A tomcat's return (At Andra Sedai from a certain failed scholar's apprentice)

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Locke
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Re: A tomcat's return (At Andra Sedai from a certain failed scholar's apprentice)

Post by Locke » October 10th, 2022, 4:51 am

Alric wanted to enjoy what might be his last time in a real bed for a while, but as the sun crept above the horizon thoughts began to form up on the battlefield that was a mild hangover. Theories, plans, and concerns about their upcoming mission steadily marched on the heights, but a burning desire to know what Andra had been up to over the last few years was forming up in the tree line. ”We’ll need to find more bandits to question,” retreated in the face of ”Is there somebody else in her life? A warder? What were they like?”

Eventually the servant returned, rescuing him from his ruminations. Accepting the tray of breakfast, Alric apologized profusely before sending the woman on another errand. This time to retrieve up to date maps of Altara.

Breakfast was simple. Half of a loaf of fresh bread sat on the tray next to a dish of butter, chunks of aged hard cheese, and a small jar of a puree made from candied fruit and spices. It was a Kandori favorite, and if Alric remembered right, it had a slight kick beneath the sweetness. He placed the tray down and began heating tea. They’d have to get on the road soon, but he wanted to enjoy the momentary peace.
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Bella
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Re: A tomcat's return (At Andra Sedai from a certain failed scholar's apprentice)

Post by Bella » October 12th, 2022, 5:19 pm

Once breakfast had arrived, Andraste had also gotten up and wrapped her deep red robe around herself. She twisted her hair into a loose bun, fastening it with a pair of pins from her nightstand, before moving to the table where there was an easy breakfast. She recognized a bit of Kandor on the table and it made her lips tilt upward. He's going to be making up for his absence for a while, she thought, though whether that was a prediction of his actions or a threat regarding her own was...unknown.

"So, what're your thoughts for our plan now?" she asked, sitting at the small breakfast table and leaning back in her chair, taking up the tea first as she crossed her legs. The robe drifted to either side of her dark skin, but she didn't bother fixing it. She just sipped her tea while her dark eyes held his inquisitively.

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Locke
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Re: A tomcat's return (At Andra Sedai from a certain failed scholar's apprentice)

Post by Locke » October 12th, 2022, 7:00 pm

After carefully layering cheese and puree on a slice of bread, Alric answered. “First step: get back to the Black Company, they’re probably going to start getting antsy if I’m gone too long. I left on foot, and they don’t know I’m an Asha’man, well Demoux knows, but that’s different,” he trailed off for a moment. “Next, unless you’ve got a better plan, we keep doing what the Company was doing before: hunt down more bandits and hopefully get some leads that aren’t dead ends.” The plan seemed blunt and inelegant when he spoke the words out loud, but currently he was chasing wisps. “Honestly, you’re better suited to be the brains of this operation,” Alric said, “I’ll be your sword.”
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Re: A tomcat's return (At Andra Sedai from a certain failed scholar's apprentice)

Post by Bella » October 20th, 2022, 12:07 am

Those words almost drew other words from her mouth, but she stopped them swiftly because she knew it was something of a desperate impulse. She tried hard to avoid acting on either and certainly on both at once, but her sense of loss and her need to avoid it again had tried to speak for her.

Instead, she smiled slightly. "We'll see how it goes," she drawled. "I need more information myself to form a plan, but I think to know the things I need to know, we must travel first so we can get you back to your Black Company and I can know the sorts of people we'll be working with. From there, we'll chase up what leads we can."

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Locke
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Re: A tomcat's return (At Andra Sedai from a certain failed scholar's apprentice)

Post by Locke » October 20th, 2022, 12:47 am

“Until my new maps arrive, let’s enjoy breakfast and start packing,” Alric said with a smile before popping another piece of sharp cheese into his mouth. Compared to the night before, Alric’s spirits were running high. He had a clear objective, and good people to work towards that objective with, this was the space he had always felt most comfortable in. He tended to struggle when one of those two pillars were knocked away.

As they ate, Alric plied Andra with questions: What had she been up to? Were his fellow Mayeners, Nate and Paks, doing well? Did Paks ever make Gaidin? What about Fiona and Alrim? He had to fight rising feelings of self loathing at leaving behind more people who cared about him.
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Re: A tomcat's return (At Andra Sedai from a certain failed scholar's apprentice)

Post by Bella » October 26th, 2022, 7:27 pm

For her part, she answered what she could...

What had she been up to? Many a mission for the Red Ajah. She was not a woman who dallied for very long, and she liked to stay on the move and have objectives to complete, though she had enjoyed some downtime between missions. It had just so happened to have been one of those rare phases that Alric had returned during and had thus found her in the Tower.

Paks had made Gaidin. She didn't actually know Fiona or Nate particularly well. And Alrim had bonded Sadira Jolstraer of the Blue, and rumors were thick that it was more than a professional bond, so they were often busy with one another, and they seemed happy so she of course wished them well.

"I'm sure everyone will be happy to see you," she commented over the rim of her teacup. "When we return from this task." Naturally, she made her personal implications clear in that statement.

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Locke
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Re: A tomcat's return (At Andra Sedai from a certain failed scholar's apprentice)

Post by Locke » October 28th, 2022, 2:09 pm

While Alric wanted to feel bad that he’d missed so much of his friends’ lives, but that wouldn’t change anything. Instead, he let himself feel pride for their accomplishments. Paks had finally stopped being her own worst enemy. Alrim seemed off the table as a potential Gaidin, but it wasn’t much of a loss. He’d always expected Scruff to bond the man anyway. Still, he was happy for the Arafellin. Finding a companion worth bonding was a rarity.

Smiling at Andra, he said airily, “Of course, dearest, next time I wonder off, I’m taking you with me.”

A knock at the door saved Alric from sliding into another bout of apologies. The maps he’d ordered were finally here. After a cursory inspection, he sent the servant on her way and turned to Andraste. “Looks like it’s time to get moving,” he said, the corners of his lips quirked up in excitement and steely determination. He began grabbing clothes that had been strewn about in the previous night’s passion and channeling the wrinkles out. Whatever his failings as a friend and lover might be, Alric would always be a soldier.
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Re: A tomcat's return (At Andra Sedai from a certain failed scholar's apprentice)

Post by Bella » November 2nd, 2022, 8:43 pm

"Looks like," Andraste drawled softly, her tone hovering in the midpoint of a triangle between wistful, regretful, and ready. She didn't rush, of course, since while it was an urgent task, it was not an emergency. She finished her tea in a few sips and set the cup on the tray so it could be left outside for the servants to take away later.

After that, she headed back into the bedchamber. Alric was busy gathering his items as she dressed herself and also packed. As a Red, and formerly a merchant with limited space in the caravan, she knew how to travel efficiently.

She was dressed and ready to go in a short amount of time, wearing brown riding breeches, boots, and a red shirt so dark that it was almost brown as well. It wasn't an outfit that would stand out almost anywhere so long as it wasn't a snowy landscape. Her hair was braided simply but securely, and she packed economically, then pulled on her riding cloak and slung her bag over her shoulder.

Finding Alric in the living area where the table was now cleared, she offered a small smile. "Shall we be about it, then?"

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Locke
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Re: A tomcat's return (At Andra Sedai from a certain failed scholar's apprentice)

Post by Locke » November 2nd, 2022, 11:25 pm

Alric opened his mouth and closed it. He’d almost joked that she cleaned up nicely, but she was just wearing traveling clothes. He simply nodded before he could start stumbling over his words like a love struck teenager.

They stopped by the stables for Andraste to retrieve her horse, a sleek, dark brown creature that seemed to match her in elegance. Alric knew she had an eye for horses, and as an Aes Sedai and former merchant, he doubted she’d had trouble getting a good one. Arriving at the traveling ground, Alric was pleased to see nothing much had changed. That was the way of the Tower, people came and went, but the tower persisted. Even the scars of the many battles that had come to the Tower faded eventually.

Deciding to indulge in existential musings later, Alric seized the Source and wove making the space in front of him and the space a quarter mile north of a mercenary camp in Altara the same. A silver line split the air and rotated open to reveal a clearing covered in leaves the color of flame. He stepped through, eyes peeled for trouble before beaconing Andra through. “Should be a short walk, till we get to camp. Oh, also you’re a trusted associate I went to the next town to meet. If anybody asks.” He added the last part before setting off to the south.
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Re: A tomcat's return (At Andra Sedai from a certain failed scholar's apprentice)

Post by Bella » November 15th, 2022, 11:15 pm

It all moved smoothly for them, as if there had been no long span of time where they were apart. She and her steed slipped through the Gateway once Alric declared it clear, riding up alongside him. She inclined her head in acknowledgement of who she would be...'if anyone asked.' Unbound by the Oaths, it made things easier with that.

"Perhaps we should just say you had to fetch a lover you could not live without," she commented airily, though the sidelong look she sent him was...dare we say it, it was almost mischievous. They had a short ride to go, after all. Short or not, she could still find a way to amuse herself until they arrived.

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