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  1. The cool morning wind greeted Nightsfire as he stepped from the Ranger training barracks and peered up at the cloudless blue sky. Today was a day for new beginnings and a lopsided smile crossed his face as he squinted against the bright sun. Anton had left the stedding and Nightsfire had been asked to take over the training of his student Raithgar. From what he had been told the young man was well on his way to being very well versed in the art of combat but that was not all there was to learn. After all he himself had believed that weapons were all that needed to be mastered to be an elite Ranger. Chuckling as he walked from the training compound he thought back to just how wrong he had been. Deciding to begin Raithgar’s training with the mastering of his newly enhanced senses and combining a bit of herb lore he made his way toward the lake where he had sent word for the young man to meet him. The houses and buildings of the stedding village left behind him Nightsfire made his way up a well worn path that led to the lake. Pushing through some foliage he emerged in a clearing overlooking the large lake and sat down next to a tree to wait. Quickening’s thoughts entered his own and he saw images through the big she wolves eyes of deer and felt the thrill of the hunt as she prowled with her brothers and sisters. A moment later a rustling in the trees announced the arrival of his charge and a young man emerged with dark hair worn in a Shienarian style top knot. Rising to his feet Nightsfire smiled and held out his hand. “I am John Dunbar it is a pleasure to meet you. As you may have been told I will be taking over your training from Anton.” The lad had the look of confidence in his eyes which was good and he stepped forward to take his new mentors hand in his own. “We will be working on senses and herb training today. But before we begin please ask any questions you may have of me.” OOC: John is about 5'11 medium build mousy brown hair and a medium build. His wolf name is Nightsfire and his wolf companion is Quickening.
  2. Zoe left the Fortress early in the morning. All the training was delayed to the afternoon on account of a big execution that was taking place. A group of Darkfriends were apprehended the day before within Amador itself. After a thorough interrogation, it was discovered that the party has been responsible for many unsolved murders within the city and so it has been decided to make the execution a public one, to deter such future behavior. Even though it was encouraged for all Children to be present, Zoe decided to slip away to the city. While she agreed with the punishment, she didn't feel any urge to witness their demise. She did not take joy in watching a person die, regardless of his or her affiliations. Just thinking about it made her stomach flutter. She knew she would have to endure such a thing at some point, but not that day. She left the fortress and started walking away. She did not know where she was heading to and just let her legs decide for her. She continued so for what seemed like hours, when she finally came into a halt. Looking around her she realized that she had no idea where she was. She never had the opportunity to explore all of Amador and it seemed she reached the poorer and more neglected part of it. Placing her hand on the hilt of her sword, she turned back and started to make her way back from where she came from, being as cautious as possible. A scream came to her ears from behind. She turned to see a lone child around the age of ten running in her direction. At first, she couldn't make out what he was saying but she managed to as he grew nearer. "Whitecloak killer." Zoe blinked. The child finally made it to her, kicking her foot. Zoe put her hand on his shoulder, in attempt to calm him down, but he pulled away, a disgusted expression on his face. She was astonished to see the hatred in his eyes. "My brother is being executed right now because of you. Killer!". Zoe took a deep breath to still herself. She considered trying to explain to the little boy why his brother was receiving such a severe punishment, but thought better of it. He wouldn't understand at such a young age. Would I have understood, if it was my brother who was going to be executed? Zoe shook her head. Every person that was facing the noose that day had a choice. They deserved their fate. Self doubt had no place in her mind. Especially at that moment, when she was so exposed. She had to get out of there immediately. She watched in relief as the boy ran off, though it quickly turned into horror as he returned a moment later with a group of men and women at his back, pointing right at her. Standing there in her white uniforms made it impossible to mistake her for anything but a Children of the Light. They were angry. And while they would probably dare not pray on a group of Whitecloaks, a lone one was an easy mark. They needed someone to blame and she had seemed to catch their eye. Growing nervous, Zoe placed her hand on the hilt of her sword, then hesitated. Even though the mob undoubtedly meant her harm, she dared not kill or injure them with a weapon. Instead, she decided to use an alternative. Run. She swore to kill only if she had to and in this case, she might be able to out run them if she was lucky. Turning back, she broke into a sprint, not daring to look back. Zoe Child
  3. Nighsfire grumbled as he packed the things he would need for his trip. He had just returned from a meeting with Owen and a cloud hung over his emotions. The Ranger leader had summoned Nights after he had met with Leila and learned of an Aes Sedai in the Two River that the Watcher leader had encountered. Recalling the heated conversation he had with Owen Nights was surprised his argument had not swayed his friend. “Light Owen this is an Aes Sedai we are talking about! You want us to hand ourselves right up to her so she can make the rest of the tower aware of our kind?†Owen held up his hand to calm Nights and explain his rational once more. “I told you John from what Leila has told me I do not think she will give us up to the White Tower.†His features somber the Ranger leader made it clear to Nights that they were going and the decision was final. “Besides John we cannot let an Aes Sedai roam in our country without knowing her intentions fully. We owe it to the people we have sworn to protect to meet with her.†Strapping his bastard sword on his back Nights walked out of his cabin into a morning that was filled with grey clouds and the promise of rain. “Just wonderful.†He muttered under his breath. A trip in the rain just topped off this morning he thought as he trudged toward the stables where Owen waited for him. The two men traveled through the mountains the better part of the morning with the rain mercifully holding off. Nights had calmed and he and Owen spoke at length about the caution they needed to take when dealing with the Aes Sedai and her Warder. Quickening had joined them not long after they left and shadowed them in the tree line not far off. Her obvious displeasure at where they were going had been made known to him from the moment he told her who they were going to meet. ~This is foolish Nightsfire~ She had told him more times than he cared to count causing him to sigh. Wolves did not like women who could channel and made no secret about it. Nights greatest fear, and in truth many of the wolfkin’s, was that the White Tower would find out about their kind and send Aes Sedai to study them. Owen did not seem to think this would be the case and Nights hoped the man was right. His friend had always had good judgment and excellent intuition so the Ranger put his faith in his mentor. As it neared mid day the rain began to fall. Both Owen and Nights pulled up the hoods of the cloaks as it began to fall harder. Getting off of their horses as they began to descend a steep hill covered in loose rocks they led the animals down. Nights was in front and picking his path carefully when the unexpected happened. Stepping on a loose moss covered rock his footing gave way and the Ranger hit the ground hard and began sliding. The wet stones offered nothing to grab on to and Nights began to slide faster. Cursing he reached for his knife at his waist in the hopes of using it to slow himself. Before he could get it free he felt a jarring impact as he landed on a large jagged rock. His right leg had taken the brunt of the impact and an audible snap could be heard causing him to cry out as his vision clouded. Owen ran to where Nights lay sprawled out wincing and clutching at his leg. Nights shin had been snapped cleanly in two and the pain was excruciating. “Damn it Owen I told you this was a bad idea.†Owen gave Nights a hard piece of leather to bite down on and examined the leg. “On the contrary John if what I know of Aes Sedai’s is true then our meeting might be more urgent now that you have managed to mess up your leg.†Nights scowled as Owen helped him up on his horse and soon the Ranger leader was leading them on toward the Two Rivers.
  4. Stifling a yawn Nightsfire blew out the candle on the nightstand beside his bed and let his head hit the pillow. After a hard day of training in the wilderness he looked forward to a good nights sleep and closed his eyes. The sound of crickets and other nocturnal creatures could be heard through his open window. A cool breeze blew through the room and within moments Nights drifted into a sound sleep. The mind often plays tricks when in the deep recesses of slumber and with the wolf dream one had to be careful. It seemed only moments from when he had closed his eyes that he was awoken by the sharp cries of men. Men it would seem preparing for battle. Sitting up Nights was sure for a moment he was still dreaming. His room was gone and in its place a field full of men armored and looking anxious surrounded him. ~Hurry Nightsfire rise this place smells of evil~ Turning his head Nights saw Quickening standing off a few feet away. The big grey wolf smelled worried. She was crouched low to the ground viewing the field around them with caution. Standing Nights looked around at the field of men staring off into the distance. ~What is this place Quickening.~ Quickening flooded his mind with visions of a time long past. Visions of ancient Mantheren and a battle that destroyed the magnificent kingdom and scattered its people. A battled that ended with a desperate stand in which the Aes Sedai Queen leveled the trolloc army with the one power killing herself in the process. ~How can I be in a battle that happened hundreds of years ago?~ Quickening had no answer for that. ~The others are here Nightsfire we must find them.~ Scanning the ranks of men the distant sound of fighting spread through the camp and the warning of trollocs approaching echoed in the distance. Others? Quickening showed Nights images of Owen and Janna and the other Wolfkin spread throughout the camp. She also showed him an image of a hill to the back of the camp where a regal woman stood watching over the field. A woman who had to be Aes Sedai and wore a crown on her head. She was surrounded by guards and her face was hardened in resolve. Relieved to find his sword beside him Nights quickly strapped it on his back as the sounds of battle drew closer. The men in the camp paid him no mind, in fact they almost seemed to not realize he was there. The guttural sound of trollocs began to mingle with the cries of men and Nights quickly darted off in search of his brothers and sister. Quickening ran beside him the hate the approaching trollocs filled her with radiated off her as they went. The sound of men and trollocs dying filled the air now and small pockets of the shadow spawn could be seen engaged in battle with the army. Nights could smell the desperation in the air as the enormous trolloc army poured over the river pushing the defenders further back. There were just too many of them and the end was already predetermined. What mattered now was finding his friends and trying to make sense of this madness. Surely this had to be the work of the dark one or at the very least one of the Forsaken. As he ran Nights kept low and ran in the direction Quickening had shown him the Queen to be located. The smell of blood and death mingled with the vile smell of the trollocs filled the field. With a growing sense of alarm Nigths searched for his friends as the trolloc hordes began to overcome the army pushing it further back. Fades came in view now driving the trollocs forward wanting a quick and deciding victory. Quickening snarled and turned toward one of the eyeless. ~No we must find the others.~ With great willpower the wolf turned away and the two resumed their hunt in earnest. Suddenly the low hill came in view surrounded by elite guards. The Queen stood in its center defiant as ever. ~Nightsfire Twisted Chime and Windracer.~ Sure enough the tracker leader was advancing toward the ring of guard with Wind in tow looking as uneasy as Nights was sure he did himself. Calling to her Nights ran to greet her and embraced her in a tight hug. “Thank the light I have found someone.†Just then a familiar head of white hair came in view and the keen eyes of Owen found Nights and Janna. Nights could not be sure but he thought the Ranger leader had others with him. “John and Janna to me!†The two ran toward Owen’s position and stopped. The field was in desperate straights now the trollocs advancing at will. Smoke drifted over the battle obscuring the lines as the group waited for the end that would come sooner rather than later. ooc: enjoy all more to come
  5. The morning dew clung to the grass and leaves of the stedding as Nights followed an old trail to the woods. Today was Burrich’s next senses training and the Ranger was curious to see if the young man was up to the task. ~You push cub to hard Nightsfire~ Quickenings message made him chuckle and he looked to his left to see the big grey wolf lopping through the trees. She always thought him too demanding of his students but he just reassured her that Burrich was ready. Cresting a rise Nights left the worn trail and plunged into the dense forest careful not to leave any sign of his passing. In this Owen had taught him well and he moved through the forest like a ghost. It was nearing mid morning when a roaring sound caught his keen hearing and he began moving towards it. The trees began to open up and the ground to slope downward. Not long after Nights found himself at the bottom of a valley and at the edge of a large pool of blue water. At the far end the sound of the roar, a waterfall, fell into the pool from the rocks high over head. Before he had left Nigths had left a note where Burrich was sure to find it with instructions that read. “Burrich the next part of your training will show us how well you have learned. Use your senses to find me before days end if you can.†The note had given the big man a location of where to start. This would allow Burrich to pick up his trail and follow it for a time until Nights had made it disappear. From there his student would need to use his wits and senses to find him. Finding a nice spot under a large tree that provided ample shade the Ranger sat down. Moments later the Quickening appeared and lay down next to him. “We wait and see now my friend.†Quickenings only response was to lay her head between her paws and close her eyes. Ooc: Finding John will not be easy he is ranger trained and knows how to hide from about anyone. He has left you clues along the way in the form of a broken branch here or a piece of clothing to mark his scent. Happy hunting.
  6. Nightsfire regarded his big student for a moment then nodded. “A battle ax it is then lad. Rangers are skilled in all weapons and I can teach you to master one with some hard work.†Leaving Burrich for a moment Nights went to the supply cabin and after a bit of rummaging found a practice battle ax with a dulled edge. Returning to the sparring ring he gave it to his student. “Until you have a good handle on your skills practice with that it will be safer for all involved.†Chuckling Nights stepped back as the Young man got a feel for the weapon and placed his own ax off to the side. “The first rule to learning any weapon is to let it become an extension of your body. Slow your breathing and let the feel of the ax mold to your hands.†Giving Burrich a few more moments to get the feel of the weapon Nights waited until he was ready. “Now show me what you know if its use and how to wield it properly.â€
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