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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Elessar

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About Elessar

  • Birthday January 1

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    Warder

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  1. I enjoyed Buffy too. How about Charmed (a bit in the same genre), did you enjoy that series? I liked Charmed but preferred the first 3 seasons (with the original cast). Talking of enjoyable tv-series from the past: Boston Public is another one I enjoyed. A school-drama series with good acting and a lot of heart. Another one is Paradise (Guns of Paradise), an entertaining family-western series from back in the day.
  2. Yeah, I read it is being shown on HBO Max I think in upscaled Blu-ray quality. I have not watched the remastering but if it gets released on Blu-ray disc one day I will be the first in the queue to get it! (my Babylon 5 DVDs are treasured in my household). I too (of course) wish the effects were better, but I don't really care tbh - as I said, the characters in that sci fi series are truly exceptional/wonderful and I would much much rather watch a tv-series with great characters and a great storyline but poor (in today's standard) effects than a series with fantastic cgi but one-dimensional generic characters and a generic storyline.
  3. I loove Babylon 5. The effects may be outdated by today's standards (though they were state-of-the-art cgi at the time) and it is a bit theatrical compared to many shows in the genre today, but the characters.. oh my lord.. I have watched lots and lots of sci fi shows over the years, many great enjoyable ones, but I have yet to come across a sci fi series with such wonderful, memorable characters. The 5-year story arc was visionary too but the characters are what imo makes Babylon 5 a classic in the genre. I am actually re-watching The X-Files as we speak. I have the Blu-ray Complete Series collection and kinda re-watch at least some seasons of it every year. I love this tv-series too, the mix of FBI crime investigation, the supernatural and government conspiracies is just up my alley. Twin Peaks is a great tv-series imo, very original in style (at least for its time) but it's one of those series which is not for everyone. A bit too weird for some viewers, David Lynch the man behind Twin Peaks makes unconventional tv-series and films. One has to take a look and see if it is to one's taste. Season 1 of Twin Peaks is the best though (the excitement to discover who killed Laura Palmer). I see btw someone also mentioned Firefly and Farscape. These are also among my favourites in the genre. Firefly was cancelled after only 1 season (terrible decision since this was a quality series) but we could already see the potential in storybuilding (a movie called "Serenity" with the Firefly-crew came later). Farscape is another slightly quirky but fun tv-series as others also said. Some great characters there. Let me also recommend a few other tv-series: J.A.G (great courtroom meets navy action drama series), Dempsey & Makepeace (a very enjoyable 80s UK police/crime drama series) and Picket Fences (wonderful slightly quirky drama-series). I too 'juggle' watching new tv-series and re-watching old favourites, a bit of each most months. I do lose out on some newer tv-series as a result but it is a price I am willing to pay.
  4. .. Choices to be Made under Star and Moon .. ►▼◄ “This is a story from before the Age of Legends”. The gleeman’s voice drew them all in. “Or so they say, at least.” He grinned mischievously. “Who can tell when stories are created - and if they are based on truth.” His sapphire-blue eyes shone. It was clear that he loved being center stage, loved to perform. His brown hair with grey at the temples showed he was above middling years but his body was lean and strong and he felt just as fit as a man ten years his junior. He had arrived in this northern Altaran village of Senedan two days earlier, on his way to Ebou Dar to perform, and had not intended to stay but the innkeeper had persuaded him and so he had relented. Performing before an enthusiastic crowd always excited him and it was no different this evening. “The tale of Star and Moon is a special one”, he almost whispered. “A story of love.. and grief.. and eternal peace.” He saw those at the front tables listening attentively to his every word. Smiling in that direction, he gave a bow to the crowd and then he started singing. His voice was a low tenor and the sound of the melody, built upon the ancient poem, filled the whole Common Room and soon most of those present sat enraptured. ● ►▼◄ Star and Moon Princess sweet and Prince of Light Fell in love one autumn Night Great were days of joy and Smiles Both together through the Miles Beautiful she was to See Handsome man was also He Perfect couple for the Lands Wedded true and holding Hands Then the darkness fell on All In the war, the Prince`s Fall Tore her heart, the Princess Sad In her grief, she went all Mad Heart was broken and the Mind Death a solace, far Behind But at last she passed Away To the lands beyond, to Stay Mourning hard the people Cried Hope and beauty had now Died Then one evening up they Stared Wonder great, the night-sky Fared In the sky a star was Born Brilliant it shone, Forlorn And the people felt in Heart She was back, a brand new Start Tears from heaven, from the Queen Of the sky, of beauty Seen She would watch the land till End Came to all that was, my Friend But alone she was in Truth Missed her loved one, and her Youth Where was Prince and all Delight Then she saw him, moon in Night And the moon would glow with Life Her great Prince with his dear Wife Both together, far Above Star and Moon, forever Love ►▲◄ ● Elessar and Kathleen entered the Common Room just as the gleeman was finishing his story. The Warder grinned, recognizing the song and poem from the final three lines. Pity he had missed this performance since ‘Star and Moon’ was one of his favourite ones, but he and Kathleen had been busy discussing the next step of their journey. As they now sat down at an available table near the back of the Common Room, Elessar went over in his mind what options they had. Kathleen had given him a few more details about their mission in Ebou Dar. Darkfriends in high circles. A very delicate matter indeed. Elessar’s eyes always tightened dangerously whenever he thought of Darkfriends and evil minions of the Shadow. He had fought the Shadow all his life and he hated everything about it. What complicated the matter further was that Kathleen had been informed by the Blue Eyes and Ears in Lugard that a woman working secretly for the Blue Ajah in Amadicia had been captured by Whitecloaks and was being interrogated by them. Kathleen and Elessar were being asked to divert from their present course and go rescue the poor woman! There were apparently no other Sisters closer to Sienda, the town east of Amador where the woman was being held. And if they were to change their plans and head in that direction, they need do so here in Senedan. There was a road leading south-westwards toward Amadicia, the only one for many miles. The question was: were they going to take it? ● They had had a long discussion in Kathleen’s room there at the “Old Sheep” inn. There were arguments to be had both for and against making a change of plan. Kathleen had been most eager to continue to Ebou Dar and start their mission there; let someone else from the White Tower take care of the business with the captured woman. Elessar, on the other hand, had argued that they take on that responsibility also since they were the nearest. One could never tell with Whitecloaks. If one of those fanatic Questioners got involved, the woman might not last long. It remained unsaid that if worst came to worst she might not be alive by the time they arrived in Sienda. Kathleen had listened to his argument, then they had discussed the matter for a long while, considering every aspect. From what Elessar understood, she had not been ordered by the Tower to go to Amadicia but she had been asked. The decision was hers, at least formally but the Warder got the impression the.. suggestion was something more than what it appeared. When the White Tower suggested something, it was usually followed. Kathleen seemed very uncertain what to do, or at least that was Elessar’s impression. But he could be wrong, of course. It could be that Kathleen had made her decision already. They did not speak as they sipped from cups of kaf while the gleeman played a tune on his flute. The Gaidin studied the people in the Common Room. It was the usual mix of locals, travellers, finer folk and commoners. Some were drunk, some playful, some quiet and some somber, staring hard into their drinks. A couple bearded middle-aged male guests, non-locals, looked like potential troublemakers, banging their tables and spilling wine, grabbing the behinds of the serving women, and not too friendly when being asked to chill, but they were being observed by two bouncers standing by the wall who were ready to intervene if necessary. Elessar watched the bouncers in the Warder-trained way of not seeming to do so, always amused by the big-muscle-small-intellect fashion of such men. Still, they had their uses. Shifting his gaze to his Bondholder he watched her carefully over the rim of his cup as he took another sip. Was she still considering Amadicia or had she decided already? Kathleen noticed his gaze but remained silent. She suspected what he was thinking. And she had in fact decided on the best course of action. But she needed some time to mull it over in her head before she shared her decision with her Warder. ● When they were finally done in the Common Room, they walked together through the reception hall and up the stairs to the floor above. They passed some other guests who stared wide-eyed at the Aes Sedai and Warder, and the smiling well-fed bald innkeeper, who was cleaning some glasses behind his desk, gave a polite nod in their direction as they passed him by. A black cat crept past their legs, on its way along the corridor to greener pastures, and Elessar followed it with his eyes as it disappeared around a corner. As they came up to their rooms, three quarters along the long corridor, Kathleen stopped and turned toward Elessar. Her face was Aes Sedai-smooth. She spoke one word, her eyes meeting his squarely. Amadicia. ▀▄
  5. .. Travelling Southwards .. ►▼◄ The following morning Elessar’s head felt heavy as lead. He had had those dreams.. again.. The dream-memories that kept returning, that were part of his soul. Burying his head in his hands for a moment he wondered if those dreams would ever end. A small voice in the back of his head taunted him, questioning whether he wanted to be rid of those memories. He sighed heavily. It was his burden to bear and bear it he would. Staring out of the small window in his room now he saw the sun rising in a partially clouded sky. A pair of eagles drifted by high in that sky, carried on winds on their way southwards. A little girl was playing with something on a balcony of a house one level beneath him and he saw her mother behind her watching her child carefully. The blissful innocence of childhood. The sound of voices came from afar. Turning away from the window the Warder packed his belongings and readied himself for departure. He could feel Kathleen on the floor below him, she was having a talk with the innkeeper before they were leaving. He wondered if she had awakened by his painful, almost ferocious dreams the previous night. She had said nothing to him when they shared a quiet breakfast in the Common Room but she had looked at him a few times in a way which made him suspect that she had awakened and, perhaps, been a little concerned. She respected his privacy and would never inquire or at least that was what he thought. A short time later Elessar brought their horses from the stables behind the inn and they mounted without a word, heading slowly down the road - the Warder slightly ahead of his Sedai as before - and southwards. ● They made camp that evening in a woodland area several miles south of Lugard. Elessar led the way away from the dusty road and into the trees, looking for a suitable place to make camp. Kathleen followed on her mare, certain that her Warder would find a suitable site. He was an experienced Gaidin and she trusted his skills. Riding behind Elessar her thoughts went to Nevuel once again. What was he really doing in the north? He had been very vague when she had asked him. She thought Nevuel was an excellent Warder, one she valued very highly, but he did have an independent streak.. She could feel him through the Bond but he was very distant now.. Her train of thought was disrupted when Elessar stopped and spoke over his shoulder that this was a decent place. Looking around Kathleen saw that he was right. The place was sheltered beneath trees, from wind or rain, and there was a small brook only fifty paces or so away. Nodding to her Gaidin she dismounted and let Elessar take the horses to tether them to a tree off to the side. Not longer after Kathleen had a fire going and was preparing a small meal of dried beef and some bread. Elessar was scouting the perimeter, doing his usual check of the surroundings. Not that they expected any danger out here in the apparent wilderness but it was prudent to be careful, just in case, and she knew anyway that she would never succeed in talking Elessar out of it. When he returned a little later, as darkness was slowly enveloping the sky and the woods, he sat down opposite her by the fire and shared the small meal with her. ● Afterwards, Kat sipped at her kaf while Elessar sharpened one of the knives he carried on his body. He could feel her eyes on him but she remained silent. After a while she left the fire and seated herself with her back leaning on the trunk of a tree nearby, her knees steepled in front of her. She stared quietly into the night and Elessar suspected she might be thinking of her other Warder, Nevuel Gaidin. He was somewhere in the North, Elessar understood from the little Kathleen had told him. He liked Nevuel, another Northerner like himself. He recalled well meeting him the first time after his conversations with Kathleen. It wasn’t that long ago but it felt like it. The next morning Elessar got up at dawn. He wanted to do some exercises, practice his sword forms before Kathleen woke up, and so he headed for a patch of partially open land a little outside their camp site. Closing his eyes, he cloaked himself in the Flame and the Void. Then.. Unfolding the Fan, the opening move, which flowed into Low Wind Rising, a diagonal slash which began low and rose cleanly, followed by The Boar Rushes Down the Mountain, a vertical slash starting high and which in this case altered course in mid-swing, paired with Tower of Morning, a vertical slash but this time beginning low and ending high. Combining forms in a way which only highly skilled swordsmen were able, he slashed and thrust, parried and counter-thrust, becoming one with his blade. He went on for a long time. Sweat beaded on his brow and chest by the time he was finished. Sheathing his sword in one smooth motion, he looked up into the blue sky while catching his breath. As his pulse gradually lowered, he brushed away some sweat from his brow and his eyes, then turned toward the camp site. He could feel Kathleen moving about through the Bond and headed back to her, his sword in hand. They spoke a few quiet words before he walked to the brook to wash himself. Soon he was back, pulling on a fresh shirt, and they shared a small cold breakfast Kathleen had prepared. She offered him a cup of kaf which he accepted with a smile and a thanks. She had used Saidar to heat the kaf since she had made no new fire that morning. She observed that she knew the travelling could take the taste out sometimes, but that she hoped the cup was not too disappointing. She had said something similar on a previous mission and it had seemed as if there was more behind the words. She had not elaborated though and did not do so this time either. He replied that it tasted very well and that a warm drink was just what was needed before a long day of travelling. Kathleen nodded at his words but it was impossible to tell what she thought. ● Soon after they packed their things and readied to break camp. Walking over to their horses, Elessar gave them a quick brush-down, checked that the saddles were safely fastened, and spoke some soothing words to them both. He also gave them each an apple to enjoy. Stormbreaker munched contentedly on the apple and enjoyed Elessar’s pats on his back and side. Kathleen’s mare seemed pretty pleased as well with the attention she got. The Warder then returned to where his Aes Sedai waited, took their packs and fastened them to the horses. Soon they were ready to leave. At a nod from his Bondholder, he held out the reins of her horse to her and watched as she mounted. He then mounted the stallion and took the lead as they slowly headed out of the woods and back toward the road leading southwards. The sun was slowly rising in a blue sky and a soft wind from the south-west brushed their travelling cloaks as they pushed their mounts onwards. ● Several days later they passed the border into the nation of Altara, following the Great North Road in the direction of Ebou Dar. Late one afternoon they reached the village of Senedan. ▀▄
  6. .. Lost in painful Dream-Memories: A Broken Bond .. ►▼◄ That night Elessar was Lost in painful Dream-Memories. Memories that often haunted him at night. Memories that he wanted to forget, but which part of his soul clung onto. Memories of Light but mostly of Darkness. Memories of loss. Memories of Leandreen. Deep within his soul a scream sounded like a sliver of burning light brushing against the surface of a silent pond. He was caught in its grip and was unable to escape. A Dark wind blew through him as images flashed in his mind, images he had wanted to escape from for years.. memories that were part of him. And he was back in the painful chaos of that moment… every single detail imprinted on his mind.. ● ..In that timeless period between one second and the next, the Warder-Bond snapped, like a razor-sharp knife slicing through the thinnest of paper, leaving only emptiness behind. Of a multitude of emotions filling Elessar’s mind right then, above all he felt shock. Utter and incredible shock. And disbelief. His world came crashing down upon him. He swayed where he stood above a fallen Trolloc, his sword deeply embedded in the creature’s side. The Shadowspawn, a twisted blend of animal and human stock, with a wolf’s muzzle and beastly features, was huge in stature and like all his kindred had been a ferocious fighter. Though far from bright, Trollocs could be surprisingly sly creatures as Elessar and his Sedai had experienced several times over the years. This one would reap no more havoc in the Borderlands. Rage and anger swept over him then, replacing the shock, and roaring in defiance he moved like a madman, with surprising agility considering his many wounds, swinging his sword in widening arcs, clearing a path to his Sedai. He was unaware of the bodies he left behind, some also human - Darkfriends! - , of the redness painting the landscape in the colour of death. All his focus was on reaching his Sedai. All his focus was on reaching her. It couldn’t be.. it just couldn’t be.. Oh dear Creator. Noooooo! Cradling her head in his arms, a moment later, wetness on his cheeks, he saw the lifeless emerald eyes staring into nothingness, the deadly arrows protruding from her body. Too late. The thought registered in his mind but he barely noticed it. I am too late. ● Staring into her face, the face that had laughed with him so many times during their travels, the face that had scolded him at times, the face that had set him in his place when he had overstepped himself but which had always looked upon him with respect and caring friendship, he saw that he hardly recognized her now. It was almost as if this was some other woman. Almost as if this was a nightmare from which he would soon awaken. But he knew better. Even now, on the brink of insanity and a path into blackness, he knew. Oh Leandreen.. I am so sorry. So sorry. ● The bitter irony of it all was that they had chanced upon this group of Trollocs - and their allies - by accident there in the foothills north-east of the Arafel city of Shol Arbela. On their way toward northern Shienar, on a mission for the White Tower, they had followed some tracks and had stumbled upon the creatures, heading foolishly into an ambush - and battle had arisen. Elessar had felt the taint of the Dark One from a way off, as Warders were gifted with through the Bond to a Sister, but partially distracted by something Leandreen had commented on, partially focused on the next part of their mission, he had misinterpreted the direction of the danger - a fatal mistake - and before he could assess the situation further it was too late. Leandreen was a proud and capable Sister of the Battle Ajah and had fought valiantly against the Shadowspawn, shielded but on the attack, felling a good number of them with the One Power just as others fell to Elessar’s deadly sword-action some distance away. He was driven apart from his Bondholder but there was nothing he could do about it as he fought hard with the Shadowspawn before him. Out of the corner of his eye he saw her fight proficiently as well and seemed more than capable. A momentary lapse of concentration due to exhaustion, however, made her suddenly trip over a fallen body and that was enough for her to let her defenses down for just a second; two deadly poisoned arrows, whether by intent or sheer luck, found their mark in her upper torso, her Warder too far away to intervene. Death took her swiftly. Oh Leandreen.. Forgive me.. ● Sadness was replaced by grief for Elessar. Utter grief and a feeling of desolation. Grief quickly turned to anger. At himself for failing her. At the Shadow. At the World. Anger turned to hatred - and in a berserker rage all the blackness buried deep within him erupted in a roaring scream of incredible fury. His eyes blacked over. Laying his Sedai carefully to rest on the bloodied ground, he picked up his sword and turned to face the remaining half-standing Trollocs some way off to his left. There was death in his dark eyes and death in his blows as the whirlwind that had once been Elessar Gaidin threw himself into the Shadowspawn with no regard for his own safety. He was a harbinger of death. ● Elessar’s body lay restless on the bed, a painful expression on his sleeping face, his muscles twitching involuntarily.. lost in his harrowing dreams of the past.. ● Death! He was balancing precariously on a thin line between light and darkness. He was walking a tightrope. Echoes of insanity reverberated in his mind. He was lost to himself and to the world around him. All that mattered to him was to avenge her death. Death! He hardly remembered who he was anymore. Except perhaps when he had his good spells. Day and night became one long blur as he travelled relentlessly toward the Blight. He almost shivered with eagerness, focusing his anger and purpose into what lay ahead. He was hunting. He would ride to Shayol Ghul if need be and there he would bring forth his wrath and take as many of them with him as he could into the realms of death. He would have his vengeance. For Leandreen. Though much else came and went in his conscience thought in those long days as he travelled ever northwards, hunting those few who had escaped his wrath, - he was sure there were a few - there had to be! - her name was a constant. Her name was a rock in a churning sea of madness. Leandreen. ● He did not encounter anyone in those first days of his journey. He almost wished he had. He wanted someone or something to strike at, a minion of the Shadow to make pay for what had happened. He wanted his vengeance. It was all that he had left. At night came the hallucinations. At night came the madness, slipping under his skin and into his mind like a dark wraith. He saw the beastly, unworldly figures crawling toward him out of the darkness and struck at the shadows with his sword, almost cackling with glee, knowing his sanity was slipping but not caring. His dark eyes were deep wells of fury as he screamed his defiance at the shadows. They never answered back. And after a while they were gone, insubstantial ghosts disappearing into the mists as if they had never been there. At other times, whispering to himself, almost without volition, soft words passed his lips. Incoherent words and sentences. Whispers that caressed his face. Whispers that tore at him all the way to his soul. Whispers out of time. I said I would die for you. And I will. No, it’s not too late. I will save you! I promised you, my life before yours. My life before yours. Yours. I will bring them down. For you! I will. My life before yours. It is my duty. Duty. I am too late. Oh my Sedai, I am too late! Too late. ● In more lucid moments, memories from his past washed over him, almost making him dizzy with their clarity. “Dad, I want to become a Warder when I am older”, said the 15-year old Kandori boy. He was fairly tall for his age with bluish-black hair and dark eyes, and one could see in the way he held himself some of the man he would one day become. His eyes were the fairly innocent eyes of youth, however, eyes that would in the years to come harden with the harsh realities of life and death. “That sounds a very good idea, my son”, said Elessar’s father with pride. “You are a Borderlander, a fighter at heart, and we stand together against the Shadow. The Warders will make an excellent soldier out of you I am sure.” Smiling, he added: ”Always respect Tar Valon, son. Those soft fools in the south have forgotten the danger, but we remember, we in the Borderlands. We stand ready. Respect Aes Sedai and stand proudly against the Shadow!” ● “My son”, said his mother with concern but also pride in her eyes, “you are grown enough to decide for yourself. But remember, sometimes one can push oneself too hard. Don’t do that, my son. Never forget who you are.” Don’t destroy yourself, my son, she whispered softly to herself, believing wrongly that he had not heard, as she hugged him tight. Don’t let it all destroy you. ● Confusion and darkness everywhere. Past and present intertwined. Mother!? A scream in his soul makes a shiver run down his back. Mother, I will save you! I will save you! The stench of death, the cries of those being slaughtered crashes into him. ● No, it is happening again! I must stop them! No, it is too late! Never too late! Never! Hacking into the Trollocs he is death reincarnated. The blood flowing makes him grin evilly in satisfaction. Justice. Then silence. Silence. Leandreen, are you there? My life before yours. Before yours. Always. I promise. ● Brushing tears of rage and loss from his face, Elessar broke camp in early morning and saddled Stormbreaker, his black stallion. His dark eyes now burned with almost feverish intensity as he stared northward into the Blight. He was a powerfully built man after many years of physical training and exertions in service to his Sedai, a dangerous warrior and swordfighter at any time and even more so now that he had no care for his own safety. He knew that his death lay at the end of this journey. His brown-green Warder’s cloak, which made him blend into the surroundings, was dirt-stained and bloody but he paid it no attention as his gaze was fixed on the horizon. I will avenge her death. I will avenge all their deaths. Elessar of Kandor was on a mission of death and nothing would stop him. Nothing! ● Moans escaped his lips, as Elessar twisted on the bed, caught by the force of his intense dreams.. ● The darkness of the night matched the darkness of Elessar’s soul. He had entered the Blight a few days before, that nightmarish land north of the Borderlands which was corrupted by the nearby influence of the Lord of the Grave, the Shepherd of the Night, the Dark One. It was a region where all the vegetation was toxic and home to insects that could cause a hideously painful demise. There were other dangers there too and any traveller had to tread carefully in this land to avoid a quick and sudden death. Death was what Elessar sought, in fact as many deaths as possible. His own would be among them. But he could not die before he had his vengeance. Though walking a thin line between sanity and madness, reason and rashness, he was not so lost in himself that he did not take some care of his movements. As the days and hours had lengthened his outward fury had subsided somewhat, changing from a frenzy of ideas and confusion and hate and grief into a single-minded fiery dark purpose of how he would inflict as much damage as he possibly could when he brought his wrath upon the Shadow. For his wrath was not gone, though it lay dormant inside him now, like an animal of prey. Waiting. For release. ● They will pay. They will all pay. And that will be the end of it. At night, in that half-awake, half-sleep state Warders were so practiced at achieving, never losing total vigilance even when resting, his thoughts went often to his many years protecting his Sedai. Other times he thought of his years in Warder-training, and how hard he had worked to excel, to become the best. He had worked relentlessly toward that end. But still I failed you, my Sedai, he thought with anger and bitterness as he clenched his fist, staring darkly into the night. For that, forgive me. But I will avenge you! The following day he saddled Stormbreaker early and set off toward the north at a gallop. His bottled up rage threatened to erupt as he raced across the desolate lands, Death’s Messenger. His eyes had become almost feverish again and he felt his tight reign on his sanity begin to slip. Not that far now, he thought to himself, trying to focus his anger. Soon now. The trail he had found a few days before had been clear and he thought it unlikely they kept lookouts. Why should they? Only madmen travelled these lands of death and none survived long. When he overtook them he would bring death to them all. His eyes intensified and his inner fire blazed. To death!, a scream came from within his soul. To death and vengeance! He was riding at a hard gallop, just topping a small rise and still half a mile behind his prey, his body almost trembling in anticipation! of what was to come, when abruptly a heavy shadow came at him from the side, brushing his horses’ flank, making him swerve in his path and forcing him to slow down. Only as Elessar swung his mount angrily around and, with death in his eyes, brought out his sword to strike, did he see that it was another mounted rider! The rider hailed him but it took him a moment to register what was being said. He did not lower his blade but frowned with strong suspicion - and undisguised anger - at the woman, for it was a woman rider who faced him from across her own mount. And not just any woman rider, but an Aes Sedai. There was no doubt. Her commanding words echoed in his turmoiled mind. “Halt! Gaidin, halt!” ● That unending pain in his soul burned brighter as Elessar lay restless on his bed lost in dreams, the darkness over Lugard mirroring the darkness of his memories. A tear ran down his left cheek.. ● Carrain Aes Sedai of the Yellow Ajah looked at her newly bonded Warder, feeling his pain. She had Bonded him forcefully to save him from throwing away his life in a futile death at the hand of the Shadow. She did not know if he would thank her for it, though. Perhaps he would have preferred death. Perhaps he would never truly heal from this deep wound of the soul. She kept her thoughts to herself, however. "You share your Leandreen's loyalties, I see." She said. His eyes met hers and his unbalanced gaze intensified as he said, with strong emotion, ”I hate the Shadow, always have, always will. So did Leandreen. Our lives were formed around fighting the Shadow at every step, every corner. And in the end, she died fighting the Shadow. Those Trollocs and their human allies, Darkfriends! I just wish I had killed them all.” I should have saved you, Leandreen. My life before yours. Forgive me. ● Later.. He stood together with Carrain Sedai watching Leandreen’s burning funeral pyre lighting up the darkness. She seemed so regal laying there, her emerald green eyes closed and her fiery red hair embracing her so familiar face, ready for the final journey. Soon she was enveloped in flames, in a blaze of light that defied the night. Oh Leandreen, forgive me. ...Words whispered on the Winds of Time… “You were a brave fighter, Leandreen”, he said, speaking words of strong emotion. ”As brave as they come. You fought the Shadow ‘till the end. Just as you always promised you would.” A short pause followed. Then he added, “Your courage shall not be forgotten, your sacrifice will be remembered. You will be remembered. Rest in peace, Leandreen Aes Sedai of the Battle Ajah. May the last embrace of the Mother welcome you home.” Goodbye Leandreen. ▀▄
  7. .. Entering Lugard & Reflections of a Bond .. ►▼◄ They reached Lugard four days later. The sun was shining from an azure-blue sky as they rode into the Murandian capital. The wind was blowing from the south-east, a wind that had increased as they rode southwards. Kathleen’s blue travelling cloak billowed behind her as she pushed her valiant mare onwards. Elessar’s colour-shifting Warder’s cloak blended into the surroundings as they left woodlands behind and galloped down the road that lead to Lugard. Riding into the city in late morning on a spring day they passed many local people and some horse-driven carriages heading toward the city center. The city was abuzz with the sounds and smells of a cosmopolitan urban place. Elessar rode a short distance in front -and to the left- of his Aes Sedai, his eyes everywhere without seeming to be in the fashion of trained Gaidin. Kathleen’s eyes stared straight ahead, hardly noticing that several bystanders on the side of the road gave them long looks as they passed by. Her mind was on the mission and how they were to accomplish what they had set out to do. Dealing with Darkfriends was always a delicate matter and when they were in positions of power in their home nations one had to step carefully. We have to find proof, the Blue Sister thought to herself. So far all they had were indications. We need proof to bring them to justice. A scruffy-looking older woman with a worn look spat into the dirt as the Aes Sedai rode past but Kathleen paid her no mind. She had seen such reactions from people many times before. Aes Sedai were not liked in all nations and not by all people. It had been that way for generations. Especially in the South where the Children of the Light influenced many people’s minds. ● They passed a large plaza with several monuments, then rode slowly down a side street passing shops and a smithy before arriving at the inn. Dismounting quickly, Elessar glanced up at the rugged sign hanging above the entrance door. “The Southern Swan” it read, with a picture of a swan in flight. The building looked worn but not as shabby as some he had frequented in this city and he presumed it would do for them. They were only staying one night. As Kathleen dismounted, the Warder took her horse’s reins and lead the two mounts to the back of the inn where a dirty young stableboy waited, taking the horses from the Gaidin. Returning to where Kathleen waited, he followed her into the establishment. A thin gaunt man of middling years with shifty eyes wearing a dirty apron watched them enter and approached them carefully. Elessar gave him a long look, suspicious of thin innkeepers - most innkeepers were, after all, well-fed and somewhat round-bodied, smiling and friendly - and the man frowned at being inspected at such length by this foreign man who obviously was a White Tower Warder from his attire and, even more, his posture. Giving a fake smile to the Aes Sedai he half-bowed and welcomed her to his poor establishment. He was not totally successful in hiding the sneer in his voice and Kathleen naturally noticed it but said nothing. She gave him her best smooth Aes Sedai face as she followed him up to their rooms. Elessar followed behind carrying all their travelling bags and belongings. The innkeeper soon left and they settled in their rooms. A little later the Warder began reading one of the books that rested on a small table in one corner. There was no book-shelf in the small room but Elessar did not mind. Opening the book he read the first few pages. It was a book about Lugard, this city they were paying a short visit on their journey southwards. Elessar had been here before on his travels but it had never been one of the cities he cared that much for. For him it lacked the beauty of Caemlyn, Tar Valon or Ebou Dar. It was just too rough and dusty, too worn down like a good portion of its population as he saw it. Trade flourished in the city though so for tradesmen it was a place of wonder. And for visitors who loved inns as well. It was said that Lugard had more inns than shops and Elessar did not doubt it. There were inns almost at every street corner. Thieves thrived too in this city and many considered any foreigner a fair mark. Unpaved roads and alleys were considered dangerous to travel alone. This is a nest of vipers, the Gaidin thought darkly as he leafed through a few more pages. The book’s author had given a fair description of the city though he was perhaps a tad too kind in his depiction of the city’s poor neighbourhoods. ● It was only seven or so hours later, as afternoon was slowly moving toward evening, when Elessar and Kathleen were set upon in a quiet side street by three rugged-looking crooks. One of them, the apparent leader, a dark-haired man in his late twenties with a long scar running down his left cheek, a broken nose and piercing eyes, held a knife up before him as he faced the Warder. His two equally rough-looking mates surrounded the Warder and Aes Sedai, their eyes spiteful. They held knives as well. “Give us your valuables!”, the leader demanded, waving his knife threateningly. “A wealthy couple like you two will not suffer if we relieve you of some of your.. possessions.” He sneered and his mates chuckled at his words. Had the men been unarmed, Elessar would have been amused. If truth be told he was still amused. These men obviously had no idea who they were dealing with. They apparently thought he and Kathleen were Nobles, an easy ‘catch’. He felt calm through the Bond from Kathleen. Or was there some amusement as well, echoing his? He never could tell for sure. Facing the leader, Elessar finally spoke. “Boys”. The way he spoke the word oozed with amusement but also with a tinge of danger. “I suggest you stop this foolishness and go about your business.” His eyes no longer smiled. “You do not wish to test me.” The leader spat. “Give us your valuables!” He repeated. His eyes were dark and unforgiving. “You don’t scare me.” He took a step forwards brandishing his weapon. “Your gold, give us your gold now!” ● Elessar sighed heavily, exchanged a quick glance with his Bondholder, then faced the thief again. Opening his Warder’s cloak, he drew his sword. The leader of the thieves stared at the big sword in surprise and Elessar could see doubt growing in the man’s eyes. The thief tried to remain fearless though. But before he had a chance to react, Elessar moved. The hilt of his sword knocked out the leader almost before the man was aware what was happening. The Warder leapt at the second man and smashed his arm into the man’s shoulder so he slumped to the ground. The third man ran off cursing over his shoulder. Staring down at the two thieves on the ground, one unconscious and one in agony, Elessar just shook his head. Fools. Turning to look at Kathleen he saw neither approval nor disapproval in her face. He turned back to the men again. He had done what needed to be done as he saw it. Both thieves would recover. And perhaps they would be a little less likely to rob people in the future. Elessar did not use excessive force if it could be avoided but he knew about armed thieves and brigands in this rough city and that they had to be dealt with effectively. Leaving the men lying on the ground, they walked onto the main street and followed it back towards the inn. They would not have been in that side street that was almost like a long alley had it not been for a flower shop they needed to visit (a local Eyes and Ears for the Blue as it turned out). Elessar blamed himself for not being alert enough. Thankfully it had been three relatively harmless young-ish thieves and not seasoned fighters. Next time they might not be so lucky. Not that he and Kathleen were unable to defend themselves. Far from it. But it was best to avoid troublesome situations. He would talk with Kathleen later and apologize for his lack of alertness. He expected better of himself. I need to do better. ● That evening they ate a meal in the inn’s Common Room and retired early to their rooms for the night. Elessar had difficulty sleeping though, thinking about how he had been caught unawares.. again. He recalled well how it had happened on their Whitebridge-mission also. Not that long ago. He sometimes wondered if his years in the Tower with Carys had made him soft. Her time had been spent in the Tower Infirmary and it had been natural that he stay close to her in Tar Valon. His first missions with Kathleen had brought him out in the world again but perhaps he needed more time to gain the edge he expected of himself. If truth be told, he had always set himself impossible standards, aiming to excel at all times, and had someone confronted him with this fact he probably would not have listened. And so he took on self-blame for every instance where he did not perform to the sky-high levels he set for himself. Thinking of Whitebridge made him also think of Kathleen. He could feel her in the next room. It seemed to him that she might be sleeping but he could never be sure. The.. sensations coming through the Bond were somewhat vague even at the best of times. He suspected it was different the other way around. All his Sedais had looked at him with smooth faces when he had said as much. Thinking of his Bondholder made him think of the passing of the Bond from Carys to Kathleen. He remembered it all as if it were yesterday.. ● Carys’s words. His outburst. Everything. She was passing his Bond. And to who? he had wondered. To Kathleen of the Green. With whom he had had those conversations. Kathleen… … His mind turned to the Aes Sedai in question. A Sister of the Green. A Sister not Bound to the Tower. He liked her. There was a.. connection with her that felt right, something akin to what he had felt with Leandreen the first few times he had spoken with her. Having such a good.. connection would always benefit both Sedai and Warder in a Bond, Leandreen had said to him on more than one occasion. Leandreen’s emerald green eyes flashed in his mind for a moment - and as always when he thought of her, it was a memory filled with happiness and sadness. Oh Leandreen. ● One did not have to get along with one’s Bondholder to carry out one’s sworn duty as a Warder, of course, but it sure made things easier. He could do a lot worse than get Kathleen Sedai as his new Bondholder, he felt sure of that. He would have preferred to stay in a Bond with Carys had that been an option, but it was no longer one. From what Carys had said, she would pass the Bond to another Sister for his sake, perhaps also for her own, and there was nothing he could do about it. He would have to face that fact and the sooner he did the better.. for them both. He sighed deeply, considering his next words. “If it is Kathleen Sedai we are speaking of, the Sister that you have found,” he started, ”I am sure..” His words broke off as there was a knock on the door to Carys’ room. His eyes met hers and she nodded for him to go open the door. He could not read from her look, neither get any impression through the Bond, if she was surprised by the knock or if she had expected it. Elessar nodded to Nevuel Gaidin and gave Kathleen Sedai a respectful Warder’s bow when they entered the room. Carys spoke words of welcome and he closed the door behind them and watched as they seated themselves at the table. He then joined them, taking the remaining chair. ● Some time later, he knelt before the Aes Sedai as Kathleen offered the Bond - and Elessar accepted. ▀▄
  8. OOC: This Retro-RP takes place after Kathleen Sedai takes over Elessar Gaidin’s Bond from Carys Sedai IC but before they head out on their Borderland-journey which eventually results in the Bond being passed to another Sedai. Several of my own personal written Wheel of Time-themed poems will be included (re-posted) in this RP to add colour and depth to the story. .. Beginning a New Mission .. ►▼◄ IC: Kathleen Aes Sedai of the Green Ajah and Elessar Telcontar Gaidin, her Warder, were riding south through Andor on their way to Ebou Dar. It was late after noon and raining heavily. Thunder rolled across the dark skies as they rounded another corner of the sodden road and saw the outskirts of the village of Seindhon in the distance. Elessar rode twenty or so paces ahead of his Bondholder and waved back to her to inform that their first destination was in view. She nodded from within the hood of her blue cloak and pushed her mare onward. They passed a farmer and some local people huddling under their drenched coats as they rode into the village proper. Houses lined the way toward the village center where they found a smithy, a few shops and an inn. Stopping right in front of the inn, Elessar dismounted and stood ready to take Kathleen’s mare’s reins when she stopped beside him and got off her horse. He took both horses to the back of the inn to a small stables where a young boy waited. Throwing him a copper coin, telling him to take good care of their mounts, the Gaidin returned to the front of the inn and followed his Aes Sedai inside. Soon they received their rooms from a bobbing innkeeper, Elessar’s smaller room beside Kathleen’s larger, and settled in. ● Elessar’s room had a cupboard in a corner, a west-facing small window and a shelf with a handful books. Picking one up he looked at the title. “Andor: A History from a Southern Perspective” it read. Leafing through a few pages out if curiosity, he then replaced it on the shelf and lay down on the bed. He wanted to get out of his wet clothes but he needed a few moments to reflect first. He had not been Bonded to Kathleen that long. Even so, they had already been on a few missions together. He recalled well their mission to Whitebridge. It had been quite.. adventurous. He wondered if this mission to Ebou Dar would be the same. Kathleen had not given him any details so far, just said they were heading for Ebou Dar in the far south on Tower business. It did not matter. She would tell him when the time was right. He was glad to be out on the road again and would do whatever he needed to in order to keep his Aes Sedai safe. Getting to his feet he walked over to the small window and looked outside. The rain was still pouring down and he could see flashes of lightening in the distance. Thunder rolled again, hammering the old inn with a crashing sound. Not the best travelling weather indeed. He could sense Kathleen in the neighbouring room through the Bond and she seemed calm enough which pleased him. They would meet down in the Common Room a little later for a meal and, Elessar hoped, some entertainment by a gleeman. He always enjoyed the stories the gleemen told, poetry and song to lighten anyone’s mood. ● They were enjoying a decent meal of meat, roasted potatoes, some vegetables and gravy when a greyish-haired man of above middling years with an oval face and piercing eyes wearing a cloak of many colourful patches walked onto the small stage at the front of the Common Room. He bowed to the audience, a mix of locals and travelers, and then proceeded to play several jaunty melodies on his flute. The crowd recognized the tunes and clapped enthusiastically. Elessar smiled from the back of the room where they were seated. He was particularly looking forward to the songs the gleeman would perform, songs of poetry and history. He had heard the songs many times before but he enjoyed the performances every time. Kathleen knew of his interest in poetry and history from their talks and could see the smile on his face. It would broaden, she knew, when the gleeman began one of his epic tales. She enjoyed performances too but her mind was on Nevuel. My Warder. My first Warder. He was elsewhere. Again. Something he needed to do. She could feel him to the north and hoped he was safe. Having Elessar by her side was not the same. She could not help it. It just wasn’t. Applause brought her mind back to the present. The gleeman was bowing to the crowd and readying himself for his next performance. She could see Elessar’s eyes light up when the gleeman said he was going to tell an epic story next. As epic song filled the Common Room, Kathleen’s mind shifted to the business they had in Ebou Dar. She had not told Elessar the specifics yet, she needed some time to consider what she had been told. They were to root out Darkfriends in Ebou Dar - and one of those was a High Lord of an Ebou Dari Noble House. Her eyes glinted. Elessar watched and listened attentively as the gleeman told a story the Warder had heard many times before during his travels but which he enjoyed just as much every time: The Epic Story of the Fall of Manetheren. Of Ellisande’s bravery and fall. Of her valiant Stand against the Shadow. Of Manetheren’s valour. Of Glory and Tears. A Glance into History. A Glance into the Past.. ● ►▼◄ Rose of the Sun (The Fall of Manetheren) “Carrai an Ellisande!” For the honour of the Rose of the Sun! The Shield against the darkness, the Hammer weight to Stun. The Sword that could not be broken. Was shattered in the End. As valiant Manetheren, no longer could Defend. Brave fighters of the land. Fought with pride and with Heart. Under Red Eagle banner, they resisted Shadow’s Start. Until Mountain Home was taken. No one came to their Aid. Weep for Manetheren!, all their allies were Afraid. King Aemon and his men ran to aid from Field of Blood. Countless miles they covered, daring river huge and Flood. Slaughtered beasts of Shadow. Crying battle cries of Might. “Carrai an Ellisande!” echoed everywhere in Sight. Brave warriors, brave King! They fell to Darkness’ Yoke. When Aemon husband died, Queen Eldrene’s heart Broke. Woe to the Shadow! With anger, grief and Pain. An Aes Sedai of might, she struck out like Insane. She filled herself to bursting. The Power oh so Sweet! The Sa’angreal beside her, glowed brightly with its Heat. She was an awesome figure. Her arms she lifted High. And then she threw her Balefire and Storms of Lightening Nigh! A harbinger of death. She destroyed the Shadowspawn. The messengers of Darkness disappeared from Battle’s Lawn. But her body came on fire. Flames of Saidar burned her Soul. In her agony she cried out, for Manetheren, her Goal! The destruction levelled all. Old Manetheren was Dead. The Rose of the Sun, she was gone, it was Said. But she would live forever. In many people’s Hearts. And Manetheren’s bravery, is eternal in its Parts. Oh Ellisande! Greatest Queen, we won’t Forget! Your fight against the Shadow and the death you Met. Mourn for Manetheren! The bravest place of All. Honour to the Mountain Home! Your enemies shall Fall. ►▲◄ ▀▄
  9. .. A Change of Plan: Returning to Tar Valon .. ►▼◄ They were riding hurriedly northwards. The whole episode at the docks was almost a blur in Elessar’s mind, like a reflection within a memory. He had saved Myrrhi’s life, proven his worth as a Warder, and then she had saved his life back by Healing the deadly wound from the poisoned dagger. The remaining Darkfriends had dispersed and Myrrhi and Elessar had returned to their inn where Elessar had needed much rest to recuperate. He had quickly fallen asleep and had woken the next morning feeling famished and weak. They had spoken little that day and after a big meal the Warder had rested until the following day when they had talked more about what had happened. Each had been grateful for the other’s invaluable intervention but each had held back since it was so soon after all the doubts and uncertainty. They had not gotten far with planning their next step when a messenger had appeared of a sudden bringing a summons from the White Tower. It was, perhaps, just a message but when Myrrhi told Elessar it felt more as if she had been summoned to return. And so return they would, even though they had far from completed their mission. ● The journey northwards was, not surprisingly, something of an anti-climax. Neither of them liked leaving a matter (or mission) unresolved, but everything had to wait and they had to focus on getting back to Tar Valon as soon as they could. If Myrrhi knew more about why she had to return so swiftly, she did not share that information with him - and he did not ask. It was a long journey with many stops, north through Murandy - with a short stop in Lugard - and northeast along the Lugard Road into Andor, through the historic village of Four Kings and onward to Caemlyn. They stopped a day in Caemlyn to rest their horses, and then headed into Cairhien. He and Myrrhi talked very little along the way, sharing a few words now and then but often riding in solitude. Myrrhi seemed to him preoccupied, as if her mind were on matters she would or could not share with him, and he focused on his Warder-duties, his eyes on the road and ensuring they stayed safe and secure on their journey. His pleasure at having proven his worth as a Gaidin dimmed in his mind as he felt the gulf between them widen again, and he wondered what lay ahead for them. ● Finally, many days later, on a windy but sunny afternoon with partially blue skies, Elessar Gaidin and Myrrhi Aes Sedai of the Green Ajah came in sight of the Shining Walls of Tar Valon. Soon they rode slowly across one of the many magnificent arching bridges over the River Erinin connecting the island city to the mainland. Fabled Dragonmount rose in the distance, and on the city walls high above them the proud banners of Tar Valon - wonderous city of the Aes Sedai - rippled strongly in the wind, as if welcoming them home. ▀▄ ▀▄ ▀▄ THE END
  10. Some further reflections on this topic. That Caemlyn is probably cut from season 1 concerns me (and I think that is what Brandon Sanderson was thinking about when he indicated that one particular thing would polarize fans). Rand in Caemlyn seeing Logain for the first time (as the False Dragon is being taken to Tar Valon to be gentled) is one of the most important scenes in The Eye of the World in my opinion, which stuck in my mind long after I read the book. As is his meeting there with Elaida and her important Foretelling. (Rand meeting Elayne there for the first time is not essential but it was charming to read, I thought. It showed how young and innocent Rand was at the start of his incredible journey). I am somewhat baffled that Rafe would consider removing this part. It could have been included without having to ‘build’ a capital city. I suspect part of the reason might be that the showrunners wish less focus on Rand in the beginning of the story (call it ‘deflection’, ‘red herring as for Logain’ or ‘revisionism’ depending one one’s view). I understand financial constraints etc, but come on. It’s a bit like removing Gandalf’s scene with Bilbo/Frodo in Hobbiton at the start of the LoTR-movie (FoTR). Yeah, they could have met elsewhere but that is where they met in Tolkien’s story, that was special, that was what the fans wanted to see. As for the Harry Potter movies, saying some are better made than others is in many ways a subjective view I would say. I had never read any of those books before I watched the movies and can’t say I reacted any differently to the first movies than the later ones. All well made, I enjoyed them all in their own way (I am no die-hard fan but they are entertaining) not knowing which were faithfully adapted and which were not, but I don’t think a faithful tv/movie-adaptation of a book necessarily makes it poor (Game of Thrones: Season 1 is a good example of the opposite). Neither would a faithful adaptation of The Eye of the World (with some necessary changes and minor adjustments but on the whole following the book) have made it poor. Perhaps it would have been better than what we are actually going to get, who knows. What will make the tv-show successful? There is clearly a financial aspect (number of viewers) and expectations. If we get all seasons (say 8 in all) so Rafe and the others get to tell the whole story, that would make most fans satisfied and most would consider it a success I think. I see some believe this tv-show will match Game of Thrones in popularity but I think that is a bit overoptimistic. Game of Thrones was unique when it came, a level above anything else seen on tv in the fantasy-genre, and that series also was a mix of fantasy, horror (zombies), knights and middle ages costume drama which meant it appealed to wide audiences. Even if the Wheel of Time tv-show will be top quality (as is my belief from what I read) it will probably appeal to a smaller audience and so if it becomes popular on the level of say The Witcher or slightly above aforementioned Shadow and Bone (I watched a couple of episodes but something about it - felt like a weird mix of WW1 and fantasy - just did not appeal to me) I think Amazon should be pleased. The most important is that it becomes popular enough for Amazon to give it many seasons, preferably so the showrunners get to tell the whole story (I agree with those who believe this complex and truly huge saga should have gotten 10 seasons to tell the story with some intricate detail and necessary precision, but seems we must be happy if it gets 8 in the end). I noted btw someone talked above about Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth Book Series. Trash? Not at all. Very enjoyable reading in fact even if he did copy Wheel of Time in several aspects and he did make Richard Rahl preach a lot as the series went along. On the whole though I enjoyed that book series (it's not on the level of LoTR or The Wheel of Time or A Song of Ice and Fire but enjoyable), but I have to add that the ending (climax) was a huge letdown. Talking fantasy tv-series, I have enjoyed many of Terry Brooks' Shannara books as well over the years, esp the first two trilogies (Sword and Heritage). I was curious how the Shannara tv-series would be and must say I was a little disappointed. It wasn't bad per se but not as good as I would have wished. I also thought that the series (season 1, based on Elfstones of Shannara) was less faithful to the source material (canon) than I would have liked but my main issue was that it felt like a YA-series and therefore meant for an other audience than yours truly. I haven't seen season 2 but read that it was a 'free¨' adaptation in the Shannara world.
  11. Thanks for the info in the opening post. That the tv-show gets a season 2 is great news, as is the fact that the episodes will be around 1 hr running time (compensates a little for not having 10-episode seasons). It will not come as a surprise to anyone here who has read my previous comments over time that I am deeply disappointed by the news that the tv-adaptation will drop both the Warder's colour-shifting cloaks (as it seems) and the Aes Sedai ageless look (one of the defining aspects of Aes Sedai and also in contrast to f.ex. female Forsaken). There are 2 main reasons: one is that we are talking Canon by Robert Jordan, the other is that these two things were special, unique for the Wheel of Time and would set it apart from other fantasy shows. I can see the reasons for the decision but with the huge budget for the tv-show I would have prioritized elements like these that are special, unique and instantly identifiable with Robert Jordan's fantasy saga. Being one of those longtime Wheel of Time fans who wanted a faithful tv-adaptation (along the lines of Game of Thrones - Season 1), I will gradually have to come to terms with the fact that the tv-show will be a very different beast and a "new turning of the Wheel", such as others have embraced, if I am to have any enjoyment from the tv-adaptation. I am not there yet, but I hope I will be there by the time the tv-show airs.
  12. A few added thoughts in view of the last few comments. First we have Canon from Robert Jordan. This is his story to be respected which we are all so lucky to be enjoying. Apart from that vital point, I disagree with those who do not see this as a coming-of-age story. That is how Robert Jordan wrote it and that is what makes it so fascinating and fulfilling as I see it. The fact that the three boys are boys at the start makes their journey all the more satisfying as they mature and grow as persons, with life-experience and responsibility, becoming who they had the potential to be as adults and more. Take that away, make them less innocent and playful from the start in the tv-show, more mature and ‘ready for the outside world’, exemplified by say a 'married Perrin', and you lose that aspect which in my opinion would be harmful to the story. This is particularly important in the case of Rand as his incredible journey - from the innocent young boy at the start to the boy who suddenly gets the impossible burden of having to save the world and not only that but who will go mad doing so to the man who panics and runs but who gradually accepts his fate and gains confidence and learns to rule to the man who becomes affected by the taint and becomes hard as stone to the man who redeems himself in the light and does his duty at the end with his sacrifice - is the nexus of the whole saga and what holds it all together. From innocence to facing the darkness of the world and the darkness within him, from light into darkness and back to light again. That is Rand’s journey. Personally I would also miss the charm and fun of the three boys, young innocents, lamenting that they are not as good with girls as the others, those comments in the books always put a smile on my face and I wish for them to be included in the tv-show. As for it being ‘jarring’ for the actors to play younger/more immature than they are, if that is the roles Rafe wants them to play I can’t see why that should be a problem. These are young but professional actors. Whether they are supposed to be 16, 17 or 18 f.ex. in the tv-show that will not matter, it is the way they act their age which is important as I see it. We know from real life that some 18-year old men are very immature while some 16-year old men might be quite mature, it often depends on a person, personality etc. How Rafe and the showrunners will play this out remains to be seen. Personally I hope they keep these things in mind, in the spirit of Robert Jordan's vision. I see from the discussion here that others disagree with these viewpoints, that is natural since different WoT-fans will have different expectations and outlooks on this tv-adaptation. These are some of my reflections though, added in the spirit of Thrasymachus’s post of before.
  13. .. To Prove One’s Worth .. ►▼◄ They spoke earnestly for a while after Myrrhi had shared her thoughts and reflections. Elessar understood and agreed when she pointed out that she needed to know that she could depend on him as her companion and protector, to stay by her side in their service for the White Tower. They needed mutual trust and loyalty. The Warder promised and apologized again for his lapse. He appreciated her understanding when it came to his personal issues and that going through what he had gone through when Leandreen died and the Bond snapped would have a profound effect on anyone. As the minutes went by, he felt they were soon ready to speak of practical matters, the matter of his service and duty dealt with, and when the time came Myrrhi took the initiative. She spoke of the visits in the city that she had made in the past days, the people she had met, and what she had found out. Myrrhi then handed Elessar the note and sat back in silence. He studied it closely, read it several times and then handed it back to her. “It’s obviously a trap”, he said. “They have clearly been observing us since they knew I was not around.” Myrrhi nodded but remained silent, waiting for more of his reflections. It was good to have him back at her side. “It’s cleverly done in fact, a less observant recipient might have been fooled.” He waited a few seconds before continuing, thinking the matter over. “I think we should spring the trap”, he said squarely. “This can lead us closer to the truth behind Lady Semaris and her activities, because she is surely involved in this. If she is a Darkfriend as her Lord husband suspects, she may make a mistake with this scheme and we may catch her in the act.” ● “We have to be careful of course”, Elessar added matter of factly, “because if they are Darkfriends there could be danger. However, they don’t know that we know that it is a trap. That works to our advantage.” Myrrhi nodded again, agreeing with where he was going with this. There could be danger but danger was their business when on Tower business. They just had to be careful and now that they were together again as a team she had confidence that they would succeed. “If they have discovered that I am back in the city”, he added thoughtfully, “that could make them hesitate a little. However, Darkfriends are in my experience an arrogant zealous lot who don’t hesitate when going in for the kill.” They spoke some more about the docks, what they recalled about the buildings there and how to use the site for their advantage. That was always important in any conflict: know your terrain well. Then they discussed some practical matters and necessary preparations that needed to be done. When he finally left Myrrhi’s room, Elessar felt better. It was good to have spoken more about his inner pain with Myrrhi and the healing process between them had begun. They would solve the current issue in the Capital - together. He would he at her side, protecting, serving, as he had sworn in his Oath. This was a chance to prove his worth, to show that he had made no mistake by returning to her side. That was important for him but also for her. He ignored the doubts that lurked in the stain of darkness in his soul, pushing them away as he looked with positive eyes on what was to come. ● It was nearing midnight and Elessar and Myrrhi were crouching by a fishery building down at the docks. The Warder was keeping an eye on every nook and corner, staring into the Shadows with an intense gaze. So far they had seen no movement, the docks were empty of people, local fishermen drinking at the nearest inn. The sky was black and with a blanket of clouds which made it difficult for the slivers from the moon above to penetrate the darkness. There was little light about and for that reason (but not that reason only) they had arrived early so their eyes could get accustomed to the dark. “Will they be here soon?” Myrrhi whispered. She was going through in her mind how they had agreed to approach this ‘meeting’. She would step forward to speak, pretending her Warder was not around. He would stay hidden in the Shadows but if the situation escalated he would join her swiftly. They had discussed if her confronting the supposed Darkfriends alone was too risky but she had insisted this was vital if they were to have a chance of catching them. If they saw Elessar beside her from the beginning there at the docks, they might deduce that their trap had been found out and might withdraw or, if they kept a lookout, not come at all. Elessar was not too happy about it but accepted Myrrhi’s decision. “They will be.” Elessar whispered back. “They would not have sent you the note if they did not mean business.” ● He stared further into the darkness and a few moments later he thought he saw a shadow move off to his right. He touched Myrrhi’s shoulder and nodded in that direction. She looked towards the building Elessar had indicated, keeping their silence. Another shadow moved close to the first one and then they both stepped forward into what minuscule light there was also coming off the water. Elessar nodded to Myrrhi who nodded back. She embraced Saidar, enjoying the One Power flowing through her, then she stepped forwards from the shadows wherein she had waited and walked toward the two men. Elessar studied the darkness in all directions, looking for more men hiding in the Shadows. He kept a close eye on Myrrhi though as she stopped ten paces or so from the men. They wore dark cloaks and hoods but it was hard to get an impression of facial features in the blackness. Myrrhi stared at the men with her cool Aes Sedai-stare, glad that Elessar was nearby if the situation escalated into trouble. “Thank you for your invitation”, she said smoothly. “ I am here. What news have you of my Warder?” The man standing to the right replied, his Illianer accent thick. “I do be having important news.” His voice was deep and raspy. “Your Warder do be with our.. friends. You do be joining us and learn what he will tell you.” ● “How can I trust you are telling the truth?” Myrrhi asked, playing along for the time being. She did not feel any danger from her Warder through the Bond which was reassuring. He would for sure be studying the docks closely. “You said nothing about any other place in your message.” The man who had spoken responded. “You do be trusting us.” He said. His voice had a touch of sarcasm as he continued. “You be thinking we are lying? “ Why should we lie? Your Warder sent us.” Myrrhi considered the situation as the silence lengthened. If she went with them, it could be that they would be able to catch many of them. But such action included risk, perhaps too great a risk. Down here at the docks they would stand a good chance against a dozen people if it came down to it, but in close quarters against several dozen..? She felt the risk was too great. “Tell me his message now, stranger”. Her voice was more commanding now, words spoken by an Aes Sedai. “If a message you indeed have.” The man who had spoken exchanged a glance with his companion, then he hissed a warning as something flew through the air close to the Aes Sedai. It was an arrow and Myrrhi reacted instinctively. She threw herself to the side, rolled and then cast a blast of Air at the two men who scrambled to their feet off to the side. Elessar was rushing in from the shadows just as a second arrow whistled through the air. It passed between them but the danger was clear. The Warder had his blade in his hand, his Warder’s cloak blending into the background, as he threw himself at three more men who had appeared from the back building. ● Two of them carried swords but he quickly saw that they were no match for him. He was holding onto the Flame and the Void, perhaps a bit too tightly but acceptable in the circumstances, as he flowed in the Forms, attacking, deflecting and parrying. The first opponent fell to the ground with a deep wound in his thigh while the second fellow screamed in pain as Elessar’s sword cut into his abdomen. The Warder’s fist slammed into his face and the man fell to the ground as if felled by a tree. The man with the thigh-wound withdrew off to the side, cursing loudly and throwing obscenities at the Gaidin, but then the third man attacked. He was more experienced with the sword and the Clash of Steel rang around the docks as they circled one another with attacks and deflections, moving back and forth in a Dance of the Blades. Elessar was caught slightly off-balance at one point and cursed as the other man’s sword bit into his back, but it was a shallow wound and did not hamper him much. He struck back some moments later when his blade got inside his opponent’s guard and sliced into his arm. Finally Elessar managed to get the better of his opponent, combining sword forms in an advanced fashion which very few indeed would be able to withstand. The other man’s sword crashed to the ground and the Warder’s blade cut deeply into the man’s side as he finished him off. He had needed to focus on his own opponents, but had sensed Myrrhi’s own battle with more onrushing men off to the side. She was using the One Power in defence of her own life and that of her Warder and worked her weaves of Saidar proficiently. Elessar risked a glance around the docks, looking for added danger, and then it happened.. ● Off to his right was another Shadow moving close to the nearest building. Several Shadows. A split second - and then.. Elessar saw the danger out of the corner of his eye. He yelled a warning to Myrrhi but it was too late. The poisoned dagger was already flying towards its target, the Aes Sedai’s heart. Everything happened as if in slow motion then. ● Myrrhi half-turned towards her Warder, her hands upraised as she embraced Saidar.. Elessar took a long step towards her.. One of the men rushing in from the side screamed something unintelligible.. A second man rushed from the darkness toward the Warder.. Myrrhi used Air to throw the onrushing man back and he smashed into the dock house. But she was too late to see the dagger. Elessar took another long step towards her and then, using all his remaining strength, he leaped in front of her from several yards away, his arms outstretched, his body a shield for his Aes Sedai, and he took the dagger in his chest that had been meant for his Bondholder. ● Crashing to the ground several paces to her side, he hit his head hard, slamming his shoulder as he fell, dizziness enveloping him as he tried to catch his bearings. He felt great pain in his chest and a numbing feeling and immediately deduced that the dagger had been poisoned. Cursing inside he tried to raise himself but was unable to. He heard Myrrhi shout something to him but her words became mixed up in his mind and he was unable to react. A boom sounded as if from very far off but Elessar was no longer able to discern voices or nearby sounds or understand what was going on. He felt through the Bond that Myrrhi was rushing toward him - he thought she was screaming something - but his thoughts were too jumbled. The Gaidin held onto one thought. A vital thought. The most important one. ● I saved her life. This time I did not fail. By the creator, I did not! ● The last thought that went through Elessar’s mind before he lost consciousness was that he had Proven his Worth as a Warder. A feeling of relief and gratitude echoed in his soul, a blissful contentment, as he gradually descended into an unending blackness. ▀▄
  14. This is an interesting topic. I think how you pronouce the WoT and its world comes down to many things: what you feel 'natural', what you feel comfortable with, how you have heard/read it prononuced. For me as a non-English speaker how it feels 'logical' in English also plays a part and I am also influenced (perhaps in part subconsciously) by how I pronounce sounds in my own language. I have found, reading and listening to how English/American WoT fans pronounce things, that my thoughts on how names and places are supposed to be in the WoT world are quite different from the standard. Not that it bothers me in the slightest, but it is interesting to note. For ex. Lanfear which most pronouce as it stands, lan (a as in can) fear (e as in here) whereas I have always thought of it as lan (a as in car) fear (e as in the name Esther + a as in car + a thin r). A radical approach I guess but that's the way it sounded in my head when I first read about that delicisiously evil female character in Robert Jordan's world. Cairhien, this I have always pronouced cair (a as in car + i as in in) hien (i as in in + e as in end). Tar Valon, here I have always put the stress on tar (the first part) instead of valon (the last part) while I see most English-speaking fans put stress on the last part. Egwene, here I have always pronounced it as eg (e as in end + a soft g sound) wene (wene like ween) but with stress on the last part (the wene), not the first past which I get the impression many do. Nynaeve, this one is especially interesting because I have yet to find anyone who pronounces it the way I do. I have always thought of it as nyn (y as in funny) aeve (eve as in evening) while most seem to use the y in the name as the y in sky. As for the Lan pronouncation debate (a as in can) vs (a as in car) I am firmly in the first camp, but that's just the way I have always pronounced it.
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