A Fox Is A Wolf Who Sends Flowers (Craig)

Tel'aran'rhiod and Portal Worlds
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Re: A Fox Is A Wolf Who Sends Flowers (Craig)

Post by Matty » June 14th, 2018, 11:43 am

Nate It was nice to hear Zarayne actually get a little bit emotional about something, instead of that snotty Yellow better-than-this persona that most Yellows had. It meant she actually believed what she was saying, and he responded to that far better than he did to facts, figures and data. The man paced to and fro, idly swinging his hammer now, but he did listen to Zarayne. Even when she was full of nonsense and drivel. She made everything sound so impossible, like they couldn't just sweep in there, tell everyone they were wrong and make them give the Tinkers back.

"I'm not trying to fight everyone," he grumbled at the woman, looking down at sand where she'd thrown her stuff. "Just the people who deserve it. Honestly." He paced some more, jaw working as he had plenty more annoyed thoughts to hand, but he stilled his tongue for the moment. It seemed the right thing to do.

"What are the Grey Tower going to do?" he asked. "There'll be meetings, and talks, and discussions. It takes too long and while that's going on, people are suffering who shouldn't be." But what was the alternative? It was all well and good Nate saying he'd sort it out, but when Zarayne pointed out how big the desert was, it reminded him of just how small he was in the grand scheme of things.

Frustrated, Nate kicked at the sand, doing nothing but spreading it about in a small lump in front of his foot. There wasn't much he could do now. He didn't know what the Grey Tower could do, but outside of his gung-ho "let's all run in and kick asses" idea, he didn't have a plan. Zarayne knew it and was calling him out on it.

"Let's go back to the Grey Tower then," he said in a tight voice. He didn't look at Zarayne, lest he changed his mind. "I just- these people need us, and I said I'd look after them. If I hadn't taken so long at the Tower, maybe things would be different." The Blue shrugged his shoulders with a sigh, "not much good talking about what could be, but I wish I was strong enough to do more."

He leaned down to grab the script Zarayne had thrown at him, holding it out for her. Unlike most people, Nate didn't particularly mind being shouted at, or people raising their voices. "Here, this is yours. Can you make the Gateway?" She knew this piece of land better than he, having Gated there in the first place.
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Re: A Fox Is A Wolf Who Sends Flowers (Craig)

Post by Craig » June 18th, 2018, 11:07 am

Zarayne
She cast a sidelong look in his direction. Remorse was creeping into her mood. Nate was making the same arguments now as he had three days ago, only this time she'd been the instigator to cause those remarks. Well, partially; she wasn't the one breaking ji'e'toh by taking women and children as gai'shain.

Zarayne didn't speak as she embraced saidar. It renewed her calm to bask in the joy of saidar, but that calm didn't bring with it an alternate path going forwards. Even if she sided with Nate, there would still only be two of them against hundreds of Aiel, including who knew how many Wise One channellers. Returning to the Grey Tower to seek additional help and insight was the correct way to proceed.

A white-silver slash of light appeared in the air where the Yellow had woven before it rotated outwards to form a square hole in the air. It was dark on the other side, but the air coming through was warm compared to the chill of the Three-fold Land at night. Two steps would move them thousands of miles westwards into the Channelling Yards of the Grey Tower.

Zarayne turned to address Nate before he could move through the Gateway. "I do not intend on leaving this matter for others to solve. If our Ajahs do not act swiftly enough, we can look to the aid of the Gaidin, or to other Ajahs. No doubt the Red Ajah would take great interest in this."
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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: A Fox Is A Wolf Who Sends Flowers (Craig)

Post by Matty » June 18th, 2018, 6:55 pm

Nate The Blue couldn't help but regard the Gateway with disappoint. No matter that he had made his decision, despite the fact that this was supposed to be the best thing for them to do at this time, it certainly didn't feel like it to the channeller. He was leaving the Travelling folk, he'd achieved very little with his day apart from disappointment and frustration. It wasn't Zarayne's fault directly, but her attempts at platitudes were met with a frown. Yellows, saying all the right things to try and smooth over ruffled feathers. Did Zarayne even have an original opinion in her head, or did she just learn what she was supposed to say in these situations and recited it like a good little Aes Sedai?

"Words are as much good as a fork for picking up sand," Nate told Zarayne. "The Grey Tower is all talk, Zarayne. When something happens - let me know. I won't be sitting on this either, believe me." He stomped his way through the Gateway back to Grey Tower grounds, looking around with an expression that suggested the building itself was responsible for what was happening. In a way, it was. Talk, talk, talk. Nate couldn't even look at Zarayne.

Without anything else to say, Nate made a Gateway of his own back to his rooms.

---

Nate wasted no time in filing a report, and making sure that it was everything the Blues wanted from their channellers. He was not particularly detailed, he kept to the facts, but his frustration was clear and even when he went to the Head of the Ajah, it shuddered through his body with impatience and disdain.

Because he knew he was going to have to wait as they talked about these things, and made decisions, that sort of nonsense. What could Nate do? He didn't know any more. In the cool light of the morning as he looked at his walls, he was only met with disappointment. Hitting things with a hammer didn't necessarily make them go away. And if the Blues weren't going to be much help, then he doubted the Yellows would either. It wasn't something they could Heal. The Greens would be equally useless as it wasn't technically the Shadow at play. The Reds... there was potential there. Nate saw a certain appeal to their philosophy, though he believed himself to be more of a Blue at heart. They got things done. Less talking, more doing. You can write reports after the work is done.

"This is ridiculous," Nate told the wall, pacing to and fro.

And it was only breakfast time.
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Re: A Fox Is A Wolf Who Sends Flowers (Craig)

Post by Craig » June 20th, 2018, 1:48 pm

Zarayne
Zarayne was not idle. She held a greater affinity for the people of the Grey Tower than she did for the Aiel, but this disturbance of how ji'e'toh was being rewritten was troubling nonetheless, even beyond what had happened with the Tuatha'an. She wrote her report to the First Weaver, useless to the Yellow Ajah as it was. She did concur with Nate on this one point. The solution to this situation would not find an answer within the lemon-coloured walls of her Ajah Hall.

She lay down on the floor of her apartments to rest, her head and hands raised on cushions. Slipping into the Unseen World was easier now that she'd become accustomed to it. The light of candles flickered behind the lids of her eyes...

...before she found herself in a flameless place. Zarayne rose from the ground, surveying the reflection of her bedroom. Candles shifted on the tables, wicks untouched by heat. Before departing, she tested her talents against the candles. Raising one hand towards the table, she concentrated on the reality of the candles. Through thought alone, the candles started to wilt like plant stalks. It was so different from channelling. She smiled, curious to see what else would come from her dreamwalking.

The landscape around Zarayne shifted. Her bare feet felt a familiar chill as she appeared in Shienar. Before her was a small house, built from stone up to the first floor, then dark wood on the second. The roof made a singular slope, allowing for the easy removal of snow from its peak. Zarayne walked towards the front door, the snow reappearing behind her as her footprints were filled in.

Her childhood home was how she remembered it, although she was uncertain how much of that was a subconscious excursion of her own will. Her clothing flickered on the edges of her vision, briefly becoming gai'shain robes before returning to the yellow dress she'd worn during the day.

"Mother?" Zarayne called. Sinead did not always Dream, and she did not always appear here when she was Dreaming, but Zarayne hadn't mastered how to find someone in Tel'aran'rhiod. "Mother?" There was no answer. Zarayne shifted through the rooms quickly, finding no sign of company.

She lowered herself onto the mattress in her childhood bedroom. Without Sinead's insight, Zarayne was uncertain on the path forward. Sinead had been a Wise One and knew ji'e'toh better than Zarayne ever had. Without guidance, there was little point remaining in the World of Dreams, except that the Grey Tower held no answers either.

Flicker. Zarayne was back on the floor in her apartment within the Grey Tower. She sighed audibly, frustrated by her emotions, especially by how they had actual power in this place. "Let's conjure up a solution," she said sardonically. Of course, Tel'aran'rhiod didn't operate like that. If only she understood more about the Wise Ones' motives.

Flicker. The four walls of the Grey Tower were replaced by the limitless expanse of a sunless sky, set above a sea of sand. It was the Three-fold Land, that much was immediately apparent, although it took Zarayne a minute to realise where in the Waste she was. Without the broken wagons and the bloodsoaked sand, the site of the Tuatha'an caravans was just a set of featureless dunes.

Exploring the landscape offered up no solutions, nor did her futile attempts to repopulate the area with wooden vehicles. She could manage to maintain the existence of one or two caravans at a time, but even then their features were indistinct or ever-fluctuating. Like spinning plates, there was little Zarayne could do once one of her creations started to teeter.

Frustration returned again. Soon she was jumping between locations: her rooms, the Waste, Shienar, the Warder Yards. The Dream teetered.

She opened her eyes to near darkness. The candles in her room had melted to nothing. Grumpy and upset, she adjusted the cushions and settled down to have actual sleep. Tomorrow would need to bring the answers that this night could not.
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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: A Fox Is A Wolf Who Sends Flowers (Craig)

Post by Matty » July 9th, 2018, 12:00 pm

Nate Surprisingly to Nate, there was actual progress on their mission. It was slower than he would have liked, but four days later there was a small contingency of Aes Sedai and Asha'man who would be assisting Nate and Zarayne in their efforts to clear up the "misunderstanding" with the Wise Ones.

It wasn't a misunderstanding. They were wrong, Nate was right, and any pretense at otherwise aggravated the man. But for the time being, he kept his frustration to himself. They had progress, and for that he needed to be grateful. Apparently.

It was a small embassy of Blues and Greys that spearheaded the effort, though Gretchen was going as well more as a favour to Nate than because there was anything specifically amiss about the use of the Power involved. She'd never been to the Waste, and she was interested to see the Aiel - and keep Nate out of trouble. Again, apparently. Gretchen had views much like Nate, and when they disagreed it was normally at volume.

Despite this, they stood comfortably next to one another at the Travelling Grounds. Nate was a dab hand at a Gateway, and he was going to lead them to the Aiel - or as close as they could possibly get. They weren't taking any horses, some Grey said it sent the wrong message or something, and as a non-rider Nate wasn't disappointed. The group were formally dressed, and Nate went along with this as well, knowing he would just have to ignore the heat and get on with it. He was doing a lot of agreeing with the people who were organising this discussion, and it grated. Even if it was something he would have suggested himself.

He'd almost not mentioned it to Zarayne, but in the end Nate knew he couldn't keep it from the Yellow, and they did need a Healer in case something happened. He sent her a note beforehand, and so it was no surprise to see her in the small group, looking ready to go.

"Thank you for being here everyone," the Blue in charge said. Tyrin was a mild Asha'man with a high voice, and a likeable face. He would have made an able Grey, but a lousy swordsman. Of course, he was Cairhienin, and they always talked about one thing and meant another, which would be perfect for this discussion with the Aiel. Send a Cairhienin to talk to them! What could possibly go wrong? But it wasn't for Nate to judge, apparently he was the best man for the job and his Ajah did so love sending the right person for a task. Nate was there to observe and listen at the most, and that was only because he'd brought the issue to the Blues in the first place.

It wasn't perfect, but it would have to do for now. It was on the Grey Tower's radar and for that he would have to be satisfied.

Tyrin continued, talking about the plan when they were there, what they would discuss, and some Aiel cultural tidbits that would keep from offending, though Nate had no idea how true some of those were. The man just waited for his cue to make a Gateway, and then made one large enough for two people to walk abreast. He would head on through after everyone else. Maybe his Ajah wasn't so bad after all, he thought to himself as they began to walk through into the simmering heat of the Three-Fold Land. If they could get this resolved, maybe he would look to them for support more often.
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Re: A Fox Is A Wolf Who Sends Flowers (Craig)

Post by Craig » July 16th, 2018, 8:42 am

Zarayne
Zarayne had many reservations, from the numbers being sent to the attire she wore, all the way to the selection of Ajahs in attendance. Sadly that didn't matter a drop, because she was here as a courtesy.

In a dress that was utterly inappropriate and impractical for the Three-fold Land, Zarayne stood at the periphery of the group, feeling wronged. It was unusual for the Yellow to be angry, but it was happening right now. Ageless disapproval looked out towards Tyrin and the others assembled.

Zarayne followed the queue that made its way through the Gateway. Before entering she shared a glance with Nate. She was angry, just not at him, and she wanted to do more than stand on the sidelines. The feeling had to be shared.

On the other side, in the formidable heat of the Three-fold Land, Zarayne tuned out as instructions were given. Her role was clear: to be present if or when Healing was required, and nothing more. She turned instead to Nate after the Gateway flashed out of existence.

"Do you plan on toadying along with this?" she asked, her eyes flicking off to indicate the others.
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Re: A Fox Is A Wolf Who Sends Flowers (Craig)

Post by Matty » July 16th, 2018, 11:46 am

Nate Nate was the last through the Gate, and he tugged at his collar irritably as the heat of the desert hit him from all sides. It was good to be back here though, back in action. Even if he wasn't going to be doing all that much.

Back in the Three-Fold Land, instructions were given and it didn't take long for Tyrin, at the front of the group, to be met with some of the Aiel. Nate didn't recognise them, but then he couldn't tell most of them apart anyway. Had they been waiting for Nate and Zarayne to return? It was likely, given how quickly they were found.

Zarayne sidled over his way and she reminded Nate of a cat lashing its tail, though that was true of most women so it was hard to know how annoyed she truly was. "Toadying along? At least something's getting done," he said. "The Blue Ajah have taken notice, and I didn't think they would. I don't know how the conversation will go..." he trailed off, looking at Tyrin's back. He made a face and added, "I imagine not great- ahhh blood and ashes." A sensation when he looked at the sky made him wince, and he gave Zarayne a helpless look. "There's a storm coming," he warned her. "I can feel it in my bones, and it's not far in the future either. But as you can see, there's no clouds in the sky. It's not a weather storm... bah, I hate it when this happens..." he rubbed his nose as if that would help. "You'll just have to trust my weather sense when I say something bad will happen. Last time I felt like this, I was Compulsed and kidnapped to the Black Tower so forgive me if it ain't something I treat lightly."

"I can't say I like being put on the sidelines," he admitted as they walked, though he lowered his voice as their "honour guard" of Aiel moved to surround them en route to the camp. "But that's my Ajah's decision and I should go along with it. Unless you have some better ideas?" If something bad was going to happen then he wanted to be ready for it, and he doubted Zarayne was content to sit around either. Funny really, considering how adamant she was about getting Grey Tower assistance.
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Re: A Fox Is A Wolf Who Sends Flowers (Craig)

Post by Craig » July 23rd, 2018, 9:45 am

Zarayne
Better ideas? Perhaps not sending in a man to speak with Wise Ones? Zarayne tried not to show her frustrations but they were surmountable. She was well accustomed to being in situations where she had no ready solution to the problems presented, but this envoy from the Grey Tower could only make things worse.

She also didn't like their escort. It was too much. The Grey Tower was bringing a bad situation into another bad situation. Whatever was happening with the Aiel, these Asha'man and Aes Sedai were ill-equipped to deal with it.

Turning her attention back to Nate, she sought solace in his eyes. Frankly, she was looking for any balm to place over this anger within her. The only valve she had to open was to yell in frustration but that wasn't going to help in this situation.

"I don't," she said sullenly. "Unless you can convince everyone to turn around and return to the Tower. They certainly won't listen to me. But why should they? What would I know about the Aiel." With a flicker of her fingers, she vented her anger. Fortunately, there were no Far Dareis Mai watching the string of profanities.

She turned to look at Rhuidean. It was the city that affirmed the seniority of Clan Chiefs and Wise Ones. Had something changed within the city to explain why the Aiel were ignoring ji'e'toh? Or was the source of this 'irregularity' far more mundane? Who knew?
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Re: A Fox Is A Wolf Who Sends Flowers (Craig)

Post by Matty » July 27th, 2018, 12:20 pm

Nate Nate resisted the urge to roll his eyes at Zarayne, kicking up a fuss with no real suggestions for what else to do. She wanted to go back to the Grey Tower, and that was what they did. Now the Blue Ajah were trying to help and she was getting grumpy because it wasn't how she would go about things. But the last time Nate checked she was a Yellow, and she was only here because she was part of the original group, so she needed to either offer some better suggestions or stop pouting.

The Asha'man didn't mention any of this aloud, having a modicum of tact. At first he thought her hand movements were some sort of spasm, but belatedly realised and figured it would be best to just leave her to her quieter grumbles. At least hand gestures didn't make any noise. "If you think of anything, then let me know," the man said, rubbing his nose. "Something's gonna happen in any case. The Wheel weaves."

At the camp, Nate and Zarayne were mostly ignored as Tyrin and his little group went into the main tent to speak with the Wise Ones. Nate was keen to listen in somehow but the Aiel guarding the tent made that all but impossible, so the Blue had nothing to do but wait for the storm to hit. He stood in a smaller tent to the side, in the shade and trying not to look impatient, but burn it all he wanted to help. And now he was practically trapped in this tent until the end of the meeting, as two Aiel took guard outside. There were a few of them in there, other people not invited to the main tent, and none of them looked particularly impressed but they had expected this from the start. Exhaling through his nose, he was going to ask Zarayne if she had any bright ideas when he felt a ripple in the air.

It was hard to say exactly what it was, whether it was a powerful weave of Saidin, or the weather being unusual. It could well have been a combination of the two. It made Nate's arms itch, and he visibly grimaced before correcting his posture. There were two other Asha'man in the tent, both Blues Nate knew in passing, who looked around curiously.

"Did you just channel?" one of them asked Nate.

"No," Nate said. He was about to say more, but then thought better of it. He felt where the sensation came from, and it was the same direction as that bloody city he wasn't supposed to be going to. He nudged Zarayne, and told her in a low voice about what he felt. Was this the "storm" he could feel in the air? It didn't seem natural, and he wanted to do something. Surely this was enough reason to go explore Rhuidean, though Zarayne in her contrary state might object to doing anything now.
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Re: A Fox Is A Wolf Who Sends Flowers (Craig)

Post by Craig » July 30th, 2018, 9:42 am

Zarayne
The Aielwoman's brow drew down, shadowing her green eyes. She was anxious which made her restless. Her mind was busying itself on finding problems and worries in the slightest of things. She didn't like that she was sharing a tent with men. That wasn't how the Aiel did things. She also didn't like that they were being guarded. As both Aes Sedai and Aiel, she should have had the freedom of the camp. Instead, she felt more penned in and trapped than when she was underneath the Tower, facing the Test for Acceptance.

When Nate supplied his foreboding, it only added to her misgivings. She licked her lips needlessly.

"Something is wrong." She whispered it for her own ears, but she didn't try to hide her thoughts from Nate. Recognising him as both companion and confidant, she added: "Words alone cannot resolve this, and they certainly wouldn't explain what's happened to my people..."

She looked around the tent. Aside from the Grey Tower's envoys, there were two pitchers of water. What she really wanted was a spear, as ill-conceived as that seemed.

Zarayne faced Nate again. "I will go with you to Rhuidean," she whispered fervently, "but know this. We risk angering both the Aiel and the Tower." Her tone said she was beyond worrying over that fact. "And I will need you to Travel us there. The Wise Ones would feel my channelling."
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