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  1. Ful Haert jogged up the curve of the parched field to join the men at the traveling grounds. There was a general bustle of activity coming from the neighboring hill where gateways were practiced or set up for use: the distant clatter of weapons and armor, conversations, a very occasional “bang!” Ful, the young dedicated assigned to procure supplies out in the city, saluted the senior members as he approached the group of onlookers. He looked down at his fellow dedicated in the field, the asha’aman standing over them at the far edge of the field, watching them diligently. “What’s he doing?” he shot a sour look in the direction of the newly withered field trench, still exhaling smoke into the glassy sky. “Don’t ask,” replied one of the soldiers. Ful glanced politely at the soldier, who made a respectful nod. Then he yawned. “Tired?” Ful asked. “You should take some rest while you can." The other shrugged. “I sleep. But then the dreams come." “Yea,” Ful nodded. The man didn’t seem particularly bothered about his dreams. But dreams were things Ful simply couldn’t deal with, didn’t understand the strangeness. He wasn’t ready for them. “The dreams here will get you. Keep trying. Sleep will come. So . . . what is he doing?” “Not entirely sure. But that trench used to be overgrown. When I asked, he just said, practice - and we left it at that." “I’ve come to buy supplies from Caemlyn. Is there a gateway set up for use?” Ful had no talent for gateways. He couldn’t even learn the weave. As such he needed somebody with the talent to help him get to Caemlyn. The man shrugged again. “You have to to take it up with them.” Ful slid down the dusty bank into the smoked-choked ditch. It was part of an old field system, a natural divider, but the neglect and abuse these students had imposed upon the trench had allowed the land to run wild, and now it withered. He picked his way over to a familiar face among the field of dedicated. “Ready to go, Merdyn?” he asked with a smile. They’ve all got work waiting for them. His supply run was for Merdyn’s precious volunteer soup kitchen, so Ful doubted Merdyn would miss a chance to replenish stock.
  2. Madoc stood there listening to the instructions he was being given by the Wise One, and was having a hard time comprehending those instructions for two reasons. The first was an easy reason, they didn't make sense, this was a job for a Seai Doon, or maybe a Tain Shari, and he didn't see how a Stone Dog would do as well as either of them in it. But, what could you do? When a Wise One bid you do something, you just did it. The second reason he was having trouble concentrating was more troubling, that was because the Wise One who was giving him the instruction; Mordre was always distracting to him on some level, and she was more so when she was trying so very hard to be serious. He finally felt the smile creep across his face before chuckling at her. When he realizing the red in her face was her rising anger Madoc raise dhis hands placatingly and smiled. "No need for that Mordre, you're just adorable when you're trying to be so grown up." He set aside the things he had been working on, making sure his weapons and shield were in good order, and put away his tools, for he couldn't leave his mother's house a mess or he'd feel the rough side of her tongue when he returned. Finally he was ready and gestured to Mordre to lead the way, never mind that he was certain of where they were headed. Of course they ran... which added to the tension that was creeping into the back of his mind. What on earth could be so desperately secret that they sent for him, and judging by the reception had decided Mordre was to join him in this quest? Just thinking about that made him tense up more, wondering if the Wise Ones were still trying to push them together... if so that would certainly set Mordre's hackles on end, never mind that was what they both wanted... eventually.
  3. She knew the way, all the Aiel did. Rhuidean was a sacred place to the People and even if they were forbidden to walk within its walls, the paths that led there were burned into every Aiel's memory. Mordre was no different. She stood outside the barrier to the city, feeling it but not seeing anything to distinguish it from the air around her. Shri said that was her first hint that this path had been chosen for her, that she could feel things she couldn't see. She stepped through the barrior, feeling somehow different now that she was inside. It felt strange, like all of her senses were dimmed somehow. Confusion drove her further into the city and she stared in wonder at the structures surrounding her. These were no semi-permanent homes like those she'd grown up in. These were sturdy, constructed to be permanent. Even knowing the history of her people, seeing the truth of the Jenn Aiel surrounding her stilled the breath in her chest. Images blurred and she stood before the Three Rings, not breathing as she knew her life would never be the same once she walked through them. Shri had warned her of this, though without much in the way of details. Possibilities loomed before her, a glimpse into futures she wasn't sure she wanted to see. Leaving now was not an option, however, and she'd never backed away from things that terrified her. It was a quality she'd prized when she thought a Spear was her future. Would it serve her as well, now? She closed her eyes and stepped through the closest ring... She opened her eyes to see the bright blue sky overhead without a cloud to mar its perfection. She heard water nearby, but couldn't turn her head to see it. "Mordre, you have to move," came a voice to her right. She tried, blessed Light, did she try. Her limbs would not comply with her wishes, though, and tears of frustration welled in her eyes. Faces loomed in front of her and though she didn't recognize them, at first, names whispered themselves across her lips. "Lunen," she whispered. "Ponia." Memories of training with these women filled her head and she choked at the future she'd been clinging to so tightly being presented. "We must leave, Mordre. You are slowing us down." Lunen was always the most logical among them. "They will be upon us, soon." "Forgive us," Ponia whispered, her eyes full of sorrow. They both disappeared from her view and she could not call them back. The effort was overwhelming. Strangely gnarled faces appeared next, dribble falling from tusks and horribly stained fangs. A scream erupted from her lips as they cheered and pain exploded all over her body. The last thing she saw was one horribly contorted face nuzzling into a severed arm that must have been her own... "WAKE UP!" Shri's hand forcefully shook Mordre and she sat up swinging, her breath panting and tears streaming down her cheeks. It had been a memory of her first trip to Rhuidean, one that she'd been unable to recall after leaving. They all crashed down around her as Shri trapped her arms, though and her body shuddered from them. "You are allowing your fear of the unknown drag you through nightmares." There was disapproval in her voice and Mordre tried to calm herself, even as the other potential futures wormed their way into her head. Death, toh, despair... these were all the haunting memories of her walk through those rings. Very few of them held happiness or futures she would embrace. Since the day her sister had died, she'd dedicated herself to learning everything she could to be the best Wise One since the Jenn Aiel, asking questions and soaking up whatever Shri had thrown at her. It had been years since that day and she was no longer the rebellious child she had been. One of the memories that fell upon her, bringing her the peace she'd covetted since she woke. Madoc. He'd been one of her futures, one of the few that offered her solace in a sea of potential destruction. "Tomorrow will come, Mordre, whether you want it to or not. These fears are nothing next to what you will learn tomorrow. If these things are so difficult to handle, I fear the truth will break you in two." Shri's voice sounded older than Mordre had ever heard it and she reached to clasp the woman on the shoulder. "These things I bear, Wise One, and the fear of creating those things is what keeps me here," she said softly. "It's by your hand and guidance that I have shut them away. Now that I remember them, I can accept them for what they are and choose my path more, dare I say, wisely, because of them. I do not fear tomorrow, my friend. For you have given me all I need to find the true way." She smiled and Shri smiled back. "It is nearly dawn," Shri responded and Mordre nodded. It was time to go. ~Mordre
  4. His arms crossed over his chest, Donovan leaned back against the side of the stables and waited for his students to arrive. Thirteen horses stood calmly tethered to a section of corral directly across from him. Thirteen horses for twelve students. Each had been informed of the hour and location of their newest class, and slowly they started to file in. Girl, boy, boy; Donovan couldn’t help but think that the new recruits got younger every year. Children for the Children. It might have been poetic if he didn’t already know what awaited them behind these walls. He continued leaning in the shadows of the barn until well after the last student had arrived and they all began to mill about. As soon as the talking raised above a low whisper, he heard a voice wondering aloud where their teacher was. That was his cue. “He’s over here.” Donovan made certain that his voice carried well above those of the recruits. The sudden silence echoed in the early morning air as he stepped calmly out from the shadows and glowered at his pupils. He always loved this part. “And may I just say, that was a wonderful display of alertness. Were I a dark friend you’d all be dead, you sad sacks of shit. Basic survival little ones, always be aware of your surroundings. Lucky for the lot of you that survival isn’t our lesson today.” His scowl split into a bright grin as he sized the group up. He loved shaking the greenhorns up a bit in his lessons. Did well to keep them on their toes, and ensured that they were paying attention. “Now how many of you know how to ride a horse?” ~Donovan Rile
  5. Cenn had arrived at the Hold maybe fifteen minutes before he settled. He walked casually across the scarce Hold. Many of his men were near Cairhien, or stationed in various parts of the Car'a'carns land. He had just arrived back from Cairhien, spending nearly a week there to reacquaint and tell the warriors that stationed there of Ghauls disappearance and his raising. The dragon tattoo that slid up his right arm still felt awkward, as he could feel the scales sickly attach themselves to the base to the shoulder of his arm. It was gold, yet had a tinge of green towards it. He closed his eyes for a moment to catch himself, trying to put what he say in Rhuidean in the back of his mind. He arrived at the tent he was looking for, and began to dismantle his cadin'sor. The two large spears on his back he took off, placing them in a neat pile ontop of his worn clothes. He breathed in deeply, closed his eyes, and opened the tent flap. It had been nearly a month since he had been raised, and the people were beginning to adjust. His friends that he had known before looked at him different though, and this left an unsettling aftertaste in Cenns mouth. Friends he had known before had left, or disappeared. Cor, his blood-brother from the Stone Dogs; he had not seen him for too long. He often missed the company of him and his pet, some sort of giant-like cat. He missed the companies of Sullyn, the only female Thunder Walker he had ever known. Ghaul, the Chief that had brought him in and offered him shade and water. Most had gone missing, some had died. He missed them, but his duty was to his people now. He must be strong if his Clan is to be strong. It is time for new, a time for change. He looked around the tent, the majority of the chatter had stopped or died down to mere whispers. He felt awkward. A month ago, he would be laughing and joking with these people; now they looked as if he was not one of them anymore. He sat down next to a lovely Maiden and a Hama N'Dore, which used to be his society. He belonged to no society now, he was in all but none. Some nodded at him in grimace, others frowned. Some were receptive, and smiled gleefully and hysterically like the old days to Cenn. He offered a weak smile back, and nodded to others. His head bowed down to admire the dirt below his feet. He looked underneath him and took a staera from the neat below him. He casually wiped away the dirt and grime from his thighs, working down to his ankles. Every once in a while, someone would open a small talk conversation with Cenn, but often to not he left the conversation dwindling in the air. "Congratulations, Cenn. We are yours to command!" Some were sincere, others mocked as if he was not a true Chief. It would pass, eventually, but it made Cenn feel uncomfortable. A young aiel, much younger than Cenn, looked at him and began to speak, "... Cenn Clan Chief
  6. Aeveryn had finally surrendered to the urge to leave the white tower. Ever since reaching the shawl, she had felt the urge to go ride somewhere. It had been her sense of duty that had kept her in her Ajah‘s quarters though. She had waited for some sensible purpose, some actual reason that would require her to leave the white tower. But her waiting had been fruitless. She had found herself standing at the large windows of her sitting room for hours, staring beyond the vague landscape on the other side of the Erinin and she had felt the longing to go there. Still, it seemed to be a waste of time. Often she stood there and contemplated if her hesitation to leave the tower was based on her trying several times as novice and her being punished severely for her attempts. But then one last summer day she had just done it. Some of her belongings had been packed for some time. That one morning she just left. That had been two weeks ago. It felt good to be on the road again, and she did not mind it very much that she was on her own. Well, someone to talk to like Vera Sedai or Rossa would have been good. But for the moment, she was too consumed with the sensation of freedom to be irritated to much with that. Her horse was a fairly young charger and you could tell the beast was almost as unused to be ridden as she was to ride. Well, she had been a skilled rider, but the last time she had sat longer then an hour atop a horse had been thirty years ago. Sometimes it seemed that had been another life, or a memory of something that had not really happened. But as long as she was calm, her gelding was easy too and she hoped they would manage to get along well enough for now to get used to each other. Aeveryn was slowly making her way down in an south-western direction ever since leaving the tower and as she rode she was searching for signs or landmarks she would remember from when she had taken this route to the tower, but it seemed everything had either changed or her mind was barren. Casting an eye up against the sky she checked to make sure her dark blue coat was near. There were some dark clouds up above and the last blue flecks of sky had passed by early this morning. She had the distinct feeling it would still rain later on. She just hoped it would begin when she had reached some tavern or inn. For a moment she considered her divided shirts and rearrange the dress she wore. She wondered if it had been a mistake to only take along silk for a travel like this. It was a riding gown, but somehow she now wished she had taken some woolen gowns as well. Maybe she was imagining things, but she did feel as if she was utterly overdressed for this undertaking. Rossa had taken her to the dressmakers and while she had been first rather irritated about the gold she was spending - her gold! She had to admit now that she really did think every penny had been worth it. Well she had taken a liking for silk and even for these tiny embroideries. Her main consideration was now that the dress might wear too quickly. She realized she had been engrossed with her dress for too long. And the moment she looked up she realized it had been a grave mistake. A lone rider was up ahead on the otherwise solemn and perfectly empty road. Normally there was no reason to be afraid. She was a woman, all right, but not as she had been when she had come to the white tower. She was a full sister now. She wore the ring, even if she had left her blue fringed shawl in her saddle bags. Leaving that in the tower had never occurred to her. Differently to some other novices and accepted she had never trained with the warders in the yards. But right then, even with Saidar at her disposal, she suddenly wished she had. Her face never changed a fraction, but even without power enhanced sight she was certain the rider up ahead was a whitecloak. Embracing Saidar destroyed her last hopes. She could see the man‘s eyes clearly, and the symbol he carried proudly on his bristling white coat. For an instant she contemplated to run, or try to avoid coming any closer to him. But for that it was too late. She relaxed only a little as she realized she did not yet have the agelessness features to her that would be tell-tale to his kind. Keeping her face smooth she rode on. But silently she prayed her travels were not yet over.
  7. Rhia stood the deck of the raker that sped toward the mainland with impossible speed. The mainland was still a sliver on the horison, but already Rhia could feel frustration starting. Being docked for days at a time waiting for the Cargomaster to fill the hulls with more goods was a necessary task, as necessary as she herself was to the guiding of the craft below her, but it was still time away from the open seas, away from the freedom that she had learned to love and take for given. At sea there was no one to order you but those on your ship, it made for a tight knit crew, but losing that freedom, that right to self-reign, always chaffed until returned with there departure to the open waters. Rhia stood alone on the deck. Deckhands and sailors alike ran along the deck and worked the ropes and sails, but she stood alone, separate from them. They knew by now when Rhia Wove the Winds, and few men were willing to bother her as she did her task. Saidar was the glory of the Sea, of life, emitted from every pore, every fiber that was her being. The feeling was so that she wanted to lose herself in it, to hold as much as she could draw. If that were not a sure way to find yourself dead or unable to any longer Call the Winds or weave the currents, the thought of which was enough in itself to stop her from overdrawing on the Power. Still, it did not diminish it's sweetness. The Sailsmistress lay below deck, her eyes red and puffy and her chest filled with mucus that she coughed and choked on constantly. As soon as the woman had taken sick she had secluded herself below deck until the sickness passed. They could not risk disease spreading among the crewmen, a ship left only so much room to escape sickness, and the more people sick, the less room to stay safely. Rhia was the only one allowed to see the Sailsmistress, it was known those who could Call the Winds did not catch sickness like normal people, and Rhia did not like the idea of the Sailsmistress stuck alone below deck all day and night. Three days she had been there so far, and by the look of things she would be there throughout there stay in Bandar Eban. Rhia wore a sea green silk blouse, with matching pantaloons and a yellow sash tied around her waste, already prepared for docking. As soon as land had shown it's first sliver on the horizon she had donned her top and begun setting coarse. The docks of the harbor were ow clear to her eyes, Bandar Eban rearing up around the port was a thriving trade city, and the noise of it reached all the way to the ship's deck as they entered the bay. Rhia stopped her weaving well short of land, as they passed into the bay she released the Source and allowed her weaves to dissipate. Now long oars were being lowered into the water to deftly maneuver the ship into position at the end of one long wooden dock. Workmen on the docks tossed heavy ropes to the ship so they could tie themselves off to insure the ship would not move, and the sounds of the dock men filled the air. So much for the peaceful sound of waves lapping at the hull. The gangplank was lowered to allow a man with a clipboard, who was already coming up the dock from somewhere in the hardor, to come aboard. Rhia nearly laughed at the frustration on the man's face. Clearly he had dealt with the Cargomaster of this ship before. Sure enough Farlin appeared on deck with his sword behind his sash, his bare chest glistening faintly. He met the man with a small grin and the two went below deck, Farlin talking the whole way. Rhia sighed inwardly, with the Sailsmitress sick it fell to her to take on the duty's that she normal took no part in. Any trading done in the port would have to be done by her, and she was not sure how she felt about that. Her Sailsmistress was still new to her, only two years on her decks did not make for very deep connections, not yet, and if she misstepped even a hair it might ruin any chances she had at getting on with the other woman.
  8. A warm breeze drifted in from the south, bringing with it the smell of summer. The daylight hours were steadily growing in number and the last of the planting festivals would be had that night. Several of the younger Children had put in for their leave in order to enjoy the final night of festivities. The breeze carried on over the Fortress of Light, where the men and women who called themselves the Anointed of the Light slept and ate and carried on their daily lives. The breeze swept through an open window and into a corridor, lifting the edge of a life-sized painting of an Aes Sedai kneeling in submission to one of the Lord Captain Commanders of long ago. Some of the more zealous Children liked to point at it and claim it to be true, but the ones who had been Sworn to the Light for longer than a year all knew it had been commissioned by a member of the Council long ago in order to gain favor under the eyes of the then Lord Captain Commander. It was here Li Nuriman found himself. The breeze turned cold, cutting through all of his chain mail and leather padding, before flipping up the corner of the painting once again and then fading away. It made him stop and turn, the painting catching his eyes and drawing him a step closer. “An Aes Sedai would never do that,†he murmured out loud. His two companions turned to frown at him before resuming their argument about who would dance with more women at the festival. Li did not want to go, but the other two insisted on bringing him along, claiming it would do him some good. “If got twenty silver says I not only dance with my girls, I’ll kiss more!†“Make it thirty and you have a bet!†The tall Arafellin man just rolled his eyes, glancing back at the painting as they continued down the corridor towards the living quarters of the Fortress. Why they had chosen to take the path that led past the Dome of Truth Li never did know, but would wonder and regret later on. Then a voice, loud and full of fear, came booming from behind them. “Witches!†That word alone, when said near any who were called Children of the Light, would turn heads. What followed not only turned heads, it brought the rest running along behind. “To arms! Witches in the Fortress!â€
  9. Most people walked past the old Wise One without really seeing her. She had become a fixture, seated in what looked like a very uncomfortable position atop the rock outcropping in the center of the Hold. As unmoving as the stone beneath her she watched the comings and goings with sharp eyes though no one noticed. Near mid-day as the sun pounded down on the desert a young boy hesitantly approached her with a skin of water which she accepted with a regal nod. Glancing back at his companions the boy, Chinara thought him to be no more than eight or nine years, shuffled his feet and cleared his throat. “Would you tell us a tale of Shara, Wise One?†Chinara snorted, “I will tell you this, boy. There are no tales of Shara for its people are a secretive sort.†As she continued several other boys joined them, most crouching down in the sand to listen with wonder of a land surrounded by a high wall that no Aiel had ever managed to breach…..and live to tell of it. She told them of the trade centers which were the only part of Shara Aiel were allowed to glimpse and of the slave pens where undesirables and interlopers were sold. She had moved on to descriptions of the riches to be had in Shara when a young woman walking across the Hold caught her eye. “Boy, run and fetch that Apprentice for me, hop to now.†Complying quickly the lad returned with Renata and Chinara motioned for the Apprentice to help her down. The crowd of boys moaned in dismay but a sharp look from Chinara sent them all scrambling. With a sigh the Wise One leaned against her staff, “You will come to my roof at first light, child. We will begin the most important lesson of your Apprenticeship then.†Allisa ------------------ Renata had been enjoying her free day. All the Wise Ones had left her be and she did not mind at all. She had managed to steal a few moments to speak with her old friends. All who know carried the Spear. Renata had neglected her friendship with them. Hating that they could continue on their life dream when she had been forced to give up hers. The training she had already gone through had made her see that becoming a Wise One would not be all that terrible. She would get to do many things others only dreamt of. Renata pushed her past and future dreams away as she made her way back to the Apprentice tents. She should not neglect her studies if she even thought to make it through the training. She had almost reached the tents when a young boy stopped her and almost dragged her to the old Wise One waiting. Renata had not had much dealings with Chinara. And had been glad for it. The old Woman scared her. “You will come to my roof at first light, child. We will begin the most important lesson of your Apprenticeship then.†Chinara told her after she had helped the woman down from the rock. "Yes, Wise One." Renata quickly muttered an obedient reply and was off to the tents. Her hands almost trembling when she reached it. She slept badly that night. The knowledge of what the next day would come was too vivid in her mind. Channeling. The Wise One Chinara would be teaching her the secrets of the One Power. Renata shivered. She had not thought it possible that she would be even taught this. She had not thought herself capable. But she had heard from other Apprentices that Chinara was an expert in Channeling and would most likely be teaching it forward. The sun had not even given it's first peak when Renata was outside in the chill desert air. She hurried no matter to Chinara's roof, where the Wise One already waited for her. ~Renata~ ------------------------- The cold mornings were hard on Chinara’s aging bones but one would not have known it from either her expression or her posture. When the gaishain escorted her newest student into the roof the old woman was sitting near a window, watching the sun begin its slow crawl across the sky. Motioning to Renata to seat herself on a nearby cushion Chinara nodded to the gaishain who closed the reed shutters, casting the room in dim shadow and left. As her eyes adjusted to the dark Renata glanced around apprehensively when suddenly a lantern between the two women flared to life on its own. “Your first lesson as my student, Renata, will be to observe more closely.†The Wise One chuckled at her charge’s expression, “I want you to look at me very closely. Is there not something unusual about me?†It took several moments but Chinara nodded when Renata gasped, “Yes, you can see the glow around me now can’t you? If you had been looking you would have seen it from the moment you entered the room. Now I will tell you things only a Wise One knows. There are those among the Aiel who like the Aes Sedai of the wetlands can channel. I see you have suspected as much, most Aiel do though they never speak of it. What you may not suspect Renata, is that you are one of those women.†Without waiting to let this news sink in Chinara went on, “If you do not learn to first submit and then control this power it can destroy you. Today you will begin. Clear your mind of all things. Sweep it as clear as the sands after the storm. Let go your resentment, your disappointment. Release yourself to the Power, let it flow over you. A woman must be a tree that bends in the wind. Bend, Renata or you will surely break.†The Wise One spent the next several hours with Renata until at last the girl managed to touch the Source for the first time. Seeing the joy on Reyala’s face after so many hours of sullen determination lightened Chinara’s heart, though of course she let nothing in her expression show. Instead she frowned severely and reached out one bony hand to tap the Apprentice sharply on the forehead. “Now use your head, girl. The reason the people only suspect that Wise Ones can channel is due to the fact that we rarely, if ever, do. Let loose the Source. Now.†Chinara waited until her student had done as she was told. “The next time I tell you release it more quickly. The Power is seductive, addictive. You will never touch the Power of Saidar unless granted permission from a Wise One to do so. Any bending or breaking of these rules will be dealt with more harshly than you can imagine.†Chinara leaned forward and peered into Renata’s eyes, “Unless of course you’d like being shipped off to the White Tower? Forced to wear white like a gaishain and dance attendance on Aes Sedai? No? That is only a part of the reason we keep our powers secret, child, but it is certainly the most important reason.†Adjusting her shawl the old Wise One nodded, “Now, embrace the Source once more and simply hold it.†Once Renata had accomplished this the Wise One then directed her to let it slip away once more. This process was repeated for the rest of the day, at times Chinara directing Reyala to release more slowly or so swiftly it felt nearly as sharp as being shielded. “At the beginning of each lesson you will do this. Your control must be absolute and you must train yourself to let the Source go, feeling no loss. Aes Sedai may cling to the Power like weak wetlanders do but none among the Aiel shall.†“Now you will reduce your contact to the Power to the barest trickle, allowing only the slightest bit to reach you.†Again and again she demanded Reyala demonstrate, until she was sure the young woman could do so at will. Finally the Wise One called a halt, “You will sleep well this night, child. Make certain of it.†OOC: So there will be five posts and this is the first Touching Saidar for 1st time and a lecture on how the Aiel use the Power Have fun! Allisa -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Renata did not at first understand the first task Chinara had given her. To observe the old woman. She kept her thoughts to herself. No matter how silly the task at hand be she was determined to go through with it. To acomplish the task given. So she stared. Her eyes blinked every now and then and Renata could have sworn she saw a light around the old Wise One, but kept her mouth silent. Only when the light was surely visible Renata gasped. The woman was completely surrounded by a glow. A glow that seemed to come from Chinara herself. Chinara explained what the glow meant. Renata had not thought it possible. That there was many more Wise Ones who could Channel. But Renata had not thought that she herself could be taught this power. She had only thought that she would be explained the basics of what Saidar was. Not to be able to channel. Renata closed her eyes. Sands after the storm. She thought to herself trying to empty her mind seeing a tree bend in her vision, bend and then break. Renata opened her eyes. She had almost felt the tree snap. Frustrated Renata bit her lip and closed her yes again. Focus. She saw the wind blow the sand in her head. She felt more relaxed but nothing seemed to happen. She sighed and glanced quickly at Chinara. The wise one was waiting patiently. Renata tried again. Clear your mind. Focus. And the storm was there again, sweeping the grains of sand away until there was only bare rock left in her mind. Suddelny Renata could smell the Wise One in front of her. She could tell what the Gai'Shan were cooking outside. She opened her eyes in a joyoys wonder. If this was what it felt to channel, Renata did not understand why it was not spoken of. When Chinara tapped her on the forehead with a large frown on her face, Renata almost dropped her hold on the Power. When Chinara told her to let go. Renata bit her lip, thinking of a way she could get more time. But finally gave up and let go. Her disobedience did not go unnoticed as Chinara commented on it immediately following it with a lecture. The lesson continued with Renata holding the source and letting the power slip again. Slowly and then so rapidly it felt that it would tear her head away with it. Renata nodded at Chinara when she warned her of the control of the Power. She did not want to be a weakling wetlander. She continued, biting her lip so that the insides were bleeding constantly. Renata did not feel pain in her lips. She wanted to win. This was a challange against herself and she was determined not to lose. Finally the first lesson was over. Renata had not even notice that the day had gone past so fast. She curtsied to the Wise One and hurried to her tent. She collapsed onto her bed immediately and fell into deep sleepless slumber. She had not slept so well in months. ~Renata~ -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The next morning the old Wise One seemed more cranky than usual (if one could imagine such a thing). As soon as the Apprentice appeared under her roof she waved her back out again, grumbling under her breath. Curtly signaling the girl to follow she led Renata towards the sweat tents and without pause stripped to her skin and disappeared beneath the flap. Renata followed and once her eyes had adjusted to the dimness was surprised to see they were not alone. Chinara sat opposite her, naked arms and legs even bonier than expected but still taut and muscular and next to her Alisis and two other Wise Ones Renata had not yet met. Sweat covered all the women but none reached for the brass staeras to swipe the dirt and perspiration from their bodies. “Now, child, pay attention and open yourself to Saidar. Until you grow more adept you will be able to see my weaving more clearly if you hold the Power yourself.†Deftly with a skill borne of lifetimes Chinara wove five separate strands of Saidar into the air between the two women. Each shone to Renata’s eyes with a resonance that entranced. “These are the five elements. Fire and Earth.†As the older woman spoke each strand brightened, one by one. “Spirit and Air. And of course Water.†Both women stared at the strand of Power with reverence. Even in this it was the most important. “Study each carefully. You should be able to identify them in a glance, which is often all you will get when a Wise One channels.†Chinara let all the strands but one fade away. “This is Fire and when properly combined with a strand of Earth like it becomes much more – watch.†Chinara sent the twisted strands into the rocks piled in the center of the tent and they immediately began to warm. “Now you try.†Alisis could not see the nimbus of light surrounding both but she knew they were channeling. It was Renata weaving Fire into the rocks that heated them to white hot. Occasionally another Apprentice, Jindi, would lean forward and with a dipper would scatter the precious drops of water across their surface. The Wise Ones sighed in contentment as steam filled the tent and their lungs. All but one. Chinara leaned across the rocks, her creased face flushed with both heat and displeasure, and poked Renata in the shoulder, “Concentrate, girl. Your weaving is weak. Your control laughable.†The Wise Ones eyes widened, “This is Fire and with it you can kill, others or yourself.†Leaning back she waved a hand, “Again. Do not let the water cool the rocks this time, keep them as hot as you can.†Alisis saw several of the Wise Ones glance covertly at one another. Already the air within the sweat tent was nearly unbearable, even for an Aiel. With a nod she released several who hurriedly finished their cleansing and ducked out of the tent. Chinara sent Alisis a wry look that the Head Wise One returned. Standing Alisis laid a hand on Jindi’s blonde head and with another nod sent the Apprentice running. Taking the girl’s place Alisis focused on the rocks, now cool and gray. Slowly she began to sense a change in them, the warming as Renata wove strands of Fire into their centers. Soon they glowed red once more and then white. Alisis reached for the dipper and steam filled the air but the rocks remained white hot. As they watched one cracked open to reveal its super heated core. Chinara nodded with approval. “Well done. Release.†Chinara waited while the light around Renata winked out. The Apprentice sagged a bit, her face running with perspiration. “Now watch carefully, Apprentice.†Carefully and slowly Chinara wove strands of Earth. A moment later the cracked rock was whole once more with not even a seam to show where it had split open. Alisis gasped as Chinara reached and picked up the rock, the older Wise One shot her an amused look. Renata had seen the flows of Water she had woven to cool the stone, but Alisis could not. Passing the stone to Renata she waited as the Apprentice turned it over and over in her hand before returning it to the pile. “With Earth you can mend or rent. Open yourself once more, Apprentice. Break the rock and then repair it once more.†~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The next morning Chinara came to the Apprentice’s tents before the sky had even begun to lighten. Quietly she prodded Renata with her stick until the Apprentice roused and with bleary eyes followed the old woman out. The Hold was still tightly embraced in slumber but Renata noticed several sets of eyes marking their progress, Alisis’ among them. The others, sentries for the most part and weary gaishain roused from sleep to begin early morning chores, turned away. Chinara led Renata to a part of the Hold that inevitably inspired awe in anyone who was allowed to enter. And only certain people were ~ among them the Wise Ones and the Clan Chief, the Leaders of each Society, the Roof Mistress and the senior gaishain of each roof. For the spring was a sacred place to the Aiel and the water it yielded more than a necessity. It was life itself. Chinara nodded to the still alert Red Shields who surrounded the path to the spring and they parted respectfully before her. Closely guarded, the water sprang like magic from a rocky outcropping. Wood, rare in the Waste and nearly as dear as the water itself, had been used to construct a pavilion to protect the spring. Motioning to her charge the Wise One walked to the pavilion and sat, arranging her bony legs with care. Breathing deeply she nodded to Renata to do the same. “Can you feel the difference in the air? The moisture of the spring hovers near and today’s lesson will be aided by it. Today I will teach you to control and manipulate the elements most dear to the Aiel. Water and Air. We must do this early, before the gaishain arrive to draw the daily allotments. Now, watch closely.†The nimbus of Power appeared around the graying head and Chinara slowly wove a thick strand of water letting it hover in the air between them. “Of all the elements Water is the most useful to us. With it we can nourish the body and soul. We use it in healing and in certain ceremonies only the Wise Ones know.†The flow dissipated and Chinara sighed, “It can be difficult to control for here in the Three Fold Land it is the least easily drawn from the world around you. But it is there, patience and strength, Renata. Do it now.†Though it took several attempts Renata finally managed to summon a weave, though not as large and vibrant as Chinara’s. The Wise One seemed pleased however. “Not many accomplish this the first day. Now make it stronger, bit by bit. Do not let your control slip. You must firmly grip each strand as you weave.†The shining element between them began to grow, larger and larger. Both women leaned forward unconsciously entranced. Suddenly the weave faltered, then faded a bit before regaining its brilliance a hundred fold. Renata gasped and the light around her winked out. A large dark spot appeared on the ground between the two women and the Apprentice stared at it in horror. Wasting water was anathema to the Aiel and deeply shameful. As Renata’s face paled then darkened with disgrace Chinara leaned forward, laying a hand on her shoulder. “Watch.†Weaving slowly and carefully the Wise One gathered the Water from the ground until the sand was as dry as midday and then slowly picked the weave apart, letting the pieces float to nothingness. “This is no reason to waste water, you understand,†she warned Renata. “But do it again.†Eyes sparkling with humor Chinara let slip a rare smile, “But this time to it on purpose.†Later after she felt the Apprentice had practiced with Water enough she showed the Element Air once more and walked her through the same steps. Dawn was creeping over the horizon when she called a stop to their weaving. “You will wake yourself at the same hour tomorrow and we will meet here. Your control must be absolute.†OOC: So rp out several days practicing with the Elements. I have no particular weaves for you yet - this phase is about control and strength. Water and Air are strongest in women but lets suppose the Aiel awe of water has skewed their view a bit. Water seems hard to summon in the arid waste but this is up to you. Any ideas for weaves may earn you extra points toward punishment or chore threads! But remember they should be necessary and quick, the WO don’t channel unless they have to. Take your time and have fun - feel free to use Chinara however you wish Allisa -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The lessons continued causing Renata to fall asleep the moment her head touched the pillow and wake only to Chinara's poking. The first day after learning she could channel, Chinara had taken Renata to the sweat-tents. It was only there when Renata found out that the Channeling was not as easy as the old wise One made it out to be. Or how easily she had made it seem. She embraced the source with the sand storm in her mind to clear her mind of all thoughts. It was getting a whole lot easier every time she did it. The rock bared itself faster and more neatly, so not one grain of sand was left on top. Her first task had been to identify the weaves. Renata had not thought that channeling was something that could be seen by others. She had thought that it was an invisible force to everyone. She had been wrong, the different weaves looked so real that Renata was sure she could touch them, like strings flying through the air. Fire was her first practise lesson. Heating the stones in the sweat tent. Chinara had shown her how to do so first, letting Renata watch closely before attempting the weave herself. When it was her turn, Renata lost control of Saidar and managed to drop the weave of fire long before any of the stones even warmed up. It took a lot of cotrol to keep the stones warm even though the cold water was tossed on them. But once she got the hang of the idea, the tent begun to warm up intensly and some of the Aiel in it left as the heat got too warm for them. Chinara managed to find something to correct on her task, even though Renata was sure she was doing a great job. Mending the broken stones with Earth was an even harder task to take care of. Breaking it was not so difficult. Enought Fire channeled through the spines of the stone made it split with a loud crack. Mending the two pieces together was something completely different. It went beyond nature and logic for Renata and she had to ask Chinara to repeat how it was to be done. Once she had seen it could be done the second time, she attempted the weave herself. The stone looked nothing like the fully mended stone Chinara had accomplished, the crack was very visible still. chinara made Renata repeat the weave until the Wise One was satisfied. Renata was exhausted when the Wise One decided that she had had enough practise with Saidar for the day. Reminding Renata that she was not to even think of channeling without Chinara present. Renata had not even thought to try this alone. Not only was she too tired, she feared the power too much to attempt something alone. Especially since she had just found out how to control some of it. ***** The following morning Chinara poked the apprentice up to follow her and some other Wise Ones to the spring. Renata had not thought that she would be granted such a fine gift as to visit the water. Not before she was a full Wise One at least. But here she was at the Spring of Life, a place she had never thought to witness. The beuty of the amount of flowing water was overwhelming and Renata had to take a moment to let the sight sink in. “Can you feel the difference in the air?" Chinara asked the apprentice and Renata was able to only nod and acknowledge the change she felt in the air around her. She could smell the moisture. Chinara continued and Renata fixed her gaze at the Wise One, making sure not to miss any of the important weaves the woman wanted to teach. Water, was the first task and Rentata tried her best to manage to complete the thread. It took her a long time before Renata even managed to create the tiniest thread. She was so afraid to mess up something so fragile and important that she had trouble forcing her mind to gather the water. At her bet the weave was far from perfect. And far from the weave Chinara had just made. But it was Water and Renata could hardly breathe at the luxuryious weave she had made. She continued on growing the weave in the air, staring at it in facination. The water hovering in the air looked so fresh and pure, Renata wanted to touch it, drink it. But suddenly the weave broke and the water fell to the floor. Renata, shocked at what happened, dropped her contorl on Saidar and stared in horror at the water wasted on the ground. She had dropped the water, she had wasted that which was most sacred to the Aiel. Chinara told Renata to do it again, on purpose. Renata wanted to refuse. Tell the old Wise One that she had lost her mind. But after a while, when the woman had not told anything otherwise, Renata grasped Saidar again and attempted to do what the Wise One hd just done. It was difficult, but what made it difficult was not the weave, but the thoughts inside Renata. This waste seemed so unpurposeful and wrong. So it was no suprise that Chinara decided that Renata needed more control with both Water and Air. So the next morning Renata found herself at the same site again and weaving water and air together. Moving the drops of water in the air around the pavillion. Chinara made sure to comment on anything that Renata did wrong or in a way that displeased the Wise One. Making sure Renata knew when she was wasting the Power in a simple weave that required only a trickle.
  10. Standing by the window, the man known as Aventari looked down into the street. As he watched, an Aiel patrol passed by, one of the patrols that were often sent out to.... keep the peace? As a man who was in control of his emotions, as opposed to ignoring them, he could feel the hatred bubbling inside of him. That would wait though, wait for another day when the time was right. Not that it made him desire to spill Aiel blood any less. Turning away, he walked back to his seat. The inn he'd picked for the meeting had private booths such as these, and furthermore were genuinely private. The walls were solid and soaked up sound, as did the door, hence why the place was often frequented by merchants and nobles as well as those considered common. A reputation for being a safe place to conduct business had gone far to make the Merry Widow a successful inn. Taking his seat at the head of the table, Aventari took his ease, smiling at a whimsical thought. He didn't cut the most impressive figure at a first glance, or a second. In fact, his ordinary looks often had him confused for other people, or completely overlooked altogether. His lack of presence was a valuable asset in his line of business. Dark hair and hazel eyes that were common throughout the land, his face held no distinctive features, he wasn't abnormally tall or broad of shoulder. Dressed in a blue shirt with yellow trim, blue hose of a lighter shade and brown boots, his colours were too light to mark him as noble. Maybe a lower merchant, or a commoner who had enjoyed some luck at the card table. The only discernable weapon the knife at his belt, there wasn't much to fear of him from a glance, or even closer study. It had always been fun to take on different personas, fooling people into thinking he was someone else. He was one of the best, no character was beyond his ability to play. Lover, worst enemy, closest friend and confidant, the bane of a man's life, the nameless face on the street or the life of a ball, he had played them all. But that was his life, and if he failed to play them all, then he was done. Still, it wasn't the same as it had been. When his brother had been present, he'd had someone to share the game with. Playing the game alone, it wasn't quite the same... Admittedly, Rakel, Lucia and the others were around, bu- Shaking his head from such thoughts, he brought himself back to the present. He had two visitors coming, and it wouldn't do to have his mind wandering when they arrived, in regards to one of them at least. Not that he felt he had anything to fear from him, but a lack of care begged for disaster. Besides, he had a reputation to maintain. Aventari
  11. As Daris walked around the wagons that were parked behind the tent he nodded smiling at some of the other performers, none of which returned the nod. Looking up at the midafternoon sun Daris sighed loudly. They still don't know what to think of what I did at the show for the queen. They didn't accept my excuse of a bad feeling and pure luck, but that's up to them. The only person who seems to believe it is Satine, and that doesn't mean much in my opinion. As if merely thinking of the woman summoned her the acrobat walked swayingly from between some wagons. Nodding to her and hurrying away Daris made his way toward his wagon, and his wife. Closing the door behind him the former assassin hugged his wife and looked askance at her odd look. "I'm not feeling well," she said uneasily. "Don't worry, my beauty, I will retrieve a local herbmaster once the show is over and we will find out what is wrong with you, but for now I must make my way to the tent." OOC: Alrighty, Satine, Simon, lets get cracking. And Simon, cheat'em good, Satine, steal plenty, I want to be able to eat well on the road to Cairhien. :lol:
  12. OOC: The stone dogs are a little different than the other Societies. We're doing our initiation into the society before the warrior training. Since you wish to be a Stone Dog and all are taught to fight from a young age I'm working under the assumption that your character has already learned all of the basic fighting skills. Your actual "Training" which will occur after your initiation will be society specific and help to advance your weapons score as advertised in the Aiel Policy post. So without further ado much of this post is simply you writting. If you look in the Off Site boards under the stone dogs there is a link with an Outline of the Initiation. I will reply shortly at most of the steps the rest is up to you. Here is the link http://aiel.aliciawilkerson.com/viewtopic.php?t=218 IC: Hung over, tired, and exceptionally bored was not a feeling any man enjoyed. It was to the Stone Dog sentry’s extreme pleasure that a young boy was coming closer to the gate. “Stop. What do you want?†OOC: Short and to the point...check the outline and have fun with step 1. Please be realistic though we've assumed you're a trained warrior you're no match for an entire society of trained brothers. They'll only beat you close to a bloody pulp! 8)
  13. Chinara sat atop a rock outcropping, legs folded gracefully beneath her bulky wool gown and her hair swept beneath her shawl, now intricately folded around her head to keep off the worst of the sun. Circled around her like a flock of birds sat the children of the Hold. Several of the smaller boys, instead of sitting, crouched low clutching imaginary spears as they listened to the old Wise One recount the story of Laman’s Sin, and not a few girls as well. Chinara had a knack for storytelling, for bringing a tale to life. Though she spotted Covina waiting patiently to one side she continued at the same pace delighting the children with the imaginary sights and sounds of battle, the dramatic tale of Laman’s death during the dance and descriptions of the fifth brought back to the Three Fold Land from the wetlands. When she finally shooed the children away, with promises of a more in depth description of Laman’s death on the morrow, she gestured the Apprentice forward. “I see you Covina. Sit, child.†The Wise One studied her from her rocky seat as one might an ant crawling across the floor of the desert. The silence lengthened and the sun crawled higher. Neither moved - simply took one another’s measure. Finally the older woman smiled, flashing teeth so white they nearly blinded, “Alisis’ dream was true then. I can sense it. A good thing seeing as how I’ve traveled so far.†Gracefully the old woman descended from her rocky throne and flashing a sign at the young woman who cast the Wise One a startled glance but obediently followed. Rumor had struggled for years to place the woman’s age with each whisper contradicting the last. Only one thing was known for certain. She had once been a Maiden of the Spear. And now stood high among the Wise Ones of every Sept. While most people walked lightly around Wise Ones in general around Chinara they walked the lightest of all. She led Covina through the Hold at a brisk pace speaking over her shoulder as she did so, “I have heard many things of you, Covina but we will not discuss those things now. Know this however, I was once Far Dareis Mai and I will stand for none of your nonsense.†The old woman whirled around and assumed a sorrowful expression, “Poor me, no longer able to run with the spears like a child! My life no longer my own†Casting a dramatic pose, hand to her forehead Chinara grimaced, “Responsibility thrust on me without my consent, my destiny denied me.†Making a disgusted sound deep in her throat the old woman glared at Covina, “You may be able to use that on the others but just remember girl I was a Maiden long before your mother’s mother was born and a Wise One before you were even a twinkle in your mother’s eye.†Turning she led the girl toward the Wise One’s Roof, past the other Apprentices who watched from the corners of their eyes and into her private rooms. Here she grunted a bit as she settled on the cushions. When Covina started to do the same the old woman glared at her until the Apprentice stood awkwardly once more. “Your first lesson as my student, Covina, will be submission.†The Wise One chuckled at her charge’s expression, “Don’t like that at all do you? But unfortunately you will never be able to realize your full potential until you have surrendered yourself to your fate and your power. Now I will tell you things only a Wise One knows.†Sweeping her shawl from her head and revealing her nearly snow white hair, still cut short in the style of the Maidens Chinara adjusted the shawl around her shoulders. “There are those among the Aiel who like the Aes Sedai of the wetlands can channel. I see you have suspected as much, most Aiel do though they never speak of it. What you may not suspect Covina, is that you are one of those women.†Without waiting to let this news sink in Chinara went on, “If you do not learn to first submit and then control this power it can destroy you. Today you will begin. Look closely at me child, do you not see anything unusual?†The Wise One waited until the girl before her gasped, “I have been holding the Power since you first approached me in the Hold. If you had but concentrated you would have seen it then. In the future you must pay closer attention. At some point in the future you will be able to sense the ability in any woman and young girls as well.†Finally she gestured for the Apprentice to sit, “Clear your mind of all things. Sweep it as clear as the sands after the storm. Let go your resentment, your disappointment. Release yourself to the Power, let it flow over you. A woman must be a tree that bends in the wind. Bend, Covina or you will surely break.†She waited impatiently as the Apprentice obeyed. Seeing the joy of Saidar on Covina’s face after so many days of sullen determination lightened Chinara’s heart, though of course she let nothing in her expression show. Instead she frowned severely and reached out one bony hand to tap the Apprentice sharply on the forehead. “Now use your head, girl. The reason the people only suspect that Wise Ones can channel is due to the fact that we rarely, if ever, do. Let loose the Source. Now.†Chinara waited until her student had done as she was told. “The next time I tell you release it more quickly. The Power is seductive, addictive. You will never touch the Power of Saidar unless granted permission from a Wise One to do so. Any bending or breaking of these rules will be dealt with more harshly than you can imagine.†Chinara leaned forward and peered into Covina’s eyes, “Unless of course you’d like being shipped off to the White Tower? Forced to wear white like a gaishain and dance attendance on Aes Sedai? No? That is only a part of the reason we keep our powers secret, child, but it is certainly the most important reason.†Adjusting her shawl the old Wise One nodded, “Now, embrace the Source once more and simply hold it.†Once Covina had accomplished this the Wise One then directed her to let it slip away once more. This process was repeated for the rest of the day, at times Chinara directing Covina to release more slowly or so swiftly it felt nearly as sharp as being shielded. “At the beginning of each lesson you will do this. Your control must be absolute and you must train yourself to let the Source go, feeling no loss. Aes Sedai may cling to the Power like weak wetlanders do but none among the Aiel shall.†“Now you will reduce your contact to the Power to the barest trickle, allowing only the slightest bit to reach you.†Again and again she demanded Covina demonstrate, until she was sure the young woman could do so at will. Finally the Wise One called a halt and allowed her student to draw in the Power once more. “Until you grow more adept you will be able to see my weaving more clearly if you hold the Power yourself.†Deftly with a skill borne of lifetimes Chinara wove five separate strands of Saidar into the air between the two women. Each shone to Covina’s eyes with a resonance that entranced. “These are the five elements. Fire and Earth.†As the older woman spoke each strand brightened, one by one. “Spirit and Air. And of course Water.†Both women stared at the strand of Power with reverence. Even in this it was the most important. “Study each carefully. You should be able to identify them in a glance, which is often all you will get when a Wise One channels.†Chinara let the strands fade away. “You remind me of a girl I knew once, Covina, when I was but an Apprentice, chafing at the restrictions and rules, always reaching for more. But you must remember if you draw too much of the Power into you it will destroy you. My near sister Jindayla did this and her ability to sense the Source vanished. Though she finished her Wise One training she died within a few years, years spent wishing for something she could never have again.†Chinara tipped her chin up almost proudly, “She was strong but once the Power left her she let her life slip away like sand through a child’s fingertips. Do not make me mourn another, Covina.†Chinara NSW Wise One OOC: ok hun I have to use Chinara for this class because Alisis cannot channel any questions pm or email or catch me in chat. Welcome back! This class used to be 10 posts but now we're combining it to total 5 posts. Channeling was not something she had wanted or asked for. It was the reason she had to abandon her spear sisters, she despised the very idea. Today was to be her first lesson, and with Chinara. The woman was nothing short of a legend, but perhaps by now she was so on in years her wits had begun to slow. Covina tripped as she saw the women she was to have her lesson with. Now matter how many months passed she could not get used to the bulky shirts. Chinara was telling the story of Laman’s Sin. It was one Covina had heard many times, but she settled back to listen. “I see you Covina, sit child†She took a seat across from the Wise One. For a time they observed each other. Covina could not shake the feeling that this woman could see inside her head. Finally the older woman smiled, flashing teeth so white they nearly blinded, “Alisis’ dream was true then. I can sense it. A good thing seeing as how I’ve traveled so far.†When the Wise One used Maiden Hand talk to single her Covina blinked in surprise but followed immediately, The tiraid that flowed from the womens mouth made Covina stop dead in her tracks. She had to jog to catch up. “I have heard many things of you, Covina but we will not discuss those things now. Know this however, I was once Far Dareis Mai and I will stand for none of your nonsense.†The old woman whirled around and assumed a sorrowful expression, “Poor me, no longer able to run with the spears like a child! My life no longer my own†Casting a dramatic pose, hand to her forehead Chinara grimaced, “Responsibility thrust on me without my consent, my destiny denied me.†Making a disgusted sound deep in her throat the old woman glared at Covina, “You may be able to use that on the others but just remember girl I was a Maiden long before your mother’s mother was born and a Wise One before you were even a twinkle in your mother’s eye.†Her throat felt dry as they stepped into the tent, without thinking Covina attempted to take her seat but with a harsh look from the Wise One she stood. Submission? She had never submitted to anyone! She was a Maiden she was Far Dareis Mai to her toes! She…Covina’s eyes welled with tears only for a moment. She wanted to wail for her loss, but all she could do was listen and obey. At least in her dreams she still ran with her sisters. “Clear your mind of all things. Sweep it as clear as the sands after the storm. Let go your resentment, your disappointment. Release yourself to the Power, let it flow over you. A woman must be a tree that bends in the wind. Bend, Covina or you will surely break.†The feeling of life, a pure bust of ecstasy flowed through her, everything was clear and crisp the whisper of her skirts as she shifted rang in her ears. Never before had she felt such joy! All thoughts of loss were gone, she had never know life until she felt this. Covina jumped when she felt a finger tap her forhead. “Now use your head, girl. The reason the people only suspect that Wise Ones can channel is due to the fact that we rarely, if ever, do. Let loose the Source. Now.†As she let go Covina wanted to sink to the carpets, she wanted that feeling again. Every moment that she held the power was joy, and without was agony. Her lessons stretched into the day. Her head began to bead with sweat as she followed the Wise Ones directions. “Now you will reduce your contact to the Power to the barest trickle, allowing only the slightest bit to reach you.†Again and again she demanded Covina demonstrate, until she was sure the young woman could do so at will. Finally the Wise One called a halt and allowed her student to draw in the Power once more. “Until you grow more adept you will be able to see my weaving more clearly if you hold the Power yourself.†The weaves she saw in front of her bloomed with color. “Study each carefully. You should be able to identify them in a glance, which is often all you will get when a Wise One channels.†Covina would not have to be told twice to study and practice. She was addicted to the feeling. Despite the warning she had received Covina could not wait to be alone in her tents that evening. As if Chinara had read her mind she spoke once more. You remind me of a girl I knew once, Covina, when I was but an Apprentice, chafing at the restrictions and rules, always reaching for more. But you must remember if you draw too much of the Power into you it will destroy you. My near sister Jindayla did this and her ability to sense the Source vanished. Though she finished her Wise One training she died within a few years, years spent wishing for something she could never have again.†Chinara tipped her chin up almost proudly, “She was strong but once the Power left her she let her life slip away like sand through a child’s fingertips. Do not make me mourn another, Covina.†Covina left the tent in silence, her thoughts of ecstasy momentarily misplaced with worry. Covina Dreamwalker When Covina presented herself at Chinara’s roof the next morning the effects of a long and worrisome night were apparent on her face. The Wise One on the other hand was practically cheerful, for an Aiel. “I see you, Covina.†Chinara indicated the Apprentice should sit with her, “Have you broken your fast this morning? There is porridge if you like. You will need all your strength for today’s lesson.†Slyly the Wise One examined the girl’s pale face. “But perhaps you are not feeling well this morning?†Without waiting for an answer Chinara clapped her hands together sharply. The hide door opened to admit two older Apprentices whom Covina knew only in passing. Cheena’s blonde hair was cut as short as Covina but she lacked the tail of a Maiden and her blue eyes were more somber than a woman twice her age. Nearly as tall Tietsi’s long auburn curls were confined only by layers of her woolen shawl wrapped artfully round her head. Her blue eyes were full of merriment and laughter, even in the presence of Chinara. They sat on either side of the younger girl, neither sparring her a glance though Tietsi pressed her hand in sympathy. “This morning you will learn the importance of working together and how we are always stronger when surrounded by those whom we trust. This is so in everything. When gaishain grind the zemai they work together, alternating and sharing the task. When warriors dance with the enemy they depend on their brothers and sisters as if they were the same person. So too do Wise Ones depend and rely on one another.†“This is an important lesson,†Chinara’s eyes bored into Covina’s, “for there will rarely be a time you will hold the Power when another Wise One is not involved. It is not only for the strength gained but for the balance, the check against power ~ of any kind. Now, open yourself but do not hold the Power simply feel it.†When the bright nimbus of Saidar surrounded each girl Chinara herself let the Source flood into her. “Now, can you feel the difference? I have reached for the Source through each of you, using your connection to it to strengthen my own. You can no longer weave without my permission. Our circle is controlled by me. Now I am going to pass control to Tietsi and she shall pass it to Covina and so on until I tell you to stop.†Chinara watched them for nearly an hour then called an abrupt stop to their practice, “Now, before you become too exhausted I want the three of you to form a circle with Covina in control.†Once they had accomplished this the Wise One nodded with satisfaction, “Good now, Cheena.†Once they had all had a chance to control a circle Chinara sent the girls off to their chores with a strict reprimand to let any of the Wise Ones know if they felt dizzy or too tired to continue. When they had done this to her satisfaction she dismissed them, warning Covina she would see her again come morning. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Chinara stood leaning against a finely carved wooden cane, her eyes slowly adjusting to the dark. Around the hearth lay several young girls, most lying still in exhausted sleep. The one at Chinara’s feet however tossed and turned, her dreams obviously troubled. After watching her frantic movements for a time the old woman used her cane to poke at the girl until she abruptly sat upright, muscles tense and ready for combat. Chinara chuckled, “The instincts of a Maiden will serve you well in your new life, Covina. It is time for your next lesson. Come with me.†Without waiting for a response the Wise One turned and left the roof of the Apprentices, the cane now tucked away within her woolen skirts. The Hold was still tightly embraced in slumber but Covina noticed several sets of eyes marking their progress, Alisis’ among them. The others, sentries for the most part and weary gaishain roused from sleep to begin early morning chores, turned away. Chinara led Covina to a part of the Hold that inevitably inspired awe in anyone who was allowed to enter. And only certain people were ~ among them the Wise Ones and the Clan Chief, the Leaders of each Society, the Roof Mistress and the senior gaishain of each roof. For the spring was a sacred place to the Aiel and the water it yielded more than a necessity. It was life itself. Chinara nodded to the still alert Red Shields who surrounded the path to the spring and they parted respectfully before her. Closely guarded, the water sprang like magic from a rocky outcropping. Wood, rare in the Waste and nearly as dear as the water itself, had been used to construct a pavilion to protect the spring. Motioning to her charge the Wise One walked to the pavilion and sat, arranging her bony legs with care. Breathing deeply she nodded to Covina to do the same. “Can you feel the difference in the air? The moisture of the spring hovers near and today’s lesson will be aided by it. Today I will teach you to control and manipulate the elements most dear to the Aiel. Water and Air. We must do this early, before the gaishain arrive to draw the daily allotments. Now, watch closely.†The nimbus of Power appeared around the graying head and Chinara slowly wove a thick strand of water letting it hover in the air between them. “Of all the elements Water is the most useful to us. With it we can nourish the body and soul. We use it in healing and in certain ceremonies only the Wise Ones know.†The flow dissipated and Chinara sighed, “It can be difficult to control for here in the Three Fold Land it is the least easily drawn from the world around you. But it is there, patience and strength, Covina. Do it now.†Though it took several attempts Covina finally managed to summon a weave, though not as large and vibrant as Chinara’s. The Wise One seemed pleased however. “Not many accomplish this the first day. Now make it stronger, bit by bit. Do not let your control slip. You must firmly grip each strand as you weave.†The shining element between them began to grow, larger and larger. Both women leaned forward unconsciously entranced. Suddenly the weave faltered, then faded a bit before regaining its brilliance a hundred fold. Covina gasped and the light around her winked out. A large dark spot appeared on the ground between the two women and the Apprentice stared at it in horror. Wasting water was anathema to the Aiel and deeply shameful. As Covina’s face paled then darkened with disgrace Chinara leaned forward, laying a hand on her shoulder. “Watch.†Weaving slowly and carefully the Wise One gathered the Water from the ground until the sand was as dry as midday and then slowly picked the weave apart, letting the pieces float to nothingness. “This is no reason to waste water, you understand,†she warned Covina. “But do it again.†Eyes sparkling with humor Chinara let slip a rare smile, “But this time do it on purpose.†Later after she felt the Apprentice had practiced with Water enough she showed the Element Air once more and walked her through the same steps. Dawn was creeping over the horizon when she called a stop to their weaving. “You will wake yourself at the same hour tomorrow and we will meet here. Your control must be absolute.†OOC: Linking has the strange side effect of allowing the person in control to feel the emotions of the others So rp out several days practicing with Water and Air. I have no particular weaves for you yet - this phase is about control and strength. Water and Air are strongest in women but lets suppose the Aiel awe of water has skewed their view a bit. Water seems hard to summon in the arid waste. Any ideas for weaves may earn you extra points toward punishment or chore threads! But remember they should be necessary and quick, the WO don’t channel unless they have to. Covina’s ran her hands through her short red hair, her hand always paused where the tail used to be. With a sigh she made her way to her next lesson. A night of tossing and turning with no sleep had left her mood sour. When Cheena and Tietsi entered Covina sat a bit straighter, these girls had been apprentices for quite some time now. “This morning you will learn the importance of working together and how we are always stronger when surrounded by those whom we trust. This is so in everything. When gaishain grind the zemai they work together, alternating and sharing the task. When warriors dance with the enemy they depend on their brothers and sisters as if they were the same person. So too do Wise Ones depend and rely on one another.†She could not help but think about her spear sisters and all the times they had danced. Her sleepless night seemed to drift away as the feeling of life flooded into her. “Now, can you feel the difference? I have reached for the Source through each of you, using your connection to it to strengthen my own. You can no longer weave without my permission. Our circle is controlled by me. Now I am going to pass control to Tietsi and she shall pass it to Covina and so on until I tell you to stop.†They were going to allow her control?! As the control was passed to her, she became aware if the women around her. Cheena had an upset stomach this morning and Tiesti had blisters on her hands. The awareness was unreal. The hour of holding the power had left Covina feeling lightheaded, but not so much so that she needed to be let out of her chores. That night when the sun fell and the waste grew cold Covina feel asleep with out thoughts of the One Power. ~~~~ ~~~ ~~ ~ ~ ~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Her dreams were haunted, and she tossed violently in her sleep. She felt something hit her hard in the leg and she sprang up her hands ready to battle. She rubbed the sleep from her eyes to see Chinara standing above her. Dressing quickly she followed the women out her tent. Chinara led Covina to a part of the Hold that inevitably inspired awe in anyone who was allowed to enter. She could do nothing but stare in open mouthed wonder. As she arranged her skirts she had to fight to keep her hands from dipping into the flowing spring. “Can you feel the difference in the air? The moisture of the spring hovers near and today’s lesson will be aided by it. Today I will teach you to control and manipulate the elements most dear to the Aiel. Water and Air. We must do this early, before the gaishain arrive to draw the daily allotments. Now, watch closely.†The nimbus of Power appeared around the graying head and Chinara slowly wove a thick strand of water letting it hover in the air between them. “Of all the elements Water is the most useful to us. With it we can nourish the body and soul. We use it in healing and in certain ceremonies only the Wise Ones know.†The flow dissipated and Chinara sighed, “It can be difficult to control for here in the Three Fold Land it is the least easily drawn from the world around you. But it is there, patience and strength, Covina. Do it now.†She bit her lip as she concentrated hard on making the weave. Her first few attempts slipped away with out result, but what happened next caused Covina great shame. Her eyes were wide as the water made a dark brown spot before her. But without so much as a blink Chinara moved on, the dark brown spot faded and the ground dried as if the water had never been. Covina felt like clapping with delight. Until the sun started to rise of the crest she practiced her weaves of air and water. OOC: I thought your post most excellent Crys - post more if you want for character development but thats totally up to you Covina sat within the suffocating closeness of the sweat tent, her eyes focused on the glowing rocks piled haphazardly in the center of the room. Chinara sat opposite her, naked arms and legs even bonier than expected but still taut and muscular. Sweat covered both women but neither reached for the brass staeras to swipe the dirt and perspiration from their bodies. Seated near the entrance with several other Wise Ones Alisis could not see the nimbus of light surrounding both but she knew they were channeling. It was Covina weaving Fire into the rocks that heated them to white hot. Occasionally another Apprentice, Jindi, would lean forward and with a dipper would scatter the precious drops of water across their surface. The Wise Ones sighed in contentment as steam filled the tent and their lungs. All but one. Chinara leaned across the rocks, her creased face flushed with both heat and displeasure, and poked Covina in the shoulder, “Concentrate, girl. Your weaving is weak. Your control laughable. You are no longer a Maiden playing with spears.†The Wise Ones eyes widened, “This is Fire and with it you can kill, others or yourself.†Leaning back she waved a hand, “Again. Do not let the water cool the rocks this time, keep them as hot as you can.†Alisis saw several of the Wise Ones glance covertly at one another. Already the air within the sweat tent was nearly unbearable, even for an Aiel. With a nod she released several who hurriedly finished their cleansing and ducked out of the tent. Chinara sent Alisis a wry look that the Head Wise One returned. Standing Alisis laid a hand on Jindi’s blonde head and with another nod sent the Apprentice running. Taking the girl’s place Alisis focused on the rocks, now cool and gray. Slowly she began to sense a change in them, the warming as Covina wove strands of Fire into their centers. Soon they glowed red once more and then white. Alisis reached for the dipper and steam filled the air but the rocks remained white hot. As they watched one cracked open to reveal its super heated core. Chinara nodded with approval. “Well done. Release.†Chinara waited while the light around Covina winked out. The Apprentice sagged a bit, her face running with perspiration. “Now watch carefully, Apprentice.†Carefully and slowly Chinara wove strands of Earth. A moment later the cracked rock was whole once more with not even a seam to show where it had split open. Alisis gasped as Chinara reached and picked up the rock, the older Wise One shot her an amused look. Covina had seen the flows of Water she had woven to cool the stone, but Alisis could not. Passing the stone to Covina she waited as the Apprentice turned it over and over in her hand before returning it to the pile. “With Earth you can mend or rent. Open yourself once more, Apprentice. Break the rock and then repair it once more.†~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ A gaishain stepped quietly among the sleeping forms of the Apprentices bending to shake one or two gently and with a soft word wakening them more fully. Covina was the last she paused over laying a hand on the girls shoulder. Sleepy gray eyes blinked up at the white draped figure before clearing into a question. “Chinara summons several Apprentices to the Roof of Healing.†Without another word the gaishain turned and vanished through the door into the cold night. The Apprentices glanced apprehensively at one another. None had been allowed to help within the Roof of Healing though many had run errands to and from or fetched this herbal or that for the Wise Ones. Swiftly they found their clothing and helping one another as best they could, soon presented themselves at the Roof. The Roof of Healing was an immense adobe building set into the far eastern rock face wall of the Hold, well away from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Unlike most Aiel homes it had many entrances, some with ramps leading into the dark interior and its only guards were the worried kin of those being treated within. Tonight several Maidens shuffled uncertainly before the main entrance, eyes downcast. Covina frowned at them as she passed and one flashed a subtle sign that raised the Apprentice’s eyebrows to her hairline. Her step quickened and she crowded the girls ahead of her who hesitated in the doorway. Pushing past them she nearly ran into Alisis whose expression made Covina want to run back to her blankets. She glared at Covina for a moment clutching blood stained bandages, her green eyes snapping. “Your former Sisters have danced unwisely this night and have paid the price for such foolishness. Come.†Handing her bloody burden to a waiting gaishain she turned and led the group into the Roof proper. Inside most of the expansive room was open but many woven screens were stacked at intervals, a few even open and shielding the sleeping form within, some turning restlessly at the quiet commotion nearby. Many Wise Ones were gathered around four Maidens laying on pallets. Their cadinsor’s were torn and bloody, their eyes a bit wild as they stared at the ceiling high above, jaws clenched in pain. Covina could see the nimbus of Saidar around two Wise Ones, Chinara and Jarila. Alisis led the Apprentices to a pallet nearby and motioned them to sit. “You have been brought to observe and perhaps lend a bit of strength should it be needed. Watch in silence.†The Maiden nearest turned her blonde head away but the Apprentices could see clearly where her cadinsor had been cut away to reveal the belly wound. Spears sliced as well as stabbed and her innards were in shreds. Blood trickled from the corner of her mouth and Alisis knelt near her head and wiped it away. Soaking a cloth in water she wiped the woman’s face as Chinara crouched so close Covina feared the ancient Wise One might tumble onto the wounded woman. And then she too was crouched low with the other Apprentices watching in awe as Chinara wove Spirit with the tiniest amount of Fire and Water. Slowly the intestines of the Maiden seemed to expand a bit. The Maiden gasped and Alisis shifted to hold her shoulders tight murmuring assurances. Chinara muttered something as well that sounded more like a curse. Strands of Spirit so thin Covina could barely see them appeared and wove themselves into the Maiden’s organs. Rents dissolved into healthy pulsating tissue and the flow of blood lessened. By the time Chinara straightened away and turned to the next Maiden the wound still gaped but it was obvious the most harmful injuries had been healed. With brisk efficiency Alisis accepted a glistening silver needle from a gaishain and as calmly as if she were mending a cadinsor sewed the stomach of the Maiden closed. The Apprentice next to Covina leaned close and whispered, “Why don’t they just mend her wound with the Power?†Before Covina could do more than shrug Surien, a Wise One with graying blonde hair flowing in waves past her shoulders whirled. “Silence!†she hissed and the Apprentices cringed. As directed they did not speak again as they watched both the Power and poultices, Spirit and Herbs were used to mend the broken arm of one Maiden and stop the profusely bleeding head wound of another. They hovered over the fourth Maiden for the longest - with both Wise Ones channeling. The muscles in the leg had been severed and a major artery as well. Though the woman was conscious her face showed none of the pain she must be feeling. The only expression she showed was when Jarila murmured softly to Chinara that they leg must be cut off, it was beyond repair. The Maiden paled considerably at that and turned beseeching eyes to the Wise One. With a grunt Chinara shook her head and laid a hand on the Maiden’s forehead. A moment later she slept, uncaring and unaware of what might lay ahead. Hours later as the drained Apprentices stepped into the dazzling sun of mid afternoon they were a silent and sober group. Chinara had worked herself to exhaustion, at the last losing her hold on Saidar and she slept within the Roof of Healing near her last patient. Whose leg remained attached to her body. She might limp, Alisis had said, but with hard work it would be barely noticeable. OOC: So rp practicing with Fire and Earth. At the end have Chinara reveal that these are the hardest for women to control, not Water as she led Covina to believe. Then you can rp the next day with the Apprentices coming to visit Chinara within the Roof of Healing (where she is no longer bed ridden but under the watchful eye of several Wise Ones - including Jarila) both of the channeling Wise One’s teach the girls to weave Spirit, the major component of healing. No specific weaves yet - just control.
  14. The footrace ~ First Competition of the Aiel Day of Games The festivities had started at dawn, when the relentless sun was still faint in the eastern sky and the wetlander peddlers could still move about, without dizzy spells or sweating so profusely they spoiled their wares. The gaishain had been hard at work long before and the scents of the feast later to come permeated the valley and heightened the anticipation of everyone. Already the Aiel of Dragonmount Hold had diminished the stores of the peddlers – the books had gone first, for high and heated prices. Next the many tapestries or rugs the merchants had brought. Finally the jewelry and uncut stones, one by one, found their new owners – more often than not a Maiden who would rarely wear such a prize. Silk went cheaply for it was readily available from the eastern road to Shara and yet still the merchants sold every bolt they possessed. By mid-day they were lamenting not having brought more wagons and jingling their purses wearily in what little shade they could find. The Games started almost as soon as the bartering while the heat was still a distant memory of night. The smaller children began, wresting in the sand and running for miles on end for the chance to wear a wreath of segade. Their older siblings and cousins, followed, the competition seasoned by personal wagers between friends and enemies. The crowd around the valley grew as the morning progressed and the competitions grew more heated. A series of trip falls and traps was erected under the Clans observant eye. Wagers were made on this Thunder Walker or that Maiden. A group of Wise Ones gathered to one side of the competition area, alternately arguing and laughing together as they waited for the first match amongst the adults – a footrace that would last until the sun passed its zenith. Oosquai was passed about freely and even the gaishain were afforded the chance to hover near the field and watch the contests. Finally the first real competitors of the day approached the starting point. The milling crowd settled, eyes intent on the men and women poised and ready. An Apprentice of the Black Hills stepped forward, chin pointed proudly towards her sept as she raised a red banner of silk and then let it slip from her fingers. As the banner fell to the sands the runners set off, feet flying. OOC: Even those not competing should feel free to post bartering with the peddlers or observing the competitions! All winners will be afforded said wreath AND any personal wagers made between the competitors - which are strongly encouraged!!! I’ve pm’d you all who wins this footrace at the Hold. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Cor couldn’t wait for the day to begin. He loved the thrill of competition. It got his heart pounding in a way nothing else but a fight or the attention of a lovely woman could. The first event of the day was to be a footrace, and he looked forward to the challenge. Although still a very young man, he had already earned a reputation for being an incredibly swift runner. But challenging himself against the best the Aiel had to offer was enough to put an extra spring in his step this morning. Walking toward the starting point, he looked over the competition, seeking out one person in particular. Talbitha, was a young woman whom he had seen run many times, and if anyone here stood a chance of beating him today it was her. Much like himself, Talbitha came from a running family. Both their fathers were Rahein Sorei, so their fleet-footed talents came naturally. Finally spotting her snow-white hair in the crowd amongst the race’s other entries, Cor approached his gifted opponent with a grin and a joke. “I wonder how you are going to escape the gossip today, Talbitha. If I am out in front with you behind me, many will think you are chasing me to lay a wreath at my feet,†Cor shook his head and sighed sympathetically. “But if I am following you, I’m sure they will say something even worse! Ha!†Laughing softly Cor stood beside Talbitha, looking at the other contestants but eagerly waiting for the clever reply that he knew was coming. A good laugh at himself was almost as much fun as teasing others. (Insert Talbitha’s joke here.) Laughing out loud, Cor looked at Talbitha from the corner of his eye. “If we must go through with this so-called contest, how about a wager?†he asked. “You and I both know that no one else here has a chance to win this race unless both of us break a leg, so why don’t we make it a little more interesting?†Taking a few moments to stretch while Talbitha pondered the request, Cor began to mentally preparing himself for the task at hand. Outrunning Talbitha would take all of his skill and some luck as well ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~` Another day in the Three-fold Land: hot with a certainty of getting much hotter by the day's end. Krachend was standing at the starting line of the foot race, the first event of many at Alcair Dal that day. As the sun beat down upon the land mercilessly, Krachend stretched and considered his opponents. Most were trainees fresh from training, with few veterans. The youngest would probably be left eating the dust cast up by the more experienced warriors. There were a few, though, that Krachend knew would cause him trouble. Cor was one of them, though still young yet. Krachend suspected that if Cor beat him, it would not be by too far. There were others who were more of a risk than the typical racer- Argono, Talbitha, Xin, Davian. Running was not one of Krachend's strong points, but he could hold his own. Due to the knowledge that there were better runners, though, Krachend refused to bet on himself. He and Boran had a bet going, though. Boran had bet on Talbitha, and Krachend on his own mentee, Davian, an expression of faith in his mentee. Oddly, Krachend couldn't see Davian anywhere yet. He did hear things, though. Krachend heard Cor trying to bet against Talbitha on the race. Krachend heard the gamblers betting on names. He was proud to hear bets placed on himself, though he pitied the poor fools who were doing so. Krachend finished stretching in time to line up for the race. It would be seen soon whether or not the gamblers were wise in their betting. _________________ Krachend: Aiel Mehrin: Band of the Red Hand Tren: Shayol Ghul ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Davian wiped his finger on the ground getting the small amount of dried snake blood from his finger and brought his spear up in front of him to look at his reflection in the spear point. He tilted his head to better see the line of black now covering the scar across his eye. He nodded to himself and placed the black spear, painted with the same substance that he had used to paint his face, back with it's brothers before getting up to leave his room. Davian nodded to his fellow Seia Doon, the few that were still under their roof. Most were outside betting, buying, or participating int he games today. Davian was among those participating. He was late, he knew that and hurried his step once he was outside the Seia Doon roof. It was a short run, for an Aiel at least, before Davian was standing among the runners for the foot race. He nodded to Krachend as he passed his former mentor before surveying the other competitors. He saw a vast array of people, trainees to warriors though Davian recognized only a few. He wasn't the most social of people, not because he was callouse or uncaring, but because hearing Davian speak was something that came few and far between. He could spend days in silence for no apparent reason, and be perfcectly fine with it. Standing next to his former mentor Davian craned his kneck to see a pair of young ones laughing amongst themselves and strained his memory to put names to faces. The girl was Talbitha, and from what Davian had heard when he had arrived she was a favorite to win. The man he couldn't place though. It was partly heartening that Davian had heard his own name said a few times to win, but he doubted he had much of a chance. He was only an average runner, he knew he would do well but it would be suprising for Davian if he came in the top five. Stealth never required much speed and patience was a virtue of the Seia Doon. Davian turned to an see an apprentice as she raised a red banner above her head. He shifted, preparing to push himself off as soon as the scarf fell. Taking a deep breath Davian sprinted foreward as the race started. Even if he believe he coudln't win, Davian wouldn't let the one who did have an easy time with it. Davian Seia Doon SL _________________ Orion Manteir- Tower Gaurd, Promised to Estel Kedyn Alastair -Band Scout Sergeant Band DL Davian- Aiel Seia Doon SL ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ First Wrestling Match ~ Krachend vs. Urais As Talbitha crossed the finish line, her brilliant smile flashing in the sun, the crowd of Aiel cheered and coin ruefully changed hands. Alisis grudgingly handed Surasin two of her gold necklaces for she had bet on another runner. Still, all the women of the Dragonmount Clan seemed to feel Talbitha’s victory was their own, especially the Maidens who traded sharp and jovial barbs with the male warriors. “She ran to escape making a bridal wreath,†one Thunder Walker called out and as quick as a cat a Maiden answered back, “She gathered the flowers as she ran and the segade blossoms bloomed as she won, Sha'mad Conde.†Spears struck against bucklers in appreciation of the jibe, including the Thunder Walker’s. As one the Aiel moved to the next competition towards a pit dug into the sand. The length and breadth of the pit was as long as four of the tallest warriors and just as deep. Everyone crowded close the edge and sized the competitors with judging eyes. “I shall win back my necklaces Surasin,†Alisis teased, but the sharp edge of her smile balanced the teasing. The other Wise One simply shrugged and the wager was made as the first competitors stepped into the pit. Skin slick with oil and eyes determined they advanced toward one another. OOC: Urais vs. Krachend! I’ve pm’d both the winner Find shade dudes * ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Light, she's fast, Krachend thought after the footrace. Talbitha had beaten the rest of the pack by a good distance. There was still a little bit of time until the next event, so Krachend took the opportunity to wander among the peddlers that were present. Though obviously nervous, the various sellers did their best to market their wares. And market they did. Krachend managed to purchase a few of the books that were available before they disappeared en masse. His best purchase by far, though, was a keg of Two Rivers tabac. He didn't smoke much, but Krachend knew that it was hard to come by. Soon, though, everybody started making their way to the pit. As Krachend approached, a runner notified him of the order. Apparently he and Urais were first on the list. Finally, something entertaining! Thanking the runner, Krachend quickly shoved his way through the crowd and descended into the pit, where the oil-drenched Urais was already waiting. Krachend stripped down, then poured the offered jar of oil over himself. He then looked the other man in the eyes, a sparkle brought on by the promise of competition evident. "Good luck," Krachend said good-naturedly before beginning his advance. Urais answered courteously seconds before launching himself at Krachend, nearly knocking him over. Krachend used the momentum, though, to keep Urais moving past him, where he righted himself and began stalking Krachend again. Krachend made the next move and closed the distance between himself and his opponent. His left hand latched onto Urais's right arm, and Krachend pulled himself closer to the other man. Locking Urais's arm in h is own, Krachend kicked the other man's feet out, causing him to fall to the ground. As he fell, though, his oil-slicked arm slid from Krachend's grip, and Urais used his new-found mobility to trip Krachend in turn. As Krachend hit the ground, he felt Urais's weight descend upon him, trying to finish the job. His oiled body aided Krachend, though. He managed to turn himself over with Urais still on his back. As Urais tried to subdue him yet again, Krachend to a crawling position. It was then a simple matter to seize Urais's arm again and pull him over his back and to the ground. Krachend didn't waste any time; he threw himself onto Urais, pinning one shoulder with his left knee and the other with his arms. The count proclaimed him the winner. His muscles burning from the effort, Krachend stood and offered a hand to Urais. "Well fought," he said as he gathered his clothes and ascended from the pit. As he dressed, Krachend watched the next two fighters enter the ring. After his and Urais's bout, Krachend was anxious to see what the other fighters would do. _________________ Krachend: Aiel Mehrin: Band of the Red Hand Tren: Shayol Ghul ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Second Wrestling Match ~ Davian vs. Xin (once again pm’d both who wins) Alisis smiled as Surasin handed back an ivory necklace with a grimace. “Perhaps you would care to double our next wager?†The other Wise One pondered for a moment and then nodded sharply. “I say the Seia Doon,†Surasin pointed toward Davian as he strode toward the pit. “Excellent,†Alisis murmured with a sly smile, toying with her necklaces as Xin turned to face his opponent. The people crowded closer sending rivulets of sand over the edges of the pit before wisely backing up a bit. Children clamored onto their fathers shoulders for a better view and even the peddlers left the shade of their wagons to peer down at the next match. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ avain stretched his shoulders, bare against the afternoon sun, as he strode towards the wrestling pit. He was confident that he could do better in this arena that in the race against Talbitha, he had finished towards the middle of the pack in that particular competition. But Xin, his opponent as he had been told, was no easy prey. Society Leader of the Shae'en M'taal. Davian could not boast that any Seia Doon was better at combat than the man he was facing, even himself as Soceity Leader, though close, was not going to better. Or so he thought, assumed. It was always better to assume your enemy was better than you anyways. Davian jumped lightly into the ring, he rose again, rolling his kneck and listening to the crack of his joints as he loosened the muscles. The crowd swelled closer sending a stream of dust, illluminated by the suns rays, giving the ring a eiree clouded look. Xin still had his back turned and Davian was satisfied to wait, not calling out because well, he just simply talk unless needed, and he had deemed now uneccesary. Xin would turn eventually whether he spoke or not. Instead Davian traced his index finger over the black painted scar passing from eyebrow to mid cheek, a habit when he was waiting or nervous. Xin turned, the crowd edged back. The clamor of bets being made, wares being shouted, and the overall din of a large crowd talking of the oncoming match was the background noise as Davain gave Xin an acknowledging nod and settled into a ready stance. Standing light on his feet, hands raised to about his chest level, Davian waited for Xin to make the first move. Davian Seia Doon Society Leader
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