Episode Two: The Grey Tower Endures

There is a saying among Aes Sedai...
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Re: Episode Two: The Grey Tower Endures

Postby Roan » Mon Dec 04, 2017 2:05 pm

Under normal circumstances, Paks was not afraid to take calculated risks. Many thought her reckless, and in some ways, she was, or at least had been until she crossed paths with Jesi. Somehow, the other Mayener tempered Paks. . .not so much as to change her or her effervescent personality, but just enough that she chased after fewer skirts, her mind always coming back to a certain Accepted. There’d been no one she’d rather be with, no one who let her be who she was wholly and fully, or at least that’s how it seemed to the Ji’val.

These were not normal circumstances. A red mist seemed to tint everything as Paks fought against Isla. She put all of her training into practice as she grappled with the Novice. She almost found purchase to break free when another person joined Isla to hold the maddened Ji’val down. A stream of curses so creative it would have made a pirate blush came tumbling out of Paks, though later she’d not be able to tell you any details of the moment.

Part of Paks recognized the newcomer as the Dedicated Jesi had stood up for. . .the man Ninya had been about to execute before she turned her weaves on the Accepted. She redirected her focus on Marten, pouring every ounce of energy and rage she felt into her fight to get free and get to the Amyrlin. It didn’t register to her how suicidal her plan was, nor would she have cared in that moment.

The Ji’val’s throat was red-raw, but the pain didn’t register (nor did it come close to what she’d felt moments before), “GET. OFF. OF. ME!” She got an arm between Marten and Isla and tried to push herself up. There seemed a glimmer of hope that she could break free and she struck out wildly, not caring who got hit with what blows. “She needs to die. . .Jesi. . .LIGHT. . .let me go! I’ll kill her!”

The conversation between the Keeper, Amyrlin and Miahala Sedai didn’t even register to Paks. Very little registered to the Ji’val other than her focus to end the one who took Jesi from her.

Spoiler: show
I'm pretty much ok with either Isla or Marten bundling Paks up with Air or knocking her out so she's no longer a danger to. . .anyone.

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Re: Episode Two: The Grey Tower Endures

Postby Sunny » Tue Dec 05, 2017 12:55 am


Finn knew a few things, thanks to years of war. One such fun tidbit: lye, in strong enough concentration, could eat through a human body. Another: soap contained lye, but not enough to do damage. Or so he had been told, and in normal circumstances it was the truth.

On Firstday, Finn learned something new: If one tried to remove the feel of the One Power from one’s skin with soap, it required a lot more than ‘normal use.’ The innocuous lye built up enough to sting long before one made it through the first bar. If one felt compelled to scrub through two additional bars of soap with the aid of a pumice stone, it downright burned.

The worst part was, he could still feel Liaran's invisible ropes digging into his shoulders. It wasn’t the first time he had been touched by the Power -training to fight with and against damane had certainly had its less than savory moments- but it was the first time it had happened without warning, and he didn’t like it. Not that the Pattern cared a single whit for what Finn of Seanchan liked, but irritation was better than any other reaction he might have had to the experience.

At the moment the Pattern seemed intent on turning his brains into scrambled eggs. He had listened to the Amyrlin’s speech and had exited as soon as she finished...only to push his way back in when he heard someone challenge her. He couldn’t have said why; every instinct he had ever had screamed to get away. Yet he found his way in...then froze in place as a series of horrifying events took place. Darkfriends. The Court of the Nine Moons did not lie! No, that was ridiculous. The girl clearly hadn’t been Shadowsworn, and there were too many terrified faces around him for them all to serve the Father of Lies.

The Ji’val pulled Finn back to earth. She cried and thrashed like a mad dog, held back from the object of her rage by a woman in white and a man in black. Paks, her name is Paks. He had never had much chance to talk to the dark-haired woman, but she had never seemed the type to go completely insane with grief. Unless… His eyes strayed to the remains of what had been the mouthy Accepted.

If I’m going to die today, it may as well be doing something useful.

That thought, oddly detached and vibrant amid the confusion of everything else, got Finn into motion. He strode forward, his hands pushing those who blocked him out of his path. When he reached the trio on the ground, he dropped to one knee in front of the struggling Ji’val, his hands pinning her shoulders to the ground. It required a surprising amount of strength. “Were you bonded to-”

“Jesi,” the Dedicated supplied, when Finn hesitated.

“Were you bonded to Jesi?” Paks twisted up to look at him with bloodshot eyes, and he flinched at the animalistic rage therein. She didn’t respond, but she didn’t have to; the answer was plain. He closed his eyes against her pain and sat back on his heel. The list of options and possibilities that floated through his head was depressingly short.

“We need to get her out of here,” Finn said in a louder tone. He opened his eyes, glancing around. Red hair caught his eye and he flushed, but forced himself to meet Haxia’s eyes for the first time since their odd meeting. Sincerity, the Westlanders called it. He just thought it presumptuous, but whatever would work. “If you could help clear a path...she’s not going to go easily.”

What to do after that?

Finn had no idea, but at least they were no longer sitting ducks.
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Re: Episode Two: The Grey Tower Endures

Postby Elan » Tue Dec 05, 2017 12:51 pm

Marten Emry

Marten blinked as a man in the grey uniform of the Drin appeared out of the blue and just like that seemed to take charge. Not that he minded being told what to do, not right now when the only good idea seemed to be getting the hell out of here and he’d already ruined his chances of that happening. When the Drin talked about bonding, though, Marten had to reconsider that again. If the Ji’val had been bonded to Jesi— not that Ji’val and Accepted had any business being bonded in the first place, but if they had been, that… that just made everything several shades more fucked up.

Marten didn’t know many cases of Warders outliving their bond-holders. A broken bond made you go crazy, and that wasn’t your fault, except maybe for getting your ass bonded in the first place because the way the bond was designed was just bad news all round, but that aside… He looked at the Ji’val again, seeing her desperate struggle in a new light. This is my fault, the thought returned, making him flinch and look away. I shouldn’t have said anything. I could have told Jesi to keep it down. She died for me, I’m responsible for this… And I’ve no idea what to do.

“Wait,” he said when the Drin seemed to be trying to move the Ji’val. “Where are you going to take her?” Where did you even come from? he wanted to ask, but that wasn’t important. “She needs… I don’t know, help, not that I’ve any idea what can possibly help her.” But if the Drin had a good idea, Marten would play along. “Wait, let me…” He seized saidin again and, as gently as he could, wrapped flows of Air around the crazed woman. Sorry. Shit, I’m so sorry. I’ve no right to touch you, but somebody has to keep you safe from yourself.

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Re: Episode Two: The Grey Tower Endures

Postby Bella » Tue Dec 05, 2017 1:52 pm

Novice Isla Arkema
It's taking three people to keep this one woman down, Isla thought with amazement.

She heard what the Drin asked--she vaguely recognized him from the night before, but his name eluded her for the moment--and then every made so much more horrific sense. This was far beyond grief; it was madness. She knew she did not know as much about bonds as others did, but she had learned enough to know what happened to a warder who lost one.

"The infirmary," she gasped as she realized the Dedicated had Saidin at work to contain the crazed woman. "We need to get her to the infirmary. They're the only people who can help her!" She swallowed. "I'll..." She lifted her head, blue eyes looking around with an efficiency nearing wildness. "I'll clear a path. You two move her."

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Re: Episode Two: The Grey Tower Endures

Postby Bridget » Tue Dec 05, 2017 8:47 pm

She leaned her face into Amaranie’s arm, trying not to inhale the smoke as she choked on sobs. The Amyrlin can't hurt us; that Aes Sedai is holding her, don't you see? It felt as if she was hearing Amaranie’s words from the next room. Haxia turned in her friends arms, just enough to see the Amyrlin Seat motionless on the podium, her arms clenched at her sides, and an expression Haxia could only read as dangerous on her face. The Aes Sedai was holding her. The Aes Sedai Amaranie had told couldn’t be a darkfriend, not if she had stopped the Amyrlin. It would be too complicated of a ploy to do so otherwise, and Haxia- she couldn’t do anything but believe.

“Good.” She murmured to her friend, her voice hoarse. She wasn’t ready to step out of her friend’s hold quite yet, not when it was so clear that this wasn’t over, no matter what Amaranie said. The Keeper was watching the Amyrlin Seat and the screaming crowds, her face so composed in the moment, even for an Aes Sedai. Haxia did not believe this could be done be until the Amyrlin Seat was stilled and executed. “It’s not done yet,” she whispered to her friend, jerking her chin towards the podium. “They might not all be darkfriends, but it’s not done yet.” She was a do Catalan a’Coralle. She could not watch a woman die without sobbing, not as some of the other women around her had. But she could see the threads of politics, even as she struggled to cease her tears, choke down the last of her sobs.

She watched the exchange between the Keeper and the Amyrlin Seat with narrowed eyes, too focused to do more than note the Ji'val screaming. No, it was not over- Haxia could see that in the easy composure of the Amyrlin, in the graceful, if curt, way she conceded to the other Aes Sedai’s request. Haxia tugged out of Amaranie’s grasp, wiping the moisture from her face with one sleeve, and touched the sleeve of the Aes Sedai Amaranie had spoken to. “Miahala Sedai,” she greeted, ducking into a brief curtsey. “How much influence does the Amyrlin have in the Hall?” It was impertinent to speak to an Aes Sedai so; Haxia knew that even now, when she could not keep her voice steady or cease the trembling of her hands. But she could not just stand and watch this madness without a word. “She gives in too easily, Aes Sedai. And the murder of an initiate of the Grey Tower is certainly substantial physical proof.” Her face reddened even as her voice became smooth once more. Light, to speak to an Aes Sedai so! Haxia’s eyes flicked back to the Amyrlin’s face, too calm and collected, even if she did hold herself stiffly. She curtsied again, took a step back, into Amaranie’s comforting presence. Light, I would bet on the Amyrlin in this. Haxia shuddered, glancing toward the crowd, and caught Finn’s eyes.

She froze like a startled deer, suddenly more aware of the redness of her cheeks, the tears that still stained her face, the disheveled state of her hair. Finn looked- Haxia didn’t have words for it, and he certainly had no right to look so, not today of all days. But he was asking for help, and there was nothing else Haxia could do here, not as a novice. She would have no sway, not even if the Tower saw her as a noblewoman; the Hall of Sitters was beyond her. It was infuriating, to see so clearly and hold no power.

Haxia tilted her chin up and caught Amaranie’s sleeve. There was nothing to do but what she could. “I’m going to go help.” She told her friend, meeting the other woman’s gaze even though she could not hide the fear and weariness on her own face. “Would you come with me?” Haxia stepped forward to join the throng around the Ji’val Finn was kneeling over, not letting herself look back at Miahala Sedai. The woman would be of the same mind and listen, or she would not.

“I will help.” Haxia told Isla. She had only met the other novice at the Feast of Lights, which felt so far away. She glanced once at Finn, and found herself unable to smile at him, before she moved forward with the other novice, pushing against the press of the crowd.

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Re: Episode Two: The Grey Tower Endures

Postby Bella » Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:14 am

When the razor-thin thread sliced through her weaves, Miahala nearly incinerated the Keeper on the spot. The moment given orchestra by the crazed screams of a woman, but Mia could not allow herself to focus on that just now.

Her blue-green eyes flashed with fury as she turned and looked at the other woman, now convinced that the Keeper of the Chronicles was just as likely swayed by the Shadow as the Amyrlin was. It mattered very little to the Captain-General that Ninya submitted herself to the will of the Hall, because anything could happen between now and then.

To just set the woman free...in a moment such as this... Had the very roots of the Grey Tower been again infected by darkness?

Flashing through her eyes in a split-second was the image of Lucan Nicander Riven Sail as Lysira's arrow pierced his heart, the once M'hael of the Tower who had been so thoroughly corrupted by the Fiery Serpent, Lycos.

"The discipline of the learning ranks falls to the Mistress of Novices and Master of Soldiers; the discipline of the Amyrlin Seat falls to the Hall of Sitters; and the decision to declare someone a Darkfriend requires a majority of three full ranks without substantial physical proof.

There was another young one beside her suddenly. Mia could not turn to look at the girl, lest the Darkfriends do something she could not stop, but she listened...and agreed. However, lest she also commit murder on Tower grounds, she did have to allow the place's justice system to work as it was intended.

"Yes, child," Mia said, her voice pitched low to the girl. "I will do all I can."

Now, Miahala did not hesitate to put her shield immediately back in place on Ninya, her facial express as cool and composed as a smooth sheet of ice as she looked at the Keeper. "The Amyrlin Seat has committed murder," she declared, her voice firm and loud. "This was not discipline. This was not justice. This was not even punishment to suit the crime.

"This. Was. Murder."

She looked back at Ninya. "It is procedure that no channeler to be brought before the Hall on accusations as grievous as this not be shielded. She must remain so until the Hall as rendered a judgement. And bearer of the stole or not, she must remain guarded until such time as it happens.

"The Flame of Hama Valon is the leader of only one third of this Tower, and she is not meant to be above the justice of all or beyond the rules that govern each of us. To which she swore to uphold. To allow her to do so is to confirm the presence of the Shadow in our midst."

Let it never be said that Mia was one to not speak her mind. She spoke with conviction, because she believed it. She had just watched this woman flay and prepare to kill one Learning Rank before succeeding in killing another. If Miahala had not finally been able to stop her, how far would she have gone?

Would she have tried to kill Miahala if she had only been able to speak words and now wield her greater power?

"It falls to you, Keeper Isadora, to make sure she remains unable to hurt another and prepared to face the Hall. And then we must tend to the future of the Tower. The ones who stand terrified around us now. The ones in pain."

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Re: Episode Two: The Grey Tower Endures

Postby Craig » Thu Dec 07, 2017 7:36 am

Isadora Taavo
Composure was Isadora's hallmark. For a little under twenty years, she had been the Grey Tower's advisor to the Queen of Kandor, and she needed very ounce of her resolve to manage the evenhandedness required to serve in such a role. She required the same here, caught between two powerful women. Isa was never one of the Amyrlin's lackeys, but she did not wish to be out of favour with the woman that was the Flame of Tar Valon. She wished the same with her relationship with the Captain-General. Being Keeper was a balancing act.

Saidar again raced to the Kandori's command as threads of silver light wrapped around Ninya like a cacoon. The Amyrlin was shocked, but Miahala was correct. There was procedure, and whilst she wasn't a Grey, she saw sense enough in doing things the right way.

"She is shielded," Isadora announced, principally for the benefit of those in attendance that couldn't see her handiwork. "I shall escort the Amyrlin to the cells beneath the Tower. Please arrange for other channellers to replace me on guard duty." The latter was a direct command to the Green sister. Isa wouldn't find her playing gaoler to Ninya any longer than was required, lest the Domani attempted to leverage threats against her. Plus she may very well be a Darkfriend. The thought was a little haunting. Isa reached her thoughts out along the bond to her husband, calling him to her. She desired his presence immensely, although she wouldn't let it show.

Making a gesture with her arm, Isadora escorted Ninya away from the courtyard, back towards the Grey Tower. They both could hear voices behind them, including the screams of bloody murder coming from the dead woman's friend. Isadora prayed that Ninya had been correct; that the girl was a Darkfriend. Tell me that I didn't just watch an innocent girl die whilst I did nothing.
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Elan wrote:Of course, the problems with observing a chain of command arise when the one in command decides to do something unspeakably idiotic, like taking off on his own for no discernible reason in the middle of enemy territory.

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Re: Episode Two: The Grey Tower Endures

Postby Daniel » Thu Dec 07, 2017 8:40 am


Nyaine‘s gaze had wandered through the room, but then unerringly found the Amyrlin Seat, the murderess, just in time to watch something cut the bonds of Air and Spirit that had prevented the woman from movement and channelling. Her eyes followed the cutting weave to its origin. The Keeper standing on the dais. Was it some sort of misplaced loyalty to the Amyrlin that made her do this, or was she too a friend of the dark? It did not matter.

Still feeling sickened, Nyaine pushed herself to her feet, listening to the conversation, watching with some relief that the Aes Sedai immediately replaced the sliced shield. But when she heard that she charged Keeper Isadora with safekeeping the murderess, the horror crept back in. How could she hand the control over to the very woman that had just attempted to free that horrid woman?

She tried to call on saidar, wanting to shield the Keeper as well, but saidar didn’t come. Her opportunity passed. The glow once again enveloped Isadora and Nyaine doubted that she would have the strength to shield an Aes Sedai while she was wielding the power. Giving in to that fact, the One Power came to her, reaffirming the repeated lessons and instructions that you could not force the female half.

But what could she do now? The Keeper was already leading away the Amyrlin, potentially to freedom, getting away with murder. She pushed away the thoughts of the dead Accepted. Maybe there was a chance to get the other sister to take charge instead. Nyaine wove threads of Air with all her strength. She had not the time for anything elaborate, so instead she just looped one around each of the escaping women’s legs and pulled, shackling their feet and hopefully making them trip, but at least preventing them from leaving.

“You can’t just let them go!” Nyaine exclaimed, taking a breath and then continued loudly. “What does it matter if the Amyrlin is darkfriend or not? She just killed a woman in front of all our eyes! The Keeper herself said that no woman may be declared darkfriend without proof or majority in the Hall. Therefore the ‘substantial physical proof’ of the Amyrlin being a vile killer and murderess lies right at my feet!”

Nyaine avoided to look at the Accepted’s body on the ground next to her and instead pointed at the Keeper. “This woman just attempted to free the murderer, making her an unwilling accessory at best, how can you let her be the one on guard?”

She stumbled over her words often enough, but with a little forethought, her years of education and practice in Cairhien paid off at times. She just hoped it was enough.

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Re: Episode Two: The Grey Tower Endures

Postby Alianora » Thu Dec 07, 2017 6:38 pm

It should have been over. One minute, the Amyrlin was safely shielded and bound, and in the next, the Keeper had cut the weaves and freed her. Amaranie's arms tightened around Haxia as she watched, fearing now that both the Amyrlin and the Keeper served the Shadow. The Keeper had been no part of what she had dreamed, but Amaranie couldn't imagine why else she would have interfered. She spoke of the law and protocol, but hadn't she seen what the rest of them had? She just killed someone. Even if she weren't...a Darkfriend, how can you let her go? Her heart pounded in her chest, not settling until the redhaired Aes Sedai had replaced her shield on the Amyrlin.

Amaranie admired the woman's strength as she challenged the Keeper, but something still didn't feel right to the novice.What if the Keeper is a Darkfriend? She couldn't know if that was true, but if it were...Amaranie did not think the Amyrlin would remain held for long, and that scared her. She did not want to think about the consequences of letting that woman go free and remain in control of the Grey Tower. I don't think I can stay here if she does.

When Haxia pulled on her sleeve, Amaranie tore her eyes away from what was happening and followed her friend to where one of the Ji lay on the ground. The poor woman hadn't stopped screaming since the Accepted was killed, and it reminded Amaranie far too much of the grief she still felt for Keegan. She missed him every day, and knew from her own experience that the woman on the ground would need a long time to recover from what she'd seen. Getting her somewhere else sounded like a very good idea. Amaranie joined Haxia and Isla, asking people to move out of the way. It was difficult at first, and she even had to push a few people, but after a while, the crowd of people began shifting away from the Ji on its own. The three of them had almost succeeded in their task when Amaranie heard someone yelling and turned to look behind her.

She would not have expected Nyaine to object to the Keeper guarding the Amyrlin this way, and it made Amaranie nervous. Light protect her. The Amyrlin was shielded, but the Keeper wasn't. What might she do to Nyaine? Amaranie didn't want to know, and there was nothing she could do to stop the Keeper from taking any action she pleased. She turned back to what she had been doing, insisting that people step aside, and prayed to the Light to keep Nyaine safe.

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Re: Episode Two: The Grey Tower Endures

Postby Bella » Mon Dec 11, 2017 8:18 am

Miahala Darrow Sedai
There was a tiny--tiny--shred of relief to the idea that the Keeper was not going to object to true procedure, and put bonds back onto the woman. But it did not sit well at all that the Keeper alone was going to walk away with Ninya. Her blue-green eyes watched like she was a hawk and Isadora and Ninya were nothing more than mice in a field...

Surveying the still-shocked crowd, Mia drowned out the screams just a little longer as she found a fellow Green Sister watching her intently. She had known Norinda Sedai for many years, they have ventured into the Blight together at times, and so she was her best call. She met the blonde woman's eyes and made a small gesture with her head toward the retreating backs of the the Amyrlin and Keeper.

The message was clear: Do not let them leave without you on their heels.

With another quick scan, she found Anaris Kane. She did not know him very well, but he was an Asha'man for just a bit longer than she had been Aes Sedai. And he was a Green. So she gave him the same gesture.

Practically like assassins in a shadowy alley, the two Greens rose to Mia's command and slipped out of the crowd to follow the women. Mia had no sense of security that the Keeper was not of the Shadow. The only doubt in her mind about Ninya was how bloody obvious it was to act as she had here.

Usually agents of the Shadow had a little more sense to keep themselves hidden?

It was not impossible that the Accepted had been of the Shadow, but the Dedicated as well? And the Ji'val now screaming until her voice was hoarse and throat likely bleeding? And even if they had been, it didn't matter. Executing in the Tower grounds without some process, when all that had been bandied was words, was not alright. There had been no fight; just back-talk.

As a mother, and former Mistress of Novices, Miahala knew that was no a crime punishable by death.

Suddenly, there was a shouting girl at her elbow. She turned, but did not recognize her. Of course, her words were in earnest and Mia could understand them.

"Calm, child," she said gently. She had not released Saidar and it made the tone sharper in her ear. "We cannot allow ourselves to descend into lawlessness alongside Ninya. This was murder. I believe that soundly. But there is still process, and I fear that when even an enemy surrenders, we must adhere to that or we are no better than they.

This was not a battle. It was a crime. And we are here to see her punished by our laws, to keep us above the darkness that tries to sunder us. We cannot let that happen, or else we are all lost. I will do all I can to assure that everyone now remains safe, and I do not fail us like a I failed those poor children there."

She allowed some of her pain to sincerely show through. "We cannot allow ourselves to be no better than those we protect the world against," she whispered to the girl before stepping away as the baby spun inside her.

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