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. Sorcha

    Sorcha Moderator Staff Member

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    “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.
     
  2. Elan Morin Tedronai

    Elan Morin Tedronai The Forsaken

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    "I say we kill him," whispered Ahsdale, and he saw the thought cross Daran's mind. "He claims to be friend, but we have seen no friendly attitude from him. He is far too arrogant, and I dislike him. What claim does he have to call himself Judge ? Who gave him the right to judge others actions. He will only cause trouble for us," Daran shook his head, as Ahsdale loosened his blade in its scabbard.

    "You are a brave man, and a good swordsman, my friend. But he has eyes and ears in the forest, it seems he never travels alone. I do not think we could fight and win," replied Daran, and Ahsdale knew he was right. He had seen the ruffle of leaves, the eyes in the dark. They would be overwhelmed quickly if it came to blows. And none of them had any idea where the Aiel and that other Borderlander were.

    "Fine," said Ahsdale, slamming his fist against his sword's handle.

    "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."

    "Hah," laughed Ahsdale, "So you are the person I saw skulking in the shadows of Uraiyo's castle. You think because we take Darkfriend's captive, that we are Darkfriends ourselves ? Perhaps we bring Light to these lands by capturing him ?"

    He saw surprise pass the bear-man's face. Clearly he had not thought of another explanation. "Answer me this, then. Why were you at that estate ?" As he said this, Ahsdale tried to see if their was a smudge on the man's forehead, some possible indication of his allegiance. He could see none. It seemed he had no encountered a Darkfriend for some time, but still, he had been fighting for the past few days. The Dark One's seed among men. Fear and distrust divided his enemy for him.

    Ahsdale looked towards Daranbar, he already looked alot better. He whispered into his ear, "I tire of this man's self-rightousness. I hope this is over soon."
     
  3. Crusader

    Crusader Disturber of the Peace

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    Watching silently from the shadows of the forest, Haeruc could make out the shapes of the men talking, he saw the bear-man in the place moonlight, alongside him the healing girl stood meekly. Between him and them there were two shapes, the shadowsouled and his pet, the mere thought made Haeruc tense, drawing his bow an inch.

    Releasing the strain he set his focus back on the meeting, when stalking prey you did not run roud with your bow drawn, you waited untill the time was right and then struck. There was much talking going on, little could be heard this far away but Haeruc could sense the tension rising, there was some movement between them and suddenly a bright slash of white light streaked between his view and them, turning into nothing he saw those ahead one by one dissapear into where ti had been, trickery of the power. What was he to do now, those he sought to help could be in dire trouble anywhere else from here. Running towards where they had been Haeruc found the other compainion of the bear-man equally perplexed.

    As Haeruc stood there he saw a shadow dart from the trees, drawing his knif in one smooth motion he looked to see a dog, a rather large one at that. It looked easily capable of taking down a man but it stood there tongue out panting like a tame pup. It turned once and walked into the forest slowly, turning its head to check back it barked once before continuing.

    Many odd things had happened this night, A Dog that wanted himt of ollow was the least bizarre of all of them, Instead of questioning he merely ran into the night after, hoping the other man had sense to follow too.
     
  4. Turin

    Turin Valar Morghulis

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    Daranbar, feeling much stronger after being healed, if still extremely tired reclined against the fallen log and met the strangers gaze. A strange gaze, one that seemed to almost put him into a trance. Some of the edge had left him thought, he was revived enough to defend himself if need be, that though made him relax a bit. Ahsdale's last comment rolled through his mind. 'I say we kiil him . . .' A suggestion that the Asha'man was seriously considering given the events of the evening. 'No, this man has done me no harm . . . yet' He thought to himself.

    Finally Daran spoke, breaking the silence. "As for our good lord." He motioned to Urayio. "He is most certainly a darkfriend. As for your accusation towards us, No, friends of the shadow we are not." A slight smile creased the Tairen's weary face. "We simply stopped to ask directions, and were assaulted in the process."

    Daranbar paused for a moment, considering this newcomer. "I wonder, how is it that you came to be at the Lord's estate if you are not a Darkfriend yourself?"
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2005
  5. Unraveller

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

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    He contemplated them for a moment from beneath his cowl. Their words had the feel of sincerity in them and nothing in their manner's hinted at untruth. Unease maybe, but not untruth. But there was something else. They spoke the truth, but it was not the whole truth. Softly, but growing firmer he spoke.

    "You question who I am and what my motives are. I answer that I am a servant of Justice and the Light. I have travelled many lands, from the Fingers of the Dragon to the Northern Waste. If you wish my name then I reply that I have none. Or rather; I claim none, but have many."

    Standing, he rose to his full height, well over six and a half feet. The head of his bearskin rustled the leaves of the lowest branches as he slid it back off his head. His piercing eyes burned out of a craggy face, the lower half of which was obscured by a huge bushy beard. His unkempt, vaguely brown hair was caught back behind his scalp by a thong. Shrugging his massive shoulders he allowed the pelt to fall to the ground. He was clad in simple clothes of forest hues with bandoliers, pouches quivers and other equipment slung about him. It was difficult to notice it all, difficult to notice anything, as the mind kept being drawn back to the sheer size and bulk of his form. Barely noticeable were the scar lines across his exposed flesh, save for one line that emerged, pale against his weather beaten skin, from his beard and ran up to his brow. Once more he spoke.

    "In Cairhein I am known as The Spirit in the Hills. In Ghealdan I am The Mountain Man. In parts of Andor I am Tai'vron, in others simply The Watcher. To the Ogier I am Hamadin, the Tuatha'an I am Cuebiyar'd'mael. In Tear I have been called the Wandering Storm, for reasons best known to themselves, and in Mayene Shae'encar where I have been confused with Old Grim. The Aiel tell stories of Shae'en'sorei, the Shaido curse the name Shaedin and the Stone Dog society honoured me with the name Shae'en al'Din. The Whitecloaks call me Shadowspawn and the Aes Sedai? Who knows what an Aes Sedai is thinking? You can be sure it is not what she says. Decide for yourselves whether I am a worth judge. It matters not."

    Turning back to the two men he loomed in the dim light, casting a long shadow that engulfed them. Stooping, he swung the skin back over his shoulders and resumed his role.

    "Yours is a resonable explanation and one that I have considered. Indeed I would not have detained you but for two small things."

    At this his voice quieted, becoming even more menacing.

    "First, stopping once at a Darkfriend's dwelling may be the action of an innocent. But to leave, after you admit you realised you were being watched, and return after dark, that indeed is inexplicable as an innocent action. And secondly, I discovered that the estate owner was a darkfriend after extensive surveillance of his men and their actions and by interrogating one of his victims, the man they were hunting. How did you come by the same information? Did his Gatewards inform every passing traveller of their master's allegiance to the Shadow?"

    In a moment of pure shock as the import of his words sank in they exchanged a guilty glance. No, it was the younger man who looked guilty, the elder's glance was almost enquiring. He would be patient, their secret would come out.
     
  6. Turin

    Turin Valar Morghulis

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    Daranbar pushed himself off of the floor of the forest as the large man shrugged back into his bear cloak. He flexed his arm, pleased to find that the pain was gone from his shoulder, though he still felt as weary as if he'd run all the way from Tear. Moving around the fire he retrieved his coat from where he'd been sleeping earlier and pulled it on, leaving it hang open in the front.

    "Well, it seems that you have quite the identity, yes? My name is Daranbar Narshel, I am an Asha'man, a loyal subject of the Lord Dragon." He said the last while fingering the pin on the collar of his coat. "My companion is Ahsdale. To answer your question more completely . . . after our first visit to the gates of the good Lord's estate, I deemed it neccessary to speak with him in person regarding an assignment given to me in the name of my Lord Dragon. One that was likely to end in my involvement with Aes Sedai. It was for that reason that I aproached Urayio concerning any possible activity by the witches in the area."

    Daran heard one of the women scoff when he used the term 'witch' a fact that made him happy. "Any further details of my assignment are not open to discussion at this time. As for how we knew he was a darkfriend . . ." Daranbar looked over to Ahsdale, standing quietly at the ready. ". . . let's just say that some may have a gift for seeing things in others. Truth be told, it wouldn't have mattered whether he was the Dark One himself. He, along with his guards, assaulted me." The Asha'man gave a casual shrug of his shoulders. "A man is entitled to defend himself is he not?"
     
  7. Elan Morin Tedronai

    Elan Morin Tedronai The Forsaken

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    The bear-man contemplated Daranbar's words, and replied with a nod of his head. "Your words ring true..." he replied, but something told Ahsdale he was not entirely convinced. Likely he wished to know the secret he held. "I cannot fully explain my gift, nor do I like you enough to entrust my secrets to one such as yourself. Daran here knows, but he has earned my trust time and time again. It should suffice for now that I have a unique talent."

    "Answer me this, however, since we have humbly obliged your questions. Why did you follow us into Uraiyo's estate ? From your vantage point, it would have seemed two travellers entering an estate. Why did you follow us ?"

    "A companion of mine also held a....grudge against this Darkfriend, and it is my duty to help the oppressed. We did not follow you so much as we were in the same place at the same time."

    "The Borderlander....." Daranbar muttered, "It starts to make sense now. But what of the witches ? What are they doing here, and why did they attack me ?"

    "As to that," the bear-man replied, "only they can answer for themselves. Release them from their bonds, and they shall share the Court Of The Wilds."
     
  8. Radagast

    Radagast Art House Member

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    Raheryin lowered his bow quite vexed about what he had just viewed. Having been placed at an excellent vantage point, it only lacked in not being able to provide the luxury of hearing the discussion between the men below. Then, catching Raheryin by surprise, Shaedin and the two strangers dissapeared into mid air. It was an obvious ploy of the channeller.

    Raheryin scrambled quickly into the area where they had been standing, noticing the Aiel also in confusement. About to ask the Aiel about what he had seen, one of Shaedin's canine companions came out through the bushes and made motions for the two of them to follow him. Nodding to the Aiel to give his reassurement, they prompted into a quick pace.

    Before long the dogs had lead Raheryin and the Aiel to the outskirts of the clearing where Shaedin and the two strangers were now situated. Stopping at a far distance, yet still remaining visible to those in the clearing, Raheryin crouched down beside one of the dogs. Seeing that all men present had disarmed, Raheryin put his bow down to gesture that he would not interfere.
     
  9. Nynaeve

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

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    Maera quickly glanced around, trying to find out where she was. Bound and shielded, she lay on ground of a camp. Kori lay not too far from her, and she was in the same position Maera was. Focusing all her attention on the shield, Maera was barely aware of others coming and going through the camp. Frustrated beyond belief, she gave up on the shield. No matter what she did, it would not give. Looking over at Kori, she looked as resigned as she did.

    She calmly watched as a doorway appeared in mid-air, and the male channeler and the bear man talking beyond it. After they had been arguing for a minute or two, they stepped through, followed by Taryn and a young man as the bonds of air tied around her were removed. The male channeler slumped against a tree, grievously wounded, she happily noticed, though slightly annoyed she had not caused it. Taryn quietly walked over to him, and Maera felt her healing him. Stretching slowly, she loosened her tightened muscles, then quietly slipped closer to the men to hear their bickering.

    "Any further details of my assignment are not open to discussion at this time. As for how we knew he was a darkfriend . . let's just say that some may have a gift for seeing things in others. Truth be told, it wouldn't have mattered whether he was the Dark One himself. He, along with his guards, assaulted me." The Asha'man gave a casual shrug of his shoulders. "A man is entitled to defend himself is he not? Answer me this, however, since we have humbly obliged your questions. Why did you follow us into Uraiyo's estate ? From your vantage point, it would have seemed two travelers entering an estate. Why did you follow us ?"

    "A companion of mine also held a....grudge against this Darkfriend, and it is my duty to help the oppressed. We did not follow you so much as we were in the same place at the same time."

    "The Borderlander....." Daranbar muttered, "It starts to make sense now. But what of the witches ? What are they doing here, and why did they attack me ?"

    "As to that," the bear-man replied, "only they can answer for themselves. Release them from their bonds, and they shall share the Court Of The Wilds."

    Annoyed, realizing the men were accomplishing nothing, Maera stepped forward to set them straight. "I am Marea, Aiel Wise One, from the Taardad Aiel. We have nothing to answer to you for. We were asleep in our camp when the bear-man awoke us with a warning that you were camped near. Kori went to see how far your camp was, and if we were safe from you. She was simply trying to see what was going on, when you attacked her."

    In a rage, she advanced on him, waving her finger in his face, her bracelets jingling. "Do you honestly think that she was attacking you alone, practically naked in the middle of the night!! Do you think any woman would take that chance? Would any Sister go against a male channeler alone, when she could have had a group of another Aes Sedai, a Wise One and an Aiel warrior at her back? Then, you nearly killed the two of them when they went to help her, and you stole me out of our camp!"

    Staring at the Asha'man, her eyes narrowed, she saw something that pleased her. Even through her rage, she saw the shock on his face. Whether it was for the fact that he knew he was in the wrong, or that a woman would talk to him like this, it still pleased her. "I know what those pins on your collar stand for. You serve the Car'aCarn, as do I. My clan is loyal to him, I am loyal to him. If you are as well, you will apologize to us all for attacking us, and thank Taryn for healing you."

    Spinning to face them all, she looked at them, standing with their heads down ashamed. "All of you men, acting like children! Jumping at shadows, acting like idiots. No one has any proof that anyone is a darkfriend! You act no better than those whitecloaks I've heard of, accusing anyone!". All of you will apologize, or I shall dress you like the children you act like."

    Looking at Kori, she remarked with an amused glance, "Don't you think they would look sweet in dresses holding dolls?." Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Taryn's pale stunned face.

    Turning back to the shamed men, she asked them, "What do you have to say for yourselves, will you act like real men, and take responsibility for the mess you made, or be treated like little girls?"
     
  10. Unraveller

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

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    "You are welcome Wise One. If you would see to the other ladies, I am not sure what aid I could give them, nor do I feel they would welcome the further intrusion of a man this night," he said. He was careful to keep is face impassive and his eyes on the other two men but he couldn't resist the hint of a smile. Making sure that part of his face was in shadow. And turned away from her. She hesitated for a long moment, unsure if his reasonable sounding request was mocking or not. Finally she gave a loud sniff and stalked off.

    Quickly, but unhurriedly he continued to address the men. "You do not wish to discuss your business with strangers. In these dark times that is more than reasonable, it is wise. But know also that it is also the duty of a wise man to be suspicous and to watch his own. For what it's worth, I believe you. For now. I had never thought I would see the day when would give parole to a channelling man on my lands. But I had hoped never to see the day when the Dragon would be Reborn, the Forsaken freed and Shadowspawn would ravage the land. It is true isn't it, The Last Battle is coming."

    At this Daranbar only gave a slow nod of his head, Ahsdale shuddered. "We will talk further on this later, I would learn more of this man who names himself Dragon and his, Guardians? I would learn how they came by that name. But not now. This is my verdict. While you travel within my lands you will not be impeded but you will be watched, either by myself or one of my companions. I apologise for this but you will understand probably better than most how unwise it is to turn one's back on a channeller, of either gender..."

    He rose and surveyed the camp, noting that Raheryin and the others presence and nodding to them. "It is past time for rest this night, sleep well and wake with the Light's blessing." Gathering his equipment he moved to the edge of the camp to check on his companions.
     
  11. Turin

    Turin Valar Morghulis

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    Daranbar watched the fiery haired woman stalk off as he buttoned up the front of his coat. Looking to Ahsdale he said bitterly. “I am suddenly reminded of why I never took a wife!” Ahsdale gave a snort of laughter in response as Daran continued. “What do you suppose a Caracorn is? She seemed excited enough about it.”

    Taking up his sword belt and bucking it on Daran watched the activity in the camp. The bear man was holding conference with his companions, some of witch walked on all fours, the witches seemed to be arguing over something, and Urayo lay on the ground, moaning and clutching at the arrow that still pierced his leg. By the time the Asha’man turned his attention back to his companion the Borderlander had already strapped his sword back on. “I thank you for your aid tonight.” Daran said, the sarcastic edge gone from his voice. “You came back to aid me, when you could have escaped during the hunt. The question before us now is what do we do? I don’t know how noble the intentions are of those around us.” Daran spoke the words in a general tone, but Ahsdale easily followed his gaze to the cluster of women across the small campsite.
     
  12. Elan Morin Tedronai

    Elan Morin Tedronai The Forsaken

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    "For myself, I do not trust them. However, the same can be said of this bear-man. Atleast, so I thought. He turned out to be rather...helpful. Anyway, we are free to continue our travels now." He watched as Daranbar gathered his things, and Ahsdale made his way to Uraiyo, kicking his side, he asked the man, "Are you ready for another journey ?" The shaking made Ahsdale realize he probably wasn't thrilled by the idea. But bound as he was, what choice did he have. Ahsdale realized the man was not shaking just from terror, and he had a light sheen of sweat on his forehead. Using the back of his hand, Ahsdale felt his face. He was burning up. Likely he had a fever, and that would mean an infected wound. He pulled back the mans cloak and saw the festering wound where the arrow had pierced his side. Blood was caked over the inside of his cloak and his tunic. "Daranbar, this man needs help. And bring water. He is burning up."

    "We are low on supplies," came the reply, "but i'll see what we can spare." Moments later he came to the man, and poured a trickle of water over his forehead, and into his mouth. Ahsdale watched as Daran worked, his face a graven image of stone. He straightened up, and whispered into Ahsdale's ear, "He will not survive more than a few days. It is infected badly, and it needs medicine, lest it spreads to other parts of his body."

    "Can't you Heal it ? W-with the Power I mean ?"

    "I cannot," came Daranbar's reply, "but they can.
     
  13. doleniel

    doleniel Elven High Priestess

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    Kelaine regained conciousness with only a headache, the aftermath of being flung into a tree. "Taryn" she thought as she opened her eyes. Her gaze first fell upon Maera, who was giving the male channeler and his companions the tounge lashing of a lifetime. Instantly, she became furious at the man's treatment of her when she offered him no offense. She had, admittedly, used the power to protect herself and appear more intimidating, but really that was the only way to deal with an angry man. After a moment, though, her temper cooled; their reaction to the scolding they were recieving was enough for the time being. She would have to speak with the channeler later, still.

    Groggily, Kelaine tried moving and found that, like Maera, she was not bound. She checked the pocket of her gown and found that both carvings were still there. Gripping her small shell, she attempted to channel and found that she was shielded. She battered at the shield to no avail. "Blast! He is very strong." she thought irritatedly, and tried once more to break the shield, this time concentrating on drawing on saidar through the shell. This time, she felt the shield falter a little. Encouraged, she tried again, and this time the shield broke. She grasped the power and felt all of the residual pain from her collision with the tree wash away. She felt much stronger.

    Maera had by this time finished her scolding. While she was busy breaking her shield, the argument had finished and all except those of her party and that of the male channeler's had left. The men, with the exception of Haeruc, had retired to the other side of the campsite. Still holding the power, she sensed that Maera and Kori were still shielded and moved closer to them. She handed the stone cat to Kori as she spoke to Maera. "You still have the turtle I gave you, yes?" Maera, still quite angry, nodded. Speaking to both women, she continued. "Use these to try and break your shields. I was able to using this." She showed them her shell carving.

    This done, Kelaine turned her attention back to the men. It was a small campsite and, thought they spoke quietly, they could still be heard. They were discussing the state of a man who appeared to be thier prisoner. He was injured, and appeared to be ill. The channeler leaned toward his companion and began whispering, and Kelaine could no longer hear them. After a moment, they stopped talking and looked in the womens' direction meaningfully. Because they had been talking about the injured man, Kelaine assumed they needed him healed. Obviously, she was not the only one to make this assumption, for Taryn rose from where she was and began walking towards the men.

    "No, Taryn," Kelaine said. "You are clearly exhausted, moreso even than the other day. We still do not know what happened. I will do it." Rising, she walking over to the men and spoke again. "I am Kelaine Makela Aes Sedai of the Yellow Ajah. We are healers. I will Heal your prisoner if you so wish."
     
  14. Unraveller

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

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    "A tense and restless night, my lad, and we were not fresh to begin."
    "I feel fine, you should rest and I'll keep watch. I do not trust these others," Raheryin said.
    "And you should not. Trust should be earned, not given. I would not normally remain so close, certainly not so well seen, were it not necessary. But we may both sleep, our friends will watch."
    He was just gesturing to the Hounds to mark their perimeter when the cry came from above. His gaze darted upward, fixing to the east as he listened. A muffled thudding carried down the beaten roadway.
    "Quickly," he hissed as he gave rapid instructions to the animals, "back into the trees and hide. Whitecloaks."

    A moaning groan came to his ears and he whirled to see the Blackcoat, Ahsdale, and his companion examining their prisoner with the help of one of the Aes Sedai. A second moan began to rise as they shifted the man's position. The bolt flashed between them and through his throat. The sound died to a gurgle. They rose and spun, indignation, rage and astonishment fighting for control of their faces. It all became suprise when they saw him barrelling toward them.

    "What in the name...!"
    "Light!"
    "How dare yo-"

    The Aes Sedai focused on him, raising her hand. Ahsdale too appeared ready but flinched back from the woman next to him and backed off a pace, facing both of them. He felt something clutch at him, like the air was turning to treacle.

    "Move burn you! Back into the trees, keep your heads down and be flaming quite!" he hissed. "That is, unless you'd like to make friends with the troop of Whitecloak cavalry coming right this way!"
    He glanced at Ahsdale. "I think someone's fireworks last night attracted a little bit of attention."

    The grip eased and he cannoned on, grabbing the limp corpse as he passed.
     
  15. Elan Morin Tedronai

    Elan Morin Tedronai The Forsaken

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    The group hurried into the trees, not a moment to soon it would seem. A band of Whitecloaks burst into the clearing, their cloaks scrubbed and polished to a perfect white sheen, their armour glittering in the sun. Most carried spears, but some had swords brandished and bows nocked. They knew someone was there.

    "...Captain, our scouts reported sightings of strange people abroad, and we all heard their hushed conversations..." came a voice.

    "Well, soldier, where are they now ?" the Captain asked, clearly vexed. Ahsdale peeked out between the bushes, he held his scabbarded sword in his hand. Peering through he could see the Children, all burndished steel and polished cloaks. Atleast fifteen were there. All were mounted; a major disadvantage in a fight - if it came to that. Then he remembered who his companions were, an Asha'man, and several Aes Sedai. If it came to a fight, these Whitecloaks would not leave in good condition. If they left at all.

    The Captain dismounted and looked around, even from here, Ahsdale could make out footprints in the ground, broken leaves, and other signs of life. Likely this Whitecloak was not stupid, and would realize his underling was right.

    "Witches !" came a cry, "they must be Witches, or how else would they dissapear so quickly ? Theres dark magic been used here, I swear it."

    The Captain paid him no heed, his attention was on the ground, he was running his hands over the floor, as if reading something. He looked in the direction of Ahsdale and his new companions, and it seemed for a second they looked eye to eye.

    "Dismount," came a cry, "and surround the area. There have been people here recently, and if they chose to hide from the Children Of The Light, then they must be Darkfriends, or Witches."

    "Come out, if ye walk in the Light. For those who shelter in the palm of the Creator should fear not the Children Of The Light," he called to the seemingly empty forests, "if you do not show yourselves, we will take you for Darkfriends, and treat you as such !"
     
  16. Crusader

    Crusader Disturber of the Peace

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    Slipping unnoticed through the brush back to where most of the group lay hidden, Haeruc eased himself down so he could see the group of mounted men well, but in the cadin'sor he was all but invisible to them. They spoke quickly between eachother, conferring about what to do. It was obvious these men were poorly trained, they could see signs that people had been here but failed to see the furrows left when the wildman dragged away the deceased prisoner.

    ".........if you do not show yourselves, we will take you for Darkfriends, and treat you as such !"

    After surveying how many there were and guessing their chances, even if they were to slay these foolish wetlanders in white, more would come eventually, and haeruc couldnt help but think these might have come in search of those he had slain a few days back, Haeruc turned to his companions and whispered quietly.

    "They cannot be trusted, if we go to them they will kill us, you must flee quietly." The 'you' echoed slightly, Haeruc was Shae'en M'taal after all, and stone dogs did not retreat. Perhaps he could repay some of his toh.
     
  17. Sorcha

    Sorcha Moderator Staff Member

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    Taryn was completely exhausted, and watched the bearman question the chaneller, whom she now knew to be named Daranbar, and Ahsdale through bleary eyes. It was very tempting to lie down on the soft earth and sleep, but Taryn knew that her gift might be needed again, should Daranbar not release the Aes Sedai.

    The campsite came in and out of focus, but Taryn heard Maera chastising the men. Soon, however, the women were left alone on the side of the clearing. The men were talking amongst themselves, most likely about the prisoner, and when their gazes focused on the women, Taryn knew they needed her again. Pushing herself slowly off the ground, every joint, every muscle seemed to protest. But she stood shakily to her feet. For a moment, her head swam, and she closed her eyes to let the dizziness pass. One foot in front of the other, she reminded herself, and began to slowly walk to the other side of the clearing.

    "No, Taryn," Kelaine said, conscious once again. "You are clearly exhausted, moreso even than the other day. We still do not know what happened. I will do it.” Mutely, Taryn nodded, glad to see the Yellow was recovered. Walking over to the men, Kelaine’s voice became a bit louder. "I am Kelaine Makela Aes Sedai of the Yellow Ajah. We are healers. I will Heal your prisoner if you so wish."

    Walking slowly back to the rest of the women, Taryn sat down next to them, incredibly grateful that she did not have to heal anyone else tonight. All of a sudden, the cry of a bird pierced the air, the twang of a bowstring, and three voices rose in disbelief.

    "Move burn you! Back into the trees, keep your heads down and be flaming quiet!" the bearman said, irritation in his voice. "That is, unless you'd like to make friends with the troop of Whitecloak cavalry coming right this way! I think someone's fireworks last night attracted a little bit of attention." With that, he grabbed the corpse of the darkfriend and disappeared into the trees.

    After a moment of hesitation, the whole of the group scattered. A bit disoriented, Taryn scrambled into the brush, getting separated from the rest. She crouched down behind a large tree, and peered around it cautiously.

    The Whitecloaks came into the clearing, weapons drawn.

    "...Captain, our scouts reported sightings of strange people abroad, and we all heard their hushed conversations," one said, with a bit of hesitation in his voice.

    "Well, soldier, where are they now?" asked the Captain. He dismounted and surveyed the area.

    "Witches! They must be Witches, or how else would they disappear so quickly? There’s dark magic been used here, I swear it."

    Seeming to not hear this statement, the Captain crouched down, and observing the prints leading to an area on her left, where she assumed many of her companions had taken shelter.

    "Dismount, and surround the area. There have been people here recently, and if they chose to hide from the Children Of The Light, then they must be Darkfriends, or Witches,” he said, brushing dirt off his hands and looking into the trees. “Come out, if ye walk in the Light. For those who shelter in the palm of the Creator should fear not the Children Of The Light. If you do not show yourselves, we will take you for Darkfriends, and treat you as such!”

    Wishing she had had time for a bit of rest, Taryn sat back against the tree and closed her eyes, contemplating what to do.

    After a moment’s consideration, she stood and tried to look as helpless as possible as she appeared out from behind the tree, and walked into the clearing.

    “Please, sir…we mean no harm! We are just travelers…” before she could finish her sentence, one of the whitecloaks was behind her, with a knife at her throat.

    The whitecloak captain sighed, and said with a sneer “Sending a little girl to do a man’s job…you are cowards as much as you are darkfriends. Come out from behind the brush, or I’ll gut her myself!”

    Memories of the thief in the alley bombarded Taryn as she struggled with the knife on her right forearm.

    There’s an easier way out of this…no…NO!

    Her shields were weak however, and in her exhaustion her control over her power was slipping from her grasp. She scrambled to slam down a wall to stem the energy flow, but to no avail. Energy rushed into her, all exhaustion washing away. She heard a choking intake of breath, and the knife slipped from the whitecloak’s grasp, falling down between her feet. He collapsed, gasping and deathly white to the ground, seized for a moment, and then went limp.

    “No…no, not again, not again…” she muttered, as she fell to her knees beside him. She tried desperately to heal him, hoping there was some spark of life left.

    “Witch! She is a witch!” came a cry, and the captain said in a dangerously quiet voice “We shall not suffer a witch to live.” Drawing his sword, raised it over his head for the killing blow. Taryn looked up at him with tears in her eyes, but as she braced herself for the blow, there was a barely audible twang, and an arrow lodged in the captain’s sword arm, just below the shoulder. All hell broke loose then, it seemed to Taryn, who found herself unable to act, and just sat there in shock, holding the dead whitecloak’s hand in hers. Oh Light, what have I done?
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2005
  18. Turin

    Turin Valar Morghulis

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    From where Daran crouched in the brush he saw Ahsdale's form move past Taryn, his first victim clutching his wounded arm. With a sweep of his sword he opened the man from groin to sternum. Shouts rose from the campsire and the Whitecloaks were charging headlong into the wood. Two of them burst through the trees, swords bared and headed in Ahsdale's direction. With all the haste he could muster, Daranbar siezed the power and focused on the two men. Their deaths were abrupt, their heads seemed to explode in unison and their mutilated corpsed tumbled to the ground.

    The Asha'man quickly located the Aes Sedai, he could sense the power flowing from their shields. Hastily he removed the weaves that cut them off thom Saidar. The thought of them being helpless against a host of whitecloaks was more than he cared to deal with.

    With that done he opened a doorway in the air and stepped through. When he let his weave go he stood on the oposite side of the clearing, the whitecloaks rushing into the forest in the other direction.
     
  19. Elan Morin Tedronai

    Elan Morin Tedronai The Forsaken

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    The Whitecloaks continued to survery the area and to Ahsdale's disbelief, Taryn walked openly into the clearing. What is she doing he thought, watchen carefully. She did not need to fake looking exhausted, she clearly was. But he doubted very much if these people had much sympathy for anyone with strange gifts. Like himself.

    “Please, sir…we mean no harm! We are just travelers…” she said meekly. The Captain did not even listen to her plea. In an instant a Whitecloak was behind Taryn, his knife bared and rubbing against her neck. He pulled his bow from his back and nocked an arrow. This woman did not deserve to die, she was a Healer, he doubted very much if she had ever caused anyone pain. He realized soon that he was wrong.

    Ahsdale watched in horror as the Whiteclaok drew a sharp breath and collapsed to the ground, murmured sobs escaped Taryn's lips as she dropped beside him, checking for signs of life. What in the Light did she just do ? he thought. But he knew it was not his place to judge, he had killed better men than these, and he would again.

    The whitecloak captain sighed, and said with a sneer “Sending a little girl to do a man’s job…you are cowards as much as you are darkfriends. Come out from behind the brush, or I’ll gut her myself!”

    "No," whispered Ahsdale as he let loose his arrow, piercing the shoulder of the Captain and sending him sprawling across the floor, screaming in agony. Blood gushed from his wound and his snow coloured cloak became drenched in crimson. Before he had even hit the ground Ahsdale had dropped his bow and picked up his sheathed sword on the ground. He ran towards Taryn, and unsheathing his sword he opened up a Whitecloak's body, his blood covering the Heron branded on his blade.

    Ahsdale used both his sword and his sheath to fight against the swords and spears of the Whitecloaks. He would not last long, but he would not let Taryn die. He stood near her crouched form, defending her against oncoming swords, he looked behind him, and saw more Whitecloaks coming. He took the head off the nearest Whitecloak and removed the arm of another. But they were too many, his end was near. But in his eyes was a fey light, and he cared not if he died. All of a sudden a shout came up from the bushes and the nearest Whitecloaks heads exploded in a shower of blood and gore. Daranbar's work no doubt. He did know how to make a mess.

    Ahsdale finished off the last Whitecloak near him and watched as his companions emerged from the forest, Aes Sedai, Aiel and Bearman, all fighting togethre. He knew the Children of the Light would not stand a chance, no matter how bravely they fought. He looked towards Taryn, the blood of the Whitecloaks smearing her dress, "Are you hurt ?" he asked, but he got no response. He took her by the hand and led her away, and watched as she reached out to the Whitecloak she had killed, "Not again..." she mouthed as they moved away from the battle and back into the forest. "Not again."
     
  20. Nienor

    Nienor Administrator Staff Member

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    Koriandre spent a good part of the night in a daze. Being shielded and bound by an Asha'man had taken much of her needed strength and concentration. She vaguely remembered being bound to a man in the channeler's camp, then being dragged out and unbound but not unshielded. The events of the day were coming back to her. It shamed her to think she had sat and not been able to react when the bear man started throwing accusations of darkfriend around. If she had reacted this badly to adversity when being tested for Aes Sedai, Kori thought she never would have passed.

    Staring down at her hand, the Aes Sedai saw a small object in her palm, but couldn't remember what it was or how it got there. Still rather oblivious to her surroundings, she thought hard for a moment attempting to remember how she came in possession of it. Before she could think long upon it, she heard the bearman mutter a sentence with the word Whitecloak in it. That single word could make any Aes Sedai take instant notice.

    Regaining her wits very quickly, Kori slipped silently into a bush and watched. She held onto the small figuring tightly, not wishing to lose it, incase it was important. Immediately the area became active with men crying "Darkfriends, witches and magic." One of the leaders claimed that those showing themselves wouldn't be called darkfriends, but Kori knew better than to believe that. Once Whitecloaks thought they were on the trail of Aes Sedai or Darkfriends, they became worse than rabid animals. They would slay every person in sight believing them to be in the grip of darkness. She personally thought many of these so-called bringers of light liked nothing more than a reason to murder innocent people with no consequences.

    Kori knew her best chances for surviving were to hide until she could run. Being shielded would keep her from being able to do anything useful to protect herself. Her hopes were in the fact she could move silently enough to make it back to her horse and escape. "If I weren't shielded," she thought to herself, "I could throw a ball of fire at the first one who even raised his bow to me."

    Crouched inside the bush, Kori waited for her chance. She prayed to the light that her companions had the same good sense, they could re-group later, even if it meant everyone returning to Salidar. Peering out from her bush, she spotted Taryn blythely offering herself to the Whitecloaks. In her innocence, she thought they really wouldn't harm her. "Dammit!" she exclaimed softly while she thought of possible ways to get Taryn to safety. Before she could devise any possible way to help, there was an immediate feeling of release, like a wall around her shattering. Kori breathed a huge sigh of relief. The Asha'man had been honorable and not left them defenseless against the Whitecloaks. She silently thanked the man and prepared to put herself in harm's way to be able to protect Taryn.

    Rushing out from the bush, she saw Ahsdale hacking away at the Whitecloaks with his sword. The man was making considerable progress against so many, but there was no way he could kill all of them. She wished to help, but until a Whitecloak had fixed an arrow or sword towards her, her oaths would keep her from being able to do anything. Helplessly she watched two white cloaks carrying swords edge towards Ashdale and the Whitecloak holding Taryn bring the knife closer to her throat. Shocked beyond belief, she the two Whitecloaks's heads explode. Kori knew that could only be the work of an the channeler. Who else but a male would think of such a horrid way to use the power to kill someone. But to his credit, he had saved his companion.

    Making her way through the brush towards Taryn, Kori saw the man merely fall down dead. She knew Taryn possessed some sort of strange power, but she hadn't imagined it could be deadly. Taryn slumped to the ground, mumbling "Not again..." over and over. Kori knew she was lost inside a personal nightmare but this was no time for that. Before Kori could reach her, Ahsdale had taken the girl by the hand and was leading her away. Running after them, Koriandre paid no attention to the pain in her bare feet and caught up with the pair. "This way." she whispered to Ahsdale. "Help us to get to our camp. We have spare horses for you and the Asha'man to escape also. I won't allow anyone to fall to the Whitecloaks."

    Swiftly the three ran the half-mile or so to the Aes Sedai camp. Kori was glad they had not encountered more Whitecloaks along the way. When they had nearly arrived, she could hear the soft nickering of the horses and voices! There were three Whitecloaks at their campsite already prowling through the bags left around in the camp. Her first worry was that one of the men would discover her or Kelaine's serpent rings. With those there would be no denying they were Aes Sedai. Approaching the perimeter of the camp, she shouted in a loud voice, "How dare you rummage through my personal belongings. Is there no decency left that men invade a traveller's camp to steal their goods."

    The tallest of the men smirked at her and commented, "My, you're a bold little witch. I bet you'll last a long time hanging kicking and struggling from a tree." The two companion Whitecloaks laughed at his remarks. One of the men stopped his laughing long enough to pick up a bow and aim it towards Koriandre. That was exactly the action Kori had been waiting for. The man didn't even have time to notch his arrow, when a blazing hot fireball lit him and his nearby friend on fire. To make matters worse for the men, instead of rolling on the ground, they chose to run blindly into the woods making the fire blaze worse. The man who wasn't harmed by the fire quickly stopped smirking and ran off after his companions. Kori had no doubt he'd come back with reinforcements, so they needed to get out of the area quickly.

    "Taryn" she shouted, "Help me get everything up on the pack horses. Lets get all the horses saddled as quickly as possible. You ride double with me and let him have your horse. We'll have to head back into the trouble to find Kelaine, Maera and the Asha'man. I can only assume the bear man will take care of himself."
     
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