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More Than You Bargained For
Mon Dec 18, 2006 21:03 (XFF:

The afternoon sun was beginning to reach the horizon and night loomed behind it. Those in the town of Aringill were idly pacing around their houses, either finishing the days work or preparing for the evening. For most, it was to be a time of rest, to loosen the worrisome ties of the world and all of its unfortunately vast problems. Pigarin, a small and somewhat insignificant character some might say, plodded quietly down one of the town’s streets. When he was not staring at the ground, he looked painfully towards young children galloping wildly along behind their mothers, and wished that he could be like one of them. Carefree, untroubled, and innocent of others schemes and plots, children seemed to have the perfect life. It was too bad that everyone grew up in the end.

“Are you ready, boy?” questioned a harsh voice from ahead. Pigarin blinked, returning back to the reality of the street. Before him stood a small crowd, no more than eight at a glance, and most were dressed in the stark color of black. Some had two shiny pins adorning their collars, others had only one, and again another had none at all. He wasn’t entirely sure what they indicated, and quite frankly it didn’t matter, all there could channel the One Power and that was quite enough all on its own. The man who had spoken wasn’t particularly tall as men went, but at least half a head taller than Pigarin, and had shaggy blonde hair that looked like it hadn’t seen water in months. Of course, that wasn’t really that surprisingly considering, the Dragon’s army might be well looked after, but it was an army nonetheless. Things were clearly going to be hard.

“Y-yes, sir!” Pigarin returned, trying to pass off an air of confidence. Instead he had sounded like a choking duck.

The other two men not dressed in the Asha’man black sniggered loudly; making sure Pigarin heard their disdain. These two had been present before Pigarin was tested, though for the same reason; they too could learn to channel. Even so, he ignored them with a simple turn of his shoulder, instead choosing to look upon the glowing light that seemed to be appearing in the middle of the street. He had seen nothing like it before, it was like a fine sword had simply sliced through midair, revealing something that appeared to be another world. And indeed, within moments, Pigarin could even see within this other world. There, through the newly formed door, he saw men moving quickly, others casually standing, but all dressed in the same pressed uniform.

“Boys!” continued the voice from earlier, “There is the Black Tower, just through this Gateway. There you will learn to channel, and you had better learn quickly if you hope to survive. Be prepared, for some do not.” It was not a pleasant note to finish on by any means, and the warning initiated a brilliant shiver down Pigarin’s spine. Right in that moment, the decision to go the Black Tower did not really seem as appealing as it once had. Perhaps the streets would have been better…safer at least.

“Quickly now, through the Gateway!” the gruff man with the shaggy hair iterated, his arm stretched towards the door of light. The other two boys moved quickly through, and Pigarin followed slowly, fearing that the passage might easily collapse on top of him. As he passed through, a strange feeling enveloped his mind as suddenly the entire landscape had changed. The noises were all different, loud and deep, causing his eardrums to ring, and all around buildings loomed and men and women marched, even the air felt different, almost thicker. It did not take an intelligent man to know that this was a dangerous place.

Pigarin was knocked forward by the Asha’man entering behind him, causing him to lose his footing and fall to the ground. No apology followed, no hand to help him from the ground, it was almost as if the man had done it on purpose. Pigarin pushed up clumsily, almost tumbling straight back into the blonde man.

“I would suggest you do not make a habit of standing in front of your superiors, next time it might be worse than a push,” said the attacker, smiling slyly as he spoke. Pigarin’s mouth dropped slightly, and he had no words to return. To Cairhien’s credit, while it was ripe with subtext, and everything revolved around what wasn’t said, at least it had meant that people were polite. “Now, no standing around their gaping like a simple fool, follow Dedicated Oeliver over there to collect your necessities. Then you’re on your own. “And with that, the man turned and walked away.

“Hurry it up over there,” called a tall, gangly man standing a few paces away that could only be Oeliver. Without a thought, Pigarin quickly sped up, falling in behind the other two new recruits that were following the…Dedicated?

“Now, here are the simple rules. Firstly, you must always obey your superiors, be they Dedicated or Asha’man. It is easy to tell who is above you because they will wear a pin on their collar and you don’t. Dedicated have only a sword, while Asha’man wear both sword and dragon. Secondly, your uniform should always be clean and well kept, and this can be done simply with the Power. However, as new soldiers, you do not have this luxury yet and thus it will no doubt be an incentive to learn quickly.” The man said that with a small knowing smile, as if he found the ordeal of constantly hand cleaning the clothes funny. “Not to mention, you will not eat hot food, wash with warm water or have anything until you can channel to get it. Be sure you do not lag behind too much if you wish to live.” His eyes drifted towards Pigarin and hovered, as if expecting the pale lad to drop dead right then and there.

“I’m sure some of you will pick this up quicker than others.”

There was no doubt who that had been meant for, and Pigarin turned away, a bright red color filling his cheeks. Not for the first time, he started to think, what am I getting myself into?

OOC: This is a solo introduction string for the moment, so please no replies yet :D Cheers!

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