“You speak of talk rather than violence, yet you have men in the trees stalking us? Not a great show of faith on your part.” The man replied, as he tried to stand up defiantly. Taryn could see he was weak as he tried to stand up straight, but started to sway from loss of blood and utter exhaustion. “And to complicate matters further you would bind me, is that how you put it? Yes, yes, I don’t think you’ll bind me tonight my friend. As for your word . . . from where I stand you accompany a group of witches that attacked us in the night and would like nothing more than to see me gentled. If you’ve questions of me than ask them, but don’t presume that I’ll surrender myself or my companion into your good graces after the events of the past hour.” "You are right to be suspicious, as I am right to be wary. Since the Breaking the world has lived in fear of men like you. Men with great power, fated to go mad. But it is not the place of a judge to pre-empt a crime. You are called to trial to face the accusation that you align yourself with the shadow. Your refusal speaks strongly against you. I do not ask you to make yourself more helpless than you are now but I will not have you healed only to have to fight you. Here is my offer. You will release the women you hold as a sign of your faith. As a sign of my faith you will be healed of the worst of your injuries. Have I not already trusted enough to place myself where you can strike at me, knowing what you are? I could have struck before you knew I was there, as I would if a rabid wolf were loose? If not then name your terms or bleed to death among the leafmould,” replied the bearman, who seemed oddly confident in how the channelling man would react. Sighing, the channeller opened another gateway, and Taryn could see the rest of the women through it. “Very well, I will remove their bonds, but their shields will wait until I am sure of their intentions towards me. Now, I’ve had enough of this banter; let’s finish this night’s business.” Percieving doubt from the larger man, he added “Perhaps the faith and trust you speak of is one sided? Remember, just as you did not approach me with hostile intention, neither have I attacked you. Come, I’ve not the strength left for you to debate.” The bearman moved forward, and, unsure of what to do, Taryn followed him, looking back wondering where Haeruc and the other of the bearman's companions were. The wounded man stopped and faced the women, and muttered something that Taryn didn’t catch, then closed his eyes. After a moment, pain crossed his face, and his legs appeared to give out, but Ahsdale caught him and guided him to the fire. With exhaustion in his eyes, he said “I suppose that now we will see if you are a man of your word.” "You stand accused of being both Friend Of The Dark, and Forsaken," the bearman declared. "I have told you before, we are friends of the Light. You, above all, look more like a Darkfriend, in your ragged bear-skins. It is you who hunted us across the forest, and your companions who wounded both I and my companion. You are not the only one who wants answers." The large man didn’t pay any notice, which seemed to anger Ahsdale. He conferred with the channeling man for a moment, then straightened and said "My companion needs the healing you promised him if we are to continue this trial.” Looking questioningly at the bearman, he nodded, and she straightened her shoulders moved forward, trying desperately to appear confident, and guessing that she failed miserably. She knelt clumsily next to the channeller, and surveyed his injuries. His face was strained and his eyes were glazing and distant as he regarded her skeptically. She placed her hands on his chest, and lowered her shields shakily, which were already weaker than they should have been, since she was not able to put as much energy into them. Closing her eyes, she reached out with her subconscious. His injuries were not as dire as she had expected, with all that blood, but still serious. There was something else. Something didn’t feel quite right. There was the exhaustion from holding the Power, which nearly felt the same as with the Aes Sedai, but something…something else was wearing down this man. Trying to fight the taint on the Power perhaps. She turned her attentions back to the flesh wounds, and as she transferred her energy the muscle and skin repaired. Using much of her energy reserves, she replenished his life energy as well, hoping it was enough that it might help him shield against the taint somehow. A sharp intake of breath from the man pulled Taryn back to reality. "It is done, he will be back to normal within the hour," she said wearily. As she walked shakily to where the bearman stood, she faintly heard someone say "Thank you," but she could not say who it was. She was vaguely conscious of someone leading her gently away from the others and sitting her down on the edge of the clearing. "I thank you for your aid my lady, and apologize for putting you in danger. Is there anything I might do to make you more comfortable?" She looked up, surprised once again at such courtesy, and shook her head numbly. Before he left, the bearman quietly said “If events go awry then be ready to run." Taryn was near certain she would not be running anywhere, regardless of how the trial ended. Her thoughts strayed, but she was brought back to reality when a voice ringing of authority said "This is the Court of the Wilds. It is not beholden to the Laws of Men, though it shares many of them. It is a court of justice where a man's actions and intentions can be weighed and balanced. You stand accused as Darkfriends and you as a channeller aligned to the Shadow, a Dreadlord or Forsaken. You plead innocence. Then we shall present the evidence for you to counter. You were seen approaching the Manor of a known Darkfriend. You spoke with the guard and then left. You then returned and entered the Manor. You then proceeded to converse with the owner, a man deep in the Shadow, who held you in awe and was afraid of you. When you were discovered you almost destroyed the building with the Power and left, taking the chief Darkfriend with you. These are the facts. State your defense." The silence was oppressive as they waited for the alleged Darkfriends’ response, broken only by the call of a solitary bird silhouetted against the dark sky.