Accepted Celeste
Icy welcome
Fri Sep 15, 2006 13:09 (XFF:

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 distance as the Accepted made her slow passage along the slippery stone. Celeste peered carefully forward, focusing on the bond, feeling for Katís location rather than examining what the other girl felt. The original flood of sensations she managed to pick out from the SeiíTarís mind had been less than complimentary. Was she actually that disagreeable?

Stone loomed in front of her. Kat was somewhere below now. Directly below. The corridor branched along both sides. Celeste growled. She felt like cursing right now. Left or right? Un-bidden, the soothing light brightened, chasing the shadows from the shrouded paths. Damn paths look identical.

A slight rumbling was all the warning she got. The Accepted lunged to her left as the corridor collapsed beneath her, dropping away into nothingness. Celeste picked herself up gingerly, dusting her hands. A single glance told her the other passage was closed to her. The chasm was simply too big to leap. Shrugging, she continued on down the passage.

A sheen of cold sweat lay damp against her skin as the Accepted hurried. Things were getting dicey in the corridors. Increasing numbers of trollocs were making surprise appearances where she least expected them, dropping from the roofs, crouching around corridors, the Aes Sedai running the illusion seemed to have an endless store of ideas. There had even been a Fade that stepped out of the shadows behind her while she had been tinkering with a locked door.

She was close now. The SeiíTar had to be somewhere ahead. Kat felt much closer than she had. Celeste could almost feel the leashed fury in the other girl, the sensations coming across the bond frightening yet strangely familiar.

Fatigue beat at the Accepted. She could weave Air all day but fireballs at this frequency were taking an increasingly heavy toll. Another trolloc appeared out of nowhere, releasing an arrow at her. Air to deflect the arrow, Fire to kill. The trolloc blinked out of existence the moment the fireball touched it. Fresh, cool air wafted down the corridor. Light shone at the end, clean white light, beckoning. The bond pulsed. Kat was somewhere in front. Not far and directly in front. Celeste quickened her step.

She stepped out into open space. At last. Cool mist caressed skin once again as the Accepted walked into the open. Behind her, the passage sealed itself, illusion becoming reality. Celeste smiled thinly. It was good to be out of the claustrophobic tunnels.

Without warning, an arrow sank into the ground beside her. Eyes narrowed, the Accepted channeled, thickening the air surrounding her, trapping several more arrows are they lanced out of the fog. The witchlight floated higher, burning with greater intensity in an attempt to dispel the cloudy veil.

The bond was enough to warn Celeste not to attack as Kat materialized out of the swirling tendrils. Moving easily, the SeiíTar held her blades in an easy, open ready position. Again, the similarity was uncanny. Celeste stayed her tongue. She could enquire after the lesson. For now, she wished she had her sword too, instead of the forced reliance on the Power.

A tensing in her field of thickened air was enough to warn the Accepted as she spun to the side, evading a trolloc spear. Kat finished the creature off easily, its remains dissolving into the nothingness it had been made from.

Heavy brass bound gates loomed, the only portal along an endless expanse of high stone walls. This was the first of their three obstacles. Celeste moved forward. She could sense the SeiíTar through their bond, felt the other girlís emotions. The Accepted was not senseless. It seemed Kat preferred to lead, to be in control and though it did not sit well with Celeste, she gave in for the sake of harmony. Eventually, she would probably have to learn how to deal with overprotective Warders so this was as good a time as any to begin.

Holding Saidar, the Accepted peered at the door. Emblazoned on it, the ward glowed as brightly as the midday sun. Woven and bound snugly of Earth and Fire, the glyph was crude but would be undeniably effective. Celeste probed with Spirit, feeling the edges of the ward, searching for its end point, the place where it had been tied off. Behind her, she felt Kat pacing, alert at the suddenly silent forest.

The ward unraveled slowly, a delicate skein of Spirit surgically pushing apart compressed weaves, moving ever so slightly, gradually destroying the shape of the compact trap. A gasp from behind her distracted the Accepted momentarily. She turned to see the SeiíTar slashing at vines. The vegetation was attacking Kat with a vengeance, the tendrils wrapping themselves around her feet, attempting to immobilize her while others snaked about in the air, waiting to fasten to her wrist and pull clear her steel.

A quick glance told Celeste than she was still in the clear. Diverting her attention slightly, she wove Fire and tied the threads off, causing Katís blades to burn with infernal flame. Vines shriveled in the passage of heated steel but yet more grew out of the surrounding forest.

Sweating, the Accepted forced the skein of Spirit through at a ever faster pace. She could feel the beginnings of desperation from Kat. Growling, Celeste threw caution to the wind. She channeled, thickening the flow of Spirit, flexing the widening thread. The ward held momentarily before shattering, losing it shape under the internal pressure of the probing skein. As the ward faded, so did the vines.

Gingerly, both girls took hold of the brass handles, pulling open the doors to expose the next area. An icy gust greeted them as trackless snow met bewildered eyes. Glancing at each other and shrugging, they stepped through the door. Celeste led now, feeling the emanations of the Power in the distance. Behind them, the gate and wall dissolved into nothingness yet again.

  • Roaring CatKat Tenzin Sei'Tar, Thu Sep 14 09:50
    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"... more
    • Icy welcome — Accepted Celeste, Fri Sep 15 13:09
      • 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 SeiíTar 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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