Sunset reflections (open)

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Welcome to the Gardens: one of the most tranquil areas of the Tower Grounds. Birds sing in the trees which line the wide paths between beautiful flower beds and serene lakes. There are benches to sit and listen to the waterfall, and there is neatly trimmed grass to lie on and rest. Novices and Soldiers as well as Warders in Training can be seen, sweeping the stone paths as Accepted and Dedicated study from books and relax under leafy trees.
Jack
"Lord of Chaos"
Posts: 470
Joined: May 25th, 2015, 9:01 pm
PC: Malcym Ashe

Re: Sunset reflections (open)

Post by Jack » June 2nd, 2020, 10:45 pm

Malcym glanced sideways at the large Warder, his silver-blue eyes catching in the fading light. The silver flecks danced almost with a life of their own as the young soldier briefly ponded the other man’s question.

He almost fell back on an old habit of answering a question with a literal response. But the days when he did so had long since passed him.

It was of a similar tact to what he first took with his drilling officer when that man asked how a sword was used. “With the pointy end, and hope you don’t stick yourself in the process, ser.”

That comment had earned him a sharp laugh of appreciation from the officer ... and a week of latrine digging duty in his spare time.

Instead, Malcym murmured. “The wolves are ... complicated.”

“Our party saw no sign of the wolves initially on the travel from Caemlyn to Camden Corelle, but there were a few small packs that would shadow us for maybe a few miles in the wooded areas we traveled through before turning back to whatever wolves do,” Malcym said.

“The first one I saw directly was while I was hunting with some locals in the woods near Camden Corelle during our stay. I got separated from them when I caught sight of what I thought were stag tracks on an old game trail. That’s when I saw the wolf, a hundred pace from me.”

He recalled the sight vividly: stray bands of sunlight piercing the dense alpine cover, providing just enough light for the young soldier to see. He thought he heard the stag he’d been stalking, keenly aware that he had split from the other hunters. He turned, spear half-raised when he saw a gray wolf looking back at him, amber eyes sharp in the dim light.

“It looked at me for a moment, head tilted, as if I was a curiosity and then snorted before stalking off,” he murmured. “I hadn’t even realized I’d lowered my spear.”

Good thing, too, given that the only thing he could do with that flaming sharp stick was to throw it and hope not to miss too badly. He had a better shot of hitting something with a rock.

“Shortly after was when the dreams began, as we left Camden Corelle for here,” Malcym said. “Sharp, vivid dreams, as if they were real. I’d be hunting or running, or just watching as things unfolded. Always felt like I was being stalked. Completely out of my control and always felt brief.”

He paused, almost as if reflecting on his own words. It was a disconcerting feeling ... one he probably not even share with family, or at least with his sister, to whom he was closest.

“It was around the same time when the wolves would always follow us more and more, at a distance,” he murmured. “Then there were the strange ... sensations, as if something was nagging at the back of my skull. And things that smelled ... the other soldiers with their anxiety and caution, the nervousness of the horses near the end ... the scent of something wrong from the men who would be our deaths just before they attacked.”

He paused ... “The Asha’man ... death, sorrow, dread... something else,” he murmured. “Something I can’t put my finger on but demanded ... not respect, but caution.”

He knew some of the stories surrounding the Asha’man, had stated as much to the Warder who was responsible for deciding he would sign the rolls. A good man, Malcym had called him, but one that had apparently done things that inspired nightmares.

In comparison, the parents of the man next to him had done deeds bards would sing about, acts children could be proud about as they age.

“Then there was the wolf ... who saved me from being spun into the next life,” he murmured. “Two mercenaries stood over me ... one with a crossbow aimed at my throat and the other who drew his sword. I could hear the rasp of metal against leather as he drew ... the bitter odor of ... something I cannot recall.”

He smirked and muttered, “I may have at some point told those two that bigger girls than they had tried to kill me, but that was before they tried to execute me.”

If there was one element about Malcym Ashe that burst from all other details, it was that he could look death in the face and spit upon it. Or at get in one last vocal jab before his time came.

“A wolf came from out of nowhere, white as snow, and took down first one man and then the other as if he were a ghost sprung from legend,” Malcym murmured. “It happened faster than my mind could process. The wolf looked at me then ... boots crushing the underbrush as more attackers came ... and then he was gone.“

He couldn’t remember much after that, beyond the strange look the wolf gave him. His impulse had been to tell the wolf to run lest the animal join him in on the dying.

“Help from the Tower came, sent by the Asha’man after he reached the city gates,” Malcym said.

He pondered his own story, thinking it almost unlikely. But then again, given everything this place was about...

“Oh bloody flaming ashes, I hope it’s not a case of being a flaming channeler,” he muttered to himself. He looked at the Gaidin, immediately clarifying his remark. “No disrespect meant on channelers, but after overhearing a few Soldiers speak about their own training, I’d rather find myself on the receiving end of a training sword than in those flaming channeling yards.”
Jerid Walker Asha'man
"We all suffer. It's how we move past it that defines us."

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Bella
Female Channeller Representative
Posts: 5482
Joined: April 14th, 2015, 11:28 pm
PC: Miahala Darrow Sedai
SC: Lysira Viathene Gaidin
TC: Gareth Tomosan Asha'man
QC: Natlya Cade Gaidin
QC: Andraste Alhandra Sedai
Location: New England

Re: Sunset reflections (open)

Post by Bella » June 6th, 2020, 6:17 pm

Haeden chuckled wryly at that last statement, even though he had been listening with close attention to everything he had been saying before that... "It's all a matter of perspective," he commented simply. He'd been fairly content himself to not have followed in his mother's footsteps, although he hadn't been thrilled about following in his father's for a long time either.

The humor--brief as it was--faded from his face as he considered what had been said. "I don't know much about the Wolfkin," he finally said after several long moments of thought. "But what you say about you and the wolves sounds very familiar. Have you heard of the Wolfkin, lad?"

Jack
"Lord of Chaos"
Posts: 470
Joined: May 25th, 2015, 9:01 pm
PC: Malcym Ashe

Re: Sunset reflections (open)

Post by Jack » June 7th, 2020, 12:45 am

Malcym almost smiled at the Warder’s brief laugh. The larger man was definitely more ... down to earth than some of the other Gaidin the young soldier had met, or Aes Sedai and Asha’man for that matter.

Even the Ji’van and older Drin’far’ji could seem at times to have something unpleasant shoved up their rear end.

However, the Warder’s next question made him blink. His mind raced back over the years of stories both his mother and stepfather had told him. While his stepmother had told him stories and read him books that expanded on the lesson his tutor taught, his stepfather told such wondrous tales in those rare times when he didn’t drone on about military history.

“Wolfkin,” he murmured as if tasting the word in his mouth. “My stepfather told me bedtime stories of men who would run with wolves, half feral. Others, who clung to life but shared thoughts with the wolf, knew certain ... things. Gold eyes, wild hair, thick beards.”

He cocked his head, his silver-blue eyes deep in thought. “He even said some Two Rivers lord fit the description, only more in touch with his reality.”

Malcym looked sideways at the Warder and muttered, “I’ve been trying to hunt down that blasted Asha’man for days now to see if he had some explanation. I don’t suppose you have some idea of whom I could speak to about my predicament.”
Jerid Walker Asha'man
"We all suffer. It's how we move past it that defines us."

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Bella
Female Channeller Representative
Posts: 5482
Joined: April 14th, 2015, 11:28 pm
PC: Miahala Darrow Sedai
SC: Lysira Viathene Gaidin
TC: Gareth Tomosan Asha'man
QC: Natlya Cade Gaidin
QC: Andraste Alhandra Sedai
Location: New England

Re: Sunset reflections (open)

Post by Bella » June 14th, 2020, 7:14 pm

Haeden chuckled a little. "They all tend to get a little wild after a long time talking to wolves, but they do not always become that image of a feral man," he pointed out. There was very little in the world that was "all" one thing or anything. There was black and there was white, but people still tended more to be shades of grey.

"However, it would be good if you could talk to someone with more experience in it than I have." He recalled a Wolfkin or two from his younger years, although he wasn't sure if there were any in the Tower now. "I can look into it for you and see if there is someone who can help."

Jack
"Lord of Chaos"
Posts: 470
Joined: May 25th, 2015, 9:01 pm
PC: Malcym Ashe

Re: Sunset reflections (open)

Post by Jack » June 15th, 2020, 4:07 am

Malcym scratched his chin. While he was clean-shaven now, he knew within a few days a shadow of a beard would be obvious. He could almost feel the coarse hair growing there, an irritant some women and himself had in common.

Light, but he hated that feeling most times, and always strove to take a razor to chin and jaw when he returned from a weeks-long patrol. Of all the things his stepfather had instilled in him, it was that a sharp soldier was a well-respected one. Those who preened their beards were fools, he said.

Looking at the Gaidin, he couldn’t help but find seeing a fellow soldier, albeit one who might be an officer. Had Haeden been born in any other area, he might have been considered nobility if his parents were afforded such luxury. As far as the stories he had been raised on, his mother had been Amyrlin Seat, a queen in all but name ... and before that, Light but Aes Sedai and their Warders carried great weight in Murandy.

Before his death, Caden Ives had been a living legend who demanded fear and respect in enemies and allies alike Miahala Ives -- her married name then -- placed a shadow over her long-dead spouse’s reputation.

Haeden didn’t seem to exude any arrogance of a high-born person. Rather, more like an officer who rose from the enlisted ranks. Fitting given that he had perhaps been a trainee himself.

And it was such that Malcym felt right to be honest with the Warder.

“I asked because the faint hope remained there might be someone like me in this place,” he murmured, looking at his boots. “The options now are clear ... drink to excess to prevent dreams, which is not a flaming option, find someone who knows about such things, of which that flaming fool of an Asha’man has been evasive ... or accept my fate and stay isolated in this place. And I will not be caged.”

He growled the last part. The idea of being cooped up in one place gnawed at his nerves. What use was a soldier who could not do his duties, even if he was trained to protect channelers, bonded or no?

“I would thank you, Gaidin, if you could find such a person, but from what the Asha’man described, even he only knew less than a handful of ... Wolfkin in his time,” he murmured. “He spoke quite emphatically about a Llewellyn Phyre Sedai, one of the few people he noted other than a ‘Mouse Gaidin.’ He said the Aes Sedai was one of the few people similar to me that he had ever met, but wouldn’t go into detail.”

His silver-blue eyes flashed in the remaining light that started to fade from the sky.

“At this point, I would welcome some help just ... controlling the dreams,” he murmured. “There are nights when I fall asleep and I’m in another place, with the world changing around me. And when I wake ... exhaustion. Two days ago, I nearly had a few ribs cracked when a flaming young first year got a blow in during a practice spar.”

Malcym was a trained soldier with five years of experience, enough to know that the trainee in mention was raw in comparison. While he was no surgeon with a blade, Malcym knew he could parry the blows and split her skull open.

“While I might be able to control what my life will be in this world, I would at least be able to focus and get some flaming sleep,” he murmured. “Gaidin, sir.”
Jerid Walker Asha'man
"We all suffer. It's how we move past it that defines us."

User avatar
Bella
Female Channeller Representative
Posts: 5482
Joined: April 14th, 2015, 11:28 pm
PC: Miahala Darrow Sedai
SC: Lysira Viathene Gaidin
TC: Gareth Tomosan Asha'man
QC: Natlya Cade Gaidin
QC: Andraste Alhandra Sedai
Location: New England

Re: Sunset reflections (open)

Post by Bella » June 23rd, 2020, 9:22 pm

Haeden offered a wry smile. "Sleep is important. Like food and a chance to bathe, it's one of the trinity that every soldier is taught to grab onto whenever the opportunity arises," he said. He paused thoughtfully for a moment. "Wolfkin have been rare in the Tower, as I imagine they are out in the world, but not unheard of. I will look into it."

He paused again. "If I remember right, though, wolf dreams are tied to the Dream...to dreamers and dreamwalkers. If you find a dreamwalker, and they are far more common, they might be able to help you sleep."

Jack
"Lord of Chaos"
Posts: 470
Joined: May 25th, 2015, 9:01 pm
PC: Malcym Ashe

Re: Sunset reflections (open)

Post by Jack » June 24th, 2020, 6:16 am

Malcym smirked at the Gaidin's words on sleep. In all his years in the army, the young soldier had seen his share of extended patrols, hunting down bandits or tracking would-be enemy soldiers who harrassed Murandy's borders. It had entailed too few hours of sleep, lousy rations and lack of supplies and only the occasional cold bath in a stream or small lake.

But those brief hours of sleep had been more beneficial than even eight hours of slumber haunted by those flaming dreams.

He nodded in appreciation at the Warder's offer of help to keep an eye on Wolfkin or those that might help and to the suggestion that he might seek out a ... Dreamer or Dreamwalker as he called those people. He had an inkling of a candidate or two who might fit the bill, if he could find them and convince them to provide some lessons.

His silver-blue eyes went to the vanishing light and he sighed. The time had come to head back to his bunk. Tomorrow would bring another day of drills and training and duties. His next free day would be spent hunting down people about dreams.

Malcym pulled himself up from his seat, one hand reaching for his sword and the other for his bag. He looked at the Warder and murmured, "Thank you, Master Gaidin for the conversation and for taking the time to listen."
Jerid Walker Asha'man
"We all suffer. It's how we move past it that defines us."

User avatar
Bella
Female Channeller Representative
Posts: 5482
Joined: April 14th, 2015, 11:28 pm
PC: Miahala Darrow Sedai
SC: Lysira Viathene Gaidin
TC: Gareth Tomosan Asha'man
QC: Natlya Cade Gaidin
QC: Andraste Alhandra Sedai
Location: New England

Re: Sunset reflections (open)

Post by Bella » July 1st, 2020, 2:20 am

Bella very lazily just writes a fourth-wall-breaky post about yada yada Haeden says good luck and good night and stuff like that. Tada! The end.

:sword

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