To gain an Edge ((ATTN: Raeyn))

Rendra had been bemused to receive an invitation to meet up with one of the boys that had been in her weapons class, and all the more so for it being one who had so obviously been drooling over Rebecca.  ”The idiot probably just wants some sort of details on that stupid chit, and probably figures that all girls are the bestest of best friends around this place… bah!” Grumbling under her breath, she stalked to the meeting place that had been indicated on the missive.  Whatever the case, she was curious as to what this person wanted, and why he had indicated she should bring her daggers with her…

Stalking out into the courtyard, she smirked at the figure waiting for her.  He smiled slightly in reply, “Hello Rendra, I am Dreadlord Arcon Dadread.  I remember you from a weapon’s class, and I thought perhaps we could spar to improve our skills a bit. We don’t want to fall behind the other students now, do we?”

Blinking in surprise, she looked at him uncertainly before retorting, “When did you have time to notice that?  If I recall correctly, you were busy drooling on your chit of a countrywoman.”  She smirked, stroking the hilt of a dagger, “Why didn’t you ask her out here?”  Rendra ran the tip of her tongue across her full lips, and smiled brightly… but with a hint of malice.


31 January 2009 (3:21pm GMT)

Rolling her eyes at the man before her, Rendra wondered if the fool thought she had been born yesterday, ”I thought Cairhieniens were supposed to be subtle and clever… getting promoted must’ve gone to his head.”

Still, she would be foolish to pass up a chance to train up her skills, even if it was with this arrogant creature.  What she said, however, “And why should I trust that a half-blind man won’t ‘accidentally’ run me through, Peace of the Shadow or not?”  She smirked, arching an eyebrow questioningly as she crossed her arms.  Tapping a finger on a forearm, she continued, “Not that I think I’m worth your time or effort to kill, mind you, the half-trained child that I am…”

Rendra trailed off, stifling a mock-yawn for effect.  “Regardless, I guess some small measure of trust must be garnered.  As you said – this would not be the place for such plots… and I guess I’m bored enough to give you some of time for this.”   Smiling crookedly, she uncrossed her arms and drew her daggers.  She gestured at the taller man with a dagger, she started forward.

25 February 2009 (2:18pm)

Narrowing her eyes, Rendra wondered how she had lost the advantage.  Oh sure, he was bigger, had a longer weapon, but with his sight issues and overwhelming ego, he shouldn’t be that hard to take down.  “Maybe I’m just not trying hard enough.  After all, I don’t really want to kill him… but he seems to be trying pretty hard to try his luck here!” She danced back, forcing herself not grip her blades quite so tightly.

She deflected yet another onslaught; The Grapevine Twines attempted to shove his sword aside with one dagger, while the other hand attempted to go for his tiny heart with Kissing the Adder.  Unfortunately, his heftier weapon meant that her efforts were truly for naught, and almost cost her a hand besides.

Stepping back again, she suddenly dodged to Arcon’s left, ”Perhaps I can circle around to his blind side and get the advantage,” Rendra mused excitedly.  Granted, she still had to get around his blade, and in no time the two found themselves dancing and slashing around each other in a circle. ”Perhaps around the other way, then…”

Rendra realized amongst all this dashing, slashing, and hacking that she’d never felt more alive in her life without the One Power in her.  She immediately dismissed the idea of channeling at him to take advantage of the battle, however; he could channel as well, after all, and this was for practice, not for life or death.  Still, she dashed and dodged, attempting to get around his blade…

And was rewarded with a sword-edge pressed firmly into her side as she was pressing the flat of one of her blade’s against Arcon’s neck.  Laughing softly, she spoke towards his ear, “Shall we let each other free, then?”  As she spoke, she gently moved the dagger away from his neck and stepped to the side away from his sword.  Inspecting her blades, she sheathed them and smiled in delight, “I would say that was… edifying.”

There Has Got to be a Smarter Way to Defy a Parent ((Signing Up!))

Pushing her hair back over her shoulder, Lydia stared at the building before her.  “The Fortress of the Light,” she whispered to herself, somewhat unaware of the flood of humanity jostling her as she stood outside the gates.  When someone started shouting for her to get out of the way, she very willingly jumped back – she was not in the mood to get mowed down by a returning patrol!

Her eyes drifted back to the structure again.  Why is it that on the day she finally decided to find out if she could become a Child like her father, something she had wanted all her 18 years… was she standing outside the gate gawking like some foreigner?  Taking a deep breath, she willed her legs forward, and beyond the outer gate.

Crossing to what looked like the main entryway, Lydia took stock of herself.  She wasn’t that much to look at – long dark hair and normal dark eyes.  Calloused hands from a life of beating other peoples’ clothing clean attempted to smooth large wrinkles out of her ill-fitted dress… how she hated having to wear dresses.  Her mother had always ignored her desire to follow in her father’s footsteps and had tried to make a lady out of her.  Besides, she couldn’t see any man wanting a plain thing like her, soldier to-be or not…

Shaking her head, she entered the building proper.  Her footsteps echoed through the cavernous entrance chamber before she stopped moving to openly stare.  Why, this fit into those stories her mother told her of kings and queens as she was a child; was this the world she was entering?!

“Hey now, what are you looking at?” a man stopped in front of her and inquired.  Blushing slightly, Lydia managed to stammer out a reply, “G-g-ood Day, sir.  I w-w-was… that is to say… where do I sign up to become a Child of the Light?”  The man laughed slightly, eying her with mild incredulity.  She lowered her head slightly, before raising it back up to meet him in the eye.  Curiosity dawned in his face, but he politely explained that she would have to meet up with the Head Clerk, and gave directions to his office.

“Thank you, sir,” she responded politely before starting in the direction he had indicated.  Yes, she could understand his response.  She didn’t look like soldier material on the outside, but on the inside… who knew?

It wasn’t long before she found herself before some door with scribbles on it.  She didn’t know how to read, so as she knocked, she prayed fervently that she hadn’t come to the wrong place.

15 January 2009 (2:02am GMT)

“Healer?” Lydia exclaimed, “N-nn-no, sir, I’m not a healer…”

She trailed off, blushing.  This was the man that the other people in the office seemed to indicate was the person she needed to talk to, but she had thought the smirking was because she was a frail girl.  And while she might not be the brightest, it didn’t take a genius to figure out that they were smirking at the misfortune of anyone that had to deal with this man personally.

“Well then, what do you want?!” this man, this Roudal barked at her, “Make it quick, can’t you see I’m trying to have a cup of tea?”  He glowered at her, and she felt yet another blush creeping up her face.

Taking a breath, she took a step closer to his desk, “My name is Lydia Gerig sir, and I want to be a Child of the Light, like my father before me.  He told me about the joy of serving a higher purpose and defending that what is good in the world, and I have always wanted to take after him.  And now that I’m a woman grown, I intend to do just that… if you’ll have me, that is.”

Lydia bowed her head, and hoped that she hadn’t been overly bold.  She had no idea what she would do with herself if they wouldn’t take her, but she knew one thing – she was done with being a washerwoman like her mother.  One way or another, she would make something of herself in this world.

19 February 2009 (8:14pm GMT)

Blushing slightly, Lydia took another step closer to the desk, “Why under the Light would he think I’m a healer? Was that.. was that a test?” She shuddered momentarily before speaking again, “My full name is Lydia Gerig, as said sir. I was born and raised right here in Amador – my mother is a washerwoman for some of the officers here in the Fortress, sir.”

Biting her lip, she wondered if she was being too forceful in tone, but she was serious about her desire to serve. She thought he wasn’t toying with her, but this might as well have been a different country on this side of the Fortress walls.

Lydia Gerig (Biography)

Name: Lydia Gerig
Age: 18
Place of Birth/Raising: Amador, Amadicia
Subdivision: Army

Physical Description: Lydia is of fairly common stock; she has brown hair and eyes, and slightly tanned skin.  She has no particurally distinguishing features – just your common Amadician peasant girl, really.  She stands 5’5″ and weighs 115 lbs.

Character History:

Lydia was born and raised in the shadow of the Fortress of Light.  Her father was a Child of the Light that died in the skirmish when she was very young, and her mother, Lemara, a washerwoman.  She has no other siblings, and her mother never remarried.

Growing up, her mother used to tell her tales of her father’s heroic deeds serving with the Children, and was proud that so many of the unmarried officers made use of her when they needed their garments washed.  She instilled a proper reverence of both the Children and the Light in Lydia as she grew up…. though couldn’t instill a love of washing the clothing with her dear old mother.  Of her father, she only had faint memories of a proud, tall man clad in the brightest white smiling down at her; he was always so handsome and brave looking in her memories.

She had made a decision early on in her life (between grimacing at dirty smallclothes brought in to be cleaned) that she would follow in her father’s footsteps and serve proudly in the Light.  Her mother would laugh derisively at this – why would the Children want a scrawny girl-child amongst their proud soldiers?  Better to stick to scrubbing uniforms, Lemara would remark derisively.  But Lydia was undismayed by her mother’s dismissive attitude – once she reached her 18th nameday, she steeled herself and approached the Fortress; perhaps there was room for another who wanted to serve and fight for the Light.

The New Girl in Town ((Open))

Sharvani stared desolately at the corner of the inn room that her entire family was occupying.  It was crowded with all but her father present, and her mother was clucking around annoyingly, “It’s such a shame that we couldn’t talk Piava and Inigo didn’t want to join us out here; the whole family could’ve stayed together that way.”  Shar sighed inwardly; there was no point in complaining again that she had wanted to stay with them instead of coming out to this nowhere place in Andor.

“I’m going to go to my temporary workshop, Shar; keep an eye on the boys!” her mother called cheerfully as she departed the room.  The young girl bit her lip and mused, ”Why did nanny have to go and stay back home?  Why am I stuck having to watch the boys?!” Her head turned slightly to catch sight of her brothers playing in the cramped space between the beds.  They had acquired some sticks, and were pretending to be fierce warriors, as young boys often did.  And, of course, with mother out of the room, they chose to jump onto the beds and pretend they were fighting over a river.

“Stop it, you two!” Shar growled, spinning to face them, “Even if these are not our own beds, that doesn’t mean you two can go hopping around on them like madmen!”

“But Shar,” Rio protested, “We’re bored.  There’s nothing to do in this room!”

“Well, go play outside or something; I don’t care,” she countered, turning back to stare at the wall.

“Momma gonna be mad if you aren’t watching us!  She told you to watch us, and we don’t want to stay inside!” little Cid complained, eying his stick sword thoughtfully.

“And you’ve not left the room except to bathe since we got here a couple of days ago, Shar!” Rio spoke, bouncing over to his sister, “I want to go see what there is around here, and you’re going to take us.”  He started tugging at her hand, and laughed in delight when Cid ran over and grabbed Shar’s other hand.

Glaring daggers, she ripped her hands free of her brothers’ smaller hands and turned to face them again, “Well, I am simply not interested in exploring this cesspit of madmen that Father’s fancy has dragged us into.  I would much prefer to stay here until they see sense and send me back to So Habor to live with Paiva.”

Cid’s bottom lip began to tremble; an old presage to tears.  Sighing, she bent down and hugged him tightly, “Hush Cid, hush… I guess we can go right outside the inn and you two can run around.  Would that be okay for now?”  A bright smile dawned on his small face as he nodded emphatically, and she couldn’t help but smile in response.

Standing, she went to her chest and fished out her small hand mirror.  In spite of her self-chosen confinement, she had still taken care of herself – her chin-length hair was neatly held back with a headband, and the red around her eyes was pretty much faded from the first couple days of non-stop tears.  Her dress was finely embroidered green wool, as was fitting for a well-off Altaran girl, and was accented by a low-slung belt & pouch dyed to match.  She checked to make sure her dagger was belted on as well; she didn’t know anyone, and had heard some of the queerest stories about outlander men and their ideas of propriety.

Nodding in satisfaction, she turned to her brothers, who were snickering to each other.  “What’s so funny?” she demanded; a flash of anger flickered in her eyes as she eyed the little boys.  “Oh, nothing Shar, nothing,” Rio sniggered, only to be cut off by Cid, “Can we go outside now?!”  Sighing in frustration, she stalked to the other side of the room and held the door open.  Gesturing grandly yet sardonically, she had to bite back a small laugh as the two youngsters ran out of the room screaming happily.  Shar rolled her eyes, and closed the door behind them.

Once outside the inn (and convincing the innkeeper that no one was dying, but that the boys were very happy), she grabbed their hands to keep them from running off and spoke forcefully, “I am going to sit down here on this bench, and you two can go as crazy as you want… as long as you stay where I can see you.  Bad enough I have to play nursemaid, but it’s going to be death if I have to explain to Mother why one of you dolts has gone and vanished.”

The boys eyed each other and gulped slightly, but were back to their swordplay in a flash.  Whooping, screaming and laughing, the boys darted around in front of the inn.  Shar rolled her eyes and sighed, ”If only I could be so easily distracted…” Biting her lip, she tried to not think about anything at all, lest she start crying again.


12 January 2009 (10:40pm GMT)

Shar didn’t even have time to retort at the bold stranger who plopped down next to her, since he seemed to not understand balance, and immediately fell over.  Raising an eyebrow, she turned around to her brothers, “That sort of behavior,” she gestured behind her towards the fallen figure as she spoke quietly, “Is not appropriate behavior for a gentleman.  But still, I guess we should probably get someone to see to him, idiot or not.”

Herding the boys back into the inn, she sat them at the nearest table and cornered the first person she could find.  This happened to be a serving girl, but the young Altaran woman politely explained about the idiot man outside who had fallen over and smacked his head, and could someone please assist him?  The serving girl nodded and scurried off.  Sighing softly, Shar pulled up a chair next to her brothers.

“I’m sorry you had to see someone hurt himself,” she said with a frown, “We can go back outside if you want to keep playing after they take care of him.”  Rio and Cid nodded, and squirmed in their seats.  They were definitely at that age where sitting still was the worst punishment that could be inflicted upon them, but knowing that this wasn’t their own home, they knew that acting out of line would be a quick way to upset their parents.  Still, having to keep a literal eye on them or not, she wished she had brought a book down.

She sat there as the minutes passed, watching as the boys started to squirm more and more in their chairs.  Grumbling, she stood back up, “I’m going to peek outside and see if they’ve taken that man off for treatment.  DON’T MOVE!”  Giving them a sharp glare, she nodded curtly and stepped to the door to peer out…

And immediately stepped backwards as the silly man who had injured himself was carted in on thin air itself and dumped unceremoniously on the ground.  Stiffening, she turned back to the boys, who were peering with great interest.  “Perhaps we should go back upstairs…” she started, trailing off as their peers turned into gapes.

Turning around, a different serving woman stood by in fright as the man on the ground had somehow acquired two bowls of food and a loaf shoved in his mouth.  “What in the Light?!” Shar exclaimed to herself as she took a few steps backwards.  Suddenly, the bowls were in the air, and the strange man was… juggling?!

Shaking her head, she suddenly noticed that her brothers had dashed in front of her and were clapping like silly fools.  Before she could drag them upstairs, the strange man spoke, “Hungry?”  He offered up one of the bowls, “It’s still good; I managed not to drop any.”

She blinked, grabbing her brothers by the arm and taking a few paces backwards, “No… no… I’m not hungry… and if you’re not crazy yet, you’re surely on the way there, sir!”  Shooting him a defiant glance, she dropped Cid’s arm and clenched a dagger’s hilt in her fist.  The poor fool was probably not going to harm them, but she wasn’t in the mood for any funny business at that exact moment.

11 February 2009 (10:35pm)

Sitting down, Shar narrowed her eyes at the older man, ”Who under the Light is he to tell me what to do and not do?!” She started to blush regardless; even her father never dressed her down like this, and in front of her brothers at that?!  Admonishment about not clenching her dagger or not, she continued to glare hotly at this stranger.

He must have noticed her anger, this strange man, because before she knew it, she was trying to distract her brothers from listening in, ”He must not have had any siblings to not know that they’ll always listen in to this sort of thing!” Still, she felt perversely grateful, if still not comfortable with the situation.

Her eyes grew wide as another man intercepted her brothers before wandering over to where she was sitting.  Giving him a hard stare, she wondered where her brothers were off to, and would have asked had she not been interrupted, “My Lady, I assure you that Storm Leader Covai is an honorable and just man.  If you will not trust him then perhaps you will trust me.  I swear on the grave of my wife may she rest in peace that you will not be harmed, but you must put that dagger away.  I would also advise you to watch your choice of words.  I stand surety for your safety and for the boys, but I caution you to choose your words and actions wisely.”

The rest of the man’s words were lost as what he said sunk in, “Storm.. Leader?!  Oh Light, did I pick the wrong person to call crazy!” She shot Covai a slightly incredulous look across the table, and managed a wavering smile for the gentleman who was running off with her siblings.

Shar carefully moved both of her hands to the top of the table and did her best to refrain from tapping.   She continued to look at Covai with incredulity in her eyes, but said nothing.  After a long moment, she lowered her gaze and muttered, “Could’ve mentioned that you were one of the ma… men in charge of this place, rather than letting me make a fool of myself.”  She sighed, and raised her eyes slowly, “And I do apologize for my rudeness, I’m just… I’m just not very happy, mind you.  After all, how would you feel if you’d been uprooted to be a babysitter for your siblings?  Me, a woman grown ‘well, nearly’ who had plans for her life.  But did my parents care?  Noooo.”

Shaking her head, she spotted her brothers and smiled in mild relief, “Not that you’re probably particularly interested in the homesickness of the daughter of a man who couldn’t make the cut, I’m sure.”

Sharvani Maruri (Biography)

Name: Sharvani Maruri
Age: 16
Place of Birth/Raising: Tava, Altara

Hair: Brown
Eyes: Brown
Skin: Pale
Height: 5’6″
Weight: 130 lbs
Character History:

Sharvani is the second eldest daughter of Selcia and Belen Maruri, and grew up in the small village of Tava, near So Habor in Altara. Her family was considered rather prosperous, as her father was quite skilled in carpentry, and her mother was fairly adept at weaving. Because of this, her family was never in want, and herself and her siblings were able to aquire a good education due a private tutor/nanny.

This came in handy, of course, as Shar grew older. Her mother was ever willing to take herself and her older sister, Paiva, on as assistants, thus leaving the care of her little brothers Mio and Cid to the nanny. While Sharvani wasn’t terribly fascinated with weaving, it gave her a way of earning a bit of cash to go play with whenever she could manage to catch a ride into So Habor. She and her sister loved the sites of the ‘big’ city, and enjoyed being able to wander around buying from street vendors and talking about the rich city men they would marry. They would happily stand outside of silk shops and discuss the fancy dresses they would wear, and the balls they would attend when their princes found them.

Of course, the dreams of girls are never the reality of adulthood. Paiva ended up marrying a fisherman chance met in So Habor by the name of Inigo Tavirino. And while they weren’t rich by any means, they had a very happy and tidy home, which Shar would often come and visit.

It was on one of these visits to her sister’s home that she chance-met a friend of her brother-in-law by the name of Rufus Saim. While not a fisherman (that much, they could confirm), no one really had any idea what he did do, just that he had a bit of coin and was free with it to those he liked. “A charming rouge,” Paiva had once described him, and it was true – Shar found him to be utterly wonderful company. And while there was no talk of marriage at that point, Shar found herself incredibly drawn to this charming young city man, and started to dream of the perhaps.

This too, of course, was spoiled.

A party of black-cloaked men showed up in the village of Tava one day speaking of serving the Dragon Reborn. Shar herself couldn’t really care; she was distracted thinking about trying to catch Rufus’ eye at a tavern he liked to visit. However, her father was intrigued by this notion; he surprised his entire family by declaring that they would go with these strangers to give aid to the side of the Light.

Shar was devastated – leave the only place she knew? She tried wheedling and begging with both her parents – couldn’t she live with Paiva and Inigo? Her weaving wasn’t that bad, she could support herself. While her parents considered this for a split second, all hopes were dashed when their nanny announced that she would not be coming with them on this mad jaunt, and was going to stay in Tava with what family remained to her; Shar would have to look after the little ones instead. Devestated as only a young girl can be, she regretfully packed up her things… under the sharp eye of her mother, who fully expected the young girl to try and bolt.

But she didn’t bolt – she very sadly packed her things up on the wagon with the rest of her family’s possessions, and prepared for what she thought would be a long journey to wherever the Dragon was. To the shock and surprise of her entire family, a hole opened in the air, and the black-coated men stepped through it! One step, and two countries were crossed. Her family were pointed towards the inn, and her father was lead off.

She was scared – where were they going to take her father? What were they going to do to him?! But her fears were unfounded – he was back in half an hour looking somehow both relieved and bemused. He explained that they were in Andor now, and that he was going to stick around to help these men by doing carpentry work. He went on to excitedly explain that Selcia’s work would be well appreciated as well – there weren’t many weavers available in the area. He didn’t mention the testing to find out if he could channel, of course – they found out about that later; it was a small source of relief in the upset their lives had taken.

So now, the Maruris are residents of the Black Tower, and waiting anxiously for their house to be finished.

Meeting the Family (Shadowspawn Class)

Smoothing a dark blue gown over her hips, Rendra walked sedately through the Fortress towards…. somewhere.  She knew that there was yet another class to attend that day, but she was as-of-yet unfamiliar with the entire layout of this immense structure that was her current ‘home’.

After what seemed an Age, she noticed a stream of people she recognized from her other classes heading in what seemed the right direction, and she joined them.  To her surprise, there were two cloaked forms flanking the open door.  The young Taraboner stiffened momentarily as she felt a shield cut her off from Saidar… but she knew better than to ask questions in this place.  The ‘lessons’ here were just as harsh, if not harsher, than those she’d grown up with.

Sighing inwardly, she shuffled in with the rest of the students, and found herself a corner to hole up in and observe from.


18 January 2009 (1:04am GMT)

“Good afternoon, class.”

Rendra gasped in surprise as the woman who had been standing there when she came into the room turned around.  Woman… but not… where were her eyes?!

“My name is Calaun Ontrix Seyr… And I am a Myrddraal.”

Biting back a gasp, the Taraboner was suddenly very glad for the corner she had placed herself in; the walls were giving something to brace against rather than falling flat on her face.  For all her time at the Fortress, she hadn’t had to come face-to-face with any of the Shadowspawn creatures, and for the life of her, she couldn’t figure whose idea of a joke it was to plop the lot of them in a room with one!

Of course, that was before this Calaun actually even looked at her.  When that eyeless gaze brushed her, Rendra could feel her spine trying to climb out of her skin and through the wall, and that gasp from earlier did manage to escape.  For all she had faced in the streets growing up, she was suddenly very sure that there was nothing quite as fearsome as this strange creature before her.  Tightening her hands into fists, she bit her lip and promised to herself that this too she would learn to not fear; she was tough, and she couldn’t let anything cause her fear, not anymore… for Aldric.

11 February 2009 (5:33pm)

Rendra narrowed her eyes as the creature continued carrying on and ranting.  Granted, her spine felt like it had been dunked in the coldest parts of the ocean whenever that angry eyeless glare crossed over here, but that was beside the point.  Who was this mere creature to talk down at her future leaders; did she want to be remembered poorly in future battles, where life and death lay in the hands of those above her?

”Still,” she thought to herself as the creature raged on, ”Other people here claim they can ride through shadows from one place to the next, and,” Rendra’s thoughts cut off suddenly as Calaun slammed her hands down on the table, making it issue a decidedly creaky-crunchy sound, “… … … And maybe this Myrdraal has a point, and the lot of us are silly cows…”

Gulping down air, she forced her hands to unclench.  Anger and fear mixed and streaked with each other in her as the Myrdraal glared around the room, and it was all she could do to keep her hands from her daggers, ”Did I already forget the promise I made to myself not moments ago? I WILL NOT FEAR! I cannot, I must go on to punish those who would harm those I cared about.  I must be stronger than… than this creature, than everyone!”

Forcing herself to step away from the wall, she took a deep breath and attempted to address the creature hotly.  What came out, however, was a squeaked, “I under… under..stand… you… ma’am.”  Gulping, she hung her head and glowered; she would master her fear.

10 March 2009 (1:22am GMT)

Taking a deep breath, Rendra forced herself to meet the gaze of the Eyeless once again.  She was still shaking a bit, but it was something she could accept.  After all, everything improved with practice, supposedly, and this was her first time doing this.  “I have no further questions at this time,” she made herself say as smoothly as possible.

She was further gladdened when the creature turned away from them all to go towards the door.  Oh sure, they were off to look at more creatures, but at least she’d not have to look this Myrdraal in the eye again quite yet – twice in as many minutes was more than enough for now!

Taking a deep breath, Rendra willed her feet to move forward… after the Myrdraal.  Towards whatever pit of monsters they were going to go play in, monsters that some day they would have to all command.  Even faced with it now, it was still so hard for her to believe the road of her life had taken her to such an insane point.

15 March 2009 (7:33pm GMT)

Following along, she felt her legs regain some strength as she wound her way down through the Fortress behind the creature, rather than directly in its gaze.

In time, they reached the open cells.  Rendra almost gasped as she felt someone channel Saidar behind her; a globe of light sprang to life, revealing some beasts within.  Beasts for lack of a better word, but surely they had a name?  She had heard of many sorts in her time here – Trollocs and Draghkar, Darkhounds and so forth.  The beasts didn’t look like dogs of any shape, though, so Rendra dismissed them as that which she could see before her.

She was definitely curious as to why these creatures were caged before her.  Sure, they were probably dangerous, but then, what wasn’t dangerous in the Blight?  ”Perhaps if I do the smart thing and stay very quiet and still, I shall find out what’s going on here.  I mean, beyond what in the Great Lord’s name these things are!”