RPG #5 - Of Aes Sedai and Asha'man

Discussion in 'RPG # 5 - Of Aes Sedai and Asha'man' started by Nienor, Oct 9, 2004.

  1. Unraveller

    Unraveller <a href="http://photobucket.com" target="_blank"><

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    The dog padded toward the door but stopped several yards away and sat down. The guardsmen stared in suprise, then glanced at each other. An evil grin passed over their faces as they considered the possibilities. It was obviously not one of the Lord's dogs, they were always kept kennelled except when the he wanted to hunt, they bothered the ladies' cats. This was a fine specimen, they could get a good price for it alive and plenty of meat dead. It cocked its head on one side and regarded them. Slowly one started toward it, crouching and extending one hand toward it. The other hand he kept behind his back, clutching a heavy cudgel. The other man leered and took a pace forward as well. They never saw the dark shapes that detached themselves from the shadow of the wall behind them, only felt their steel in their throats.

    Easing the corpse back against the wall he glanced over at the boy. He was a quick study, althoughstill a trifle unsure with the heavy bladed knife he had been given, throwing knives were little use in close work. In the near dark his form could only be made out by the dim light of the flickering torch, a few rolls through the leaf-mulch had rendered the clothing drab and concealing. They had needed to be. Just after they had emerged from the treeline the two men he had noted earlier had come riding back into view. He had had to throw himself to the turf, dragging the boy with him, and lie motionless, his great bearskin looking just like a mound of earth or manure in the fading light. They had watched as they rode up to the gates and were ushered inside. They already knew that the guards were Darkfriends, the reappearance of these two seemed to confirm their status too. Two visitors instantly received by the lord of the manor after they had already stopped there earlier. They must have refused an invitation to stay and reconsidered once they were back on the road. That tickled something in his memory. Something about how they had arrived initially. It would come back to him in time. For now anyway it was likely that they were also Darkfriends, likely higher than the Lord himself.

    When they had entered and the compound grown silent, they rose and made their way cautiously toward the wall. On the far side they found an area more neglected than the rest, a crumbling hole from some ancient conflict let them through with ease. In the courtyard around the house proper there was little activity now that the sun was down, servants scurrying along trying to finish tasks before full-dark mostly. They hid behind a haywain until they settled for the night and made their way to the dog gate by the middens. It was suprisingly heavily guarded, if you were unaware of the nature of the master of the house. Having propped the men up and left the Hounds to guard their retreat they made their way in, glad they had left Seiera back among the trees, she lacked the grace to negotiate stairs comfortably.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2004
  2. Radagast

    Radagast Art House Member

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    Once Raheryin, Shaedin, and the hounds had entered the mansion, Raheryin silently took the lead. Although Shaedin had asked enough questions to know where every exact stone was placed, Raheryin could walk through this building blindfolded. Silently creeping up the stairs, Raheryin tried his hardest to walk as quiet as those behind him. Shaedin made it seem so naturally easy.

    Taking his time, Raheryin led the group through the halls which were the least active and had the poorest light. Although they saw few people, Raheryin did notice Urayio's eldest daughter pass by once. The group was well hidden, so she luckily did not notice them. But it made Raheryin remember to strengthen the reason of his purpose, and remember why he was back here.

    Pausing by the shadows of one corner, Raheryin and Shaedin overheard one of the servants passing by mention to another that Lord Urayio was in his audience chamber. Glancing at Shaedin for his wordless consent, Raheryin then changed the intended direction to get to the large room.

    The audience chamber was a significant part of the mansion, but only contained three doors in which to enter it. The main doors from which the guests would enter was obviously out of the question. That left Lord Urayio's personal door, which was connected directly to one of his personal sitting rooms, and the servants door, which was concealed away around a corner and hidden in the shadows so that Urayio's audience would not notice it. The personal sitting room would be heavily guarded, and there would be no way to enter it unnoticed. That left Raheryin with one choice.

    Finding the entrance that led to the servants door, Raheryin let Shaedin take the lead. Winding their way down the narrow and black corridors, Rahyerin finally saw the wooden door at the end of his sight. It had been left but an inch open by a careless servant, letting a bright strip of light give it's minimal illumination. Raheryin made no move to pass Shaedin and advance to the door, instead he let Shaedin slowly crawl up the the narrow crack. He obviously wanted to appraise the situation first.
     
  3. Elan Morin Tedronai

    Elan Morin Tedronai The Forsaken

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    Resting his hand on the long hilt of his blade, Ahsdale slowly turned around the room, taking note of exits, servant doors, and looking the guards up and down. If a fight broke out, even this many poorly trained guards would pose a problem. Looking across at Daran, he realized who he stood next to. Should a fight break out, likely Daranbar could make them explode from the inside out before Ahsdale's blade had left its sheath.

    "We are searching for a man who is deemed valuable by the Lord Dragon. And who could be very dangerous, should he be left alone. But it is not for you to question the orders of the Dragon Reborn." That last line was delivered icily. He could feel the undercurrents in motion. This was going to end messy.

    Ahsdale looked at Uraiyo. The smudge was there. This man was a Darkfriend, just like the guard. He hoped that they both got what they deserved. Being guided through this estate he had noticed 6 or so who had the mark. He looked around at the guards again; all bar one were Darkfriends. "Light, " he thought, "this was going to end very messy."

    Glancing around the room again, he noticed a small servants door. He had seen it earlier, it was slightly open and light could be seen flooding into it. However, now there was a darkness there, as if something were stopping the light from getting through. "My liege, " said Ahsdale, cutting the Lord's sentence short. Ahsdale threw back his cloak, ready for anything. He walked up to Daranbar, "we are being watched."
     
  4. Unraveller

    Unraveller <a href="http://photobucket.com" target="_blank"><

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    Moving as slowly and carefully as possible he eased closer to the door. A few feet from the crack he could hear the mumble of voices. Steeling himself, almost not daring to breath, he moved closer.

    Peeking through with one eye he surveyed a scene more like a king's throne room than a lord's reception chamber. The guards arrayed near the throne looked tense, almost nervous, and the lavishly attired man on the throne had a superior look on his face but his eyes told of uncertainty and suspicion. It was the two men standing before him that drew attention though.

    The two men he had seen leave and return stood proudly in the centre of the floor, disdainful looks on their faces, althought the shorter, more lavishly dressed one seemed to be staring from person to person, his body language broadcasting his rising tension and, what, disgust? The taller man wore a coat so black it seemed to suck in light but the two pins on his collar shone brightly. He held his arms folded across his chest in an attitude seemingly of calm reassurance but appearing as if he was restraining himself from attacking. What kind of man would assault half a dozen guards in the middle of a stronghold with only a sword and one man to back him up? His estimation of the man rose a notch and just then something happened that froze his blood.

    “We seek word of any Aes Sedai who might have crossed your lands,” the taller man said, in a voice that commanded instead of asked. As he did so a large tabby cat who had been reclining lazily on a cushion near the lord sat up. It stared at the man, its hackles rising, fluffing the fur on its back and hissed at him. It spat once and bolted behind the throne, barely noticed by the men. Behind the door Shaedin felt his chest lock as fear gripped him, trying to squeeze the air from his lungs. He had seen an animal react that way before, a dog suddenly faced with an Aes Sedai. Now this. He had heard rumors they were free.

    Staring at the door he retreated until he was sure any noise would not be heard in the throne room. He turned to the astonished boy and motioned back down the corridor. When they had made a couple of turns in silence Rahyerin finally spoke.

    "What did you see, we must go back!"
    "Silence boy!" he hissed. "Must nothing, what we MUST do is leave this place immediately. If I could take your lady with us I would but we must leave NOW!"
    "Why? I demand you tell me, I have a right to know! We came to seek justice in case you forgot! I mean to see that man dead!"
    "What did I see boy? I'll tell you what I saw. I saw a high ranking Darkfriend surrounded by guards in his own sanctum looking nervous. I saw two strangers looking at them as if they were worms. I saw a man who can channel giving orders to a Darkfriend. We leave NOW unless you wish to try your hand against one of the Forsaken!"

    Rahyerin looked dumbstruck, then terrified. Mutely he turned and they made their way downward as quickly as they could without drawing attention.
     
  5. Turin

    Turin Valar Morghulis

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    A thin thread of air stretched toward the cracked door in the back of the room. With a bang it slammed open, creating startled shouts from the guards. "Do you think it necessary to have someone watch these proceeding's, Lord Urayio?" Daran didn't bother trying to hide the frustration in his voice. This man was an arrogant imbecile, and was nearing the end of the fine thread that was the Asha'man's patience.

    "Spy . . ." Lord Urayio started to respond but cut off at the angry glare he recieved from Daranbar. He turned to his guards and nodded his head slightly, causing two of them to scurry out of the room. After a moment of silent tension a bell bagan ringing from outside, followed by several more. "The alarm!" Lord Urayio spat.

    The guards around the room drew their weapons and began slowly advancing on Daran and Ahsdale. Behind the throne Daran noted guards streaming out of yet another door, and the sounds of a struggle could be heard coming in from outside. Daran instincively drew his sword, as the four guards that remained near Urayio's dias burst into flames. He turned his back to the only wall in the room, not lined with armed men and lashed out again at the line of men running out from behind Urayio's throne. A strand of air as thick as a man's leg whipped across the room just beyond where Ahsdale stood with his sword drawn. The lash collodied with the oncoming men with a violent crack, sending nearly a dozen men sailing through the air, and crashing out of the many windows opposite the Asha'man.

    The door that Daran and Ahsdale had entered through burst open to admit another large group of armed men. The first in line rose his voice as if to speak to his lord. "There are dogs . . ." He trailed off as Ahsdale cut him down with a smooth movement from his Heron Marked blade.

    The men behind the first came on at a rush. "To me, Ahsadel!" Daran belowed, already forming his next set of weaves.
     
  6. Elan Morin Tedronai

    Elan Morin Tedronai The Forsaken

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    Cutting down the guard in front, Ahsdale spun around to kick the next guard in the ribs, knocking him down. Ahsdale finished him with a quick slash to the throat. "To me, Ahsdale" Daran yelled from across the room, likely he was going to do something with the Power Ahsdale did not want to be involved in.

    He used his sword to block off the incoming attacks of the guards, trying his best to get to the Asha'man when a hulking guard came seemingly out of nowhere and planted his fist squarely in Ahsdale's face. Ahsdale stumbled back a few steps as the guard drew out a heavy axe, patting the haft deviously before advancing on Ahsdale. Heron mark blade met the double-sided axe to a shower of sparks. Even with Ahsdale's skill and superior weapon, the guard met him blow for blow, almost hitting him at one point. Ahsdale realized he could not duel for long, he was severly outnumbered, and all it took to die was another guard coming from behind. Deflecting the next blow Ahsdale spun around low and came up high, using all his strength. His smooth slash cut through the haft, sending the bladed part sailing away from the attacker. Ahsdale poised his sword over head, kicked the man down onto the floor and plunged the sword into his stomach, giving a slight twist to free it again. Flicking the blood from his blade he ran to Daranbar, "Perhaps we should get Urayio, hold him hostage or something - there are too many guards."

    "Too many you say ? We shall see..." relpied Daran coldly.
     
  7. Turin

    Turin Valar Morghulis

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    As Ahsdale spoke his last words Daranbar smiled, feeling the rush of Saidin brought him a thrill of joy he never thought possible. The ground erupted behind Ahsdale, the guards who were not bludgeoned to death by the shrapnel of the floor were propelled toward the ceiling, only to plunge more than two dozen feet in an uncontrolled free fall to the ground.

    Daran turned his attention back to the dias, where Urayio was seated to see that several more men had entered the room with weapons drawn and were attempting to usher their lord to safety. A combination of Air and Earth slammed the doors in the back of the room and sealed them tight. Daran chuckled a bit to himself as he watched two of the lord’s retainers try pathetically to pull a door open.

    For the moment things had calmed down a bit, the weave used to unearth the stone of the floor had sent a shudder throughout the mansion and the only sounds heard were coming in from outside the now broken windows.

    Daran nodded toward the few men still struggling to hold on to life near the main entrance to the audience hall as he spoke to Ahsdale. “Perhaps you would see to it that none of them would be troubling us again. I will continue our negotiations with our gracious host.”
     
  8. Nienor

    Nienor Administrator Staff Member

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    In the middle of preparations, Kori was suprised by the Aiel man literally dropping in on their small party. At first she had thought he would lie low and avoid her after yesterdays incident. Obviously the man did not have enough intelligence to do so. "If you wish to accompany us you can do so." she offered. "At any point you wish, you are free to leave, Haeruc." There was no reason to discourage the Aiel man from accompanying them. Sometimes a man's presence could be useful; that was why Kori originally had sought out a warder. She assumed Maera could keep him in line.

    Koriandre was in the process of checking her horse's saddle when Kelaine came into the barn apologizing for her lateness. Turning her attention to the other Aes Sedai, Kori wasn't shocked by anything she said. When and if she could sense anything through Steivan's bond, it seemed a distance to the west. It would be somewhat risky for the Aes Sedai to travel through Amidacia, but keeping a low profile would help. Masquerading as ladies would make them a less likey target to be scrutinized. She hoped Maera wouldn't object too strenously. So far she hadn't said a word about it, but Kori couldn't picture the proud Wise One taking this too easily.

    Lost in thought for a moment, Kori began fingering her earring with her right hand. These delicate hoops, decorated with small peridots were her favorite pair. She fondly remembered buying these filagreed gold earrings as a gift to herself after she passed her Aes Sedai test. They were her first real expense with her allotment. Emeralds would have been preferred, but that money had to last for one year, so she was more practical.

    After thinking about Kelaine's suggestions, she remarked, "I have sensed Steivan towards the west. But somehow he manages to mask our bond. I'm glad for that weave you performed on him, it will make tracking him somewhat easier." The Aes Sedai walked over to her horse and grabbed it's reins, continuing she said, "Amadacia will not be the most hospitable place for 2 Aes Sedai to travel, but I think we can manage." Kori dropped Morning Star's reins, then took off her serpent ring and put it into her belt pouch.

    "Well, I think we're ready to go." she said. Kori mounted up on her chestnut gelding, feeling completely at ease on her horse. Pointing towards two other horses she told Maera and Taryn, "These are for you. They are both calm and easy to ride. You should have little problems."

    Speaking to Kelaine again, "I see you have provisioned a horse. I requesitioned a pack horse with useful items also, but with another person travelling, we can use extra supplies. Hopefully we will not need to camp out nightly. But we are prepared." Koriandre turned and firmly tied the lead reins for the roan pack horse onto Morning Star. Kicing the gelding in his sides, she started the horse walking out of the stable.

    Remembering that she had not acquired a horse for Haeruc, Kori stopped her horse for a moment. "I have no horse available for you, Haeruc. You'll either have to walk or stay here." Not really concerned about which choice he took, she started her horse into a trot as she left the stable; riding out of Salidar.
     
  9. Elan Morin Tedronai

    Elan Morin Tedronai The Forsaken

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    Ahsdale nodded at Daran's command. He seemed to have taken control of the situation rather.....effectivly. If not brutally. He looked around, the dead were strewn everywhere, only four or so cut down by weaponary. The rest had been killed by the Power. It seemed these Asha'man were not bound by certain oaths, as the woman were.

    Ahsdale walked over to the remaining guards lying on the floor. He looked at them both coldly. They were Darkfriends, the dark smudge on their head betrayed them. Unsheathing his blade Ahsdale slit the throat of one and stabbed the other in the heart coldly.

    He heard a gasp escape the lips of the Asha'man and turned to regard him as he wiped the blood from the blade on the Darkfriends' clothes. Daranbar was shaking his head slowly, wether at him or the dead men he did not know.

    There were none in the room now save Daranbar, himself, and Lord Urayio. The floor was littered with the dead but neither man noticed, they only stared at each other. It seemed they did so for an Age. Ahsdale decided to break the silence, "Seems our friend here doesn't take too kindly to followers of the Lord Dragon." He was not Ahsdale's Lord, but it would scare the man more if he thought both were Dragonsworn fanatics. Daranbar still stared at the man, "And why would that be, Lord Urayio," he spat the name, "and you better have a good explanation, or you will end up like your retainers. We know you are a Darkfriend, and I would feel justice has been done if you die this day. However, that is entirely up to you wether you live or die. You just better have some good answers."
     
  10. Turin

    Turin Valar Morghulis

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    "Speachless I see." Daran said in disgust as he faced the quivering Lord Urayio. Very well, you will come with me. The lord's eyes grew wide with fear and he began sputtering and pleading, Daran simply spoke over him. "You are a friend of the dark, of that I am certain, but I am no murderer of helpless men. I'm sure we will cross paths with a whitecloak or two nearby, they would surely be willing to extract any valueable information from you." Daranbar finished with a smile, and glancing over to his companion he thought he saw a smile cross Ahsdale's face as well. Some would call Daran's methods cruel, the Asha'man, though, simply found them realistic.

    Binding the weakly struggling loed with a thin thread of air, Daran tied off the flow and turned to Ahsdale. "I believe our mounts are stabled near the rear entrance to the estate, shall we proceed?"

    Though a commotion could still be heard from outside the mansion, the halls were peaceful as the small group made their way through the large house and out a servants door in the back of the kitchen. Ahsdale had taken the lead while Daran prodded their unwilling companion along between them. Though the borderlander seemed more than capable of leading them through the estate Daran still held onto Saidin, he knew that there was a very real possibility that the fighting had not come to an end.
     
  11. Crusader

    Crusader Disturber of the Peace

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    After hearing the response from the woman Haeruc was filled with rage. Free to leave? Did she think him too weak to fulfill toh? Did she think he was a child? She had shamed him in front of all those people, he imagined the wise one would be laughing at him. She had some nerve, herself riding a horse. Remembering to make a joke of that later he took one spear from the rigging holding his bow and began loping on after the woman had left.

    She enraged him more than his sister did, not introducung herself, shaming him in every other word, the very notion that wetlanders were so ignorant made him cringe. At least this journey, wherever it was going, would be unbearable enough to make him grateful for living.
     
  12. Sorcha

    Sorcha Moderator Staff Member

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    Koriandre and Maera greeted Taryn as she walked in, making her feel a bit more at ease. Still, she barely knew these two women, and giving them a small smile, she moved off to the side, not wanting attention put on her. Still shaken a bit from her memories dredged up by her dream, Taryn replayed rest of that night a year past. Almost exactly a year, she absently thought.

    Getting clumsily to her knees, she stared at her hands in horror. What have I done? What have I done? Coming back to herself, she put her hands over the thief’s heart, and poured all of her will into healing. “Please, please wake up,” she plead with the man. After a bit, she realized there was no hope for him. Feeling very ill, she vomited. She had never seen death before, let alone caused it. Wiping her mouth with the back of her hand, she stood shakily, bracing herself against the unyielding brick wall. Trying to look like nothing was wrong, she headed home, vowing never to tell anyone what happened, and what horrible crime she had commited.

    And I have fulfilled that promise. Not even the Aes Sedai know, and they will not. No one will. The few friends she had made would abandon her if they knew, she was sure of it. And that was not a risk she was willing to take.

    She came back to the present, when an Aiel dropped down from the roof. Biting back a scream, Taryn edged more into the shadows, hoping he did not see her. He was veiled, as she had heard Aiel did before they began to kill. However, he pulled down his veil and turned towards Koriandre and Maera, who was smiling at him. Before either could speak however, Kelaine came in, saying "I must apologize for my lateness. It took longer than I expected to find our destination, something is causing a great amount of annoyance on the other end, and I had to retrieve a few items I thought would be useful."

    She turned to the stableboy and asked "Has that packhorse I requested been provisioned?" The stablehand then brought out an extra packhorse, loaded with supplies for the journey.

    Speaking to the rest of the party, she said "We must set off at once, and we had best not wear our serpent rings, your warder is far to the west, and we will have to cross nearly all of Amadicia to get to him. We will be able to stay in inns much of the way, but we will have to camp several times, so I have arranged for food. My suggestion is that we masquerade as a pair of ladies, refugees from the east, with our two maids and a bodyguard.” Turning to Taryn, Maera, and the Aiel man, she apologized "I am sorry but it does not make sense for two ladies to be traveling on their own. I will only ask you to act in your roles when there are large numbers of other people around. When we are on our own, or in the presence of only a few others, you may act however you wish.” Telling the stablehands to keep silent about their early departure, Kelaine mounted her horse. "I have sensed Steivan towards the west.”

    Kori said shortly, after some thought. “But somehow he manages to mask our bond. I'm glad for that weave you performed on him, it will make tracking him somewhat easier. Amadacia will not be the most hospitable place for 2 Aes Sedai to travel, but I think we can manage." With that, she took off the serpent ring that marked her as Aes Sedai and put it safely away.

    "Well, I think we're ready to go." she said. Kori mounted up on her chestnut horse. She pointed at the two other horses and said to Maera and Taryn, "These are for you. They are both calm and easy to ride. You should have little problems."

    As Koriandre spoke to Kelaine, Maera strode over to the two horses, considerately leaving the shorter one for Taryn, a gray named Shadow. The Aiel woman, although she had no experience, vaulted onto the horse’s back as if she had been riding her whole life. Luckily, Taryn had ridden before, so pulling a stool over beside the horse, she climbed onto the horse’s back. Must do something about that. No step stool on the trail, she thought.

    Kori halted for a moment, and turning to the Aiel man said "I have no horse available for you, Haeruc. You'll either have to walk or stay here." Obviously not very concerned about the man, she rode out of the stable. Haeruc stood for a moment as if he had been slapped, then put a spear into his hand and ran after the Aes Sedai. Astonished, Taryn turned to Maera, but the woman had already rode off after them. Sighing, Taryn urged her horse forward, and followed the rest of the party.
     
  13. Unraveller

    Unraveller <a href="http://photobucket.com" target="_blank"><

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    He was braced against a wall reloading his weapons when the explosion shook the building.

    They had been descending the stairs when they had heard the commotion and charged down to find the hounds fighting off a group of guardsmen. Three corpses had littered the floor and the others were herding the dogs back against the wall with spears. With a roar he had hurled himself on them, scattering them and taking two to the floor. He felt the rush as Los and Baijan cleared back and set upon the disoriented and suprised men. Finishing the men under him, crushing a windpipe in each huge hand, he push himself to his feet in time to deflect a spear thrust. He grabbed the shaft and pulled toward himself. The man, jerked off balance, stumbled forward and met his fist coming the other way. The barbs on his gauntlet did their terrible work, ripping out much of his throat and jawbone in a spray of gore. He looked to the rest. The dogs had finished most of the rest and were stalking the last pair. Suddenly there was a rush from the corridor behind them and two more guards appeared, charging the dogs from the rear. Instinctively he swiveled the spear in his left hand and cast it in a smooth motion. It took one of the men in the ribs, throwing him to the ground. The second continued toward the vulnerable animals. Suddenly he staggered and fell. Glancing back to the stairs he nodded his thanks to the young man, poised with another knife in his hand. The dogs had finished with the men and they all joined up to move on. They had just started down the corridor when another group of guards, these with bows and crossbows, appeared at the other end. They all froze for a second, staring at each other. Shaedin reacted first. Turning he thrust them all back into the room and swung away from the doorway, pulling his crossbow from the straps on his back.

    The resulting missile battle had inflicted some casualties on the guardsmen but had kept them pinned down. The boy's knives were almost useless in such a situation, the hounds could only wait and he himself was beginning to run low on bolts. He had given one of his pistol bows to the boy but they were overmatched, if they couldn't find some advantage it would only be a matter of time. He was thinking this as he recocked his crossbows again when there was a booming rumble and the wall behind him shook.

    Everyone froze. Trickles of dust and grit fell from the ceiling. The guards began shouting and they heard most of them run off. He looked at his companions, nodding at the boy. This was their chance. He held up three fingers, then two, one, none. They broke around the corners and charged, silently. Leaping over corpses, keeping their eyes on the far end they made it more than halfway down before one of the guards poked his head around. He shouted and tried to swing his weapon up to bear. Shaedin's first bolt punched through his chest and he dropped his bow, trusting in the small pistol bow to see them to the far end. The hounds were streaking ahead but two more men appeared before they were close enough. They were more prepared too and prepared to fire quickly. Desperately he swung up his diminutive weapon and fired. The small bolt took one man in the thigh, who collapsed to the floor with a cry. The other fired, just after he heard a twang from behind him. The guardsman's bolt flew high scraping along the ceiling stones. Then he saw why, the man's left hand was pinned to the front of the weapon, transfixed by a short bolt. Then the Hounds arrived, latching onto throats and shaking their heads to snap necks and tear flesh. He continued on into the chamber but it was deserted. He turned to see the boy coming out of the passage, trying to look cocky but his pale complexion and slight shakiness belied the fluke. He had probably been aiming for his head he thought wryly. Quickly they gathered as many bolts as they could, refilling his quivers. The guardsmen's were inferior to his own but serviceable.

    "We cannot rescue your ladyfriend, it may be as much as we can do to escape ourselves. But be assured, she will likely not remain here long after this day's events." The boy nodded and they continued downward.

    A short time later he halted at a window overlooking the rear of the estate. In the dim light he could make out three men heading away, two sitting proudly on their mounts, the third seemingly thrown or tied across a third. The Darkfriends had escaped.

    They edged out of the rear door carefully and crossed to the wall. Clambering through the gap they took a deep breath. It had been a stressful evening.
    "Boy, it is time to part. I must track those men and see what can be done. At least I must limit their evil. I will not ask you to come for it is a dark and dangerous path for one so young. Go and find your brother, live your life and be more careful in your gaming. You have exacted your price for what they tried to do to you."
    "But not paid my debt to you. I'll not allow you to leave me while I am still beholden. Besides, the principal yet lives."
    The answer gave him pause, though he had expected as much.
    "As you wish. But be aware, we hunt a much more dangerous quarry now. Death could come at any moment."

    A low growl rose from the hounds and he swung 'round. A guardsman stood in the shadow of the wall, frozen with his weapon half raised. Then a shadow behind him resolved itself into the form of Seaine, one paw resting on the man's shoulder. The look of terror on his face was so strong it was visible even through the near-pitch dark.
    "I would advise dropping it," he said conversationally. The man complied immediately. "Now the clothes." The guard hesitated for a moment and then stripped hurredly. "Now run," he said, pointing to the dark fields behind him. Seiera backed off a pace and the naked man took off like a hare. Picking up the discarded horsebow and quiver they made their way back into the trees.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2004
  14. Turin

    Turin Valar Morghulis

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    Daranbar and Ahsdale rode leisurely away from the estate, Lord Urayio in tow, draped over the bare back of a shaggy gray mare they had confiscated in the stable. After leaving the lord’s audience chamber, they had encountered a small group of guards in the kitchen, which were quickly overwhelmed by Saidin. Daran took pride in dispatching men so easily; it was the type of thing he yearned for while training the other men back in the Black Tower.

    “We were not they only trouble makers.” Ahsdale stated as he watched the receding walls of the compound over his shoulder.

    “Yes, something is keeping the guards busy. Perhaps some of the Lord’s esteemed colleagues?” Daran replied wryly, casting a glance at their bound companion.


    * * * * * * *


    Daran and Ahsdale rode for nearly two hours after leaving Lord Urayio’s estate. Night was quickly approaching when they entered a small clearing in the dense forest. Realizing that they would not be reaching Salidar tonight they decided to make camp off of the road.

    Ahsdale disappeared into the forest in search of dinner while Daran unpacked the horses and flopped the batter and bruised lord down against a tree at the edge of the clearing. Removing the gag the Ahsdale had placed in the man’s mouth, Daran tossed a water skin at Urayio’s feet.

    “Drink.” Daran ordered the once proud lord. “It may the last time you get the chance tonight.”

    “Please.” Sputtered Urayio. “Please, release me. I will pay . . . whatever . . . ransom you seek. I . . . I am a wealthy man . . . please!”

    Daran silenced him with a wave of his hand. “If it was your coin I sought, why would I have not simply taken it after disposing of your retainers? No, my lord, all I wanted was a bit of information. You, however, chose to be an ass, and look where it landed you.” Daran grinned ruefully at the shaking lord. “Now shut up and drink, you’ll be silenced again very soon.”

    A few moments later Ahsdale returned dragging a deer carcass. “We’ll eat well tonight Tairen.” He jested. “And I have another treat for us, courtesy of Lord Urayio.” The shorter man made a mocking bow to the frightened lord as he spoke. Daran rolled his eyes as Ahsdale produced two bottles of wine and a fat pouch of the finest Two Rivers Tabac from his saddlebags.

    “I wondered what you were doing in the kitchen while I was busy working.” Daran said with a smile. “Time well spent I think.”

    They allowed Urayio to drink a while longer, with the condition that he remain silent. Ahsdale set to work cleaning his kill, while Daran set a series of wards around their campsite. By the time the Tairen felt there was a safe watch set Ahsdale had already gagged the Lord and propped a deer haunch over a generous fire.

    “What is it you were just doing?” Asked the Borderlander.

    “Wards.” Daran stated. When he noted the uncomprehending look on his companions face he decided to explain in further detail. “Some Wards keep things from entering, some keep them from leaving. Some are effective on animals, some on people, others on shadow spawn. I like to be thorough. I set one that persuaded all the critters within a two hundred pace radius to leave.” He grinned a bit with the description. “Then I set more to warn us of anyone, or any thing, coming within that two hundred pace perimeter.”

    Ahsdale nodded his understanding. “You may prove useful yet. I might actually get a full night of sleep. By the way, what happens if someone strays too close to us?” Ahsdale asked, a hopeful expression on his face. “More flames and earth quakes?”

    Daran chuckled softly as he sat next to the fire and popped the cork off of one of the wine bottles, offering a mock toast to their prisoner. “Nothing quite so grand, I’d not like to see the forest come down around our ears. No, just a lot of noise and lights. If anyone wanders near our camp, it’ll look light an illuminator is sharing our fire.

    The two men sat and talked over a meal that turned out much better than either of them had expected when they left the estate, and turned in about two hours after the sun had set. They both had the nagging sensation that tomorrow would be as eventful as today.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2004
  15. Nienor

    Nienor Administrator Staff Member

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    Being able to stretch out near a fire felt good after a long day of riding, Koriandre thought to herself. While the entire day had been completely uneventful, it was tiring to ride a horse for hours on end. Briefly she wondered how exhausted Haeruc was. He didn't even have a horse to ride. But the man had kept up with them all day long. Maybe if she was feeling generous tomorrow, they could distribute the goods the pack horse was carrying and let him ride for awhile.

    Kori stared into the fire she had built, already missing the relative comfort of Salidar. There she wouldn't have had to scrounge for firewood and get water from a nearby stream. She hadn't worked this hard since she was a novice. When she had ventured out from the White Tower before either she or another sister had brought a warder along to do the hard work. Everyone had done their share, but setting up even a modest camp for the night was hard work. The Aes Sedai would have preferred to stay in a fine inn. But it wasn't the wisest choice this close to Salidar. Someone might remember seeing them.

    In the firelight, she noticed Taryn looked even paler than she had previously. Kori hoped that she was fully recovered from whatever happened in the tent yesterday. She didn't seem a likely choice for such an expidition, yet sometimes life chose the strangest people for companions. Never in her life had Kori expected to be traveling with two Aiel!

    Standing up, Kori had wanted to speak with Kelaine about the location of her warder. She changed her mind when Kori noticed the other Aes Sedai deep in thought. Perhaps she's working on that weave now, Kori assumed. There would be opportunity to talk in the morning. It would be a good idea to discuss the fact she could hardly locate her own warder due to him interferring with the bond.

    Yawning a little, the Aes Sedai went to the outskirts of their small campsite to set a ward. It didn't pay to attract notice when in such a small group, so Kori set the ward that would make their campsite all but invisible to those around. They were slightly off the road, so nobody would have any reason to intrude by accident; and now cutpurses wouldn't be able to see their fire.

    Finished with her task, Kori walked back over to the fire and blankets for sleeping. There was no need to erect tents, the night was clear and warm. Before lying down, Kori bid her travelling companions good night. Putting her head down on a wadded blanket that served for a pillow, her mind was filled with thoughts of how she would deal with her warder once he was found.
     
  16. doleniel

    doleniel Elven High Priestess

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    It had been a long day of riding, and Kelaine was exhausted. She wished she could lie in her bedroll and sleep, but she still had work to do that night. If they ever wished to find Kori's wander, she had to continue working her weave. He was getting better at blocking her, so it was getting a little harder to track him every night. He seemed only to be moving during the day, so she had luck in that she only had to re-locate him once a day, but still, with all of the other things she was doing, it all added up. Taryn still seemed to have not recovered from her ordeal the other day, and it was worrying Kelaine. She had delved her when the party had stopped for lunch, but she could find nothing apparantly wrong. She was not entirely right, either, however, and Kelaine was determined to find out what the problem was. Taryn had told her in detail everything that hapened that day, so Kelaine had some idea of what went on, but it was still perplexing.

    Half unnoticing, Kelaine felt Kori set a ward against thieves, and then heard her bid goodnight. Kelaine mumbled something distractedly and, staring at the fire returned to the problem of the warder. Suddenly, she looked up and saw a man, sword drawn and seeming to carry something heavy, run across the camp.

    "How did he get in?" she thought. "The ward would have at least warned Kori" She looked over at her sister Aes Sedai, but the woman was fast asleep. As the man came nearer the fire, she recognised the craggy, scarred face. But it could not be who she thought; her Warder, Zemarle, had been dead more then ten years. The man, whoever he was, was being persued by a dozen or more of Whitecloaks, who had just entered the camp as well. Panicing, she looked over at Kori again. She had not stirred a muscle. As the leader of the Whitecloaks spoke, she turned back to the scene playing out before her.

    "Give us the Tar Valon Witch, man!" he cried. "You are only a slave to her! Be free of her control and walk in the light!" So he was a Warder. Thinking the Whitecloak leader had meant her or Kori, Kelaine began to weave bonds of air, but to her surprise they had no effect. In any case, she then saw the woman on the ground, apparantly unconcious, behind the Warder. Ready to to protect her at any cost, the man cried "You shall not have her" in return. "Than both you and she shall die without the light of the Creator" the leader said and immediately the men began to attack. The Waredr, like all of his kind was a skilled fighter, but could not handle soa many at once. Despite this, he stillhad defeated all but one before he was too weaked to fight any longer. Delighted, the final Whitecloak set upon him. With a cruel smile on his face, he lifted his sword to deliver the killing blow. . .

    And Kelaine awoke with a jerk. She must have dozed off while staring at the fire. She had not dreamed about the death of her Warder in years. They had been traveling through Amadicia at the time, and some Whitecloak informant had found out who she truely was. The woman had given her some herb that prevented her from moving or using the Power. Zemarle had erscued her, only to be set upon by the Whitcloaks shortly after. She had watched the whole event, helpless, even as her Warder drove a knife into the heart of the man who had just struck him the killing blow. After a time, the drug wore off and she managed to escape Amadicia, but much as she tried to forget that day, she could not. Still tired but no longer able to sleep, she stared off into the fire again. It would be a long journey.
     
  17. Crusader

    Crusader Disturber of the Peace

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    Staring back at the fire Haeruc went on into the night, he was sure the wise one or one of the others would use their powers to guard the camp, otherwise they would have asked him to. But either way he thought it necessary to keep watch, at least for part of his toh, a very small part.

    As night crept on little happened, a fox rushed by but turned back before it entered the camp. There was little chance of any danger, the ground had little if any grass which was dying and laden with twigs, even the most skilled tracker would be heard in the quiet. It was strange to think that all this life in the wetlands could be, trees everywhere blooming with leaves and rivers, it was like a gleemans tale come alive. But it had lost much of its magic in the months since he had fled in shame.

    Just as the tiniest fringe of light crept up the eastern horizon, a figure appeared running in the dark from the south. Half stumbling on every third step and falling nearly as often the figure managed little more than walking speed but still worked on in desperation. As he came closer the shape resolved into a man looking more frightened than any he had seen, and he was completely naked.

    After running on painfully as he had the man slowed down and collapsed into a bush, probably because there was a road nearby and he hoped to be rescued from whatever torment had forced him to run scared from at least sunset, wetlanders were strange. Slipping through the brush as quietly as he could, Haeruc approached the lump on the ground to find the man collapsed and asleep from exhaustion, it was not likely he would wake for a few hours yet.

    Stalking back to the camp, Haeruc thought it was wise to let the others know, perhaps there was danger to the south, either way he couldnt believe wetlanders did this all the time, the fear on the mans face was too real to be ignored. Suddenly Haeruc froze. Where was the campsite? he thought he knew exactly where it was, the same trees stood all around but campfire, horses and all were gone! the mere thought that they had abandoneed him was shocking, he had toh! did they think he was too wek to do his duty? Fuming with rage he stepped forward to find their tracks, and suddely he was in the camp, nothing was out of place and most of the women were asleep. This journey was getting confusing, moreso every day. Lowering his viel Haeruc proceeded on.
     
  18. Nienor

    Nienor Administrator Staff Member

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    Throughout the night, Kori slept fitfully, for one it was difficult sleeping on the hard ground. It was easy to get used to comforts such as a feather bed and fresh sheets. Kelaine also seemed to be sleeping fretfully. The other Aes Sedai kept mentioning the name Zemarle in mumbles from her dreams. But the worst part was when she finally slipped into a sound sleep, her nightmare from the other night replayed itself again; this time to the conclusion....

    Still wearing her Amrylin's seven striped stole, Koriandre made her way back to her own quarters. Emotionally exhausted, all she wished to do was lie down and forget about the day. Being a green, she absolutely hated gentling men. It was horrible to see vibrant human beings turned into men with no reason to live. Yet, it was a rule for all Aed Sedai. Madmen could not be allowed to destroy the world, no matter what her personal opinions were.

    Kori sat down at her desk and began removing her stole when a knock came on the door. Without even waiting for a reply, her Keeper of the Chronicles, Zyrain, burst into the room. "Mother, don't you remember we need to perform another gentling today. The Reds found two last week."Zyrain said anxiously. With resignation Kori replied, "Of course, I remember. I was merely trying to find a few minutes of peace." Leaving her study, Koriandre made her way back to the courtyard to gentle the other man, mumbling to herself all the while.

    When she got to the courtyard, Kori got the surpise of her life. When the kneeling man looked up at her, it was her youngest brother! She had not seen him in years, but it was impossible to forget the sight of him. He looked so much like her with golden hair and green eyes there was no denying their kinship. Caught between her loyalty to the White Tower and lingering loyalty to her family, Kori was so torn. How could the Amrylin seat ignore her duties for a family member she hadn't seen in years. Yet, how could Koriandre as a person condemn her own brother to a lingering death. Duty and loyalty to the White Tower could not be ignored. Steeling herself and ignoring all conflicting emotions, Kori smoothly linked with the other twelve Aes Sedai and began the gentling weave. To her relief the archway appeared and she could leave. Yet leaving seemed almost impossible. Maybe there could be a mad plan to save her sibling. But Kori remembered "the way back only came once" and thrust herself fast as she could through the archway.


    Shivering slightly, Kori lay on her bedroll, attempting to find sleep again. Wild thoughts ran through her head of allowing Steivan to escape unharmed to a distant land. Maybe it would take years for him to go insane. It could be possible to leave him un-gentled until madness or the rotting disease started showing. Finally, exhaustion over took her and Kori fell into a light sleep again for a short while.

    Drifting in and out of her dreams, the Aes Sedai was awoke by a silent alarm only she heard. Someone had penetrated the ward! Bolting upright she immediately held Saidar while looking for the intruder. Glancing around the campsite, she saw Haeruc come back into camp. Barely containing her anger, Kori stood up and walked over to him. The man had most likely stepped outside of the ward to relive himself. How dare he wake her by disturbing her ward over trivialities.

    Opening her mouth to scold him, she was cut off by Haeruc telling her about a nude man sleeping in the nearby bushes. Not wishing for the others to be suprised in the morning by a naked man streaking through their camp, Kori grabbed a spare blanket and followed Haeruc to where the man was lying. True to his word, Haeruc showed her where a clothing deprived man was asleep under a bush. Delving him, the man seemed perfectly healthy, just exhausted. Kori woke him slightly and draped the blanket around his shoulders. The man stumbled to his feet and blankly stared at her. He was barely awake enough to walk and definitely not enough to answer questions. With Haeruc's help, she gently guided him back to their camp. Assisting the man towards the fire she offered as he laid down, "In the morning you can tell us about what happened. For now, rest."

    Within moments, the man was fast asleep again. Settling herself back down, Kori sat on her bedroll. It was getting near dawn and there was no point in going back to sleep. Haeruc seemed to be a man of few words, so there was no point in conversing with him. Reaching into her pack, Kori brought out the book she had, "Hearts Aflame". Snuggling closer to the firelight, she began reading and awaiting dawn.
     
  19. Unraveller

    Unraveller <a href="http://photobucket.com" target="_blank"><

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    The shadow behind the tree grew minutely, seeming to swell up of its own volition. Moving almost imperceptably he edged around the bole and looked toward the camp. It ad taken much deliberation not to attack. In an assault they would be overmatched against a man who could make the trees and shadows they relied on for concealment explode at will. Besides, who knew what sort of invisible snares he may have set, particularly if he was expecting pursuit from the remaining guardsmen at the manor. They had made their way around the camp in a wide arc until they were ahead of them, they could travel faster through this terrain than two men leading three horses and watching over a captive. Perhaps the coming day would present an opportunity for an ambush, a bolt through the throat would silence anyone. Watching a badger snuffle its way toward the campsite he thought of sending the animals in, they could easily steal up on the sleeping men and send them into a deeper, more still slumber but something prevented him. It made him pause and analyse the thought. He had thought himself past sentimentality, the lives of his companions were worth less than the chance of bringing down one of the Dark One's chief minions. Maybe it was the fact that he could not, would not, send them into harm's way while he sat back and watched. Maybe he feared their failure without his direct leadership and guidance. Whatever the cause, he decided against it.

    Having made his way back to the others they turned and hurried along, the youngster was becoming quite adept and his horse had accepted them as its herd it seemed. The young man's suprise had been complete when he had been shown that a horse would accompany them of its own free will if given the proper care, attention, freedom and love. Granted they were not the most intelligent of animals, but neither were bears. He still glanced at it in wonder as it trotted along at the side of the group, deftly picking its own trail instead of having to be led. He had not noticed the hounds flanking it, persuading it to keep moving whenever it decided to slow or stop. At least it had not tried to bolt. It was having no trouble with the sacking tied around its hooves now, after its initial suprise and stamping it had settled well. Even a lightly-laden horse would have left deep hoof-prints from its iron-shod feet, the sacking allowed it to cross the forest floor with no more sign than the occasional bent or broken branch; and it was good at avoiding those. The firm going was another silver-lining to the oppressive heat.

    It was still hours from full daylight when they reached the road. He decided to set up camp themselves and rest while they could. They had enough of a lead that they would not be caught before they awoke and could yet have continued. But they had no way of knowing what the others would do once they reached the highway. Would they continue on? Follow the road? Which way? They had no choice but to wait for them. Resting where they stood would not be a good idea though, they needed to cross the road and veer off to the left or right a way. The hounds would give ample warning once their quarry arrived. Suddenly, a piercing cry came from above. He looked up and with a flutter of wings Vron settled on his arm. The falcon looked at him haughtily and then bent to peck at the leather. Smiling he pulled some dried meat from a pouch and gave it to him while he considered this development. He had left Vron to watch over the Aielman and aside from one visit to let him know he'd been found had not returned. He realised it had only been a couple of days, so much had happened. That meant the Spearbrother must be close by, he would have to be warned. Just then Los shouldered his leg and gave a low growl. Baijan quickly appeared on the other side, both of them staring at a gap in the trees. Immediately he gave the warning sign and the party merged with their surroundings, Rahyerin only marginally slower than the rest and looking slightly bashful about it, the warning gesture had been the first one he taught him and he had picked up the few he had well, they had not had enough time to go through the myriad of signs and gestures he used to communicate with his friends even once. The horse of course simply stood there, absently cropping grass.

    His sharp eyes could detect nothing for a moment, though he knew there must be something ahead that the dogs did not like. Then he saw it and almost laughed out loud. Only Aes Sedai would think to make a camp invisible and leave a fire burning. The column of smoke seemed to appear about twenty feet up in the air and drifted lazily into the night sky. Waving them in close he gave them their roles in the upcoming drama. The boy tied the horse securely and they dispersed.

    The strongest tree he could find was an oak and one of its massive limbs overhung the edge of the campsite perfectly. Suprisingly nimbly for a man of his size he swarmed up it. Once in place he looked down into the circle of bedrolls from between the leaves of a branch. There were six of them. Three women appeared to be asleep in their blankets, as did one of the men. There was something vaguely familiar about him. The Aielman was crouched by the fire, staring alternately at the sleeping man, the reading woman and the shadowy trees. Luckily for them the necessity of looking into the firelight had effectively night-blinded him; and Aiel were never at their best among trees. He appeared to be in perfect health once more, he was glad that the man had not suffered any lasting damage but saddened that Aes Sedai had gotten a string tied to such a noble and free spirit. He could only hope that none had managed to convince him to accept the Bond yet.

    The sole conscious woman was actively ignoring the crouched warrior scant feet from her, somehow managing to have her nose in the air at the same time as burying it in a book. This would have to be done VERY carefully, the lack of men at the camp spoke volumes about the confidence of these women in their ability to defend themselves. Few women of that bearing travelled with less than a platoon of guards, unless they were skilled wielders of the Power. He took a deep breath, took one final glance to ensure the others were in place, and began.

    "Ho the camp!"

    It was always entertaining to watch people suddenly roused from slumber. They tended to stumble around bleary and confused, trying to free swords from blankets and invariably someone trod in the fire. He was quietly impressed with this group's reaction. Oh, they did panic initially, particularly the sleeping ones, leaping up and staring around wildly. The Aielman had gone very still after veiling himself in a flurry of movement, he ws now crouched, spears in hand, slowly scanning the trees. The women, or Aes Sedai as they now showed themselves quickly formed a ring around the camp, facing outward. They did not, however, cut particularly frightening figures, with hair awry, in their rumpled and bunched shifts and one, an Aiel woman of all things, clad in the Light! He let his gaze linger for a moment, the moonlight shining off the curves of her body and deepening the shadows of the hollows tantalisingly.

    "We mean you no harm, we come to warn you of a danger that approaches. We know that some of you can channel and would prefer to keep things amicable. I would warn you though, not to channel, particularly at me." As he said this he walked into view along the limb. "My friends care very highly for my safety and would respond quite violently to any threat, perceived or otherwise, to my person. We come in good faith and will leave as we came if the Light permits."

    He now recognised the male figure, half raised into a sitting position, clutching the blanket around his form in terror. A form he was suddenly sure was naked.

    "This past night we assaulted a stronghold of the Shadow, that man who lies in your midst is one of the guards. I know not how he came here but would warn you to watch him closely. His master is a Darkfriend, as likely he is too. The one who approaches is far worse. He is one who was in conference with the Darkfriend, who commanded fear and wariness from him and now bears him in tow as a prisoner. He is a man who channels the Power."
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2004
  20. Sorcha

    Sorcha Moderator Staff Member

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    After riding out of the stable, Taryn’s mood slowly declined. No one was very talkative, probably due in part to the heat, and that made the journey incredibly monotonous. When they finally stopped to make camp, Taryn’s legs were unbelievably sore, having never spend an entire day in the saddle before. After attending to her horse, she unrolled her bedroll a safe distance from everyone else. If she started talking in her sleep, she would rather no one overhear and learn her secret. Luckily, it was a warm evening, so it was not necessary to be right next to the fire. Everyone ate dinner rather silently, exhausted from the day’s ride. Or run, in Haeruc’s case, Taryn thought. She had not felt herself since healing the man in the tent. Kelaine had delved her at lunch, but was unable to find any problems. Taryn had convinced herself that it was just exhaustion from the first day of their journey, but now she was not so sure.

    As the party spread out for the night, Taryn retreated to her bedroll and lay there silently looking at the stars, wondering how it had come to this. Deciding it was too hot to sleep in her dress, she stripped down to her shift and braided her hair. I shouldn’t be a part of any of it, and they all know it, she thought morosely. I’m no adventurer or Aes Sedai, soldier or Aiel. I’m just me, with no skills but healing, and what good does that do anyone if I make myself ill every time I use my power? The Aes Sedai can heal just as well, without fainting. What is my place in all this? As if in answer to her question, her next thought was of the other side of her power, the destructive element. How can people kill like that, and not seem to be affected by it? I will never be a fighter. Shuddering, and turning her back to the fire, she realized it would be some time until she found where she fit into the group and until then, she perceived she would be rather alone.

    *****

    Taryn did not even remember falling asleep but she awoke when a cry of “Ho the camp!” echoed in the night air. Sitting bolt upright and wide awake, she looked around for the source of the shout and clutched her blanket to herself, her eyes taking in Koriandre, Kelaine, and Maera forming a circle around the camp, presumably trying to protect the camp. Haeruc had veiled himself and was at the ready.

    "We mean you no harm, we come to warn you of a danger that approaches” said a voice from the darkness. “We know that some of you can channel and would prefer to keep things amicable. I would warn you though, not to channel, particularly at me." A huge shadow, that appeared for all the world to be a bear, walked along the limb of a tree. Squinting, Taryn thought she could make out human features. "My friends care very highly for my safety and would respond quite violently to any threat, perceived or otherwise, to my person. We come in good faith and will leave as we came if the Light permits. This past night we assaulted a stronghold of the Shadow, that man who lies in your midst is one of the guards. I know not how he came here but would warn you to watch him closely. His master is a Darkfriend, as likely he is too. The one who approaches is far worse. He is one who was in conference with the Darkfriend, who commanded fear and wariness from him and now bears him in tow as a prisoner. He is a man who channels the Power." Taryn’s mouth fell open in surprise and she was rendered speechless, hoping the shadow man would not notice her and wanting desperately to be anywhere but in that camp.
     
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