The Past Leads to the Future [Attn: Tia Sedai]

The World outside the Grey Tower is a vast place.
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Bella
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The Past Leads to the Future [Attn: Tia Sedai]

Post by Bella » August 10th, 2018, 11:36 pm

Brynmor Brook Gaidin
A brisk wind was blowing in from the north, rushing up and over the sentry wall of the Citadel as it stood stanchion between the Blight and the rest of the Westlands.

Brynmor Brook Gaidin walked the line of the ramparts, taking his turn at the watch as day moved into dusk. He wasn’t alone in sentry duty, although he was presently alone at that particular section at that particular moment. He paused, resting his hands on the great stones of the wall and looking out to the east and the west.

Of course, the fool couldn’t stop smiling. Even the ill wind of the Blightborder and the chill of impending night wasn’t enough to stop him.

It had been over a month since he had last been to the Citadel, but the very name was enough to make him think of Tia Tomosan and the night they had spent together here. They had spent more time together since, although the day-to-day duties back within the Tower walls had culled some of the time that could be spent on it.

Each time he saw her, though, he just wanted to see more of her. He knew there was infatuation with the “newness” of it, but he knew—deep down—that it was more than that. It might be quite a bit more than that, though a part of him was a little scared to look at it too deeply too soon.

He didn’t really know what about it scared him, but the depth… He knew there was depth there, and could he reach the surface again if he dove down that far?

Small, dark silhouettes against the darkening light caught his attention and tore him out of the worlds of “what if” and “how do I feel” and into the stark, black and white existence of being a Gaidin. Not just a Gaidin, but one tasked with guarding this wall. He was instantly alert, with all of his focus on those shapes below.

Bryn waited before signaling the tower archers, however, as he assessed what the little shapes were…

It wasn’t long before he could make out their details and even hear their voices floating up to him on that foul north wind. His instincts recognized panicked cry for help in advance of his mind. And at that moment of recognition was when he recognized the shapes behind them, the much larger shapes with the far more guttural sounds.

“Blood and bloody ashes!” he cursed loudly, flinging himself away from the watch and rushing for the stairs, calling the alarm for the refugees rushing toward them.
* * * “You, you, and you, with me!” Bryn shouted, pointing at one Gaidin and two Citadel soldiers who were rotating through from the Shienaran army. As the senior Gaidin at the Citadel this night, they deferred to him. He pointed out four more soldiers and gestured for the portcullis that would lead them out to the borderland where the Trollocs were driving down upon the humans. “Open that gate and then plant yourself within it. Drop it if we are overrun, but be ready to bring in the refugees!”

Everyone acknowledged his orders sharply, rushing to their places.

He caught a handful more men and women of the Citadel on his headlong rush to the gate, just as the four he’d sent to it were cranking it open. The small force rushed through it, the gateway filled in by the four soldiers. Three held up their weapons, while the other stood poised over the gate mechanism—ready to let it drop in an instant if need be.

Bryn could see perhaps two dozen people, men and women, adults and children, all fleeing before the Trollocs. Blood coated some, and dirt covered most. They screamed with relief and terror at seeing Brynmor leading the Gaidin and soldiers as they rushed forward.

“Get to the gate!” he shouted at them as they drew near enough. He worked to make himself heard of their noise, and the noise of their pursuers. “We’ll stop them from following you! Run! Run!”

The victims parted and flowed around Brynmor and the others like a river around a large rock, until the men and women of the Citadel were not facing panicked persons but the bestial horde that had been on their heels. Brynmor roared from within the Void as he brought his sword up and met the Trolloc rush head-on.
Gareth Tomosan Asha'man
“Asha’man!”

A voice was hollering, accompanied by the pounding of footsteps as a young woman—who frequently spent duty shifts as a runner for the Citadel—came flying into the infirmary. She skidded to a halt and ended up with one knee on the end of a cot to avoid falling over entirely as she tried to catch her breath.

“What is the emergency, child?” Gareth rumbled, his voice tight. Normally, he’d want to let her have time to catch her breath, but the emergency was clear.

“There…are many injured…at the Citadel,” the woman panted. “Trollocs. The injured have overwhelmed the small Healer contingent already at the Citadel, alongside the refugees that they were rescuing from the beasts.”

“Do they need fighters?”

She shook her head. “They repelled the Trollocs, but paid dearly for it. Please, come swiftly!”
* * * Gareth recognized the dark-haired Gaidin almost immediately, seeing the face of the Gaidin quite obviously enamored with the Yellow’s daughter. The realization sent a small shock of lightning through him, thinking of Tia, but it didn’t cause him to stumble or hesitate in his duties in the least.

He knelt beside the bed the other man lay upon, Gareth having been told that this was the worst of the cases. The Yellow taking her turn at the Citadel did not feel qualified to handle it after Delving Bryn.

With Saidin firmly in his grasp, Gareth swiftly but effectively Delved the Gaidin. The injuries were severe and deep, though they weren’t the biggest concern. Now Gareth better understood the Aes Sedai’s reaction. The Trolloc blades must have been poisoned, because something dire and vile flowed through Brynmor’s blood.

Gareth muttered a curse that anyone who heard him would be shocked this gentle man knew.

The poison was trying to ravage the very fibers of the Gaidin’s body, and Gareth knew that was his top priority. If he didn’t work fast, and do it now, the poison would win.

The Yellow never wanted to lose a patient but even more deeply than that, he didn’t want to tell his poor daughter that he lost this one. Thus, he was not going to lose this one. He would save Brynmor Brook, or die trying.
Brynmor Brook Gaidin
”This boy stole from me!” Lord Owin shouted. His face was turning a terrible shade of red as his anger mounted.

Brynmor stood before him, wondering on in the Light he was doing. Was he not sworn to the service of this man? To fight for him, and to follow his orders? He was, and that was the truth of it. He had made his allegiance to Lord Owin, and he had served him well, until they should agree that his service was terminated.

But should he decide to leave Owin, he had to leave. This was not leaving. This was standing.

“This is wrong,” Bryn said simply. “This boy is young, and he is hungry. He should not be killed for that!” He gritted his teeth until it hurt.

Owin stormed up to him. “You are my dog, Brynmor. To do as I say!” The lord spat as he spoke, but Bryn didn’t flinch.

His dark brows lowered. “I am no one’s dog.”

Spinning on his heel, he hurried to the boy and drew his knife. The child flinched, but Bryn only cut his bonds. “Run,” he growled. “Run!”

The boy fled. The guards nearby were too shocked to stop him, and he escaped into the woods around their camp out on the road.

“You are no hero, Brynmor,” Owin said. His tone was suddenly lower, more dangerous. “We have done too much together for you to ever be a hero. And now you’ll take the pain for your treason. A few lashes should do the trick.” The man was suddenly at Brynmor’s ear, pouring in his poison. “Don’t you think?”


Bryn’s whole body seized and he nearly folded himself in a gasping half, but large hands and arms held him down. “Be at ease,” a deep voice rumbled. It was familiar, but Brynmor couldn’t think clearly enough to know who it was.

His body was too filled with pain, and fire, and remorse.
Gareth Tomosan Asha'man
Gareth almost staggered back to the Grey Tower, so exhausted as he was. He knew his wife would be homing in on him in an instant, but he had another destination in mind right now and he would not let even his own fatigue prevent him from seeing it through. Having noted the hour, he assumed his girl child would be in her quarters.

He summoned what energy and strength he had remaining, and he headed to her rooms…

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Re: The Past Leads to the Future [Attn: Tia Sedai]

Post by Roan » August 12th, 2018, 11:16 pm

Tia Sedai
Tia hoped the knock at her door would be Bryn, but doubted it since she knew he’d been sent to the Citadel for a two week rotation just over seven days ago. Closing the book she’d been reading, the Green went to her door and opened it. When she first saw her father standing there, she gave him a broad grin, “Dad! I didn’t expect to see you.”

Something in her father’s expression, though, drained the enthusiasm out of her tone and her heart began to pound in her chest. He did not look like one who was there to share good news, “What happened?”
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Re: The Past Leads to the Future [Attn: Tia Sedai]

Post by Bella » August 13th, 2018, 10:34 pm

Gareth stifled his sigh and wished that his family didn't know enough to read his expressions when he was trying to not have one. He managed a small smile for his only daughter as he stepped into her room and shut the door behind him. Since stepping foot back on Tower grounds, he'd been trying to come up with the right words.

"I've just come from the Citadel," he said. "There was a Trolloc attack while the Citadel's warriors were trying to rescue some refugees. Brynmor Gaidin was injured. He's alive." He hurried to make sure that part was said. "But the injury was grave. I managed to heal the wound itself, but there's a virulent poison that even I can't clear entirely from his system."

His pale brows knit. The man was a talented enough Healer that there were few times he had to admit such a thing.

"He's still at the Citadel infirmary," he went on. "In something of a fever state. I think he'll pull through, but I can't say with certainty. I will continue to treat him and do all I can."

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Re: The Past Leads to the Future [Attn: Tia Sedai]

Post by Roan » August 14th, 2018, 2:15 am

Tia Sedai
Tia knew whatever news her father had was serious just from his expression, but when he came in and closed the door, she started to fear the worse. Was it her mother, Memma or another family member?

Not a family member, but Bryn. Tia’s heart skipped a beat as Gareth said his name, even though her father reassured her Bryn still lived. He was alive, but not out of danger, and her father was committed to treating Bryn back to health. There was a sense of relief, but bundled with that relief was something much more overpowering.

If she had to put a word to it, Tia would say she was scared or anxious, or both. It seemed like just yesterday she and Bryn shared that night at the Citadel. Her feelings for him had grown deeper each day they got to see one another. The thought of not seeing him again?

It would have been all too easy to let her emotions take over, but Tia took a slow, deep breath despite how hard her heart was pounding, “Can I see him? Stay with him?”
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Re: The Past Leads to the Future [Attn: Tia Sedai]

Post by Bella » August 16th, 2018, 11:33 pm

It was a struggle to not be her father too much in that moment, to remind himself that she was an adult and an Aes Sedai at that. "Of course you can," he said quickly. "I'm sure he would appreciate it. But be prepared, he may not be lucid much of the initial time that you're there. He was somewhat delirious when I left him."

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Re: The Past Leads to the Future [Attn: Tia Sedai]

Post by Roan » August 19th, 2018, 12:52 am

Tia Sedai
The Green gave her father a worried smile, “Thank you, Father.” Despite it being summer, the Citadel could still get quite chilly at night, and given how frequently she tended to travel there, she kept a cloak on a hook by her door. She reached for it and looked to Gareth. She wanted to ask him if Brynmor would be ok, but he’d already answered that question without her having to ask.

Tia tilted her head, “You. . .I hope you are on your way to rest, father. . .you look exhausted.” She went up on her tiptoes and kissed him on the cheek before leaving her quarters. The Green wanted to run to the Traveling yards, and just managed to keep her pace to a quick walk.

A Blue Sister watched her approach, “The Citadel, Tia Sedai?”

“Yes please,” she replied. The Blue made quick work to open the Gateway, and Tia stepped through. The drop in temperature was more than a bit notecable, and she pulled her cloak around her shoulders. She didn’t need anyone to direct her to the infirmary at the Citadel, and it didn’t take her long to find her way to Bryn’s bedside.

Another Yellow Asha’man was wiping his brow, and looked up as Tia approached, “He is sleeping, but it is not a restful sleep.” The man stood up, “I’ll leave you with him. Send word if his condition changes,” he added.

The Green simply nodded as she took a seat next to Bryn. She looked at him, unable to hide her concern. She reached over and took one of his hands in hers, “I don’t know if you can hear me, Bryn, but I am here. I’m not going anywhere.”
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Re: The Past Leads to the Future [Attn: Tia Sedai]

Post by Bella » August 20th, 2018, 7:29 pm

The feel of her hand and the sound of her voice roused him from the depths of the fever dream that he'd been buried in the clutches of. He lifted his head slightly to look at her, but blinked hard--squeezing his eyes shut for moments at a time before opening them again, peering at her as if he couldn't trust that she was really there.

And he couldn't trust that. Not how he was.

"Tia?" he said, his voice rough from the struggle of his body and mind. He squeezed her hand a little, trying to feel sure that she was there, but he still just couldn't feel sure.

He dropped his head back into the pillow as he felt the sweatless heat consuming him. What was happening to him? Why did the past and present sit on top of each other. He was seeing things that he was sure existed now, yet at the same time, he could see things he knew were in the past...

"Owin..." he groaned as he began to sink under again. "Won't...be your dog anymore... You bastard... What have...you become?" he panted the words that he had once spoken with such conviction. "I won't be your...bloody blade now. What have you...made me?"

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Re: The Past Leads to the Future [Attn: Tia Sedai]

Post by Roan » September 2nd, 2018, 4:40 pm

Tia Sedai
Tia’s concern was etched into her expression as she squeezed his hand. He knew she was there, but he was far from lucid. As close as the two of them had grown, Tia knew little about Bryn’s past as he didn’t often speak of it. Listening to him now, she wondered whether he was reliving his past or something else.

Furrowing her brows, Tia looked to the table by Bryn’s bedside and saw a bowl with water and a damp cloth. She took the cloth and dampened it before gently wiping Bryn’s forehead, cheek and neck to wipe away the sweat and hopefully cool him down. She spoke just above a whisper, “Owin’s long gone, Bryn. Come back to me, love.”

What on earth did that Owin make Bryn do? How could the man still have such a hold on Bryn?
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Re: The Past Leads to the Future [Attn: Tia Sedai]

Post by Bella » September 6th, 2018, 2:34 pm

Time was meaningless.

Brynmor Brook struggled to know what year it was, let alone what day or what hour. Hours passed him by, or maybe it was minutes, or maybe it was days...or weeks. He couldn't tell. He didn't even always have the strength or the comprehension to even care, though when the present and past blurred into one...

"He's just a boy," he groaned aloud at one point. "Fine. Fine!" This word was screamed with fury. "I'll take your lash to spare a child, you beast. What have you become?"

After a moment, he gasped and his back arched like something had hit him. He grit his teeth as he fell back to the bed, only to rise up a moment later. As if hit again...
* * * For those not lost in a poison-fever, it had been nearly a full day since Tia Sedai had arrived at Bryn's bedside. It was late at night now, and all the candles burned low when Gareth came to check on his daughter and his patient. "How is he?" he rumbled gently, moving to the Gaidin's side. Bryn was still at the moment.

Listening to his daughter's answer, the Yellow nodded slowly as he Delved. "His body is fighting off the rest of the poison and fever it brought," he said, but sighed. "But his body is also losing strength."

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Re: The Past Leads to the Future [Attn: Tia Sedai]

Post by Roan » September 8th, 2018, 2:55 am

Tia Sedai Tia was still holding Bryn’s hand when her father sat opposite her. The concern was clear on his face after he delved Bryn and mentioned the Gaidin was losing his strength. Furrowing her brows, the Green looked to her lover and placed her other hand over the one of his she’d already been holding.

He was losing the battle and it wasn’t at all clear he had the strength to overcome what he was facing. Tia’s heart ached as she studied his face, part of her willing him to wake up, but she knew it didn’t work like that. She was scared that she was about to lose him and didn’t bother hiding it in her expression. “Is there anything we can do? Anything more you can do?”
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