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Everything posted by Myyrth

  1. Myyrth watched. In the way of all Myrdraal he seemed preternaturally still, as though no effort by man or nature could touch him, as though he wasn’t really there at all. Tall and black with the white crown of his head turned at a slight angle towards the window he studied the trees and the movement of the Trollocs as they lurked quietly about the camp. His lips were a thin line which never wavered, the smooth flesh where the eyes of a human man would be facing turned ever so slightly at the sudden buzzing movement of a fly. He watched it for a time as it flitted about the warped glass of the huts small window. His lip twitched into a smile, the fly reminded him of those he would serve. Human darkfriends, more so even than those deluded enough to worship the Creator, so desperately grasped for power in this world. It was pathetic. With a sudden twitch Myyrth jabbed his fingernail down through the bugs thorax. He smiled as it thrashed. Little scrabbling legs spasming as it attempted to move itself. It was dead and didn’t know it. How pleasant it would be to crush these humans like bugs. Still, he wouldn’t. Why he wouldn’t sometimes escaped him. The thought of the painful death he would experience should he disobey his superiors didn’t always seem such a bad thing if he could only feel the slick blood of a channeler on his hands. Myyrth took some comfort in the knowledge that like this fly, these humans were dead already. They just didn’t know it. “This world is broken.” He said to himself. He released the fly, it continued to spasm for a time before the stillness of death came whirling down. The sudden motion of the Trollocs around the outskirts of the small camp alerted him to the arrival of those he had been sent to meet. The warriors stood from where they crouched around their cookfires. Reaching for weapons they began to bark at each other. He heard the words horse, men, and food bandied about. Myyth reached out to that invisible cord of will which tied him to those Trollocs he had mastered. He felt along the strange connection, like razor sharp puppet strings. He tugged hard. As one the Trollocs fell to the ground, howling in agony. He imprinted his will upon them. Be still, or die. He could feel them now, a sensation which prickled along his spine like crawling insects. To be in the presence of a channeler was to feel true hatred. His sneer twisted his face into a rictus mask as he steeled himself for the meeting ahead. The skin of his head seemed to wrinkle and then smooth as though something alien and wrong moved beneath his maggot white skin. His face once again an impassive mask, he stepped out of the small hut. He could feel two of them now, riding horses. Females channelers, most likely Black Ajah. The forest was silent. Only the nervous winey of the channelers beasts broke the silence.
  2. As the land swept north away from Tar Valon and the open fields that surrounded it like a rolling sea gave way to sparse groves of trees and then to a deep and heavily wooded forest. Here the small villages and hamlets that dotted the land were divided by dark roads overshadowed on all sides by looming branches. Unknown to men, in the deep and secluded reaches of the forest, shadowspawn lurked. More Trollocs than even the most canny of borderland woodsman suspected lived and hunted south of the blight. These feral tribes were far removed from the influence of Shayol Ghul. It had been long since they had felt the chilling touch of a Myrdraals gaze. Myyrth could tell by the way the Trollocs clans females watched him with barely contained hatred. Normally the lesser beasts among the Trollocs turned their eyes down in the presence of a Myrdraal. Myyrth would need to make an example of some of the children perhaps. There was a palpable feeling of hostility among the feral Trollocs of this family group, perhaps his slaying of their leader and subsequent domination of their strongest warriors was what had sparked it. Myyrth didn't give it any consideration beyond that. This family group numbered sixty or more with about twenty strong warriors. If it was necessary to kill a few to cow the rest into submission he would, until then it was not his concern what they muttered to each other. Until his arrival the Trollocs had been sleeping in and around a dilapidated trappers hut, he was sure that the accommodations would be most unpleasant for those he was supposed to meet. The building reeked of rot and mold, so potent that the odors of shit and piss were nearly but not completely masked. Myyrth had wanted to avoid being deliberately insulting so he had forced some of the Trollocs under his power to clean out the hut, the pile of animal hides, bones and offal piled behind the squat shelter was testament to that. Myyrth now had only to wait. Outside, the Trollocs huddled in fear, the females clutching their young to them, the males brooding around their small fires. Despite their own monstrous nature, it was almost possible to feel sorry for the poor and pitiful beasts.
  3. The blight border was quiet normally, few natural creatures which buzzed and hooted in the night moved there. Quiet save for the repetitive knocking of what sounded like a wood pecker, though no such bird lived in that forsaken land. Under a tree at the edge of a forest a pale skinned man stood hacking the knife into the bark of a sickly looking conifer. A tall and lean figure he struck, swathed in a black cloak, girded in black maile. Yet this was not remarkable in itself. What was remarkable was that instead of eyes there was smooth white skin. The Myrddraal stopped a moment, examining the knife it held with sudden focus. It was a jagged saw of a blade. The ragged toothy edge would rip and cut and bring forth the black blood. The blood called him to the shadows. Blood, like pulsing thorny vines, inky substance. A myrddraal’s blood called to darkness. He knew this. Myyrth held the knife in a firm grip, standing in the shadow of the old tree he toyed with the thought of plunging the serrated blade point first into the scar at the center of his right palm. For Myyrth, old wounds enumerated his past glories and from time to time he enjoyed reliving those moments. The pain brought forth such sweet memories. He brought the knife down, feeling it prick his palm, feeling the pale white flesh begin to give way to the razor sharp point. He stopped. He put the knife away. It was not the time to bring forth is blood, not the time to call the darkness. He was charged with a purpose. It had taken him days to reach this place; traveling exclusively through the shadows. He had stretched himself thin reaching the borderlands. If he attempted another crossing he was not sure he would be able to find his way free of the dark world. A rictus grin split his face, far wider and far toothier than any human smile. Myyrth could think of worse fates. Still, he was here at the behest of his masters with tasks still to complete. He did not know the specifics of his mission, only that he was commanded to rendezvous with human darkfriends of sufficient standing to command him. His brief communications with his eyeless kin in the region had told him of small but significant mobilizations within the trolloc camps in the area. Something was happening. Unfortunately fade of his standing was not privy to the counsels of human channelers, the Dreadlords made their plans; it was his purpose to carry them out. He cast his eyeless sight out over the open land south of him, the hills and woods to the north gave way to a rough and sparsely wooded expanse of broken ground. He imagined the woman he was going to meet as a bug, crawling upon the ground, insignificant. He held up two fingers and pinched them shut. Splat. He smiled again; he enjoyed imagining the death of channelers. They were blind beasts who dreamed themselves masters of this world, bending the powers of the earth and sky to their whim. They deluded themselves with their false mastery; the fools served a force far greater, with goals that transcended their petty grabs for power. The Great Lord would break them all as he would break the wheel. Still, he understood why they served their own destruction. It was right of prey to serve. “Small creatures, in his service they fulfill the final death urge of the human race.” Myyrth said. He practically spit the word human. They could never understand the disdain in which the eyeless held them. His kin were a perfection of the Great Lords plan. Empty of false purpose, empty of all the great lies that even the most devoted of darkfriends told themselves during the cold nights. The pathetic hope of all souled creatures, even the twisted beast-men, but the human slaves of the Great Lord most of all. We have a purpose. We have meaning. We matter… Myyrth turned, drew his knife and began again to carve the bark of the tree, firmly first and then harder and harder until he was hacking and stabbing at the soft pulp beneath the bark with frenetic hate. He imagined the face of the channeler he would meet, bleeding, gasping, and choking out their last breath. The sap was blood seeping viciously down like crimson tears. He would hang on to that image when he met them. It was easier to deal with darkfriends that way. He left the knife in the trunk of the tree and walked swiftly out onto the open ground. Twilight was coming. Its shroud would conceal his movements against the ever watching eyes of borderland trackers. He put up his black hood and adjusted the strap of his thankan’dar blade. A breeze came down from the north bringing the faint smell of rot. Despite the wind his cloak moved not at all. OOC: I imagine this meeting taking place between Tar Valon and Arafel in that forested region there. Maybe meeting in some abandoned trappers shack. Still not sure what we could get up too.
  4. Control... control... he WAS in control. Who was this man, he didn't know him. Where was.... Sender reigned himself in. He didn't know what was coming over him. His thoughts seemed volatile, like the rising and falling of a storm wracked sea. This man, Fanten, was speaking. He stared at the mans mouth, watching it move, the flapping of his lips seemed disconnected from the words which floated past Sender's ears. "I am almost twice your age. I am fair, but you must understand... I have been tasked with training you in the sword, but it is only a preparation for training as a weapon for the Dragon reborn. Many men think that training with the sword is good in case you lose the Power. While I suppose this is true, the training and discipline that come with learning the weapon, will shape you into something. Shape you or break you in the process. I will not stand for any lack of self control, is that understood?" "Understood Sir, It is my wish to serve the Dragon Reborn with my life. If a task is set before me I will master it!" Sender said. He endeavored to look every inch the grim and self-assured figure that he saw in the senior Asha'man. It was hard though, sword training... really? He wanted to sneer but kept the feeling contained. What use was a sword? He doubted a Black Tower man could have the Source so easily taken from him.
  5. Filk had waited for the last thirty minutes, schooling himself in every manner of discipline he knew. The last week had been a long harsh lesson in the ways of his new life. He woke up early with the rest of the boys in his barracks, as the most junior of the Soldiers many menial tasks fell to him. It was galling, considering the age difference between him and some of the others that he should have to carry buckets of water and wash floors while much younger boys could sit and train or study at their leisure. Most of the lads told him it got easier as your mastery of Saidin improved, then you would be expected to to use the power in all things. Still aside from extremely basic training in the most simple of weaves he had not yet learned how to life a bucket with Air, let alone kill with the power. Wasn't he being trained to be a weapon? What if the Tower was attacked now and he was helpless to defend himself? He scratched at his beard and shifted his stance. He had to suppress a smile, the thought of Myrddraal and Trollocs raiding the tower still filled him with skepticism. Despite the deadly serious looks on some of the senior Asha'man as they talked about their encounters in battle with Shadowspawn it seemed a farce. Sender straightened his coat and pulled at its tight high collar, it squeezed his neck and made him feel self-conscious. He was the bloody thing made him look like he had a double chin. Sighing he rocked back on his heels and looked round. Seeing no one he cupped his palms and embraced the Void. He was becoming more practiced at this, though it still required him to stoke a hot fire of anger. Tentatively, trying to grasp barely a tendril, he seized Saidin. Weaving a small thread of fire he cupped the small ball of heat in his hands. The scar tissue on his wounded hand was easily visible under the flickering flame. He smiled, he could feel the heat steady and almost unnatural in it's intensity pulse with the movement of his consciousnesses. "Soldier Filk I presume?" The flame winked out immediately and with it the void, he let his hands drop to his sides. Snapping to attention he turned and looked towards the source of the voice. He felt immediately embarrassed feeling the heat rise in his face. With the void gone his emotions welled up again like a geyser, all the hate he had used before to feed the void seemed to lash back at him. Mother's milk in a cup, blasted light-forsaken fool, don't be weak. He felt the voice rise up inside him, hateful and loud it seemed for a moment to roar in his ears like the thump of his own heart. Cowardly milk-heart, turn your head up, bloody idiot. Straighten that chin, look him in the eye. "Sir!" He said. Blinking he stared at the mans nose. He felt his lip quiver and worried for a moment that he might start to cry. Die if you do fool, milk-hearted wretch, be a man. He struggled against the anger for a moment, shoving it down in a brief internal struggle. "Yes Sir, Soldier Filk reporting for weapons training sir!" He was in control now. Weakness was nothing to him, a foreign concept. He would be strong.
  6. Sender sat in the infirmary ward of the barracks looking at the scars on his hands. Half a smile was splayed across his face and his eyes were far away. It was amazing, his fingers ached but they still worked. He remembered how charred they had looked before he had slipped into uncounciousness. At the time his euphoria had been too great for concern, but his nightmares while uncouncious had been horrible. His hands had been charred stumps. Blood was seeping from the ruined but cauterized limbs and he sat at the bottom of a shallow crater covered in black tar. He remembered tearing his eyes away from the ruined image of his hands and looking up at the sky. Rolling black clouds spat heat lightning at each other like massive ships of war locked in ruinous battle. The sky was choked with carrion birds that filled that air with a cacophanous sound like the screaing howl of the damned. Time seemed to be moving so slowly, each bird was swimming through the air in slow motion. He could feel great heaving cracks in the earth as though some ancient fault were slipping taking everything with it into some yawning dark void beneath the earth. The world was fraying apart around him. In the distance he heard deep and rumbling laughter that brought with it a sickening nausea which crawled into his gut and nested there planting the seeds of its corruption. He had woken screaming clutching his hands. One of the camp wives who volunteered as a nurse had pushed him back down almost immediatly. "Calm yourself, it's only a dream. Some of the men get them." She didn't seem concerned. A solid woman not prone to hysteria. "It was..." He didn't elaborate. He didn't know what the dream was. It had been so vivid, dreams like that... how could you tell that they weren't real? He could still feel the blood dripping down his forearms. He could hear the sound of the birds like a vibration still humming through his ears. A world of desolation. Still, the nurse was right. Like all dreams it faded. They let him stay in the infirmary for another hour, one of the more skilled healers in the camp checked him over, probing gently with Saidin "A healthy young man." He said. He slaps him on the back. "I heard you gave yourself a little scare on the training field. Well done. Not everyone touches the power on their first day." Sender smiles and thanks the man. Pride swelled inside him. He realy had done it hadn't he. Outside the barracks he had clenched his fists and examined the mottled burn scars which covered them. The intense heat had left the skin of his hands discolored and raw. The scars would probably never go away, an ugly reminder of his accident. He felt a laugh erupt from his chest sharp and giddy. He squeezed his hands into fists until they ached and the blistered skin on his right hand broke open and bled. He embraced the pain. "I have it. I have it. I have it. SAIDIN!" He shouted. The word both a declaration and a pure expression of triumph. Suddenly self-councious he looked around. No one was paying attention to him. He kicked the ground and skipped and waved his hands about. He could channel and nobody would take that away from him. He didn't know anything about this war they were talking about. Tarmon Gai'din or whatever nonsense. His mother had told him the same stories. And stories were stories until you had the evidence in your hands. Looking at his hands he thought he had all the evidence he'd ever need to prove his power. Still, a felt something cold and ration settle into the back of his mind, cooling his excitement. You haven't learned anything yet. You need to focus. Sereth could cut you off form this power if he wanted to. He did it before. Sender remembered the strange sense of being blocked or forced away from Saidin almost immediatly after the explosion had happened. He wondered if there was a way to bypass that. He didn't like the idea that someone could take his power away from him. Right. So you need to be smart Sender. You need to learn. You're a clever man. If you apply yourself the instructors will trust you. They'll give you more responsibility. They'll give you more power. He let the tension leak from his body and he shook out his aching hands. This place was a school. He was here to learn. He needed to be careful and take things slowly. He started walking towards the Soldiers barracks, some of the other black coats were giving him looks. Fresh meat like him probably had duties to be attending to. Still it was impossible for him to avoid trying one more time. As he walked he tried to conjur up the Ko'di, flame and void. He felt the spark of the flame start to light in his mind, fueled by his emotions and will. He felt the void that surrounded the flame and within the flame he felt the burning... He stopped. He glanced at his hands. "Maybe i'll wait." Somewhere deep inside himself the terror still lurked.
  7. Sender tears ran dry as he watched Sereth intensely. He had not yet seen such a spetacular display of force. He was stunned into a moment of intense clarity. This power wasn't some magicians trick; these men were not pretenders in some farcical and overproduced theatre show. These men were Channelers, like the witches of the White Tower. He had seen them before, the Aes Sedai, with their burly and rude Warders. They commanded men like they were sheep. He remembered his father had been forced to part with a dozen silk rolls of cloth at a fraction of their worth. He remembered sitting at the top of the stairs with his fists clenched as the Warder pushed his father firmly back from the haughty witch as she dismissed his price with a sniff. His father had been furious. It was true, he had marked up the cost of the merchandise, but business was business. She had threatened to bring him before the town elders, threatened to expose him as a usurer and thief. Afterwards his father had raged about the house, smashing the fine porcelain plates his mother had purchased the month before and striking Sender when he had come down into the sitting room. That day the witches had showed him how weak his father truly was. Weak. Was he truly weak? He straightened his shoulders and stood, roughly he wiped the tears from his eyes. He met Sereths gaze before closing his eyes. He knew that there was only one source of power that truly mattered. The power to take what you wanted without giving anything back. Power was not authority; power was not skill or business acumen or education. Only power was power. And what could be more raw and unfiltered than the violent force which Sereth had showed him today. "I can do it. I can channel. I am not weak." He whispered. Eyes still closed he repeated this over and over. He pictured the candle in his mind, just holding that image without any other extraneous focus. He felt his fear rebel, the waves washing over him trying to extinguish the flickering flame. He held the candle steady. Slowly (it felt like hours passed) he allowed his focus to shift to the flame itself. The black wax faded away into the void that surrounded the flame. He could feel the heat of the flame, it was his anger. He felt his anger and frustration flare in time with the light of the flame. Into that fire he poured his insecurities and fears. All those times when that bloody dung eater Daben made fun of him in front of the lector. All those times that his father had struck him for not doing his chores or his mother had chastised him for not taking care of his brothers. All the times he had felt stupid or weak. He dumped everything of himself into the heat of the flame and it grew. It grew until it raged inside him, a burning firestorm of hatred directed out against the world. Yet at the same time the pure darkness of the void grew around the flame, expanding as the flame expanded until the immense and open spaces of his mind seemed emptied out. The flame was hot, but the void was colder. It chilled him to the very core of his being leaving him drained. The flame and the void wavered. He was struggling to maintain his focus as his untrained mind rebeled. "I am strong, I am strong, I am strong..." He said, not understanding the words as they flowed from his mouth, a near silent mantra. He didn't think about Sereth watching him, or his family at home who were even now searching the countryside for him. He was not by the river or dallying in the field. He was here; in this present moment. He was everywhere. He was powerful. He felt something give inside him, through the flame a door opened and his mind’s eye traveled through an invisible threshold. Grasping at this thin gateway with all the pain he could muster he wrapped the cold hands of his will around the door that was not a door and pulled himself through. An endless raging torrent of power flooded through his body like a lightning bolt that did not end as it electrified his soul. The void began to collapse as he felt his body jerk rigid. His mouth opened in a wordless scream as the void collapsed in on him. His eyes snapped open as a burst of flame exploded outward from an outstretched hand he had not consciously raised. The searing pain snuffed out the Flame with the abruptness of a doused candle. He fell backwards into his chair yelling in agony clutching his burned fingers. The torrent was cut off abruptly by a solid but invisible barrier of something. His mind felt strangely quiet and the world around him seemed drained of color. He stammered out jumbled words as tears streamed down his face. "Fire... I made fire. I really can channel." Sender Filk passed out on the training field, finding solace in the insensible darkness.
  8. He listened to Sereth. He held himself tight. He closed tight the doors to his mind and shut every bit of fear and self-doubt inside it. Then he tried. He imagined a candle flame flickering. Looking at the table he imagined that it was sitting there in front of him. It had a wick that was black like his coat and it rested in a silver candelabra like the nice ones his mother saved for special occasions. It sat there on the table and he tried to feed the roiling terror which coiled inside the shuttered windows of his mind. There was... nothing. They sat in silence for a minute or more it seemed before he let out a loud breath. He was winded, his face felt flushed and a deep shame filled him. "I can't do it. I don't know what your talking about. This is ridiculous. Are you sure I can channel? I didn't feel anything. I fed my emotions into it like you said. How can you expect me to do something like this, it's impossible." Sender started to stand, then settled into his chair again. He looked around the yard. His shoulders were hunched up as though he were warding away some blow. "I don't know what I'm doing. I've never done anything like this before" He said. His voice barely above a whisper. Madness. Death. War. He was just a merchants son. He wasn't smart, he couldn't do this. He was going to die. He looked across the table at Sereth whose calm and placid demeanor caused his blood to boil. Was he going to fail at this like he had failed his father? Except this time his mother would not be there to rescue him from the whip. There wouldn't be a whip. There would just be pain and then death. The boys in the barracks said that Saidin could turn a man inside out. He felt his insides boiling out through his mouth. The red gush of blood pouring through the grass. His eyes popping out of his skull in a glittering crimson arc. His bones snapping. He looked away from Sereth and started to cry.
  9. Sender's apprehension had grown once the great gates had closed behind him. It was an apprehension born of fear and ignorance but for him it was plain and simple fear. Fear which, by the next day, had become terror. Still he kept his face clear and his hands steady as he walked to the trianing ground. Perhaps the only thing that had kept him from trying to climb the walls of the Farm the previous night was his hope that it would Sereth who led his training in the following days. The eyes of the men in the Farm were not always filled with the kind and welcoming intensity that he had grown accustomed to with the Attack Leader. He woke up earlier, exhausted. He had only managed to fall asleep after many hours of tossing about and resisting the urge to run screaming from the barracks. He cursed the softness of his upbringing, his father who had never valued his work and all the people who had driven him to this extreme. He cursed everyone and dreamed of a way out. The words Sereth had told him upon arriving the day before clawed at him. You have been drafted. What it sounded like to him was, you will use this power till you are used up. You will dream of greatness but what truly awaits you is madness and pain. There are no riches here, only death. Sender Filk had no idea what he was getting himself into. In truth there was only one carrot which kept him from flight. The Power. The Source. Could he really do magic? It wasn't a word anyone used, and he didn't think he'd dare call Saidin that while he was around the other Asha'man but that was what it was wasn't it? The ability to create and do whatever he wanted? What would he spend to gain such power? He thought he would spend anyhing. With this sort of power he could he wipe that smug grin off his schoolmate Egens face, when he had fallen trying to run from Farmer Delvin's dogs. The grudges he could collect on. The fear he could cause in others. No one would ever call him Fat Filky again. The fear stayed with him all through his morning chores. Some of the other new boys who had been there longer gave him some hints. They were younger than him by a couple years and he didn't like them telling him what to do. Still, it was better than looking like a fool. So when the Dedicated came to collect him he was dressed and ready. In the yard he kept his eyes low trying to look without seeming to look at the activity around the Black Tower. The Farm was a constant buzz of activity, he passed what must have been the Traveling yard as it was cordoned off, a large wagon full of supplies was traveling through what looked like a large window hovering in the air. The ground was covered in long thin slices as though cut by a huge sword. Beyond a line of low building smoke was rising, when he asked what it was caused by he was told that it was Dedicated practicing offensive weaves. "Weaves." He muttered to himself, he would memorize everything they told him. He would not give in to fear. Despite all the wonderous things he say even in those brief moments on his way to the trianing yard the fear sat crouched in his gut like a gremlin, gnawing on his stomach. Sereth was waiting for him sitting at a stone table much. He was amiable as always. Sender wondered how he could be so calm. The thought of the taint made him want to throw up. Even the echo of it that he had experienced made him ill. Still the other boys had told him it wasn't so bad once you got used to it. Maybe they were right. "Before we begin, I am going to give you an opportunity to field any questions you have. Once we begin however, it will be time for absolute focus. I suggest you use this time wisely." Sereth said. Sender blurted out his question without thinking. "How fast does it make you go mad?" His fear pushed it from his lips like a gust of wind.
  10. Sender Filk was not sure what he expected to see when they reached their destination. In his mind he envisioned a great black fortress breaking free of the surrounding forest to peirce the sky like some massive obsidian dagger. So it was a surprise when he found out that the Black Tower was less a tower and more a sprawling military camp. A great stone wall was beginning to be erected around the perimeter of the camp and the foundations of other buildings could be seen. Someday perhaps this place would be one of exceptional magnificence. For the moment, the most exceptional thing about the Black Tower was the many Black Coated men who were moving about the encampment. Each one wore the Black Coat and among them some wore the Silver Sword and Dragon Pin's of a full Asha'man. Sereth had instructed him on the basic's of life in the Black Tower; such as the responsibilities of a soldier, his obligations to his fellow barracks mates, and the meanings of certain Old Tongue phrases he would hear, such as Tsorovan'm'hael or "Storm Leader". He would be responsible for caring for the clothes and tools provided for him and as soon as he was able he would begin using the One Power to accomplish tasks in his day to day life. To be an Asha'man and to serve the Dragon Reborn he would eat breath and sleep with Saidin. The Power would be his constant companion. Sereth warned him that such contact would be dangerous, but if they were to serve as weapons during Tarmon Gai'don and ride at the vanguard with the Dragon Reborn then they must be strong. Sereth also told him about the taint, and the danger touching the source held for all Male channelers. Sender wasn't sure how he felt about going steadily and inevitably mad. Sender was, in many ways, beginning to regret his decision to leave the safe and sheltered world that Whitebridge had provided for him. He had always dreamed of conflict and war and the victory of heroes, but here and now walking towards the foreboding image of the Black Tower and it's squat structures of stone and wood, he was not so certain. As they approached the main gate, Sereth slowed to a stop. Confused, Sender stopped as well. They were here at last. If he was going to do this, If he was going to become a weapon in the hands of the Dragon Reborn and sacrifice himself for the world, he wanted to do it now before he had a chance for more second thoughts.
  11. It had taken Sender the whole morning after the event to work up the courage to take the horse. It wasn't his families only horse, his father was rich after all, but his old man was not one to trifle with when it came to his property. He probably wouldn't have gone at all if his father hadn't left for the market on urgent business. Even then, if his mother had caught him and asked him to do chores or his aunt stopped by asking for help lifting crates he would have chickened out. The day aligned perfectly to leave him alone with his thoughts. So it was easy for him to avoid his brothers and saddle their horse Carrot (the boys thought they were so clever) and go. On the road he avoided meeting the eyes of townspeople about their daily routine. Farmers he recognized from around Whitebridge were driving their goods into the square. Some called out to him for his father was well known among the merchants and tradesmen of the town. He didn’t respond, worried that if he did they might question him, might ask where he was going. The Asha’man’s little display that morning had left the whole community in furor. Some of the elder’s were calling for a moratorium on any association with these black coats. It seemed like most agreed with them. Sender knew that his window of opportunity was small. If he went home now he would have been missed. They would ask him questions. It would not go well. So he kept on. When he arrived at designated spot he saw two men, one young and one old, standing at the entrance to a small path. Sender recognized the young man from town; he was the son of a journeyman shoemaker. “Is he there?” Sender asked. “He’s there.” The young man said. Sender just stood quietly looking down the path and after a moment the two started talking again. Sender looked up at the sky, the trees were swaying in the light breeze and the air was fresh. It was the nicest day in recent memory. It seemed like it was always too hot these days. The oldsters were saying that such signs pointed towards a harsh winter to come. He didn’t know anything about that. What he did know was that he was bored to death of his life. He was educated. He was young, and while he wasn’t very strong he knew he was born for more than just buying and selling other peoples goods. He wanted to create! He wanted the freedom and power to do anything he wanted. So it was that Sender Filk, the son of a merchant, sat in front of Sereth the black coat, the Asha’man. ““Welcome, my name is Attack Leader Sereth Arian, but as that is quite the mouthful, Sereth will be just fine. Before we begin, would you care for some tea?” He said. Mustering his fortitude Sender sat down. His nervous hands clutched the cloth of his pants. “Certainly, I would be most grateful.” He said, trying to sound confident but courteous. He waited for his cup to be poured and then took a hesitant sip. Now that he was here, the magnitude of his decision was beginning to dawn on him. Would he be able to visit his family again? Would he be able to take any of his things? What sort of test would this be? Would it hurt? He hadn’t brought any food, how long would it take? The next words were blurted out and hasty. “I didn’t bring anything, is that a problem?” Sender’s pulse raced.
  12. I noticed as soon as it was posted. I pm'd to see if I could repost it myself so I could edit it. Normally I take more time in revising and I rushed it this time
  13. The threshold to the ancient stone fortress was pitch black, no light escaped the massive stone gate. To Myyrth's eyeless sight the darkness seemed to possess depth, as though the gate was more a portal into some ancient and empty void. A space completely absent of light from it's very beginning in creation. The creeping darkness of the doorway drew at some deep part of every Myrddraal's being. Soulless though he was Myyrth felt something call out to that darkness from within his chest. Twin voids circling each other. Tearing his sight away from the gate he looked up towards the pinnacle of the fortress rising sharp and sever into the blistering air. The very environment seemed to rebel at this brutal structure erupting from the earth. Sending flashes of hot wind and sand searing across his face. The brutal flags of the trollocs were scattered about the valley whiping in the wind. The hum of the sand across the ground ever-present. Despite all that his clothes didn't move or even flutter in the wind. They hung dead on him as though he stood in an empty sealed cavern underground. At all times he felt almost disjointed, his feet not quite touching the ground. His hands gripping but not gripping a swordhilt. The disassociation was strong in this place. As he felt the shadow inside him blossoming, this strangeness had come upon him as well. He did not know what was happening to him, but whatever power resided in his blood he would use it. No matter how much killing needed done he would do it. Stealing himself he strode like a black ghost through the swirling dust and crossed over the threshold into the fortress. The interior of the fortress was as pitch black as the doorway suggested. If not for the aberrant nature of his sight he was sure that navigating the rubble strewn and lightless hallways would be impossible. Even a trolloc's night vision would fail in the face of this solid blackness. It was something tangible that floated through the air. Myyrth breathed in the black emptiness and felt his mind expand. The sound of his footsteps on the ground startled him. How long had it been since he could hear his own steps? Weeks? He felt more present in this dark and featureless hallway than he had on some time. A whispering voice reached his ear You feel the great shadow in it's fullness worm. The voice seemed to crawl up his spine before it seized his thoughts. An immense pressure and agony tore through his body at the touch of that ancient will. He could feel ahead of him the tangible darkness of the next room. Like a tactile picture in his head. Cloaked figures stood beyond hissing in an ancient dialect he did not understand. Myyrth stepped into the next room. He was surrounded on all sides by the Neverborn. In the pure blackness of the room their pale eyeless heads swiveled like grubs to focus on him. The weight of their combined stares itched at his mind like a swarm of locusts crawling across his brain with rough barbed feet. Then a single voice broke through and it seemed to burn away all thought and reason as it slithered through his being leaving him on his knees. So you come before us. Still a pathetic worm groveling beneath our sight. I see no blood on your hands, no gift to enhance your worthiness. You are nothing, leave this place. But Myyrth knew he was worthy. In his rasping trolloc tongue he spoke, spitting it like a retort aimed at the old voice. He tore his ragged leather vest form his chest as he did so. "I have killed many men master." Standing to his full height despite the oppressive weight of the Circles attention he displayed his scars. The twin star shaped punctures of two arrows he had taken in the southlands. The long ugly burn scar which twined up his right side, the sword slash which had cut his face and the ragged wound in his hand. They detailed the bloody history of his life. Taking a dagger from his belt he tore open the still fresh scar on his palm the blood seeping out black and hot in the crowded room. "I have bled and I have taken the lives of lightsworn humans all along the southlands. I have survived battles that killed my lesser kin. I have prevailed and come to this chamber awakened to my purpose." The voice in the darkness was silent for a long moment. They watched him appraising. I see the blood upon your hands and know that it reflects of the blood of your enemies. Perhaps you are more worthy than you look. WHO IS YOUR MASTER! The voice echoed outwards into the room seeming to disappear into space as though the chamber were much larger than it actually was. The other Myrddraal were gone Myyrth was alone with his master. He confronted the endless void, knelt, and spoke. "The Great Lord of the Dark." He said, his voice was carried out into the infinite emptiness. The room seemed to shrink suddenly and once more he stood in the strange stone chamber. The other Myrddraal who had crowded the room were gone leaving a single stationary figure a foot taller than Myyrth. The shadows of it's cowl were impenetrable and it spoke again in that silent and rasping voice. You have been recognized by the Great Lord. Know that this is not a reward so much as it is a test. For the master has high expectations of his servants and failure will be delt with accordingly. You will now return to the Valley of Thakan'dar and claim your sword. Cut yourself and smear your blood upon the hilt and return it bleeding to this chamber. A slave will see that you are provided with equipment suitable for a worm like you. The voice sneered. You will be called shortly to your first tasks. You are worthless to us as you are, you must be prepared. So do not delay or I will kill you and enjoy doing so. One second the Fade was there, the next he was gone. Seemingly shifting between a fold in space and disappearing. Myyrth could feel the cold emanations of the shadow realm wash over him as the transition happened. Alone in the chamber he stood. The first step had been reached, a long bloody journey yet remained. He left in haste to retrieve his sword. If a creature like him could imagine happiness, then it might just be something like what he was feeling now.
  14. The heat of the sun blistered over the valley of Thakan'dar. Stretched out under it's oppressive gaze the blistered bodies of a thousand men and woman stumbled slowly towards a collection of low sun baked stone structures. These buildings were scattered around the valley, positioned next to murky streams as black as tar. Greasy smoke billowed up into the air from these structures and deposited ash in a steady trickle on the sweating backs of those forlorn walkers. Pacing alongside these lost souls the trollocs loomed, snarling and whipping at their charges, moving them inexorable towards their fate. The air of the place reeked of torment and human suffering. The sound of a whip cracking through the air was punctuated by a scream weakened by constant hardship. None of the sun burnt figures even raised a head or shifted from their slow single file shuffle. Broken men on their way to a fate unknown. Few humans had ever entered these dark forges and come forth again. Those that did no matter how dark their hearts, were irrevocably changed. Even for a Darkfriend it was humbling to witness how the Shadow viewed humanity. They were tools to be utilized then expended; this was just one of many uses. Life was a means to an end. The utter nihilism of the place was soul crushing in it's inevitable purpose. Life was to be extinguished. That it hung on so tenaciously to it's existence was more an inconvenience than a perk. Myyrth's path down into the valley was direct and purposeful. It had taken him two months to work his way through the Blight, a slow and dangerous journey which had led him down many side paths. Now that he had arrived he was impatient to confront his masters. As he journeyed down into the valley he breathed in the miasma of the place. A deep sense of satisfaction welled up inside him. There was a certain psychopathic pride in witnessing so much misery being perpetrated on an industrial scale. To a shadowspawn such utter cruelty could be appreciated in all it's cunning artistry. The forges of Thakan'dar produced some of the most vile weapons to ever exist. That they were fueled by the life of both lightsworn and darksworn alike filled Myyrth's soulless body with a certain ironic glee. His travel worn boots sent up puffs of ash as he crunched his way down a rough gravel strewn path that lead past the Thakan'dar forges and up into the hills beyond. What waited for him there made his black heart beat faster. His presence drew eyes as he walked down into the valley. The tall, cloaked, figure of a myrddraal stood by the nearest forge inspecting the human chattel. The cowel of it's hood turned towards him, the aberrant features of the thing concealed as it tracked his movements. Pointing it directed a trolloc to head him off, the creature held a whip in one hand, it snapped it with determination before trotting towards him. Myyrth watched as the Trolloc approached him. It was a younger beast, probably recently brought here to manage the large influx of slaves. Myyrth stopped. The Trolloc slowed, wary, its whip dragged behind it through the dirt. Despite the blood caked to his side and hand and the torn state of his clothing Myyrth was still a myrddraal. His very presence inspired fear in the weak willed. The trolloc spoke. "What you do here?" it said in it's guttural tongue. It said as a demand, but the beasts uneasy stance betrayed it. Myyrth began to smile. In the long journey here he had begun to wonder what other skills had begun to grow inside him. His old caretaker was long dead, eaten by Jumara. Perhaps it was time he gained new followers. For a moment he felt nothing as he quested out towards the Trollocs mind. The reek of it's sweating body was heavy in the air. Myyrth concentrated. The trolloc snorted, It snapped the whip out towards him intent on subduing this rebellious fadeling. Serpent quick Myyrth lashed out and grabbed the trollocs whip, as it snapped into his palm he felt something click. The trolloc spasmed suddenly it's body contorting at an unnatural angle. Myyrth could feel the creatures fear and it's weakness. He could feel the hot ball of thought and emotion which governed it's simple brain. If he could just grasp it. The trolloc let out a braying sound thin and high as some part of it's being gave way under the monstrous pressure of Myyrths eyeless gaze. The crude and forceful attempt at linking collapsed and something inside the beast broke. It fell away from Myyrth stone dead. Collapsing in the dirt and ash with a loud thud. For a moment Myyrth inspected the creature before kneeling carefully and taking the whip from it's hand. Giving the whip a good crack he smiled and stepped over the trollocs corpse and continued on down the hill. It was a learning process. The cowled myrddraal turned from it's charges and walked towards him. It's clothes stirred not at all in the hot breeze which blew through the valley. As they came together the other Trolloc guards who had been watching intently turned back to their dire work. It was non of their concern. "You are young." The Myrddraal said. It was not a question. Closer now, Myyrth could tell that this Fade was a Shadow Knight, he inclined his head slightly in deference. There was an almost palpable chill radiating from the elder Fade. "I have come into my power. I go to the Circle to be confirmed." Myyrth said. The Shadow Knight looked past him towards the dead Trolloc. "You failed." "I grow" The Myrddraal looked at him, within the shadows of its hood Myyrth could see its face. Myyrth stepped past the Shadow Knight and continued walking. He gripped the handle of the dead trollocs whip in his hand. It felt good. He lifted his face to the rising slope of the mountain. He could feel the oppressive force of his Master bearing down on him, filling the empty portions of his soul with an ecstatic energy. Soon.
  15. Awakening This Follows the Blood on the Leaves RP. The battle was over. Another bloody massacre ending in defeat. Always the humans fell back on their only saviors in their weakness. Always they turned to the Aes Sedai. Myyrth’s thin lipless mouth turned down in an expression of vehement disgust. Even now he could feel the itch of the one power crawling along his spine. It filled him with a white hot rage. He wanted nothing more than to pick up a sword and start killing. He would find every Aes Sedai that walked this light forsaken world and put them to the sword. No, that would be too easy. He would spend time with each and every one. He would make their suffering last till the final seal gave way on his Master’s prison, then their true suffering would begin. Myyrth controlled himself; he could still smell the hunters. If he turned back now, not even his rage could keep him alive. He burrowed further into the Saldaean underbrush leaving a trail of black ichor in his wake. Far away the blight called to him. It had been hours since he had escaped the battlefield and found this small wooded clearing. It would be dark soon, he would be safe. He was cleaning the longsword which he had taken from a fallen sentry. The man had been looking outwards trying to spot the remaining Trollocs who had fled once the rout had begun in earnest. He had not expected the cold white hands of a Fade to close around his neck from behind. The struggle had been brief and brutal and for a moment it seemed as though the soldier might gain the upper hand, but then as Myyrth’s eyeless gaze had stared into the panicked face of his victim he felt a deep pressure build somewhere in his body. The man’s eyes had widened in panic, fixed on his attacker. He stopped resisting as his face filled with fear before finally, windpipe crushed, he choked on his last breath. Finally escaping the encircling ring of pursuers and their Aes Sedai masters he went to ground. He thought back to the months he had spent along the blight border after first being separated from his bonded guardian. It had been a long time since then. He was older now, stronger. He would survive. Thinking back to the soldier, Myyrth was not sure what had happened in the man’s last moments to render him so helpless. He knew that older Myrddraal could petrify men with a mere look but he himself had never done so. It felt strange; his Master’s power tugging at his being was growing inside him. Somewhere far to the north, in the dark heart of the Blight, an echo could be heard. This vibration seemed to sweep through him causing his own body to hum in tune. He knew that this had always been there, this discordant wave. How could he have not seen it before? There was darkness behind everything and his eyeless gaze was built to see it, his fingers to touch it, his mouth to breathe it. That darkness was one and the same with the Great Lord and it had persisted eternally. Like a tuning fork he felt himself vibrate to the disharmony of his Master’s eternal song. A song of dissolution. He could not count the hours that he had spent in this empty forest. The sound of animals which had been so prevalent when he had arrived had faded altogether now. They could feel his presence in the air. Animals and Aes Sedai could always detect when shadowspawn were nearby. The animals were smart enough to clear out. Aes Sedai tended to be slightly more foolish. He clenched and unclenched his fist. The black iron gauntlet which he had worn for months was gone, lost somewhere on that battlefield. Only this sword and his own hands remained as weapons to him. His leather tunic was battered and torn and the cloak he had worn was also gone. Beneath his clothes he could feel the scars of his many battles stretch and pull. The burn scars from his encounter with an Asha’man tight on his side. Still, his body remained strong and despite losing so much equipment his unnatural constitution shielded him from the mundane concerns of temperature and inclement weather, but there were other disadvantages to being without any supplies, and even Myrdraal needed to eat. He sat for a while in the darkness, just feeling the play of shadows on his face. It was slippery. Like dark velvet brushing across his pale skin. He shifted in place; this sensation was alien to him. In times past he had felt a stirring of some nameless sensitivity but never so consistently or so strongly. He was changing. The shadows seemed to have a life of their own, crawling into his mouth and pores. Dripping slowly down his face and pooling liquidly around his feet. The darkness was real, it was in his blood, and it was smoking. He had no inkling of what had triggered this change. Perhaps it was the mixing of his blood and his enemies’ blood that soaked his clothes, or the lives he had taken. Perhaps he was simply growing up. He couldn’t be sure. So many of his fadeling kin had been slaughtered tonight, perhaps that was it? Perhaps creatures like him fed on the deaths of their fellows, growing stronger with each passing. He still could see the thrashing and mutilated forms of the dead and dying Myrddraal. Most would only stop once the sun began to rise. He pretended that he could feel their deaths in the shadows. He imagined that he was there even now, sitting atop a nearby hill looking down on the slaughter. He could see it in his mind. The gradual shift of the land as it sloped away beneath him. The battlefield was black with the bodies of the dead and loud with the sound of carrion birds crying out victoriously as they ripped at dead flesh. Still even the hungry birds did not approach the bodies of the dead Myrddraal. Myyrth could see them thrashing. It seemed to him that around each of them, inky darkness leaked gathering and shifting in sentient pools beneath their bodies. They leaked darkness the way men leaked warm red blood. They would not lie quiescent until the sun rose and banished the darkness of their corrupted spirits. Some part of Myyrth knew that what he saw was a vision. Though a Myrddraals blood was black, it did not move and it did not rise steaming into the air to evaporate in the night. He turned his eyeless sight upon the black blood leaking from his side and let out a sharp bark of laughter. Things were changing. ~~~ A sound disturbed the idle wanderings of his mind. He lurched to his feet; his tall form was as taught and hard as thakan’dari steal. Was he found? The dead soldier’s longsword was held out perpendicular from his body pointing towards the sound which had caught his attention. His feet slipped into a fighting stance beaten into him both by training and vicious animal instinct. A Myrddraal was a weapon; an unnatural predator devoid of purpose beyond murder. He felt this birthright inside him as he faced the threat. Two men burst from the trees, the one in the lead reigned in his horse abruptly causing it to rear up and scream. His compatriot followed quickly a whirling colorshifting cloak flapping behind him. Their lathered horses whickered and panted stomping at the ground. The soldier yelled and pointed towards Myyrth. The Warder, for that was what he was, gestured firmly back the way they had come. With a grim nod the soldier snapped his heels into the horses flanks and took off back the way they had come. The warder drew a bastard sword; the long handled blade was broad and straight down its length, a fine weapon. He flourished it lightly and jogged towards him. They came together with a clash, the Warder covering the last few feet with a bound. His blade flicked forward into an upwards arc breaking into The Boar Rushes Down the Mountain. The heavy two handed blows threw Myyrth into a defensive withdrawal. His surefooted and serpent quick movements kept his feet beneath him as he slipped backwards using his sword only to deflect and guide his enemies’ blade. The Warder abruptly transitioned into Moon on the Water, low and swift horizontal cuts aimed towards his abdomen. The strikes took advantage of the Warders longer blade, hemming in Myyrth with each deflected strike. One strike cut so close to his side that Myyrth had to twist his body at a sharp angle arching back as he did. He felt a tugging sensation in his chest as the wound which he had taken earlier tore. A gush of blood flushed down his side and he stumbled. He was hurt badly. Still, a wounded Myrddraal was nothing to trifle with. As he fell he spun, the full rotation bringing his blade slashing at the Warders legs just below the knees. The human was not a careless fighter though, he anticipated the counter-strike and stepped clear quickly. Myyrth’s sword met only empty air. Catching himself with his free hand he scrambled back to his feet. A healthy distance between them he felt his back come up against the rough bark of a tree. Myyrth raised his weapon again point forward. The warder assumed a slightly cocky stance now. Some lazy variant of Cat Crosses the Courtyard, his weapon hung lose in one hand as he stalked forward. Suddenly, he moved like a blur feinted high then low before coming sharply up at Myyrth’s face with a reverse cut. Myyrths own blade came up barely in time to parry the strike and return with a three strike combo of his own. Two heavy slashes to the warders midsection followed by a stab probing for any gap in his opponents defense. Unfortunately he did not see the Warders hand drop and retrieve a punch dagger from his side belt. Myyrths only warning was the sensation of the blade stabbing into his armpit. The sensation of the long blade scraping along his bones sent vibrations through his body. The warder snapped a leg up kicking him back into the shadow of the woods. The night was on them now, leaving only the moon and stars for illumination. As he felt his blood leak from his body Myyrth knew with utter certainty what it was to expect death. Unlike a human or Trolloc would, he did not fear the concept. It was an alien sensation to be so indifferent to his own existence. Yet like all creatures like him, though soulless they still possessed a sense of purpose. As he rose he slithered backwards into the shadow of a twisted oak tree. Smoke was billowing from the wound in his side now, inky black smoke rising from his gash. Now more than ever he needed this power. He also knew that at any second the Warder would tear around the corner and finish him as he lay there if he did not act. With feverish intensity he reached out his hand, dipping into the shadows surrounded the tree. After a moment of resistance his hand broke through it was like pushing his fingers through a delicate membrane composed only of smoke and cold water. Uncertain but still determined Myyrth pushed his way through. Once before he had done this, in fear of his life as a young fade. It had saved his life then. For a moment he was suspended in a place of complete opaque blackness devoid of all imagery or light. It was cold, colder than anything he had ever experience as though the heat of the world was being drawn out of this place into some outer void. Shapes began to appear in the murk, twisted trees and stunted grey little plants. The Warder was gone, though he could sense that if he stepped back through the dark threshold he would be there. He took a step; the sound was muted. He walked slowly, feeling his strength return as he put another foot forward. For a moment Myyrth contemplated just leaving. The Warder could not follow him here, he was untouchable. But no, he was one of the Eyeless, a champion of the Great Lord. The human would die. Myyrth crossed to one of the twisted shadow trees on the other side of the clearing. Instinctively he could feel the denser patches of shadow that leaked into the world of light. Reaching out he once again felt the strange membrane, though this time it felt warmer than the air around him. Flashing his teeth he pushed through. He stood in the shadow of a tree across from the place where he and the Warder had crossed swords. The human was there, searching the darkness sword at the ready. It seemed as though only mere moments had passed since he had stepped into the shadows though it had seemed like subjective minutes. All the dark places in the clearing seemed to stand out more in his eyeless vision. The night which had seemed impenetrable before now seemed clearly defined in his sight. As though those places of shadow were now intrinsically intertwined with that Other place in his mind. He chuckled, a loud and raspy sound like rusted iron scraping across stone. The Warder whirled, his clear blue eyes staring piercingly into the night. “Shadow filth; show yourself, by the light!” The Warder brandished his blade and stalked towards the fade, his expression grim. “Ah you poor human creatures, the power you oppose has never been subject to the commands of the Light. Your words and your life are empty. Your blood will nourish my blade, and your spirit… your spirit will be utterly destroyed.” Myyrth felt as though his strength had doubled. His jaunt through that Other place had done more than just move him through time. He had awakened in those short moments spent there, immersed in darkness. He was unnaturally still, not a single twitch or breath moved his body. Despite the wind which whistled down through the trees his cloths moved not at all, hanging dead in the air. He was a Fade born again to darkness, with all the power that that entailed. He waited for the human to reach him before whipping snake-quick into action. He struck from every angle at once, his sword reacting with a speed and grace it had never known. He was the predator in the night. The Warder fell into a defensive form, taken aback by the change in his opponent. The cold and calculating ferocity with which Myyrth attacked left the human struggling to mount an effective counter. Myyrth drove in with a flurry of sweeping overhand strikes shoving the man to his knees. With a desperate cry the Warder kicked a leg out catching Myyrth in the shin and spoiling his balance for a moment. With preternatural alacrity Myyrth saw the Warders killing blow come striking towards him and with contemptuous dispassion drove his fee palm into the point of the blade. He felt the steel slide into the meat of his hand as he guided it away from its lethal trajectory. As the man’s eyes widened Myyrth drove his own blade into his enemies’ collarbone shoving it down at an angle piercing lung, liver and intestine. There was a gurgling intake of breath as the man realized he was dead, then the lights when out. ~~~ The Fade kicked the corpse over with relish before slowly removing the bastard sword from its palm. It felt nothing as the metal slid clear of its flesh. It was in a place beyond pain. Finally after so many struggles it had reached its majority. There was blood everywhere, pooling darkly around the dead warders corpse and dripping liberally from the wounds in its hand and side. Turning its smooth maggot pale face up towards the moon hanging low in the sky it smiled. Surrounded by inky darkness it turned towards the shrouded wood and faded away.
  16. The seething mass of bestial creatures was held at bay by a ring of steel and stoic courage. Horned trolloc brayed with stymied bloodlust as battle lines were formed. What had just a moment ago been a rout had turned with such swiftness that the forces of shadow were left reeling and off guard. The intercession of the Aes Sedai had turned the tide. The fearsome spawn of the dark one gnashed their teeth and smashed their wicked curved blades against rough hide shields. They formed a rolling sea of dark inhumane shapes against the night sky. Their steaming breath rising in plums as they were driven forward by the cracking whips of their Myrddraal commanders. Yet the human defenders stayed strong, the clear voices of their officers rising above the din of battle steadying the nerves of the men. They were outnumbered but not beaten. The one power was on their side. Suddenly a howl. It pierced night air like a sword stabbing into the heart. For a moment silence followed. Then on the right flank human screams sounded in the night. The darkhounds had joined the fray. The size of small horses and weighing three hundred pounds they burst from the treeline moving at full speed. Their forms insubstantial as flickering shadows blended into the night, their eyes gleamed with a pale blue light that brought fear into the minds of men. Yet despite their ephemeral quality they were all too solid. They bore down on the terrified soldiers attacking from the rear. In a moment they were through, shrugging off the hasty swing of sword. They ripped and gouged, tearing out throats and goring stomachs leaving screaming bleeding men behind them. They lived only long enough to fall to the sword of the fadelings. Dashing amongst the hulking shadow hounds ran young eyeless. They leapt and slashed at their terrified enemies with deadly precision. Humans stunned by the surprise attack of the darkhounds were ripe for the killing touch of the young Myrddraal. Myyrth darted alongside a darkhound the thick sinews of it's neck flexing as it bite into the head of a soldier who's screams turned to bloody gurgles. His shortsword held loosely in his hand he delivers a final blow to the skull of a wounded human with his iron sheathed fist. He turned his piercing gaze upon the channelers. They stood opposite to the flanking attack. They would respond swiftly to the darkhounds offensive, they needed to be kept off guard. A sword narrowly misses his head, he leaps back. "Come on you monster, come one!" The soldier says, a nasty gash furrowing his brow. Myyrth was more than happy to oblige him. The elder Myrddraal closely in tune with the flow of battle urged their monstrous warriors forward. It took only a moment for them to overcome their fear of the channeling woman and her burning light. Headless to their own wounded they pushed forward with renewed ferocity. The line of men began to buckle. Their morale was breaking, the darkhounds were sowing havok behind their lines. The shadowspawn smelled blood in the air and like animals they moved in for the kill.
  17. The battle had started with a sudden fury that took Myyrth by surprise. Months spent in solitary training and small group exercises suddenly exploded into open combat. They had reached the cusp of a hill, beneath them a haggard band of borderlanders far from where anyone had expected them to be lay camping in the small valley. Without even a word or moments hesitation the whips of the Myrddraal cracked down among their monstrous servants and with bellows of blood-lust and fury the three hundred Trollocs charge down the hill in long loping strides. Among them and around them came the shadowy horsemen, black blades held high, their eyeless gaze penetrating the growing twilight. And at this horrifying hosts feet ran fadelings, quickling youths their pale maggot skin ghoulish in the half-light bared their teeth in preparation for blood. The Great Lord's Ravens would feast well tonight. Myyrth ran alongside his fellows, it was an exultant feeling. Their enemy was surprised and caught off guard, like predators smelling weakness the shadowspawn go in for the kill. The ground seemed to tremble in terror at their approach. A cruel grin split his face as he sprinted down the hill. The sound as the front line of Trollocs collided with the defenders was like thunder. It echoed through his head and his mind exulted on thoughts of trampled bodies and the splash of spurting blood. Then suddenly a bloom of reddish light fills the sky. Followed quickly by another flare of sun bright fire. A secondary explosion rocks the ground and the charred body of a trolloc lands heavily in front of Myyrth's feet forcing him to leap to avoid taking a fall. The humans had witches among them. Darkness gathered over the battlefield as roiling storm clouds appeared over the battlefield. In the crush it was difficult to know even where the thick of the battle was so chaotic had the melee become. Suddenly a man crashed into him, scuffling he kneed and punched soldier, it took him a moment to realize that the man was dead. Shoving him off he scrambles to his feet. An axe swings in front of his face nearly ending him right there. Stumbling back he swings his weapon wildly in a defensive arc. Around them the battle roared, a wind kicked up howling across the battlefield. The screams of the dying filled the air. His foe, a brawny bearded man clutched his axe fiercely, an expression of deep resolve on his face, he wore a round wooden shield on his left arm. Myyrth was not without defenses of his own, he wore an iron gauntlet on his right hand it's ridged finger plates and reinforced forearm guard making it a subtle yet effective offensive and defensive weapon. His blood up he darts forward determined to kill this man and move on to join the fray. He meets the man's eyes letting the weight of his eyeless stare fall on him. The soldier flinches averting eyes and nearly dropping his guard as though he intended to flee. Without a moment of hesitation Myyrth presses his advantage, with feral quickness he stabs brutally at the mans exposed torso. The soldier jerks attempting to bring his shield across his body to ward the blow, yet it was a feint allowing Myyrth to redirect his momentum into a rising slash that caught the mans weapon hand. A fast right hook from his gauntlet smashes into the mans face as fountain of blood spurts from his severed thumb, with a cry of pain the axe drops to the ground and Myyrth finishes him off with a slash across the throat. Exultant he watches his enemy fall bleeding to the ground before once against being swept up into the chaos of battle. ~~~~~~~ Caught by surprise and disorganized the Borderlanders reeled from the initial charge, but you didn't patrol the borders of the blight without being blessed with great resolve. With discipline and courage those officers in the camp not killed in the charge forged a fighting force out of the chaos. Their hope bolstered by the presence of the Aes Sedai they fought fiercely.
  18. The fade reined in his black steed, his cowled head searching the horizon. The strange sense that all Myrddraal possessed was telling him that somewhere nearby a channeler had embraced the source. His smooth eyeless face turned and faced the distant woman astride her horse. His hands gripped the leather reins tightly and he glanced back down at the trail that snaked away into the gloomy afternoon. The sun was falling towards the horizon, soon it would be night. The time of creeping shadows. The trail that he had been following continued on west for a ways, the scout had moved on as expected. Turning his steed around he sets off at a gallop to the northeast ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The main host moved briskly now, spurred on by the whips of the Task Masters. Word had come down from their forward scouts, an enemy patrol had been spotted. No doubt they were connected to a larger force. Stealth was abandoned, speed was no the goal. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Myyrth jogged alongside the other Fadelings, his sword gripped in hand. The stir of battle griped him. Blood would be shed.
  19. These humans and their pretensions, it never ceased to amaze Myyrth the lengths to which they would go to maintain a lie. Even if the only ones they were lying to were themselves. They are committed to their own destruction, I at least know that I am a slave. Perhaps they think that their oaths are empty, that they might drop them at their pleasure. Short sighted creatures. Others of his kind moved through the gathered men and women, true servants of the shadow. For a myrddraal, serving the Great Lord was a calling they were born to. Like the Great Lord they served, some part of each of them yearned for self-destruction. These humans didn’t see it, but each one of them had committed themselves to suicide. “The Wheel of Time turns… for now.” He says. Turning he moves through the crowd careful to keep his gaze lowered. Some Dreadlords didn’t like feeling their ‘servants’ eyes on them. Myyrth wove widdershins through the gathering, ending up on the outside edge of the party. Few stood here by the shadow of the woods. He disliked being near so many channelers, but he supposed it was better to know than not to know. From the outside looking in he was able to spot when new arrivals came, when another Fade arrived with a Dreadlady in tow he snorted. Always at their beck and call, yet he shouldn’t concern himself overmuch. The status quo was shifting ever faster as the Great Lords power waxed. Before the end they would be licking his boot heels as he crushed their skulls one at a time. His eyeless gaze swept over the Darkfriends, scheming up their little conspiracies. Forging short-lived alliances of convenience; pathetic. The air was rife with intrigue and the heady smell of hedonism. Service to the Great Lord granted many freedoms, the only price was eternal service before the end of all things.
  20. “Wake up.” Brand threw a rock at Tanith. “Huh?” Tanith’s eyes snap open; he looked around as though expecting arrows to spring out of the trees at him at any moment. “What?” “I said wake up.” Scowling Brand breathed warmth into his hands, “Bloody ashes boy, you know what a forward scout is?” Stamping his feet he glares at the forest, rubbing grimy fingers through a rough salt and pepper beard he kicks the young man. “On your feet.” “Oh give it up; we’ve been out here for hours.” He stood up, shivering in the brisk air. “I bet they’ll start cooking the evening mess soon.” He glanced hungrily back towards the main company, barely a league to the west of them. “You can barely grow a decent set of whiskers and you think you know when enough is enough.” Brand chuckles to himself, his rough voice laced with humor. “You’ve got a lot to learn boy, someday a trolloc I’ll come and grab you in your sleep. Then you’ll be on the menu!” “You think they’d actually come down this far?” The hint of fear in the young soldier’s voice assuaged Brand’s growing annoyance. It seems the lad did have some respect for their job out here. Unlike most of the rest of the land, who thought that Fades and Trollocs and other foul creatures of shadow were merely myths conjured up to frighten children, the borderlanders new that sometimes stories could be all to real. “I’ve never seen the beasts this far south before, but I got a friend on the northern march that says that raids have been picking up. When the blight moves, it’s best you keep your eyes wide open. You never know.” Both men stared out intently into the dark, the shadow of fear resting lightly on their backs. Tanith jumps when a chuckle erupts from Brand’s throat. “Bah! Lets move. Orders say we need to hit the highlands before too long. Let’s get out of these damn woods.” Untying their horses from a small sapling tree, its leaves withered and sickly they depart at a brisk trot. The ground was rocky and uneven, often dipping down into small ruts and ditches that forced them to take routs that lead them away from their patrol. At one such point they were forced to divert almost a quarter mile to the north before coming up onto a low rugged hill. By this point they were almost a mile north of their intended destination. Brand lit a small oil lamp and scanned a rough map of the area. He turned a dour expression on the landscape scanning for an easy path south. He froze. Tanith, preoccupied with fixing a lose buckle on his sword harness jumped with a curse when his partner grabbed his arm. “Bloody ashes Brand wha-“ “Shhh!” The expression on the old soldiers face as he quickly snuffed out the lamp light was something Tanith would never forget for the rest of his short life. Carefully dismounting Brand hunkers down, he motions to Tanith to take the horses back down the hill, confused and concerned the boy complies. The old soldier, rubbing his beard lays flat on his belly and stares fixedly north. He couldn’t be sure, he couldn’t be. It was true what the boy had said, the shadow was never seen in this rough and open country. But for a moment he could have sworn he saw a man astride a black horse on the crest of a nearby hilltop. For what seemed a year’s time he laid there and watched. His eyes dry with fatigue and strain blinking little. It was quiet on the hill, only the howling wind for company. He felt like he was drifting, he was sure that he had seen the man. A man clad in black, riding a black horse. Yet his mind didn’t want to reach the inevitable conclusion. A halfman. No, more likely a delusion of a mind that spends too long in the wilderness. In the night one could dream up anything. He spent another few minutes watching the hills, but he was sure now. It had been nothing. In any event, if he had seen what he thought he had seen. Wouldn’t something more have shown itself? “Boy!” he calls, perhaps a little softly despite his certainty. “It’s alright come on up. Bring the horses.” Patting himself down as he stands up he yawns despite himself. “I think it’s about time for us to head on back.” When no response was immediate the gnawing worm of fear crept back into his gut. Rushing down the hill he stumbles back in horror. There was blood everywhere, spread across the rocks in what seemed like a carpet. In the darkness it appeared black, but the old soldier knew blood. He could taste it in the copper tang on the air. He knew that Tanith was dead. Why hadn’t he heard anything? How could this have happened? What could have done this? Where was the body? All of these questions failed to touch the horrified mind of Brand, for he had only one thing on his mind. Escape. He had to get out of there. The horses were gone, perhaps some of the blood was theirs. So much blood. So much. Yet it hardly mattered, he was three miles from the rest of the men. Even with a horse on this rocky ground he wouldn’t be able to cover the distance quickly. Mind paralyzed with fear he leaves the bloody ground behind, hoping against all probability that whatever had killed his friend would not find him. He struggled through the dark night, stumbling over rocks and pushing through thorny hedges as he makes his way west. Unaware, or perhaps in denial of the gaze that followed his every step. The eyeless gaze that pierced the nights murky veil and hounded his steps with suffocating fear.
  21. Over the Mountains of Dhoom a high wind howled down out of the north. As it went it kissed the sharp mountain peaks racing down towards the southlands. It crossed the blighted lands of the north, the sickly sweetness of decay clinging to its speeding currents. As it entered into the northern kingdoms it grew colder, the unnatural heat of the Blight leeching out. These were human lands, and within these lands an enemy stalked. A raiding party of shadowspawn marched, the northern wind tugging at them urging them onwards. Down into Saldaea they marched looking for blood. The foul Trollocs snuffled at the air emboldened by the smell death carried on the wind. The Great Lord walked with them, watching, always watching. Among the ranks of the hulking Trollocs lithe figures road atop black horses, cloaks hanging dead in the high winds untouched by the gale. The Myrddraal watched the darkness around them, eager for blood. The dark ones, eyeless gazes hungry gripped their swords tightly. Eager. They, the horse mounted ones, numbered few, yet among them was more of their ilk. A dozen or so fadelings unmounted walked isolated from the rest. They did not speak their youth plain to see as they stood apart under the watchful eye of their elder overseers. Among them Myyrth walked, clad in crude leather armor but holding a sturdy iron blade scanned the line of the trees watchful. In these hostile lands, the slightest shadow could be a human drawing a bow for the kill. He lightly touched the suppurated twin scars that marked his stomach, the memory of their barbed arrows returning to him. The humans would not surprise him again. Through the night his eyeless sight could see as keen as an eagles. He was a Myrddraal and the darkness was home. The sound of metal rasping against leather, swords clinking and boots and hooves thumping rose as a muted rustle over the trees. They were on the hunt, yet it was impossible for so many to move in silence. Yet according to spies within Saldea the border patrols should all be farther east, far away from their location. Still, in the pit of his stomach something felt wrong. He could feel it in the old wounds, reminders of past carelessness. Something was going to happen that was unexpected. Well so be it, he thought to himself. Gripping his sword more tightly still he prepares himself for bloodshed. ~~~~~ OOC: The shadowspawn are not in the Blight, they are they are currently crossing sparsely wooded highlands, the terrain is rough. It provides a great deal of cover in the shallow dips and rocky terrain. A forest is to the west and I would place the current location of the force as north and east of Maradon just above the Plain of Lances heading south into central Saldaea. Link to a map below. http://www.sevenspokes.com/images/wallpaper/map-1280-24.bmp At this point I leave it to the first poster who is accompanying the Borderlanders to set the scene for their side of the conflict. For the Shadow if any Dreadlords are coming with then it would be nice to see some small part dealing with the distinct separation of the shadowspawn from the channelers. At this point I imagine the force consisting of this. 5 Myrddraal (1 Shadow Walker, 4 Task Masters 20 Fadelings 300 Trollocs 1 Pack of Darkhounds So if anyone is bringing an evil channeler you will need to insert them in. Any other questions can be directed to me through the planning thread in the RP Community Board.
  22. Yeah he made this grand speech before all the Aes Sedai, advocating that they join with the Great Lord. He was then cast out or some such thing.
  23. Part of me still wishes that Rand had humbled the Seanchan some using the Choeden Kal. You know.. torch a few palaces, annihilate a few standing armies, put the fear of the Dragon in them as they say.
  24. God I love forum hostility! :-* Anywho. At least with Aginor healing himself, is not perhaps possible that due to the fact that the source of Saidin isn't coming from within but rather coming from an outside source one would be able to heal oneself with it. For example perhaps utilizing the Eye one could fly, or do all sort of stuff typically forbidden when one is channeling personally. The Eye seems to serve as a remote access for this source of pure Saidin, it therefore seems plausible to me that one could heal oneself with the power drawn from it as it is not arising from within oneself.
  25. TILL ALL ARE ONE! anyone ever think that the old cartoon Transformers had a sort of creepy overmind sort of thing going on behind the scenes? Perhaps they were just biding their time before the eventual robotic takeover of humanity. Most definitely my favorite fight scene's involved Lan vs Myrddraal or Thom vs Myrddraal early on in the books. It's sad you see so few shadowspawn in these latter books.
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