get away with, the Domani Accepted plopped herself down at the first open table she saw and set to work. While making her way through a sweetroll, her thoughts returned to the studies she had been lost in the night before. Ajah's ... why do they need to be so confusing? For perhaps the millionth time in the decade she's been at the Tower, she cursed the odd organization system that the Aes Sedai used. Some of them make sense, but why bother with some of the other ajah's at all? For her entire life, Rochel had had problems with accepting things that didn't make logical sense. And even greater problems keeping her mouth shut when such things got in her way. A great problem around the White Tower, where many things made no sense at all, and explanations were few and far between. Understanding the ajah's was her latest pet peeve. A problem made all the more frustrating by the fact that she was expected to join one of these organizations in the near future. As she began to work on a large bowl of oatmeal, Rochel was distracted from her meal and her thoughts by another young woman in a banded dress standing alongside the table with her own tray. "Would you mind some company?"
  3. A cat, shoe strings, and a belt? I'm terribly curious ... Looks good. A bit sparse on the actual character's history, but other than that, no problems. *BT STAMP*
  4. Arath listened quietly as the green sister spoke, thoughtfully taking in everything. When she finished, he remained quiet for a moment, studying the ground between them and working out a reply. "I suppose to answer that, I need to go back to your other questions. The first time I held a bond was a few months ago when a group of your sisters paid a visit to the Farm. During that unfortunate incident, I was forced to bond an Aes Sedai of the Blue Ajah. It wasn't a pleasant experience, being bonded to her. I'm pretty sure that she tried very hard to keep it that way. The riot of emotions constantly throbbing in the back of my mind ... she made me pay for bonding her every single day. It was a relief to finally release the bond." Arath fell silent again for a moment, gathering his thoughts. "I don't know why I want to do this again. It makes sense for a lot of different reasons, which is why this is happening in the first place. But personally ..." Arath trailed off and stared into the distance. Northward he realized after a few moments. Toward Shienar. Toward Shayol Ghul. That was the Black Tower's reason. What was his own? It was an uncomfortable question. It required Arath to step back and examine his own life. And so often, it seemed so empty to him. His life had not been a happy one before the Black Tower. Nothing remained of his life before the Farm, but life as an Asha'man felt incomplete somehow. Like something was missing. It was a lack that Arath had felt keenly lately. Something that needed to be filled. But by what, he had no idea. A friend? Maybe that was it? "I think more than anything, I'm looking for someone I can trust. Someone I can trust to have my back, without having to constantly check over my shoulder to make sure they're still ... sane. I don't know. My reasons are hard for me to explain to myself, let alone to anyone else. More than anything I want to fight. I won't let the Shadow win, and I'll do whatever it takes to prevent that. If that means bonding with an Aes Sedai ..." Arath looked up at Jaydena and shrugged. Hopefully she understood him better than he did. Women seemed to do that a lot, but this time it might be a welcome thing.
  5. Arath didn't miss Jaydena's use of 'me' and 'I' as she spoke of the bond. Almost as though it were a forgone conclusion that Arath would end up as her warder. He let it pass though. That prospect was certainly better than the alternatives though. From what he had heard of her conversation with Zarinen, he would much rather that the Asha'man bond with Green ajah sisters than the Red. He nodded patiently as Jaydena explained what effects the bond had. He was well aware of what changes the bond created, having been bonded to Serena Morrigan of the Blue after the small but furious battle with the Aes Sedai on the outskirts of the Farm. There were a few interesting differences though. None of the bonded Aes Sedai exhibited the enhanced vitality that their own warders recieved, and the emotional transfer in the Asha'man strong seemed a little stronger. It would bear some looking into. When asked about the ability to sense Shadowspawn, Arath simply nodded. It wasn't a pleasant sensation, but he could feel it when shadowspawn approached. Finally, Jaydena began to explain what Arath was really after. "However this is what I know you would gain, if you bonded a Sister of the Greens. You would gain a helpmate, someone trained in battle, in defeating Shadowspawn, who knows what it means to be bonded and knows how to treat you with respect. Though you hopefully would get the respect from any Sister you bond. You also will get a relationship unlike any other, a friend, a sister, a lover, a best friend, whatever way a bond develops it is still one of the most special connections you will ever know. That person is there to guard your back and you are there to guard theirs. As for holding the bond, as long as you didn't spend your time trying to "force" me to do stuff, which I am not sure even works with the channeler to channeler bond I don't care who holds it." The last part was interesting to be sure. Every single Red he had met had cringed at the mere thought of being bonded by an Asha'man. With the exception of Zarinen herself, he suspected that all of those who had been bonded had only done so under direct orders. Her statement about being forced into things was also interesting. It was well known from prior experience that the Asha'man bond had a strong compulsion effect. It had been used extensively with the captive Aes Sedai to help keep them in line. The bondholder Asha'man had now been placed under strict orders to not use the compulsion aspect, and Arath wasn't even sure if the Aes Sedai were aware of it yet. No Asha'man had yet reported a similar effect from the Aes Sedai bond. Another difference that would need to be investigated further. "Well," he said with a smile, leaning back against the nearby fence, "that's certainly more than I've ever gotten from one of your Red sisters. I've already had first hand experience with holding a bond, so I'm aware of some of the details. It is good to know what the Green Ajah expects from a bond though. But what about you? What is your personal view on it? Why would you be willing to be bonded to one of my kind?"
  6. "Fair enough," Arath conceded with a shrug and a laugh. "Every other time I've met an Aes Sedai she's tried to kill me. Even in these last couple weeks it's been fairly ... tense." There hadn't been any open attacks, but every so often someone had a panic attack and started shielding people. This green was far different from what he'd come to expect, and yet in some ways she was exactly like the rest. Dancing around the truth came as easily as breathing to the lot of them. "We're allowed to wander about now, because it seems the secret is out, though I can't for the life of me figure out who might have spread it around." Arath gave Jaydena a very pointed look, plainly placing the blame on her. "Not much point in keeping us cooped up in secret when everybody knows. I expect they also grew tired of every other Aes Sedai in the Tower intruding in the Red quarters to question their 'guests'. "And no, I've not ended up in a bond. The deal was that whoever is being bonded must go into it willingly. Which I haven't been." He paused for a moment, considering Jaydena. She was giving him that sort of look that only women could. A look so appraising that she could probably guess down to the minute the last time he had bathed. At least it didn't seem disapproving. "I suppose I've been rejecting bonds because nobody who has come to me has been willing to explain what she expects out of it. I will not be bonded only to be a pet or a manservant. And the few I've approached certainly don't want to be on the 'wrong end'." Indeed, most of the Red's wouldn't even speak with him at all anymore, let alone discuss being bonded.
  7. Didn't Deain end up getting collared herself? Yes, the first thing Luthair Paendrag Mondwin did with the many a'dam Deain made was to slap one on her. Not quite. She wasn't collared until the discovery that learners could control the link. Until that time, all the sul'dam were also full channelers. Having 'non-channelers' in control effectively doubled the number of damane.
  8. DM Handle: Moseley Character Count: 1st Character Name: Ciprian Isandes Neramovni Nationality: Arafellian Age: 28 Physical Characteristic: Hair: Dark brown Eyes: Very dark brown Skin: Pale, but not porcelain Height: 6'2 Voice:Deep baritone Physical Description: Ciprian is a striking and imposing man with high cheekbones and a sharp jaw line accented by his sideburns and muscled jowls. He shaves every five days or so, giving him a scruffy looking appearance. Large-nosed with deep-set eyes and full lips make attractive, but his “bugger-off” look usually deters people. He’s built like a Warder, broad-shouldered and imposing, well-muscled and a bit thick-necked. Personal History: 971 NE-Maighdal- Ciprian Isandes Neramovni is born to parents Leonin and Beldemaine Neramovni in Shol Arbela as the sixth and last child. Leonin is a butcher and Beldemaine is a seamstress. He grows up relatively normally, with a healthy family life and friends. 984 NE-Choren- Ciprian is apprenticed to a blacksmith and moves in with him and his family. He and the blacksmith’s son both discover their unusual interest in other men. He grows strong working at the forge, and is pushed by his master, perhaps a bit too harshly. 990 NE- Tammaz- Ciprian discovers that he has unusual abilities. He accidentally Heals his sick sister when he returns home for a visit. He swears her to secrecy and she agrees at first, frightened. Neither of them really have any idea of what Ciprian can do. But it is unusual. Nesan- Late one night, when the blacksmith is asleep, the blacksmith’s son notices Ciprian making the metal hot without the forge. He panics and runs to his father. The blacksmith grows frightened and demands Ciprian leave his house at once. Ciprian begs the blacksmith’s son to plead with his father. His father grows even more furious that his son is sleeping with his apprentice and in anger tries to kill him. Ciprian defends his lover and unleashes the One Power on the blacksmith, killing him. The son runs into the street screaming about what happened. Ciprian knocks him out to quiet him, then steals a horse and rides south. 991 NE- Taisham-Ciprian flees as far south as he can, to Tear, where he imagines no one will look for him. He joins a Ghealdanian merchant as a strongarm and grows a beard, hoping no one will notice him. This works for a while, until the merchant makes for Arafel. Ciprian leaves and heads south to Far Madding. 992 NE- Jumara- After traveling from city to city, Ciprian arrives in Far Madding, where he cannot feel the One Power. In Far Madding, he believes he will not have another outbreak like his first in Shol Arbela. He finds himself work as a blacksmith for the minor Lord Aedmun of House Matherin. Lord Aedmun find’s Ciprian particularly attractive and makes him his male-mistress. Though he is flattered, Ciprian does not enjoy the somewhat older man but stays in Far Madding where he feels safe from saidin. 998 NE-Saven- Lord Aedmun makes a diplomatic trip to Caemlyn and takes Ciprian with him. Ciprian, fed up with Lord Aedmun’s constant requests accidentally kills him while trying to resist. Ciprian flees and follows rumors of men who can channel gathering. After weeks of going farm to farm, town to town, he finds the Black Tower and begins his formal training.
  9. "Why is it you find it so hard to simply accept that which you're told? Do you believe I would deliberately mislead you, child?" Rochel was the daughter of merchants. And she was the only girl among four brothers. AND she had spent the several years of her life living among Aes Sedai who manipulated the truth into whatever form they wanted. Rochel never accepted what she was told at face value. As for deliberately misleading her ... isn't that what Aes Sedai did? But Rochel lied, with a small shake of her head. Light, she was going to miss being able to lie! "Another reason, if you please. And while you're at it you can clean that puddle. In fact, I want you to use one of the weaves you have learned today to do so, modifying it as needed." Rochel froze. What she had just been asked to do went against everything that had been beaten into her as a novice. Using the One Power to assist in a chore? Deliberately modifying a weave she had been showen to achieve a different result? Experimenting with the Power? As much as Rochel hated the rules around the White Tower, she did find herself agreeing with the experimentation rule. The incident in her first year with the light globe turned fireball had given her a healthy respect for the dangers of experimentation. It had also fueled her frustration that nobody ever explained why things worked the way they did. "Go on, I will ensure you don't make too much further mess. And don't forget to answer the question." More than a little nervous at the prospect, Rochel thought back on the series of weaves she had just learned. Which one would be best for manipulating water? Her immediate thought was for the weave that had made the mess in the first place, but it hardly called for any water at all. She really no idea how it had happened in the first place. After another moment of thought, she decided on the second weave. The star shaped one which made the little puff of mist. It had to draw water from somewhere, so what if she used that one on the puddle? Carefully, nervously, she began to weave. The star shape of the weave began to emerge, but this time Rochel drew the points of the star down into the water puddle. She also made the weave significantly larger. More than a litle apprehensive, Rochel placed the final threads into the weave, and let it do its work. To her surprise, the weave immediately began to suck up the puddle from the floor. And then to her even greater surprise, the weave collapsed and emitted ... a cloud? A heavy white mist lingered in the air just above their heads. Afraid that it might start raining on them, Rochel quickly wove air and pushed open a window, then another flow of air to draw the fluffy white mass outside. Standing at the open window for a moment, Rochel watched as the outside breeze quickly dispersed the little cloud, and she began to wonder what else that weave might be able to do. What if she used it on the river for example? Just how big of a cloud, or maybe a fog, could she make with it? Though she doubted she'd be allowed to try it any time soon, it was fun to speculate. At least until she remembered that Pia Sedai was still in the room, and was waiting for the answer to her question. Shutting the window and returning to her seat, Rochel thought about how to word her answer. If there is a reason, she thought, other than simply doing what I'm told, I can't think of it. It isn't to encourage creativity, since all one hundred of them have to be done exactly right. It isn't to learn new skills, since none of the weave as they are do anything useful. And since nobody will ever tell me a reason why anything is done the way it is, I have to assume that nobody actually knows, and it's simply because that's the way it is. Finally, she settled on an answer that seemed good enough, even though she didn't quite believe it herself. "Patience. As an Aes Sedai, depending on the ajah anyway, one might have to deal with a great number of people and situations that don't make any sense at all. It would be important to have the patience to deal with things in the ... proper way, rather than doing something that might be much simpler but leave someone upset." She doubted that Pia bought a word of that, especially coming from Rochel, but at least it sounded like she was making an effort to be compliant.
  10. Daevis watched quietly from the corner he was leaning against as everyone began to pair off. It didn't go quite so smoothly as he would have thought. The vaunted Aes Sedai serenity seemed to have been left somewhere in the Amyrlin's office, and the results would have been downright funny if he hadn't been looking at the same fate himself. Despite the difficulties the bondings went quickly, until only himself and Storm Leader Arath remained unbonded among the Asha'man. With a resigned sigh, Daevis stepped forward, drawing the eyes of the Aes Sedai. "I suppose I'm next," he said in his usual gruff tone. "But I warn you, the first one of you to even think of getting violent with me will sorely regret it." More than one pair of eyes narrowed at that. He doubted any of them liked being threatened in their own Tower, even if it was only a threat of retribution. They would simply have to get used to it.
  11. Vora's sa'angreal is a female attuned sa'angreal ... unless there's something you'd like to tell us about Pherno, HE won't be able to use it. Even claiming he's in a circle with females won't work, since one of THEM will have to draw from it in order for Pherno to access that power. And I think Arani has the right of it. I know that for any of my RP characters, their first reaction to seeing the door blown up and discharge hostile people and shadowspawn (claim all you want that these arbitrary inventions of yours are not technically shadowspawn, if it looks like a monster and lives in the Blight, what else are we supposed to assume?) would be to fill that door with fire and all manner of explosions. And if they were standing on top of the tallest building in the world, they would be adding huge sweeping flows of air to knock everything that managed to get through off the roof. I don't mean to be nitpicky and ruin your fun, but I've been doing RP writing on Dragonmount for about 6 years. I have a pretty good idea what makes an RP successful. I realize that this is Rev1 and the rules are a little more ... vague ... but things like this only stay fun so long as the rules are followed. Things aren't looking good for the Shadow in this siege, but so far it looks like the Shadow has been relying exclusively on the godder powers of Pherno. Not exactly a tactically sound plan, even if he is more powerful than the Dragon Reborn.
  12. The same post allowing shadowspawn to move via gateway says the entire city is warded against travelling. You're not going to be able to travel to the top of the tower. Or you're not going to be able to do it with shadowspawn. There needs to be some consistancy for this to work.
  13. Daerath Farandran stood atop the White Tower, surveying the devestation around the city of Tar Valon. The eastern side of the city looked secure now. The brief breach of the walls had been corrected, although a great many channelers lay dead in the area around. Losses the forces of the Light could ill afford. The only consolation was that the assault had cost the dreadlords just as dearly, and the shadowspawn even more so. But the eastern side was no longer Daerath's main concern. So much attention had been paid to the breach on the east, that the forces on the western side were spread thin. As of yet, there hadn't been enough action to warrant a redistribution, but from his vantage point, Daerath could see that it would soon change. Countless trollocs and fades were massing on the plains to the west of the city. What they were up to exactly was a mystery, but it was doubtful that it would remain that way for long. He suspected that the breach on the east would soon be replayed again on the opposite side of the city where fewer channelers would be prepared to stop the onslaught. Eyes running over the burning landscape, Daerath searched for something, anything, that would give an advantage. But try as he might, nothing came to mind. What could he do to turn the tide? What attribute of the enemy could he turn against them? What aspect of the landscape would be used to advantage? For the hundredth time, Daerath cursed the flat, useless terrain around Tar Valon. The only bump for miles around was Dragonmount, and ... Daerath paused for a moment, considering the great volcano. A wicked grin split his face as he considered the dreaded mountain, the tombstone of the Dragon. That thing which had been a marker of doom for millenia, could well be the salvation Tar Valon. Raising his voice, he called to the others on the rooftop. A dozen or so Aes Sedai and Asha'man, all tasked with monitering the battles and relaying information came quickly to his side where he quickly explained. A circle was quickly formed, Daerath at the lead. An incredibly intricate net of all five elements was woven into a large dome around him, while the others remained well outside. When the dome was complete, the Asha'man tied it off and let the link dissolve, and everyone quickly began on the next phase of the plan. The sky above them churned with evil black clouds. Though the fireball rain had ceased for the time being, the skies still boiled. It actually seemed as though the burning rain had charged the air enough to make this even more potent. Everyone on the White Tower rooftop wove air and fire, anchoring the beginnings of lightning to the dome. More and more were added, until the dome was entirely covered with the spikey protrusions. When all was complete, and Daerath was satisfied he motioned the others away from himself and the dome. The weave was likely to kill anyone who stood too close. Adding one final weave to the mass, the Asha'man extended heavily woven cables of air and fire in the direction of Dragonmount. With a quick prayer to the Creator, Daerath closed his eyes, a smile on his lips, and extended a simple thread of spirit toward the top of the dome, activating the weave and completing every single lightning weave attached to it. The skies erupted in a blinding flash of light and an incredible boom of thunder, giving pause to every single creature and person who struggled below. Thousands of bolts of lightning crashed into the dome and coursed through the weave, seeking release. They found it in the weave extended toward Dragonmount. A collosal bolt of energy, thousands of lightnings woven into a single incredible burst, blazed across the sky and slammed into the side of the mountain. The earth trembled as the eastern side of the mountain was blown away. And then death rained from the sky. Massive chunks of the mountain were blown miles to the east, falling among the shadow forces with devestating results. And these were quickly followed by molten earth, no longer contained by the rock walls. Sprays of magma gushed out of the stricken mountain as though the very lifeblood of the earth was being spilled. Gobs of lava splashed down on the open fields, some reaching almost to the shining walls them. And a massive wall of liquid fire ran across the plains, spreading out like a lake of fire, consuming all in its path. Shadowspawn scattered madly, in an insane rush to escape certain death. The channelers atop the White Tower pulled themselves to their feet and stared in awe at the devestation. It took them several moments before they realized that the master of the plan was not joining them. As they turned to search, their eyes fell upon an oddly serene, yet ghoulish sight. A large black circle was burnt into the stones, and kneeling in the center was a charred and smoking figure. All that remained of Daerath Farandran. Sadly, the survivors from the roof top returned to their duties. They would not forget the sacrifice the Asha'man had made. Nor would they let it be in vain. The battle still raged on around the besieged city, and they intended to see it won. OOC: I might contribute another expendable character or two to this if I have time. I'm two weeks away from a rather long LOA, so we'll see what happens.
  14. I've been following this thread and the other one for a while, even thought of joining in a time or two, and although it's interesting I see a big problem with how this siege is happening. Tar Valon is on an island, with a 1 mile wide river on either side. And the walls are right up against the water. Scaling ladders and siege towers would be pretty hard, if not impossible to use. And an invisible tower would still be pretty noticeable as it ran across a 1 mile bridge.
  15. Settled comfortably against his tree, Daevis rolled his eyse at the sword being brandished at him. "Put that away. You know very well that it's useless to threaten me with it. And I didn't follow you. You simply stumbled into the place I was watching from." Close enough to the truth. He'd rather not tell her that he could point to her with his eyes closed for the next few days. Women were so touchy about such things. "I'm guessing your companions are behind that," observed Daevis, gesturing toward the village which seemed unusually busy for the late hour. "The town is in an uproar over something. And you were going to ... what? Sneak in and free your friends?" He laughed softly. "I have a problem with letting people I've just healed run off and get themselves killed."
  16. Listening thoughtfully, Arath considered what Skechid told him. Strange that the man no longer wanted part of healing others. By all accounts, the man had been very good at it. Though he was correct in his assumption that a new generation of healers had come up. It did raise the question of what to do with him though. "To start, I want you to reacquaint yourself with the Tower grounds, and the Asha'man. I'm sure things have changed quite drastically in your absence. Even after losses in Shienar we have well over a thousand men here. More pour in every week. Many of them have been trained hearing the legends of the previous leaders. Ragnar, Andar, Koras ... I've even heard one or two about yourself in the infirmary. You can do much to strengthen moral. And a man of your experience would be invaluable on the training grounds." Arath rubbed at his chin for a moment. "I'll need to speak with the rest of the Storm Leaders about your rank, but at this time there are no openings on the Council. You'll likely be returned to the rank of Asha'man, though if you're willing you will probably be first for consideration should a spot open up."
  17. OOC: 11? 7 Storm and 14 Attack Leaders ... :D "You'll have your chance to present this soon enough. The Council does meet as often as we can. The Storm Leaders at least. And we DO have a leader. Although there is no M'Hael exactly, the Council reports directly to the Lord Dragon. We do as he commands, which is more than can be said for what happened under Brent's reign." Arath leaned back into his chair and rubbed his eyes. "We know the Last Battle is coming. We fought the opening blows in Shienar, and we were woefully unprepared. Two borderland nations fell because of it. Do you have any idea what kind of force would be necessary to slaughter a full hundred of our men? It took the dreadlords less than half an hour to do just that. The circles are what killed us. Circles are why we need the White Tower. "Right now, the plan is to foster cooperation and trust between the two towers. Learn how to fight alongside each other rather than against one another. Try to regain some of what has been lost for so long. Bonding was the best way to achieve this quickly, even if many on either side don't like it. I still don't know what the Aes Sedai are hoping to get out of the deal, but the Red Ajah was quick to offer up one of their own Sitter's to be bonded by one of us." Arath shook his head. It still didn't make sense to him, but he didn't believe they had an immediate need to worry about the Reds. "As for what you can do, well ... you probably know far better than I do. What exactly was it you did before you left?"
  18. Arath quickly glanced over the scroll Skechid had unrolled before him. It was ... thorough. Though events occuring inside the Black Tower itself were mostly absent, it gave a decent sketch of what was occuring in the rest of the world. It was all quite impressive. Especially his knowledge of events with the White Tower. "You're remarkably well informed Skechid. No wonder the M'Hael's used you as they did. Burn me if things wouldn't have been different these last few weeks if Brent had only been as wise. I suspect he only asked for a tiny fraction of what you had to offer him." And the light blinded fool had probably passed on only a fraction of what he recieved. As far as Arath and the others had been able to determine, Brent had no spy network of his own. He'd led the Black Tower blindly right up until his death. "We're more than happy to have you back with us. And if you're willing I would like you to resume your position as Spymaster." Arath considered the scroll for a moment, then added, "Although maybe you should be caught up on events within the Tower first. It might help fill in the few gaps here." For the next several minutes, Arath explained what had been happening at the Farm. The disasterous assault on the shadow's forces in Shienar. Covai's meeting with the Dragon, and Jarron's subsequent visit to the Farm. The Dragon's ultimatum to make binding peace with the Aes Sedai. Brent's insanity, and death at the hands of Arath and Covai, and the formation of the Guardian Council, the group of seven Storm Leaders and fourteen Attack Leaders who now governed the Black Tower. "So, there is no more M'Hael position," Arath concluded. "The closest thing we have is Covai, but don't let him hear you say so. He's adamant that he not be treated above the rest of us, even if the other Storm Leaders defer to him a little." Looking back down at the scroll, Arath grinned. "So how much of this did you already know? And do you have any questions?"
  19. Arath stifled a yawn as he began to pack away the various projects strewn over the desk in his office. He should have gone to bed hours past, but he'd never been good at listening to his internal clock. Besides, he could let himself sleep in a little. He didn't have any responsibilities in the morning. In a surprisingly short time, all the various papers were filed away in whatever place seemed appropriate, and most of the ter'angreal he had been tinkering with had been stowed away. Turning the last one over in his hands, Arath's mind began to wander again. Maybe if he laced a touch of Earth into the Spirit matrix, it might stabilize the effects of- A knock at the door drew him out of his contemplations. Surpressing another yawn, he unceremoniously dumped the half finished ter'angreal into the drawer with the rest of them. Tomorrow. "Come," he called out as he siezed Saidin and quickly warded the drawer. He supposed it was dangerous to channel so near the half finished things, but so far it hadn't hurt him. A young dedicated poked his head around the corner of the door. "Storm Leader? There is a man here wanting to see the M'Hael. An Asha'man Skechid Teobon. He's dressed as a Storm Leader ..." Arath blinked in surprise. It had been a very long time since he had seen Skechid. A very long time since anyone had seen him. "Very well, send him in." Making one last check on his ward, Arath released Saidin and relaxed back into his seat. A few moments later the door swung open the rest of the way and the one time Storm Leader walked in. Arath examined his guest for a moment. It did indeed appear to be Skechid. "Well then," Arath said in a friendly tone. "What brings you back here after all this time?"
  20. Character Name: Skechid Aran Teobon Nationality: Cairhienin Age: 21 Physical Characteristic: Lean and athletic body. Exceptionally tall for a Cairhienin, about 6'. Dark, almost-black straight haired and dark-brown eyed. Fair and smooth skinned. Baby face without any trace of facial hair. Not very handsome, but attractive in a relatively pleasant way. Physical Description: Has a scar running the length of arm, from a fall during hunting. Well groomed, like a typical High Seat Lord. Personal History: The blood of the House of Teobon ran strong. For three generations, the House had stood on its pinnacle, overlooking the city. Steeped in Daes Dae'mar, Cairhien was no place for the foolish, even less so for the inexperienced. House Teobon had once had its humble beginings, but that had long been passed off as history. The reckoning of its reputation could be seen in the impressive guestlist that had been showcased as the who's-who of the then-society. For years, the High Seat of house Teobon had ruled the other Houses. Sometime pitting one against the other, sometimes relying on the pure force of will and prestige to stand it's grounds as the strongest of the Houses. It was a night of nights. The grounds shimmered with the glow of a thousand candles. Although the invite had called for solemnity, who could have resisted the charms of the nights. A feast was held only once every long while, and an opportunity to be invited to a celebration at the manor of House Teobon, not even the rudest of guests could refuse. It was a night of nights indeed. For that night, the forth generation of Lord Teobons was to be born. Or so the physician had said. To be timed perfectly, he had foretold as physicians do, with the last night of the winter solstice. And indeed, it seemed to befit the unborn child to be born into festivities. Befitting indeed, for the next High Seat. Gifts to lavish his first sight of the world, the sweetest perfumes and the most beautiful maidens beside him. It was all to be perfect. It had to be perfect. High Seat Armandauss stared at the clock on the wall. His eyes drifting first from the candle then to the painting beside it. His wife's portrait was a sorry representaton of her. Lady Arimella Teobon's beauty while royal in the painting, set hearts pounding in real life. Armandauss Teobon prayed a quick prayer for her safety. he would never be able to live without her. And a child. That set his heart apounding. He was to be a father. He had never even come close to imagining how it felt like to be a father. The sensations ran through his head. It was a nauseating thing to wait. But that was all he could do for now. Wait. The house seemed to shush for just the bare second before a baby's first cries filled the night with cheering and much congratulations. As Armandauss Teobon looked down at the bloody bundle that had been brought before him, he smiled. He seldom smiled, but when he did it made him look boyish again. "I shall name him... Skechid Aran Teobon." He touched his finger first to his forehead then to the baby's, christening the baby. He smiled tenderly as the little thing gurgled slightly and then closed its eyes. Armandauss nodded and kissed his child, then handed it abck to the wetnurse. He looked into the bedroom to see his wife's smile. Then she too closed her eyes and fell asleep. For the first time in his life, Arimandauss felt true joy. Honest joy. And for the first time in his life, he was a father. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ That had been 17 years ago. At the age of 19, Skechid had been proclaimed the High Seat of the magnificent house. Three tutors constantly by his side. One to teach the ways of the wild, one to teach the ways of world, the third to teach him the most timportant subject of all, the ways of the nobles. To the delight and surprise of many, the boy had been far more intelligent than most. Daes Dae'mar being his particular forte. It had been amazing that as a child, he had been one of his father's sharpest counsellors, many a time seeing things form a perspective most failed to notice. He loved the ways of the world as well. Loving tracking and learning about medical properties of wild plants. And how to make the best meats taste the best after much time of stewing. With the right roots and leaves, even the roughest meats could turn out to be irrisistable. It worried Skechid not whenever he saw anyone who was sick or unwell. He had learnt how to make tinctures and poultices. It was a childish fantasy of his to be a healer some day. And it didn't seem so impossible after all. As a Noble, he was well mannered and kind. A heart of gold, but a mind that sometimes was overly shrewd for his own good. Of course, growing up a Noble, he knew much of the ways of the Nobles. The ways of handling a sword. Horses loved him and his little titbits. In his own way, Skechid learned to be well loved by many things. And many people. He had not been very handsome, merely pleasantly attractive, lean and athletic was his body. Exceptionally tall for a Cairhienin, dark haired and dark eyed. His skin was fair, a fact he hated. He wished he could have been born dark skinned and slightly beefier. But one had to live with what one had. And then came the introduction of women to his life. They seemed to love him. Women were the one thing he had headaches understanding. But Daes Dae'mar required civility towards them. Skechid was always civil. And so that was that. He never understood the concept of destiny, making friends dozens by the dozens, never for once caring if any were "meant for him". In life's journey, one must learn to make do. And that was what Skechid did everyday. With a smile he woke up each day. And everynight, he thank the Creator for the day, smiled and then slept. He is fairly simple in appearance. So many think so. But they'd be wrong. For he never follows what most think of as right, nor does he meddle as a delegate of the Dark. He does what he wants, and more often than not, that has the best results. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Skechie eventualy entered the Black Tower at the age of 26, having been discovered by the False Dragon Dramon as being able to channel. His first task was to set up a full Eyes and Ears system for the Ashaman. Drawing from the existing system he had for his House, he soon rose to the rank of Storm Leader, becoming one of th most respected and trusted members of the Tower. Personally, he hated training. Exploding things and making things burn irritated him to no end, for he had always liked to do things indirectly. Either through Daes Dae'mar or by letting things happen. It was six months into his training that he met the second person that would feature prominently in his Tower life. Dalinarius Trachaanshield was one of his best friends, instantly becoming partners in crime in the Black Tower. Both of them were promoted to Dedicated on the same day, and to Ashaman within weeks of each other. But something more important held them together. Their love for the ancient weavings of Healing. Skechid had always found an aptitude for Healing. As to Dali. Both worked miracles on the Farm, often bringing trainees almost from the brink of death and without the effects of normal Healing. They were both considered valuable assets and were amongst the first few induced into the Inner Council when Dramon set it up. That was a proud, but also sad day for Skechid. For the first time, he found his freedom curtailed. On top of that, each member of the Council had his movements noted and constantly under surveillance. As the Spy Master of the Black Tower, it became his duty to report he movements of his colleagues to Dramon, a task he found personally vile. This also drew him away from his other friends. It was difficult being friends with someone who was responsible for spying on you. The Council was eventually disbanded, but it came too late for Skechid. He was pretty much spurned by the other Storm Leaders and Council members. Just as well that Dramon was eventually declared to be a False Dragon and the Dragon Reborn took over, it gave Skechid leeway to take a sabbatical. Having sworn himself to the Dragon Reborn, Skechid took off into the world. Mingling amongst Nobility and feeling right at home in the usual intrigues and manipulations of the Houses. He dedicated his time to the growth of his House, once again bringing to the pinnacle of the Cairhienin Houses. He still threaded the Eyes and Ears of the Black Tower to his means and wrote periodic reports to the Dragon reborn, as was asked of him. But with each of his old friends from the Black Tower dying one after another, either due to war or to the Taint, his heart froze harder and harder, until he no longer felt emotions. His last straw came when he heard that Dalinarius had fallen. That was the day his heart died, and he no longer lived. He breathed and moved, but he no longer felt. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "It's happening." The man spoke as he bowed. Skechid stared out of the window. Motionless. "My Lord?" "Leave me, Taelondain." Skechid's voice sent shivers down the man's spine. "Yes, my Lord." Taelondain took a deep breath, bowed and again and almost ran out of the room. "Taelondain?" Taelondain's feet stopped short of the door and he turned. "Yes, my Lord?" "Pack my things." Skechid turned back to look outside the window, as Taelondian nodded once more and left. So Tar'mon Gai'don was finally here. Signs were everywhere. And his Eyes and Ears had reported far too much happening. Skechid would have to come out of seclusion after all. Far sooner than he had hoped. He had hoped it would happen after his death. But it had come too soon. He would have to get off his behind then. Work to be done. Duty called. Heavier than a mountain. Even if it meant he would have to return to the Black Tower again. It would probably not be the Tower he knew. But it was a Tower he belonged to nonetheless. Perhaps he would die. Perhaps this time he would be at the frontline. He took a deep breath, and nodded. He would do that, yes. He had long given up the Talent of Healing, letting the loved oes around him die rather than touch them with the Taint. After all, he knew that life would not be easy had they survived. And more often than not, this was true. "They would have their own Healers now." He muttered aloud. "Probably stronger and more skilled than I." Lifting his hand he pointed at the fireplace and seized Saidin. As the pain and life filled him, he wove Fire and Air. Skechid's eyes never unfroze as the fireplace exploded in a fireball, sending smoke boiling into the sky.
  21. Rochel wisely held her tongue as Pia began to show her the next weave. She'd been about to ask just how old Pia was, as if considering the offer, but knew that it would not end well. The Mistress of Novices had already given her far more leeway than most other Aes Sedai would have, and it was best not to press her luck. At least not too much further. Observing carefully, Rochel watched the threads of air and water meticulously woven together, fighting to maintain concentration on yet another useless weave. As the finishing touches of spirit were added, the weave spun into a tiny whirlwind before quickly vanishing. Surpressing a sigh, she obediently watched a second time before embracing Saidar herself. "Now, you try, and once you have managed it I would like you to give me one reason why you should learn that weave." Rochel wanted nothing more than to slap that grin off of Pia's face, but knew she would spend the next year howling if she did. So she settled for a mean little glare, before jumping into the weave. After a failed first attempt which somehow dropped a considerable amount of water on the floor and all over her skirt, Rochel managed to duplicate the little whirlwind. Now came the hard part. After a few moments of silent thought, Rochel gave her answer. "Well, if I ever am raised to the shawl, I imagine that I'll somehow end up teaching these weaves to almost every Accepted in the Tower. And it simply wouldn't do for a Sister to look foolish in front of an initiate." There. Sufficiently defiant enough to suit her own purposes, and probably true enough that Pia wouldn't be able to deny it.
  22. Arath resisted the urge to look over his shoulder as he made his way down a corridor of the White Tower. Ever since the accidental encounter he had had with the Green Sitter, things had been ... strange. The Reds had given the Asha'man a little more freedom to move around the tower now and it appeared that every Aes Sedai and her mother knew about the Asha'man. Something had happened, though burn him if any of the Reds would tell him. Every time he came close to the subject with any of them they simply looked down their nose or raised an eyebrow. As if that should tell him everything. Or maybe as though it was his fault. Bloody Aes Sedai. That wasn't the half of it though, not for Arath anyway. With the new found freedom to explore more of the White Tower and it's grounds, he also found himself ... not followed exactly, but constantly being watched. Every corner he turned found himself looking at at least one Aes Sedai whom he couldn't recognize from the Red quarters. He was sure they must be Green Ajah, but he had no way of being sure. He'd already shown his inability to pick one ajah from another. Thinking back on that failed meeting, Arath couldn't help feel uneasy about the whole arrangement now. The White Tower had never been very forthcoming about what they wanted out of this deal. Evesdropping on the conversation between Zarinen and Jaydena had been very enlightening. He had been surprised to find that they hadn't warded the room against listeners, and had taken full advantage of the opportunity. Now he knew at least a little more than he had. Enough for him to determine that he would never willingly be bonded with a Red sister. Jaydena's vague offer though ... that had intrigued him. She had seemed more than willing to bond with an Asha'man. Though she had also made herself seem like a Red the whole time as well. Still, her views about what the bond should be were far more to his liking than Zarinen's. And technically speaking, the arrangement that he and Covai had made with the Amyrlin called for bonding between the Asha'man and Aes Sedai. Nothing specificly about the Red Ajah and been said, though it had certainly been implyed. Wandering around as he though, Arath soon found himself outside, and headed for the warder yards. Unfortunately, there also seemed to be a large number of green glad Aes Sedai in the yards today. And many of them were watching him. Looking for a place to avoid so many gazes, the Storm Leader picked up a practice sword and moved toward a less crowded corner of the yards, and soon found himself looking right at the woman who had started this whole thing. Arath wasn't quite sure what to make of this particular Aes Sedai. Clad in green shirt and breeches, she was running around with her hair blowing behind her, and a wooden practice lathe in her hand. She looked as though she were having fun. Somehow that just didn't seem like a very Aes Sedai thing to do. He was caught a little off guard when she suddenly spun around to face him. Instinct saved him from an awkward bruise on his face, and he brought up his own lathe bundle in time to block the swing. Taking a quick step back out of range, Arath grounded his sword and looked quizically at Jaydena. "You're not quite what I've come to expect from an Aes Sedai," he said after a few moments.
  23. The problem is that you're talking apples and oranges here. Nobody inside and of the Pattern can destroy the Wheel or change the destiny of the Pattern. In other words, you can't destroy time itself, nor can you change what the Pattern is trying to achieve with its weaving. Balefire can, and enough of it will, unravel the Pattern to the point of collapse. But no amount of balefire will make the Pattern alter what it is trying to achieve. It will just keep weaving toward its goal, right up until the bitter end.
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