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Sun Dec 31, 2006 08:44 (XFF:

As soon as the gateway opened, Tal spurred his horse through, alongside two other Gaidin. They quickly spread out and scouted the area, finding nothing amiss. They were near the small town of Podian, comfortably located in a wooded area in Kandor. There was no sign of bandits or Trollocs, although Tal was still wary. I can relax when I’m dead…

Returning to the campsite he caught up with another Gaidin, who explained what their tasks would be. Babysitting basically. Ah well, at least I am out and away from her again.

Tal led his horse to the picket lines, hitched his horse to the picket rope and stripped off the tack. He shook some oats into a nosebag and fitted it over the horses’ head and then carefully he rubbed the horse down, paying attention to the state of the hooves and checking the tail for burrs, knots and tangles. When he’d finished, he made sure the horse had finished eating and removed the nosebag, making sure there was enough slack on the hitch line for the horse to graze comfortably. He moved off and found a place to set up camp, not too far from a pair of Aethan’Tar. Obviously they were having a bit of difficulty setting up camp and were arguing vociferously about how to proceed.

Tal made no comment, but calmly pitched his tent in the lee of some bushes and a pair of trees with a slope below him to allow any rainfall to drain away from him. He quickly spread a tarp over his tent, tying it to the trees and staking it into the ground. This should keep the worst of the rain off his tent in the event of a major downpour.

The Aethan’Tar had been watching him and now began to copy him in the format of his camp, which was gratifying. Tal had been living rough and making camps for many years, on patrol with the Shienaran Lancers and also during his training and Raising to Gaidin. He smiled inwardly as he prepared an area for his fire, clearing away debris, digging a small firepit and lining the perimeter with stones to prevent sparks from starting any fires. He lay down a layer of kindling and prepared some dry wood scavenged from a dead tree just outside the clearing. Making sure he had sufficient wood for the night took him a while, as the ground was quite damp in places, but he had a considerable pile of wood within a half hour to keep his fire going and to also supplement the Aethan'Tar who were now arguing over who should collect the firewood. With a sigh, he looked around and caught sight of a Sei'Tar undergoing a bond emulation with an Aes Sedai. He shivered at the sight. While he had no problem with the thought of being linked to someone for the rest of his life, he would want a bit more warning then the comment “Get ready” that the Sei'Tar had just had. As he thought this, he stiffened. Someone approached. So many years in the wilderness, despite the training in the Tower had left him with a sense of what was right and wrong with the world around him. So few of the Trainees ever stopped and listened. The world around you could scream warnings if you knew what to listen for.

Tal rose from the ground, his left hand on the hilt of his broadsword as the bushes parted. He bowed as the hooded Green Aes Sedai approached. “Honour to serve, Aes Sedai. How may I help you?”

The woman seemed a little hesitant and then threw back her hood, revealing herself. Tal's face ticked slightly as the Domani woman stood before him again. “I hear that the Head Gaidin is tasking the Trainees with an emulated bond, but I have not done this before. Would you consent to carrying my bond for this journey? I swear on my oath that when the journey is complete, I will release you from this.”

Tal froze. Such a direct request? The woman was so brazen that she would be chased out of any self-respecting household! Then he paused. There was a tightness around her eyes and in her stance that spoke of tension and fear. She had never been so direct with him before, but in a way he sensed that she had never felt so vulnerable before either. Without revealing anything in his expression, he examined her face, but as nervous as she was, she was still Aes Sedai to her toes and gave nothing away.

Slowly he bowed his head. “As you have asked, so shall I do. What is your name? For it would not be seemly to carry the bond of a Sister whose name I do not know.”

She flinched slightly – most people would not have noticed it, but Tal was very intent on her now. “My name is Tianna Ithami, Aes Sedai of the Green Ajah. Will you consent to the bond?” She reached out a hand that shook only slightly.

Tal knelt before her, and she reached out and touched his forehead. A feeling of warmth came over him, like a blanket. This was followed by a chill and then a tightening sensation around his whole body. Something seemed to unfurl in the back of his mind and he was suddenly aware of a host of emotions and sensations, and equally concious of the fact that these were not just his. Tianna's face was a picture of wonder and pity as she stared at him for a moment, then she forced herself to maintain a more taciturn expression.

Tal rose from the ground, towering over 'his' Aes Sedai. “I shall light the fire and set your tent up here Tianna Sedai.” He lit the fire and then promptly stalked off, disturbed by his feelings. All this time he'd spent raising walls and defences against anyone and anything and suddenly this slip of a girl had breached them, bringing forth memories of his dead, his family and other memories best left alone. He pushed through the undergrowth to her baggage, gathered it together and then began to head back. This could be the stupidest thing you've done yet... he muttered to himself.

  • Section Wide RP: PodianJield Pilaweth, Head Gaidin, Fri Dec 8 12:06
    Jield’s eyes surveyed the campsite and as he looked over those doing their tasks he nodded in satisfaction; everything was going right to plan so far. They were currently in Kandor, camping a mile... more
    • Arrival — Talocan Mesandril, Gaidin, Sun Dec 31 08:44
      • To bond a warrior...Tianna Ithami, Aes Sedai of the Green Ajah (MuC), Sun Dec 31 08:46
        As Tal walked away from her, Tianna started trembling. She sat down on the log that Tal had been resting on when she'd found him and clenched her hands together to stop them shaking. Asides from... more
        • To stand ready, to fight, to fall?Talocan Mesandril, Gaidin, Sun Dec 31 10:27
          Tal felt his face twitch into a smile, an expression long unused. Tianna was trying hard to suppress the triumph she was feeling at bonding him, but it was still leaking out around the edges. He... more
    • Home in the country and home in the companyCrael Kantar, Sat Dec 30 13:56
      Crael smiled, he took another deep breath and his smile grew. He felt at peace here, almost at home. He squeezed Brutus’ flanks lightly to urge the horse on from the gateway to allow other through.... more
      • A Visit to a Place from the pastCrael Kantar, Sat Dec 30 13:58
        Crael had to admit the tents were pretty good, far better than he had expected and a luxury in comparison to what he had been used to in the lancers when they often made do with simply finding a... more
        • Luck, Armour and a feeling of belongingCrael Kantar, Sat Dec 30 14:00
          Just a couple of minutes later Crael was thanking the Light for the training back in the lancers that allowed him to get the barding on Brutus and everything else he needed done so fast or he would... more
          • Once more into the breach...Crael Kantar, Tue Jan 2 07:43
            Crael was the one who was laughing now, the Gaidin who had suggested that he train in armour would have been pleased at Crael’s efforts, for the past two days he had done just that. Most of the... more
            • A brush with deathCrael Kantar, Tue Jan 2 08:47
              Crael battled on as the clash of arms around him seemed to drag on interminably, underneath his armour he was drenched with sweat and Brutus’ flanks were increasingly warm to the touch. The battle... more
    • Getting A PartnerKael Zesiro, Aethan'Tar, Fri Dec 29 13:42
      Soon enough they were readying themselves to be off. Some of the Trainees, and most of the Gaidin, had their own horse, but Kael did not have the luxury. Instead, he mounted a horse that belonged to... more
      • Wood And WaterKael Zesiro, Aethan'Tar, Fri Dec 29 14:25
        The next morning began by dismantling the tent that he and Stephan had put up the night before. Like most things, it seemed easier to take apart the tent than it had been to set it up. Not that Kael... more
        • Food And TalkKael Zesiro, Aethan'Tar, Sun Dec 31 13:07
          Setting up the tent that night was harder than it had been the first, the two of them sore all over from the work. But, instead of being sour about it, they were both still in good spirits. They... more
          • SparringKael Zesiro, Aethan'Tar, Sun Dec 31 13:46
            “Hold your sword looser!” Stephan told him, as Kael bent to retrieve the practice weapon from the ground for what seemed like the hundredth time. The Gaidin were still watching over them spar, true,... more
            • A Walk In The Town And What Is To ComeKael Zesiro, Aethan'Tar, Sun Dec 31 19:05
              Both he and Stephan were able to have a good night’s rest that evening and early morning, without any tent collapses. Before they had both gotten to sleep, Stephan had apologized for the pain he had... more
              • Into The BattleKael Zesiro, Aethan'Tar, Sun Dec 31 20:59
                A daunting feeling of panic could be sensed underneath the forced calm that was over Kael and Stephan. This would be their first battle, as the Head Gaidin said it would be for many of them. The two... more
                • AfterwardsKael Zesiro, Aethan'Tar, Sun Dec 31 21:02
                  The battle was over…Kael couldn’t believe it. Breathing hurt, he realized then. That wasn’t the only hurt; many cuts on his body stung, but none of them were near as painful as the pain he felt each... more
    • The Hunter becomes the HuntedTain Aethan'Tar, Tue Dec 19 00:59
      The resonating twang of a bowstring split the silence of the wood. The sun was on its last legs and was slowly sinking behind the horizon. A soft pleasant breeze played across the wood as the young... more
    • Last hurray?Talaban Morenae, Gaidin, Wed Dec 13 10:29
      The chilly winter wind blew, sweeping through the high mess hall of the White Tower as Accepted and Novices alike shivered in their calf length dresses. This was merely the early stretches of winter. ... more
      • Into the BlightTalaban Morenae, Gaidin, Thu Dec 28 00:09
        The night air was dry here. Much drier than in Tar Valon. Alisse Sedai felt her throat itch slightly. Of its own accord, a water skin materialized in front of her. Taking it, she sipped before... more
        • Safe deposit withdrawalTalaban Morenae, Gaidin, Thu Dec 28 00:12
          Isabelle breathed deeply, taking in the sickly sweet scent of the Blight. The cloying aroma did not bother her. Perversely, it was the smell of home. After spending more than half her life in the... more
          • Strangers in the nightTalaban Morenae, Gaidin, Thu Dec 28 00:13
            The thrum of galloping hooves ceased abruptly as the riders pulled up beneath the first real trees on Shienaran soil. For several minutes, there was no sound save for the wheezing of the horses.... more
            • Blue on blueTalaban Morenae, Gaidin, Thu Dec 28 00:14
              Into the forest both figures went, each dancing nimbly across the soft ground, the stranger picking a rapid path deep into the woods with Talaban hot in pursuit. On and on they went, until, finally,... more
              • Deja VuTalaban Morenae, Gaidin, Thu Dec 28 00:16
                Talaban hissed slightly at the sting of the antiseptic solution. Rael murmured something meaningless as he ran the swab across the scalp of his fellow Gaidin. He alone among the entire corps knew of... more
    • What Would Warders Wonder?Kat Tenzin Sei'Tar, Mon Dec 11 13:58
      Kat bowed as a Gaidin moved forward, the fancloth spilling behind him with the motion of his forceful stride; the Aes Sedai with plain features and hair that seemed to have little life in the thin... more
    • Livin' the life.Tsuga Sei'Tar, Fri Dec 8 18:42
      It was a homecoming, in a sense. The gateway dumped their group just outside of a town very near the border between “civilized” lands and the Blight. The sights, the smells, and the feel of the place ... more
      • Just jump right in.Tsuga Sei'Tar, Thu Dec 14 07:09
        Spring had come to the Borderlands with a vengeance. The snow had melted in all but the most stubborn of passes through the mountains, and the bright green shoots of new growth showed everywhere.... more
        • Dazed, grazed, and confused.Tsuga Sei'Tar, Mon Dec 18 17:58
          She was mentally exhausted. Physical drain was something she was used to – and indeed, it was an integral part of her day-to-day life – but this much strain on her mind was not something that she was ... more
          • Surviving the morning after.Tsuga Sei'Tar, Wed Dec 20 19:44
            Tsuga hissed, half-rising off the bed and propping herself on her elbows as she twisted her head around to glare at the Aes Sedai probing at her back. “Be still.” The Sei’Tar grumbled and lay back... more
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