Silliness and Light (Open RP)

Mariasha sang to herself as she wandered down the streets of Tar Valon.  The town was its normal hubbub of noise and activity, for which she was grateful.  She didn’t consider herself that great a singer, but being in such a fine mood, she couldn’t help herself.  It was a gorgeous day, and she was very pleased to be free of duties.  It hadn’t taken her that long to figure out what she wanted to do with such a lovely day, and that was to spend it outdoors.

But before she could implement her devious and glorious plan, she had several stops in mind, which was why she found herself singing her fool head off and wandering around town. ”First things first,” she thought to herself, ”I’m going to need a basket.” This proved to be no problem, as she was aware of a basket-weaver who sold her goods in the open market east of the Tower.  ”I can probably get everything I need for this little trip at the open market,” she thought cheerfully as she approached her destination.

Nodding to herself, she stopped before entering the row of stalls.  Musing aloud, she began listing what she needed, “A basket, a bit of linen, some things to eat…”

23 February 2009 (10:17pm)

Satisfied with her list, Mariasha entered the market proper.  Her first task, she had decided, was to find a suitable basket.  Strolling up the aisle, she noted other stalls to hit up on her way back down.  But even if she didn’t need to do any shopping, she couldn’t help but love this sort of thing.  There was a certain… energy, a certain showmanship to these bazaars, and she loved hearing people call out their wares in over-the-top creative ways.

Perking up, she spotted a woman selling baskets.  After some haggling, Mari was striding away to hit up a cloth stand she had seen on passing, only to be distracted by a bit of discordant yelling coming from a nearby stall, “You thief!  Don’t try to steal my goods right under my nose!  I tell you the prices, either you pay or you leave!”

Mariasha blinked in surprise, pushed her basket up her arm, and strode forward to the source of the shouting.  “I’m sorry, Sir. I didn’t meant to…”  the boy said while the shopkeep carried on.  “Excuse me, sir,” Mariasha interjected, hooking a thumb at the boy, “Was he actually stealing anything?”  Casually resting her free hand on the hilt of a dagger, she raised her eyebrows questioningly.  “N-n-noo, ma’am,” the shopkeep stuttered out, “H-h-he was just trying to make me sell him things for prices that I’d not even sell things to my aged grandmother for, I promise!”  Snorting derisively, she leaned across the stall counter and got right into the shopkeep’s face, “If that is going to be your attitude, I will inform my friends amongst the Warders, Tower Guards, and Aes Sedai that you have a lack of compassion for those that are in worst straights than yourself, and to not give you their custom.  Good day, sir.”  Ignoring his spluttering, she grabbed the newcomer’s arm, “Come on, kid.”

Pulling him a few stalls down, she looked down very slightly into his pale green eyes, “Are you okay, kid?  You’re not actually trying to steal anything, I hope?”  She smiled warmly; no reason to scare the kid… unless he actually was stealing something.

24 February 2009 (12:30am GMT)

Chuckling softly, Mariasha dipped her head in greeting, “Hello Llewelyn, I’m Mariasha, Mariasha Valnar.  My Aes Sedai is Taeadra of the White Ajah, but past that, I don’t know that many Aes Sedai.”  She grinned merrily, and nodded to her basket, “Myself, I was planning to have a little picnic.  I’m just here picking up… well, everything for it, really.  I was heading to that fabric stand over there,” she gestured off to her right, “to pick up some linen next before deciding what foodstuffs to get.”

Raising an eyebrow, she gestured to Llewelyn to follow her, “As for trouble… well, I take it you’re not used to city traders yet, then?  Even here in Tar Valon, they’ll try to gut you for every penny they can.  You’ll get used to it in time; he probably just sensed that you’ve not had much experience with his sort.  And,” she laughed again, shifting the basket to the other arm, “I’ve probably scared the poor bloke enough that he’ll be very generous to his customers for the rest of the day.”

Stopping at the stand she’d eyeballed earlier, she handed Llewelyn the basket, “You’re welcome to join me for my picnic, if you wish.  I’m sure that you probably have it in your head to explore the town, but that can come a bit later.  You’re going to have a lot of acclimatizing to do, after all, so better to play it safe until Thera has you all sorted out, I would say.”  She winked, and started eying the linen samples on the table.

25 February 2009 (4:45pm GMT)

Raising an eyebrow, Mari walked over to the fallen guy and offered her arm, “Here there, let’s get you up.  Ever think about watching where you’re going?”  He eyes twinkled merrily to match the smile playing across her lips before she turned her attention to her new little friend, who was just scampering back, “Here, don’t drop it again, you might really lose it to some thief next time.”

“I take it by your blush, Llewelyn, that you feel you might have done something wrong.  Well…”  she laughed in earnest then, “Considering that this isn’t a training or a battle situation, I guess I’m going to have to let you live.”  She winked turning her attention to the guy she had helped up, “You look familiar… do I know you from around the Yards?  Either way, it seems you’re as in good a place as any to get patched up, at least once we decide what linen suits our various purposes best.”  She eyed his wounds in bemusement, wondering if she should continue to offer her arm, or if that might offend the poor injured fellow.

28 February 2009 (4:14pm)

Chuckling to herself as Llewelyn doctored over Visar, Mariasha thought, “This kid is going to make something of himself.  That is, if he doesn’t step on all his teachers’ toes with his enthusiasm.  After all, have to be a good follower to be a good leader…”

She was drawn out of her reverie when Llewelyn addressed her yet again, “This’ll hold a while, he might as well be another guest for your picnic. That way, we’ll be sure to drop him by the infirmary when we get back to the Tower. What would you say?”

Nodding, she smoothed the just-purchased linen down into the basket before handing it back to the Saldaean boy, “Food is generally a good thing to have after an injury.  Plus, if you decide to have a relapse, grass, mud, and rivers tend to be a tad more forgiving than pavement.”  She winked, and waving her hand, led her party onward.

With two males in tow, the basket was quickly overladen with meat and mead.  All sorts of excellent nibbles had made their way in, and Mari was most definitely looking even more forward to this little outing.  She hadn’t expected to pick up company, not really, but on such a nice a day is this, might as well share the good times!

It was only a short walk to the river on this side of town, and in no time, they were being let out onto the bank from a small pedestrian gate.  “Thanks Tad, don’t work too hard!” she laughed, striding through with her companions in tow.

The grass was dry beneath a clear sky, as the Warder had hoped it would be, “Good thing too – didn’t get enough cloth to sit on or anything as extravagant as that!” Still, she spread out a portion of linen and began to unload some of the goodies onto it.  “I don’t know about you two, but I’m hungry.”  She smiled, and gestured towards the food, “Shall we dig in?  I mean, after all, there is quite a bit here, and it shouldn’t go to waste.”

05 March 2009 (9:48pm GMT)

Eying the sun, Mari sprawled out on her stomach and watched the byplay between the trainees.  It had been some years since she had been amongst their number, and it was amusing to watch their byplay.  Had she herself been that nervous about getting into trouble when she was amongst their number?  It was hard for her to remember; the passing of years had colored everything rosy.

So it didn’t come to much surprise that the children were quickly reminded of a need to return back to the Yards.  Granted, the boy who had jumped into the river, Elyan, was probably freezing by now… tapping her lip, she shook out the linen they had used as a groundsheet and stood, “Here… Elyan, was it?  You might want something a little drier than your own skin.”  She winked, and stood up with the proffered ‘garment’.

“As for the rest of you… I’m sad to hear you’re going already.  Myself, I’m going to enjoy the rest of the day… maybe I’ll drill a bit, or maybe I’ll go fishing.  I’ve not decided yet; all I know is that it’s a lovely day, and I’m determined to spend as much of it outside.”

08 March 2009 (12:15am GMT)
“If I had to stake a guess, I’m guessing that young man leading the two-person parade back to the Yard is soon to be raised to the Guard, yes?”  Mariasha laughed, and peered around for a suitable branch.  Exclaiming in delight, she spotted a likely one nearby, and picked it up for inspection.  Nodding in satisfaction, she sat back down and fished a small case out of her belt pouch, “You can tell, you see, with those about to get raised.  They get all pomp and dignity at thinking about not being a trainee anymore and all the honor and duty that supposedly come with it… but really, it just means training the same and having to stand watches besides.”

Gesturing Elyan and Edana over with her branch, she then took out her dagger and whittled a notch into the top.  Nodding in satisfaction, she opened her small case to reveal a few hooks and a couple of meters of line, “Edana, do you have any experience fishing, or are you going to need pointers like wet boy here?”

09 March 2009 (8:17pm)

As she finished securing the line to the stick, Mariasha carefully tied the hook onto the end of the string.  “That’s about all there is to preparing a rod, Elyan.  If you find yourself a good stick, I’ll let you borrow a hook so you can try your hand as well.”

Eying her handiwork, her attention was diverted when Llewelyn suddenly spoke up, “That was a clever idea, Mariasha Gaidin. If we fish enough, maybe we’ll be able to feed the whole Yards with our catches tonight!”  She laughed, “I sincerely doubt that we could feed all of the Yards, but at least we might manage to catch enough of something or another to snack on here in a bit.”  Shooting a smile at the returning Elyan, she took the proffered stick and inspected it, “That should work just fine; help yourself to the hooks and line.”

And then Llewelyn threw her a curveball, “Mariasha Gaidin, if I may, I would like to know how you met your Aes Sedai. I mean, what kind of thoughts and relationship can make a Warder and an Aes Sedai bond together?”

Laughing and groaning at the same time, she laid down her line and turned to the young trainee before addressing him, “Oh Light, now that’s a tale.  Suffices to say that beer makes the heart grow fonder, and in mine and Taeadra’s case, it provided an immediate connection.”  She shook her head before continuing, “And what I mean by that is that we happened to meet at an inn while out drinking with friends, and it was just an immediate liking of each other.  We both knew that it was right, drunk or not, and agreed to bond the very next day.  Of course, the very next day we were both very hung over… care to guess what happened?”  Her eyes sparkled with amusement before she continued, “Well, as you might have heard, women who bond each other tend to reflect each other a lot more strongly than a male/female bond.  Take two hangovers and multiply them mentally… let’s just say some very unhappy Novice had some very nasty cleaning up to do later that day.”

Standing abruptly, Mariasha gestured towards the river, “Shall we try our luck, then?”  She wanted to distract them before they asked any more questions – for all that herself and Taeadra were back on the right track again, there were still many things she wasn’t comfortable talking about with their relationship.

10 March 2009 (9:49pm)

Accepting a worm, Mari threaded it expertly into her hook.  She had already taken off her shoes and rolled her pants up a bit, and her feet dangled in the chill water as she cast her line out a bit in front of her.  The submerged grass on the downward sloping riverbank tickled at her feet, and she smiled – this was relaxation!

She turned her attention back to Llewelyn, who looked pensive, “Is something wrong, Llewelyn?”  Mariasha had an idea what was worming into his mind, but then?  Initiates had to lose their innocent ideas about bonding and servitude at some point, and she didn’t feel bad about bruising notions.  After all, it might make him think about what he was getting into more than she herself had.

And if it saved her the pain that her Aes Sedai brought her, that Thera’s Aes Sedai brought her, then all the better.  While none could deny her affection and concern for her Sister, it was definitely far from the ideal relationship a young girl fresh to Tar Valon had in her mind.

Ferena (Biography)

Name: Ferena
Age: 17
Place of Birth/Raising: Three-Fold Land
Clan: Dragonmount
Society: Wise Ones
Weapons of Choice: n/a

Eyes: Blue
Hair: Blonde
Height: 5’11”
Weight: 150 lbs

Physical Description: Ferena is your average girl, really.  She is neither ugly nor striking, but cute in a rather commonplace manner.  She bears no signficant scars or other such markings.

Personality: Ferena is a kindly young woman, and was raised to be most dutiful in all things.  She is a good listener, and slow to anger.  Because of this, some people mistake her as meek.  However, she is a very proud woman who knows her own worth.

Character History:

Ferena is the only child of of Corel, a trader, and his wife Sina, a Roofmistress.  She became very close to her mother, as her father was often away on business.  Oh, she loved her father very well, and always delighted when he came back home.  Of course,  she didn’t mind the little trinkets he brought home for her and her mother, either!

Still, hers was a happy childhood.  While she didn’t have any siblings, she played happily with the other boys and girls of her sept.  She wasn’t able to understand why some of the girls wanted to run off and play with spears, but then, she herself didn’t know what she wanted to make of herself when she grew up.
She delighted in sharing what she knew with the younger children in her sept.  She felt that she would be a very good mother if given the chance, and was very happy to be like an extra ‘big sister’ or ‘aunt’ to the other children.  Now, if only she could figure out what to do with herself besides that…

That decision was taken from her when it was decided that she was to apprentice under the Wise Ones.  Ferena was baffled – what about her made her special enough to be honored by this calling?  So, with some fear and much determination, she readies herself to rise to the challenge, and to serve the Aiel well.

SCRAB? CRABS? O_o (Basic Training)

Dodging a determined runner, Lydia walked up to the woman standing nearby.  “Are you Evelyn, ma’am?  I was given this note and was told to give it to you.  I think I’m supposed to be training under you today?”

Wiping her brow, she watched the guy running around in circles around herself and Evelyn.   He looked like he’d been at his task for some time, and she couldn’t help but wonder if she was going to get a taste of the same.  She wasn’t a huge fan of running, but she knew that there was a lot of tasking things she was going to have to do to prove her worth to the Children.

The Forging of a Dreadlady…

Sitting cross-legged on her bed, Rendra hummed quietly to herself as she honed her daggers.    It was a nightly ritual for her, and it brought great comfort to know that her steel was sharp, and ready to serve her another day.  One blade already lay next to her, glimmering in the lamplight, and the other was almost complete.  Giving a few last strokes with the whetstone, she switched the stone for a cloth and gave the blade a final wipe-down.  Smiling in satisfaction, she stood and began to transfer her tools into her wardrobe.

As she was shutting the wardrobe door, a knock suddenly boomed through the door.  Before she could so much as move to grab the daggers off her bed, Arcon swaggered in.  Narrowing her eyes at the annoying Cairhienien, she opened her mouth to speak, only for him to cut her off, “Adept Rendra Harella,” he started, speaking languidly, precisely, “You are to be tested for the rank of Dreadlady this day.  I assume you’re bright enough to know the rules from the last test, yes?”

She glowered, but nodded sullenly.  Taking a moment to sheathe her daggers, she stiffened as the older man laughed, ”So I can surmise that my blades will do me little good in this test, whatever it may be… but at least I will have the mild comfort of cold steel by my side,” Rendra thought, stepping out the open door past her guide.

As they made their way to… wherever, Rendra tried to suppress her nervousness.  She had no idea what to expect on this test – how much worse could it be than the maze that had brought her from Acolyte to Adept?  And yet, even as she asked herself this, she knew within herself that it would probably be a lot worse than anything she could envision.  As the Myrdraal in one of her classes had said in the past – they had to succeed, or die trying… and no matter how hard she had worked these previous years, she wasn’t sure if she would succeed.

The time for thinking was short, however, as Arcon quickly delivered her to a large room.  Smirking, he nudged her into the chamber, and shut the door behind them.  Before her, she recognized one or two of the people sitting before her – Mae’shadars, the elite of the Dreadlords, and there were five of them staring down dispassionately at her.  To the side, four male Dreadlords waited, “What…” she started to think, only to have her thoughts interrupted as one of the Mae’shadar gestured her to step forward.

“Adept Rendra,” the woman spoke, “You have been deemed ready to test for the privilege of becoming a full Dreadlady.  All you have to do… is survive.”  The woman finished with a bit of bite, and smiled darkly.  As she finished her sentence, the Dreadlords stepped forward…

“What are…”

Her thoughts were immediately interrupted as one of the men raised his hands.  With a twist, a fireball suddenly hurtled through the air.  Training took over as she opened herself up to Saidar and deftly wove a shield of Air, blocking the projectile.  ”Why couldn’t this be bare-handed fighting?!” her mind protested as she jumped to the side in attempt to avoid an earthen elemental blade.  The blade brushed her arm as she dived, and the Taraboner woman gasped in pain as a slow welling of blood greeted the air where the blade had grazed her.

Time seemed to blur as she fought off attack after attack.  The very ground shook, and her legs and dress were cut and torn from the very earth under her feet rising up against her.  Rendra was very much on the defense; she was not a very strong channeler, and only the dexterity of her weaving kept her from death itself.  Oh, she managed to get off a few attacks of her own – one of her opponent was quite damp, but her limited successes only seemed to spur them on further.  Her body and mind were quite exhausted, and only the growing heat of her anger spurred her onward.

When her opponents suddenly stopped, Rendra fell to her knees gasping.  All in the room eyed her solemnly, and with great effort, she levered herself back to standing.  Once again, she tried to speak…

Only to be cut off as a wall of fire began to sped towards her.  Shrieking, she drew deeply upon Saidar and wove a shield of Air as strongly as she could around herself.  Where before some of the Dreadlords had only wove things that seemed designed to keep her off-balance, the room now seemed to be filled with Fire and Earth, all aimed directly at her.  Spirit brushed her link to the One Power, and she shoved back as hard as she could against that which would deny her life.

Biting her lip, she continued to dodge as best she could to keep all her opponents in sight.  Her dress was all but rags now, but life was more important than modesty.  Her entire body felt decidedly singed from all the close encounters, but all she could do was cut the weaves she could see, and block the others at this point.  She attempted to slice at her opponents, only to almost lose her head to a fireball.  She tried to weave shields to block her opponents, only to have them slashed to tatters, and her almost as well during the recoil.  Her anger burned dimly in her mind; she must not lose Saidar!  She had to live, to kill, to seek revenge!

Once again, there was a sudden cessation in the onslaught.  Gasping for breath, she held on as tightly to Saidar and her anger as she could.  What was the meaning of this?  Was she not worthy, had she not studied hard, had she not trained well?  Glaring defiantly, she straightened as best she could in her wounded state, and offered a prayer to the Great Lord that this was the end of it, that she would live to serve.

The Mae’shadar before her glanced at each other before the one in the center spoke, “Release Saidar.  Release the Power now, or else!”  Reluctantly, Rendra let life and color pour out of her, and gasped as tiredness crashed out.  Sheer stubbornness kept her upright as significant glances continued to be exchanged on the dais.  Perhaps she was too tired to miss the infinitesimal nods, but after what seemed an eternity, the woman in the center spoke, “If has been decided that you have tested truly, and on the morrow, you will be taken to the Bore to swear your oaths to the Great Lord.  Rest for now.”


Dismissed.  To sleep, to dream; life followed an odd path to bring her here, but this was her way in things.  Rendra, between random bursts of inner glee and almost-complete exhaustion, was even able to ignore Arcon as he followed her back to her chamber.  Smirking, she slammed the door in his face, and tied off the sash behind her.

Hobbling to her table, she picked up her small mirror and inspected the damage.  Her braids were a frightful mess of loose and singed-off hairs.  Her face had picked up a few new gashes, and it was readily apparent to anyone that could see her (if anyone had been peeking into her room) that she was in a pretty beaten up state.  Sighing, she removed the remnants of her ruined garments, and began to carefully wash herself as best as she could with what was on hand.


The next day found her dressed in the finest of red silks, and with her hair back in a proper state of repair.  There was little she could do for the dark circles under her eyes, and even with Healing, she was still feeling slow and weak,  ”Knowing my luck, last night wasn’t actually the test, and they’re going to try something to me again in this weakened state.”

Thankfully, her fear was unfounded.  She made her way into the wan light that surrounded the Fortress with her guide (thankfully, not Arcon –this- time!), and stepped through their gateway onto a strange and barren landscape.  “This is Shayol Ghul itself,” her guide spoke, gesturing to the mountain and surrounding landscape, “To channel here is death.  Remember this always.”  Nodding, Rendra gingerly followed her guide forward.

Up the mountain and around the vents, the pair finally entered through a vent that was indistinguishable from all the others except for one minor factor – it wasn’t belching smoke, steam or fire.  Stopping just inside the entrance, her guide gestured forward, “Step forth and swear your oath.  I will wait just outside for you.”  Nodding grimly, Rendra picked her way forward.

Ducking her head slightly, she made her way carefully around jagged stalactites that seemed to get lower and lower the deeper she progressed into the cave.  Before long, she was picking up her dress and trying to scoot around, hoping that she might make it through to swear her oaths looking better than she had the night before.  The Great Lord must have been listening, in this place that was nearest to his home, for she found herself at the end of the route.  A ledge jutted out over a pit of writhing flames, and above her… “Better to not look up,” she decided firmly as her knees collapsed under her.  Of course, that could have also been the overwhelming presence she felt all around her…

Suddenly, all thought was washed aside as pure force exploded into her mind, “WHAT DO YOU COME TO OFFER ME, CHILD?”

“My heart, my body, my soul, Great Lord!”  she cried out, shivering slightly at the sensation in her mind.


“I am yours, Great Lord, for now and for always!” she screamed, feeling like no more substantial than a vibration as the pressure in her mind increased.


“I swear it, Great Lord, I swear it,” Rendra whispered as she felt the pressure suddenly vanish from her head.

Pushing herself upwards, she backed away a few steps before turning to exit.  There was work to be done.

CotL Philosophy class – To be or not to be…. what a boring question :P

Lydia was enraptured as Ezekiel gave his lecture.  Her time in the Fortress of the Light thus far had been a whirlwind of physical training, chores, and so forth; this was her first chance to put her new-found writing skills to use.

And for what a glorious reason to use these skills!  Never in her wildest dreams could she have imagined such a discourse offered so casually to the average Child; even though she was learning new things all the time, she still considered philosophy to be a pursuit for intellectuals.

Peace.  Faith.  Aid.  Duty.  Honor.  Obedience.  How to define them?  And yet, she had to try.  Writing in large, careful letters, Lydia hoped that spelling wouldn’t be held against her:

Peace: When there is no war or warring.  It is a time of harmony and understanding between people.  To me, this is the ideal state of being, and something to strive for at all costs.

Faith: Belief in something higher than yourself, whether it be an organization such as the Children of the Light, or what they stand for – the Light.  To me, this is something that we should share and instill in others, that they might find greater joy of the Creator in the Light.

Aid: In the simplest of terms, help or assistance.  To me, this is what the Children of the Light do for others who are less fortunate, whether it be protecting them from Darkfriends, or whatever is needed.

Duty: An obligation, or a job to do.  To me, my duty is to serve the Light and protect the people of the world from Darkfriends, and to be the best Child I am able to be.

Honor: Honor is doing what is right and proper.  For me, it is an honor to be a Child of the Light, and to be entrusted with the sacred duty of protecting the sanctity of the Light.

Obedience: At the core, this is simply means obeying the rules laid before a person.  Obedience is very important in an organization, and it’s mete and proper to follow the rules so that an organization’s business might be carried on in a prompt and efficient manner.

Shaking out her arm, Lydia frowned at what she had written, and hoped that it would suffice.

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.