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Dedicated Laila
A Nasty Dunking
Wed Jan 24, 2007 19:02 (XFF:,

Spirit. Lovely. Laila frowned as she studied intently the complex weave floating before her, trying to memorize the twists and turns of the flows. It was startlingly intricate. She knew several advanced weaves similar to this one, but almost all were Earthfire or Cloud Dancing webs, with large porportions of Earth, Air, and Water. She was quite good with those elements, especially Earth. But Spirit was her worst element. One of the earliest weaves taught to all damane was the shield, because channeler control was so important to the maitenance of the Empire. It had taken her ages to get the weave right. Laila recalled Freidyn, a relatively kind woman for a sul'dam, patting her regretfully on the head: Well, some damane are made for shielding, some are not...

But that had been four years ago; she was a much stronger, more capable channeler. Even weaves of Spirit came easier to her now. I can learn this, if I want. If I work hard enough. "The harder the path, the better the reward. An old saying her tutors often quoted. Laila closed her eyes, cleared her mind of all thought until nothing remained but a black emptiness. Slowly she pulled together the weave in her mind, flow by flow, twist by twist, knot by knot. Over time she had developed the technique for difficult weaves, and if any web would cause her trouble, this one certainly would.

She embraced. The hot light of saidar flooded her body, filling her veins, pulling more and more in until she felt the sweet ecstasy approach pain. She would need as much saidar as possible to complete this weave. Once more picturing the weave in her mind, Laila carefully pulled out two flows of Spirit and carefully looped one around the other. A third flow hooked onto the loop, folded at right angles, split back and tied to the first two. The fourth flow twisted twice around the second, both ends pulled out to form the beginning of the arch--the weave flickered. Laila hastily scanned the weave for the error--and found the crucial third flow wavering, fading from existence. How?? It should have been thick enough! Desperately she poured more of the Power into the flow, but it was too late: the third flow gave, and the entire structure fell apart. Laila sighed. Unfortunately, she was not completely surprised by the outcome. She began the structure once again.

Time passed. After the weave fell apart for the tenth time, Laila wearily looked up and noticed that most of the other students were standing around, a few chatting quietly, clearly finished with the task. She noticed a Soldier looking her way with the slightest sneer, and she directed back a glare that would stop a bear in its tracks. The sneer froze, then slid off the boy's face. Laila suppressed a scowl. That she would shame herself in front of Soldiers! She had to get this weave done right.

Once more she began the weave, pulling out the flows and twisting them together in an ornate form. The first flows came easily now, after so much practice, and she fell into the rhythm of the weave. Fold here, twist there, knot in place, loop around. And slowly, the weave began to form. And suddenly, a gap in the air snapped open, leading into darkness. Her gateway.

Laila stepped into the darkness. Felt hard stone beneath her feet. A wide stone path, paved with square stones with some sort of design carved into the surface. She knelt, looked closer.

A raven glared back, wings outspread, beak curved sharply. Laila suppressed a shiver. She was not a superstitious person, but it seemed a bad omen. She rose and set out at a brisk walk.

Only a few minutes passed before the darkness of the pathway began to brighten into another hole. Daylight shone through, illuminating the path. Content with a well-formed weave, Laila relaxed and walked off the platform.

And into mid-air.

Letting out a startled whoop as she hurtled down, Laila scrabbled frantically for saidar, trying to think of a way to cushion her landing. Can'tflycan'tflymaybeifIweavesomethingontheground-- The icy chill of the Lake cut off the thought as she plunged into the freezing waters.

Laila gasped her way to the surface, sucking air into her lungs. The impact had knocked the breath out of her while carrying her deep below the Lake's surface. Bobbing up and down for a few moments, she remained still, panting for breath. Then tiredly--a dull chill had set in her bones--she began making her way back to the shore.

Then, suddenly, a thick bar of nothing wrapped itself around her waist, lifted her into the air, and dragged her swiftly through the air.


Normally, Laila was not the shrieking sort, but today had been an unusual day.

At last the bar of saidin released her on the shore, dropping her unceremonially in a pile of wet clothes and wounded dignity. Painfully Laila pulled herself up, brushing wet strands of hair out of her eyes, to glare up at her rescuer.

"You looked so miserable out there, I couldn't just let you struggle your way to shore. Practicing Traveling or somesuch? You need to work on your technique."

He was giant, with gray eyes and blond-white hair--Aiel, undoubtedly. And grinning. As if this were some joke. A silver sword sparkled on his collar. Laila struggled to her feet, trying to keep back a scowl. She was cold, wet, and tired--the last thing she wanted to deal with was a fool like this one. "I know how to swim," she snapped, shaking drops from her hair. Shivering violently, she began to form a weave of fire to dry herself off.

"But of course," the man replied. "Still, I thought you would appreciate getting out of the water faster...where is your class?"

"What?" She blinked, looked up. The weave faded from the air. Laila frowned at herself. Today she simply seemed unable to maintain even the most basic concentration!

"Your class," the man repeated.

"The Northern Yards," Laila replied absently, once more beginning the warming web.

She felt a sizzle beside herself and looked up. Another silver hole brightened the air, but one leading directly to the Northern Fields. A Traveling weave.


"Thank you," Laila frowned, and stumbled through the gate, still shivering. Light of Heaven! What a start to a lesson!

  • Part I: SkimmingAsha'man Apocris sur Marlowe, MuC, Mon Jan 8 13:56
    Perfunctory and redundant, the replies spoken by the Soldiers and Dedicated were nothing short of typical lesson-taking. After all, it had been not altogether too long (a few years, give or take)... more
    • A Nasty Dunking — Dedicated Laila, Wed Jan 24 19:02
    • There and Back AgainSoldier Mikel, Tue Jan 16 18:47
      Mikel half listened to the instructions, mulling things over in his head. What a waste of time. Why canít they have found a better place to Skim to? The Gardens? You could probably run there faster... more
    • A Little Success to Brighten the DaySoldier Pigarin Maenred, Sun Jan 14 19:59
      Pigarin stood, observing his fellow trainees, listening to their introductions, taking note of their tones and words. He took him a moment to realize what he was doing; reducing everyone back to a... more
    • Skimming the SurfaceDarius al'Ceer, Thu Jan 11 22:50
      Darius paused. He wanted him to do the weave? So soon? Maybe the do try to teach you to fly. He sighed, then attempted to create the mass of spirit threads that he had seen entangled flawlessly... more
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