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. Elan Morin Tedronai

    Elan Morin Tedronai The Forsaken

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    Ahsdale awoke covered in a slick sweat that made his shirt cling to his chest. The long, black hair that covered his right eye was drenched and dripping from the sweat. Another dream had destroyed any hope of sleep for this night. Daranbar had told him that his eyes looked darker, and strained. He had not slept for some time.

    He arose from his bedroll and gathered his dark cloak and his weapons. Daranbar was asleep by the small fire, he had drunk far to much wine and was asleep quite deeply when Ahsdale roused him to wakefullness. "What's wrong, Ahsdale ?" asked Daran sleepily, "Im heading out for awhile, i cant sleep so ill use the time to scout ahead. I need you to drop the wards for awhile."

    "It is done," replied Daran, who would wait an hour or so before putting the wards back up. Ahsdale unsheated his sword, and checked the edge of the blade to see if it needed sharpening. Ofcourse it did not, this blade was made with the Power, but old habits died hard. After his equipment was checked he headed out into the dark forest, the stars were the only lights out here and most of them were dimmed by the canopy. The forest seemed to be dead, nothing moved except him - and he did not make a sound. After a few hours scouting, he saw a dark shape jumping from one tree to another. It was quick, almost too quick to see in the dark, but Ahsdale saw it. It was man sized, but....there was something odd about it. He looked around him to see if he was in an ambush, but nothing stirred around him. He looked back up at the tree but whatever had been there was gone. Ahsdale drew out his bow and after nocking an arrow, crept stealthily into the heart of the forest...


    * * *

    The hours crept on and although it was still dark, dawn would break in a matter of hours. Nothing was out here, there journey through this forest would be uneventful. He turned to go back to their camp, likely Daran wanted an early start. As he turned a dark shape fell down from the canopy and landed in front of him. Ahsdale's bow shot up, aiming squarely at the man's face - if man it was, it looked like some sort of woodland bear.

    "I wouldn't do that if I were you. Even if you truly are one of the Forsaken, a slashed throat would still kill you."

    Ahsdale's thoughts raced. He knew from the man's words that others were around. He could sense them getting closer. But why did this man think he was of the Forsaken ?

    "I don't know who you are, or why you think I'm one of the Forsaken, but if you move an inch I will kill you were you stand."

    He thought he saw a small smirk appear on the man's lips when he said that.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2004
  2. Nynaeve

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

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    Maera barely held back a groan as she dismounted her horse, whom she had named Eve. As much as she hated riding, she loved her horse. She was a tall, sweet gray mare, who handled Maera's inexperience very well. As much as she liked her, she would much rather be walking with Haeruc. She would not show the Aes Sedai any weakness though, she would learn if it killed her, Maera thought as she carefully walked to the camp. It almost made her admire these wetlanders, riding horses so easily. But she remembered that she was an Aiel Wise One, and that in any other circumstances, she would never be doing any of this. She had her pride, she would learn, but she would always remember that Aiel ways were better.

    After Maera took care of Eve and helped set up the camp and ate, she collapsed on her blankets, taking off her clothes and getting ready for bed first. If anything happened, she would be comfortable and ready to fight. Finally able to relax, she thought over the events of the day. She had a chance to talk a little with Kelaine about healing weaves. It was hard to learn to do them without seeing them, but it made sense not to do any unnecessary channeling where they were. They had plenty of time to talk about it, she would learn it all in time.

    Glancing over where Taryn slept, isolated from everyone, she began to think about how she had acted during the day. Maera was concerned about her. She seemed very quiet and tired, and worried as well. She hoped it had nothing to do with that odd feeling when she healed her. That thought popped into her head often the whole day. She hoped she had not caused Taryn any harm. Tomorrow she would talk to her and try to see what was wrong.

    Marea awoke quickly and quietly, careful not to move. Someone was moving in the camp. She watched as Kori led a naked man into camp and got him settled. She did not think she would ever understand these odd wetlanders. Lulled by the warmth of the fire she dozed while Kori read her book, only to be awakened once more. Something was sneaking around the camp. Maera slipped out of her blankets and crept over to Kori to try to warn her.

    Before she made it to her, a voice broke the quiet night. "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."

    "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 6, 2004
  3. Nienor

    Nienor Administrator Staff Member

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    The Aes Sedai bolted up sharply from her book when she heard the man call out. Heedless of the delicate book, she tossed it to the ground as she stood up. Glancing up into the trees, she could barely make out a dark man standing on a limb. Inwardly Kori cursed herself, she had forgotten to reset the one ward after it was tripped by Haeruc. That ward would have alerted her when the man has been a safer distance away. She was somewhat shocked that he had found them despite the ward that made them nearly invisible.

    Instinct took over once the sanctity of their camp was breached. The four women instantly formed a circle with their backs to each other around the fire for safety. At the very least, nobody could be attacked from behind. Rolling her eyes inwardly, she was sure four women in their shifts made an formidable sight. But if the man didn't know they were Aes Sedai, he could be easily taken care of. Out of the corner of her eye, Kori happened to notice Maera's attire. The woman wasn't even wearing a shift! Hopefully that would distract the invader long enough to subdue him.

    Stifling an impending yawn, Kori barely managed to keep herself from reaching into her pack for a dagger. It wouldn't have inspired any confidence in her from the other women. An Aes Sedai who could channel the one power would look ridiculous defending herself with a jeweled dagger. She was about to demand what the man wanted while he was a safe distance away when the man told them an intriguing story about a male channeler being nearby.

    The whole concept of finding a male channeler nearby while looking for her own seemed too much to fathom. How were they to shield this man and bring him to Salidar while looking for her warder. If he had practiced his channeling for any period of time, it could take her, Kelaine and Maera all their strength to keep him shielded on the way back. Doing her best not to panic, Kori thought perhaps the man was mistaken. Often people assumed every event was due to Aes Sedai witchcraft when no Aes Sedai were even present. Maybe he was misinterpreting an event as channeling.

    Kori was about ready to ask him questions when the strange visitor disappeared out of sight. Intent on asking him more questions, she started running off in the direction that he came from. Remembering the man they had found earlier, she turned toward where Haeruc was crouching. Calling out she said, "Keep our guest occupied. I wouldn't want him to leave before we can chat." From the pleased look on the Aiel's face, Kori could assume the other man wouldn't be leaving anytime soon.

    Trodding off into the woods, Kori looked about hoping to catch sight of the man and ask him more questions. But in the trees she could see nothing but shadows and a few owls. Slightly disappointed, she turned back towards the camp. Lost in thought, Kori stepped on a shark rock. The Aes Sedai wondered why she hadn't atleast remembered to put something on her feet tonight. Wandering about the woods clad only in a shift wasn't the wisest idea. She was about to admit defeat and walk back when a some rustling noises emitted from nearby bushes.

    Stealthily she hid behind one of the larger shrubs hoping it was the man she wished to talk to. Almost instantly a dark haired man walked by. Despite the lack of light she could tell it wasn't the same man, this one was shorter and not very quiet at all. He was walking aroudn with an arrow notched and carrying a large sword on his hip. 'To protect himself from the squirrels," she mused. Holding Saidar, Kori hid herself slightly, waiting for the man to come closer.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2004
  4. Crusader

    Crusader Disturber of the Peace

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    After the newcomer had left and the woman had gone after him, Haeruc looked over to where their new guest had been laying, slowly he was edging his way to the edge of the camp. Disappearing into the brush, Haeruc cricled round and before the man knew it he was on the ground with a foot planted squarely between his shoulderblades.

    The man writhed uselessly against the weight of the taller man, and with a few bits of leather, Haeruc bound him like a pig. To add to the similarities he unsheathed his long knife and pressed it to the mand throat, instantly ceasing the squirming. "Shadowrunners are killed without mercy in the threefold-land, be pleased that the others wish to.........chat first." Frozen as a rock and bound, Haeruc left the prisoner and wandered into the trees.

    For some reason the voice of the stranger who had come was familiar, like some long distant dream, he couldnt remember where he had heard it but he was sure the man was sincere. Which meant there was real danger about, in all likelihood the shadowsouled were afoot nearby, and however brave the woman was, it was idiotic to face them alone.

    If the shadowsouled are here Haruc though with a smile, then maybe I can meet my toh tonight.
     
  5. Elan Morin Tedronai

    Elan Morin Tedronai The Forsaken

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    "Put down your bow, it is useless here" said the man slowly. Ahsdale kept his bow raised, standing defiantly. He had killed many times before, and it would not keep him awake at night if he had to do it again now. However, he knew he could not hold a drawn bow for much longer. He could feel the sweat buidling on his forehead. How would this end ?

    At that moment, a noise to Ahsdale's left awoke him from his musings and he instinctivly loosed his arrow at the noise. With a loud clang it hit a boulder and fell to the ground, a small, barely audible squek coming from the shrubbery behind it. Ahsdale quickly dropped his bow and drew out his heron-mark blade just in time to block the incoming blow of the bear-man. He had what seemed like sharp, jagged claws protruding from his wrists, and he swung them with deadly accuracy. Ahsdale nearly took blows several times, and was kept on the defensive as the man's onslaught continued. Swinging under the man's strike and spinning behind him, he yelled "Stay your hand, I do not wish to fight you." In a show of peace, he resheated his sword and raised his hands. "Light, this is nonsense."

    "It was you who shot at my companion, Los, although it seems that another was also there...." The bear-man said as he looked to his right. Both men turned to see a woman emerge from the shrubbery Ahsdale had shot at. In the dark of night, the stars were the only illumination and they did not offer much of it under the dark canopy of the forest. He could not tell much about her, but in the midst of this small battle, the fact she had not run was an oddity.

    Pulling out his sword, Ahsdale yelled out to the bear-man, "What is this ? How many are out there ?" Spinning slowly with his blade held in front, Ahsdale quickly scanned the area : the ground, the treetops. Nothing. "Put it away boy," said the bear-man, "this woman is an....acquantence of mine. She is an Aes Sedai."

    The words pounded on the inside of his skull. He had searched for what seemed like an eternity to find an Aes Sedai, the only one he had ever encounted was as black-hearted as the Dark One. She was of the Black Ajah, and he had killed her, and her Warder. Ahsdale looked down at his drawn blade. The blade that once belonged to that man. Ahsdale could not find the words to speak, his search was over. He had found an Aes Sedai.
     
  6. Nienor

    Nienor Administrator Staff Member

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    Hiding in the prickly bushes, Kori was tempted to push some of the branches aside to get more comfortable. But she was concerned it might tip off the man she was observing. She wishes to observe him closely for a few moments before deciding how to deal with him. The man could be the channeler they were warned about. Watching him for a moment, she became fairly sure he wasn't though. No channeler would need to hold a weapon so closely to himself. As Kori knew, a channeler was a weapon. If she wasn't bound by the oaths, she could use flows of air and spirit to make that man's head explode.

    From her hidden spot, Kori watched in amazement as the man who had invaded their camp earlier encountered the darkfriend. She ignored the temptation to immediately bind the darkfriend with bonds of air, wishing to see how the situation would play itself out first. Maybe she wouldn't even have to concern herself with the darkfriend. When a slight noise was heard off in the wood, the man accidently loosed his arrow shooting it off into the bushes. Kor couldn't help but squeal when the arrow grazed her slightly. Looking at her thigh, she noticed it barely left more than a large scratch.

    Since the wound was minor, Kori would be easily able to ignore it til the events were over. Jumping out of the bushes, she narrowly missed a confrontation between the darkfriend and bear-man. The darkfriend almost immediately raised a sword on her questioning, the other man about how many more there were. When the bear man called her Aes Sedai, Kori's jaw dropped. How could the man know she was? She had not channeled recently, she was only holding saidar at the moment. She guessed the man knew by the lack of guards in the camp. Who else but Aes Sedai would be confident enough to defend their own camp in nothing but shifts.

    Neither confirming nor denying the comment, she ignored the bear-man and rounded in on the darkfriend. "How dare you threaten me with a weapon, but that sword down instantly before I do it myself." When the man did not instantly comply, Kori wove small flows of air and knocked the sword right out of his hands to the ground. "Do not attempt to pick that sword up, Darkfriend." she menaced. "I will not have a sword drawn on me." Waiting to see if the bear-man reacted, she glanced over to see him do nothing to protect the other man. Taking it as a sign of approval, she continued.

    Taking two more flows of air she pushed him backwards against a nearby tree. Not taking any chances, she used the flows of air to bind his hands to the tree above his head. Kori tied off the flows so she didn't have to maintain them. Using a common weave, she magnified her voice slightly and began questioning the darkfriend. "I will assume you do not channel, because by now you would have pitifully attempted to shield me. I have a few questions for you, Darkfriend. To begin, my name is Koriandra Aes Sedai. You will answer all questions properly with 'yes, Aes Sedai', 'no, Aes Sedai' and 'please stop the pain, Aes Sedai'. Understood?"

    Receiving a nod from the man Kori went forward with questioning. Staring at the man's sweaty form she querried, "Who are you. And who are you travelling with? Are you in the company of a man who can channel?"
     
  7. Elan Morin Tedronai

    Elan Morin Tedronai The Forsaken

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    Ahsdale looked around with wide eyes, he always thought that Aes Sedai would be helpful, gentle beings. He was wrong. He looked into the eyes of this Aes Sedai. If he ever got loose he would take her down a peg, and her bear friend aswell. It was obvious they were both in this together. They had ambushed him in the night, and now they were questioning him aswell.

    "You will answer all questions properly with 'yes, Aes Sedai', 'no, Aes Sedai' and 'please stop the pain, Aes Sedai'. Understood?"

    "Who are you. And who are you travelling with? Are you in the company of a man who can channel?"

    Ahsdale couldn't believe it. She knew about Daran ? No, she could not. Perhaps the bear-man had told her, likely she wouldnt be able to figure it out on her own.

    "Why should I answer any of these ? Is it not allowed for a man to travel the woods when he chooses ?" replied Ahsdale.

    "Answer my questions," she repeated, tightening the bonds around his body.

    "I am Ahsdale Nolatari, a swordsman from the Borderlands. I am travelling alone, and we all know men go crazy and die when they channel. I travel alone."

    Ahsdale looked down at his sword, and back at...Koriandra ? Koriandra Sedai she had said. Either way, he was going to skin her alive for this insult. He looked at her again...perhaps not, she was rather....pretty. Still, she would be punished for this insult. In the Borderlands, woman were always put before men. But he was not from the Borderlands anymore, and if someone insulted him, they would get what they deserved.

    "Now, you answer me," started Ahsdale, "do you tie up every man who travels in this area, and why do you call me a Darkfriend ?"
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2004
  8. Nienor

    Nienor Administrator Staff Member

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    "You are in no position to question me, Darkfriend." Kori nearly shouted. "I was told there were two darkfriend in this area, one who can channel and his companion. Since I see no evidence of you channeling, I'll assume you are merely a darkfriend and a liar. Anyone who needs to repeat a fact twice, is obviously lying."

    Turning about Kori stared at the bear-man who was lurking behind her. He didn't make a move to stop her or assist her in questioning Ahsdale. She got the impression he was there more to observe and only intervene if the situation affected him personally. Maybe he felt an Aes Sedai should be able to handle it with no help. With a quick motion, Kori tied off the flows of air that were holding the darkfriend to the tree. "I'll be back for you later, I have other matters to handle. Better hope no ferocious bears eat you while I'm gone."

    With a smirk, the Aes Sedai disappeared into the woods. If the bear-man had planned on hurting Ahsdale he would have done so already, she assumed he'd be safe enough while she hunted out his companion. Turning in the direction she saw the darkfriend come from, Kori figured she could follow his booted footprints well enough to find the camp. Less than half a mile away, she spotted a small campfire. She thought to herself smugly, the man can't be much of a channeler if at all, if he didn't ward himself with invisibility.

    Creeping quietly on her bare feet, Kori hid herself behind a bush about 20 feet away. She thought it was best to prepare herself for any problems by holding Saidar; doing that also allowed her to see in better detail. Letting the ecstacy of saidir wash over her, the Aes Sedai scrutinized the camp from behind the bush. The lack of guards spoke volumes to her. Only those incredibly confident in themselves would have both men in the camp sleeping at the same time. Interestingly, one appeared to be bound in an uncomfortable position. She had been warned of only two men, but Kori wasn't suprised to see another. Darkfriends multiplied like flies. It wouldn't be shocking if one of them was a channeler. Frequently men who could channel Saidin bound themselves to the dark one for protection from the taint.

    Kori was hesitant to move closer to the camp. She couldn't try to shield him from this far away, yet he might have other wards set on the camp. It seemed odd to her that a raccoon nearby made no attempt to go near the fire and steal leftovers that were lying there carelessly. Bending down she grabbed a small stick and waited for the creature to come closer to her. Fortunately for her, the raccoon seemed to find something on her interesting and came closer. Kori kept completely still and tried to figure out what it wanted. A thought came to her, they liked to collect shiny things sometimes, the raccoon must be interested in the moonlight glinting off her earring.

    Grinning, Kori took off one of her gold and peridot earrings. She was incredibly fond of them, but fairly sure she could retrieve it later. Holding it high above her head, she further attracted the animal's interest. This one seemed completely unfraid of humans, probably used to scavenging at campfires. Kori held her breath and threw the earring directly into the camp. True to his nature, the little raccoon went scurrying behind it, thoughtless of whatever he was wary about before.

    Unfortunately, the Aes Sedai instantly regretted taunting the hapless creature into venturing closer. Both it and she were shocked by what appeared to be fireworks flying in the sky. Kori had once or twice seen a display in Tar Valon during festivities, but this was even more impressive. The noise of course immediately caused the man sleeping closest to the fire to wake with a start. Hoping to avoid detection, Kori huddled down almost inside the bush.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2004
  9. Turin

    Turin Valar Morghulis

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    Daranbar woke with a start as one of the wards exploded and he reflexively grasped Saidin. As the power surged through his body he bounded to his feet and stepped into his boots. He briefly thought to grab his shirt and coat but dismissed the thought quickly. Sprinting toward the edge of the clearing he let his power enhanced senses scour the area, searching for a sound or a shifting on the shadows that might give him some idea of what had entered the warded area. As he crouched behind a tree he heard various noises, mostly those that were natural to the forest, animals scurrying away from the dazzling display, the rustle of the trees dried leaves. Knowing which ward had been activated gave the Asha’man a good idea of where to look, and he soon spotted a human form trying to hide beneath a mangy bush. His first thought was to call out, assuming that it was Ahsdale returning from his late night stroll. but again he contradicted himself, knowing that his companion would have announced himself, and that he would have no reason to hide.

    Daran wrapped himself in a shield of air, as his M’Hael had taught them all to do very early in their training, the shield had been intended to prevent shrapnel from injuring the Asha’man while they experimented with making rocks explode, but they had proven useful as a defense against most other weapons as well. Filling himself with as much of the power as he could muster, Daran bolted from behind the tree and sprinted toward the bush, already forming the weaves that would bind the intruder. Still wrapped in shadow, Daranbar had no idea of who or what he was approaching as he slapped his bindings into place around the cowering form. As the bonds constricted he heard a squeal from his target . . . a feminine squeal. Then he felt the tell tale tingle running down his arms. Though he’d never had an encounter with a woman who could channel, Mazrim Taim had instructed them all in how to sense when Saidar was being used around them.

    As he felt the force of Saidar pressing against him, he knew that whoever this woman was, she was trying to shield him from the power. Though he’d never shielded a woman before, he knew enough to realize that it was not totally different from shielding a man. He formed his weaves quickly and moved them into place, he felt at first as if he were trying to force together a blacksmiths puzzle that was poorly made, but after struggling for a moment he felt the shield slip into place. The shocked sigh that issued from the woman’s mouth was proof to him that it had worked as planned.

    Striding around the other side of the bush, Daran grabbed a fist full of the woman’s clothing and pulled her to her feet. He realized that the woman was bare foot, and wearing nothing but a shift. He made a fist in the fabric on her shoulder and drug her stumbling form back into the camp, nearly pulling the garment over her head in the process, and reset the ward behind him to insure that no one else would enter the camp without his knowing.

    Back by the fire Daran allowed the woman to remain standing while he took a moment to inspect her. She was an attractive woman, made more appealing by the fact that her shift was still bunched up in a few revealing places. She glared at him with hatred in her eyes as she stood defiantly before him, red faced and panting. He had to marvel at her ability to remain calm through the ordeal, though he could see through her tough façade enough to know that underneath she was frightened nearly to death. One thing the Asha’man found odd was that she lacked the great serpent ring that marked a woman as Aes Sedai; he supposed though, that being in white cloak country, she might have chosen to remove in for a time.

    After inspecting her for a few moments Daranbar tugged gently at the hem of her shift, pulling it back into place in an attempt to preserve the woman’s modesty. He had no love for the witches, he’d never deny that, but he certainly didn’t want to treat her like some tavern wench, especially after the Lord Dragon had given specific instructions not to harm an Aes Sedai if avoidable.

    “Can I help you with something?” He asked, still circling the woman. “Or were you merely enjoying the view of a half naked man sleeping in the forest?” Judging by the look that crossed her face, Daran knew that his comment did not sit well with the witch.
     
  10. Unraveller

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

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    It had taken all of his skill to maintain his composure as the girl had flailed around, alternating between interrogation styles like quicksilver and not even giving the man a chance to answer between questions. There were many ways to go about a thing but the overriding rule was that you went one way and one only. There are always two ways around a lake, he had been taught once, try to go both and you end up flaining around in icy water and getting nowhere. The urge to chuckle or pat her on the head was still with him as she stalked off between the trees like a cat with its back up. Off to Shayol Ghul to challenge the Dark One. Perhaps a runaway Accepted still pretending to be Aes Sedai, not long to the shawl if it was hers by rights at the least, a miracle she had gained it if that was the measure of her talents. But it had been years since he had encountered a Sister, perhaps they had softened. Turning slightly he eyed the man sideways. Pulling out his pipe he slowly filled it, taking care to tamp it properly, and took out his tinderbox. Once he had it lit to his satisfaction he sat on a tussock near the man and gazed off into the trees. In a low, calm voice he spoke.

    "I do not hold with torture. It may be a method by which one can extract information but one can also set fire to one's house to warm oneself. No, I will ask you once and only once. Speak falsely or speak not and you will die, as painlessly as possible under the circumstances, but die you will. I offer no second chances, no stays of execution, so choose your words carefully.
    You keep dangerous company, company that interests me. I apologise for your restricted circumstances, it was none of my doing and is not my way but I can do nothing to ease you. Now that that young chit of a girl is gone you may tell me freely what you will. I will express an interest in your companions, the black coated one in particular, your reasons for travelling with them and your reasons for leaving them but ask you no leading questions. I will warn you too that I will know the moment you speak a lie. You may refrain from speaking if you will and go into the Mother's Last Embrace as honourably as she will receive you for I will not force you to speak. This is, however, your trial and the penalty you face is death. You stand accused as a Darkfriend. How plead you?"
     
  11. Nienor

    Nienor Administrator Staff Member

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    As a long moment passed, Kori considered the bush may not be the best place to hide. The man didn't seem convinced only an animal had set off the ward. She could hear him pacing about his rough campsite looking for the intruder. Inwardly cursing herself for setting off the ward, Kori wished she had ran away the moment it set off. The loud noises and flares would have given her enough protection to make it further into the woods. But running through the dark most likely would have resulted in her tripping over some debris and harming herself. Since she hadn't ran when she had a brief opportunity, Kori realized her best protection was hiding herself as low as possible and keeping a firm grip in Saidar. Perhaps she could shield him when he came closer.

    Huddled as close to herself as she thought possible, Kori heard the man come her way. For a moment she heard him stop. Maybe he'll go off in another direction, she thought. The Aes Sedai hadn't left any obvious traces of her being there since she was walking around in bare feet. Holding her breath, Kori didn't dare turn around to see how close the man was. That might make the bushes rustle. But she would need to make a decision to either run or launch some sort of defensive measures against the man.

    About ready to spring into action and bind the man with air, Kori was shocked beyond measure when she found herself bound and unable to user her arms. Not able to procrastinate on defending herself any longer, the Aes Sedai immediately began the weave to shield the man. Entwining intricate flows of air, spirit and earth, Kori twisted herself about the settle the flows on him and block him from the source. Once he was safely shielded the bindings on her would disappear. As an accepted, she had frequently practiced shielding others and being shielded herself. Her strength had made it difficult for other Accepted to shield her easily.

    Kori had the shield nearly in place when the man began to fight back. No one had ever told her male channelers would necessarily be able to fight back. Supposedly they were all untrained, therefore having poor if any control over their powers. Perhaps the actual intricacies of shielding men was something only the Red Ajah knew. It was not the Green's business to shield and gentle men. Therefore after becoming Aes Sedai, the topic was rarely discussed in her ajah. If she ever got back to the Tower, Kori swore she would spend time learning about everything she could. Leaving the safety of numbers of Aes Sedai made her realize her knowlege was sorely lacking.

    Too quickly, Kori realized no matter how hard she tried, she would not be able to shield this man. Instead without much effort, he forced a shield on her, effectively cutting her off from Saidir. It was an odd feeling. She could sense Saidar just out of her reach, but couldn't grasp it. Sighing quietly, now she knew how some Novices felt when they had trouble learning to channel. It was an exasperating feeling.

    Suddenly, the man grabbed her by her shift and dragged her bare feet over rocks to a spot nearer the fire. Kori longed to be able to cry and make the man leave her alone, but an Aes Sedai never showed anything but perfect calm unless she was near death. Staring hard at him, she displayed no emotion even though she was mortified her bunched shift was revealing more than it concealed. To make matters worse, the man observed her as if she were a prized mare he wished to buy. Kori was just waiting for him to open her mouth and examine her teeth. In what she supposed was a chivalrous gesture, he straightened her disheveled shift until it fell into place.

    Before Kori got to say a word, the man immediately started with accusations, "“Can I help you with something? Or were you merely enjoying the view of a half naked man sleeping in the forest?"

    Not willing to admit any sort of defeat, Kori's gaze swept up and down the man in a judgemental manner, "I was just curious how two men could allow themselves to sleep so peacefully in hostile times. I found my reason, channeler." Tossing her head, Kori wished her hands were free so she could push the stray hairs out of her face. Yesterday's neat braid was rapidly becoming a disaster. She obtained a measure of satisfaction from watching the man's eye's widen when she called him 'channeler'. He had probably thought his secret was safe.

    After she spoke, the channeler walked closer to her, with a look on his face that he was going to give her an ill-afforded piece of his mind. At this point, Kori's methods of retribution were limited, but being the youngest of a large family, she had many resources. Soon as the man was close to her, Kori innocently stuck out one foot in his way. Intent on questioning her, he did not notice a small foot obstructing his path. With a swift and easy motion, Kori had the man trip over her leg and fall flat on his face onto the hard ground.

    The resulting fall made the man lying nearby nearly bolt upright despite his bonds. As it was he rolled over onto his side, making a vain attempt to escape. Kori was unable to resist a smirk from the man's discomfort and embarassment of falling. She still wore a satisfied expression on her facewhen he stood up. Her satisfaction faded rapidly when she saw the anger in his eyes. Taking several steps back, Kori wondered how fast she could run through the woods with her hands bound. Not caring, she took off as quickly as her legs allowed.
     
  12. Turin

    Turin Valar Morghulis

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    As Daranbar got back to his feet, his dignity in the dirt, he smiled as the Aes Sedai turned and started to run off. She hadn’t gone five or six steps before Daran caught up to her, grasping her again by the shoulder and hauling her towards Urayio. A swift kick to the back of her heel, and a pull on her shoulder and the woman thumped down on her rear next to the Dark friend.

    As he weaved flows of air binding the two of them together, Daran crouched down next to the woman. “Do you enjoy being tied up with a Dark friend? Personally, I think it would make me feel dirty.”

    “Release me!” She shouted. Daran let a sheepish grin spread across his face; the sight of her composure melting was priceless.

    “Release you? Yes, perhaps I’ll remove my shield as well so you can gentle me, eh?”

    Daran stood and began pacing, a hundred thoughts running through his mind. ‘How many more are out there?’ ‘What has become of Ahsdale?’ ‘How did she find me?’ . . . .

    “Bloody witches!” He cursed. “I tried to be civil, but you had to go and try to run off!” Bringing his anger back under control Daran crouched back down next to the woman. “How many more witches are out there? And where is my companion?”

    She sniffed at his questioned and arrogantly turned her head away from his glare. Daran shook his head at her foolishness and began to form a simple weave. The Aes Sedai’s head whipped around and she let out a squeal when his weave snapped shut, giving her a sharp pinch on the rear.

    “I am an Asha’man, if you’re curious. I serve the Lord Dragon, and I am trained for once purpose . . . battle.” Daran smiled again at the look that crossed her face. “I assure you that I will be able to find a way to make you tell me of my companion. Would you prefer to make this easier?”
     
  13. Crusader

    Crusader Disturber of the Peace

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    It hadnt taken long to find the only other nearby campsite in the night, after a few minutes of searching Haeruc had spotted the firelight in the distance.

    Drawing the black cloth of his veil to his face, covering all but his eyes, Haeruc crept low as he stalked towards the light. With his bow in hand and an arrow knocked he was ready to face whatever he could in the night. With his soft boots making no sound and the cadin'sor blending into the night, he may just be able to fight the shadowsouled, If they did not see him coming.

    As he crept closer he could just make out the Aes Sedai being picked up by a strange half clothed man, what followed seemed to be talking and several attempts by the woman to escape, evidently she was being held captive, and as no bounds were present, the man must be using his power. After a short while they moved closer to the flame, it was then that Haeruc saw the other bound figure beside the fire on the other side of the two. He was not imporrtand for now.

    Drawing the arrow he had knocked, Haeruc began slowly stalking forward again to gain the best possible aim on the mans heart without hitting the one he owed his Toh to, killing her would not be the most helpful way to end his obligations, despite how much she irritated him. Stepping one foot infornt of the other, honing in on his target, becoming one with the bow, everything became one smooth motion. It was only when his foot touched the ground that everything happened at once.

    Immediately bright colours and sounds flashed in the sky, echoing everwhere. Haeruc's concentration broke as the arrow was loosed without aim in the direction of the others. Taking hold of his thoughts, Haeruc checked who he had maimed. The Aes Sedai has fallen to the ground unhurt, luckily the arrow had only lodged itself in the thigh of the one tied up by the fire, Haeruc did not have to be close to know it was only embedded in the meat of the leg, and he would recover. What did concern him was the other, the one who could be shadowsouled. He was nowhere to be seen, had he falled down somehwere out of sight? behind a tree perhaps? or was he circling round to find and fight.

    Putting his bow back behind his back, Haeruc removed his buckler and a spear, and stalked low in the brush. All his life learning to stalk enemies in land where you could see another man a mile away, this was easier than breathing.
     
  14. Nienor

    Nienor Administrator Staff Member

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    Running off hadn't been the best plan. Koriandre barely made it out of the campsite, before the man took two large steps and caught her by the shoulder. Callously, he kicked her bare foot with his booted one and pushed her down to the ground, next to the bound man. Kori could feel her bindings alter, making her unable to leave the spot next to the other man. He taunted her, “Do you enjoy being tied up with a Dark friend? Personally, I think it would make me feel dirty.”

    Filled with rage, Kori was yet cautious and kept her dark thoughts to herself. 'Being near a filthy man channeling tainted Saidin is far worse.' She had enough of being treated like a servant he would abuse. Drawing herself up as straight as possible, she commanded, "Release me." He needed to be reminded she was Aes Sedai and not to be taken lightly. In response he scoffed at her; asking if she would like the shield removed. Kori was amazed he'd lived this long not knowing common manners. A matter she would correct soon as possible.

    Lost in his personal thoughts, the man began pacing like a caged animal. Observing him, Kori noted he was barely keeping the inevitable madness at bay. He seemed to be arguing with himself while pacing. That was never a good sign. With some amusement, she hoped he didn't lose whatever argument he was having with himself. Somewhat under control, she turned towards her and began lashing out with questions, "I tried to be civil, but you had to go and try to run off! How many more witches are out there? And where is my companion?”

    'He was being, civil?' she thought to herself. Civil people do not bind someone then expect them not to attempt escape. She was behaving in a reasonable manner, he was not. He called Aes Sedai witches? The man had some nerve! Once Kelaine and Maera noticed she was gone too long, they would follow her. Between the three of the she would show him what witches were capable of. Kori began thinking of possible ways to torture the man. Wishing for him to leave her alone for now, she turned her face away. With typical brutish male attitude, he pinched her with a weave, bringing her attention and anger back towards him. The man identified himself as an Asha'man. What kind of guardian treated a person so? The chilling thought about that title was that the male channelers had united themselves into an organization. Letting that happen could destroy the world!

    With even more arrogance than he exhibited before, the Asha'man demanded information about his companion and dared to ask if she wanted to do the easy way. With a smirk she counted, "Yes, I would like to make this easier. You release my shield and bonds, then we can talk like equals. That will make things much easier. Maybe then we can discuss the fact you do not call Aes Sedai, witches."

    Koriandre was about to taunt him with the fact his friend was bound to a tree in the woods, when something else set off that ridiculous ward of his. The fireworks had not even finished when an arrow lodged itself in the man's thigh. Not knowing who was attacking the camp, Kori flung herself on the ground the best she could, keeping herself from being a target.
     
  15. doleniel

    doleniel Elven High Priestess

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    Kelaine eventually fell asleep again staring at the fire, but her sleep was restless and dream filled. Still, it seemed like no time at all before she was startled awake by a cry of "Ho, the camp!" Jumpy, she darted up and instinctively joined the outward facing circle the other three women were forming. The figure who had awaked them began to spout something about darkfriends, and for the first time she noticed the man that had been brought into the camp. Almost as soon as he had appeared, the stranger disappeared. Seeming to forget that she still wore only her shift, Kori ran off, calling behind her: "Keep our guest occupied. I wouldn't want him to leave before we can chat."

    Beginning to wake up more, Kelaine thought to herself, "I think I will let Kori deal with this. She needs practice". Suddenly, she noticed that Haeruc was binding the darkfriend, who had tried to escape while Kori was away. After a moment of quiet talking, he stalked off into the trees after Kori. Just to be sure, Kelaine reenforced the leather ties with bonds of air and used it to fasten him securely to a nearby tree. Finishing that, she took a clean shift to change into and she went into the woods at the edge of the camp to relieve herself. After returning, she put on the ochre riding dress and began to dust off and roll her shift and the pale dress she had worn the day before. Busying herself until Kori returned, she began to clean away all that was no longer necessary, retreiving Kori's book from where she had flung it earlier, and began to make a simple breakfast. It was not long before, off in the distance, there was a great noise and, above the trees, elaborate fireworks could be seen. Sighing with annoyance at not being able to eat before dealing with problems, she handed the pan she was cooking some sausages in to Taryn.

    "Stay here, Taryn. I do not think there is anything you can do in this case." Kelaine went to her saddlebags and took out one of the carved objects, this one a hand sized turtle carved of what looked like jade but was harder than steel. She handed it to Maera. Taking a third, this one shaped like a sleeping cat, she put it in her secret pocket along with the small shell shaped one she had pocketed the day before. As she did so, The fireworks appeared again. "Fool woman" she thought. "Or possible fool Aiel". Speaking again, she turned to Maera. "You may come with me or stay here as you wish, it does not matter to me. Taryn, I will set a barrier around the camp so that no one may enter."

    With this, she walked off into the woods towards the fireworks, setting a shield about herself so that nothing, physical or power-wraught, could reach her or cut her off from the source. It was not long before she reached the camp, which was in a state of pandemonium, no doubt due to Hearuc, who, judging from the arrow in one man's leg, was no doubt somewhere nearby. Kori sat on the ground, bound to someone else and shielded. "Ah," she thought, "so it is both of them together that have made a mess of things." Amplifying her voice and making her self larger, she spoke angrily. "Stop this foolishness at once, Haeruc, wherever you are." Turning to the angry looking man, undoubtedly a channeler, in the camp she spoke again, coolly. "I demand to know why you have bound and shielded my companion!" Crossing her arms and glaring, she waited for the man to respond.
     
  16. Sorcha

    Sorcha Moderator Staff Member

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    After Koriandre went chasing after the bear-man, Haeruc bound the prisoner and followed. Taryn was a bit lost as to what exactly she was supposed to be doing, but as Kelaine and Maera were just going back about their business, Taryn went back to her pack and bedroll, and pulled out one of her dresses. Hoping that no one had noticed her scar, she pulled the dress over her head, and tugged the collar up high. She made her way back toward the center of camp and sank down next to the fire. Sleep was a distant notion now, for worry clouded her mind. To her, it looked incredibly foolish that one woman would go off alone with no one to watch her back, Aes Sedai or no. Kelaine came back into camp and began to make sausages for breakfast, while Taryn unbraided her hair and tied it back again.

    Suddenly, there were noises in the distance, and bright colors in the sky. Kelaine sighed exasperatedly and handed the sausage frying pan to Taryn.

    "Stay here, Taryn. I do not think there is anything you can do in this case," Kelaine said matter-of-factly. She retrieved some figurines from her saddlebags and handed one to Maera. Colors exploded in the sky once again.

    "You may come with me or stay here as you wish, it does not matter to me,” Kelaine said to the Aiel, who was obviously itching for a fight.

    “Taryn, I will set a barrier around the camp so that no one may enter." With that, the Aes Sedai traipsed off into the brush in the direction of the source of the lights, Maera close behind. Before they got too far out of range, Taryn lowered her shields and transferred a bit of her energy to both. They will need this more than me. And I have food to eat anyway, she thought.

    She held the sausage pan over the fire for a bit longer, making sure they were fully cooked. After they were done, she placed them at the edge of the fire to keep warm and took one for herself, eating very quickly. When she finished, she added another piece of wood to the fire, sat back and thought about the occurrences of this night.

    Stay here, Taryn. I do not think there is anything you can do, Kelaine had said.

    There is always something to do, there must be some way to contribute. Damn my weakness! She thought bitterly. If only I were strong like Maera or I could channel, then I could help. But as it is, all I can do is cook the food. Thoughts of her talent popped into her mind, but she dismissed them just as quickly. The Aes Sedai can do the same. They do not need me at all.

    All alone, save the prisoner, Taryn put her head on her knees and wept, for what she used to be and for what she had become.
     
  17. Turin

    Turin Valar Morghulis

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    ‘Light, they’re everywhere!’ Daranbar thought as the second Aes Sedai walked into the camp from the shadows of the forest. No doubt that had been a Warder who attacked a moment before. The absurdity of this woman’s actions and demands, as well as the arrogance of the one he’d already bound was frustrating. Silently Daran promised himself that he would not be captured alive for these witches to gentle. If they wanted a fight then they had come to the right man.

    The moment after the second woman entered the camp; Daranbar opened a small door in the air. The act was second nature to him at this point, and it took but a thought to create the portal. Not more than a hundred yards away, Daran stepped out of the doorway and into the forest, letting his weave go behind him. He’d appeared behind the Aes Sedai, back the way she’d come. From this vantage, looking from the shadows toward the light of the fire, Daran’s power enhanced vision was serving him well. In moments he caught a slight movement in the trees before him. 'The Warder' He thought. Looking away from the flickering light would put the other man at a disadvantage, and the Asha’Man felt certain that he’d not been seen. None the less, the Warder stealthy enough to remain hidden, and Daran couldn’t see him well enough for one of his finer weaves to be effective. Earth and Spirit woven together brought a series of small explosions on the ground in the area where Daranbar had seen the movement a moment before. The element of surprise worked in his favor when he saw the man leap from the brush in an attempt to escape the destruction. It was then that he caught sight of the half naked man he’d been hunting. With a short spear in one hand, and a small buckler in the other the veiled man charged. As Daran’s air woven cudgel came crashing down on the man’s head, he noticed that this was no Warder after all, not unless the Aes Sedai had begun bonding Aiel. Daran was surprised to see the man still standing after the blow, though he was notably dazed, with a trickle of blood running down from his hair line. Through blurry eyes, the Aielman snarled and started forward again. Daran’s next blow caught the man in the chest, heaving him through the air, Daran diligently followed the man’s flight, one at a time he would rid himself of those who sought to kill him, or worse . . ..

    As Daran neared the area where the man had fallen he was again surprised by the man trying to regain his feet, he was strong, no doubt about that. Had it not been for Saidin, Daran felt certain that this man would get the better of him. Bonds of air slid over the man’s arms and legs, binding him tight. As he teetered on the brink of collapse, Daran struck him again. This time he traveled far enough to land at the edge of the campsite. Daran looked up and met the eyes of the Aes Sedai; he saw both anger and fear in that look. Another portal opened next to Daran, this time when he stepped through he was in the trees on the far side of the campsite looking across at the unconscious and bloody Aielman, and the infuriated Aes Sedai.

    Daran reached out with Saidin to slip a shield over the woman. To his surprise nothing happened, it was like trying to slip a full-grown oak tree into one of his saddlebags, impossibility. ‘Bloody Witches!’ He cursed, and when the Aes Sedai looked in his direction he knew that she’d heard him. Stepping through another doorway Daran found himself standing in a strange campsite, looking at the backside of a woman, an Aiel woman from the look of her, he noted. The familiar tingle ran up his arms and down his back, alerting him that this woman was holding Saidar. Quickly and easily a shield slipped into place over the woman, cutting her off from the source. Startled, she spun on him, and to his surprise she was wielding a long bladed knife. Where in the name of the light she had been hiding that was a question he hoped to have answered later. In midstride the woman stumbled over the bonds of air, and nearly toppled as her knife slipped from her hand. Daran reacted quickly, tossing the woman over a shoulder as she fell. At the other end of the camp Daran noted a wide-eyed woman staring at him. The fact that she hadn’t attacked with the power yet told him that this was no Aes Sedai, ‘I’ll return for her later’ he thought to himself as he stepped through his newest door.

    Daran stepped back into his own camp already forming the weaves for an attack. As the bound and struggling woman toppled from his shoulder to the ground, the earth began to erupt in small geysers around the Aes Sedai. After he’d reoriented himself to his surroundings, the assault became more focused and a spout of dirt burst beneath the woman’s feet, sending her into the air. After striking a tree rather abruptly, the woman’s limp form slumped to the ground, unconscious. Daranbar found that he could now shield and bind the woman, much to his relief.

    After depositing the woman near the others Daran cast a hard stare at the first woman he’d captured. “Many will suffer before I am taken!” He snarled, and then vanished through a doorway that seemed to appear out of thin air.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2004
  18. Elan Morin Tedronai

    Elan Morin Tedronai The Forsaken

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    Ahsdale looked in astonishment at the pipe smoking bear-man. "A Darkfriend !?" cried Ahsdale. "A Darkfriend ? You Light-blinded idiot !" Ahsdale spat at the man sitting down, missing him by mere inches. "Your accusations are baseless ! You cannot just go around accusing people of being Darkfriends."

    "I saw you and your companion in Lord Uraiyo's estates," the bear-man cut in, "It is known to me that he is a Darkfriend, and that your companion can channel, and that the Forsaken are loose. I put two and two together. Your master is Forsaken, and you are undoutably a Darkfriend. Although, alot higher than I originally expected - to be travelling so close to one of the Forsaken. Who is he ? Sammael ? Rahvin ?" he looked at Ahsdale accusignly, expecting him to admit his "crimes" and plead for a swift death.

    Ahsdale could have laughed if he wasn't bound so tightly, "You should have stayed around for the show, we slaughtered his men, and took him captive. If I were also a Darkfriend, why would I do that ?"

    "No doubt he failed your master in some way, Ive heard what happens to failures and tr****rs in the ranks of Darkfriends." He sighed as he absently removed his pipe from his mouth, blowing smoke into the air.

    "Blood and bloody ashes, this is crazy ! Get that woman of yours, I demand to be released. You cannot keep a man against his will. These woods do not belong to you, and I will travel freely where I wish." Ahsdale tried to aim a kick at the man, but his legs wouldn't move.

    "Like I said before, I can do nothing to ease you, or release you. That woman is Aes Sedai, and she has you bound, not I. Now, it seems we both have a long night ahead of us, so get talking. Who is your companion ? The one who wears a black coat ?"

    "He is a servant of the Lord Dragon...." Ahsdale said mockingly, "He is a friend, and travelling companion. No more. But he is definently not Forsaken."

    "The Dragon...." mused the bear-man, as he got up and stalked into the shadows, leaving Ahsdale alone. Great, all alone and tied to a tree..... He wondered what Daranbar was doing when he heard shrieks and explosions off in the distance, towards the camp. "Daran," he gasped, as he collapsed from exhaustion, hanging from a tree in mid air. It would have been quite a sight to anyone who happened to pass by.
     
  19. Nynaeve

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

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    Maera silently watched as the man melted back into the trees, and as Kori and Haeruc slowly slipped after him after taking care of the darkfriend. As she got dressed in her Wise One garb, she wondered if she should follow them. She knew that Haeruc could take care of himself, but she was not sure that Kori would be alright, especially if a male channeler was near. She could channel, yes, but she knew nothing of following someone unnoticed. And who knew if she could maintain a shield on him alone if she was lucky enough to capture him.

    All this was running through her head as she helped Kelaine and Taryn clean up camp, when a huge blast and a burst of light broke the quiet night. Startled, Maera dropped what she was doing to run near Kelaine to make a plan of action. Before she could open her mouth, Kelaine shoved a small carved turtle in her hand and stated, "You may come with me or stay here as you wish, it does not matter to me. Taryn, I will set a barrier around the camp so that no one may enter." Maera watched as she stalked of into the trees without a backward glance, forgetting to set the ward. Maera started to follow her, then paused after a short distance, letting Kelaine continue on her own. Something was making her think she should stay with Taryn, almost like a tiny voice saying, Something is not right with her, she needs help.

    Maera turned and went slowly back to the camp. Surely Haeruc, Kori and Kelaine could take care of themselves. Maera had learned to trust her instincts, and she had already been worried about her since she watched her collapsed. Something must be wrong. As she walked silently back into camp, she saw that Taryn was sitting in front of the fire and weeping as if her heart was breaking. Stunned, Maera stopped short. She wanted to go and comfort her over whatever the problem was, but she was worried about her pride. Taryn obviously thought she was alone, and Marea did not want to intrude on her privacy, but she could not ignore her pain.

    When she was a few steps away from Taryn, she felt a chill go up her spine. Someone had instantly appeared behind her. Quickly bending over, she opened herself to saidar, and whipped her knife out of the holder on her calf. Spinning around, she saw a strange man staring at her. Before she could take two steps, she was cut off from saidar and wrapped in bonds of air midstep. The male channeler! He caught her before she could fall, but her knife slipped out of her grasp. She had another, but she wanted that one, she needed it! As the man stepped through the doorway he had made, she had a brief glimpse of Taryn's shocked face.

    When they emerged on the other side, she saw the ground erupt in front of Kelaine as the force threw her into a tree and knocked her unconscious. The man dumped her next to Kori and Haeruc, and snarled "Many will suffer before I am taken!" to Kori before he disappeared into another doorway.
     
  20. Sorcha

    Sorcha Moderator Staff Member

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    Head in her hands, Taryn felt rather than saw someone approaching, sensing a presence coming towards her. Every person, she had found, had a distinct signature energy. She had not had a chance to learn anyone’s pattern but Kelaine’s, so she looked up to see Maera coming back into camp with a concerned look on her face. Leaping up from her seat, she turned her back to Maera and scrubbed at her eyes, trying to think of an excuse for her emotional state. Out of nowhere, another presence suddenly pressed on her consciousness. Whirling around to face Maera, she saw a man in a black coat who appeared to be unarmed approaching the Aiel. In one fluid movement, Maera whipped a knife out of a concealed sheath on her leg and lunged at the man. In midstride, she tripped over nothing and toppled over woodenly as if bound, but the man caught her before she hit the ground and slung her over his shoulder, knife falling into the grass. Noticing Taryn for the first time, he looked her in the face before turning around towards the woods. There was a wild energy and yet also fear concealed behind his eyes that she did not understand. Striding away from the camp, a hole in the air opened before him, an unfamiliar campsite within. As Taryn tried to follow him, the door collapsed and she was alone again.

    A male channeller! What else could it be? she thought. That would certainly explain the madness in his eyes and how he bound Maera and opened that door.

    It occurred to her then that the others may have encountered this rather dangerous man. I cannot stand by and do nothing. They might need my help. Taryn hurried over to her pack, pulling out her two throwing knives. They had never been used for anything but practice, but her father had trained her well. She strapped the sheaths to her wrists, concealing them in her sleeves, and steeled herself for a conflict.

    Now to find them. Closing her eyes, she braced herself and lowered her shields cautiously. Struck suddenly by waves of pain, she was sure someone was injured. She extended her awareness to encompass the camp, and then pushed a bit further, outside the barrier Kelaine had put up. She felt pain and exhaustion from one energy source not very far outside the barrier. Kelaine’s signature was faint indicating unconsciousness and there were others with her, but they seemed to be farther away. She headed towards the closer energy. It turned out to be a man, not much older than she, with his hands appearing to be tied over his head to the tree, but without rope or leather. He is bound with the power, she thought. He appeared to be unconscious, but she approached cautiously anyway. Stretching out a tentative hand, she gently touched his forehead. He seemed to be all right except for exhaustion, making his condition relatively easy to heal. She concentrated, and cold washed over her body and warmth spread down her arm. She began to feel dizzy and weak, a sign she had only a bit of energy left, but the man’s life force was replenished so she brought her shields up again. Suddenly his head shot up from his chest, startling her into breaking her concentration and causing her to stagger back. When he did not speak, she stammered “I-I am Taryn. I…um…I healed you. I’m sorry I cannot undo your bonds as well. What are you doing here?”
     
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