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A Plan, in Theory
Thu Jun 22, 2006 11:54 (XFF:

Toren found it surprisingly easy to blend in around the camp. So long as he avoided lingering too long in one place, nobody seemed to notice that he didn’t belong and he just kept helping out with whatever task was going on around him. Part of the morning was spent loading food supplies into baskets so that a flight of to’raken could re-supply part of the southern force. Toren tried not to smile when he heard that Black Tower forces had seized a large stockpile of Seanchan stores. Camp rumor suggested that last night’s attack on the sleeping raken had been meant to disrupt the Seanchan transport capabilities, but in the dark the Black Tower channelers had missed the larger to’raken. Apparently they roosted in a different location, which Toren had not yet seen. The Seanchan seemed to find it very amusing that the enemy had mistaken raken for beasts of transport, and Toren just laughed along with them. He wasn’t about to explain what had really happened.

Just as Toren was taking a quick break for food at mid-day, a Seanchan officer marched up and confronted him. He wasn’t a very high ranking officer – Toren was starting to figure out the military insignia on the Seanchan uniforms – but Toren was still apprehensive. It only took one person to identify him as a spy, and this officer looked pretty angry about something. Toren reached for saidan and prepared to defend himself, but he managed to stay calm long enough to hear what the officer had to say. “You – no slacking! Get over there and help the fletcher.” The officer pointed to a man with graying hair who sat engrossed in the work of adding feathers to the ends of arrow shafts. When he finished with an arrow, he dropped it into an ever growing pile at his side. After the briefest of instructions, Toren sat down beside the pile of arrows and started tying them off in bundles of twenty. It was a tremendously boring job, but it gave him time to collect his thoughts and plan out how he was going to rescue an Asha'man.

One, two, three . . . As he counted out the arrows, Toren mentally walked through the night's activities. I'm going to wait until dark before I approach the tent. If most everyone's asleep then there's less chance of a random passerby getting in my way. That leaves one, maybe two, guards outside the tent and the damane and sul'dam inside. I'll throw up a wall of air around the tent - not strong enough to keep people out, but enough to dampen sound. I don't want to alert the damane when I'm taking out the guards and, since damane are all women, she won't notice that there's anything Power-related going on. The same shield will keep anyone on the outside from hearing what happens inside the tent.

The guards shouldn't be too much trouble if I catch them unawares; I just need to avoid getting caught in a long, drawn out fight that will attract attention. The real problem is going to be the damane. I do NOT want to get into a magical dual with someone whose weaves I can't see, so the first strike has to be quick and deadly. Once she's down the sul'dam won't be much of a threat, but I need to stop her from sounding the alarm. After that I still need to get the prisoner out. Best case scenario, once the shield is down, he can weave us a gateway and we walk straight into the traveling yards. But I should probably have a plan B . . .

Okay, assuming no gateway, then we need some kind of disguise - sul'dam and damane. I'll have the perfect models to make the Illusion look realistic, and the Seanchan seem to give sul'dam a healthy respect. Even if we do run into someone in the middle of the night, they'll be unlikely to stop us and ask questions. The only problem will be at the perimeter. Presumably sul'dam don't just wander out of camp at night to look at the stars. Still, some Illusion distracting the guards should allow us to sneak past, and then we've got a straight run to the clearing along the southern path. I think this should work . . . if everything goes according to plan.
Toren looked around and found that he had finished with the entire pile of arrows.

The fletcher, apparently misinterpreting Toren's thoughtful stare into the middle distance, started to give him advice. "Is this your first battle, son? Just keep it simple. If the other guy swings at you block it; if he leaves himself open, smack him good and hard. He's probably just as scared as you are and he's not going to remember the difference between 'Boar Rushes down the Mountain' and 'Tower of Morning' so you don't have to either. You'll do fine, kid, you'll do just fine." Toren hurried away.

  • The Way InSoldier Toren Swain, Mon Jun 19 14:25
    When Toren awoke, it was dark and he was stiff and sore from sleeping on the rocky ground. But he was alive, and he wasn't shielded by some woman on a leash. All things considered, it could have been ... more
    • A Plan, in Theory — Soldier Toren Swain, Thu Jun 22 11:54
      • A Plan, in PracticeSoldier Toren Swain, Thu Jun 22 12:05
        Toren flitted around the camp until nightfall, avoiding contact with the groups of soldiers as they gathered to eat their evening meal. Partly, he didn't want to intrude on a group who might... more
        • I'll Fly AwaySoldier Toren Swain, Wed Jun 28 10:24
          Toren and the Asha’man, who had introduced himself as Lars, stood at the base of the cliff, looking up. The sentries at the bottom were relatively lax, even now they stood chatting with one another... more
          • Tying Off Loose EndsSoldier Toren Swain, Thu Jun 29 10:20
            Toren had deliberately ordered the Seanchan woman to land some distance away from the rendezvous point. He started to angle through the woods south and west, knowing that he would eventually cut... more
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