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Blaesius al'Asa, Aes Sedai of the Yellow Ajah
VI: Ghosts of the Past
Sat Dec 9, 2006 09:39
81.153.157.145 (XFF: 192.168.1.3)

As soon as Teli's beautiful head dropped from his shoulder to the bed's pillow, Blaesius leapt to his feet and strode from the Inn. He wasn't sure why they were here, but he knew why he was. Tracing the routes of the Past, those long ignored memories, he walked down roads, streets and paths that were as familiar as though he was trodden them the day before. Almost a decade, and nothing had changed. Even with the Dragon Reborn's flag flying next to that of the Rose of Andor, he could still see no differences in the world of today. Suffering… Still see no differences in the people of today. Greed…Still no differences in the truths of today. Xirona.

Lost in the Ghosts of the Past; in the pain and suffering he had endured in Caemlyn, in the guilt at his survival, he barely noticed when he left the bustling Inner City behind and passed under the all-too-familiar cracked-stone of the Outer City Graveyard. The grass here was dead and overgrown- more hay than living vegetation- and the tombstones barely legible from age. But Blaesius didn't need to read their names. He came to a halt beneath that old and wizened yew-tree. Its branches were leafless, bleached and broken; yet they clawed at the stormy sky like a thing alive. Or a thing undead… The wind howled and whipped cloak and dead leaves alike around him. The terrific sound of it- so deep and melancholy in its attire- masked his rising cry of pain.

'I'm so sorry Mother.' Tears ran unchecked down his face and his hands pawed at the aged tombstone before him as he fell to his knees. 'I never meant to. I couldn't control it.' He words were those of a child, and they rose from his very core; repressed for decades.

'I loved you with all my heart. You gave me so much. You brought me back from the edge.' And in reality, I never called her Mother... It was always Xirona. How bitter is that which we only understand the value of, when it is gone. He crossed his legs and sat hugging himself in the shelter of the bowed yew tree on a whim, moments before the ironclad clouds layering the sky dropped their tempest of water. There were, it seemed, some advantages to the Power.

'I'm as good as married now, Mother, and an Aes Sedai at that. Everything you could have ever wanted for me has come true, yet the only thing I ever wanted for you is impossible. I deserve to rot in the deepest darkest pit of Shayol Ghul for what I've done.' The silk of his tunic was sodden with rain and tears, yet it went unnoticed in Blaesius' grief. 'I should open my veins here and now in atonement. I would gladly sacrifice myself to the Dark One for a chance at your life again... If only saidin could heal death...'

Blaesius' eyes lit with sapphire flame under their watery coating, and he leapt to his feet for the second time that evening. With a bitter-sweet laugh, he immersed himself in the Void and seized the Power.

'That's it! I shall bring you back to life! I know they say it can't be done with the Power, but I can try! Oh Lord yes, I can try... Even if it costs me death I shall...'

The snap of a twig, and Blaesius swung in shock, the Void splintering and vanishing. A... tramp is the only word that fits the description, stood, head bowed, leaning against the tree. He was tall and lanky, with long, filthy, grey hair hanging around his shoulders and a ragged beard. Rain dripped from his nose in a steady stream under the onslaught from above; but he seemed not to notice as he stared at Blaesius. As though in a battle of wills, the two figures stared at each other as the long seconds ticked by, and then...

'You'm under my tree, lad.' Dark onyx eyes glittered intelligently from under the curtain of hair and Blaesius' own widened in incredulous surprise. He laughed.

'Your tree, old man?'

'Aye, laddy, mine. Five year I come sit under this 'ere tree when Old Man up there get' grumpy. This the only time I ever found another person 'ere. You best be moving on… or I'll fight ye' for it.' The tramp's mitten-clad hands clenched into fists and Blaesius' incredulity grew still. Why would he think he'd come to steal the shelter? He looked down at himself, and he gave a bark of amusement.

'What be so funny, ay?'

Shaking his head and seeking a gap between gales of hysterical laughter, Blaesius explained that he was not a tramp, merely soaked in mud and various graveyard detritus.

'Hm, you be gone in the head, boy, talkin' 'bout raising the dead and bein' Aes Sedai. Light, I'm more Aes Sedai than you'm be.' Shaking his head in disgust, the tramp sat down against the grey wood of the tree and pulled a pipe from his pouch. Face disappearing in a cloud of greenish-tinged smoke, he ignored Blaesius completely and sat humming to himself quietly in the shelter of the tree. Blaesius stifled his laughter and regarded the man with renewed depression. It was amazing what the homeless could get hold of. He was about to tell the man to smoke elsewhere when he was interrupted...

'Did ye know 'er?'

'You... Pardon?'

'Did ye know 'er? Xirona there...' Blaesius felt like he'd been kicked in the teeth. Surely no one else was still alive who had known his Mother? Mother she was indeed, although only by fostering. But she was the best he'd had. He'd never known his true Mother that well.

'I... Yes.' tears filled his eyes again, but he refused to show his pain in front of a stranger. Aes Sedai calm imposed itself again. 'How did you?'

'Argh, I know what ye'r thinkin', but I never knew her. Read it off the stone, didn't I.' Blaesius breathed a sigh of relief and tried again to summon the willpower to tell the tramp to move on. But...

'But I knew her boy.'

'What?'

'Her boy, her son... He told me how she there got put in the ground- forest fire or some such.' The tramp's ragged head was wreathed in a halo of dense smoke and he nodded happily to himself- obviously elated to have made a new friend.

'Yes, it was something like that...' The screams, the smell of burning wood, the flames leaping from the floor of house. Thinking about it, a whole forest had very probably burnt as parts of the houses that were destroyed that night. Bitter laughter was caught from Blaesius' lips and carried on the breeze.

''Tisn't funny, lad. Boy was right distraught. Came to work for me for a while afterwards. Like a son to me, as he was to 'er. Mind you, from what he said she was a loving sort, but ready for her time... Wouldn't want people crying over her, or trying to raise her from the dead at that.' The tramp, having finished his pipe, got up with the ebbing of the celestial flow. 'Best be getting on anyway. Places to go, People to see, all o' that. Mind what I said, lad. She'm prefer bein' left in peace.'

A single tear slid down Blaesius' face as those simple words struck pure gold upon his heart and soul. Everything the tramp had said was true, but...

'Sir! Wait!'

'Who'm you callin' sir? Surely not me?' The tramp's face held a look of false elation, and Blaesius' realized he had not been smoking tobacco.

'You have solved my woes and not even told me your name.'

'My name? What you want t' know that for?' Blaesius held his gaze, and the man relented gracefully. 'Brahnik was what they called me, and Brahnik I shall be.’ He stood a moment, swaying, a puzzled expression writ upon his face; as though he tried to recall some lost memory. Then he shook his head, growled to himself, and turned.

‘Light's Blessin' on ye, lad.'

And Blaesius was left, in the drizzling grey dusk, with the memories of a man called Brahnik; a man who had taken him in after Xirona's death, fed him and let him work. A man who Blaesius had hated and resented for turning him into a thief… The man who had salved his conscience after all these years, in a single, simple conversation, and revealed his memories of Brahnik had been merely the woeful frustration of an adolescent.

Standing in the rain, gazing at the weathered grey stone of his Mother's tomb, Blaesius felt the warmth of remorse and solace. He stayed awhile, until dark truly reigned and spoke to the empty air. Then he left. For there lay merely the husk of his Mother. What had made her Xirona had passed away all those years ago. She, like he, was at peace.

  • V: SurprisesTeli Telverin, Aes Sedai of the Grey Ajah, Sat Dec 9 09:38
    When Teli heard Blaesius say that it was fine with him that they stay at an inn for the night, she felt her heart lift. She smiled at him, turned around, and then began walking towards the city. She... more
    • VI: Ghosts of the Past — Blaesius al'Asa, Aes Sedai of the Yellow Ajah, Sat Dec 9 09:39
      • VII: The Memories of TomorrowBlaesius al'Asa, Aes Sedai of the Yellow Ajah, Sat Dec 9 09:40
        That eve, Blaesius lay awake, staring at the cracked plaster of the ceiling. Teli was silent, head pillowed in his bare chest; save for the occasional groans and rumbles of the unconscious. He... more
        • VIII: Of Brothers and WivesTeli Telverin, Aes Sedai of the Grey Ajah, Sat Dec 9 09:41
          "I am her Brother," Dain said as he stared at the man, Aes Sedai, which proclaimed to be the husband of his little sister. "Aes Sedai or not, it must be something you have done to my sister. I didn't ... more
          • IX: A BeginningBlaesius al'Asa, Aes Sedai of the Yellow Ajah, Sat Dec 9 09:41
            Blaesius' steely blue eyes were set into his face like gemstones in uncut slate. The deep shadows of the fire and the dim room cast an unnatural effect upon his face, and he looked quite inhuman;... more
            • X: For Good or IllTeli Telverin, Aes Sedai of the Grey Ajah, Sat Dec 9 09:43
              At first, the implications of what Blaesius had said didn't come to her. She was trying to sort through all of the emotions that she had felt over the Bond in the last few minutes. When the meaning... more
              • XI: A Family For Only A MomentTeli Telverin, Aes Sedai of the Grey Ajah, Sat Dec 9 09:44
                It wasn't long before the two of them made it back to her brother's house, but something seemed amiss. Teli opened the door, and walked inside. She walked towards the kitchen, where knew Rynn would... more
                • XII: Unfinished Family BusinessBlaesius al'Asa, Aes Sedai of the Yellow Ajah, Sat Dec 9 09:46
                  Blaesius stood for a moment, passing a hand before his eyes, in the closed doorway of the Telverin House. It was raining. He frowned, hair pasted to his forehead with water. This was a trial that... more
                  • XIII: A Death KnellStyr Tai'Sei, Soldier, Sat Dec 9 09:48
                    ‘Soldier Tai’Sei!’ Styr growled with irritation as the gravelly voice cut through his concentration. Cursing, he rolled backwards to avoid the whip of his opponents’ left-hand knife; but even as he... more
                    • XIV: Victims, Aren't We All?Blaesius al'Asa, Aes Sedai of the Yellow Ajah, Sat Dec 9 09:49
                      A pair of juxtaposed eyes blinked solemnly. A wry smile graced thin lips. A hand rose to confine a stray lock of hair... Blaesius stepped back from the oval mirror, and cursed as his appearance... more
                • XII: ArgumentsTeli Telverin, Aes Sedai of the Grey Ajah, Sat Dec 9 09:45
                  Teli felt a double blow. They were two distinct blows, but they came so close together that Teli couldn't help the sickening feeling that rose up in her. The first one had been the implications of... more
                  • XIII: He's Gone.Teli Telverin, Aes Sedai of the Grey Ajah, Sat Dec 9 09:54
                    With the news that her mother had just given her, Teli could not stand to sit there and look at the woman any longer. She stood suddenly, causing herself to become dizzy for a moment, before quickly... more
                    • XIV: An Unnatural SleepTeli Telverin, Aes Sedai of the Grey Ajah, Sat Dec 9 09:54
                      Those two words hung in the air for a moment, a tension that no one wanted to shatter. "What do you mean gone?" Dain asked, breaking the silence. "He was with you earlier. Where could he have gone?"... more
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