In Dreams [Closed]

Tel'aran'rhiod and Portal Worlds
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Bella
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In Dreams [Closed]

Post by Bella » August 23rd, 2015, 2:23 am

Miahala Ives The board was set.

As a child, she hadn’t been very good at this game. As an adult, she had learned that no one else had ever heard of it and she soon became convinced that her brother had made it up. On a piece of wood sawed and pounded flat with wobbly black painted lines to make a grid of squares inside squares. Pieces of dark brown on one side and light brown on the other were lined up three by three in nine-block squares at either end.

Her brother’s voice echoed in her head as she stared at the board. She hadn’t seen it in over a century, but now it was arrayed on her simply but nicely appointed table in the Green Ajah Halls.

“See the whole board,” a voice rasped from the other side. It was a voice that to others meant fear and even disgust, but to her meant…

“Love,” she whispered, lifting her piercing blue-green gaze.

Standing on the other side of the table, large and coarse hands gripping the edge and leaning forward like an army’s general, stood Caden. Lord Ives. The Sword of the Ivy Cross. The Master of Arms. Her warder. Her husband. The father of her youngest son. He did not wear his white mask now and she saw his scarred visage in all its dark glory.

Few could look upon him without grimacing, but she loved him as much for it as not.

“Look at the whole board,” he repeated. His one green eye drove into her with the precision of a dagger and the strength of any blade wielded by his hand.

She didn’t want to take her eyes off him, but she looked down. The pieces on the board had moved out of their starting configuration and into one of a game half-completed. She frowned, because she didn’t remember how to play; she couldn’t remember how the moves were supposed to go.

Miahala did not like not knowing something.

“What am I supposed to do, Caden?” she asked with humility she’d show only to him.

“Look at the whole board,” he repeated, this time more slowly.

She sighed. She could see the board, but she didn’t understand what it was that she was looking at, or supposed to be looking for. The pieces, she could see them all in their new places, but she didn’t understand what those places were. Their arrangement didn’t make any logical sense, and she wasn’t sure that they ever had. She knew that there had been rules to the game, but had it made sense even then? Or had she just followed along because her brother had taught her how...

From her peripheral vision, she watched his hands push away from the table. She felt him start walking, moving in a slow circle around her like she was one of his students in the Yards and she was about to get a painful lesson. “Miahala, you are looking but you are not seeing. See the whole board.”

A small trembling began in the muscles of her arms as she leaned against the table, like he had been. She trembled with her frustration, her...helplessness. It did not stir in her sorrow, but anger. “Stop saying what I already know!” she all but screamed, whipping her head away from him and smacking her back against the board. Pain lanced through her, but she ignored it. “Tell me what I need to know. Tell me what to do!”

Mia’chalindra.” A different voice now, smoother but deeper. Her head snapped so hard and so fast in its direction that she almost broke her own neck.

Darien Jolstraer reached down and took her hand, lifting it up and turning it over. A game piece was sticking out of it. She had hit the table so hard, it had embedded itself in her hand. She frowned. The piece was not longer the dark brown it had been, but it was colored green.

For a moment, she was so disconcerted that she looked to the board, seeing that both sets of nine pieces were now a set of colors: green, blue, grey, yellow, brown, white, indigo, red, and...black.

A chill raced down her spine as she looked up into Darien’s face. He was smirking at her as he held her hand in his, using his other to pull the piece free. It hurt and she winced, but she did not flinch. Blood poured into the indentation, running black from her palm to the playing board. A small lake of darkness formed.

“What does it mean?” she whispered, lifting her eyes to him again as tears filled them.

He closed her fingers over, forming her hand into a loose fist. “It doesn’t mean anything.”

“How can it not mean anything?!” she cried out, pushing against his chest. The violent emotions of her youth were not contained here and poured from her like the blood from her hand. “How can it not mean anything?!” she repeated. There was a black streak against his bare chest. “What’s happened to me? I was dead. Dead! How can that not mean anything?”

His cocky smile had never changed. “I’ve been dead before,” he said.

She stared at him and then started to laugh. Unable to help herself, she fell into his chest even as she felt her blood rub off against her cheek. He held her as her dark mirth bubbled forward and mixed with the tears falling from her eyes.

When she lifted her head, she saw that the black was gone. So was the chest it had been on, replaced by one scarred and ragged with streaks of red. She lifted a trembling hand to touch her face and found that her fingertips came away red.

“Am I not human anymore? Am I so far gone that I cannot even weep tears?” she whispered, lifting her gaze to Caden again. “You were the only thing that held me to this land as something more than a being. More than a name. Than a duty. When I thought the last shred of what made me a woman was gone, you came to me. You told me once that I melted the ice around your heart, but no. You melted the ice around my humanity.

“But now… What am I now?”

She pushed away from him when he said nothing. His silence was offensive and yet necessary.

The board was awash in tumbled pieces and drying, dark blood.

Her blood.

“What am I now?” She fell to her knees and hung her head. Could she count the dead anymore than she already had? Would it make their numbers change? Or would she just keep counting until the number was added to? The dead would continue to mount, because life did not stop. But the wheel had not brought any of them back, it had brought her back, and for what? For this?

The hulking form knelt down before her. “What am I now?”

A rough hand grabbed her chin and yanked her head up to meet his eyes. “You are as you have ever been: a force that not even death could stop.”

“I’m a corpse that shouldn’t be walking the land,” she said darkly.

“Miahala!” His voice was like the cracking of a whip. She heard in it all those who had come before her and had loved her. She heard her children and her warders and her family as a chorus echoing in the sharp reprimand of that voice.

“Since when have you ever felt sorry for yourself?”

She tried to lower her head, but she couldn’t. “See the whole board,” he repeated. “If you truly start seeing what’s around you, you’ll start understanding.”

“And stop feeling sorry for yourself, Mia’chalindra.”

Mia looked around, but there was no one there. In fact, there was no one there at all, but a dark room, and a table, and a game board whose moves she had forgotten.
* * * In her small, dark room, Mia opened her eyes. She stared at the ceiling she could not see by the light of the moon barely there through her window. Her heart beat was calm and steady, but as she lifted her hands to her face, she felt the wetness on her cheeks.

She held her fingers up into the dim light, and saw neither black nor red.

Only tears. Human tears.

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Re: In Dreams [Closed]

Post by Bella » January 12th, 2016, 4:34 pm

The scorched earth stretched out before her like the waters of the sea that she had rarely seen in life. In the far distance, mountains rose like dark shadows against a sky of red and orange, making their jagged edges pronounced and ominous. Like daggers, stabbing the sky and making it bleed. Beneath her feet, the cracked brown dirt was dotted randomly with swords.

Of all designs and sizes, they were stabbed unceremoniously into the earth. Some straight, some crooked. The latter like they had been there for many years, many decades even, and all with strips of fabric fluttering from their hilts in the non-existent breeze. Some were fresh, whole, and brightly colored. Some were faded and tattered, the ragged ones hanging from the crooked swords.

Time never passed anyone kindly.

Mia's bare feet touched down in sequence between the protruding blades, avoiding every sharp edge no matter how it was angled. She danced the steps she knew of old but had not danced in long years. Each movement was remembered perfectly, and she did not even look at the swords as she flowed through them.

Suddenly, there was a tightness in her throat and she gripped her hand to her neck. Her eyes stretched to the darkened sky above her, and she could see nothing in the blackness. Not even stars. She realized her fingers were constricting, without her commanding them to. Her nails dug into her flesh until she felt and heard the skin tearing, the warm blood flowing freely.

It poured over her chest like a pair of small rivers, confined to their wide-ribboned path until curling over her hips. There it stopped and just waved, shimmering from an unnatural metallic green into a rainbow of eight colors. The colors shivered into fabric, and the stole of the Amyrlin Seat as it hung from her neck.

Mia looked down and ran her fingers along the fabric, bringing each edge in a hand towards her face. Like she didn't know it for what it was, even though she did.

As she peered upon them, she watched the fabric curl around itself of its own accord. It began hissing. The cloth materialized into a pair of dark grey snakes, snapping their fangs at her face as she reared her head back and held them away from her. They snapped at each other at times, and at others, tried to reach her again.

Look at the whole board. The voice of another time, another place, another Dream echoed across the broken landscape while she held hard to the vipers, to not let them bite her.

With a scream that sounded more guttural, more bestial than anything her throat should be able to create, she tore the creatures from around her neck and threw them to the ground. As each hit at her feet, they exploded in a storm of pale grey stone shards. The concussion threw her back and she landed hard on the ground behind her, narrowly missing two swords--one on either side.
* * * When Miahala woke from the dream, alone in the ridiculously large bed of the Amyrlin's quarters, her hand was on her throat. She left it there, almost unable to consciously remove it, as she stared at the ceiling and could almost see shimmering, tattered bands of fabric fluttering in the breeze-less air above her.

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Re: In Dreams [Closed]

Post by Bella » March 31st, 2016, 5:38 pm

This requires the song, because the feeling of the song STRONGLY effected the plot, but totally ignore the video itself: https://youtu.be/LBr7kECsjcQ
The Hall of Sitters gaped around her like a dried sea.

She looked at the empty seats, and the unforgiving stone walls and columns that rose to either side of her. Turning in a slow circle, she sought out any sign of life other than herself, but there was nothing. Not even an echo of life.

Some legends are told
Some turn to dust or to gold
But you will remember me
Remember me for centuries


Pain lanced through both arms. Wincing, she looked down and saw scrawling names burning their way into her skin. Beyond that first pain, they did not hurt as terribly as they looked like they should. Letter by letter, they lit upon her and she recognized the names of all those who had come before her: the leaders of the Tower, her Green brethren, her family…

The lines of names covered her arms, bared in her night shift, from shoulders to fingertips.

And just one mistake
Is all it will take
We'll go down in history
Remember me for centuries


As the light from her arms illuminated the grey air of this hallowed room, she again looked slowly around at the empty seats and envisioned all the people who normally took their places here. She envisioned those of the past, and those of the present. Who would be those of the future? Would they feel as suffocated by this room as she often was?

This place where every word was a cautious choice that may or may not lead down the wrong path… She had never liked to play the game politic, but here, it was a requirement to survive.

(Hey yeah, oh hey, hey yeah)
Remember me for centuries


Bursting from the floor, a golden eagle took her sight and led her gaze upward. She watched as it somehow flapped its wings and flew right through the stone ceiling, which shifted and changed colors before becoming a different stone...of a different ceiling...

Mummified my teenage dreams
No, it's nothing wrong with me
The kids are all wrong
The stories are off
Heavy metal broke my heart


A dark-haired body laid just ahead, a woman thought dead but not. Behind her, Mia knew instantly was another woman. However she might tell herself not to, she could not stop the past. Turning, she felt the metal slide hard and up into her body.

She stared into the hateful face of Adaegor Jolstraer.

Her murderer.

“Say hello to my father.” The knife twisted. She laughed, tasting her blood.

Gripping the blade, she hissed, “Tell him yourself.” The weaves of electrocution wove through him and he began to scream.

Come on, come on and let me in
The bruises on your thighs like my fingerprints
And this is for tonight
I thought that you would feel
I never meant for you to fix yourself


Light glinted around the blade. The light grew and encased their hands upon the hilt, until it spread out like a tide and covered her body. Soon it moved through her until all she could see was the light, blinding and yet not painful.

She gasped as it left her suddenly, and she looked around to realize that Adeagor was gone. She was no longer in the basement, but where was she?

Some legends are told
Some turn to dust or to gold
But you will remember me
Remember me for centuries


The ground began to tremble. She thought she heard a sigh.

Looking at her hands, she realized the light remained. There was someone singing faintly in the distance, but she recognized what it was. Saldea singing. It sang to her. It sang for her. One at a time, she reached to each hand as the light became fire. She grasped the fire, pulling it up each forearm like a glove.

Or like a sheath. As she pulled, the fire vanished until she found the hilts of her blades. Folding her arms to grasp each, she pulled them free.

And just one mistake
Is all it will take
We'll go down in history
Remember me for centuries


Miahala lifted her eyes and watched as nameless, faceless bodies closed in. They moved carefully yet swiftly, surrounding her as she turned in a slow circle to face them. “Come on,” she whispered.

(Hey yeah, oh hey, hey yeah)
Remember me for centuries


Lightning lanced from the sky and shattered the dry earth, blinding her in its power.

And I can't stop 'til the whole world knows my name
'Cause I was only born inside my dreams
Until you die for me, as long as there is a light
My shadow's over you 'cause I am the opposite of amnesia


Somewhere else. She was somewhere else.

Blinded and confused, all she knew was the pain. She was dead. Was this where the Wheel had sent her after her death? Pain. Someone was cutting into her. She felt blades entering her chest and she screamed.

“I’m sorry! I’m sorry!” a woman’s voice called out. “There is no other way! Hold on, Miahala. I’m getting you home where they need you…”

The pain again overwhelmed her and everything went black.

And you're a cherry blossom
You're about to bloom
You look so pretty, but you're gone so soon


When she opened her eyes again, she saw that she was back on the field. Now there was only one enemy and in her blind rage, she sent her razor wire threads of Air into his chest. She found his heart and jerked her arm back, hauling it out of his body in a blossom-like spray of blood and flesh.

Some legends are told
Some turn to dust or to gold
But you will remember me
Remember me for centuries
And just one mistake
Is all it will take
We'll go down in history
Remember me for centuries


The drops of blood flew to either side of her. Where they hit the ground, they rose up into the horde that had surrounded her before. They converged all at once, surrounding her in a press of flesh that she drove knife and weave into.

One after the other, she cut them down.

(Hey yeah, oh hey, hey yeah)
Remember me for centuries


We've been here forever
Without warning, her body ceased to move or obey her command. Her knives wove into her hands as she watched her limbs sprout into wooden branches, forcing her arms slowly over head as she formed into a shape entirely foreign to her.

And here's the frozen proof
Tree limbs grew and grew until they were beyond her comprehension, and then they began to harden and swell until they were as stone blocks. Blocks like those that had built the Tower, a lot like those that made the Tower...

I could scream forever
Mia desperately tried to scream, but her stony mouth could make no sound as the last of her--her eyes--stared up at the shifting sky.

We are the poisoned youth
Arrow and sword blade and spear point bounced off her stones. She could feel them as they tried, but she could not be slain now. She was impervious to their efforts, and she knew she could only wait them out.

Some legends are told
Some turn to dust or to gold
But you will remember me
Remember me for centuries


Starting in her very core, she shook. It began as a shudder until it became a violent rocking. It grew like she had just moments ago until it split her very stones apart. Pieces of grey rock, broken and jagged, flew out in every direction.

No one was safe, and the enemies that surrounded her were blown down and blown apart by the storm of stone and dust.

And just one mistake
Is all it will take
We'll go down in history
Remember me for centuries


As the dust cleared, Miahala found herself standing once more upon the field.

Surrounding her were the bodies of her enemies and the pieces of masonry she just moments ago had been. She was dressed for battle and saidar sang its sweet song in her veins, feeling very much like Saldea.

As she looked around, forms shimmered into life. She tensed, ready to fight, but these were not enemies… These faces, she knew. They were of the dead. Of the living. Of those she did not know how they were, but they were all known to her.

They stared at her, silent and waiting.

Overhead, an eagle cried. It flew from just above her head and then forward to where a new foe was gathering. The darkness so great in it, the Shadow so powerful, that it almost rose above the encroaching army like a plague of locust.

The eagle cried again and Mia smiled, then strode forward.

(Hey yeah, oh hey, hey yeah)
We'll go down in history (hey yeah)

Remember me for centuries

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Re: In Dreams [Closed]

Post by Bella » September 24th, 2016, 4:14 pm

The mountain rose before her, painting a craggy black shape against the blood red sky.

Miahala stood at the base of it and stared up at the peak. There was no fear in her, not for the sky or for the mountain. She knew that she had to climb it, but she did not know why. What would she find at the top? Why was it important that she find it? There was no concept of answers within her, just the overpowering urge to climb.

Moving forward, she placed her hands on the jagged rocks and began her slow ascent. Step by step, and handhold by handhold, she labored her way to the top. Her breathing grew more labored and her heart thudded harder, her body struggling with the effort and the growing sense of uneasiness in the pit of her stomach. Still, she climbed. She fought against the wind as it tried to push her down, and against the illness growing within.

As she finally reached the summit, she stood straight and looked around.

Why was she here?

Turning in a slow circle, she realized that the ground suddenly felt...softer. Her bare, bruised feet were sinking now and she looked down. When she did, she screamed and almost fell.

Faces, and bodies. The mountain that had been solid stone was now made out of people. She saw faces that she recognized: her fellow leaders, her family, the many faces of the Grey Tower that she saw daily and saw rarely. They were all below her, murmuring and wailing softly.

The pit in her stomach gaped and she almost lost it all, but she didn’t.

“What…” she began.

Thunder rumbled overhead and she looked up, feeling her eyes sting with tears and her body stiffen with the electricity growing in the air. The red sky was now black with storm clouds, but there was no rain. There was just the rumble of thunder and flashes of light high above. She somehow knew there was more to this storm than just a storm, though. Again, she knew but she knew not why.

The sound came nearer, and the flashes more insistent. As she stared, a streak of black shot out. Did it come down from the sky, or up from the mountain? She could not tell, but it penetrated her chest like a lanced, pinning her above the ground, and filled the mountain of bodies below her. Wails became screams, and her voice rose to join them as pain filled her.

It did not end, like a bolt of lightning might. Her mind raced in and out of the pain, trying to understand it; trying to stop it.

Finally, she summoned every bit of will that she possessed and flung herself forward. She threw herself with such violence that she leaped straight off the mountain and fell clear down the side, plummeting to the earth below. She hit the ground and felt the air rush from her lungs, and yet the impact did not break her. She simply lay and gasp for breath, watching the storm clouds begin to disperse.

Mia slowly lifted herself. Sitting up, she shifted up onto her knees and looked at the mountain. The base was again stone, but a black mist was leaking out from beneath it. She felt anger she did not understand blossom in her chest as she watched it creep out, and fire flashed around her hands.

She knew what she had to do.

Moving forward, she felt the fire climb her arms as she put her hands into the mist. It lit on fire as well, but there was no sound as it burned away. And as she looked up, she saw the people she’d seen at the summit get up. They no longer looked in pain, were no longer near death, nor immobile as they stood and walked away.

The mist continued to pour out, and she burned it as it did.

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Re: In Dreams [Closed]

Post by Bella » January 10th, 2017, 4:06 am

Everything before her was a verdant field of green. Behind her, she knew without looking, was an ocean of inky black that coated the sky as surely as if someone had painted it. Behind was dark. She did not want to look behind her.

She started walking. The sunrise was before her, and she knew that was the way she needed to go. So she went.

Overhead, she heard that avian cry she was so accustomed to. She didn't even need to look.

Cutting a path through the sea of tall grass before her was a horse. As it drew nearer, she saw it for a stallion of a silver hue that no creature of reality could achieve. It glimmered in the glowing sunlight as it galloped up to her. She knew that it was likely to run her over, but she didn't step out of the way and it stopped just in time.

She reached out and pet its nose, smiling as it nuzzled her chest. It's eyes glinted like green gemstones, almost like they were actually gems.

Then there came the sounding of a horn. The stallion snorted and tossed its head, pressing closer to her. She stroked its soft, silver fur until the horn sounded again. This time, more loudly. And another joined it. The horse snorted and pawed at the green dirt, tearing it up, but it lifted its great head and looked towards the sound of the horns.

Mia sighed softly, feeling sorrow and yet acceptance. Its green gem eyes looked at her once more before turning and running away...


When she opened her eyes, dawn was just breaking over the horizon and pouring through the window's partially open drapes.

She turned to see Sojin sitting in a chair beside the desk, reading something that had his brows knit and his mouth turned in a hard frown. And she knew. The dream still fresh in her mind, she saw his silver hair and thought of the green gem around her neck. The sound of duty horns in the distance...

"It's alright, Sojin," she said quietly, startling him with her voice. "It's alright. You can go..."
* * * It was almost a month later that found Miahala standing on the Tower ramparts. It was after dark, but the moon was plenty to see by. She watched at Sojin and a small contingent for House Walker rode away from the Grey Tower.

Although they had come to act and call one another as husband and wife, the ceremony had never been officially seen through and so that was easily rectified when duty called and demanded he return to his ancestral home to marry for the sake of alliance. It was only the bond that was deeper, but she knew how to untie a knot. Thus he was gone from her mind, and from her bed.

She would've expected to be sadder, but maybe she was just too old to hold on too tight. Perhaps being dead once had something to do with that. Or maybe it was the novelty of seeing one depart by way other than death. Not that she was without sorrow, but she was not crippled by it.

It was what it was, as with all things in life. But with everything else, she would look forward. She would only move forward, ever toward the sunrise.

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Bella
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Re: In Dreams [Closed]

Post by Bella » November 15th, 2017, 11:16 pm

She stood at the bottom of a great mountain.

It rose so high into the sky that she could not even see the top, let alone have any idea of what was on the other side. So much mist surrounded her, that she could barely see anything besides the path just before her anyways. As she stared at the rocks and the mist, she wondered if she should even climb. What was at the top? What was along the way?

The sound of rocks crunching turned her head. A pale horse emerged from the mist, its head low and its steps unhurried. It lifted its black eyes to meet hers as it passed her, holding her gaze as long as possible until it began to ascend the mountain. From her other side, a green dragon emerged. It too held her eyes before walking along, following the hooves of its compatriot with the claws of its own feet.

She knew that she had to follow them. So she did.

Her bare feet did not tread the rocky soil as easily as their did, but she persevered. She stumbled and caught herself on her hands, palms and soles of her feet bleeding from tiny rock cuts. She continued.

The mists thickened as she walked, but she could hear the echo of hooves on rocks and she followed it.

Instinctively, she knew the top was close. As she began to crest towards it, the mists cleared. She saw a sole figure standing there and the details clarified as she grew nearer. It was the form of a man, tall and lean. His clothing was dark and austere. His hair was red. Ravak. She pushed herself further, coming to the heights and near enough to speak. Before she did, however, the man turned his head and looked at her.

Sharp blue eyes with a Saldaean slant looked back at her, their depths so intense that she nearly stumbled back and fell away.

Our son.

There was no denying it.

Over her shock, she kept walking until she stood beside him. He said nothing, and nor did she. He turned back to the view, pointing. She realized that the horse and the dragon sat quietly, perfectly still, on his other side. When she turned to look at where he pointed, she saw the whole world. As if there was a map at the base of the hill. From the top came an oozing blackness, sliding down the map and leaving smoke and fire in its wake.

It filled her with ice.

"We must stop it, Mother." Her son's voice was deep and low, the diction and edges belonging to his father.

Suddenly, the animals burst forth and threw themselves from the cliff edge...and yet she knew without a doubt that they landed on the ground below, taking off running. The scent of the smoke was drifting towards them now.

"Yes, we must."

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