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Shadow Scouring [Attn: Roan]

Posted: June 26th, 2017, 2:43 pm
by Andy
It was almost odd, being sent to the Citadel when he hadn't been punished. A while ago Ravak had threatened him with duty there before he had discovered Alrim's innocence. Once it had been a nebulous threat for the ones who did not behave. He had been sent a couple of times since coming tot he Grey Tower. It held less fear for him because he was used to the cold winds, the pristine beauty of the North and if anything it had felt like being home. Still, the chores and daily grind had forced him to behave until he was returned to the Tower.

Now, however, he was part of a larger group of Ji and Gaidin who had come through - some ten he had thought - and they were here to do a job. Word had come that the Shadowspawn activity had increased of late. Nothing like an invading force of course but caution dictated that it be investigated and whatever numbers found were to be eradicated. Hence the ten pairs, a warrior and a channeller each, who would start off together and fan out quickly to cover different sections of the Blightborder with death as required.

He was secretly quite enamoured with the prospect of it, the adventure and the being free of stone walls in a country close to his own heart. Not to mention the fact that he could learn much on this trip, much about his enemies and where they lurked. How to destroy them. How they thought and acted, perhaps even how to drive them back for good. Romantic notions but he had not yet been beaten with enough cynicism and personal injury to not think higher than reality. Not that he was naive or unprepared - he had trained and learned for months and more for such an opportunity. He was, he liked to think one of the better of his peers at surviving and fighting. He just wished he could change the world, if even only slightly.

His heart was still heavy with the loss of his family, perhaps that was what had ultimately sparked the fire within him after so long. He wanted to rail against the world, to bring down everything that hurt another and caused death and destruction for no reason other than it could be done. Emotions were there, deep down now, beneath the veneer of his vocation. He even smiled more often these days but he would never forget. Or forgive. So long ago now it seemed he had had his first taste of darkness - the Ball. He had not fought, had been unable to. He had been unable to save his family. He would not lose anything else, he'd rather die first. Perhaps, after all, his father had understood him best of all people. Had known he would need something enormous to push him into a passion for something constructive.

Such considerations, however, were for the following day or so, however long it would take. He paused, breathed deeply for his own sanity, and pushed onward up the stairs. For now he was tasked with meeting the Aes Sedai he would be guarding and putting his own life before. He held no bitterness over that, it was his job. However he did see the fact that they asked him to at least greet them to show respect and willing as a good move to make. The Gaidin had nodded approvingly a him for agreeing to immediately. It was almost like them smiling, which they rarely did. Felt good. As he made his way to the tower he had been directed to he looked around, wind whipping the bells in his hair, and tried to memorise the layout of the Citadel. Each time he came he learned a bit more of it.

It was as he went to knock on the door that it opened to thud into him and he staggered backwards as he fought to keep his balance. Sliding slightly upon the cold stones but managing to stay standing despite it all. He had to laugh as he got his breath back and his gaze met the woman before him with a wry smile.

"Tia Sedai, I presume, an honour" he bowed, which was not too difficult seeing as he was halfway there already, "I came to introduce myself, if you have the time" he told her respectfully.

Re: Shadow Scouring [Attn: Roan]

Posted: June 26th, 2017, 7:38 pm
by Roan
Tia Sedai
The Citadel was proving to be a home away from home for Tia Tomosan, Aes Sedai of the Green Ajah, Great Great Granddaughter to the Captain General and daughter to the former Mistress of Arms. Walking the walls of the Citadel, looking towards the Blight, she felt a sense of purpose. More than once, she’d left the relative safety of the Citadel walls to patrol with others, scouting to make sure there were no more nasty surprises like the force that very nearly overran the Citadel when her mother and father were last here.

Tia had been at the Citadel not all that long ago with Lysira and Zarayne. While that was a shorter trip, she was scheduled to remain at the Citadel for the next month. Depending on how things went, she might stay longer. Being a Borderlander, Tia felt at home walking the ramparts of the Citadel. Truth be told, she’d lived at the Tower longer than she’d lived in Saldaea, though not by much, but her entire family were Borderlanders. . .it was in the blood, so to speak.

Never mind that being at the Citadel meant she was less likely to run into Jaryd. She knew she couldn’t avoid him forever, and truth be told, she owed him a conversation. Not that she had any clue as to what she would say to him. I’m sorry I fell in love with you and found it too hard to be around you was the truth, but simply saying it didn’t seem so. . .simple.

Word came down that a new rotation of Gaidin and Ji’Val were arriving today, and, as was usual, one would be assigned to watch her back, so to speak. The Aes Sedai finished writing a letter to her brother, and sprinkled sand on it to help the ink dry. Pouring the sand off, she folded the letter and placed it in an envelope, which she sealed with wax. With the letter ready to go, she pushed away from her desk and pulled a cloak around her shoulders.

Not a second later, the Aes Sedai pushed her door open, and nearly took out someone in the process. She blinked in surprise and stepped forward to help the man, but he seemed to keep his feet. What’s more, he seemed to be looking for her. “Tia Sedai, I presume, an honour. I came to introduce myself, if you have the time.”

Tia offered the man a small, but warm smile, “I am indeed Tia Sedai, but I am afraid you have me at a disadvantage. Walk with me while I deliver a letter to be sent back to the Tower, and tell me who might you be?”

Re: Shadow Scouring [Attn: Roan]

Posted: June 26th, 2017, 9:02 pm
by Andy
Even in the first few moments he thought that he would get along well enough with her, he trusted his instincts as they had often kept him out of trouble and brought him fortune. Something abut the east smile perhaps, or was it the eyes that didn't immediately seek to dissect him like other Aes Sedai. Something tugged at his mind about her face though, the shape of it perhaps. It flickered and then was gone only to return every so often as he felt a small grin spread across his lips despite trying to act professional.

No my instructors would not approve would they? Well they can burn it and stuff it up their jerkins. They never told me much beyond being respectful anyway he told himself as his head leaned to one side and he nodded, stepping aside and falling in beside and slightly behind her right shoulder.

"I would be honoured, though I had assumed they would have told you I was coming. Unless," he shook his head slightly, "it may be that my instructors have a sense of humour after all. Told me to introduce myself too" he said as he looked at her briefly, scanning her face before looking down into the Citadel proper.

It had not been so long since the siege had taken place. So many had died but they had won, in the end. He had been involved in scuffles, skirmishes and war games in his life but never before then had he seen war. True war. And it had only been one, perhaps two, battles too. He was not sure if he would have survived a sustained campaign but at least he still walked and talked, unlike the poor sods who had fallen. Memories flickered and his face momentarily darkened before growing more sorrowful. Some of the dead had been younger than he was.

Burn my eyes I will rid this land of Shadow if it kills me he told himself grimly and with conviction.

"My name is Alrim Farshera. Not many titles that can be repeated in pleasant company. Mostly I hit things and get hit, the latter a bit less often these days," he had a certain sense of pride about that in his voice, "known for my card tricks, my terrible singing..." he trailed off with a wry smile.

Light preserve him he couldn't speak any way then the way he knew and he definitely couldn't be the courtier or the simpering servant. He didn't have it in him. He told people who he was, the way he wanted to tell them and let them judge him their own way. It was a strange sensation, doing it with an Aes Sedai he had never met before, but he supposed it was going to happen sooner or later and may as well get it over with.

"I will be guarding you in this...scouring. If you would allow me to. I would like to, the Shadow deserves to be routed fully and none better to help do so than a talented Green. It's what we train for, after all" he finished with a half-smile, lately he had trained less and fought for real more often. There was a sad tone to his voice too though he tried to mask it as best as he could.

It was hard to feel truly happy about life when so many things had been taken away of late. Still he soldiered on, he had little option except for giving up and he had come too far now to do that. No, he would carry on until he embraced things fully once more, whenever that might be. He didn't tell her about how he had been there when the Trollocs had stood on the walls, had attacked the gate and more. He saw little point in it and whilst the Drin looked at him like some sort of paragon when they found out he didn't want it for himself. He'd rather he had never even been there.

"Is there anything else you would like to know?" he asked her as he studied her face again, trying to figure out the mental puzzle that was being brought to his attention, "and is there anything you would have me know about you, Tia Sedai?

Re: Shadow Scouring [Attn: Roan]

Posted: June 29th, 2017, 12:50 am
by Roan
Tia Sedai
The corner of Tia’s lips twitched upwards as she listened to the Ji’Val and shook her head slightly, “I was told that I’d have someone to accompany me, but not who that person would be. So. . .yes, I was expecting someone, but not necessarily you specifically, Ji’Val Alrim Farshera. Perhaps spare me from the card tricks and singing.” She flashed a quick smirk his way as they made their way down the corridor.

“I was just about to head to the kitchens to see about provisions for our little outing. There is an outpost west of here that has asked for assistance. . .they’ve had some trouble with scouting parties getting ambushed, but they haven’t been able to find those who are behind the attacks,” the Green Sister explained as the pair continued down the hall.

As was usual, Tia was dressed in riding breeches, riding boots, a long sleeved top with a dark green dublette on top. She tugged on her sleeves and cast a sidelong look to the Ji’Val, “If I’ve not made it obvious, I’d be happy to have you accompany me. They say I am easy to get along with, and I like to think that is true.

“There’s not much to know about me, though if you aren’t aware, Riahana Gaidin ins my Mother, and Miahala Sedai my Great Great Grandmother,” she flashed another wry smile. “I don’t say it as a thread, but more as a heads up. If something were to happen to me while I’m out here, neither would be pleased. Given that bit of news, if you’d rather be assigned to a different channeler, I am sure that could be arranged,” she added.

Neither her mother nor her great memma had said anything about Tia’s more frequent trips and longer stays at the Citadel. As a Green Sister, it wasn’t all that extraordinary for her to make frequent trips to the Blightborder. Tia knew she was avoiding things back at the Tower, which wasn’t very Aes Sedai like, but it was what it was. She’d face those issues when the time came. For now, she was more focused on getting to the root of the ambushes that had been plaguing the westward outpost.

Re: Shadow Scouring [Attn: Roan]

Posted: June 29th, 2017, 12:47 pm
by Andy
“What’s life without a little risk?” he said in response to her comments upon her lineage, a small smile as he nodded the confirmation to himself, “I do not know the Captain General but Riahana Gaidin I have met. She has been kind to me and has a good heart and skills I can only envy, probably why the Citadel held, least in part. I will make sure she is not disappointed”

It seemed all that he could say on the subject as he followed in Tia’s wake, at least without bringing down the mood. He held an enormous amount of respect for Riahana Gaidin, not just because she merited it but because she had gone out of her way for him and she hadn’t had to. By rights she should have knocked him around that fighting ring but he was glad that she hadn’t seen fit to do so. From a distance he had thought he cold but up close she had been warm, in her own way.

“I am sure we will get along, though I am surprised I have never seen you before in the Yards, only Greens seem to visit us these days,” he noted, moving on to the news of the raids and leaving it as an aside, “but the news of these ambushes is troubling, agreed. So soon after the siege I hope they are not thinking of coming back for another try. Or testing elsewhere…do we know how many have been lost already?” he asked, clenching his fists instinctively before consciously letting them go and relaxing as best as he could.

The kitchens were not too far away and they could sort out their provisions in short order he knew. Even under threat of attack they had been able to get hot meals and enough sustenance to fill the fattest of men. Travelling rations would be less appealing perhaps but it was better than nothing. He thought of his pack on his mount, it contained enough for several days in an emergency and if needs be he’d give his own up for Tia. He felt sure he was as prepared as he could be outside of what she had planned already so he followed and observed, learning his role bit by bit with each outing.

At least this time I’ll get to talk he told himself with a small sense of warmth.

They heard the clattering commotion before they even arrived at the door, the scents upon the wind giving rise to appetite that was more for taste than because he was hungry. He opened the door for her and the warmth hit their faces and began to stamp out the chill of the outside. Closing it behind them firmly he turned and awaited instruction.

“So, how does Tia Sedai like to travel?” he asked, more than willing to help gather things and pack them away.

Re: Shadow Scouring [Attn: Roan]

Posted: June 30th, 2017, 2:42 am
by Roan
Tia Sedai
Tia shrugged as the two made their way to the kitchen, “I actually haven’t spent much time in the Yards. . .not as much as I’d like. I have worked a bit with Malina Gaidin to learn how to fight unarmed. I’m pretty sure she’ll give me a proper beat down the next time I work with her, though, as I’ve been lax in my studies.”

Truth be told, the Aes Sedai did want to get back to the Yards to continue improving her skills fighting unarmed. Part of her thought learning daggers might also be a good idea. Another part of her considered learning sword, or going back to the bow, though given she could channel, the bow seemed less important.

Before she realized it, the pair were in the kitchen, and Alrim asked how she liked to travel. He was an interesting man, and seemed personable, which suited Tia just fine. She’d worked with some of the more ‘stoic’ Gaidin, and found her outings with them to be more than a bit stuffy. Having someone she could actually talk to would be a nice change.

Looking to him, she smiled warmly, “I don’t limit myself to just traveling rations if I can help it, but I also don’t go overboard. Space is limited after all. Hard cheese, sausage and bread work quite well if we’re only out for a few days.”

At about that time the Mistress of the Kitchens walked up and looked Tia up and down, “Ye must be Riahana’s kin.”

Tia smiled broadly, “I am. My name is Tia Tomosan. Mother told me about you, Mistress Trawlny. Said you ran a good tight kitchen that would give the Tower kitchen a run for its money.”

The woman, who was twice as wide as Tia, barked a laugh, “Your mother is far too generous with her compliments, child. I wondered when you’d visit the kitchens. What can I do for ye?”

The Ji’Val and I are heading out for a couple of days. Do you think you could have some hard cheese, saus. . .”

“Sausage and bread bundled up? Of course I can. I’ll have one of my boys bundle them up and have them waiting for you at the stables in the morning,” the woman replied.

“Fantastic,” Tia said and turned to look at Alrim, “Seems this was easier and quicker than I expected.” She looked back to the Mistress of the Kitchens, “Thank you.” She turned and left the kitchen, waiting for Alrim in the hall. “So were you here at the Citadel during the big attack?”

Re: Shadow Scouring [Attn: Roan]

Posted: June 30th, 2017, 6:10 am
by Andy
Alrim watched and listened, nodding and smiling as the Mistress of the Kitchens when she looked his way. Truth be told he had had very little experience of such places and it seemed a place where no matter his rank or what he had ever done he would always be just a little out of place and certainly outranked by the Mistress. Someone had told him once that the worst thing you could do was upset the cooks, stepping into the heart of the kitchens and seeing how Tia spoke to her he could understand why. Cooks stuck around, they were part of the place and they would always be there after you left. He tilted his head in consideration as he scanned about for anything that might take his fancy or make sense for the trip.

"May I?" he asked passing worker as he spotted a little basket of nuts.

"Of course, just don't take many now, not got too many to give them all away, you hear?"

He put his hand up, placating, and assured her that he would be scant with what he took. He was true to his word and only had a small bag's worth tucked into his jerkin as their business was brought to a close. He hadn't had nuts for a while but they were at least something to have from horseback. Or as an addition to their food stores. Portable too. He shrugged to himself, he was still finding out what worked and what didn't so he might as well take them. Worst case they didn't get touched and he gave them to the children at the orphanage.

Should come back early morning, pocket a few more little things just to be on the safe side. Got a bit more space in the pack and I'm not that fat my horse can't take it he told himself, implanting it so that he would remember.

As he made his way out she asked him the one of the questions that were on people's minds of late. Were you there? Did they question you too? What happened? He paused ever so slightly in his walking and pushed away the images as he reasserted his pace and came to stand beside her once more. He looked into the middle distance for a moment before answering. He did wonder at times if he had been lucky on unlucky. He had survived but had it been worth it? He was not sure he would ever know. He cleared his throat and looked at her directly then.

"I was here. Was there with your mother outside of the walls when we were ambushed by the beginnings of them. If she hadn't killed that Eyeless we'd probably have not made it back. Luckily she was as good as people say," he spoke carefully as if he weighed the words, "we were lucky we had the Shienarians though not all of them made it out the other end. Was a tough time and I don't think we expected to win. Not really" he trailed off sadly.

He still had the scars, the little ones. He hadn't had them healed and there had been too little time and energy to heal anything but the worst injuries throughout the siege too. She would have seen them had he rolled up his sleeves or pulled his top layers off. Little slices here and there. Jagged, smooth. He thought he even had some pock marks from where the shards of stone had rained down on him but that might have been him looking to hard. Alongside the one on his back from that night in Hama Valon he was building up quite the collection looking after that silly giant. In a way they were little reminders. He hoped he didn't keep it up though, he was too young to be a patchwork.

"Were you there? I remember there were a few of us but never did get to meet them all. I saw the One Power being used and heard some stories afterwards. Too little time and too much to do. Part of the reason why I asked to come out on more of these journeys. Don't want it to happen again" he finished, his face becoming a bit warmer again with a wry smile.

Not much that he could do by himself of course but at least he was willing to risk himself to do it. He could not say the same for others. The more boastful ones back at the Tower seemed a bit more silent these days.

Re: Shadow Scouring [Attn: Roan]

Posted: July 3rd, 2017, 7:51 pm
by Roan
Tia Sedai
Tia shook her head as she lead the way from the kitchens, heading towards the stables to check on Storm. She knew the stablehands would take great care of her mount, but like her entire family, she held a special bond with the four-legged beast. “I was back at the Tower dealing with some of the chaos that ensued as part of that. . .inquisition.” She did her best to keep her tone neutral, and also tried not to let her Mother’s views on the entire ordeal influence her too much. (It wasn’t really working.)

Careful, Tia. Don’t need to influence the learning ranks on Tower Politics, she warned herself.

The Aes Sedai frowned, “I know things here were more than touch and go. My parents haven’t spoken of it much, but what they have said suggests it was as bad as it could be. They said they had Trollocs on the walls. One nearly killed mother and likely would have if my father hadn’t been there.” She toyed with the end of her braid before casting a glance to Alrim, “But you did win in the end, and that’s all that matters. The Citadel held, and here we are today.”

The pair reached the stables and Tia went right to Storm’s stall. She rubbed the beast’s head between its eyes before scratching between its ears. “This is Storm. She was a gift from my...from Miahala Sedai,” Tia said after a moment or two. She looked to Alrim, “Do you have a mount to use or should we see the stable master to have one loaned to you?”

Re: Shadow Scouring [Attn: Roan]

Posted: July 3rd, 2017, 8:48 pm
by Andy
"Touch and go....yes," he said softly, his mind taking him back to the event, "one way of putting it. And yes we did survive...and win. Perhaps one day I'll tell you about how we got the ram" he finished, his then amused now for the first time since it had happened.

Her words echoed Nate's in their own way - they had got the job done. Or similar statements. Didn't matter how anymore, only mattered that they had. In the wider scheme of things they were true and right. On the closer scale...well some things still had to be said. Still he would apologise to Brawn, whenever he returned. He had gathered he had gone away for a while. Probably savaging the Shadowspawn somewhere.

And burning out his anger at you too. Don't forget that. Might not even want to talk when you next meet he told himself as he followed and they made their way to the stables now.

He wondered what it was like to have relatives so accomplished, so respected. Did it make you thankful for their lineage, their guidance? Or did it make you feel small, almost ineffectual in comparison. He was finding it hard to read Tia, she smiled easily and yet hesitated in her speech at times. She was clearly fierce and formidable yet seemed, if he was right in his assumption, to feel fragile. She was a mystery that he would perhaps unravel over the coming days. He looked at the horse - it was a spectacular beast indeed.

"A fine name," he stated as he approached slowly, "may I?" he asked and received the slight nod in response.

"Easy, that's a good lass," he whispered as his hand came out, allowing her to take in his scent before morning to stroke her neck gently, feeling the power of her shoulders. He circled her and then looked at Tia.

"She is a fine thing," he told her, "and you need not worry. I have my own mount. Well, borrowed mount. Don't have my on yet. Your family must love you dearly to provide you with the best of things. One day, perhaps, I will get one for myself" he sighed sadly and let his hand fall away from Storm, he would have to get his own by himself.

"He's ready already, only just arrived after all, so we can leave whenever you deem it appropriate Tia," he looked outside, leaning as he did so to get a better view, "might I suggest that if we are to leave soon that we leave now. I'd rather be somewhere we can at least rest easy enough. I know there are small way stations set up. We could make the nearest if we left soon" he suggested.

Ultimately it was up to Tia. If she wanted to wait for fist light then so be it. All it would do would give him more time to try to fathom her and a bit more rest.

Re: Shadow Scouring [Attn: Roan]

Posted: July 4th, 2017, 12:27 am
by Roan
Tia Sedai
Watching how a person was with animals tended to give a better read of the kind of person they might be. Alrim had a gentle nature about him as he acquainted himself with Storm, and any reservations she might have had at having a Ji’Val assigned as her companion were cast aside. The man before her had a gentle manner about him which seemed at odds with the path he was traveling to become a Gaidin.

Tia’s thoughts went to her mother, and she realized Riahana also had a gentle manner about her in all things outside of the yards. Her Gaidin mother was also a quiet, soft spoken woman, but Tia knew her mother was a living, breathing weapon. Part of her wondered if it was common for those who chose to become Gaidin to be so gentle in other parts of their lives.

Pushing stray thoughts aside, Tia turned her attention back to the Ji’Val, “Let’s head out first thing in the morning. Our packs from the kitchen will be ready by then, and while we can reach one of the waystations easily enough, we can cover more ground in the morning.

“Dinner will be served soon. Would you care to eat with me? We can get to know each other now as opposed to small talk on the ride tomorrow,” the Aes Sedai said with a warm smile.