Exalted Dungeon Master

Wheel of Time RP: Roleplaying Thread

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The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth comes again. In one Age, called the Third Age by some, an Age yet to come, an Age long past, a wind rose in the Mountains of Dhoom. That wind was not the beginning. There are neither beginnings nor endings to the turnings of the Wheel of Time. But it was a beginning.

Southward the wind blew, past the walls of Fal Dara, sending the banner of the Golden Crane billowing in the air. Eastward it raced, puffing up spiraling clouds of dust. If one listened closely, they might be able to tell that this wind was different--an evil wind, almost. But even this far south of the remains of the Blight, there was no one to hear the warning.

The wind buffeted the flaps of a lonely tent by the roadside, causing its lone occupant to look up irritably. Laeran Al'Elarin grumbled under his breath as he moved to belt the tent flaps down, then paused. That certainly wasn't there before. On the road, if the single-track dirt path that led out of the Aiel Waste could be called that, lay a ripped segment of green fabric. It seemed to almost shimmer in the early morning light. After crawling out of the tent, he hastened to his feet and delicately snatched the piece of cloth off the road. 

It was relatively new, and free of dust besides. Someone must have passed by in the night. But who would be traveling so near to the Wastes? And which direction were they going? Frowning in concentration, Laeran wove Air, knocking his tent to the ground and rolling it up in a single awkward weave. He eyed it with a small amount of satisfaction--it looked slightly better than yesterday, which meant he was improving. Hopefully. 

No use dwelling on that now, though. If there was someone nearby, and they were heading in the right direction, he might be able to snag a traveling companion for a little while. Light knew, it was boring being on the road alone. Perhaps he should think about settling down somewhere--but no, the Black Tower might still be searching for him. But that, too, was a problem for another day. For now, he wanted to see another human face, talk to someone else for a change and maybe learn some news of the world at large.

He gathered up the bundle that was his tent and slung it over his back, checked the cord around his neck for his good-luck pendant, and set off up the road clutching the green strip of cloth. It wasn't long before he spied a lone figure, sitting huddled around a cookfire and slowly warming a hot breakfast. "Hail!" Laeran shouted as he approached. The figure looked up, and Laeran grinned, hoping it looked disarming and not just creepy. "What brings you to these parts, fellow traveler?"

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Ryth travelled along the road. Ever since the end of Tarmon Gai'don, he'd been thinking. Thinking about friends and family lost. Thinking about how he'd proceed in life, now that the battle was one.

Eventually, he came to a stop, and pulled out his heron marked blade. He approached a sturdy looking tree, and began using it for practice. Practicing made everything easier. It eliminated the need for thoughts, feelings, and emotions. Once he was done, he sheathed his blade, and made camp for the night.

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Dannon sat down beside the road, his side aching where he'd been hit. 
Looking down, he noted that a piece of his coat had been ripped off during the fight; that the metal of the armour was showing through. 
"Blood and ashes. Blood and bloody ashes. If it's not one thing its another. What was a trolloc doing here? Light be thanked it was alone!"
With a visible grimace of pain, Dannon began to unlace his coat of Plates when he heard a traveler walking down the road, and looked up. 

"Hail and well met! Folly and light-blasted stubbornness it seems. I'm Dannon Al'Seen. What do you call yourself on this lonely road?" 

As Dannon spoke, he shifted his longspear with his foot, ensuring it remained within an easy grasp, while subtly redoing the ties on his coat.

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Laeran paused a moment before answering, wondering if he should tell the truth. After all, this wasn't a road that most respectable travelers would find themselves on. "Laeran Al'Elarin," he replied after decided that honesty was probably for the best. "I've found a piece of cloth on the road. Same color as that coat you're wearing, there." He gestured the garment in question and noticed the dark stain around the tear. "Light, you're hurt! What happened?" He started down the incline, ignoring the way Dannon was maneuvering his longspear, and hoped that he wouldn't get stabbed for his troubles. You're basically asking for it, anyway, he thought to himself. Whatever happened to caution here?

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Noting Laeran's behaviour, Dannon relaxed. By the light, how suspicious can I get? 
"Trollocs happened. Trollocs on the high road. There were three. Two are dead, one fled. Unfortunately, the second one got a swing in. Coat saved my life; good steel in here between the fabric, but the blade cracked one of the plates. You have any bandages? The ones I used are soaked through."
Shrugging off his blood-speckled cloak and coat, Dannon leaned back. As the coat clanged to the ground, he began to lift his shirt; underneath a roll of blood-soaked bandages held his side together. 
"Ah mothers milk in a cup. Just what I needed. I happened to like that shirt you know"
 

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Laeran's eyes widened at the sight of blood as he gritted his teeth and embraced saidin. He channeled, threads of Air and Water and...Spirit wouldn't come. It rarely did. Even on the best of days, his Spirit was so weak he could barely make the most rudimentary Healing work properly. And that had only been once. The rest of the time, the weave had dropped apart before he could finish it. "Burn me," he snarled under his breath. Why couldn't he be stronger? Why couldn't he do anything with the One Power?

He sighed in regret and let the weave dissolve. "Sorry about your shirt," he said as he doffed his pack and rooted around for clean bandages. "But that's the least of our problems right now. We should get you to a town, or to someone with better healing skills than I." As an afterthought, he added, "and we should warn someone about the Trollocs, too." Hadn't the Trollocs all disappeared after the Last Battle? What was going on?

Finally locating his rather primitive medical supplies, he knelt next to Dannon and handed him the kit. "I'm not great with blood and such--squeamishness and all..." He trailed off. "Maybe you could, you know...handle this yourself?"

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"Hah! Light man, you've done more already.... On this road? More than anyone could expect. Thank you."
Saying this, Dannon cut the bandages off of his side, revealing the purple-yellow staining of bruises and a ragged cut a hand long, but shallow.
Pulling out a curved needle and some thread, he began to stitch the wound shut properly, grimacing in pain all the while. 

"You're right man, you're right. Do you know anyone nearby we could warn? A town or village? This road has been as still as the grave for the last few days!"

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After the night was done, Ryth quietly woke up, and packed up his camp, getting back onto the rode. He ate breakfast in the saddle. Eventually, he saw two people in the distance. When he got closer, he noticed that one was wounded, and the other was giving him bandages. Approaching, he asked, "Are you OK? What happened? How long ago?"

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As he walked along the light forsaken road, Shae thought about what had brought him here. He'd never thought he'd be wandering the blight, much less be on a road beyond it. He cursed the wolves that had pushed him down this path. The memories made the fresh scars on his forearms and neck burn. The memories he'd summoned came to mind then, as clear as the day he'd made them.

Shae ran, dodging around trees and releasing the two rats he kept in his pockets. They would distract some of the wolves. He'd attacked to large a pack, he'd only killed seven of them. The other five were hunting him, and he was losing ground. 

Shae cursed himself for not thinking to stay near a river or stream or something to cover his scent. As it was, the wolves would pick up on his trail very soon. 

A piercing howl ripped through the air, others soon joining it; they'd found his trail. Shae pushed himself faster, pushing his limits and making his legs scream and his chest burn from the effort. He pushed the sensations away and kept running; he deserved the pain anyway. 

The beast grew closer quickly, the sound of pursuit growing mere minutes after they had howled. Then sound of water drew his attention. He forced himself to move faster, hoping against hope that a river was ahead. There was.

Shae was running hard, the river just coming into sight, when the first wolf jumped at him. It managed to hit him, though its howl of triumph gave him enough time to draw his knife. By then the others had caught up and blocked his way to the water, all the good it could do him now. 

He fell into a crouch, his blade ready. He'd take down these beasts, even if it killed him to do it. As they began to circle him, he noticed that there were only four. One was missing, which made no sense. The things hunted in packs, and usually everyone was in on the kill. Unless...

Shae jumped at one of them, managing to clip it on the neck. He'd hit an artery, almost certainly, and the thing would die soon no matter what. He whipped around as the others jumped at him. Rolling to the left, he stabbed one in the side leaving a long, deep, gash. He hoped it'd bleed out.

He backed away as the others began attempting to circle him. The one he'd cut on the neck was whimpering while the one he'd  gotten on the side was limping, whines coming from its muzzle. The other two were wary of Shae now, carefully watching him for motion. They still weren't afraid, so they did have a fifth member, but where was it?

A deep voice cut through the air, jolting shae's nerves and tightening his grip on his blade. "You've been killing wolves. Why?" Shae forced himself to stay in his stance, keeping his eyes on the wolves though he ached to face the man. The man wouldn't be holding a bow near wolves, and he sounded too far away to be an immediate threat. Shae asked a question rather than answer the man's. "They aren't attacking you. Why?" 

Silence filled the glade for a moment. The wolf Shae had scored on the neck began to slow, its eyes beginning drift closed, and the other one he'd hit was beginning to slow as well. He felt the urge to grin, though he repressed it. 

Eventually the man spoke, his voice angry. "You've killed one hundred and eighty-four of them in the past two years, another man might be impressed. I want to know why. Answer me now or they will attack and you will die." He sounded mad now, and certain of what he said. That meant he believed he would kill me. An assumption is a fatal mistake. 

Shae opened his mouth and said, "I kill them because they're creatures of the shadow. At least in my eyes." Shae slightly loosened his grip on the knife and tensed his muscles. "With that said, I think it's time you all died. Who cares why those beasts don't attack you..." Shae whipped around and threw the knife, catching the man in the eye and knocking him onto his back. " after all, there's no reason for a dog to the secrets of his betters." 

Then the wolves were on him, biting and scratching and trying to end his life. Shae wanted to let them, He wanted to finally have it all over-with. Unfortunately, his blood betrayed him yet again. I felt his bodies desperation pull at that raging torrent, that power he both despised and craved, filling him with a wonderful, sweet, beautiful sensation. Even as he used the power, Shae cursed himself and his blood. 

Fire, hungry and unquenchable, burst from his hands, the power flowing through the only woven path Shae knew and burning the wolves as he fought back. As fire licked their bodies and greedily feasted upon their skin, they lurched away from him, bowls and yips of pain coming from their mouths. The wolf he'd scored across the side attempted to stand and come at him, but could barely move. 

Shae walked over to the thing, standing over it with a pitiless expression. "Your probably terrified right now, I wouldn't blame you." Fire continued to flow across his clenched fists, slowly dying but still alight. The creature whined and attempted to push itself away. Shae knelt next to the creature and held his hand in front of his face, watching the fire dancing around his hand. 

"I hate your kind, you know." He said, a smile lightly touching his lips. Then he grimaced. "I will do my best to erase you all." He clenched his fist and rammed it down into the creatures chest, breaking bones and ripping through skin. The things entire body went rigid and a strange gurgling sound came from its throat as steam rose from the hole in its chest. 

Shae stood and walked away from the corpse. He'd been here too long. It was time to leave the place he'd called home for so long, otherwise more of the wolves allies would come. He couldn't dare be predictable; the wolves would win that way. He carefully left the area, stopping by his home to gather his belongings and wash the blood from his body. Then he'd left, heading north into the place known as the blight.

As he came back to himself, he noticed a few black figures in the distance, one of them on horseback. He crouched and moved foreword more slowly, pulling out his knives. After the wolf friend he'd met, he had been much more wary of people. One could never be sure.

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Laeran shrugged, unsure. "I think there may have been a village a few days back, but I dunno. I avoided them all, and everything blends together when you travel like this..."

A voice interrupted him, floating from a man on horseback who was quickly approaching. "Are you OK? What happened? How long ago?"

Looking up, Laeran responded, "Trollocs, apparently, and recently. Do you know of any villages near here? Or a way we can get warning to people somewhere? The Trollocs are supposed to all be dead!" As he spoke, he pointedly did not look at Dannon stitching up his wounds, but he could still hear the noises. Swallowing his nausea, he noted the heron-marked blade on the stranger's hip. So, a blademaster, then. He could be useful to have along. At least until they reached a village. Then he wouldn't be having any of them along, because they would want to talk to the mayor or send a message to some more powerful government. He couldn't afford to stay for an extended period of time in a settlement, or word of him could reach the Black Tower. He hadn't seen any sign that he was being hunted, but being a deserter, he hadn't wanted to find out.

No, once they reached somewhere with people, he would let the others deliver the message. Perhaps if it was a small town, he could go in. Smaller towns were less likely to send channelers to the Tower, and he hadn't had an oven-cooked meal or a soft bed in over a year...

Perhaps.

Suddenly he realized that he'd gotten caught up in his thoughts, and missed the stranger's response. "I'm sorry, what was that?"

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Avyra nudged her horse forward, the gentle gelding shaking his head in annoyance. The night made everyone in her party weary, it seemed. Kyella, hooded, rested on her gloved left hand, uneasy despite being unable to see.

Avyra would be lying if she felt at ease.

She didn't expect to find people here, but that was okay with her. All she needed was a trusty horse and her golden eagle. Horse for travel, eagle for food. It had worked for her so far.

Stopping, she silenced her horse's hooves to listen, just to make sure her mind wasn't playing tricks on her. Were those voices?

Curious, she made her way forward, close enough to see a group of shadowed figures around a fire. They appeared to have just met. How odd.

She slid down from her horse, huffing to herself as such an action revealed her real height, and stalked forward, Kyella's huge talons tightning slightly on her fist.

"What brings a large group like yourselves out here?" She asked, her voice even, non-confrontational, but not weak.

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As another stranger walked towards him, Dannon grew increasingly surprised blood and bloody ashes! How many people are on this road today? 
As the man asked his question, Dannon responded - "Better now, thank you. Bloodied as you can see. May I ask who you are, and what brings you out to this light-forsaken road?"
As he spoke, he noticed a woman dismount and walk on over - "What brings a large group like yourselves out here?"
Visibly flustered, Dannon finished bandaging his side and awkwardly dragging his shirt over his head; "Light! Let a man get his shirt on!"
"I'm sorry about that!" He said, shrugging on his armoured coat, "I seem to have had a run in with a Trolloc. My name is Dannon Al'Seen, may I ask yours?"

As he spoke, he glanced over her shoulder, into the face of a crouching man, daggers drawn - At least I noticed him this time
Quick as a flash, he grabbed his strung bow from the bundle and nocked an arrow to his bow, wincing as he rapidly drew it back to his cheek and called out;
"Hold where you are!"

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Shae froze, as he'd been told to do. Then he focused on the bow. He had his daggers hidden again in an eye-blink and stood up straight. He'd been noticed and given the chance to not get shot. Any wolf or friend of theirs would've recognized him and shot him on sight. He didn't move forward; after all, he'd been told, by someone not an enemy, to stay where he was.

"I'm Shae, forgive me for sneaking up on you, but I was a little wary, as could be expected in this vast waste between villages. What brings yours here to the endless roads beyond the blight?" He asked, using a calming, inquisitive voice. He tried to deepen it just a bit to imply that he was older than he appeared to be. His eyes flickered over the group, cataloging things as if they were a pack he was hunting. 

The man had winced and was favoring his side, a recent injury then; there was a woman, most likely not dangerous, though she had a hawk that could outfly his knife throwing skills and the wretched ability that he himself had could be in her too. It could be in any of them, for that matter. There was another man on the ground next to the bowman, he seemed fairly average though his more developed musculature would make him more difficult to beat in a fair fight. 

Then there was the last man, a sword-arm. His blade was too distant to see, but Shae remembered the shape of it all too well. His father had owned such a blade, an heirloom from a great grandfather. The man was heron marked, deadly and fast; Shae needed to avoid a fight with him unless it was in an extremely favorable circumstance or unavoidable.

He smiled then, trying to ease the groups minds. They were strangers, only recently met. When the archer had pulled up his bow, the others hadn't immediately reacted, implying either shock or surprise;  neither of which occurred in a group that had seen battle together. Neither had they rushed to guard each-others backs, which would have happened in a true party. The bowman's injury was too fresh to be more than a day or two old, so they hadn't wound up together until after that.

Edited by ShadowLord_Lith
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Slightly overwhelmed by the sudden appearance of so many strangers, Laeran started visibly as Dannon whirled about with his bow. He seized the True Source and before he knew what he was doing, he was halfway through the weave for a wall of Earth. When he realized that no one else was moving, he stopped self-consciously and held the weave unfinished, but kept it ready to complete. He wasn't that much of an idiot.

"Who are you?" he asked none of them in particular, hoping at least one of them would respond. "And can we please put down our weapons and talk to each other without threat of dismemberment?"

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Shae remained where he was, barely moving a muscle, though he allowed his arms to drop to his sides. He hadn't been told to move and the command to freeze was still in place. He watched them as he answered the mans question, attempting to raise his voice so they could all hear him.

"I, sir, am Shae, Shae Isha'Bekkar. As for my weapons, I could give you my knives if you'd like; I promise not to dismember you." He grinned slightly, trying to put the group at ease. The grin faltered as he noticed a strange feeling in his gut; a sense of fear and danger, with a hint of respect and reverence.

Someone in the group had the same cursed blood that flowed through his own veins. Someone in the group was a channeler. He let his grin return to his face, attempting to keep his composure.

Regardless of who was channeling, he couldn't kill or escape them unless he knew who it was. And that meant both gaining their trust and, likely, befriending them.

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al'Wyn looked out at the odd gathering. In previous days, he would have simply walked pass them, or maybe weave one of his more unusual weaves at them and see what happened. He didn't really like it, but he had to eat and nobody was going to let a male channeler hang around for long. But he didn't have to any more. Because now, he was an Aes Sedai. Not only was Saidan really cleansed, and it wasn't just his madness playing tricks on him, but the Dragon had reformed the world. The way he figured, a man could easily be an Aes Sedai. He walked over, and saw a man standing completely still. He felt another chaneller. He didn't care. He went up to the man who was not moving, and gave his most unnerving Aes Sedai grin. "I have misplaced my horse. I need to go to the White Tower. Take me there." He hoped that his Aes Sedai imitation was working. He looked around. Not only were they not instantly mounting, but they were actually looking angrily at him. Light, this was bad. Should he leave?

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"Just putting the knives down would be fine," Laeran replied, "and I'd like to know what business you have here as well." After a moment's hesitation, he added, "I'm Laeran al'Elarin, and I'm just a wanderer." Ha, yeah, he's going to believe that, he thought to himself. But it was true--he was just wandering, the Light take him, because he was too afraid to stay in one place too long. Not wandering, then. Running. He spied another man approaching out of the corner of his eye and shifted his weave of Earth to prepare to block the newcomer, but he ignored him as he waited for Shae's answer.

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