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Into The Battle
Sun Dec 31, 2006 20:59 (XFF:

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 AethaníTar were given swords, and other AethaníTar were given other weapons, but it seemed that it was more common for a blade to be dispensed rather than any other kind of weapon. He took a long swallow, and worked his tongue in his mouth, trying to get rid of the dryness that he felt there. After that, he took deep breaths, trying to calm his heart that was beating almost painfully fast.

A TrollocÖKael had never seen one. He had heard about them, as much as anyone else had, but he didnít know what it would be like to see one, to try and fight one. It seemed as if Stephan was having the same thoughts. The order to stay with their partner was not a problem for neither him nor Stephan, and in fact, it made them feel a little easier. They knew the tales that a Trolloc would be difficult for a Gaidin to take out, and neither of them were about to try and do a foolish act and call it bravery to try and take out a Trolloc on their own. They would stick with each other, as best they could. But in the heat of battle, who could say what would happen to one of them?

Stephan looked over at him, to give him a reassuring smile, and Kael did his best to answer it with one of his own. They mounted their horses, and soon enough, they were on their way towards the Trollocs, towards the battle. They werenít in the front of the other Trainees, but neither were they in the back. They were lost somewhere in the middle, but neither of them were going to try and find some other place to be for now. The battle would have them go where it would, but they werenít going to purposely leave the rank.

The front of the ranks had arrived to where the Trollocs were, and nearer to them than they would have liked, a Gaidin felled an eagle-headed Trolloc that had been caught by surprise. The beasts were just like they had been told; part animal. There were so many different kinds, it was astounding. How could these kinds of things exist? They seemed so unnatural, that is didnít seem possible that they could live, yet there they were, in front of them. More people were engaging the Trollocs now. Gaidin had the best of it, to be sure, and the Aes Sedai as well, using the One Power against the monsters. SeiíTar didnít do as well as the Gaidin, but they were mostly able to hold their own. The pairs of AethaníTar would take on one Trolloc at a time as best they could, but even some of them were overtaken when the combat didnít go the way they had expected. Kael witnessed some AethaníTar saved by Gaidin, when he had thought they were goners. Kael made a silent wish that a Gaidin would save him or Stephan if the time came. He was not aware that there were Gaidin that had been given just that job, and would answer his wish during this encounter.

A few Trollocs broke the frontline, and more Trainees were thrown into the melee. Some of the fighters had lost their mounts, and were on foot, trying to take on the creatures. The clash of steel rang in his ears, as well as the sound of the wounded, and the screams of the horses. The scent of blood was in the air, and some of the horses reared at its smell. Those that were not able to calm their mounts had to dismount, and try their luck on foot.

The Trollocs slashed at everything, man and horse. They didnít care what they cut into it seemed, as long as it left some damage. Of course, as soon as a rider was flung, they would forget the horse, and take after the rider, to try and finish them off.

Kael watched all of this with wide, unbelieving eyes. This was not his first time seeing blood, true, he had witnessed more bar fights that had turned ugly than he wished to remember, but it was nothing like this. Never had he seen anything so savage. If he hadnít been so shocked, he was sure that he would have lost the contents of his stomach as he looked around him.

It had only been a few short moments since they had reached the battle, but it seemed like it had been hours or days. It seemed like an eternity before he and Stephan were faced with their first Trolloc. Stephan caught sight of the monster, a goat-headed one that looked in a word grotesque, first, but it wasnít long before Kael spotted it as well. One of the horses made a frightened sound, but Kael wasnít sure which, he couldnít pay attention to it. Stephan and he just waited for it to come, neither of them eager to go and meet it as it neared them, with an intent to kill.

Not only was Stephan unlucky enough to be the first one to spot the Trolloc, but the Trolloc came at him first. Stephan did not take even a second to initiate the attack, and suddenly, the sense of time changed from a minute taking what seemed like an hour to taking what seemed less than a blink of an eye. Kael moved, so as not to leave Stephan to the task of fighting the Trolloc by himself. Although it should be that the two of them taking on one Trolloc, they should have had the advantage, but that didnít seem to be the case. The Trolloc defended their attacks as they sent them at it, all thoughts of style forgotten in the frenzy of the moment. A seasoned fighter would not have forgotten the forms like they had, but they were still fresh in their training, and it was showing. Maybe that was why they seemed to get no where in their fight.

The Trolloc seemed to grow restless of the defense, and was soon attacking them as well. In a moment of shock and fear, Kael felt his horse stumble under him as an attack that had been meant for him caught his mount. The horse began to fall, and Kael did his best to get out of the way of the large, falling animal, and barely made it to avoid being flattened under the injured horse. The Trolloc had turned its attention to Kael now, knowing he was easier prey than the AethaníTar still on horseback. The Trolloc attacked, and Kael jumped back, stumbling, and the slash that undoubtedly was meant for his neck, caught him on the arm. Pain flared, and Kael feared he would fall, but by some chance of luck, one of his feet got behind him, steadying him. With the Trollocs attention almost fully on him, his partner was able to take advantage of that, and was able to get a slash at the Trolloc, giving it a deep wound on the arm; a much worse cut than Kael had received. The Trolloc gave a wordless cry, and turned his attention so that he was taking on the both of them again, realizing it had forgotten about the other young man that was a greater threat than the one that was now on foot.

The two of them, Kael and Stephan, were both attacking the Trolloc again, and the wound the Trolloc had received from Stephanís blade seemed to be slowing it. Even with that, it seemed as if the two AethaníTar were not going to be able to defeat the creature. The Trolloc was not only on the defense, and they both gained wounds, as they fought the monster. They seemed to be making no progress, and that was probably the most disheartening thought that crossed Kaelís mind. He tried to ignore it, and avoid letting his mind wander. He was able to bring his mind back to the battle in time to duck under an attack aimed at his head.

Unexpectedly, an arrow protruded through the Trollocs throat, and Stephan gave the Trolloc a wound that cut through its throat for good measure. As the Trolloc fell dead to the ground, Kael looked, to see where the arrow had come from. A Gaidar with a bow in her hand, looking as if she had just let off a shot was facing them. She had been the one that had saved them. Kael took a deep breath, thankful for that. He was not sure that they would have had the ability to finish off the Trolloc on their own. He would find that Gaidar later on, and thank her. He wouldnít care then, even if it had been her charge to watch over them.

He could not believe that he was even still able to stand. He was physically tired, he knew, but his mind would not let his body rest. The battle was still going on around them, and they could not let themselves be defeated by being tired, not yet. They had forced themselves to continue chopping that wood the first day, they could continue on in this battle; their lives depended on it. This was much more important than their task of chopping had been the other day.

Had that only been a few days past? It seemed like a lifetime ago. The timeline seemed to have slowed again, making seconds seem like hours even though the sun didnít seem to be in any different spot than it had been when the battle had begun. Trollocs and people from the Training Grounds continued fighting, playing a deadly game of steel and skill. How much longer the battle went on, Kael did not know. The fighting continued around them, and Kael and Stephan made their way to add other Trainees, that were still struggling, even with two of them there. The struggle became crowded and difficult, but they were able to eventually overpower the Trolloc without much loss on their own part.

Kael didnít know when it had happened, but Stephan was now unhorsed as well. He did not know if he had been forced out of the saddle, or if he had done it on his own account. Kael guessed it mattered not, and they made their way to go and help more of their fellow Trainees with their Trollocs now.

How long it lasted, Kael was not sure, but in the end, it seemed like an age.

  • 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 nightís 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 Battle — Kael Zesiro, Aethan'Tar, Sun Dec 31 20:59
      • AfterwardsKael Zesiro, Aethan'Tar, Sun Dec 31 21:02
        The battle was overÖKael couldnít believe it. Breathing hurt, he realized then. That wasnít the only hurt; many cuts on his body stung, but none of them were near as painful as the pain he felt each... more
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