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Slow and Steady is the Pace
Sat Jan 13, 2007 20:57 (XFF:

Several evenings later, Tira sat at the fire with the Tuatha’an, watching as some of the women began a dance. Even the cold did not stop Tinkers from dancing, and the young ladies whirled around the clearing in time to the music. Aneirin sat next to her, taking his ease and watching with her. After a time he asked, “Where are you traveling, Tira Sedai?”

“Oh, nowhere in particular. I’m looking for someone.“ Tira paused, then added, “My best friend in the tower is a Tuatha‘an.”

“He is?” Aneirin asked, surprised.

Smiling, Tira replied, “Yes. He stayed with his band for some time after discovering he could channel, using his power to heal people. Then his foster father, the Mahdi of their band, died of an illness. Sora felt that had he known more about the power, he might have been able to save him. So he decided to go to the White Tower to learn to heal.”

Intrigued, Aneirin said, “So he gave up the Way to become a Healer?”

“No. Soradrelle is a Tuatha‘an to his very soul. If anything, he strives harder to keep the Way where he is, and he has learned much about healing.” Aneirin looked thoughtful at her statement, and fell silent for a while. She passed some time in conversation with the Mahdi, then it wasn’t long before the Tinkers began to find their beds. Tira rose and began to leave to get her bedroll from the horse when Aneirin asked, “Would you like to sleep in my wagon? The night air is frigid this time of year.”

She was touched by his thoughtful gesture. Upon gaining the shawl she’d been taught the Aes Sedai trick of ignoring the weather. Much to her surprise, it was merely a discipline of the mind - nothing whatsoever to do with channeling. She’d gotten a lot of practice on her cold journey west, and knew that winter was only going to get worse. Turning to Aneirin she said, “ Thank you, Aneirin, but that's not necessary. I’ll do alright out here. It’s a dry, clear night.”

Aneirin turned to her and said, “Please, Aes Sedai. In the summer most of us do sleep outside, but it isn't practical this time of year. We retreat to the warmth of our wagons in the winter."

Tira hesitated a moment longer. "Are you certain your wife won't mind?"

“Oh, I‘m not married yet.” He said simply, then climbed into the wagon and extended a hand to help her up. He showed her to a cot that hung on the wall, to be folded during the day when it wasn‘t needed, then climbed into his own bunk and bid her goodnight. Tira laid her head back on the colorful pillow, thinking about the day. Now that she had found the Tinkers, she hoped that whatever was threatening them could be held at bay. The sad reality was that if she had to use violence of any kind to defend them, they wouldn’t accept her any longer. That was what scared her, and the thought consumed her mind as she drifted off to sleep to the sound of Aneirin’s soft breathing.

The next morning she awoke to the sound of children’s laughter and dogs barking. Tira rose and then left the wagon, going to the fire for some hot water to make her toilette. She emerged from a screen of trees a few minutes later feeling refreshed and ready to start the day. Happy Feet was glad to see her, and she fed the mare some sugar cubes. Greedily the soft mouth gobbled them up, sniffing her up and down in search of more. As she was feeding her horse, Aneirin approached. “Did you sleep well last night, Tira Sedai?” He asked amiably.

“Yes I did, thank you.” She replied.

“Good,” he replied, smiling. They spoke of this and that, and Tira wondered when the first snow would begin to fall. After a few moments, she bid him good day, and went to see where she could find some breakfast. After some cheese and bread, she helped the women clean up from the supper the night before. She almost felt like she was back in the tower and in a white dress, scrubbing pots and kettles. The Tuatha’an were never in any hurry to leave, so it was nearly mid morning before they decided to set out. It didn’t bother Tira, she had pushed herself and her horse for the last month, urgently trying to reach a band. Now that she had found one, she could take it easy and get to know the people. Several of the women made shy attempts of conversation, and Tira answered their questions warmly. She wanted to put them at ease, and it wasn’t long before they were laughing and talking, the young mothers showing off their new baby’s for her to see.

Occasionally, Aneirin would ramble up beside her on his wagon while they were traveling and make light conversation. He had a dry sense of humor, and she found herself laughing more than she had in some time. After only a few hours, the Mahdi found a camping spot that was quite suitable, so he deemed that they would be stopping for the day and they began the business of setting up camp once again. Tira decided just to enjoy the slow pace, and plan for the future, hopefully one in which this band could continue their peaceful existence.

  • To Seek is to FindTira Chakima Sedai, Blue ajah, Sat Jan 13 20:46
    It would be nearly a month on the road before Tira encountered any kind of progress regarding her mission. As she traveled through the vast, empty countryside, she couldn’t help but think about how... more
    • Slow and Steady is the Pace — Tira Chakima Aes Sedai, Blue ajah, Sat Jan 13 20:57
      • The Path TurnsTira Chakima Aes Sedai, Blue ajah, Thu Feb 1 14:49
        Time went by and it seemed the creator smiled down on this small band of travelers. Tira became a part of the group, sharing in the chores, joys and sorrows of the people. Several weeks into their... more
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