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Asha'man At Last
Sat Jun 2, 2007 16:40 (XFF:

“Shayla al’Cazor, welcome to the ranks of the Asha’man,” said M’hael Lysander, pinning the Dragon onto the other side of her collar. Soldier Shayla had quickly become Dedicated Shayla, within the first two years of being the Tower. It had taken another three for her to be raised to a full-rank Asha’man.

Shortly after, the Darkfriend girl received a surprise visit from Cyndane—one of Moridin’s pet Chosen.


“Girl,” the haughty woman said. “You have been chosen to be one of the Great Lord’s Dreadlords, as befits a Darkfriend channeler of high rank. You will receive orders from one of us, but do nothing to compromise your position here. You are still a spy, and must still report regularly. Leave them in your horse’s stall in the stables, under a pile of hay in the back right corner. Someone will collect the reports from there.” The Chosen left as suddenly as she had come, the only difference between her arrival and leavetaking was the state of Shayla’s mind.

A Dreadlord! A Dreadlord at last…oh, how I have dreamed of this day for the past five years… Shayla’s joyous thoughts were interrupted as another female Asha’man came running into their quarters.

“Did you just sense that?” the woman asked, out of breath.

“Sense what?”

“I felt the presence of a Darkfriend of great power here not long ago.”

“I saw no one,” replied Shayla. “Perhaps you are just tired, and your imagination has gotten the better of you. Why don’t you rest?”

“Hmm…Perchance you are correct. Would it bother you, Shayla?”

“No, not at all, Anna. I have a knives lesson to teach, so I won’t be around for a while.”

Shayla left the building, heading for the same practice yard where she had learned knives not too long ago herself. She did a quick check to make sure that all of hers were in place--thigh, wrists, boot, coat pocket…good, all of them are secure, the Asha’man thought.


The walk back from the first lesson held yet another surprise for the new Asha’man, when a messenger came to her with a summons from M’hael.

“Are you certain?” Shayla asked the boy.

“Yes, Asha’man. The M’hael has requested your presence immediately.”

I wonder what the M’hael wants with me….could he have sensed the Chosen’s presence also? The raven-haired girl continued to ponder the ramifications of the M’Hael’s summons as she jogged to the administrative building. Traitor’s tree, which she passed along the way, served as a reminder of what her fate would be if she were discovered.


As it turned out, Shayla need not have worried. The M’hael had indeed sensed the Chosen’s presence, but instead of killing her—as he should have—Lysander simply told her to be careful that other Asha’man not discover her secret.

The M’hael…why….M’hael Lysander must be a Friend of the Dark as well!...Oh, that is just too rich! To have a Darkfriend in charge of one of the Towers! Heh heh heh heh heh….Well, this certainly has been a most eventful week.

Shayla al’Cazor went to sleep that night with a smile on her face, still laughing at the sheer irony of having a Darkfriend M’hael.

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