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Quirin Wallis do Mattei a'Rian
Prologue: Playing the Game
Fri Apr 20, 2007 12:13 (XFF:

OOC: I decided to start this string with his biography, since I’ve only been a member for a short while and did not manage to post anything over three posts before the site closed for business. For those who might notice I’ve added in those posts that I had already written and posted previously.

Master Latham deserved all the bad business he got; he had called the boy an airhead, of course Quirin had had to do something! True to Mindean boasts the boy’s temper had got the better of him at the worst of times and Master Latham, an innocent from Lugard, had experienced the full force of it. Quirin did not take too kindly to his intelligence being insulted by a man who made his money from the sale of lace and he had acted upon his master’s words as swiftly has his tongue could manage. Now Master Latham could expect empty trade until the Mindean inhabitants had all but forgotten Quirin’s vengeful attack on his employer. Of course, his plan to devalue Master Latham’s reputation had worked but left him jobless and Quirin’s father would be none too happy.

He rounded a corner on the edge of the street and began the short journey home all the while trying to think of suitable excuses that would keep his ears safe from his father’s fist. It was almost an act in vain for Quirin had given so many excuses to his father in the past that Rickai a’Rian had stopped believing his son even when he did speak the truth. Quirin chuckled under his breath and swept a stray lock of red hair behind his right ear; he had not liked his job from the beginning and was happy to have lost it in such a spectacularly dramatic manner. His actions had most definitely secured him permanent dismissal and no matter how hard his father would beg with Vedrick Latham there would be no going back to the lace trade for Quirin.

Up ahead a crowd was gathering at the end of the street and the boy could see the all too familiar form of his friend Pal stretching his neck over those who were taller than him in order to get a better view of whatever lay beyond the wall of people. Quirin quickened his pace and made it to Pal’s side; he tapped his friend on the shoulder and smiled. “Oh Quirin, give us a leg up! I can’t see!” He smiled at his friend and offered a lift up in order for Pal to be able to see over the crowd. However, Quirin could not see for himself what it was that the people had stopped to watch; the street was seemingly empty. “Pal, what is it that you are looking at exactly?” He asked his friend who was now perched on his shoulders. He looked up and Pal bent over to stare into his face.

“You must have heard that there is an Aes Sedai passing through, several in fact. They are heading in this direction. We have stopped because we want to know if what people say is true.”

There were plenty of rumours about the Aes Sedai and since their presence often went unnoticed and unannounced these rumours very often remained unconfirmed and untrue for years. There had not been a large group of the men and women from the White Tower passing through this part of Mindea for many years and naturally the younger generations, who had not been present for the first visit, had stopped to watch in awe as the rumours that they had been spreading for so long were quashed in an instant. “I’ve heard that the Aes Sedai are seven feet tall with flaming hair and beady red eyes.” Pal chattered excitedly to his friend; what he lacked in height, he made up for in enthusiasm.

“I doubt that, Pal. What about their power makes them any less human than you or I? I’d expect they all stand at a very respectable six feet seven or something like that. Tall and powerful but not giant…lets leave the indescribable height to those Ogier or whatever they’re called.”

Quirin had grown up a cynic and had ignored the rumours throughout his childhood although he had his own preconceptions about those men and women from Tar Valon. He doubted that they really stood out in any inhuman capacity and understood in his own mind that the Aes Sedai would stand out by only just challenging the boundaries of the human imagination. Therefore six feet and seven inches tall Aes Sedai were not inconceivable to him but a seven foot tall one was. The crowd suddenly erupted into a low hum of suspicious whispers and Quirin felt Pal draw in a breath. Craning his neck slightly he glanced over the heads of others at the passing band of White Tower folk. He was not impressed by the women and their shawls nor did the men who donned the sash of a male Aes Sedai particularly impress him.

“That one over there is definitely not seven feet tall,” he scoffed, “she’s shorter than a Cairhiennin!”

The woman was in fact a Cairhiennin and Quirin guessed as much. He had heard of young girls from Mindea disappearing in the night to train at the Tower and rational thinking suggested that their new found power would not add any extra height to their Mindean frame. He sighed; if the person viewing them thought properly about them, the Aes Sedai were truly unimpressive. He continued to watch the crowd that passed and his eye was caught by a man who did not wear a sash. He stood by the Cairhiennin Aes Sedai who had stopped and was now addressing the crowd. The man was tall, taller than he had ever seen with long dark hair and a steady, set face and menacing brown eyes. Quirin gulped and clutched his left side with his right hand forming a protective barrier across his abdomen.

“That’s a Gaidin!” Pal exclaimed, “Truly wonderful specimens- they protect the Aes Sedai, I believe they are also known as Warders…and he’s watching you, Quirin!”

“Perhaps he’s noticed how unenthused I am, Pal.” The Mindean lace-boy shrugged.

“Or how scared of him you are!”

“I’m not scared!” Quirin retorted, “I’m in awe, is all.” He gulped down the small feeling that had just come over him and shot a feeble smile over at the man who responded with a nod of the head. Suddenly an ingenious idea came to mind and he all but forgot the menacing stare of the Gaidin who stood at the head of the crowd. “I’m sorry Pal but I have to go, I’ve quit my job as a lace maker and father needs to know.” He quickly removed the small boy from his shoulders and headed off in the direction of his home. Pal called after him,

“Why are you in such a hurry for a fat lip, Quirin? Your father will kill you when you tell him.”

Quirin laughed, “He’ll do no such thing…I’m going to become a Gaidin!”


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