Roaring Cat
Thu Sep 14, 2006 09:50 (XFF:

There was something about the Accepted, Celeste Illharess, that rubbed Kat the wrong way. It was even more difficult to deal with because they were going to be placed together in a "life or death" situation—and worse because after the weave had been performed on them, Kat had the distinct sense of where Celeste was, and some of her stronger moods that came through the "bond". Kat was predisposed to like everyone she met, she looked at the world in an upbeat fashion and was often diverted by some of the smallest things. Slights were never made to Kat that were not forgiven or laughed off and she was determined to like people at first glance, rather than the opposite.

But while she spoke the flaxen-haired woman before their own trials could begin, Kat began to first dislike the woman's arrogant demeanor and worse was that her arrogance was not necessarily founded on anything concrete. Her intelligence was keen and her face pleasing to the eye, but there was nothing about her that gave a marked reason for that superiority in attitude.

Have a care, Kat. Confidence is not the same thing as arrogance.

There was both relief and apprehension when an Aes Sedai approached them, another woman that wasn't Demetri Sedai, and placed the "bond" upon them. She was worried that her feelings would be abundantly clear the moment they were put together, but when the bond settled, there were only vague impressions of Celeste's emotions and a distinct sense that she was to her left.

"Accepted, follow me. Sei'Tar, you'll remain here and receive your direction." The Aes Sedai was brisk in removing Celeste from her presence and she was able to follow the feeling of the woman receding into the distance. After about ten minutes she stopped moving away and the Gaidin who had been nearby gestured for Kat to come through a dark paneled door.

"You'll receive some opposition rejoining with the Accepted." He warned in a tone that was force of habit and not confidentiality. "If you fail and are touched at any time, the bond will be severed and she'll feel your 'death'." He cast her a serious look. "Don't fail."

And with those words of wisdom, the door opened into a misted and fogged path beyond.

Kat wasn't sure what she expected, but the path she was to take was of stone and mortar and flanked on either side with stone walls much of the same color. It was the gray corridor of a castle, the walls lined with torches every few paces to the light the way and keep the hallway in a warm glow of firelight. She could feel Celeste somewhere out in front of her, down the corridor. Because there wasn't any other corridors to take, she began at an easy jog, moving down the stone floor at a quick pace.

About a hundred paces left her at a crossroads as the hallway left her with the decision to go left or right. She didn't close her eyes, but Kat focused on the bond instead and felt a stronger tugging to her left. She was still ahead of her somewhere, but as the corridor swept off in a new direction, she could feel the pull of the bond stronger than before—she was getting closer, no doubt about it.

The first challenge to her came in the form of a disk that swept out from the side of the wall, the curved blade spinning and would surely have cut off her head without a problem if Kat hadn't heard the click and dived and rolled beneath it. When she rolled past and looked back, the blade suddenly winked out of existence and Kat expelled her breath in one hurried sigh. An Illusion then. But if it had touched me, I think the bond would have been severed and I'd have been dead.

Only a few paces down the hallway she was given another choice and Kat followed after the stronger direction. It unfortunately led her straight into a deadend; a trap to cause her to lose time. But as she turned around, the monstrous image of a Trolloc advanced on her, the eagle head of it's massive body pinning it's black gaze on her. Drawing her two blades, the ones Talaban Gaidin had made a gift of for her, the Sei'Tar didn't so much charge as dance forward, her legs twisting as her arms came out. The black and silver of her blades flashed in the light and there was the sound of steel cutting against nothing before the Illusion of the Trolloc disappeared, blade still raised to attack her.

Twice more Kat encountered hindrances, the last one she only skated through by the skin of her teeth and a fortunate stumble that sent her blade through the "foot" of her attacker. Then she was in a courtyard, the light gray and silvery, the fog diffusing the light while concealing it. There was a flash of something in the direction of her "bondmate" and from this close Kat could feel Celeste's strong feelings—she was tense but concentrated. And she was only barely hanging on to her calm. No one could be attacked by the One Power, even in trials such as this, without being tense about coming out the loser.

Wind ripped around her, chill as a Borderlander winter, but she was used to the cold after so many years in the north and focused on getting to Celeste. The fog and mist were so thick she could see little beyond a couple paces, but the bond was strong enough that Kat could feel the Accepted distinctly to her right.

As Celeste entered her small circle of sight, some of it burning away by whatever the Accepted was doing, the spear of a Trolloc came out of nowhere in the fog. Giving a wordless shout, Kat leapt forward, her black blade slicing downward as she pivoted and drew the other blade around and through the gut of the Trolloc. The image disappeared as all the others had done before and "Aes Sedai" and "Warder" were reunited. "Sorry I took so long, got turned around a couple times." Kat quipped, trying to sound at ease. "We need to find our way out of here, and I know it's not to the south. Can you burn off this fog?"

The Accepted's mouth was thinned in a line of weariness, though it wasn't a strong enough emotion to pass through the bond. "It's not as easy as it sounds, but I think I can."

Nothing happened that Kat could see, but one moment they were enshrouded in a blanket of fog and then next it was just gone. The sun was still concealed by a cloud cover above them, but Kat now saw they stood in a courtyard that was roughly sixty by sixty paces and excluding the door she had emerged from, there was no other apparent way out. Walls rose around them, taunting them with freedom, and the corridor that Kat had passed through had no checkpoints as Demetri had explained. "Now what?"

Celeste rubbed a few silvery threads of hair together, her eyes passing along their perimeter, face smooth with concentration. "If they've made the door into an Illusion of the wall, I'm pretty sure I can find it."

Again there was nothing that Kat saw the woman do, but after a couple of long minutes, she gave a slight sound of exultation and a portion of the wall where they had been standing near disappeared to reveal an arched doorway leading out of the courtyard and into a densely wooded area beyond. Celeste moved to go first but Kat placed a hand on one thin shoulder. "No, I go first, Accepted. This is my duty." Rather than argue with her, Celeste thankfully nodded her head without hesitation and then Kat was leading them out of the castle.

The path they followed was made of the same stone as the castle, a dark gray rock smooth and firm. On either side of them rose two walls of the same stone, covered in climbing vegetation, the tops of the walls brushed by tree limbs that hang over them in a canopy that soon blocked all view of the sun far above. There were sounds of animal life out there—the rustling of leaves as a squirrel skittered by, the calling of woodland birds, but other than that, they were alone.

Kat wanted to take it slowly at first, but she felt Celeste's irritation. "I can keep up with you if you jog." She stated confidently. That same confidence that bordered on arrogance that grated at Kat's nerves. Suppressing her feelings—something she didn't care to do—the Kandori nodded her head and began jogging along the path, the Accepted's slippered feet keeping up with her without problem. They both set into a rhythmic breathing that was broken after a couple minutes when a large cat gave a roar of displeasure and jumped through the brush. It was faster than the Trollocs and other devices, it's large paw lashing out at Kat with an agility that cause a stir of air at her chest. Another finger's width and the claw would have ripped through her shirt.

Kat pushed Celeste back, but the Accepted was already back pedaling; Kat's blades came back out again and she held them in a ready position. Her original intention was to lure the cat away from the path so that Celeste could get by, but every time her steps took her out of the cat's line of sight, it focused on Celeste and a deep growl emitted from its throat. There was nothing to be done for it, she couldn't get her short blades into the cat before it would strike her first—she had to let the cat pounce at the Accepted and strike at it then, when it was exposed. Glancing back at the Accepted, she asked, "Do you trust me?"

It was an absurd question—they had known each other only a few minutes and Celeste's answer reflected the absurdity of that query. "I have little choice." Her tone was dry.

It was enough for Kat. "When I step aside, drop to the ground, but don't try anything." She instructed, pleased when the woman nodded her head once. In one smooth motion, she stepped to the side, her body already twisting and twirling around, blades flashing through the air in an upward arc that came down. The cat reacted as she expecting, giving a shriek of triumph and launching itself at the Accepted. Kat's blades struck true, slicing through the Illusion perfectly in its center, the image disappearing before it could even breath fake hot breath on the woman.

As Celeste stood, there was a small light of admiration in her eyes and she nodded at Kat.

Picking up the pace again, they made it to the first gate, a large towering set of doors set into the arched stone wall. Moving forward confidently, the Accepted said, "Now it's my turn."

OOC: I'll leave it up to you to write whatever attacks are made and how Kat fights them while Celeste gets past the first gate. It was getting pretty damned long. =)

  • Medieval man (Taryn?)Accepted Celeste, Mon Sep 11 12:04
    The echoing crash of a brass gong vibrated through the hall as Demetri Sedai signalled for attention. Silence ensued in the wake of the ringing tone as the Keeper waited for the sound to fade.... more
    • Roaring Cat — Kat Tenzin Sei'Tar, Thu Sep 14 09:50
      • Icy welcomeAccepted Celeste, Fri Sep 15 13:09
        The pale blue witchlight bobbed silently beside her, its silent, cool halo banishing the darkness before her. The air in the stone corridors was humid and still. Dripping water sounded in the... more
        • Tempering hot emotionsKat Tenzin Sei'Tar, Tue Sep 26 08:36
          There was nothing that Kat could see or feel the woman doing, but then again, her entire focus was also on the twining vines that threatened to wrap her and the Accepted up in their grip. Her blades... more
          • Tea-party settingAccepted Celeste, Mon Oct 2 02:30
            Breath misted in the cool air as Celeste kept close to Kat. She paid little heed to the Sei’Tar now, concentrating instead on the location of the next gate. Like the first, it was marked in the... more
            • Sooty Trip WiresKat Tenzin Sei'Tar, Wed Oct 4 09:50
              Somewhere amid the faux battles that she'd been fighting and the things that Celeste had been doing to disable the channel-wrought locks, they began to fall into an easy companionship with one... more
              • Icy obstacleAccepted Celeste Illharess, Tue Oct 24 09:06
                Wan light reflected off the mirrored edges, glinting faintly in the false dawn. Celeste squinted at the crystalline structure. The massive, edged contraption sat right where Saidar insisted the gate... more
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