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Arath Faringal

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  1. Arath stared into the fire for a time before answering. "I used to be. Saidin terrified me at first. Watching the others fall all around me didn't help. Out of the ten of us who arrived at the Black Tower together, only five made it through training. One burst into flames on his first contact with Saidin. Another one went mad within the first week, screaming about spiders inside his skin. He died trying to cut them out. The third one fell in a training accident with another soldier. A fireball gone wrong. The fourth went mad shortly before he would have been raised, and killed the fifth by surprise, convinced he was actually a Myrdraal in a clever disguise." The Asha'man continued to gaze into the fire, the light dancing in his eyes. He didn't revisit his memories very often. Dwelling on those who had been lost was simply too depressing. Better to move forward and simply accept what had happened. "If there was another way, we would do it. But there is not. We either press forward quickly, accepting the losses that follow, or creep forward cautiously, watching most fall to the madness before reaching their potential." He shook his head softly. "Either way it's not much of a chioce. But it is our choice. Every man who comes to the Black Tower does so of his own free will, knowing what the eventual consequences of his decision will be. "I suppose that is what makes it easier to press forward like we do, despite the risks. I am not afraid of that fate, because I accept it as inevitable. The taint will kill me. I will not live long, and so I don't need to worry about what might happen to me. I don't need to hold back. I don't want to hold back." With a sigh, Arath looked away from the fire, staring down into his hands. "It isn't easy. Burn me if it is. But there is no other way. Not for us."
  2. Arath lounged on his stool, relaxed, yet fully prepared for whatever might come his way. He'd half thought that the warders were going to try and run him through on the spot. Now this other Aes Sedai was watching him like a hawk eyeing a mouse. Maybe a little bit more subtle way of driving out game would be necessary in the future. "Are you truly so hungry that a bow would not have sufficed?" Arath thought about that for a moment, turning the spits slowly over the fire. "Which part of it bothers you Aes Sedai? The 'fairness' of the hunt? The fact that I ignore Tar Valon's 'traditional' use of the Power? Or is it just because of who ... or what ... I am?" There was silence for a moment while the two stared at each other through the fire. "It is our way," he said finally. "Not butchery with the One Power, but a constant struggle to master it as quickly as possible. We are very much alike, you and I, and yet worlds apart. We both wield a power that could burn the whole world to ash, or cause it to bloom. You are respected throughout much of the world, I am reviled throughout all of it. You and yours have decades to learn your ability, and centuries of life to master it. Me? I've had less than 3 years to learn, and my life will probably be measured in months, or even days." Arath paused for a moment, choosing his words carefully. "When a man is brought to the Black Tower, he needs to be ready to fight the Last Battle as soon as possible. So we push him. Everything he does, he does with the Power. From cutting wood, to building a house, down to cooking each meal. Even when it is far more difficult to do something with the Power, we use it anyway. When it comes to something more simple, like this ..." he waved a hand at the roasting meat. With a small laugh he added, "I can't shoot a bow to save my life anyway."
  3. Arath wondered for the hundredth time why he had agreed to this. 'A show of good will and cooperation' she'd said. Right. He had grown used to it over the last few years, but it was never pleasant to feel like the world's most unwelcome guest. Which was very much how he was feeling right now. Not that anyone was overly unfriendly. One of the warders had even tried to strike up a conversation, though it had felt more like a threat assessment rather than a normal conversation. Considering the company he was in, he might have felt a little uneasy if anyone had seemed to like him. It was a strange little troupe. Three Aes Sedai, one of whom who seemed to be as new as could be, two jumpy warders, and an Asha'man. Not the oddest company he had kept, but close. As night began to fall, the group set up camp quickly. And just as quickly, everyone else seemed to vanish. The warders were practicing with the sword, and judging by the tingling in his skin, the Aes Sedai were practicing with Saidar. And Arath just sat there, looking at the fire. For a moment he considered joining the warders, since technically speaking he had something in common with them. Only he held the bond instead of being bonded. But he doubted that they would appreciate the similarity, and he'd rather not give them an opportunity to have an 'accident' which left him bloodied. He knew very well that either of them would be able to beat him senseless with a sword, his own skills not withstanding. No ... better to avoid that altogether. Going to join the Aes Sedai wasn't an option either. Not that it would really do any good, since he wouldn't be able to see their weaves, nor they his, but he really didn't think he would be welcome there either. And so he was left with a dilemna. What was he supposed to do? And so he sat. And stared at the fire. A few minutes of that was all he could take however, and he found himself on his feet, looking for something to do. Finding nothing in the camp that needed preperations, Arath began to meander around the outside edges, taking in the area. It never hurt to know the area well enough to Travel if he needed to make a quick getaway. Travelling ... again, he wondered why they weren't just Travelling to Amadicia, especially if this was such an important thing for them to be doing. Maybe that was why he had been invited to join this group? Or maybe the Sisters simply had their reasons for travelling slowly. Either way was fine with him. As he thought about his strange circumstances, Arath found himself wandering close to a grove of trees. An idea of something he could do dawned on him, and he siezed Saidin. A simple weave of air formed in front of him, and he extended it toward the trees. He hesitated for a moment, wondering if the Aes Sedai would frown on what he was about to do. Then deciding that he didn't care, he went ahead with it anyway. The little weave collapsed into a large clap of thunder, emanating from the grove. The undergrowth errupted in movement as all the animals nearby shied away from the sudden sound. Picking his targets as they sped away, Arath wove deftly with air and fire, snaring each creature by the head and ending it's struggles quickly. It was all over in a matter of moments, and Arath was quickly headed back to the nearby camp with a small deer slung over his shoulders, and three rabbits in his hand. Before long, he was seated next to the fire again, dressing his kills with Saidin. The rabbits almost seemed to jump out of their skins, hair and organs deftly removed with air razors in a matter of seconds. The deer took a little more time to dress properly, but soon it too was nothing but a neatly folded skin and a pile of meat, the bones and waste burnt to ashes with a flash of Fire. Opting to go for a more traditional method of cooking, the young Asha'man skewered the rabbits on makeshift spits and set them over the fire. The venison would be going into his saddlebags after he wove a preserving weave over it. Using Saidin one last time, Arath used strands of earth to shape the ground beneath him, raising a comfortable stool to sit on. Releasing the power, he settled into his new seat and focused on dinner. The smells were soon drifting over the camp, sure to make the other hungry travellers at least a little more friendly.
  4. It took a little longer than he would have liked, but eventually all twelve of the Dedicated had arrived, been shielded, and had retrieved their weapons. A few of them looked as though they had chosen unfamiliar weapons, perhaps thinking they would have the chance to learn something new here. Did they expect him to go as easy on them as Skechid had? They were in for a rude awakening if so. Using the Power, Arath amplified his voice a little more than necessary and issued his next orders. "Everyone hold your weapon out in front of you. You will be giving your all in this class, so I need to make sure you won't kill each other." The dedicated formed a line and held their weapons out for Arath's inspection. Starting at one end, the Storm Leader slowly moved from person to person, weaving a strip of air along all the sharp edges in order to protect the blades and his students. One fool who looked as though he was holding a mace for the first time presented a little bit of a problem, but Arath simply covered the head of the weapon in a spongy weave of air that would hopefully dampen any blows he managed to land. Not that there appeared to be much danger of that the way he was holding it. Once he had finished, Arath centered himself on the group again and resumed his instructions. "Pair up. You'll spar with your partner for two minutes, and I don't want you holding back at all. Your objective is to take your enemy down. I don't care what you do. Fighting dirty, cheap tricks ... whatever it takes. You go until I call time, or until one of you is down on the ground and beaten." The dedicated all quickly paired themselves off and waited for his signal. Arath obliged them with a simple weave of air which resulted in a thunderclap. At once the silver pinned warriors turned on each other with varying degrees of skill. He watched them all from the sidelines, picking out examples for the next part of his lesson. OOC: Okay, you get to write a little mini-battle with your partner. Probably an NPC Dedicated, though if you really want to, 2 of you can work it out together. Make the fights go however you wish. Win, lose, full two minues, 15 seconds ... however you want. Just make it interesting.
  5. The frigid, early morning wind blew around the solitary figure on the Black Tower training grounds. For once, Arath did not ignore the cold, instead relishing in the feelings. He did not do that often enough. Feeling. Heat, cold, or emotion, he found himself putting them all aside. Not feeling seemed to make it easier to get by without dwelling on difficult issues. And so he stood in the biting cold wind, enjoying the feeling and thinking. The last few years had been interesting. Unexpected, and even boring at times, but interesting nonetheless. As the sun crept over the trees, Arath siezed Saidin. It still amazed him sometimes. How alive the storm of ice and fire made him feel, yet how close to death the taint felt. He would never be able to forget the filth of the Dark Ones touch, even if it were to miraculously disappear. How long would it be before it took him? As the rest of the farm began to stir, Arath allowed his distrurbed thoughts to slide off the void, and once again began to ignore the natural elements. He needed to be calm and focused for the task at hand. He was returning to his old role as an instructor, and could not afford the distractions of emotion. The Dedicated in today's lessons had been progressing well, but some of them had been spurning their lessons in the sword. He would rectify that mistake. Harshly if need be. He wasn't sure how long he stood waiting before the first of his students arrived. There were a full dozen of them today, but he waited only for the first three before he began. Siezing the Source, Arath wove Spirit and cut each Dedicated from the source with a thick shield. Tying the shields tightly in place, he gave them their first simple instructions. "Today, you learn battle plan B. What to do when you can't channel. Go to the weapons shed at the north end of the training grounds and grab your weapon of choice. Move!" As each new man arrived, Arath repeated the procedure, shielding them and sending them off for their weapons. When the last of them had finally arrived and gone off in search of a weapon, Arath channeled his own blades into being. Kneeling down, Arath placed each hand on the ground and channeled Earth, Air, and Fire. Moments later, he wielded a pair of solid earthen blades, each glowing a with a strange red hue. Less fire than he usually would have used since he didn't want to actually harm the Dedicated, but he had found this glow to be rather intimidating. Especially when they had never seen anything quite like it before. Grounding the tips of his blades in front of him, Arath waited for the Dedicated to return. Light willing, this class would go well.
  6. Thats what YOU think ... And I guess you'd be thinking right. *Official Stamp* Gratz
  7. The biggest thing I'd change is the way the Cleansing was done. A half dozen forsaken running around the hilltop, Travelling from spot to spot in a panic? It always seemed pretty poorly done to me. And now in light of the latest book ... unless the DO didn't care at all if Rand cleansed the source the shadow response makes absolutely no sense.
  8. Four year journey? Sounds sufficiently crazy for a whitecloak I guess. *BT Stamp*
  9. *Hands Grimm the Silver Sword* Congrats. Now you get to start all over with Dedicated reqs!
  10. Daevis nodded. "We're a bit closer than you might think." He spared a glance at the two newest additions to the group. They looked pretty roughed up, but they would both manage a short trip through a gateway. Healing could wait. Tendrils of Spirit laced outward and quickly formed the shape of a gateway. A small flash of light split the air, rotating into a hole of absolute blackness. A skimming gateway. Ignoring the sounds of surprise coming from one of the newly rescued Wolfkin, Daevis stepped through the portal, onto the waiting platform. "Well, are you coming? I can hold this open for quite a while, but I'd rather not have to. It gets pretty boring in here." A few moments later, his three companions had bustled through the gateway, and he let it snap shut behind Lorelai's heels. At once, he felt the odd sensation of still movement as the platform drifted toward his intended destination. It was only a short distance, so the trip only lasted a few seconds. The moving sensation ceased almost as soon as it began, and Daevis split the void with another gateway, this time opening up into the clearing he had been resting in earlier. In short order, everyone had emerged from the gateway, looking no worse for their little trip in the void. Perhaps a little unnerved, but that was to be expected. Daevis had seen some new Soldiers wet themselves the first time they Skimmed. "Sure beats walking, doesn't it? Over long distances for sure. Now then," he turned to two newly rescued wolfkin, "will you allow me to Heal your wounds and help you on your way home?"
  11. Arath wasn't quite sure what to expect as he entered the White Tower's stables and approached the women who had already gathered there. Jaydena had asked him to come along on this expedition in her stead, but he somehow doubted that it had been discussed with the others. Indeed, they looked more than a little surprised to see him. "Hello ... sisters. Jaydena asked me to come along on this trip. An extra warder." Not exactly true, since he was the one holding this bond. Did that make Jaydena his warder? They still had yet to come up with a good term for the situation. "She was rather insistant on this." A few quite moments and unreadable expressions later, Arath continued. "At any rate, I don't believe I've met any of you before. I'm Arath, Storm Leader of the Black Tower." He doubted that he needed to be introduced, since Jade hadn't exactly been shy about the bonding among her own ajah, but it never hurt to be polite. Especially around this place. "So, where are we going?"
  12. DM Handle: MarquisStar Contact Info: corey.lemoine@gmail.com Character Count: currently 0 Character Name: Lir Gilbearn Nationality: Andor Age: 20 Physical Characteristic: Blond Hair/Blue Eye/ 5'6 150lb Lir is fair skinned with shoulder length blond hair and pale blue eyes. He has a slight but athletic build that comes from many hours practicing the sword. He carries himself with a serious, almost solemn demeanor that takes away from any good looks that he may possess. Though he has the unweathered face of one born to privilage, his hands bear a swordsmans calluses. He walks with a limp due to a serious injury sustained in his first real taste of combat. Lir was born the third son of a third son of a minor noble house from the Andorran countryside. House Gillbearn was not among the most noteworthy or wealthy houses, and so while he grew up in a world of relative ease, it was with the expectation that he would eventually have to make his own way in the world. Lir was blessed with both quick wits and quick hands, he showed a natural aptitude for sports such as fencing, and stones which he played often with his grandmother Sergase. He was in fact often to be found in the company of adults, his serious and focused manner often put him at odds with other children his age, and his inclination for reading and study set him apart as well. As a slightly older child he began to develop a fascination for the Great Captains, and his studies became more directed. At the age of thirteen, Lir used his grandmother's connections to move in with relatives in Caemlyn so that he could begin training to join the Queens Guards with the aspiration to achieve high rank within the Andorran army. Three years later he was accepted into the Guards, and his superiors were impressed by his focus and determination. What he lacked in size and strength he made up for with both his natural quickness and long hours of practice. When the Stone of Tear fell, the entire focus of Lir's life fell apart. Being a learned man, Lir knew a smattering of the prophecies and knew that Tarmon Gaidon would come during his lifetime. Martial studies which had once been his passion and intended carreer now became an obsession. When the last battle came, he was determined to play a role in victory for the light. He briefly considered going to Tar Valon for further training, but decided that a Warder would have less impact on the battle as whole than someone who directed troops. Lir held a posistion of small rank within the Guards when the troubles errupted within the very palace. Though he fought bravely and with all of his skill, he was badly wounded in the fighting. As he watched the Lord Dragon and Aiel, Lir was overtaken with depression. He started to think that he had made the wrong choices, that a single soldier would never be able to make a difference when Tarmon Gaidon came. As he worked to overcome the weakness of his injury, he heard more and more tales of the Black Tower, and of the men who were becoming living weapons for the light. As soon as he was recovered enough to travel, he gathered his savings and set out to find the Dark tower. If he can't be tought to channel, he plans to continue north to Tar Valon.
  13. Aiel are usually pretty unmistakable. Remember in the Eye of the World where everyone assumes (corrcectly as it turned out) that Rand was an Aielman? If it's wearing Cadin'sor, wearing a veil ... it's probably a pretty safe assumption. This half daed caravan driver was also escaping from the aftermath of a battle. A fortified borderlander position that should have been able to hold for a long time. Is it a big stretch to assume that, like every other shadow battle in this book, there were shadow channelers present? So these crazy shadow Aiel being nearby doesn't seem so random anymore. As for killing the guy with a knife, why not? They are still Aiel, despite being shadow crazy types. I would think they'd get a perverse amount of pleasure from getting their hands dirty, especially if they didn't take a direct hand in the battle like they did at Maradon and with Perrin.
  14. Arath thought about the questions for a moment. So far he hadn't noticed any reaction in the bond while practicing linking, and he was fairly sure that the Aes Sedai would know about something like that from their own warder bonds. "As far as affecting my bondmate, I don't think there is any effect. No more than there would be with your own warders. As for your other question ... we aren't sure yet. So far as I can tell, the number of men in the circle must always be less than or equal to the number of women, with one exception. It is possible for one woman to link with two men. This is also the only other time where a man must lead the circle. We also found that in a circle of twenty seven where there was only one man present, a woman had to lead. The man could not take control of the flows. However, when there were two men in the circle either of them could take the lead. I presume that the same rule applies for all sizes of circles, no matter how large it gets. "If that is all then ..." At the Aes Sedai's nod, Arath assumed the void and prepared himself for the link. He hated it. Putting himself on the brink of siezing the source was difficult. The desire to move that hair's breadth and take hold of Saidin was almost impossible to combat, but worst of all was the taint. The longer he had to wait like this, the more he could feel it. All of the vileness, with none of the sweetness of Saidin. He was sure he waited no more than a few seconds, but despite the chill in the air his forehead was beaded with sweat. Fighting the taint like that was horrible. Soon enough though the Aes Sedai figured it out, and Saidin poured through him. At the same time, an awareness of sorts came upon him, and he could feel the emotions of the woman he was linked with. It wasn't like the bond he had with Jaydena, but it was similar in a way. He could feel some of her repulsion for the taint, her struggle to maintain control of Saidin. She also didn't seem overly surprised by any of it. Odd. After a few moments, Arath reached out with his mind and felt control of the link slip to him. Immediately he felt Saidar flowing to him, and he fought the instinctive urge to fight it for control. He had made that mistake the first time, and had no intention of going through that again. Saidin was a violent storm which stood ready to scour him from the earth should he slip, but Saidar was far worse. Even attempting that struggle was a sure path to destruction. It was a very strange feeling to hold both powers in check, holding Saidin by the throat while gently guiding Saidar. And yet it felt oddly ... right. Complete. Like this was how it was supposed to be. And at the same time it felt like a completely unnatural thing. He doubted he would ever understand it in his lifetime. Even if that lifetime had looked to be more than a handful of years. Once he felt comfortable with his control, Arath returned his focus to the task at hand. "It takes a lot of getting used to, but the things that can be done working like this are incredible. Most channeling effects are magnified in a way that can't be explained by sheer power." To demonstrate, Arath used Saidin and formed a fireball in front of him. He saw more than one Aes Sedai flinch away from the unseen flows and shook his head softly. Next, he formed a fireball from Saidar in front of his current linking partner, of the exact same size, with the exact same amount of the power. "Both of these are equal, made with just one half of the Power. This," he added, forming a new fireball with both halves of the Source, "is made with half as much of each power." Despite using the exact same amount of the One Power as the other two, this new ball of flame burned larger and brighter than either of the other two. Letting all three wink out of existance, Arath continued. "I'm afraid it's a poor example, but it conveys the basic idea fairly well. There is a kind of synergy between the two powers when used together. It is difficult to use the other power seperately, although it can be done. Most weaves form very differently, even such a simple one as a fireball. However, it often isn't needed. I'm often able to weave everything with Saidin, then simply reinforce it with Saidar. It's hard to explain, but simple to figure out when you have the chance." Looking over the rest of the assembled Aes Sedai, Arath pointed to the youngest looking one. "You. Come here and enter into the link. There's only so much I can teach by talking. You all need to experience it, and unless there are two of you in the circle I have to lead it." Quickly enough, the second sister was added into the circle, and Arath passed off control to one of them. Now they would begin the real learning.
  15. Arath observed each of his students carefully as he began to pace in front of the assembled group. He was more wary of this group than he ever had been of any Asha'man class, madness not withstanding. Odd, he thought, that he was more likely to be the victim of a crazed attack when surrounded by the untainted channelers than among his own taint wielding men. "The objective of this lesson is to expose you to Saidin, and to teach you a thing or two about linking." As was expected, he heard more than a few pointed sniffs at that remark. He ignored them. "Saidar just about destroyed me the first time I linked with my bondmate, and the same nearly happened to her with Saidin. They are complete opposites, and no amount of age or experience will prepare you for it." "The first thing you need to know about Saidin, is that it must be fought. There is no surrender, no guidance. It is a raging inferno, and unless you control it utterly, it will consume you. I've seen more than one man burnt to ashes by his own power because he was unable to assert his dominance over it." Some of the women in front of him looked intrigued and thoughtful. Others simply looked bored. A couple looked as though they might want to argue the point. "Next," continued the Storm Leader, "is the taint. I don't care what you have heard about it. Until you feel it for yourself, you have no idea what to expect. And you all will by the end of this lesson. I will link with each of you, and let you feel it firsthand. "Some of the rules of linking change when you add an Asha'man to the the circle, not the least of them being size. I understand that when women link, circles are limited to thirteen. Men cannot link at all without women, yet if a single man is included, the circle can have up to twenty six women. We'll give that a try toward the end of the lesson as well. "So then. Who wants to volunteer to be first?" The young Andoran hid a grin as the Aes Sedai all turned on each other, trying to figure out who would get to, or maybe have to, go first. He still hadn't been able to figure out how Aes Sedai hierarchy worked. After a short while, one of the women stepped forward to be the first victim of the class. Arath gave her a small smile and nodded his thanks to her. "As you all probably know, the woman must initiate the link. As far as I can tell, it is done exactly the same way that you normally would. But you must be prepared to battle Saidin the moment you sieze it. Surrender, and you'll probably get both of us killed. Once the link is established though, things will change a little. While you must initiate the link, only a man can control it in a two person circle. If more women are added then one of them can take the lead, but in this circle you must pass control to me." "So, unless there are any questions, shall we?" OOC: Whoever feels like going first, feel free. Or if you want to criticize, complain, flaunt superior knowledge, look like a fool ... all that stuff is good too. :D
  16. I don't think it can be called a phase when he's been that way the entire series.
  17. Sparking at 12 years old? Isn't the minimum age 14? I also noticed that the bio switches location from Dell's Bridge to Deven Ride about midway through. I'm supposing that isn't intentional?
  18. For the hundredth time, Arath wondered how he had ended up where he now was. This had all been Covai's idea, burn him! And yet, somehow, Arath had ended up in charge of relations with the Aes Sedai. He had no idea how it had happened, but he was now the one whom everyone came to, Asha'man and Aes Sedai both. It could be beyond frustrating at times, but at others it felt ... right. Like this was how things were supposed to be. After a fashion anyway. He suspected that today would be more on the frustrating side. The number of bondings had been somewhat less than hoped for, since few Aes Sedai felt like being on the 'wrong side' of the bond, yet a great number of them still wanted to learn how to link and use Saidin. Want ... it was usually more of a demand. Sometimes there were threats, thinly veiled if at all, suggesting that it would definitely be in his best interests to spill everything he knew. Light but women were frustrating! And Aes Sedai even worse. And so Arath found himself on the Tower grounds, waiting like a good little soldier for the Aes Sedai to show up for this lesson. He wasn't sure how many would be here; they all seemed to want private lessons, not a group class. Several of them would not like that. But he doubted they would like much how the teaching went anyway. Arath hadn't recieved any of the vaunted Aes Sedai education, and he had been told that he was a little bit too ... direct. Whatever that meant. After a while, a few sisters began to show up, looking as though they had all the time in the world. And then looking put out when it became clear that they would be waiting on his schedule. Arath rubbed his arms through his lightning embroidered black sleeves as one or more of the Aes Sedai channeled, probably warding conversations from his hearing. He shivered, and ignored the instinct to reach out to Saidin to defend himself. He wondered if he would ever get used to it. Once enough of his students had arrived, Arath began. Any stragglers would simply have to catch up, or come some other time. "I am Storm Leader Arath Faringal. I am the primary representative of the Black Tower, and I'm here to teach you the basics of Saidin. Light willing, this will all go smoothly." OOC: Alright, I'll give a couple days for everyone who wants to join in to post their arrival and initial impressions of the new teacher. For those of you who don't know him, Arath is about 19-20 years old, Andoran, Brown Hair, Green Eyes, likes long walks on the beach ... He's not exactly tactful, so he'll probably be ruffling more than a few feathers during this class. Try to be nice
  19. DM Handle: Clepto Contact Info: jmgilbert06@gmail.com Character Count: 0 Character Name: Gavin Mortisane Nationality: Andor Age: 18 Physical Characteristics: Dirty blonde hair, ice blue eyes, 5’11”, 180 lbs Character Description: At middling height and weight for an Andorman, Gavin does not cut an imposing figure. In fact, the only distinguishing physical characteristic is the smirk he inherited from his father. Permanently plastered on his face, Gavin always appears to be smiling at a joke that noone else heard. With a strong, clear voice and deft, nimble hands, Gavin carries himself with a calm self assurance that is uncommon amongst the common folk. The cloak he wears, marks him as common however. Split vertically, the left half of the cloak is a ice blue, and the right half carries the many fluttering patches of a gleeman’s cloak. Personal History: Gavin Mortisane was a gleeman. Actually, he was half a gleeman. His twin sister was the other half. They were raised by their mother for the first eight years, and never knew a father. After their mother died of illness, a gleeman came through their village and took them in. The gleeman was actually their father, though they wouldn’t find that out until much later. The gleeman, Mathin, continued raising the children, and taught them his craft as they wandered from town to town. Neither of them had the full aptitude however. Gavin inherited the fabled storytelling ability of gleemen, his clear voice able to evoke the feeling of actually being in the story, as well as showing promise with sleight of hand tricks and knife throwing. Cassandra inherited the music. She could play almost any instrument she picked up, though she showed particular fondness for the harp, and her singing could draw tears from even the most hardened of men. After their father passed away, they traveled and performed together, the whole greater than the sum of the parts. The only time they were ever separated, was the last. Performing their way through Tear, they stopped to see the city. Shortly after their father passed on, they vowed to see all of the great cities. After they saw Caemlyn, they moved on, and Tear was next. While gleemen find easy work in the smaller towns and villages, cities were harder, even for someone with their combined talents. Considering it a vacation, they simply stayed at an inn, marveling at the sights of the city without worries of performing for their supper. The morning they were to leave the city, Cassandra left to find food for the road while Gavin prepared their things. A few minutes after she left, there was a commotion in the streets, but Gavin ignored it until someone in the common room began shouting that someone had been killed. Curious, Gavin went to investigate. At the mouth of the alley that ran between the inn and the next building was a body. Gavin almost paid the ill-dressed man no heed and turned to go back up to his room, but out of the corner of his eye, he saw the hilt of the dagger jutting from the body’s chest. It was Cassandra’s dagger. Frantic with fear, Gavin asked everyone if they had seen his sister, but nobody had. There was a blood smear and drag marks leading down the alley, but nothing could be found there either. Since nobody saw what had happened, the people returned to their lives as if nothing happened. Gavin stayed in Tear for several weeks, looking for his sister. He even hired a thief-catcher. The thief-catcher said that the stabbed man was a known criminal, wanted for several thefts and assaults, and one murder. After three weeks of no sign of Cassandra, the thief-catcher told Gavin that he was sorry, she had disappeared, but if it was any consolation, when she stabbed the criminal in self defense, she had done the city a great service. Lost without his sister, Gavin slipped into a deep depression. The thief-catcher had taken the body to the Stone for the reward, and passed most of the reward on to Gavin, but Gavin didn’t care. He spent his days lost in ale, or stronger. There was an emptiness in him where his twin should have been, and as time wore on, the emptiness grew. Almost two months after her disappearance, Gavin heard rumors of a school for men who could channel. They took everyone for testing, and if you could, they took you. He had heard stories of this school before, with their headquarters rumored to be in Tear. With nothing left for himself without his sister, Gavin resolved to go to the school and learn. He had no idea if he could channel or not, but he wanted justice. He wanted revenge. He wanted to bring order to an all but lawless world. He wanted his sister back, but that was beyond him now. After packing his belongings — and Cassandra’s, she had only taken her cloak and belt knife when she left – Gavin left for the headquarters of the Black Tower.
  20. Arath breathed in the cold morning air, allowing the cold to wash over him for once. He didn't like detaching himself from everything so much. Ignoring heat and cold was dead useful, but sometimes he would rather just ... feel. He was waiting in the place Jaydena had told him. A place where they could practice with the Power, relatively undisturbed, and unlikely to disturb others. Which was still terribly likely. Asha'man walking freely around Tar Valon were still setting people on edge, even if they weren't channeling. Truth be told, Arath was excited for this. In his mind, this was what the new alliance was all about. Let the Red's talk about controling or 'guiding' their new bondmates. The Black Tower's reason for this was the ability to achieve greater things. Such as survival in the coming storm. And now, he was going to begin his own adventure into this kind of training. What would he be able to discover, channeling against an Aes Sedai in a controlled environment? Channeling with her? What would Saidar feel like? All questions he intended to answer today. He could feel Jaydena approaching through the bond. She didn't seem to be in any particular hurry, as far as he could tell. And so he waited.
  21. Daevis waited for the appointed ten minutes, then once again boomed out with a power amplified voice, "That's it. All new recruits, out of the inn and line up outside. Swallow whatever you've got right now, and Light help anyone I see take another bite." After the usual fun of watching the recruits stumble over eachother as they fought their way out the door, Daevis strolled out as though he had all the time in the world. Some of the new men looked annoyed, others simply looked nervous at the prospect of what was coming next. "This," Daevis said in a voice developed over years of leading Shienaran soldiers, "is your basic orientation. This is the Inn, more or less in the center of the Farm. You will not go back inside the inn until you are Dedicated rank, or at the specific order of an Asha'man. To the east is the training ground, a place you will become intimately familiar with soon enough. To the South, we have the Asha'man and family housing, and the 'Tower' where the officers work. To the west, Dedicated Barracks. To the north, the Soldier Barracks, where you will all be staying. You'll be able to stow anything you brought with you there, once we're done in the Tower. Follow me. In an orderly manner." With that, Daevis trooped off toward the Tower. It wasn't really a great name for the place ... it looked more like a small palace. After the M'Hael had been killed, the Guardian Council had taken it over for themselves and used it as their office. It could be considered the heart of the Farm, like the White Tower was the heart of Tar Valon. Only a touch less grand. At least the thing was actually black. It didn't take long to get the group there, despite the snow and slush on the ground. Soon enough, they had all been entered into the books, and those who hadn't already recieved one were issued a black coat and boots. And then they were formed up outside once again. With an evil grin, Daevis issued them their first orders. "Alright boys, now you start your basic training. It is important for an Asha'man to be physically strong, as well as strong in the Power. So we'll work on that first. Starting at the south gate," he paused and pointed for those inevitable few who were horrible with directions, "you will run along the inside of the walls. Since this is your first time, it will only be a short run. You will follow the wall to the north gate. About four miles. Then you can stash whatever things you brought at the Soldier barracks and claim a bunk. Then the real exercise begins." With that, Daevis set out at a fairly quick pace, one he was sure most of the recruits would not be able to keep up with. At least not for the whole four miles. OOC: Alright, this is wrapped up. You can make a last post or two describing your feelings and reactions to all this stuff. Giving your name, age, birthplace and whatnot to the Attack Leader who is recording it, then your first taste of BT boot camp. Welcome to the Farm.
  22. Rochel arrived at the garden a few minutes early, only to find her student already waiting for her. She seemed eager to begin, so Rochel didn't see much point in disappointing her. Skipping the pleasantries, Rochel began a simple weave of spirit and air as she approached. By the time she had arrived at Elin's side, the eavesdropping weave was completed, and anchored to the sapphire necklace around her neck. "This, is a curious little weave I learned when I was an accepted. A wilder had figured this trick out before she came to the tower, and it seemed rather useful." Extending the weave away from them, Rochel reached around a corner and down the nearby hallway. Within moments, voices seemed to eminate from the sapphire focus point. A pair of novices scrubbing floors, which Rochel had just passed on the way here. "How do you think she caught us?" "I don't know. I don't see how anybody could have found out." "Maybe Saerin tattled on us?" "Perhaps ... she's been no fun at all since she took her accepted test. I think I know how to get back at her though. Remember that packet of itch-oak I've been saving?" With a shake of her head, Rochel broke off the weave. It seemed there were two novices who would be spending an awfully long time scrubbing floors. "Well then, you can see how that weave can be useful. And you might want to warn this Accepted Saerin that someone has it in for her. Anyway, my point is not to show you ways of eavesdropping, but to demonstrate the use of the next weave." Drawing more deeply on Saidar, Rochel began an intricate weave of pure spirit. Soon, she pulled on the completed weave and it spun out into a dome around them. "This," she said, admiring her handiwork, "is a ward. They can be adapted in many different ways. This one prevents anyone on the outside from hearing what is being said. I could scream at the top of my lungs, and you would not hear a sound from a few feet away. Very useful for private conversations. So long as you don't mind advertising that you are having a private conversation. The other benefit of this weave is that so long as you hold it without tying it off, you are able to sense if someone is attempting to listen to you with the power. "Now then, I want you to attempt both weaves. Try the ward first, then attempt to listen to someone outside of this garden. After you succeed, I will show you a few other variants of the ward weave. It can be rather versatile."
  23. Daevis leaned back against a column as the fight came to a dramatic end and the spectators quickly dispersed, not wanting to be associated with either of the trouble makers. As Dashiva made his way back over toward him, he grinned. "This should be a fun group. A fight in less than five minutes ... isn't that some kind of record?" After sharing a chuckle, Daevis turned his attention back to the crowd of recruits. "Looks like we have enough. Want me to take them in then?" At the Attack Leader's nod, Daevis siezed Saidin and wove fire and air in the same weave Dashiva had just used. His amplified voice boomed out over the startled recruits. "Alright newcomers, listen up. You have ten minutes to get something to eat, and then we're going to the Keep. Once we get you all recorded in the books, the fun part starts. Ten minutes. If you're not done by then, tough luck. If you don't have anything right now, you better move quickly." Looking over the many faces in the crowd, he saw the usual smattering of disbelief, concern, and even a couple of outraged faces. Some of them had already figured out that there was no way they were all going to get to eat in that amount of time. Some were already turning to their fellows for help, looking to share a meal and at least get something. Daevis could only grin. This was always fun. OOC: Enjoy your last warm meal until you learn enough to channel up another one.
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