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  1. .. A Broken Bond: Part 1 - Destruction and Disbelief .. ►▼◄ Lost in intense, vivid, and powerful Dreams, painful - ever so painful - Memories of the Past flashed again in Elessar’s mind, like needles piercing his brain.. His muscles twitched involuntarily and he trembled in his almost feverish Dreams.. Memories… ● In that timeless period between one second and the next, the Warder-Bond snapped, like a razor sharp knife slicing through the thinnest of paper, leaving only emptiness behind. Of a multitude of emotions filling Elessar’s mind right then, above all he felt shock. Utter and incredible shock. And disbelief! His world came crashing down upon him. He swayed where he stood above a fallen Trolloc, his sword deeply embedded in the creature’s side. The Shadowspawn, a twisted blend of animal and human stock, with a wolf’s muzzle and beastly features, was huge in stature and like all his kindred had been a ferocious fighter. Though far from bright, Trollocs knew some tactics and were brutal creatures as Elessar and his Sedai had experienced several times over the years. This one would reap no more havoc in the Borderlands. Rage and anger swept over him then, replacing the shock, and roaring in defiance he moved like a madman, with surprising agility considering his many wounds, swinging his sword in widening arcs, clearing a path to his Sedai. He was unaware of the bodies he left behind, some also human - Darkfriends! - , of the redness painting the landscape in the colour of death. All his focus was on reaching his Sedai. All his focus was on reaching her. It couldn’t be.. it just couldn’t be.. Oh dear Creator. Noooooo! Cradling her head in his arms, a moment later, wetness on his cheeks, he saw the lifeless emerald eyes staring into nothingness, the deadly arrows protruding from her body. Too late. The thought registered in his mind but he barely noticed it. I am too late. ● Staring into her face, the face that had laughed with him so many times during their journeys and missions, the face that had scolded him at times, the face that had set him in his place when he had overstepped himself but which had always looked upon him with respect and friendship, he saw that he hardly recognized her now. It was almost as if this was some other woman. Almost as if this was a nightmare from which he would soon awaken. But he knew better. Even now, on the brink of insanity and a path into blackness, he knew. Oh Leandreen.. I am so sorry. So sorry. The bitter irony of it all was that they had chanced upon this group of Trollocs - and their allies - by accident there in the foothills north-east of the Arafel city of Shol Arbela. On their way toward northern Shienar, on a mission for the White Tower, they had followed some tracks and had stumbled upon the creatures, heading foolishly into an ambush - and battle had arisen. Elessar had felt the taint of the Dark One from a way off, as Warders were gifted with through the Bond to a Sister, but partially distracted by something Leandreen had commented on, partially focused on the next part of their mission, he had misinterpreted the direction of the danger - a fatal mistake - and before he could assess the situation further it was too late. Leandreen was a proud and capable Sister of the Battle Ajah and had fought valiantly against the Shadowspawn, shielded but on the attack, felling a good number of them with the One Power just as others fell to Elessar’s deadly sword-action some distance away. He was driven apart from his Bondholder but there was nothing he could do about it as he fought hard with the Shadowspawn before him. Out of the corner of his eye he saw her fight proficiently as well and seemed more than capable. A momentary lapse of concentration due to exhaustion, however, made her suddenly trip over a fallen body and that was enough for her to let her defences down for just a second; two deadly poisoned arrows, whether by intent or sheer luck, found their mark in her upper torso, her Warder too far away to intervene. Death took her swiftly. Oh Leandreen.. Forgive me.. ● Sadness was replaced by grief for Elessar. Utter grief and a feeling of desolation. Grief quickly turned to anger. At himself for failing her. At the Shadow. At the World. Anger turned to hatred and all the blackness buried deep within him erupted in a roaring scream of incredible fury. His eyes blacked over. And laying his Aes Sedai carefully to rest on the bloodied ground, he picked up his sword and turned to face the remaining half-standing Trollocs some way off to his left. There was death in his dark eyes and death in his blows as the whirlwind that had once been Elessar Gaidin of Kandor threw himself into the Shadowspawn with no regard for his own safety. He was a harbinger of death. ▀▄
  2. Idly pets Bob, the moat monster, while feeding him novices.
  3. Find your inner detective and join in on the fun of Sherlock Holmes week in the warders from September 27th! (Links will be provided as soon as they're out)
  4. Where's all the Algai and Manishma? Why's the moat dirty? Where's the TAVERN?! Is this what happens when I go away for a little while?
  5. Grey adjusted his sword belt nervously. The clothes he wore were clean and functional, but they were not pristine. It wouldn’t have mattered if it was just going to be another day of training. Today was going to be different though. A few of the Aes Sedai were planning to investigate different things going on in the city. As Aes Sedai they were more than capable of handling themselves in almost every situation. In some cases muscle was needed though. He ran a hand through his blonde hair. It had the wavy, casual length of youth. He was not tied to any Aes Sedai himself. He was not even an “official” tower guard yet. He was still in the training phase of his career. That might change one day though. He was open to the possibility. They had asked for volunteers to accompany the Aes Sedai though and when he had volunteered his trainers thought he had become at least competent enough to not hurt himself. He had been proud. He had felt that he was progressing in his training, but this was validation that what he had perceived in himself, though still possibly skewed, was also not too far from reality. He did his best to push aside the nervousness he felt but it would not go away. He had thought that when joining up as a tower guard trainee that he would have more encounters with the Aes Sedai and he would have grown familiar with them and at least comfortable enough to know what to expect when around them. Aes Sedai kept largely to themselves though. Those he had encountered or passed had barely taken note of his existence. He had not taken offense. There was little reason for him to have warranted their attention. Today would be different though. He was going to be in their midst. “Calm yourself. You just have to follow orders. There is nothing to worry about.” He took a deep breath and let is out slowly. It was time to go and meet up with the others.
  6. Hey y'all, what do you make of the casting announcement about Alanna and her warders? Owein is renamed as Maksim (maybe so he's not confused with Thom's nephew Owyn, would be my guess), but it seems so strange to me to cast her now. She doesn't show up till book 2 (I mean, New Spring too, but in the main sequence) and isn't really much of a factor until TSR. Seems reasonable to conclude that she'll be a bigger character in the TV show. Any theories as to what her role in season 1 might be?
  7. Hi everyone, I'm fleshing out my first character, mainly a mercenary that spent a good chunk of her time defending trade convoys, that would be "late" in joining the Warders. A bit like a Novice that's accepted, well after her "formative" years. So imagine a rich merchant's daughter who would rather ride horses and see the world, understood quickly that it's not all roses and clear water, had some fair success at trading and "keeping" what's hers or her investors' out of the wrong hands. I'm thinking there's an Aes Sedai connection at some point, or points of fealty to one of the "investors", and consequently ends up joining the "Warders" a bit later in life. How would one work that out? Is that even acceptable? Cheers, Cali
  8. Ooc ok let's get some partying on, been way too long since last. Liitha shook the dust of her cape, she looked forward to being inside, she hoped the wind of the mountain would soon turn and take the smell away. She had spent the afternoon helping out patrolling, and by now normally would be heading back to the Brown quarters, but not tonight, Cara was busy with her books. Liitha wasn't sure what it was she was investigating and with the mood she was in she was not about to ask. She knew to stay away when she was in this mood, so she was heading for the nearest inn to get an ale, and see if there was some better company to find. She folded the cape up over her arm as she headed in to one with jolly music going on, seemed just what she was in the mood for tonight. After getting an ale and ordering some stew she headed over to a table in the middle to sit down and wait to see who else would be wandering in after a tiresome shift.
  9. Ooc retreat day for Ren'shai disc in the grove, let's do some bonding/team-building, char development and get some req's taken care of.. ---- Cyrain was brushing down Chalinda, her mix of grayish color with some spots thrown in ending in a pink mule, and accented with the black mane made her somewhat odd looking. But there was nothing wrong with the mares build, she fit her well, Cy loved to feel the wind play in her hair. The name though out of a book was a play on the horse personality, and she knew that the mare was not a favourite in the stables, she was as stubborn and hot headed at times as her owner. Not that they couldn't get well along, they understood eachother and she had many a nice days even if spirited, but if she didn't like something, well she had been known to nip after people. Cy claped her and threw on the reins, she liked riding bareback. " what do you say girl, want a trip to the grove, if we hurry there might be time for you to go on a swim" Cy was a bit dual edged about this, she talked to her mentor after being raised, and while a voice in her head halfway wanted to object to not have her freedom to do as she wanted now she was finally done with her training day. Well she sighed, she had learned that he knew her well enough and generally gave good advices, she joined the yard as an adventure. And then her days had a lot of the time resolved around geting through being raised and become a tower guard, though she had her fun too, and not been the quikest since she had a tendency to land in trouble either from pranks or her temper. She asumed the void as she rode, he was probably right that choosing a path would give her direction, only doing patrolls would all too soon get boring. She just wished she hadn't gone out last night, but felt she had deserved the drink after patrolling in that foul stench, luckily the wind had changed direction, and the skies broken it was a lovely day. Ren'shai after talking with some people, and mulling it over she had found it sounded the most like a place she at least would be able to learn to utilize her traits rather then have to try and conform completely. She saw the grove ahead, a group of them was meeting here today to train, as she never paid attention to things not related to her immediate present while a trainee, she really did not have much of an idea who she would find or meet in the grove. She stoped a ways off from where she gotten direction to meet, it was in sight, but she figured it was better leaving the horse here. She tied a rope to chalindas grime and took the reins off, it was long enough she could grass and dip her feet in the water. "Be good now girl!" She clapped her on the rump, grab her backpack and quickly shook herself lightly too feel if all her knives was in place. Time for a new adventure, she put on a smile and walked over to the glade, promising herself another drink later to get rid of the lingering fuzz in her head, and who knew maybe some of her memories she couldn't quite recall from yesterday would come back.
  10. Following this: **** Aiden had gone to the Master at Arms following the ironic situation of the fight with Giles. He was an idiot. He had no proof. And his mother was a well known Warder, his father too. Bloody people think he could be a darkfriend? It didn't matter that it was true, but not in anything other than word of mouth. The Dark Lord hadn't called him specifically to do anything yet. Though there was always that possibility. But he was a nothing, son of a darkfriend. No one even knew his mother was bad. Very few had found out who she was when she was here last. That was so long ago. She'd been dead most of his life now. And it was sad. He and the Master at Arms went to Mistress Loari in the forge and the daggers were presented. She had looked at them fondly saying I remember them. She looked at me and laughed. His belongings were given back to him pending a formal investigation, but so far his words spoke the truth. Aiden didn't know what would happen next but it didn't matter. It was back to business as usual until then. Aiden was sure people had heard all about it by now, and he wasn't looking forward to explaining himself over and over again. It sucked Tayln had gotten caught, he'd never really met Taylor's brother, but the idiot had gotten caught. So stupid!
  11. Ooc: pretty sure I'm the only one here. People are welcome to join, but if not, that is okay too. And yes, I have a small collection of HR lines.... >.> She hefted the sack of dirty laundry from the back of her horse and it landed to the ground with a heavy thump. Brushing a few strands of blonde hair from her eyes, Cairma looked upon the bustling yard, reveling in the familiarity that it brought. The laughter wasn't the same, the shouting voices of trainers weren't the same. Even the faces weren't the same. But still, the Yard was still the Yard and everything within it was still the same. Knowing still that if anything was different, it was her. Though, not for the lack of trying. New scars, new mental disposition, and a rage that simmered much deeper within her instead of constantly on the surface where it had so easily been provoked by others. After this amount of time, she better damn sure be in control of that rage. Hefting her saddle bags, in addition to the laundry, she left the horse in good care with the stable hands - knowing she too was in need of some TLC - she barked out orders to the Trainee's that were travelling with her. "Before you head in, brush down your horses and see that they have feed. It's been a long ride for all of us, but they had to carry your ugly hides this whole way. Only after they are settled may you go bath off the stench." One of them looked at her about to protest, but Cairma merely raised an eyebrow. They survived the Borderlands only barely because of this one's smart mouth and she wasn't going to let him fall back now that they were within the confines of the Yard. "I out rank you, trainee. And I have reports to write on your behavior." There was a wince from a few of them. "Learn to take orders, even the simplest of them." And with that, Cairma left the stables, paused to drop off her satchels in her room, the laundry bag with the laundry, and headed to the baths to wash off yet another year of blight stench from her skin. A good hour of soaking, and she could hear the Trainee's that had been with her over the various partisans, Cairma pulled herself out of the baths, wrapped herself in a towel and returned to her room. Dressed then settled at her writing desk to finish up any of the reports she felt were incomplete. Reports that she often wrote while the trainee slept off a good hard day. Evening watch was a good time as any to keep up with necessary paperwork. A hand through her hair, she could feel it was yet again too long for her liking, she lit the candle so that she could leave a small seal from her signet ring. Pressing it into the simple white wax, she rolled them up and headed out to the Master at Arms office to deliver them. Kilrin wasn't the worst or the best of MoA's but she had taken a few good steps in ensuring the domain of the Yard held to its standards. Brand seemed to have earned his retirement, and she couldn't blame him. The Tower Guards under his watch remained unruly when not given orders. Leaving the Barracks, Cairma took her time to look around the Yards. Looking for familiar faces and taking note of which were new or who were older. The older ones often Trainee's that had earned a new status and could in turn could torture the new batch of trainee's in return. It was still the same Yard. Battered, but still the same. Cairma Vishnu Old Ren'Shai Grandmaster
  12. For PART 1 of this RP-thread see ->> ----------- PART 2 .. Revisited by Memories and Wounds that never Heal .. ►▼◄ Elessar was lost in Dreams and Memories.. ● The days had passed by, one day flowing seamlessly into the next, as they had waited at the ‘Ocean Mistress’ inn, in the city and Capital of Tanchico by the Aryth Ocean, for new orders from the White Tower. They had certainly needed the rest after their months of travel and hardship, facing Darkfriends and Whitecloaks alike, their persistent efforts leading to the successful freeing of the imprisoned Green Sister from the Whitecloak stronghold not long ago. By now, however, both Elessar and Myrrhi, his Bonded young Aes Sedai, were becoming restless and ready to get on with their next mission for the White Tower. Since they had been ordered to wait until further notice, it was apparent that they were not returning straight away to Tar Valon. The Warder had ambivalent feelings in that regard; part of him had looked forward to getting back to the White Tower after their many months of strenuous travel and adventures, but another part knew very well that he had always been happiest as a Gaidin on the road, away from the restricting Tower and Warder grounds, on missons and adventures with his Aes Sedai(s). It was difficult to know how Myrrhi felt, she did not speak about it during their talks and he did not press her, but as the days passed Elessar found he looked more and more forward to receiving word of their next mission and waited with anticipation for the Tower messenger to arrive with instructions. ● A strong southern ocean wind beat insistently against the windows of his room at the inn one late evening, a forerunner of a coming storm, darkness enveloping the skies in all directions as night embraced the region, but the Bonded Warder heard or sensed nothing of this as his mind was back in the Borderlands, deep in memories of the past, re-living a visit made years before.. ● .. A strong morning breeze makes the colourful red-on-white background, star-illustrated Telcontar Banner beside the Estate Main Gate ripple with abundant life - as Elessar Gaidin and Kathleen Aes Sedai of the White Tower ride through the imposing gate and onto the front grounds - almost as if welcoming a lost son home... Memories.. ..Elessar, in his distinct Warder colour-shifting cloak, and Kathleen Aes Sedai, his Bondholder, in her green formal riding dress with a green fringed shawl around her shoulders depicting her Ajah, entered the manor house together and received respectful bows from the members of the Telcontar family. “Welcome to our house, Aes Sedai - we are honoured”, said a tall broad-shouldered man in a friendly and respectful voice, beckoning them inside. Valdherien Telcontar, lord of this manor, was a hospitable man. He wore silver chains over a formal dark-blue coat cut in the Kandori fashion, muted silk trousers and Borderlander footwear. His beard was in the distinctive forked style of his countrymen, he had two jewelled earrings in each ear, there were some gray patches in his dark hair, and his jaw protruded a little more from his tanned face than was the case with Elessar, but even so it was not difficult to see that the two were brothers. They clasped shoulders in heartfelt welcome, though Valdherien’s eyes were slightly hesitant, a look which the Warder returned. The moment passed and they joined the others - Valdherien’s wife Leonorah, a tall beautiful Borderlander woman who wore a stylish Kandori dress with a necklace made in an intricate pattern known as the ‘Kandori snowflake pattern’, and their two daughters, leading the way - as they headed down a hallway and into the main lounge. “Father?” Elessar asked his brother, in an uneasy voice, as they rounded a corner, and Valdherien, with a sigh he was unable to repress, replied that their father was out in the gardens. Elessar nodded and said no more, but inside he was debating with himself whether it would be wise to postpone the confrontation with his father, or simply get it over with. He had not decided by the time they reached the main lounge and his older brother bade them seat themselves in the ancient-looking chairs in the room and have a drink. On the walls were old paintings depicting Borderland history - scenery, towns, Borderlander warriors and battles -, paintings that Elessar knew from old had been passed down through several Telcontar generations. His age-long interest in history and battles had been born in part due to these old paintings and the small but distinct library of history and story-books that resided in a different part of the manor. ● After drink and some polite conversation Elessar excused himself, with a quick nod at his Aes Sedai which was returned, and headed out into the gardens. His unease increased as he walked toward a lonely figure standing some way off, tension he was sure Kathleen would feel through the Bond, but he had to get this over with. He had been in doubt whether to wait or - possibly - avoid the confrontation, but in the end had decided that this was the only way. He had to deal with his father at some point and he was tired of this chasm of anger and distrust which had developed between them. As he neared the lone figure, standing by an apple tree, he recognized his father’s features and posture. The old man turned around and faced his son in silence. He looked just as Elessar remembered him from his last visit several years before, though perhaps a touch frailer. Saamlin Telcontar, a proud man of dark skin with angry dark eyes and a hard face, stared angrily at Elessar but said nothing. Of all the brothers Elessar had always resembled his father the most, also becoming the martial son his father had always wanted - and nurtured. Elessar, however, thought it might be this very sameness - almost like a mirror image - that had driven his father from great pride in his son, as he had travelled to Tar Valon to become a Warder of the White Tower, to great, unyielding anger at him - and perhaps himself - for Elessar being unable to save the youngest son Vehran from drowning. It had happened on his first visit home a few years after finishing Warder training, during a forest trek in one of Kandor’s several valleys. Vehran and he had gone swimming in a Borderland river there, the currents had been strong - stronger than they had anticipated - and Vehran had accidentally slipped and knocked his head on a rock, disappearing flailing into the rushing water. Elessar had heard his brother’s scream but had been too far away to do anything, and by the time he reached his brother’s body, carried by the frantic stream further downriver, and got it out of the water, it was too late. His father had never forgiven him for not saving Vehran’s life. “You were the older brother, it was your responsibility to take care of him, Elessar! How could you not see the danger!? How were you, a trained Warder, unable to save him!? It is on your head. You are no longer a son of mine!” The harsh, bitter words rang in Elessar’s head still, even after so many years. And perhaps his father was right. He blamed himself for his younger brother’s death, even if perhaps unfairly, another sin weighing down on his soul.. ● Elessar tossed and turned in bed from the painful memory. He was swiftly drawn back to that time at the Telcontar Estate, back to the painful confrontation with his father.. ..The Warder turned away from his father’s accusing stare. He stared silently into the orchard of apple trees, flowerbeds and grassy grounds that enveloped the estate. Compared to other Kandori estates, of greater noble families, this was a fairly modest sized estate. Even so, it would have been considered a fair sized estate in some smaller countries and to a young Elessar it had, at the time, seemed the world. It was the world to me, he thought. For a while. In his mind’s eye, memories flowing, he was back in these gardens on a beautiful spring afternoon, the sun shining from a cloudless sky, a young Borderlander boy running freely around in play, face full of boyish glee, his two brothers at his heels - one older, one younger, but all three in many ways the same - none of them with any cares in the world.. ..Screams of delight and childish banter between brothers reaching out from the past, echoing in Elessar’s head.. ..”Wait for me, Elessar!” screams Vehran as he tries to catch up with his two elder brothers. “Faster, Vehran!” shouts Elessar as he tries to get to the Tree before a panting Valdherien. “Elessar, I will beat you..!” shouts Valdherien as he runs shoulder to shoulder with him. “Never!” screams the ever competitive Elessar back, as he storms ahead for the narrow win. Soon all three brothers lay laughing, gasping for air in the grass before the Climbing Tree .. ● Fond memories.. the Calm before the Storm.. Without turning, his eyes fixed on the Climbing Tree of his childhood some way off, Elessar said in a clear, strong voice. “Father, I am sorry.. but we must end this!”. His voice cut through the wall of silence between them. “This anger, this hatred.. will not bring Vehran back.” Vehran, I am sorry, he thought. My brother, forgive me. “Blame me all you wish.. I blame myself also, though I did what I could.. but please, let us end this strife. It’s been too long. It is destroying our family!” It is destroying you, he added in his mind. He clenched his fists and calmed his thoughts, trying to find the Flame and the Void. It was a struggle due to his inner distress. His father remained silent and Elessar could feel his eyes boring into his back. Seconds stretched into what seemed forever, the Warder waiting for the outburst that would surely come, but there was only silence. Just as Elessar was certain his father would not respond, the prolonged silence was broken by a malevolent curse. His father spat another curse and leaving obscenities in his wake he stomped off toward the manor without looking back. Elessar sighed, shaking his head sadly, and turned in time to see the figure of his angry father in the distance, closing in on the manor buildings. I tried. He thought in abject misery. Blast! But I tried! He had known that his attempt at reconciliation might not succeed, that this ..chasm.. between them was perhaps yet too deep, but he had hoped.. Perhaps his father simply needed more time. Perhaps.. ● When he returned a little later to the manor’s main lounge and exchanged a quick glance with his brother, the other man shook his head slightly, in that way letting Elessar know that their father was not there but gone for the time being. The Warder nodded resignedly, releasing some tension, putting the matter aside for now, then turned to his Bondholder. Meeting her eyes, his mood lightened. “Will you join me, Kathleen Aes Sedai”, he asked, using her formal title to give her added recognition and respect, “in the gardens. I will show you the Telcontar family estate.” There was pride in his voice and in his step - pride in his family and in her - , the pain of the confrontation and the loss temporarily put aside, as he led his Bondholder out onto the grounds.. ● When he woke early the next morning, with soft light from rising sunlight barely escaping the very dark clouds in the horizon and rain, pushed by heavy storm winds, hitting the window of his room hard, Elessar was in a daze, his head heavy, echoes of his aching, ever difficult dream-memories swirling in his fogged mind. The pain of the past at the Telcontar Estate up in his native Borderlands was a lingering memory, a painful moment - and part - of his life, one that had intermittently revisited him over the years, and he wondered not for the first time if that emotional wound would ever heal. ▀▄
  13. Aiden missed the country. He always said that whenever he took students out for Survival training. His mother had taught him how to survive in the woods, and in a city for that matter. It had been an interesting experience, especially as Aiden got older and his mother left him for longer and longer periods of time. This was some of the best parts of teaching trainees. Outside of the barracks Aiden waited for his classic class. They had been instructed to get up and bring their gear for a few days out in the woods. It was their job to bring whatever they could carry that would be useful on the trip. Aiden had set aside a day's hike from the city, and three days out there with a lot of hiking in between, and then depending on the aptitude of the trainees he'd see about letting them find their way home. But some weren't exactly brains, so Aiden wasn't sure that would happen this go around. One could only hope. Aiden himself brought his bedroll, a tarp for cover, but no tent. He enjoyed the outside and he knew how to take cover if necessary in the forest to stay the driest. Though he prayed it didn't rain. It was unlikely, but it could happen. He also brought a long hemp rope and stakes for climbing rock faces if necessary. There was enough rations in his pack for six days and a water canteen. He packed his herb supply kit and bandages just in case. His weapons were with him as was a nice warm cloak. Aiden also brought a secondary pack with supplies he'd need for the lessons he was going to teach. It was early. Aiden waited for his group of trainees, it would be a good trip. [[ Early Rise, List your gear you THINK you might need on the trip, keep in mind you have to carry it all, no horses allowed. ]]
  14. Heart racing, Edana rolled out of the way of the blade falling towards her head. She lifted her sword defensively to block the kill-shot to her skull, the hard stone floor bruising her knees as she scrambled for enough room to find her feet again. Something caught on her foot, and she tugged on it to pull it free, only to feel it tightly wrapped in whatever had caught it. She growled in frustration, unable to look away to see the cause as her attacker, a tall, dark haired swordsman with no small amount of skill, started swinging at her, again. She parried them all away, by the end, swatting at the sword to unbalance it as fatigued pulled at her arms. He hacked down on her, heavy blows that bore her to the ground as exhaustion took over her limbs and she dropped to the floor under them. She panted from exertion, sweat beading her brow, and a scream of frustration and pain filling her lungs as the blade came down one last time, pain exploding in her head. Wish a gasp, Edana jerked herself awake, her fingers touching the pain in her forehead as she opened her eyes to take it in the room around her. It was her room in the barracks, a spartan space with very little furniture. She'd cracked her head on one of the four pieces she owned, a small set of drawers that stood next to her bed that contained her maintenance kits for her weapons and a few odds and ends she'd picked up over the last few years here in the Yard. She cursed, realizing she'd fallen off the bed, the blanket she'd been sleeping under wrapped around her foot, trapping it. She eased it off her foot and rolled to sit on her backside, her knees bent and her forearms braced upon them. The moon glittered off of a blade laying on a table on the other side of the room and she grimaced, looking away quickly. It was a heron-marked sword. The smooth double edged blade was heavier than she liked her blades and the hilt was a hand and a half for a normal sized man. It wasn't balanced or fitted for a woman. It wasn't made for her. She'd taken it from a dead man three months ago. The nightmares had haunted her ever since. The Captain hadn't believed her capable of defeating a Blade Master and he'd questioned her and checked her story with Kynwric multiple times before giving up and accepting that she'd done what he'd considered impossible. She'd killed a Blade Master. She'd gotten lucky is more like it. She'd never admit it to the Captain, but she felt like a fraud every time she held that sword. As if he knew it, the Captain required her to add it to her nightly kit while she was on duty. He said it gave hope to the others, that if Edana could manage it, anyone on that wall could do it, too. She had worn it every time she'd left this room ever since, mostly to rub salt in his wounds about it. He didn't have to know she felt like a fraud. It was bad enough she was living with it. She rubbed her eyes and looked out the window at the pitch black sky and sighed. There was no way she was getting back to sleep, now, and only one way to make sure she was exhausted enough to catch a nap before her shift on the wall came due. She rose and dressed quietly, taking time to wrap her legs to keep the pants from flapping on top of her boots and her forearms to keep her shirt from tearing under her vambraces. She laced her armor steadily, finally lifting the dreaded sword from the table and sliding it home into the sheath at her hip before walking out of her room, out of the barracks, and out into the yard to find a pell demanding death. The pells were far enough away from the sleeping quarters that she wouldn't wake anyone and maybe, just maybe, she could convince herself that she was good enough to have earned the sword she was using to destroy the thing. She stood in the moonlight, closing her eyes and feeling the air move around her. She pictured a stream, smoothly bending and moving along its banks and moved through sword forms without touching the pell in front of her. She made the movements more of a meditation, a function of breathing more than fighting. She searched for peace among the comfort of the shifts in muscle and weight and, when she found none, she stepped forward and brutalized the pell, instead. She heard movement behind her, but didn't stop until she was sure the movement was drawing closer. She turned, sword slashing in a flat arch from her hip to ward off whomever was wandering the Yard at this unfathomable hour. She pulled the shot short as Kynwric stopped just out of her reach. She straightened a bit awkwardly and slid the sword home again, swiping her hands at her face which bore the tell-tale tracks of tears she hadn't realized she was shedding. "Master Kynwric, to what do I owe the pleasure? Don't you have a wife to keep warm on a night like this?" ~Edana
  15. Aiden had been writing Taylor on and off since he left the Ranch. They had been close. He had a crush on Kate, but Kate was oblivious. Kate was going to be Aes Sedai so he had moved on. Gotten married and was starting his own family. He had number 3 on the way. Taylor wanted a big family. But then to run a Ranch it was kinda a prerequisite. His father had liked men, so their family was small. But it didn't matter, they had cousins working the Ranch too. Taylor was excited that Aiden had made Tower Guard. He always wanted to be a swordsman but he wasn't very good at it, despite the same training as him. But that was alright, Taylor had a brain and he was using it for both the Great Lord's advantage and making the Ranch prosper specially after the Children came, and the bubble of evil. It had been a hard few years back then. It was a lifetime ago Aiden wrote: Taylor, I'm so excited that Merth is having another child. Maybe one day I'll make it back up that way and I can meet your little brood. Cel sounds like a handful, and Tria even more so, I can't imagine what this one will be like. Maybe on your next trip south to buy horses you can stop by Tar Valon, and I'll take you out and we can get a drink. We've never done that before - stealing them from the kitchen don't count. I have some pretty great trainees this season. One who is absolutely green and another who has her head in the game. Thankfully they seem to hit it off and the others follow in their wake. I think my mother would be proud that I've come this far. That I've done as well as she did. I wish she could see me now. Dad too, I hope he is doing well up there all by himself. He always was a loner. It was no wonder he and Mom had been friends. Take a care and kiss the family for me. Aiden al'Ker Aiden folder the letter and put his seal on it with wax so Taylor knew it was from him. It was just a simple pair of crossed swords his mother had used for ages. Aiden dropped it off in the mailroom and went to find his trainees he was sure they weren't working hard. He grinned at the possibility.
  16. The night had been long, or it had felt like it. But it had also given Corin a great deal of time to think and make some decisions. A few of which he did not like the answers even though he knew there was little in the way of options open to him. Some he was not sure he ever would accept again; no matter how much faith she had in him. He still did not understand or comprehend how a person could control another’s dream or what this dream world that Lavinya had spoken of was. But he did know the fear that was on her face and in her voice. A very real and petrifying fear that had gripped her like he had never seen before. How he was suppose to fight and protect her against something he couldn’t understand or even touch was a puzzle he would need a lot of time to work on. It had taken a goodly portion of his mind all night and his only solution to date was what he had laid out around him. The small court yard in the rear of the Inn to which they were staying in was not the Tower training grounds and had little in the way of offering beyond that of a small patch of green in which Corin presently sat. He had left as soon as Lavinya had awoken and seemed comfortable enough with the light to let him go. He had made one stop in his room to collect a few items and one where the Red Guard was camped to collect a few others. That had made for an interesting conversation with the captain, but in the end the man had relented with his request. All that thinking and morning bustle had born the fruit of his present placement in the yard and the array of deaths edges that fanned out from a point centered directly opposite him. At the moment they served no purpose, not until his new unaware student arrived. While he waited Corin sought peaceful contemplation in the one place he found beneficial for such a quest. Sitting cross-legged on the grass and enveloped in the separation of the void, Corin took the time to go deep into the void as he had when he was learning from one of its masters. When it came to need for fighting and the Great Game, one only need immerse themselves shallowly in the void: enough to separate from the distractions of the body and mind to accomplish the required task. But the master of the void who had taught Corin had also introduced him to deeper levels. Places where contemplation became easy and the connection with the world around began to blend into one entity. He never reached the same depth as the master that taught him, but he had spent far less time in its study and embrace. This deep level of separation he had not visited in a long time, allowing the chaos of life to interfere with his daily journeys; journeys that would now require a great deal of clarity and thought. He had passed quickly through the separation of emotion and thought, through the flame into itself. All came easy and natural to him now, rarely did he even think on the process. But this morning he had. He had taken the time to walk the passage into the void slowly and deliberately. His goal was a deeper depth, a place he had not visited in a long time. Breathing in deeply once more Corin let the blackened quick of the candle grow to surround him; blackness and isolation. Everything was nothing and nothing existed in the center of that darkness. He breathed again deep in his chest as if his very heart drew the breath on its own. Felt the flow of air fill his nose; a cool pooling behind his eyes. The pressure of it pushed at the walls of his lungs and diaphragm as if to remind him of his limits. For a lasting moment he held the breath within, savouring the growing warmth in his chest as his body heated the air; then released it in a long slow silent sigh. As the breath left his body it carried away the last vestiges of self and internal chaos. In the emptiness that remained he floated as if a stick on the surface of the ocean. Here there was nothing and everything. The wash of sunlight across his face held the gentleness of a butterfly kiss and the warmth of a lover’s lips. The smell of the grass and the dirt beneath it a solid earthy anchor to hold him steadfast and offer him a sure footing. This was the levels he sought. The place he had not visited in far too long a span. The jumbled puzzles that plagued his mind once more slithered across the glassy dome surrounding him. He watched each one with fascination; a child’s curiosity. The world outside held so many complex and meaningless requests of him. Why did it have to be so? Misplaced trust flickered on the outside before fading back into the abyss. He had placed a great deal of trust in Sirayn. Too much in fact, allowing himself to be distracted from true purpose. If he had resisted the worlds follies of that relationship and listened more deeply to what was not said would she still be here with them? Even deep within the void, an answer to that question would never surface. That was the work of the Wheel as it was with all things. Once the wheel had spun out the fate there was nothing mortal man could do to reclaim it. It was an acceptance he knew he would have to accept even thought for now he could not. Soon he would have to close that chapter of his life and allow the Wheel to use him as it needed once more. As much as he continued to fight the thought he was slowly beginning to realize that the Wheel had not finished with his thread and it’s interweaving with Lavinya. His only hope now was that it was not his intense wool headed stubbornness to accept the new path the Wheel was trying to weave him to that had cause the remove of Sirayn’s thread. Even deep in the isolation of the void Corin could feel another part of his heart slowly die and harden. He made a poor offering for Lavinya but the Wheel did not seem to see it the same way. In answer to his unvoiced questions, his skin brought note of movement in the flow of air. Small currents and eddies announced the movement and the slight floral scent tinged with vanilla named it Lavinya. Without opening his eyes he indicated to a place across from him centered on the fan of bright edges. There was a pause before he felt movement again; the brief cast of a shadow across his face. To what reaction she might have had to his silent indication he did not know. It was not necessary, only that she was here and kept an open mind. He took a few more moments in the peaceful separation to mentally prepare himself for their dance. They had found a measure of common footing and last night seemed to cement their present truce even more. He Hoped it would last, she would probably not believe him if he were to say it, but he hated fighting with her; especially with her. “I see you have found my note, are you ready to learn?” Corin opened his eyes, his face was soft but traces of emotion and exhaustion were beginning to edge his features as the tranquility of the void slipped from him.
  17. In the blue dimness of night, Ashley ran in the unfamiliar grounds. Even familiar shops and greenery looked different; blurs. He ran. And ran and ran, until the pain caught up and made him stop running. Wah, this isn't far “Hah . . . hah . . .” He panted; lungs tightened in need of air. His stomach hurt. He clenched over, panting “Hah, I . . . really . . . am not in shape.” Every day he had been sitting in the wagons, not exercising enough. There was no strength in his body due to years of being sedentary. It wasn’t something he considered when he arrived at this city, determined to change himself into somebody strong. Now this was a problem in his bitter reality. He didn’t have strength to keep up with the group training. So he was told to train more and catch up. Light knows how he got accepted as a recruit here. But he wanted to be strong. The strength to protect others. To do this he had to strengthen his body. To turn his whole being into a weapon. His slow progress was infuriating. What was the point of abandoning the Way of the Leaf when he didn’t even get to pick out weapons like the others? His weak performance was a source of Ashley’s worries . . . when would he go to the armory and learn to fight? Too exhausted to run, Ashley walked back to the dorms - feeling dissatisfied. Anxious. Fleeting thoughts, one chasing after the other, ran through his mind for some time. "Ow, Ow!" The next morning Ashley woke up to bright sunlight, alone. He sat up, stretching the muscles that ached in the warmth; after his groans, how nice and quiet it was. Then he looked around unbelievingly. What was the time? His roommates were gone already. To group exercise. Ashley’s heart shook. It also showed on his face. His expression was fearful. Terror. Definitely, something terrible awaited him. He got changed out of his pajamas into the simple uniform, trying to be calm. The more panic, the slower the buttons. After this Ashley started to run to the yard, despite the burning of his sore muscles, twisted stomach. "Hah . . ." why didn’t anybody wake him? How come more problems are piling on top of the other? Ashley Wilkes Trainee Ooc: Assuming Aiden is the instructor here. Ashley is short, has dark eyes, dark hair. WS 1 really weak Could be group exercise doing just warm ups, could go to the armory to pick out weapons, basic forms, the void or spring, wherever you want to take this Aiden :)
  18. Aiden had finally done it - all on his own. He hadn't needed help from Raeyn Sedai, or either of his sisters. He'd done what Mother and Sam had done. It was a good day. The sun was shining, and he had memorized all his lines. It wasn't hard. Memorization was key to a lot of the things he'd learned with Demus. Being an assassin wasn't always just killing sometimes when the Great Lord asked you did the other things, collecting information from the Light. For now Aiden had been complacent his his duty towards the Shadow, but soon he'd be able to do more. He hadn't really gone to Shayol Ghul like his mother, he hadn't done more than swear his soul with words. But he followed the path he'd and Kate had chosen. It was their birthright. Though mother had started as good - she was born into the Light, bound by two Aes Sedai until things happened. But it was neither here nor there. Today he'd swear to the White Tower. It wouldn't void out all other oaths like the Aes Sedai. Kate would have to swear her soul back to the Great Lord again. But this was the best training there was. The Glad of Remembrance was beautiful. It reminded Aiden of home. He missed the ranch a little. But he missed his mom more. And Demus. It was his family and even Sam was a good father though no one really knew he was their father. Just another man taking care of them on the Ranch. The oaks and conifers were tall and surrounded a small glad with a stone slab in the middle, the patch of light made it look majestic. The sight of it made Aiden happy, sad and joyous all at once. His mother would be proud - his father too. This was why he'd joined the Tower. This and only this, feeling like his parents were right there with him. He could almost feel his mother's presence. Aiden's mother had never sworn to the Tower, she was bonded the moment he was able. Mother had been a good warder. Aiden had her fancloak in a trunk in his room hidden from everyone. He'd not be able to ever wear it, but he had it, along with a sword his mother had given him when she found out he was interested. Now he just had to remember his lines.
  19. Just checking back in after a (long) absence... who's still around... and anyone need anything?
  20. The wind carried a mighty chill even now during the spring, and not for the first time since leaving, Madel wished that he had owned a heavier cloak. The tall grass, some of it almost up to his shoulders and rolling like great waves with the breeze, parted before him as he pushed through it, and quickly folded shut behind him. Casting a look over his shoulder, the young man couldn't even tell where he had walked, as if the plains had swallowed up any trace of his passing. Behind him, the flat terrain slowly rose to the west where it became the low hills among which Madel had been raised, so that now, looking back, the youth could no longer see the silhouette of his home village against the stars. To the north, the peaks of the Black Hills could just be seen, the only break in the otherwise flat horizon. Somewhere on the other side of those mountains was his destination, the Shining Walls of Tar Valon, where he hoped to become a Warder. He wanted that desperately, so much so that he had abandoned his family's farm in the middle of the night, with hardly any provisions for the long journey. He had come to realize his error, though, when five days and barely twenty leagues later he had eaten the last of his food, and by his reckoning, Madel was still a good fifty miles from Arenhal, the next nearest town to Tirin. His grand journey hadn't seemed so wondrous after that, but the eager farmboy had made up his mind, and if he had to walk until his feet bled to arrive near-starved at the Tower's gates, he would bloody well do it. Of course, at this rate, if he even made it to Tar Valon by walking, it wouldn't be for another two months. He was hoping to shave some time off of that, though, by boarding one of the riverboats in Arenhal. At the least that would get him to Evesh, what he believed to be the next village upriver, but if the boat fees were reasonable, he might even make it all the way to Saddern, at the very headwaters of the Haevin. And from Saddern, he could be in Tar Valon in two weeks! But the first issue was Arenhal. Light, fifty miles, he grumbled inwardly, a sentiment his stomach shared with a grumbling of its own. In his eagerness to leave home, Madel had certainly underpacked, and now he was thinking he would pay for his mistake. That's if I even survive to make it fifty miles. Another growl from his belly punctuated the thought. His toe caught something hidden beneath the grass, and suddenly the young man was face down in the dirt, struggling to regain the breath that had been knocked out of him, gasping for what seemed an eternity. When at last his lungs were able to take in air, he groped around in the dark to find what he had tripped over. His fingers closed around something hard, like stone, and he squinted in the darkness to make out the shape of the object. It was a hand! A stone hand reaching up from beneath the ground! For a moment he was certain that some ancient corpse was struggling out of the grave to carry his soul off into the night, and in his panic he scrambled backward on hands and heels. His retreat was stopped abruptly by the remains of a low stone wall, unfinished and crumbling. Realization dawned on him; these were ruins! And that hand must have been part of a fallen statue! He started searching the area, following what was left of the walls where he could and tracing imaginary lines where there were no visible signs. What little could be found of the stonework proved to be expansive, and Madel quickly decided that this had once been a city, and a large one at that! But he'd lived in the Grass his whole life, and while he was by no means well educated or versed in history, he'd never heard of a city existing out here. Surely something like this -and so close to home- would have been mentioned before. Despite this strange discovery, the young man couldn't help but laugh. "They were probably all too busy with their farms to even care about something like this. I doubt anyone would've mentioned it, either, since it's not the weather or crops or 'what old Semm Parec said to Hille Dovers, who told my da, who told me.' As if there's anything else worth talking about!" He stepped regally up onto one of the piles of rubble that might have once been a building and surveyed his new kingdom. Then, gripping his walking stave in both hands like a great sword, he charged down the other side of the debris. Whipping his staff to and fro across the grass, he was the mightiest warrior to ever live. There was no hunger, no journey to worry about; there was only the scores of enemies he felled before his terrible assault. "For the honor of the Blue Eyes!" he shouted, laughing and running, "For the king's glory!" ~Madel acting like a child
  21. Cari had spoken to a lot of people in the course of the past few days, she wasn't even sure how long she had been prisoner. But now it was time for the trial to begin. Cari was taken out into the bright sunlight that was not in her dungeon of a prison. She could not see a thing as she was lead rather roughly to some place in the Training Grounds. It still looked the same was her only thought when her eyes adjusted to the sunlight. It never changed. The earth was hard packed but there were chairs seated in every possible open space and people had packed the Training Grounds for her trial. Cari hoped that none recognized her, but disheveled and in her new persona she doubted any but her close friends would know who she was. And the thing of it was, she had no close friends still left in the yards. They were either dead or long since moved on to other careers. Cari was kept standing, the shackles on her hands and feet were rather pointless to her, but she was here under murder charges so she supposed they were being extra careful of her. Cari waited until the new Commander of the Guard took her procession in and called the trial to order before sitting down with everyone else. This was going to be a long day. A very long day! Cari
  22. OOC: Anyone may post their reactions or bring Kynwric information in this thread. Bryon went into his office and scribbled quickly on a peice of parchment. He left a copy for his secratry to transcribe more of and took on of his own scribblings and posted it on the annoucement board in the barracks. In big bold letters it read: There has been a murder in our very own home. Stand your ground, be wary of all visitors and do not go outside alone until this person or persons have been brought into custody. Bring any useful infromation to Kywnric Gaidin. Bryon backed away from the note and saw that it was plainly visible for anyone to see. He only hoped it would stall the killer out. But he doubted it, he could feel this was not the end of it.
  23. Shawn reclined against a tree, marveling as he usually did at the beauty preserved here in the old Ogier Grove. It had been by the lake here in this grove that he had first met with Rosheen to learn the philosophy of the Spring, and here he was waiting so he could pass that knowledge on to her brother of all people. He did not usually take the time to train others in the philosophy he'd chosen to follow but he'd done it a few other times so when Ursana asked him he was glad to help out. Aran, the boy's mentor, was more than capable of teaching him this lesson himself, but he'd left the Tower for some reason and had asked him to help the boy out while he was gone. So here he sat fighting sleep and waiting patiently for the boy to arrive. Would he be an eager student, ready to learn what Shawn had agreed to teach, or would he be one of those arrogant fools that thought they knew better? Knowing Sana as he did he suspected the day would go well. What could be keeping him?
  24. Time moved swiftly when your mind was occupied and Yrean’s had been occupied much of late, first the disappearance of Gaea, although this had not hurt as much as it might considering there had been a cooling off between the pair. Then there had been Mat’s disappearance and even though she had left Yrean a letter, he still found it hard to believe what she had written. Thirdly there was the training with Dorian, which had become friendship, something that had surprised Yrean at first, but as Dorian forged ahead and became the person he did, Yrean had come to respect him, he had a lot of strength and stamina, as well he was able to put up with Yrean’s sense of humour, which many had not. Now though it was time to start anew. Yrean had been informed that he would be training a new recruit today, one who went by the name of Faerthines, a strange name, and one Yrean had not come across before. As he was leaving the Barracks, he made a mental note to ask after its origin when he met the man. As he entered the Yards, Yrean was greeted by another warm day, one that promised to bring forth sweat in abundance from any foolish enough to venture out into it’s heat come midday. As it was, this early in the day, the heat had yet to build up, and was more than pleasant, this was the time of day Yrean loved best, the early morning quiet, that held the promise of things to come. Yrean headed for the Armoury, it was where he had arranged to meet Faerthines, and he hoped the man would not be late. As it was he showed up just after Yrean did and the two men exchanged pleasantries then Yrean led the way into the armoury, today’s task was a simple one, show Faerthines the different types of weapons that the Armoury held, and see if the he could decide on which two were for him. Yrean Stavrosi We are Grey. We stand between the Light and the Shadow Mentor to Dorian and Faerthines. OOC: Estel, a list of the various weapons can be found here http:// http://www.gaidin.org/armory.php Pick two, but obviously not Power Wrought SwordsJ
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