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A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Elessar

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  1. .. Pawns in a Game of Power .. ►▼◄ The room flickered in the strange way things often did in the World of Dreams, a reflection of the real world, caught between moments. Raphael was used to this after his long experience with Tel'aran'rhiod and its ‘laws’ but it still caught his eye at times like remnants of a shadow. Raphael stared admiringly at Arissa as Vanahl droned on. Her lavender dress was unique, he knew that much, and it set off her hair and eyes beautifully. Casting a glance at Divara he grinned. The woman was giving Arissa baleful glances, as usual. That would never change, thought the Chosen as he studied the woman. She had always been fashion-conscious and never liked anyone out-dressing her. She had always been a terrible gossip, so Serahna had told him on one occasion, and apparently that had not changed since awakening in this new Age and time. She had based herself in the pathetically named White Tower and was attempting to influence events among the Aes Sedai. Raphael always thought with scorn when he thought of these women who now called themselves Aes Sedai. So weak in the One Power, and weaker in character, they were not worthy of the name! He had come to hate the Aes Sedai back in what they now called the Age of Legends, due to the betrayal he had felt, but at least they had been men and women of power and ability, worthy adversaries. Something Vanahl just said grabbed his attention. ● "Someone has been interfering with the boy Dragon ahead of schedule”, the Nae'blis said. “Under EXPLICIT orders not to. He has been visited by an unauthorized Myrddraal, two Gray Men, and a Draghkar. Pass orders to your Friends of the Dark near him that any Shadowspawn within one country of his vicinity must be reported to me immediately.” Raphael could hear the anger in Vanahl’s voice and he laughed inside. So someone had acted against the will of the Nae'blis! A daring move indeed, perhaps unwise.. but exciting even so! Raphael enjoyed watching Vanahl’s fury, though nothing showed on his face. He knew how unwise it was to provoke the man unnecessarily and so he watched and listened as the other spoke on, inwardly chuckling with glee. “Each of you will meet with me privately to tell me your plans and your knowledge of every one else's plans. I WILL find who has disobeyed." Vanahl's eyes blazed hotter as he looked at each one of them in turn.” ● Raphael felt a sliver of fear when those blazing eyes met his but he controlled his emotion and afterwards convinced himself it had not been fear, just natural weariness. Inside he felt scorn for this man who thought he was so much better than the rest of them. Yes, he had been given the honour of being chosen Nae'blis, first among them - an honour Raphael felt he should have been given! - but even so Raphael thought Vanahl did not show them - and especially him - the right amount of respect. Your arrogance, Vanahl, will one day be the death of you, he thought maliciously and with glee as their leader’s eyes moved to the next in line. Looking at other faces around the table, he wondered who it was among them that had attempted to influence events with the young poor replacement for Dar Keran. He guessed several had been tempted - except Issandra, who he felt pretty sure would not be brave enough to even consider such disobedience, and a handful of the others who were loyal to the Nae'blis. He, Raphael, had considered it of course, but in the end he had found it too risky. The Dragon Reborn - Raphael felt spite whenever he thought of the name this young so-called reincarnation had been given - would have to be dealt with in due course, in some way or another, but this was not the time. So who had gone against Vanahl’s orders? He did not think Arissa had done so. She was more than capable, of course, if she decided the risk was worth it, but he did not think she was the one. Could it be Kharin? She had hated Dar Keran from the first day she had met him and he expected that she hated his young replacement as well. He sometimes wondered if there was anyone she did not hate. It was rumoured that she got on well, shall we say, with a certain Merindhra, a voluptuous maid from Arad Doman, so perhaps she was not filled with hate all the time. She had been close to defy Vanahl on several occasions, speaking up against his plans with a gusto that several of the others gawked at and some secretly admired, making Vanahl’s features contort in rage. Perhaps this time she had acted on the threat to act against him. He would have to find out. Perhaps it was time for his current alliance with Vinadel to be broadened. ● “I am sure it is all a big misunderstanding, Vanahl.” Raphael said when the Nae'blis had finished staring at everyone, echoes of his command reverberating in the chamber. “We all know better than to disobey Your commands.” There was a hint of sarcasm in his words and his blue eyes glinted dangerously but his face was smooth as stared back at the other man. It was not a challenge per se - though sometimes his temper got the better of him, Raphael was far from stupid and would never challenge the Nae'blis unless he felt he had the advantage - but a small reminder that Vanahl should step carefully and not overplay his hand. A couple of the others smiled thinly at Raphael’s words, baiting the Nae’blis. Serahna looked amused. Kharin’s upper lip curled in disdain. Arissa just stared at him but he thought he detected a hint of a smile on her red lips. Vanahl, however, gave him a hard stare, knowing exactly what game Raphael was playing. Another sly attempt to undermine my authority. I will destroy you one day, Raphael and wipe that smirk off your face. He kept silent though, biting his tongue. That was for another day. For now it was imperative to find out who had disobeyed his orders and almost messed up his carefully laid plans for the young boy. When he found out who it was, that person would wish he or she had never been born! As for telling Vanahl his plans, Raphael had no intention of doing so. He was no fool, after all. His plans were secret and would remain so. Their success depended on secrecy. Instead he would give the Nae'blis a loose version of the truth, a vague summary of his current activities, to make the man happy. Divulging other Chosen plans was also out of the question. Not that he knew that much about the others’ activities to begin with, though he had heard some rumours and speculated on a few other things, but alliances were built on trust and secrets were not divulged. Some of the others were so loyal to Vanahl that they might speak of secrets, but most of the Chosen had their own agendas and plots to influence the world and focused on those plans and strategies whatever Vanahl demanded. Raphael guessed it would never be discovered who had ‘interfered’ with the boy Dragon. And if by some chance the guilty party was discovered.. then Raphael felt pretty certain that Vanahl would punish him or her very harshly indeed. Oh yes. The gateway snapped closed behind him, leaving the World of Dreams behind, as Raphael stepped into his own private chamber and walked slowly across to his work desk, filled with papers, maps and scrolls, and sat down. It was time to put more of his plans into motion. ● The Banners of Illian, Twelve Golden Bees on a Field of Green, situated atop the Palace called the Great Hall of the Council, rippled on the soft winds that came in off the Sea of Storms. Standing beside a large window in one of the top council rooms, Lord Serafehl, wearing a dark coat with golden fringes, ones that mirrored those in his boots in the Illian style, looked across the Square of Tammaz to the almost identical huge Ogier-built white Palace situated there, the King’s Palace, and grinned darkly. These two famous Palaces in Illian bore witness to the struggles between the two political powers in this nation: the King and the Council of Twelve. Your Palace may indeed be two feet larger in every measurement, as the stories go, Lord Serafehl thought to himself somewhat smugly, but here is where the true power of Illian resides. There had been a power-struggle in Illian for what seemed forever. The system of having the Sovereign being “advised” by a council of lords - The Council of Twelve - was bad enough for the King of Illian. But in addition to that there was still another “advisory” body known as the Assemblage chosen by and from Illian’s merchants and shop owners. Both of these groups contended with the King for power, with the result that the nation lacked apt leadership. Or so many thought. And that, Lord Serafehl mused, is what I am going to give them. Leadership. But from behind the scenes, of course.. That was always the best way, a whisper in the right ear here, a whisper in the right ear there, gaining influence among those with power, but without drawing undue attention, and slowly but surely the master-puppeteer holds the strings of a nation. And then when the time is right.. to strike - and to strike hard! ● It had taken Raphael a while in the guise of Lord Serafehl to manoeuvre into the position he held now, a member of the Council of Twelve of Illian. In the first months after making the city his new home he had set himself up as an advisor to Lord Tiriahm, a rather arrogant but not too shrewd lord from the eastern provinces, helping him solve certain “difficulties” as the Lord had called them. I removed those obstacles for you, Tiriahm. Not in the way you expected, perhaps, but even so. After that, it was easy to prevail upon a somewhat uneasy but at the same time very political-minded Tiriahm to speak his case when the council suddenly were in need of a new member after the untimely loss of Lord Nemihl, who abruptly died in his sleep one night. People whispered about assassination and murder, but no one in government found any proof of that and so it was deemed that his heart had simply lost its will to beat. And so it did, after I crushed his chest with some delicate weaves, Raphael thought with great amusement and relish as he now stared out at the Square of Tammaz. The meeting with the others had taken place the day before and Raphael had since then received messages from two of the other Chosen. Serahna wished to speak on an important matter, she said. Raphael was curious what Serahna had in mind. She was not one with whom he had much contact, but her invitation made him curious. Perhaps she was someone he should consider an alliance with. The other message was from Vinadel. He had put that aside for the moment. Stepping back from the window, he walked across his ornate chamber and seated himself in a high-backed chair. On the walls were paintings that depicted battles in Illian’s history. They pleased him, reminding him of his own battles and triumphs of command. They did also make him think of paintings of a very different kind that had decorated his chamber back before the Breaking.. in his own time. A different world. A different time. ● Brushing thoughts of the past away, though echoes lingered in the back of his mind, he considered instead what he had accomplished since his arrival in Illian. He smiled gleefully as he reminisced. For Lord Serafehl had adapted to a Councillor’s life and political work with incredible ease, something that as time passed by made most of the other Councillors reassured that the right man had been chosen for this highly prestigious position. Even though he had come so recently to the city and they knew so little about him, he radiated confidence and showed great ability with his advice and prudent motions - qualities they knew to appreciate. Though he had somewhat of a brisk manner about him at times, and his temper sometimes got the better of him, they took it as efficiency and the sign of a man born to make decisions, born to rule. With them, of course. And the King. Of course. That was the way of Illian. That was the way it had always been. That was the way it would always be. All is going according to plan Raphael thought with satisfaction. Seeds of Darkness have been sown in Illian, the Shadow spreads ever so slowly across the land, breeding instability and chaos. The Great Lord will be pleased. Much remained of his very elaborate plans, but things were proceeding quite well. ● Leaving the chamber, he walked briskly down a huge marble staircase to the floor below. He met two servants at the bottom of the stairs who bowed deeply to him as he passed but he hardly saw them, new plans forming in his mind. He rounded a corner and suddenly came face to face with Lord Ardhen, one of the few Councillors who did not think as highly of this Lord Serafehl as many of the others seemed to do. “Lord Serafehl”, he said drily. A slight bow of the head as to an equal. “Lord Ardhen”, Raphael replied in the same manner, giving the same slight bow. “Your proposal to move a good part of our armed forces into our border-region in the north was rather .. rash”, Ardhen said carefully. He was going to say foolish, but decided to be a little more tactful. “We ought to have considered the matter further before the motion was passed.” “You think so, Lord Ardhen ?” Raphael replied with a slight edge to his voice, not liking the man. “Is it not prudent to guard our northern borders when we hear tales of troubles and unrest ? The north has been neglected for too long, I believe, and it was time to do something about it.” Raphael said smoothly. “Troubles and unrest .. , my Lord Serafehl.” Lord Ardhen said. “That is just rumours .... just rumours ... and we need to be alert should those fools in Tear suddenly decide to war upon us again. You never know with them.” ● Lord Ardhen held the neighbouring nation of Tear in as low esteem as most Illianers, and should Illian ever be thrown into a war it would be with Tear, he felt certain of that. “My Lord Ardhen”, Raphael said patiently in reply, “Tear is no threat to us.” He could see from the other man’s return-stare that he did not believe him. It did not matter. “And should Tear at some point in the future become a nuisance,” Raphael added for the lord’s benefit, “we have enough of our armed forces down here south so we can deal with it. The majority of the councillors agree with my assessment of the situation”. In a somewhat smug voice he said, “Only you and Lords Kerdan and Tharin were in fact against the motion.” The other man’s lips tightened. He was an older man, well past his prime but he still had some fight left in him. “Yes, this time we lost. This time.” With those final words and casting the other man a challenging stare, he walked straight past Lord Serafehl and did not stop before he was almost at his private council-room, anger clouding his mind. There was something about that Lord Serafehl that put his teeth on edge. He was a sly one, that one, that was for sure, politically very able, but Ardhen - who came from one of the oldest families in Illian and who had been a councillor for many years - felt in his bones that there was more to it than that. He bears watching he thought grimly as he poured himself a glass of red wine from a decanter and took a big swallow. ● Staring silently at the back of the departing Lord Ardhen, thinking about what had been said in their short conversation and what had not, and also the trouble this old lord could make in the future, Raphael wondered if the older Illianer Lord ought to meet with an unfortunate accident. The ocean currents of the Sea of Storms were particularly dangerous this time of year. The Chosen’s grin widened wickedly as he walked up the steps to his chamber. There was work to be done in Illian. ▀▄ Raphael Chosen
  2. .. Tel'aran'rhiod: A Meeting of Chosen .. ►▼◄ ..Tel'aran'rhiod, the World of Dreams, the Unseen World, a place that exists in the spaces between the weave of the Great Pattern of alternate realities. It is a world much like the natural world - a reflected universe that mirrors the physical world: mountains and rivers; cities and palaces; forests and oceans. But it’s an empty place. Living creatures are not reflected; they appear only briefly when they dream themselves into Tel'aran'rhiod, and even more rarely when they enter it physically. To enter the World of Dreams in the flesh can be dangerous for those not capable enough. Very dangerous indeed.. ● Raphael, like all the other Chosen, had extensive knowledge of Tel'aran'rhiod, more than any others in this Age. Even so, the World of Dreams had always seemed somewhat of a mystery to him, a puzzle of infinite possibilities. It is the place where no dreams die. ● Where those words came from, like a whisper in his mind, he could not tell - words of another Age perhaps. Whatever their origin, he thought there was a ring of truth about them. Physically entering Tel'aran'rhiod, closing the gateway behind him, he moved across the marble floor of the huge chamber and seated himself in one of the several ornate oak chairs with high backs that were facing each other around an ornate table across a space of twelve feet. On the table were elegant crystal glasses and a dozen candle lights burning. Not that the candle lights were necessary - there were other lights along the walls lighting up the room - but they gave the meetings a certain style and familiarity, he thought. This was a mirror-image, a reflection, of the same estate chamber in the western part of the country owned by a Nobleman who was also a Friend of the Dark. It was an apt place for a meeting, Raphael had always thought, also one conducted in this Unseen World. Raphael had used it several times for clandestine meetings in the time since he had escaped the Dreamless Sleep of the Bore. Holding onto saidin - though he did not expect treachery at this meeting he did not trust anyone, least of all the other Chosen - he stared around the empty chamber as he waited. His piercing blue eyes had a calculated look. His blond hair and handsome face, coupled with his tall broad-shouldered body, was a strong indication for anyone who knew. Then again, there were very few left who knew. This was a different Age and what had once been, what moved in Raphael’s memories from the Age of Legends, was dead and gone to this world. Even so, he preferred masking his appearance from the unknowing world - in the guise of Lord Serafehl -, prudence was always wise. Brushing his hand through his blond hair for a moment, his thoughts went back to that Age before his Dreamless Sleep and as so often was the case, his mood slowly darkened and his features twisted with anger as his memories were filled with the face of Dar Keran. The blasted man! Even if he was dead and buried now, he still infuriated Raphael whenever he thought of him. Bloody Dragon! Raphael remembered a time when Dar Keran had been impressed by his skill as General and Commander of Legions, a time when they had almost been friends, but everything had changed when Dar Keran had persuaded the Shon Mel to pursue his grandiose ideas. Your pride ruined everything, Dragon. The bitter thought lingered in his mind. His betrayal by Dar Keran, as he saw it, combined with lack of appreciation for his eminent skill as a Battle Commander by his other Aes Sedai peers and comrades had pushed him toward the Shadow and the Great Lord. Being accused of brutality towards his own troops, publicly reprimanded by the White Tower and subsequently having his military command removed, was the final straw. Kneeling in front of the Great Lord of the Dark, swearing a new and unbreakable Oath, offering his life and services, gave him immense gratification and he swore vengeance on all his enemies, on the pityful Aes Sedai and on Dar Keran above all. That he never got to kill the Dragon himself still rankled, like a wound in his soul that never quite healed, but at least that damn man was dead! And I am not. Gradually calming himself, his hands in his lap, reflections thrown by the candle lights, he waited. He wore an ornate black coat to this meeting with frills at the neck and cuffs and his boots also had frills. He looked very much the part of a powerful lord and acted the part. But in his heart he was the General of his past. ● A Master of War and Strategy. One of the best Military Commanders the Great Lord had had in the War of Power. Almost at the level of Vanahl himself. His features twisted anew as he thought of the man who had taken upon himself the role of leader of the Chosen. An arrogant man at the best of times, perhaps even half-mad it was suspected (but never mentioned in his presence), Raphael did not like him at all, but he respected him, sensed the man’s strength in the One Power (which was a little greater than his own and thereby strongest of them all), and followed his lead. At least for now. Political intrigue and manipulation had never been to his liking, unlike Tervihn and Sinam who seemed to thrive with it. Raphael had indeed always preferred open military conquest. But he saw the necessity of politics and subtlety and played along in order to achieve his goals. It was, after all, a delicate situation and he knew when prudence called for less direct confrontations. He was not the most patient among them though, not the most deft at subtlety, and his temper sometimes got the better of him, but he played the Game of Power with experience and ability. Kieran and Banohr were scientists, middle-aged scholars who had created Trollocs and other Shadowspawn in the War of Power. Dedicated men who definitely had their use, but Raphael had always considered them weak and not his equal. Vinadel, the eternal philosopher, was a valuable ally, often sharing Raphael’s views. He was not the most outspoken but could be relied on. Last of the men: Gerehl. He had been a teacher in the Age of Legends, famous for having made school children cruel, vindictive and murderous through long, subtle and clever indoctrination. He had served the Great Lord well, Raphael thought, spawning a new breed of Friends of the Dark, but he had been less efficient after his awakening from the Dreamless Sleep. Also he was the type of person who always voted with what seemed to be the strongest faction among them, he had no principles as Raphael saw it. Then there were the women. Serahna, Kharin and Divara. Three capable women, but more meddlesome than most, Divara especially. Kharin could not stand him and the feeling was mutual. A handsome rather than beautiful brown-haired, long-legged woman with olive-shaped eyes and high cheekbones, she hated all men and it was a trait that had not changed in 4000 years and her attitude toward her fellow male Chosen was no exception. Issandra was the weakest of the women, in character as well as in the One Power. She had been a research-assistant to the Lyr Nahm, a demure figure of no consequence and Raphael sometimes wondered how she had had it in her to go over to the Shadow in the first place. According to Serahna, Issandra had killed her two-timing lover out of spite and had fled the city to avoid imprisonment or, even worse, Severing, finally offering her soul to the Great Lord to gain freedom and immortality. It did not sound too plausible to Raphael he had to admit, something about the scenario sounded a bit.. off, but then again human nature was impossible to understand at times and a woman scorned, as most men knew, was not the best of enemies. ● And then there was Arissa. Raphael grinned mischievously as he thought of the very capable and alluring woman. With her dark red, wavy auburn hair, glittering emerald eyes and seductive curves she was a sight to behold. Her flirtatious nature and love of beautiful people, or rather servants, was no secret, and she appreciated his handsome looks, as she had teasingly hinted at on more than one occasion. Powerful in both character and the One Power, she was one of the most formidable Chosen as he saw it. She was an important ally who could be trusted.. at least as far as any of the other Chosen could be trusted, he thought with a wicked lopsided grin. Which meant not at all, if truth be told. But some trust was needed for alliances to be made here - and everywhere - and he gave what he received, some trust and mutual cooperation, building power from behind the scenes. Raphael was brought out of his reverie by the arrival of two of the other Chosen. Kieran with his dark complexion, short brown hair and dark-brown eyes stepped out of what looked like a heavily decorated manor-room and into this meeting place. He gave a noncommittal nod to Raphael and then seated himself in one of the chairs opposite. Raphael was not surprised that the other man too held onto saidin. Few who participated in these meetings ever let their guard down. Almost without thinking he measured or sensed how strong Kieran was in the One Power and it pleased him, as always, to register that the other man was weaker than himself. Another gateway opened on the other side of the room a few moments later, echoes of a stately room, half bathed in the golden light and half draped in darkness, left behind, and Arissa stepped through. She gave him a flirtatious look as she closed the gateway behind her, her wavy auburn hair luscious and dress clinging, and walked slowly toward the ornate table where the others were seated. The beautiful dress she wore emphasized her curves and Raphael stared appreciatively at her, his blue eyes glinting, as she sat down in one of the available chairs at the end of the large table. Her eyes met his, her ruby lips pursed, and he almost expected to hear her wicked laughter which she often shared with intimates when delighted or amused. He wondered how things were going with her ‘pretties’. Probably not so well for them, he thought slyly, remembering their glazed and highly unnatural ‘eager to please’-looks when he had visited her on occasion. Arissa was hugely accomplished when it came to delicate weaves of the mind, skillful manipulations of the brain, using Compulsion and similar so-called ‘forbidden weaves’ on unsuspecting victims, probably the most accomplished of them all in that respect. She had certainly been a valuable asset during the War of Power. ● “Vanahl is late as usual”, Raphael murmured with a slight frown, changing his train of thought, as he took a sip from the drink in the glass before him. “Perhaps one of these days we will have to teach him punctuality.” It was an idle threat, spoken more as a means of breaking the silence than for any other reason; no one, after all, ‘taught’ Vanahl anything he did not wish to be ‘taught’. The repercussions could be.. unpleasant to say the least. Raphael’s blue eyes narrowed, his mouth slightly twisted, as he gazed at the silent Kieran opposite him. The man seldom spoke at these meetings, preferring to watch and listen. Unlike Sinam who never stopped talking. And Tervihn who never stopped arguing. They were 13 men and women, all different but ambitious and all born with - and strong in - the One Power, stronger than the pityful so-called Aes Sedai of this Age, who had sworn allegiance to the Great Lord in return for the promise of immortality. Forsaken, those lightfools had called them, but they were Those Chosen To Rule The World Forever. And Rule we will, Raphael thought emphatically, excitement building inside him at the thought. We shall Reign! Silence followed his words, and as they waited for the others to arrive, Raphael went over in his mind how he was to gain the confidence of several of the other Chosen for his ambitious plan. It would not be easy, seeing as all the Chosen had their own agendas, plots and plans at all times, but Raphael had always enjoyed a challenge. Strategy, he thought to himself as he sipped more from his drink, his eyes taking on a calculated look. Strategy is always the key. ● Memories took him back to Davelle 4000 years before.. “The General has betrayed us! Run, everyone! Ruuuunnn!” Screams of pain, endless screams of agony, the stench of death all around. Raphael, confident in his own power and ability, throws saidin-wrought lightening at the defending forces, watches with glee as the men die in pools of blood. His forces attacking from both sides at once, as part of his carefully thought-out military strategy, catch the defenders in a squeeze and they have no chance. None at all. The screams keep coming, shrieks of terror, the storms of chaos steadily building, and Raphael’s blue eyes glitter in endless, glorious exultation.. ● Just then, a silver line tore through the air, another gateway opening - dangerously close to the table and chairs this time - and Vanahl, leader of the Chosen, stepped arrogantly through, his eyes pools of fire. ▀▄ Raphael Chosen
  3. OOC: This RP takes place in a self-contained, parallel Portal Stone World of the Wheel of Time. Mirrors of ‘reality’ as we know it, reflections of what has been, can be and may become, but in no way a factual portrait or representation of the Wheel of Time-books or its famous characters. ------------------------- .. The Breaker of Faith .. ►▼◄ There is no more faith. The echoes of another Age reverberated in Raphael’s mind as he stared emptily into the blazing fire. ● His name was Neram Setin Vadar. Or at least, so it had once been. ● “All faith is lost!” The screams of terror almost drown out the young man’s words of desperation as he runs down the street, blood pouring down his face. “He has betrayed us! The General has betrayed us!” He stumbles and falls face first into the ground, a stab of pain in his side. With some effort he gets to his feet but is almost trampled by the mass of people running in panic from the gates. He stares back for a moment and in the distance sees the guards fighting for their lives atop the gates. “Oh Light, we have no chance now!” His breath catches in his throat as he sees the gates come crashing down. He cannot see the General but he knows he is there. The Traitor. “Run!”, he screams to a couple of tear-stricken children who stand before a half-destroyed shop off to the side, panic in their eyes, shock in their faces, unable to move. “Run, children. Run!” ● Blood fills the street and the stench of death fills the air as the minions of the Shadow crush all opposition on their surge toward the centre of the city of Devalle. The General feels waves of saidin being channeled but quite a way off. Holding onto saidin himself, loving the power flowing through his veins, he walks forwards, his gaze focused. Buildings barely standing on both sides of the street. Destruction everywhere. He halts for a moment, nods contentedly and starts off again, but is soon stopped by a small noise. He turns sideways and suddenly spots a little terrified girl who is holding hard onto her doll. She is crying, tears running down her chin in rivulets, and her big brown eyes stare fearfully at him as he bends down to look her in the eye. She shivers with fear as his hand touches her face. An unreadable look passes across his face, then he says, with passion in his voice, passion mingled with harshness, “Little one, this is a day of death. You should be long gone.” The little girl looks back at his hard face, and starts sobbing even louder. Finally she speaks, but in such a soft tone of voice that the General almost does not hear. He leans down and hears the words. “My brother is dead. They took him. There is no more faith” she says, her eyes watering over, her heart breaking. “No hope at all.” For you that is true, the General thinks. For those fools too. Yes, this is the beginning of the end. Great Lord, it is begun. The man who after this day was to be called Raphael, the Breaker of Faith, stares intensely into the smoke-filled distance as the child crumples to the ground before him. It is begun. ● The spoken words brought him back to the present. “No hope, Great Master. Or atleast so she says. Others are listening to her words and wondering if she is right.” Knee bent before the Chosen, the grey-haired man in his dark travelling-cloak faced the floor as silence followed his words. Finally Raphael spoke. “She will be silenced.” The Friend of the Dark heard the sentence pronounced and sighed. Even so, she had brought it upon herself. “But in one respect she is right” Raphael added, gaze hard. “Sometimes there is no faith.” Fools! He thought. We must rid ourselves of such fools and cowards before they damage our plans. My plans, he amended. “You may stand.” The words were softly spoken, the voice deep, but were perceived as a command. The man got to his feet and stood silently a few feet away from the Chosen. “Look at me.” The man turned his eyes up to stare the other in the face, swallowing hard even so. What he saw was a dark-haired, strong-jawed, hard faced man in his mid-twenties with dark-brown piercing eyes and a hawk-like nose in a partially scarred face. Those piercing eyes met his now in a no-nonsense manner. He swallowed hard again. Had the Chosen not used a spell of Illusion upon his servant, what the other would in fact have seen was a very tall and imposing man, handsome in looks, in his early thirties with broad shoulders, blue eyes that bespoke of power and intelligence and blond hair that reached below his neck. As it was, the Friend of the Dark stared into those dark-brown eyes of his Master only for a second before shifting his gaze slightly as it were. “You will let me know if others spread discontent, won’t you ?” The words were spoken dangerously softly. “Yes, Great Master. At once!” “Good. You may go now.” The friend of the Dark bowed one last time to the Chosen, shuffled away and then locked the door behind him on the way out, glad to have been dismissed. Most of all he was glad to still be alive, having brought bad news to the Master. ● Raphael’s eyes continued staring into the blazing fire, aflame with memories of another time, whispers reaching across the ages to surround him in his timeless place. “Breaker of Faith!” “Traitor!” They named me well, those lightfools, and I embraced the name they gave me. For I did betray the Gates of Karan, I did carry the Shadow into the heart of Davelle. Oh yes. Fire. Did they think I didn’t know what I was doing ? Oh I knew - and I conquered! Storm. If only I had gotten to destroy you, Dar Keran! You proud and self-glorifying man! You destroyed the world sealing the Great Lord and us away, you and your two hundred mad Companions. Chaos. Hope has blossomed in the world as the Wheel has turned, but I will break all faith, my naming will be true. That I promise! The intense and hateful look in his eyes would have given even the staunchest warrior pause. There was intelligence there, and an inner fire of purpose and endless determination. ● And the Fire blazed on, Storms raging in screaming Flames; the Past and Present blending in a moment of Dark Revelation. ▀▄ Raphael Chosen
  4. Well, actually I do have the time and interest 😁 but after I posted I thought perhaps it was better to talk off board by PM (was going to send you a PM but you beat me to it) and so I edited the post. If you are interested, send me a PM okies 😉
  5. Em! *huggles* Kinda quiet, yeah but some of us are still around. Good to see ya! 😉
  6. There is a reason why I usually stay far away from political forum threads, to avoid ending up in big political debates and (unwillingly) stepping on toes or angering people. Especially debates which concern your current controversial President (who in Europe by most is considered dangerous, delusional, a narcissist, possibly mentally ill, totally unsuitable for the job and in best case scenario a clown who should be protected against himself). I am not going to post much in this thread, but since I began sharing some opinions and have received some feedback from you above, I will provide some more reflections this time. It will be a long post and my last one on this issue. Different people have different opinions. I mentioned Biden's age was a drawback, whether it is vital depends on his mental and physical fitness as I see it. But yes, he is a little old for the job. I understand from what you write that you hold Trump in a higher regard than I do (to put it extremely mildly). I mean no disrespect, but imho if Trump wins a second term after all that has happened with him and all that has come out in the past couple of years, I will definitely believe you Americans have lost your minds (*big grin*). I was giving my opinion on Biden from all I have seen and read over the years. I do believe he would be a good choice (despite the age-factor) and most importantly you would then have a President sound of mind with the most important qualities such a person should have imho, impulse-control, calmness of judgement and stability. All the rest (politics) can be sorted through advisors etc. But you need to have the right man in the right place at the right time. Norway have history, traditions, friendship with the US all the way back to the Norwegian immigrants settling in the US in the 1800s, WW2 and in NATO. We therefore follow US politics and news more than many others and wish for a good relationship between our countries. Politically we do prefer US Presidents who are for world trade, the UN, cooperation between states (Democrats usually) but most important to us is that the US President is a man who is responsible, who one can trust and believe in as a world leader. As it is, I am sad to say, most over here believe the neighbour's cat is a safer, sounder choice for President than your current one, so you can see that your beliefs and values and thoughts on Trump (and those of 1/2 US) will be a universe away from ours here. What makes a man worthy? That is up to every voter to decide and the decision is yours, Americans. I have summed up some of my thoughts above regarding qualities many (me included) look for in a President and thereby what makes a man worthy, but opinions will always differ and the American people must make their choice. I just hope you Americans will keep in mind that they are not just electing their leader when they elect a US President, but the world's leader as well with all the responsibility that entails. So make sure you elect the right person with the right qualities. This is my opinion only, but there goes. I have been following US politics for at least 20 years (I have been impressed by Clinton and Obama, less so by Bush jr but he also had some qualities) and I find it interesting and valuable. The populist (who cares about the truth?) anti-establishment trend which carried Trump to victory is a dangerous one I believe, we also see it elsewhere in the world (also in parts of Europe) and it often gives nations populist extreme, nationalist and often unsuited leaders. I fear this is the way of the future due to loss of belief in our leaders (a mistake I say) and that it will make the world a less secure place for the coming generations. Only time will tell. I had not planned to write so much tbh, but once I started I felt it right to give more details to 'flesh out' my opinion. I will return now to the WoT-Roleplay that I primarily do and spend my time with at DM, will write no more here in this thread as mentioned. I wish you Americans the best of luck in your coming Presidential election and sincerely hope you make the correct choice this time *wink and smile*.
  7. I am not into all the Democratic candidates at present, but to me Biden (though a little old perhaps) seems a good and sensible choice. He has intellect, much experience, values, right temperament and stands for moderation. Compared to the current President he is light years better imo (but then again, I thought you Americans had a moment of 'temporary insanity' when you elected the totally unsuitable - and more than possibly criminal - Trump to Office..). Whoever you end up choosing as the Democratic candidate for 2020, I hope the American people come to their senses and elect a worthy President this time.
  8. Wonderful post, Tyrell ^^ When you put it like that, we are probably all here a little nuts to enjoy this great fantasy-saga as entertainment.. *dark grin* It is certainly adult in most respects, and often extreme (though the consensual sex-part, as you say, is modest [mostly off screen] compared to similar works; personally I approve of that but, like others, think that part will be much more prominent in the tv-series).
  9. I am come late to this topic/discussion, mainly because I primarily RP-write at DM these days. Here are, however, some reflections (note: long post). [I have not read through this thread so things I mention may have been discussed before and there might be more information regarding details around the tv-series etc, so these are my general thoughts and opinions] I am tbh somewhat conflicted with regards to this tv-series. On the one hand, I am excited that the masterful ‘The Wheel of Time’-series seems to get a tv-series production and wonder what they will be able to make of it. If there is any fantasy-series (not filmed yet) that deserves a tv-series, it is this one. On the other hand, I fear whether they will be able to do it justice and not ‘just’ make a dumbed down, overly-simplified politically-correct version which perhaps works for a mainstream audience (who never read the books and perhaps never intend to) but which will be somewhat painful for us hardcore-WoT’ers to experience. I had the same fears back in the day when I heard that ‘The Lord of the Rings’ was being made into movies, fearing that they would be inferior, unworthy simplified versions of what I considered a fantasy-masterpiece. Thankfully, and much to my relief, Peter Jackson made 3 films which (especially in the extended versions) imo were an excellent rendition of the books, keeping most of the story, changing little and with some additions (f.ex. including Arwen Evenstar and her relationship with Aragorn) that I think actually made it even better. Also with ‘Game of Thrones’ the production is excellent imo, based on George RR Martin’s ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’-books, despite some changes (especially in later seasons) in the narrative. This is probably partly due to the huge budget spent on this mega-popular tv-series (money often, though not always, means quality) and a professional production. I must admit that when ‘Game of Thrones’ began on HBO I thought to myself hypothetically filming ‘The Wheel of Time’ would be a different, more complicated, prospect. Part of this is because more of this huge fantasy-series takes place in the characters’ heads (internal) and also that it is a lot larger tapestry in detail and all ways than ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’, not the least in world building and close to twice the size book-wise. The danger is therefore even more so imo with ‘The Wheel of Time’ that it may end up a dumbed down, very simplified version of Robert Jordan’s huge fascinating universe unless the producers do this right. And that will probably mean high budgets (closer to ‘Game of Thrones’ than ‘Chronicles of Shannara’) and many seasons. I would be less concerned if the tv-series got say 10 seasons for the 14 books than if they condensed everything into say 6-7 seasons, so the question becomes how ambitious will the producers be, how much money is there to spend, and how high ratings will the series get. Obviously there is even greater need in this tv-series than ‘Game of Thrones’ to leave out characters and lesser storylines since the amount of Aes Sedai, for instance, and lesser characters is far too large to include. I do, however, sincerely hope the producers will include the 40-50 most important characters in the books and will keep to the major storylines. I am not a ‘purist’ who expects everything in a book to be the same in a movie or tv-series - some things do work better on screen and similarly on the written page - but at the same time I am no fan of changing important/vital things in a tv-series. (I was for example fine with Starbuck becoming a woman character in the last ‘Battlestar Galactica’ tv-series though it surprised me at first, but would be far far less accepting if for example Mat suddenly was changed into Mandy in this tv-series (since ‘The Wheel of Time’ means much more to me)). The closer they stay to canon (the books) the happier I will be, though there is no need (or want) to include Robert Jordan’s huge descriptions in parts of his huge story of course. I also hope they won’t change things to be politically correct (with a view to race/gender/sexual orientation etc), there is plenty diversity already in Robert Jordan’s world imo. Excess nudity (like in ‘Game of Thrones’) is not necessary either as I see it, though nudity and sex 'sells', as we know, so I would not be surprised if there was more of that in the tv-series than in the books. The same goes for excess brutality and blood (though HBO take that further perhaps). I read somewhere that they are considering a ‘feminist’ angle with so many female main characters (Egwene, Nynaeve, Elayne, Min etc), but I think these characters are strong in themselves in the books (as Robert Jordan deliberately wrote them) and I see no need to emphasize ‘girlpower’ in the tv-series (though I would not be surprised if it happens considering the times we are living in). As for casting I have no thoughts on the matter as of yet. I cannot quite picture in my mind who I can imagine playing a good Rand, Egwene, Moiraine etc but they did a good job casting the ‘Game of Thrones’-characters so if these producers do a similar job I would be pleased. I do hope they will keep to the characteristics/looks from the books though, having a blond Nynaeve for example would not work so well with me. I believe the reason for the enormous success of ‘Game of Thrones’ besides it being a big-budget production with quality script, actors, cinematography is that it appeals to several groups of viewers at the same time; those who love high fantasy, those who love Middle Ages-type Castles and Knight-stories, those who love historical drama, and those who love zombie-type stories. It is quite a feat to appeal to so many groups at the same time. It also was/is the first big-scale fantasy-type series on tv (smaller-scale tv-series in the genre have, of course, been aired before, including the aforementioned ‘Chronicles of Shannara’) and for that reason also it will probably be impossible for ‘The Wheel of Time’, I think, to compete rating- and popularity-wise. What one can hope for, I think, is for a tv-series which gains ratings/popularity say half-way between ‘Chronicles of Shannara’ and ‘Game of Thrones’, sufficient enough to get many tv-seasons and to get a worthy, quality and reasonably popular high fantasy-series. The excellent and momentous ‘The Wheel of Time’-saga by the late Robert Jordan deserves no less.
  10. I am no expert nor an (RP) Admin, but from what I have read and years of RP-experience Andoran people come with both dark and fair hair, dark and blue eyes, with regions like the Two Rivers having predominantly dark hair and eyes. Andorans are also often described as being pale skinned. So having a blue-eyed Andoran character from Caemlyn, or from an outlying farm, will surely be fine (in fact I am RPing with a player with one such character even as we speak).
  11. *raises her mug of brew to that* indeed *grins* can't wait to see my clumsy accepted having her first lesson. if u're in, i'll try to write a first post in the WT lol I'll send you a PM okies
  12. ^ Perhaps, but it would be even more interesting for both parties involved, development and storywise, to ‘swordtrain’ your Accepted, if it were the first step on a path that ends with the two of them bonding when she soon-ish is a young Sedai, you know.. *grins and winks*
  13. I am still around with my - interesting, valiant but 'slightly damaged goods', with a long history - unbonded Warder-character Elessar Telcontar. Have been looking for an active female player with a Sedai to bond for a while, but with few active players around I've had a go at solo-RPing.
  14. .. To Fulfill One’s Fate .. ►▼◄ KNOW WHAT IT IS LIKE TO BE A GODDESS, MY DAUGHTER. With those words reality changed. Day changed into night, the sun gone for a moment in time and replaced by a dark blue night sky. Benahlia felt enormous power flow through her from Anithar, drawing all life out of her and rearranging it in a way.. and she burned like a star …. Burned and shone and … changed … evolved … Never to be the same again … Thousands of pictures flashed in her mind and she rose slowly from the ground, floating upwards high above the Temple. The light burned her but she did not feel any pain. She did not feel anything. Except the otherworldly rapture! Like a star in the sky she blazed, like the hope of a thousand years manifested in this one being. ♦ All the colours of the rainbow radiated around her and from her then, from purple to yellow, from green to red, from blue to brown - and it was an awesome sight indeed! Those were eternal seconds, moments where she was connected to the core of the universe; to life and death, to happiness and pain, to the magic of all that was and had been, and the pictures in her mind kept coming with all the wisdom of the Ages, all the memories of what had gone by. TO BE ALL TO BE ONE TO PROTECT ALL The earth shook far beneath her, light streamed out from her in heavy waves in a monumental display of power, and a thunderclap ran across the heavens, a herald of what was happening, a herald of the glory of rebirth. And then there was silence. And the blazing star.. ..descended slowly, and as it did so the burning power lessened, until at last it faded away completely. As Benahlia was once again on the ground her eyes opened - perhaps they had been open all the time, she could not tell - and the darkness was slowly being replaced by daylight once again. The sun was soon shining up in the day sky, and what had happened but a memory within a memory. A memory outside of time. IT IS DONE. How she could not say, just that when an eternity had passed, or perhaps just a few seconds in time, she felt the same and yet not, looked the same and yet not, spoke the same and yet not, was the same and yet not. She was different. Changed. She was Eternal. ♦ She knew it without needing any explanation. Her heart filled with such happiness and exileration and love that it felt as if it would explode - and at the same time she felt such awe and wonder as was undescribable! She was immortal. She was now a Goddess. It could not be … but it was. YES, MY CHILD. YOU ARE NOW TRULY MY DAUGHTER. AS THE ONLY GODDESS OF THIS WORLD, WE LEAVE YOU BEHIND TO LIVE IN THIS WORLD AND CARE FOR IT AS YOU WOULD FOR YOUR OWN CHILD. THE WORLD IS YOUR CHILD NOW. WE KNOW YOU WILL DO IT WITH WISDOM AND LOVE. Benahlia, formerly High Priestess of Anithar, now a Goddess of this world, replied in soft tones: MOTHER, I HAVE NO WORDS …NO WORDS … NO WORDS ARE NECESSARY. GIVE GUIDANCE TO THOSE WHO SEEK IT, MY CHILD. AND REMEMBER THAT WE CAN’T SEE INTO THE FUTURE. THE FUTURE IS A PRODUCT OF OUR ACTIONS, A PRODUCT OF OUR DEEDS. WE ARE WHAT WE DO. MAKE SURE YOU DO WHAT IS RIGHT. WE WILL REMEMBER YOU FOREVER. YOU ARE NOW ONE OF US. AND ALWAYS WILL BE. You are now one of us. One of us. The words echoed in her mind … GOODBYE, DAUGHTER OF THE GODS. GOODBYE, MY CHILD. GOODBYE, MOTHER. I WILL LOVE YOU FOREVER IN MY HEART. AND I YOU, DAUGHTER. I WILL ALWAYS BE WITH YOU, IN YOUR HEART. FOR ALL ETERNITY. ♦ And then Anithar the Goddess of Light was gone, forever gone from this world - and in her heart Benahlia, new Goddess of Light and only Deity of this world, knew that the gateway to the Realm of the Gods was closed forever. She was left alone in this world, to guide, to care for, to protect and to love - but she would never be all alone. Anithar would always be with her. In her heart. And the new Goddess would be a part of all that was; a part of the sky, a part of the earth, a part of the oceans - a part of the world. She felt the love and wisdom and knowledge given her by her Mother and she smiled beautifully. She was immortal - and she would care for the lands ‘till the end of time. AND NO MORTAL SHALL RISE AGAIN TO CHALLENGE HIS OR HER GODDESS. I SHALL MAKE SURE OF THAT. I SHALL LOVE AND PROTECT MY WORLD FOR ALL TIME. She flowed into the earth at the Temple grounds then, becoming one with all that was in this world, one with her Child, to hold and protect, to love and care for, and was never seen again by mortal man. Only a whisper lingered on the wind as she disappeared, and it was a whisper filled with purpose, a whisper filled with certainty, a whisper of a fate fulfilled. I HAVE FULFILLED MY DESTINY. I AM BENAHLIA, THE GODDESS OF LIGHT. THIS IS MY CALLING. ▀▄▀▄ ▀▄ THE END
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