Thu Nov 2, 2006 15:50 (XFF:,

Darius was slightly disappointed with his answer, and decided that he would discover it on his own one day, if he could. He forgot all about this when MíHael Lysander began his instruction, and he imagined all his emotions in a ball, which he wrapped tightly in a handkerchief of consciousness.

No matter how he concentrated, something intruded. Thinking of flame reminded him of a time when the villageís granary had gone up like a bonfire. Men ran from surrounding farms and houses with buckets as they seized water from the well. He had been on the fire line at the time, and remembered it still, as he had a burn scar on his leg from a piece of tinder that flew away from the conflagration.

Renewing his concentration, a bright blue flame with darker hues in the center sprang up. The ball of emotion in his head caught like oil-soaked wool, and the emotions went with him. He felt himself drawn into a sort of apathy, a shell of himself, like he wasnít even there at all. Everything he heard sounded distant, as if from outside a window listening to the dinner conversation.

Even more disturbingly, the emotions did not truly vanish. The Void was like a still-water pond, and bubbles occasionally broke against the surface. Unaccustomed to holding the Oneness, he gasped as it shattered from a blow of his Light-accursed curiosity, with a touch of anxiety.

Steeling himself, blushing furiously, he tried again, hoping noone had seen how he had faltered. Most of them seemed too busy themselves, their faces becoming opaque and then frustrated in turns. The Void surrounded him, and instead of trying to run away from emotion, he resisted it. It splurged along the void like a spider web, with triumph, still some anxiety, and a whole lot of lingering embarrassment tossed in a pot, stirred around, and liberally applied to the mental barriers.

Now that he had managed to hold the Void, he practiced on holding it. Distantly, he felt pain. His hand was driving fingernails into his palm. He made himself relax, not out of discomfort, but that it was damaging him. The thought was chilling.

He sat to waiting, shrouded in the nothingness. However, he could sense something. It was like the feeling you got when somebody was over your shoulder, and they were watching you, only this time the feeling came with warmth. He realized that this must be Saidin and attempted to grasp it.

A slippery mess of something seemed to slip through his fingers. Frustrated, he tried again. And again. And finally, on his third try, he grabbed it. Fire and ice rushed through his body, flames to sear stone and cold to shatter steel combating his strength of will. Dimly, he understood the MíHaelís warning about saidin fighting you.

He could suddenly see minute details, like how Mikelís face kept twitching, and Salruoth was also from the borderlands by his sword, which had an emblem of a house on it. The black wool of his uniform seemed rougher, the black color taking on new depth, and voices from outside seemed to boom loud and clear.

He gasped, feeling woozy, and lost saidin. He felt vaguely sick, and sat down hard. How had he managed to control it when he didnít know he could even channel, when now he could barely seize it? He didnít realize that he had voiced that last thought aloud until the M'Hael responded.

  • Part II: Coniunctis ViribusM'Hael Lysander, Wed Nov 1 10:36
    Salruoth, it appeared, did not have any inquiry. Darius and Mikel, on the other hand, appeared as though they were ripe therewith. The black-clad men stated their questions clearly, assertively, and... more
    • Matters of TimeRune Benedict, Mon Nov 13 11:04
      Rune could close his eyes, but no amount of focus or patience would allow him to put down the creeping feelings of guilt and disgust that rose in the pit of his stomach. Was this really his decision? ... more
    • SaidinSoldier Mikel Ayellfrin O'Cionaoith, Thu Nov 9 13:47
      As the M'Hael finished up his instructions, Mikel prepared himself. He had tried to convince Avron to teach him to seize, and a little of the Power, but Avron had cautioned against it. It was best if ... more
    • Overwhelming...Soldier Salruoth del'Kahos, Tue Nov 7 16:14
      Salruoth noted the MíHaelís words with dire consideration. He had felt saidin , enduring the overwhelming currents that struggled to sweep him away and claim him forever. Even with that frightening... more
    • Amazing powerSoldier Carasal, Mon Nov 6 18:23
      Carasal sought the Void, but it eluded him. All he had ever felt was a slightÖ vibration when those who tested him channeled. Like a reflection of a reflection, the pulsing energies they wove seemed... more
    • Voidwalker — Darius al'Ceer, Thu Nov 2 15:50
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