The Wheel of Time: The Trolloc Wars
Session September 18th, 2012 Chat Log
Raefari and Christoff take Ava’s bound body into your rooms. You turn from the scene of the battle and step forward on the balcony to get a better look at what is happing to the city below you.
The blood of Ava’s dead warders mixes with the rain, creating small, pinkish pools that collect near your feet as they wash toward the stone gutters. The rain continues to fall hard. Lightning lashes out from the sky, streaking downward to land in the city. Thunder erupts with each strike. You’ve never seen a storm this fierce in all of your years at Tar Valon. Above you, the clouds circle the city, with a black vortex in the center that seems to be centered on the White Tower. More lightning lances between clouds, creating a lightning storm inside the clouds themselves, illuminating them eerily.
That storm is not natural. Even without the tiara feeling cool on your head, you know this. Saidin has created this storm, and the madman responsible for it is out there, beyond the Shining Walls. Vandred Cazvalo. Not just a male channeler, but one sworn to the Shadow. A dreadlord of some renown. He must be responsible for the storm.
Balls of fire fly through the air, passing across the Erinin on both sides of the city. Hundreds of them, completely unaffected by the heavy rain that is falling. The Aes Sedai on the walls that are responsible for stopping the balls of fire do their best to catch each one before it strikes the city, and they succeed more often than not, but occasionally a ball makes it past to land with a crashing explosion to rival the peels of thunder erupting as lightning falls from the sky. But the lightning….the lightning is unaffected by Aes Sedai channeling. You know why. The women on the walls can see the balls of fire coming and have time to prepare their counters. But the lightning strikes are random, and no one can anticipate where the next strike will fall until it happens.
On the bridges spanning the Erinin, you can see tiny black shapes crossing. Vandred is going all in with this attack. Fireballs race from the walls of Tar Valon and land with tremendous explosions of their own that send the tiny black shapes flailing through the air. Most of the trolloc invaders are blown into the Erinin, where they will undoubtedly drown. Trollocs aren’t swimmers, and they wear heavy armor to boot.
You sense Raefari approaching from behind and turn to find him there. He and Christoff have both been hurt, though Raefari’s wounds are external, and Christoff’s, due to the Touch of Death Ava wove on him, are internal. Raefari has laid his palm against a deep cut on his waist. He’s grabbed strips of cloth from somewhere…perhaps your blankets…and wadded them up to staunch the bleeding.
You want to heal your warders, but don’t have time. From the windows, you can see flashes of light inside the Tower, in the halls. Here and there you can hear fighting growing louder with each passing moment. It seems the Black Ajah waited just long enough for you to be abducted and spirited away before making their move on the rest of the Tower. Which makes you wonder why you specifically were a target. The letter said “you and your friends” were to be taken tonight. Were they referring to Sochaia and Tasalaya? Or some of your old friends from your days as a novice or Accepted? Where were they going to take you? Did they take your friends already? If so, where? Ava said something about you being “summoned” to the basements. It must be there.
You tell Raefari and Christoff to come, having decided to head down to the basements.
You head across the balcony, not back to your quarters, but toward the main stairwell. You would prefer to avoid the fighting in the Green Ajah quarters if possible. As you travel toward the main stairwell via the bridges connecting the balconies on this level, you look out at the assault on Tar Valon and grow worried. Lightning flashes in the clouds, sending tendrils of silver flying between clouds as they circle the city, and in that flash you notice something you hadn’t noticed before. Draghkar. Hundreds, perhaps thousands of them, circling the city high in the sky, just under the cloud cover.
Almost as soon as you notice the foul creatures are up there, one streaks upwards, past the balcony railing, shrieking as it does so. You jump back and Raefari catches you as you stumble into him. You hurry onward, not wanting to deal with a draghkar’s song if one lands on the balcony.
You reach the double doors at the entrance to the Green quarters and hurry inside. As soon as the doors close and the chaotic thunder and explosions from outside is pushed down to a muted rumble, screaming and cursing replaces it. Where you stand, there is an intersection perhaps fifty feet down the hallway, and you see a fireball streak across it, going from your right to your left, and ending with a loud explosion a second later. A woman screams in pain and another shrieks vows of revenge for the attack. Further inside the Green quarters you can see arrows of fire racing down a hallway that’s even further away. And you keep hearing thudding noises coming from the levels above and below you.
At that instant you realize you will have no way of knowing who is friend or who is foe until they attack you first, and you don’t want to wait for that to happen. Nor do you want to be lulled into a sense of false security by a darkfriend only to have your back stabbed when you aren’t looking. You hurry Raefari and Christoff into the stairwell and let the women of the Green Ajah fend for themselves. Your plan, you explain to them, is to avoid any and all women if you can help it. You need to get outside and find Sandulf. After that, you’ll worry about figuring out who is who.
You leave the corpses of the dead aielmen on the island and run into the Ivory Guardian. Your new friend follows closely behind you.
After running down 16 flights of stairs, you make it outside. Several streets over, you see lightning lance out of the sky and strike something on the other side of several two and three story buildings. The wind is howling, and rain is falling hard, but you still hear the screams of terror associated with the lightning strike all the way over here. The streets are empty, save for a few panicked souls that flee down the streets seeking shelter from the storm and the attack. You start to run down the street but Elia grabs your arm and shakes her head underneath her oiled cloak.
“Not that way. This way. Follow me. I’ll get you there quicker.” She says, yelling to be heard over the din of explosions and lightning blasts. You nod to her and she takes off across the gardens of the Ivory Guardian. You may as well follow her. She knows the city better than you do, if she really is a thief taker in Tar Valon.
You run through the gardens and out a back fence that leads into an alley. Into the alley Elia leads you, until you finally break out on the main thoroughfare next to the White Tower grounds. Mounted cavalrymen of the Tower Guard rush down the street at full gallop as you enter the street, and you have to wait for them to pass or be run over. In seconds they are gone and you and Elia run toward the entrance to the Tower grounds. Somewhere inside, you can feel Telandria moving much closer. Earlier you felt her above you and to the west. Now she has moved lower in the Tower, and you can only hope she hasn’t been abducted. The darkfriend letter you received said she and the other Aes Sedai would be taken to the basement. If you sense her in that direction, you know what it means, and you grip your axe tighter, prepared for another fight if it comes to it. You can already sense she is feeling weak and in a lot of pain. You can only hope this doesn’t mean she lost her fight and was taken. As angry as you are with the bond that was put on you, you still don’t want anything bad to happen to her. You’ve traveled with her for quite some time now and, despite your opinion on the bond, she is still you friend.
At the entrance to the Tower grounds, you find no guards. Elia stops as you reach the guardhouses and starts to look around, but you simply rush past. You don’t have time to think on why the guards aren’t at their post.
You dart into the Tower grounds and rush down the paved road towards the entrance. Elia keeps up, though she is struggling. You finally hear her screaming at you to stop.
Elia Savari: Do you know where you are going? Is your Aes Sedai in there? Is she in trouble?
Elia Savari asks this breathlessly
Sandulf Machera: Yes!
Elia Savari: You can sense where she is, right? Up? Down? Where? I know the White Tower, believe it or not.
You can sense her below you now, for whatever reason.
Sandulf Machera: she seems to be below where we are
Elia Savari: Okay. Follow me. I’ve taken thieves in using the servant’s entrance. It’ll be quicker.
Elia takes off once again, and you follow her. You’ve gotten to know the layout of Tar Valon over the last week and a half, but you are still a stranger to the White Tower. What little you’ve seen…well, you would get lost just trying to find the Amyrlin’s study again, much less a place you’ve never been. It’s best to let the woman lead you.
Sochaia & Kael
Sochaia, you climb down off of Kael’s massive arm, onto the table. The two darkfriend warders lay dead at the foot of the table. Casala’s corpse lays limp on the stairs near the balcony. She still twitches in her death spasms.
“Are you okay, Sochaia?” Kael asks as he helps you down.
“I am hurt, but I’ll be fine. Ni’tareus?” You ask.
Ni’tareus nods, touching a finger to a deftly cut slice down his arm. It isn’t deep, but it is bleeding and his white shirt is pink with the blood of multiple cuts to his arms and chest. He even has a cut on his right thigh. “I’ve taken worse.”
He looks up at Kael. “Good thing you showed up when you did, Kael. I’m not sure I could have handled those two on my own. And as small as that Aes Sedai was, her head never would have fit in my hand. Nicely done, that. It was…creative.” He gives Kael a half smile. “Now, would one of you care to explain what just happened and why I helped kill an Aes Sedai and two of her warders?”
Neither of you get the opportunity to explain. At that moment, an explosion from the Grand Entrance catches everyone’s attention. Sochaia, you can feel Saidar being channeled in there. You hear women screaming at each other in anger, though you can’t make out the words.
Ni’tareus: Fighting in the rest of the Tower? What is this? A rebellion? Whose side are we on? And why did they attack us?
Sochaia Doisech listens through the door.
You can hear screaming and angry shouting outside, heading toward the Grand Entrance to the Tower. You hear explosions as well.
Ni’tareus: Well? What do we do now? I realize you’re both in shock, but we can’t just stand around listening at doors and scratching our ample hind parts.
Sochaia Doisech: Kael, any ideas? where should we go?
Kael: Terith and I were warned of this. Terith ran to help Tasalaya in the basements. We should head there.
Sochaia Doisech: Ni’tareus, you go first, please. To the basements.
Ni’tareus: Tasalaya? The angry Red? Why is she down there?
Kael: I told him I would follow as soon as you were safe
Ni’tareus looks at Sochaia, then nods.
Kael: Darkfriends have her.
Ni’tareus: Alright then. Follow. I’ll see if I remember the way….
Sochaia Doisech follows.
He heads out the door Kael kicked in. As he does, he speaks over his shoulder.
Kael follows Sochaia ready to carry her if necessary.
Ni’tareus: So you’re saying this is a darkfriend plot then? To what end can they hope to achieve anything? The White Tower is far too powerful for a simple darkfriend uprising. Even darkfriend Aes Sedai! Surely there aren’t enough of them….
You head out of the library for the basement. Avoiding any Black Ajah may be difficult, especially since you don’t know how to tell who is who.
The man in black wavers on his knees, bleeding profusely. He lowers his head and clutches a stomach wound that appears very deep.
As soon as Rashima finshes gagging Callah, she hardens the air around the former Keeper, leaving only her head exposed, so that the woman may still breathe. It’s more than she deserves, you think, but you don’t offer any argument to the Amyrlin.
Once Callah is secured, the Amyrlin leans against the table, using her arms to hold her up while she slumps, resting. She looks terrible. She’s been beaten, cut, clawed, and burned. As she leans, she speaks to you.
“I am in no condition to fight anymore, Tasalaya. By the look of you, you aren’t either. I see wine over there. Pour me a cup, would you?” She eyes the man in black with suspicion. He is wearing a black tunic with a gray fist emblazoned on it. Only darkfriends serving in the Legion wear such a thing.
You move to grab the pitcher of wine and two of the glasses the darkfriends had set aside for themselves. The Amyrlin walks slowly toward the man in black as you hand her a glass of wine. She nods in thanks to you as she takes it, then takes a hesitant sip, still watching the man in black. She grimaces as the pain of her split lip meets the glass of wine, but she takes a deep gulp anyway, then places the glass on the table.
sochaia (Sochaia Doisech): back
“And what of you, stranger wearing the tunic of a darkfriend?” Rashima says.
The man in black still clutches his stomach, but he looks up as Rashima speaks to him. His jaw is clenched, and he speaks with a tremble. His teeth are chattering, you realize. “I am a darkfriend, Aes Sedai. I have committed many crimes…in the name of the Great…the Dark One. I deserve…nothing less than execution, though I don’t think I’ll make it to trial. Leave me to my fate. Or kill me, if you wish. I will not resist.”
For a dying man, he is remarkably calm, and his words are gentle, not at all angry or defiant. He truly has accepted his fate. Rashima chuckles slightly. The man in black looks at her questioningly.
“You fought a Myrddraal, and I felt you kill Serille, for it was she that held the shield on me. And though I believe Leena still lives, she won’t be waking any time soon, judging by the blow you laid upon her head with the butt of that weapon. Speaking of which, Tasalaya, would you be so kind as to place a shield on Leena? I’d hate for her to wake and still be able to touch the True Source.”
“Mother, there is a battle going on outside that door. Do we have time for this?” You ask, referring to her interrogation, but you weave the shield as you speak, placing it on Leena’s unconscious body. You feel it snap into place, and you know she isn’t dead. If she were, the shield simply wouldn’t work.
Rashima shakes her head slightly, watching the man in black. “My warders are out there, and they feel…calm. I think they’ve got the situation under control. Now, darkfriend….give me a name, unless you want me to refer to you as darkfriend for the rest of the night.”
sochaia (Sochaia Doisech): ha. jesse, i just saw that. just can’t wait to toss me over your shoulder again, huh?
“I am Hedara Tinowa.” He says simply, lowering his head once again. He must be in a lot of pain, as he winces as he answers. “Strike me down, Aes Sedai. I do not wish…to live any longer. Please. I am in great pain.”
Rashima looks at you. “Well, Tasalaya? I was conscious when he arrived, though I kept my eyes closed so that Callah and her friends wouldn’t know. I didn’t see everything he did. Do I strike him down or heal him? You saw more than I did. Advise me.”
DragonSypher (Kael): Well, you are badly wounded and you think you can keep up with an ogier?
sochaia (Sochaia Doisech): i see. well, keep your paws to yourself! Unless I need you…
DragonSypher (Kael): lol
Tasalaya Rosalynn: Well Mother, he did do alot to help us both… although I deeply think he should die, I believe we should keep him around just for a little while longer
Rashima Kerenmosa nods at Tasalaya’s words.
Tasalaya Rosalynn: besides dear Mother, we can always kill him later
Rashima Kerenmosa: I agree. You are not yet consigned to death, Hedara Tinowa.
The Amyrlin walks up to him, still holding the One Power. She weaves a small Healing, just enough to close major wounds and stop heavy bleeding, and grabs his head to lay it on him. His body tenses sharply and his arms stretch out to his sides as she heals him. Finally he relaxes, and he takes a deep inhalation of air. He merely stares at the Amyrlin as she walks away from him.
Rashima Kerenmosa: That will hold him for now. Master Tinowa, take a seat next to Callah over there, if you would. I’d like to keep my eyes on you.
He stands and does as instructed, taking a place near Callah’s trapped body. She stares pure death at him as he drops to his knees.
The Amyrlin sits down in one of the chairs. “Take a seat, Tasalaya. If the darkfriends manage to win, let them see two women completely at ease with their fate.” She nods toward the vacant chair next to her. She looks at the door up on the balcony. “My warders are out there. All but Denris. Callah and her…friends…killed him when they came for me. Be glad you are Red, Tasalaya. Be glad you’ll never have to deal with the pain of losing a piece of yourself in such a traumatic fashion.” She says with sadness.
At that moment the doors open again and Terith walks through with several women behind him, each one holding the One Power. You see the Mistress of Novices, Terah Esdeline. You see Reatha Oberwhil and Selga Elnere, Sitters for the Brown and Yellow Ajahs, respectively. You see others filter in as well. Lesrella Nadere, Sitter for the Gray, and Jalari Anatala, another Sitter for the Yellow Ajah. You see Jurine Barasol, Sitter for the Blue Ajah. There are other women you don’t know as well, though they are probably high ranking Aes Sedai. Kedra Beregostian, Highest of the Red Ajah is among the women entering.
Behind them, there are several other women, each one bound with bonds of Air that hold their arms tight around their sides and each one is shielded. Behind the shielded and bound women, men follow, each one bound by ropes of Air, and behind them, men that must be Rashima’s warders and perhaps the warders of some of these other sisters, bring up the rear. A young Ogier follows in last, looking cut up and ragged, but proud, for some reason. He holds a quarter staff and his young ears twitch vigorously. He and Terith step to the side as the delegation arrives down the stairs. The darkfriend women and their warders are placed next to Callah, and the other women walk toward you and Rashima. Kedra nods to you, then puts her eyes on the Amyrlin.
“How did you escape, Selga?” Rashima asks calmly, taking a sip from her wine glass and looking every inch the Amyrlin Seat, despite her multiple wounds.
Selga Elnere, Sitter for the Yellow Ajah, eyes the Amyrlin’s wounds as she arrives. “The Ogier, mother. They arrived and freed your warders, killing Jisell and Raeva, and then your warders set us free. I am afraid those darkfriends are no longer alive for trial and execution. A shame, really. I would have liked to have seen Tulien tried and executed properly, at the least.” Tulien Raja was a Yellow sister.
“It’s just as well. I doubt we’ll have time for trials anyway. It may be best to simply execute these women on the spot. All except that one, that is.” She says, gesturing to Callah. “That one owes the White Tower more than just blood for the betrayal she laid at our feet. She owes us a confession and knowledge about the Shadow’s plans, and an explanation above all. Then I will take her life as payment for the evil she’s done to the world.”
Callah’s eyes widen and look pleading, but she still can’t speak with the gag of Air in her mouth. The other darkfriends look ill at mention of execution on the spot. The warders of those darkfriends begin to twist in their bonds as if to escape and put a stop to that particular threat, but of course, they cannot. Their bonds hold and they can do no more than struggle against them. Not a single darkfriend is able to speak. They’ve all got gags of air in their mouths.
Terith walks over to stand in front of Hedara. He looks at the darkfriend, then at the Ashendarei that is laying on the floor not far from where Hedara left it when he joined Callah in the center of the room. The young Ogier follows behind, watching Terith with a look of awe in his eyes.
“Are you him?” Terith asks Hedara in a booming voice that quiets the room. Terith never was one for decorum or manners.
The darkfriend is still sitting on his knees. He looks up at the massive Ogier, craning his head back to see all the way up. “Am I who?” He asks, speaking quietly as he turns his gaze back to the floor.
Terith’s eyes darken and his brow furrows in anger. His ears are twitching slightly. “Are you the darkfriend that warned us earlier?” He says, a hint of anger in his voice.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Hedara says, eyes still locked on the floor.
Rashima is staring at the exchange while Selga Delves her wounds, checking the Amyrlin’s injuries and murmuring about healing her. “Mother, you are badly wounded. Will you let me heal you?”
Rashima shakes her head. “In time. For now we need…”
Rashima’s words are cut off as Sochaia, Kael, and Ni’tareus rush through the door. Sochaia holds the Power, as if expecting trouble, and Kael and Ni’tareus both have their weapons drawn, but all three relax visibly when they see Tasalaya and the Amyrlin freed.
Rashima nods to the newcomers, Sochaia in particular. “You are well, Sochaia? Did the Black Ajah try to take you?”
Sochaia Doisech: A feeble attempt.
Kael nods to Terith. “Glad you are well, Brother.”
Terith turns away from Hedara and gives Kael a nod as you enter.
Sochaia Doisech: How did this happen, though? A sudden orchestrated attack?
sochaia (Sochaia Doisech): it’s almost as if some guy was writing this all up just to torture us…
Rashima Kerenmosa: By the look of you I wouldn’t say it was feeble. Poorly executed, surely, but you were still injured. And…is that Ogier wearing a warders cloak?
Rashima Kerenmosa eyes Kael’s cloak
Sochaia Doisech: Terith, I’m glad to see you well. Tasalaya.
The rest of the Aes Sedai in the room begin to whisper amongst themselves.
Sochaia Doisech: Yes, Mother. He is my warder.
Terith: And you, Sochaia. I am glad you weren’t taken.
Tasalaya Rosalynn looks at Sochaia with a small smile after seeing that she has made is out alright…
Rashima Kerenmosa shakes her head slightly in disbelief.
Rashima Kerenmosa: Ta’veren….
Sochaia Doisech dips her head in acknowledgement.
You each head down the stairs of the balcony to join the rest of the Aes Sedai and warders inside.
Telandria, you finally make it into the basements. There were a few moments there where things got hairy and you were sure you would have to fight again even though you didn’t have the strength for it, but you made it down without engaging in a single fight. That’s not to say that fighting isn’t still going on upstairs, just that you avoided it. Multiple times you witnessed women killing women and warders killing warders. Somehow you managed to avoid getting involved, though it pained you to do so. One side or the other fought for the Shadow, and those individuals needed to be brought down. Still, you had no way of knowing who was on which side, and you are too weak to fight in another battle again.
While you were passing through the novice quarters you managed to gather a small group of novices, perhaps twenty in all, to follow you out. They are gathered behind you now as you arrive in the basements and begin quietly searching the area to find the darkfriends that may have taken your friends. Raefari and Christoff scout ahead, opening doors and ensuring there is no one inside before allowing you or the novices to continue your descent into the basement’s lower levels. Somewhere outside, you can feel Sandulf getting closer. He is coming to you.
Telandria (Telandria Aisalyn): to weak to fight? hell to be honest I can barely walk
At some point Raefari returns and quietly brings you to a series of jail cells, rarely used except for the occasional hardened criminal or errant Aes Sedai being brought to here for justice. He shows you the bodies of three dead men, each one wearing a warder’s cloak, and another body of a man wearing a black tunic with a gray fist emblazoned on it. They were killed, and the cells were exited in a hurry by the prisoners. The cell doors are still open. Moments later Christoff comes to you with similar news. Another series of cells on the opposite side of the hall were infiltrated and dead warders are found within. But there are also several dead women in the room as well. Were they Black Ajah? You have no way of knowing.
It doesn’t take long before you arrive at the main entrance hall to the old Aes Sedai testing room. This area is littered with blood and bodies. Men wearing the black tunics of the Gray Fist Legion lay dead here, as are several dead warders. The novices are quite upset at seeing so much death, but you don’t have time to calm them. Instead, you simply shush them and continue looking around.
The room is multi-tiered and an arched bridge spans the middle of it, joining two of the upper tiers. There are also lower levels of this basement, with stairs that lead even further down. But you know you don’t have to go any further…this is it. You can hear people speaking in the old Aes Sedai testing room on the upper tier.
You cautiously approach the door with Raefari and Christoff standing to either side with weapons drawn before you give them a nod and allow them to enter.
You follow and find the Amyrlin, Tasalaya, Sochaia and her warders, and a whole host of other Aes Sedai inside. There are also women shielded and bound by strips of air sitting on their knees in the center of the room.
“…do we do now though?” You hear one of the woman say as you enter. “Before Tulien was killed, she gloated that the White Tower was about to fall tonight. She spilled plans, Mother. I think what we’ve been hearing above is the Black Ajah revealing itself and attacking Aes Sedai. And if what Tulien said was true, Vandred is working with…”
She cuts off as you enter. Rashima raises her head to look up on the balcony at you and your warders. You sigh with relief as you realize they are all safe. You usher the novices inside, and they quickly scurry down the steps while you and your warders walk down to meet the Amyrlin and the others.
Sochaia Doisech: Telandria! I’m relieved to see you.
Rashima Kerenmosa eyes Sochaia’s reaction
Rashima Kerenmosa: And I am glad to see you safe as well, Telandria. The Black Ajah came for you as well, judging by the look of you…
sochaia (Sochaia Doisech): good grief, mother. i’m not jumping up and down and clapping.
Telandria Aisalyn: As well as you Sochaia
Telandria Aisalyn: They came and failed.. What was left of her is only a shell now
Rashima Kerenmosa: I see. Well I am glad you live.
Telandria, you feel Sandulf in the basements. He is moving fast. In moments he rushes through the door to the balcony with his axe raised and ready. Everyone in the room quiets at that instant and turns to look at him. There is a woman behind him, holding a shortbow in her hands with an arrow knocked.
Rashima Kerenmosa: And another of the Trinity arrives. I see we’re all here.
Terith nods to Sandulf
Sandulf Machera: hmf
Sandulf Machera nods to Terith and puts away his axe
Sandulf Machera indicates to Elia she might want to do the same.
The Amyrlin rises from her chair and walks forward to the dais. Everyone quiets as Sandulf and his female companion head down the stairs.
Elia Savari nods and lowers her bow. She puts her arrow back in her quiver.
Rashima Kerenmosa sighs
Sandulf Machera keeps hiw eyes as covered as possible as he walks
Tasalaya Rosalynn: whats HE doing here??? <points>
Rashima Kerenmosa: Lesrella, Jalari, I want you to recon above. Find out what’s going on. Link first, just in case. And while you’re up there, send word to Captain Trevaine that I want every available soldier formed up and ready to march. Understood? Good. Go.
Rashima Kerenmosa: Is there a problem, Tasalaya?
Sandulf Machera smiles at Tasalaya Rosalynn
The other Aes Sedai turn and stare at Sandulf as Tasalaya points. Some of them mutter about his strange eyes. The darkfriends all stare at him. Callah’s look is pure hatred.
Telandria Aisalyn: He is with me Tasalaya and I will have you treat him with the respect of a warder.
Tasalaya Rosalynn: No Mother, not at all… I just don’t trust him and with everything that has happened here tonight, I dont see why I should
Lesrella and Jalari give Sandulf only a brief look before linking with one another and heading up the stairs as commanded. They both curtsy before leaving.
l1wolf-WoT (Sandulf Machera): and to think I was coming to save her too
Tasalaya Rosalynn: a WARDER???
Telandria Aisalyn: Yes he is now my warder.
Rashima Kerenmosa: Ah, Reds. Ever distrustful of men. Don’t worry Tasalaya. I once felt the same suspicions you did. But I have tested him. He is not a channeler. And he is no darkfriend. You can relax.
Sandulf Machera seems happy with her reaction
Terith shakes his head
Terith: Light, am I the only one that didn’t let one of these women bond me?
Tasalaya Rosalynn: Yes Mother…
Sandulf Machera Looks toward Rashima
Sandulf Machera: They have Aiel with them.
Rashima Kerenmosa eyes Terith
Sochaia Doisech hides the wince at the statement by the Ogier.
Tasalaya Rosalynn glares distrustfully at Sandulf
Rashima Kerenmosa: We’ll have no more of this talk. I want healings done. Selga, see to the injured. Link with the others if you have too. We have injured here.
Sandulf Machera: lets is a situation word at times my friend
Sandulf Machera reaches to shake his hand
Terith shakes his head again, but shakes Sandulf’s hand nonetheless.
Aes Sedai begin to heal your party, and members of their own. They link with the novices to draw on extra power as they do so. While they do, Rashima responds to Sandulf’s warning.
Sandulf Machera ,since the cat is out of the bag, decides to stop slouching and stands to his full height
Rashima Kerenmosa: Aiel you say, Sandulf? You are talking of the desert warriors from the Waste, correct?
Sandulf Machera seems to rise close to half a foot in height
Sandulf Machera: yes
Rashima Kerenmosa looks at Callah and the other darkfriends.
Rashima Kerenmosa: And I assume you mean to tell me they are darkfriends as well, yes?
Sandulf Machera: four are dead at the Ivory gardian. they were trying to bring me here.
Some of the Aes Sedai whisper about Aiel murderers that attack innocent travelers in the night, but most just sit and listen.
Rashima Kerenmosa: Darkfriends then. I suppose any culture must have their own share. We’ll get a full confession from Callah soon enough, won’t we Callah?
Rashima Kerenmosa stares at Callah
Callah turns her head to look away.
Telandria Aisalyn: walks down to see Callah with the other black ajah and bends over to whisper in her ear, “Such a waste to loose you to the Dark One but tonight you failed as did your fellow sisters.”
Callah looks at Telandria and grunts. She cannot speak, as she has a gag of air in her mouth, but you can see a partial sneer forming even so.
Rashima Kerenmosa: Telandria, Tasalaya…Sochaia. Come. While the others are being healed, I have something for you. Follow me. The rest of you stay here. Okay, yes Ronan, you and the others can follow us.
Rashima Kerenmosa rolls her eyes at her warders becoming protective.
Sochaia Doisech follows.
Tasalaya Rosalynn follows
Sochaia Doisech: Ni’tareus, Kael, I’ll be back in a bit.
Rashima heads up the stairs and her warders follow. Raefari, Christoff, and Ni’tareus make as if to follow, but Rashima stops them.
Rashima Kerenmosa: You stay here and be healed, warders. We’ll return in a few moments.
The warders nod and step back, none to happy about leaving their Aes Sedai behind.
Telandria Aisalyn tuns and nod to her warders
Rashima takes you out into the large corridor beyond and down several flights of stairs. In moments you’re passing through a rarely used hallway and stop infront of a large wooden door with a massive lock and wards created by Saidar protecting it. Rashima unravels the wards and produces a key to unlock the room, then she steps inside.
The room is a storage room, much like any other in the White Tower. But this one is filled with shelves containing a multitude of artifacts of the One Power. She steps into the room and begins selecting objects from the shelves.
Telandria (Telandria Aisalyn): is it christmas?!?!
One of them is a small, three inch tall crystal figurine of a woman in flowing robes. Her long hair flows backwards as if caught in a gust of wind. She holds her hands above her head, and one of her legs is lifted in a regal pose.
sochaia (Sochaia Doisech): Hey, look out that window. <stuffs>
Telandria (Telandria Aisalyn): lanndon didn’t want my warders here so I could compel them :/
Another is a silver pin, crafted to look like a butterfly. It looks like something you would pin to any clothing, ordinary in every way, except it is here, in the White Tower store room. Which must mean it is special.
The last is a simple golden comb, used to hold hair in place. The design is simple, yet it too must be special.
Kael: Hey, look out that window. <stuffs>
As she grabs the last, she turns to you.
DragonSypher (Kael): misstype
Rashima Kerenmosa: Give up your angreal, girls. I’m replacing them with something better.
Rashima Kerenmosa: Come on now. Hand them over.
Sochaia Doisech: What angreal?
Rashima Kerenmosa gives Sochaia a flat stare.
Telandria (Telandria Aisalyn): cries as she strokes the broach* chanting my precious
Telandria Aisalyn hands Rashima the broach
Rashima Kerenmosa: The ones I know you possess. You don’t think Nevren neglected to mention you were carrying White Tower property, do you?
Rashima Kerenmosa: Thank you, Telandria.
Sochaia Doisech hands over the sitting woman angreal and the rosebud angreal.
Rashima Kerenmosa nods to Sochaia
Sochaia Doisech: i’m not giving up the ring that detects saidin, though, right?
Tasalaya Rosalynn begins to hand angreal over
sochaia (Sochaia Doisech): ^^ooc
Tasalaya (Tasalaya Rosalynn): lol
Rashima Kerenmosa nods to Tasalaya and takes her angreal.
Rashima Kerenmosa: Here.
Tasalaya Rosalynn: here you go Mother… I trust your knowledge
The crystal figurine she gives to Tasalaya. The silver butterfly she gives to Sochaia. And the golden comb she gives to Telandria.
Rashima Kerenmosa: Those are sa’angreal. Roughly the same in power. Do not lose them, because they are the last of their kind in our possession. I’ll want them back…one day.
DragonSypher (Kael): Patiently awaits his +3 PW axe and his +3 PW armor.
Telandria Aisalyn: Thank you.
Rashima turns and walks out of the room, waiting for you each to exit. When you do, she weaves new wards, and relocks the door.
Sochaia Doisech pins the butterfly to her robes at upper chest level. “Thank you.”
Tasalaya Rosalynn: thank you Mother
Rashima Kerenmosa: You are welcome. I think it’s best if our Ta’veren are armed as best as we can arm them.
She turns and leads you back to the testing room.
As you return, she has the Aes Sedai tend to your wounds. The whole process takes a bit of time, but eventually everyone is healed.
Jalari returns a few moments later. She has news.
Sandulf Machera leans against a wall
She walks down the balcony stairs and speaks directly to Rashima. She’s been running.
Jalari Anatala: Mother…there is fighting above. Sisters and warders killing each other. And the city is being attacked as well. Balls of fire and Lightning blasts the strength of which I have never seen in my life. Lesrella went out the servants entrance to find Captain Trevaine and ensure your orders were given. I don’t know when she’ll return.
Rashima nods at Jalari, then looks at Hedara Tinowa, who is the only darkfriend not bound and gagged. He still sits on his knees, head down. The small healing the Amyrlin provided him was enough to stop the bleeding and perhaps remove the disease he took from the myrddraal’s blade, but it didn’t do much for his overall state. He is still cut in multiple places and hurt.
“What about you, Hedara Tinowa? There is a piece of you looking for redemption, I think. Otherwise you would not have done the things you did. What can you tell me of this ploy by Vandred to destroy Tar Valon?”
The darkfriend looks up at the Amyrlin. He glances at Callah, who stares daggers at him from her place in the darkfriend circle, but he speaks anyway. “He has an artifact, Aes Sedai. It is supposed to be very powerful. An artifact not seen or used since the War of the Power, I’m told. This is probably the lightning you are witnessing. I don’t understand the One Power, but we were told they would use it to confuse and confound the Aes Sedai. It would be the key to destroying Tar Valon. They’ve tested it in Jaramide already, and the artifact worked as described…by Ishamael himself, I’m told.”
The entire room goes silent, and Terah Esdeline gasps and covers her mouth at mention of one of the Forsaken. Several of the novices, who up until now have been perfectly quiet and still in their place at the back of the room, squeak and begin muttering quietly between themselves. Rashima’s eyes narrow in distrust. “Do not lie to us, Master Tinowa. You may get out of this with your skin intact if you cooperate.”
Tasalaya (Tasalaya Rosalynn): im here just on the phone
Hedara’s own eyes narrow at the accusation. “I am not lying to you, Aes Sedai. And threatening my ‘skin’ holds no water. I told you I am ready to die. If you do not believe me, kill me, and let it be over with.” He drops his gaze to the floor again.
Rashima considers him for a moment, at first raising a habitual finger to her lips in thought, but grimacing at the light pain it brings as it touches her puffy, split lip. She drops her hand. Finally she speaks. “Forget this talk of the Forsaken. What is this artifact and where was it found?” As she asks this question, Selga Elnere begins a Healing weave to place on the Amyrlin. It seems she will be healed whether she likes it or not.
Hedara shakes his head. “I do not know where it was found, but one of the Forsaken gave it to The Great Circle. The Highest of the Highest dreadlords. They say it was last used during the War of the Power. An artifact capable of destroying entire cities, given enough time for it to work. And judging by what happened in Nashebar recently…” Hedara finally looks up, then shrugs as if to say no more needs to be said there. Nashebar was a city in Jaramide that fell a few weeks ago. It is at the heart of the rumors of a powerful artifact that was used that destroyed the entire city in a matter of hours. Word was, trollocs didn’t even set foot in the city until it had already been crushed to dust.
“Mother, if what he says is true…we have to do something.” Reatha Oberwhil says.
Hedara looks back at the floor. “It doesn’t matter, Aes Sedai. The Black Ajah walk among you. They are hunting your sisters, and they have the element of surprise. They will destroy you long before that artifact can.”
“He makes a point, Mother.” Kedra says. “If we are going to do anything about this artifact, then we must deal with the Black Ajah first. Otherwise everything is lost. Do the women on the walls even know something is happening in the White Tower?”
Hedara shakes his head, then tilts his head sideways slightly, gesturing toward Callah. “She ensured no Black sisters would be on the walls. She ensured that more than were needed would be out tonight, as well, so that you were weaker inside the Tower than usual. After the Black’s took the Tower, they could fan out and work on the ones on the walls, long before any of those women realized there was a poisoned blade held at their throats.”
Telandria Aisalyn: Perhaps I can help our understanding of this artifact a little more.
Rashima Kerenmosa: Oh?
Telandria Aisalyn pulls out the Lapis Sphere
Rashima Kerenmosa: Ah. The Lapis Sphere. Yes. Use it, Telandria.
Tasalaya (Tasalaya Rosalynn): brb
Telandria Aisalyn: Concentration [1d20+13 = 28]
Rashima Kerenmosa: Concentration 28
You concentrate on the Sphere, channeling spirit, as the others gather around for a closer look. You begin concentrating on an artifact near Tar Valon…one used to call Lightning…one that could create the storm you saw outside. In seconds an image materializes. It is set on a camp, soaked in mud and rain. Outside a large crystal ball glows faintly in a bluish hue. Around it, upwards of ten or more men and women are gathered, all staring into the artifact. One of them is a tall man wearing all black clothing. He grins devilishly. By the appearance of the man, you would guess this is Vandred. He fits the descriptions you’ve been given before.
Rashima Kerenmosa: That is Vandred Cazvalo. And the woman next to him is Aaryvn Malendre. I will never forget her face. The others…yes. That is Jari. And there is Nadila. I know those women. Darkfriends each one.
Rashima Kerenmosa: Well that answers the question of the artifact and confirms that Vandred is using it. But it still doesn’t help us with our Black Ajah problem.
Telandria Aisalyn: And do the Browns know of this artifact.. most importantly how can we stop this from happening to Tar Valon?
Rashima Kerenmosa: I don’t know, Telandria.
Reatha Oberwhil: I can tell you this much, I do not know anything of this artifact. Perhaps others in my Ajah may know, but I do not.
Reatha Oberwhil shakes her head.
Rashima Kerenmosa: It doesn’t matter where it came from. We have to stop him from using it.
Tasalaya (Tasalaya Rosalynn): ok im back
Kedra Beregostian: But first we have to get past the Black sisters.
Rashima Kerenmosa: Agreed. How do we identify them? Speak, Hedara Tinowa.
Hedara Tinowa shakes his head.
Telandria Aisalyn: I don’t think any of the Blacks we have here will be willing to devulge who their fellow black sisters are but I may have someone who may
Hedara Tinowa: The Black Ajah are a secritive group. They keep their identities hidden even to each other. But I know this. Tonight they were to wear a strip of cloth somewhere on their body. Something black. And easily noticed. It might be a strip of cloth at the wrist, or lace at the neck, or black stockings under their dress, but noticeable at the ankles. Something like that. They did this so they wouldn’t kill each other on sight. And so that my…friends wouldn’t attack them either. Or the trollocs, if they made it past the walls.
Rashima Kerenmosa: And who is that, Telandria?
Telandria Aisalyn: Ava Felder is being held upstairs.. she has lost all her warders so her will is weak.. and I’m sure she would be a little more willing to speak of such things since she has no reason to exsist so she has no alliegances now
Rashima Kerenmosa: Upstairs as in two levels up or fifty? There is a big difference.
Rashima Kerenmosa: It doesn’t matter. He just told us how to identify them.
Kedra turns to address the Amyrlin. “We should head up, Mother. Capture any woman we see wearing even a hint of black. Some innocent women may have chosen to wear that unfortunate color tonight. But if they did, we’ll sort them out later. There will be survivors that can identify their attackers if we hurry.” She says, looking angry.
Rashima nods. “We’re going to crush the Black Ajah tonight, and we’re going to destroy Vandred’s army and take that artifact away from him. We are going to war, ladies.”
She points at the darkfriends. “Reatha….Delainie…Jurine…Selga…take this group of darkfriends into the cells and execute them. All but her…” She says, pointing at Callah, “…and him…” she says, pointing at Hedara. “They will be spared until trial. After the others are dead, I want a twenty four hour shield on Callah maintained by at least three sisters and four warders as guard, do you understand?”
The women nod and murmur acknowledgement. Rashima turns to Hedara, the darkfriend that may very well have saved each one of your lives. “Master Tinowa, if what you have told me is true, you will have redeemed yourself in my eyes and I will testify on your behalf that you have come back to the Light. You may still be sentenced to death for your life as a darkfriend, but I will do what I can to spare you.”
His expression droops, and the tension in his shoulders drops with it. “No…” He breathes. “Please. Execute me with the others, I beg of you. I do not want a trial. I want this all to be done. I just want it over with. What I have done, there is no coming back from. I have killed people. Good people. I have caused people to rise up against their rightful rulers in rebellion. I have worked to see the Shadow’s will done in countless cities and villages. My actions led to the deaths of men, women, and even children. Kill me now, WITCH! Their blood demands it!”
sochaia (Sochaia Doisech): brb
His voice is raised to the point of yelling by the end of that. Rashima looks at him without anger. Only pity. After a moment, she nods.
“Very well. Execute him as well, Reatha. But make it painless. In some ways, he has redeemed himself enough to deserve that much, at least. Go.”
Reatha and the other Aes Sedai and warders nod to the Amyrlin and begin gathering prisoners. The darkfriends struggle and attempt to plead behind gags of air, but nothing comes out. Callah simply stares blankly ahead as she is lifted to her feet. Hedara looks relieved.
The Aes Sedai and their warders begin filtering out with the darkfriend prisoners.
sochaia (Sochaia Doisech): back’ not in vent
Rashima turns to the remaining Aes Sedai in the room. "Kedra, take Cherise, Danah, and Rubelin there and link with these novices and head upstairs. Search for women not wearing a shred of black. If you find any, have them join your circle, and keep doing so until the circle is big enough to divide in two. When those circles are big enough to divide again, do so, and keep doing this until you have found every woman that serves the Light and you’ve cleansed the White Tower. If you find any women wearing black I want them shielded, bound and imprisoned until we can try them and determine their guilt or innocence.
The women nod and curtsy to the Amyrlin, then begin directing novices through their exercises to embrace Saidar. In seconds each girl has embraced Saidar and the women begin dividing the girls up and linking with them. To Telandria, Tasalaya, and Sochaia, the flow of the One Power passing through each Aes Sedai is immense. Greater than anything any of you can do unaided. Once the women are linked, they too begin leaving the basement to head upstairs and deal with the Black Ajah.
Terah Esdeline and Jalari Anatala are the only others in the room aside from you at this point. After the novices are gone, Rashima turns to your party to speak.
Rashima Kerenmosa: Telandria, Sochaia, and Sandulf….I have a task for you. You are Ta’veren. The Pattern put you in this place…at this exact moment….for this. I know it in my soul, this is what you are here for. Perhaps the Pattern has plans for you elsewhere in the coming days. Perhaps your greater task is to see to the safety of those seals. I don’t know exactly, but right now, you are here to stop Vandred and free the White Tower so that it can move into the world and stop the threat from the Shadow once and for all. And you are here to protect that seal. There are only two others free in the world, if what Master Sandulf told me is true, and I believe it is. The White Tower needs you, just as you need it. In a few moments we will head upstairs and outside to join the army of Tar Valon as it goes to war….
Telandria, as soon as she begins speaking of Ta’veren, you realize something you hadn’t even noticed earlier, but its been here since you arrived. You just didn’t realize it until now. Kael and Tasalaya are both glowing. As you look around, you realize Terith, Ni’tareus, Raefari, and Christoff are glowing too, and…shockingly, so is the newcomer that arrived with Sandulf. The entire party is ablaze with a nimbus that can only mean they are all Ta’veren now too. Even Sochaia and Sandulf radiate brighter. The hair on your arms stands up when you realize what you’re seeing…what you’ve been seeing.
sochaia (Sochaia Doisech): phone
Rashima Kerenmosa continues to speak as you realize what you are seeing.
Telandria Aisalyn looks as if she’s in a daze
Rashima Kerenmosa: …I will lead the armies onto the field of battle and we will carve a path toward Vandred’s army and wherever this artifact is held. We will take heavy losses doing so, I’m sure, but it must be done. The three of you…
Rashima Kerenmosa stops to look at Telandria.
Rashima Kerenmosa: Is something wrong?
sochaia (Sochaia Doisech): afk
DragonSypher (Kael): brb
Telandria Aisalyn: No.. it’s just.. I don’t understand. It is nothing Mother, we can discuss this at a later time.
Rashima Kerenmosa: Speak up woman! What is it?
Telandria Aisalyn: They are all Ta’veren
Rashima Kerenmosa looks at Telandria, then glances toward the others in the room.
Rashima Kerenmosa: All? All of us? Myself included? Terah and Jalari? The Ogier?
Kael looks doubtful. “Ogier aren’t Ta’veren. At least I have never heard of one.”
Telandria Aisalyn: No Mother, It seems my other companions.. I must have missed this before. And this Elia she as well it seems
sochaia (Sochaia Doisech): back
Tasalaya and Kael have +1 to all saves, and you get a new feat of your choice. You gain Hide and Move Silently as class skills and gain 2 bonus ranks in each skill. If you already have the skills, then you gain 4 bonus ranks instead. You also gain a +1 to Spot, Search, and Listen.
Telandria Aisalyn: And it seems that Ogier can be Master Kael.
Kael shakes his head, still doubtful.
Rashima Kerenmosa smiles at Telandria and tears well up in her eyes.
Rashima Kerenmosa: The Light be praised then. Are you sure? All of you?
Terah and Jalari look at each other. Sandulf, you can hear one of them whispering to the other “So many Ta’veren at once? Is that even possible?” The other answers with “The Wheel weaves as the Wheel wills.”, shrugging as she answers.
sochaia (Sochaia Doisech): i’ll have to pick a feat later on tonight.
Telandria Aisalyn nods
Rashima Kerenmosa: This only confirms what I already know. You are the heroes of this war. You will be the ones that see an end to it.
Rashima Kerenmosa: Come then. I will tell the rest of my plan as we make our way up.
You leave the old Aes Sedai testing room with Rashima taking the lead. As you walk through the basements, the Amyrlin speaks non-stop, telling you her plan.
“I’ve used a looking glass to locate what I am certain is Vandred’s camp. About 6-7 miles east of us. There’s a large wooden tower that’s either been constructed there, or rolled in for his use. I’m sure it is used by Vandred and his followers to watch the assault on our shores. If we use the army, backed by Aes Sedai power, we should be able to grab a foothold on the other side of the Erinin and push the shadowspawn back. From there, we will carve a bloody trail through those shadowspawn until we reach Vandred’s camp. When we’re near enough, we will attack him directly, if possible.” She sighs as she walks. “Battles never go as planned, so be flexible and ready to adapt. The Light will see us through it, I’m sure. You are all here for a reason. There can be no other explanation.”
You pass through the cell area and see four dead darkfriend Aes Sedai already laying headless at the back of the room. The others remain bound and gagged, some whimpering, others with open tears streaming down their cheeks. Others still attempt to resist their fate, struggling to get free. The warders and Aes Sedai assigned to this grim task keep them in their place though.
sochaia (Sochaia Doisech): it says the aes sedai gains iron will as a bonus feat. is that after we prestige?
Terith stops as the rest of you pass through. He eyes Hedara Tinowa one more time. Hedara merely looks up as you pass, then nods.
Terith nods as well, then heads out.
As you pass the cells, you hear one of the warder’s swords come down, landing with a sickening noise as another head is removed, and you know another darkfriend has met her fate. Rashima pays it no mind and begins climbing the steps up, back to the heart of the White Tower.
Thirty minutes later, you find yourself crossing the Daghain Bridge with the White Tower’s armies….what could be assembled amidst this chaos, that is…into your first real battle. Sure, each one of you have fought small, personal battles before, but none of you have ever been a part of a full scale war. You’ve seen it from afar, but never fought in one. Now you do. And the sight is awesome.
Telandria (Telandria Aisalyn): yes
sochaia (Sochaia Doisech): ok
Mud splashes at the feet of your horses as you cross off the Daghain Bridge onto the other side of the Erinin. The rain continues to fall in hard, thick sheets that make the already dark night even harder to see in. Behind you, Tar Valon continues to be assaulted by the terrifying lightning storm caused by Vandred’s artifact, and trebuchets on both sides of the river continue to launch those horrible balls of fire into the air. Even the hard driving rain can’t put the fires of those things out.
Balls of light appear high in the sky, cast by Aes Sedai to provide illumination for the army. Cavalrymen, archers and crossbowmen, and infantry of all different types run through the burned out remains of the town once known as Daghain, chasing fleeing trollocs and killing them when they catch them. The town is a burned out shell of its former self now, with half standing walls, and broken and splintered timber supports slanting to the side as if in defeat. The trollocs and myrddraal race backwards in retreat, giving only half hearted resistance as they flee. Not in the face of the soldiers, but in the face of Aes Sedai power.
The Aes Sedai that could be gathered only number a couple of hundred, but each one of those women holds Saidar now, and they blast the earth around Daghain with their power. Lightning bolts fall from the sky, striking clumps of retreating trollocs and knocking them over. Most don’t get back up. Fireballs race from Aes Sedai hands, arching over the crumpled buildings of the village to land with tremendous explosions that blast shadowspawn. The earth itself erupts in explosions of rock and fire, sending even more trollocs to their deaths as they cartwheel through the air to land lifeless in the mud below. A fade suddenly erupts in a shroud of flame as he retreats on his black horse through the dead streets of Daghain. It is an awesome sight to witness such destructive power finally being turned on the Shadow for once.
Sochaia Doisech: yeah, i saw that. gotta start somewhere.
Rashima wastes no time. She begins directing the army and the Aes Sedai from horseback, dispatching runners to carry orders as the units of soldiers and Aes Sedai fan out, striking back at Vandred’s armies. She sends the Tower Guard north, south, and east, pressing the trollocs hard, and small groups of linked Aes Sedai follow the soldiers, pounding the shadowspawn as they go.
The next twenty minutes or so become a blur of battles and displays of awesome power. More lightning, more fireballs. More eruptions of earth. At one point, the earth itself begins to quake in the distance, rumbling as it does so, and you hear trolloc shriek in terror as the earth consumes them.
At first the trollocs fled in the face of such power, but the Fades quickly rallied their armies and brought them back to the front lines. Myrddraal make exceptional field generals. They are cunning and highly intelligent, and dangerously clever. And they begin pulling reinforcements and changing their tactics to adapt to the destruction being wrought all around them. In the distance, trebuchets that were once aimed at Tar Valon are turned on your armies and they begin lobbing those balls of fire toward you.
Volleys of arrows sail through the air, targeted at the Tower Guard, and if it weren’t for Aes Sedai hardening the air in front of those volleys, the men below would be slaughtered. As it is, the arrows slam into the hardened air and fall harmlessly back to the earth. Most do, anyway. Here and there, arrows fly through unchecked and manage to drop a small squad of soldiers, or hit an Aes Sedai and knock her off her horse.
The infantry clashes with the massive trolloc beasts. Pikemen and spearmen form rows behind soldiers bearing tower shields with the white flame of Tar Valon emblazoned on them. The shield bearers brace themselves with each wave of trollocs that arrive, hiding behind the massive shields and holding the trollocs back long enough for the pikes and spears to do their jobs.
Crossbowmen stay to the rear, loading bolts and firing on orders, launching volley after volley through the air. Each volley that lands cuts down more charging trollocs.
As the army grabs earth inch by bloody inch, the Aes Sedai continue to rain their destructive power down on the heads of the retreating shadowspawn, pounding them from the air with multiple fireballs and bolts of lightning, or with explosions of earth from right under their feet. And then the Aes Sedai find themselves having to counter the balls of fire being launched by the trebuchets, and their ability to pound the shadowpawn is severely diminished.
But the army fights its way forward. At some point one of you raises a protest. You want to join the fight, not stay here while others die. Rashima shakes her head and gives you a firm “NO! You will stay put!” as you ride escort down the Mafal Dadaranel road. “You are our secret weapon, the Light blind you! You will go when the moment feels right! Not before! And your target is Vandred and his followers, not simple trollocs. We’ll need you fresh for the fight with him, do you understand? Let others give this sacrifice so that you can do what the Wheel put you here for!”
None of you like it, but you accept it. What she says makes sense. Onward the army presses.
Tar Valon grows further away from you as you ride down the road. The army is now divided, with soldiers and Aes Sedai heading north and south, and east, with you. The roar of battle consumes everything, even the tremendous explosions back in Tar Valon. All around you, men and women die as the trollocs swell in numbers, finding their courage with each human being they kill. In the distance, lightning still lances down from the sky, the work of Aes Sedai, shattering the trolloc lines furthest away from you. Fireballs arc into the sky and fall back to the earth with explosions that illuminate the night sky as brightly as the flashes of lightning do. And back in Tar Valon, the city is still being drilled with strikes of lightning from that blackened maelstrom swirling in the skies above.
Thirty minutes after you leave Tar Valon, you reach the crest of a small hill. All around you, your army continues to fight. Vandred chose to leave his best soldiers nearest his camp, and now the Gray Fist Legion fights alongside trollocs. Unlike trollocs, who are prone to succumbing to their bloodlust and becoming nearly uncontrollable, the Gray Fist Legion is comprised entirely of human darkfriends. And human beings are far smarter than a trolloc. Here, the battle begins to turn. Your soldiers are slowed severely by the new tactics being employed by the darkfriend legion, and somewhere behind them, there are channelers now helping THEM as well. The Aes Sedai strike out with the One Power and find that more often than not, their weaves are countered and fizzle out before they can even bring their destruction to bear.
“This is it then.” Rashima says. “We can’t wait any longer. Telandria, Sochaia, Tasalaya…take your friends ahead. You’ll find his camp not far from here. Can you see the tower ahead?” She asks, having to yell to be heard above the din of battle and the explosions that do manage to erupt. The heavy rain still pours and thunder rolls above you as well.
With the illumination of the Aes Sedai’s light in the sky overhead, you can just make out a tower standing above the thick brush of the plains. It is dead ahead, just down the road perhaps another mile away. Rashima points. “That is your target. I am sure you will find Vandred there. Be careful.”
Someone raises an objection….there are too many shadowspawn and darkfriends on the road for you to make it through, but Rashima silences that objection by pulling a long, white, fluted rod from her saddlebags and raising it into the air. Tasalaya, you and Telandria recognize it instantly. Vora’s Sa’angreal. The most powerful sa’angreal in the White Tower’s possession.
“Don’t worry about the road. Just go. I will clear a path for you.” She says, and that instant, lightning to rival the strikes being leveled on Tar Valon by Vandred’s ter’angreal flash out of the sky by the score, carving a path down the length of the road and blasting anything caught within twenty paces of it. Darkfriends are blasted into the air. Trollocs fall with silver tendrils of lightning slithering across their bodies as they drop. Myrddraal are thrown from their horses. On and on the pounding goes for what seems like an eternity.
Finally the lightning stops falling, and all around you…silence. The eruptions caught everyone’s attention, even the trollocs and darkfriends, and for an instant, everyone simply stopped fighting. And as soon as that, they start up again.
“GO!” Rashima shouts as the battle resumes. And you go, kicking your horses to a full gallop despite the dangerous mud.
You rush down the road, passing the corpses of dead men and using your horses to leap or dodge the massive corpses of trollocs. Kael, you and Terith run flat out, managing to keep up with the galloping horses of your party. Terith does take the opportunity to swing his axe a few times and behead a darkfriend that managed to survive the barrage of lightning somehow. The man rises slowly, and Terith takes his head off with one even swing as he rushes past.
Kael mirrors Terith lopping heads and trampling the few survivors.
Sochaia Doisech nods with satisfaction at the immense damage her warder is doing.
sochaia (Sochaia Doisech): brb
Kael grins as the the anticipation of the battle to come burns in his blood. “Come Brother…” he shouts to Terith, “…the shadow awaits our axes.”
Terith: You are entirely too bloodthirsty, Kael, son of Ashal, son of Borth’n.
Terith yells over the din of battle.
Kael laughs as he beheads another darkfriend.
In moments you arrive. Tents are set up everywhere, with no seeming order to them. In the center stands a large tower made of logs that stands perhaps thirty feet high. It is set on wheels, and was obviously rolled here. Behind it, there is a faint bluish illumination radiating from something unseen.
With the dim illumination of the Aes Sedai lights barely reaching this far, you can just make out the figures of several men and women standing in front of the tower. None of them look happy. One of them stands in front of all others. A tall man, aged enough to have fine lines carved into his features. It is the same man you saw in the Lapis Sphere. His head is slightly lowered, and he looks up at you through raised eyes, a maniacal smile on his face. Drops of rain run down his face and his black and gray hair is slick from rainfall. It is long and wet bangs cling to his forehead. He wears a fine coat, suitable for a noble. It is jet black, with silver lace at the cuffs, and the collar is tall, standing tight against his throat.
You pull your horses up short, knowing these people are dangerous. Each one has to be a dreadlord.
The man continues to give that maniacal smile as he addresses you. “So. The Amyrlin found her spine, it seems. Yet she sends lapdogs to rescue her precious tower?” His face lowers more, and his brows are furrowed in anger. Rain dribbles down the front and side of his face. “No. Not lapdogs I think. I know you. Two Ogier. A man with yellow eyes. Three witches and a host of obedient puppies that call themselves warders, I’ll wager.”
A woman stands behind him. She has a horse’s face, and flat hips that would fit better on a man than a woman. Her breasts are non-existent. She wears a blood red silk gown that clings to her body from the rain. She chuckles. “Oh this is rich, Vandred. Your plan worked, it seems, though not the way you intended.”
Vandred snarls at the woman, but he keeps his eyes locked on your party. His hands are squeezed tight into fists. Sochaia, your ring indicates that this man is holding Saidin. And Telandria, judging by the coolness on your Tiara, you can feel it as well. He is holding a lot of the One Power. But there are other men near him, and perhaps one or all of them are holding the power too.
sochaia (Sochaia Doisech): back
“Yes, Aaryvn. Some part of it worked, it seems.” He says, anger seeping into his voice. “Tell me, Telandria Aislyn, newly raised witch of the Green Ajah, were you approached by any of my…associates this evening? Or did they completely ignore my orders?” His voice is filled with scorn as he speaks.
Telandria Aisalyn: Oh are you speaking of the child you sent.. She was amusing.
DragonSypher (Kael): nice lisa. :)
Vandred Cazvalo laughs hysterically.
Vandred Cazvalo: I did not send her you idiot. Callah chose your takers. If I could have, I would have come for you myself. And I assure you, child witch, I would have succeeded.
Telandria (Telandria Aisalyn): ;) yeah one day my mouth is gonna be the death of me
Lanndon: Eh, we all talk shit.
DragonSypher (Kael): like Draelin’s was his. lol
Telandria Aisalyn: Oh Callah.. that was the child I was speaking of.
Aaryvn Malendre: Is she dead then? Good. I never liked that woman anyway.
Vandred Cazvalo: Silence, Aaryvn.
Vandred Cazvalo growls
Telandria Aisalyn: It seems you judement on allies is poor but I wouldn’t expect anything more from you Vandred.
Vandred Cazvalo: None of it matters now. You are here now, Telandria. You and your two little friends. I am eager to show you the power of Saidin. And when I am done with you, I will turn all three of you to the Shadow. Watch and see.
Tasalaya Rosalynn: <speaks> This will be lots of fun…
Vandred Cazvalo: My choice of allies? Please. I do not choose the tools they give me.
Aaryvn Malendre: I am eager to teach this mouthy woman a lesson, Vandred. Unleash me.
Telandria Aisalyn: As the Dark One chooses the fools he uses as tools?
Sochaia Doisech: You are leashed? What sort of dog are you?
Vandred Cazvalo: Precisely. Come Telandria. Let me make you one of my puppets.
Telandria Aisalyn: Again I’m being to bore of this… why are you here Vandred?
Telandria Aisalyn: It seems that you are under the impression that this battle is already won so why not tell me what you want
Vandred Cazvalo looks back at his dreadlord friends. They laugh, and he turns back smiling. The man has an insane smile.
Telandria Aisalyn: Unless of course you feel a hindge of doubt
Tasalaya Rosalynn: Aaryvn, you are going to have to surpass me first… Seeing as though you obviously weren’t good enough to serve the tower
Vandred Cazvalo: To destroy Tar Valon, of course. Isn’t that obvious?
Aaryvn Malendre: Please let me kill her now, Vandred….
Aaryvn Malendre grimaces at Telandria.
Telandria Aisalyn: But from what I see, Tar Valon is still standing. Now enough of these silly stories mothers tell thier suckling children to get them to sleep. Why are you truely here.
Sandulf Machera: He fears to let his secrets free. They are his true power.
Sandulf Machera: He doesn’t even tell his underlings. look at them they don’t know
Vandred Cazvalo: Ah, you are right. The seal. Did you by any chance bring it with you?
Sochaia Doisech: Kael, Ni’tareus, we’ll focus on the master. whispers
Tasalaya Rosalynn: even if they did know, they couldn’t move a hair without asking permission first
Telandria Aisalyn: The Seal of course.. it seems I’ve misplaced it.
Sochaia Doisech: Yes. Not the pup.
Vandred Cazvalo: It doesn’t matter, girl. When we are done with the White Tower, we’ll find it. In the ashes.
Sandulf Machera whispers to Elia
Vandred Cazvalo: Enough talk then. Aaryvn, you may kill the others, but I want the Aes Sedai alive. They will serve me when this is all finished.
Sandulf Machera: use your bow on the channelers, if you have to enter melee fight opposite me.
Vandred snarls and waves his hands as everything suddenly happens at once. The other dreadlords behind him instantly begin weaving their hands as well. The final battle for the White Tower is now. Roll initiative.
Sochaia Doisech: Initiative [1d20+2 = 15]
Elia Savari nods at Sandulf, bow already at the ready.
Kael: Initiative [1d20 = 13]
Elia Savari: Initiative 15
Telandria Aisalyn: Initiative [1d20+3 = 12]
Sandulf Machera: Initiative [1d20+8 = 26]
Tasalaya Rosalynn: Initiative [1d20+1 = 15]
Sochaia Doisech dismounts.
Tasalaya Rosalynn dismounts
sochaia (Sochaia Doisech): brb
‘Elia Savari’ connected
DragonSypher (Kael): I think Stacey and Lisa should run through this camp and bond everyone. lol
sochaia (Sochaia Doisech): prepares bonding weave
Telandria (Telandria Aisalyn): pfft
sochaia (Sochaia Doisech): level 15 bond of fire, please.
DragonSypher (Kael): afk 1
Raefari charges Aaryvn.
Elia Savari: Masterpiece Single Edged Blade (attack 1) [1d20+15 = 17]
Elia Savari: Masterpiece Single Edged Blade (attack 2) [1d20+10 = 12]
Elia Savari: Masterpiece Single Edged Blade (attack 1) 17
sochaia (Sochaia Doisech): damn melee get in there and we can’t fireball.
Elia Savari: Masterpiece Single Edged Blade damage [1d8+4 = 7]
Elia Savari: Masterpiece Single Edged Blade damage 7
Christoff Candell: Power-wrought +2 Hafted Axe (Attack 1) +15 (Charge 17 = 25]
Raefari swings and connects with Aaryvn, cutting the woman as he arrives only lightly, but it gets her attention.
Christoff Candell: *Power-wrought 9 = 11]
Elia Savari: *Power-wrought +2 Hafted Axe damage 11
Sandulf arrives and swings his axe in a hard arc. Vandred moves to the side, catching just a bit of the attack on his arm. He smiles at Sandulf, and whispers “Yellow Eyes…”
Christoff Candell: Initiative [1d20+7 = 16]
Elia moves forward and fires her bow at Vandred.
Elia Savari: Shortbow (attack 1) [1d20+15 = 27]
Elia Savari: Shortbow (attack 2) [1d20+10 = 11]
Elia Savari: Shortbow (attack 1) 27
Elia Savari: Shortbow (attack 2) 11
Elia Savari: Shortbow damage [1d6+1 = 3]
Elia Savari: Shortbow damage 3
Terith rushes forward and suddenly the ground below him erupts. It seems there was a Fire Trap placed right in his path.
Elia Savari: [3d6+20 = 31]
Elia Savari: 31
Elia Savari: [1d20+5 = 25]
Elia Savari: 25
Elia Savari: Wrought Handaxes (attack 1) [1d20+15 = 21]
Elia Savari: Wrought Handaxes (attack 2) [1d20+10 = 25]
Elia Savari: Wrought Handaxes (attack 3) [1d20+5 = 20]
Elia Savari: Wrought Handaxes (attack 1) 21
Elia Savari: Wrought Handaxes damage [1d6+7 = 11]
Elia Savari: Wrought Handaxes damage 11
Terith rushes through the explosion, only catching a bit of it as he runs. He ignores the blast and attacks one of the female dreadlords, hitting her hard on her shoulder. She screams at the Ogier as his axe bites into her flesh.
The male dreadlord on the tower weaves his arms and suddenly a ball of fire flashes forward, racing at your party.
Kael: Reflex save [1d20+6 = 24]
Tasalaya Rosalynn: Reflex save [1d20+8 = 27]
Christoff Candell: Reflex save [1d20+11 = 25]
Telandria Aisalyn: Reflex save [1d20+6 = 24]
Sochaia Doisech: Reflex save [1d20+7 = 25]
Elia Savari: 20 = 35]
Elia Savari: 8 = 14]
Elia Savari: 14
Elia Savari: Level 5 Fireball damage [5d6+8 = 29]
Elia Savari: Level 5 Fireball damage 29
Sochaia Doisech feels Ni’tareus’ pain through the bond.
The fireball rushes forward, catching each of you in the blast radius, but you manage to see it coming well ahead of time and avoid most of the damage. Ni’tareus is not so lucky. He catches all of the blast.
sochaia (Sochaia Doisech): 6d6+ 9
Sochaia Doisech: Concentration [1d20+13 = 18]
Elia Savari: Concentration 18
Sochaia, you were already weaving your fireball when the dreadlord on the tower launched his ball of fire. The explosion interrupts your concentration, and you lose your weave.
sochaia (Sochaia Doisech): pick one of ten to counter…
Tasalaya Rosalynn: Concentration [1d20+14 = 19]
Tasalaya Rosalynn: [1d20 = 17]
Tasalaya rushes to the side, weaving as she goes, but the fireball catches her in the blast, ruining her concentration.
Tasalaya (Tasalaya Rosalynn): I hate my die…
Vandred laughs and weaves his arms, channeling.
sochaia (Sochaia Doisech): is it only one dark one’s luck per day?
Elia Savari: Concentration [1d20+32 = 48]
Elia Savari: Concentration 48
Kael: instead of an attack on a charge can i use the attack to grapple instead?
Vandred weaves his arms, laughing as he backs away from Sandulf’s attack. Instantly six red beams fall from the sky and begin moving amongst your party.
Elia Savari: , Level 4 Arrows of Fire (attack 1) [1d20+4 = 19]
Elia Savari: , Level 4 Arrows of Fire (attack 2) [1d20+4 = 16]
Elia Savari: , Level 4 Arrows of Fire (attack 3) [1d20+4 = 8]
Elia Savari: , Level 4 Arrows of Fire (attack 4) [1d20+4 = 21]
Elia Savari: , Level 4 Arrows of Fire (attack 5) [1d20+4 = 15]
Elia Savari: , Level 4 Arrows of Fire (attack 6) [1d20+4 = 5]
Elia Savari: , Level 4 Arrows of Fire (attack 7) [1d20+4 = 7]
Elia Savari: , Level 4 Arrows of Fire (attack 8) [1d20+4 = 23]
The darkfriend woman backs away from Terith, weaving Arrows of fire at him.
GM: Composure [1d20+16 = 31]
GM: Composure 31
GM: , Level 4 Arrows of Fire (attack 1) 19
GM: , Level 4 Arrows of Fire (attack 2) 16
GM: , Level 4 Arrows of Fire (attack 3) 8
GM: , Level 4 Arrows of Fire (attack 4) 21
GM: , Level 4 Arrows of Fire (attack 5) 15
GM: , Level 4 Arrows of Fire (attack 6) 5
GM: , Level 4 Arrows of Fire (attack 7) 7
GM: , Level 4 Arrows of Fire (attack 8) 23
GM: [3d4 = 5]
Kael: “Blightslayer” Ogier Waraxe (Masterwork 2 additional Attack and Damage vs Shadowspawn) *single attack (Attack 1) 16 = 30]
Kael: “Blightslayer” Ogier Waraxe (Masterwork 2 additional Attack and Damage vs Shadowspawn) *single attack damage [1d10+10 = 18]
Sochaia Doisech feels a surge of pride at Kael’s hit.
Kael rushes forward and slashes Aaryvn hard. She screams at him as the blade connects.
Telandria moves forward and gets blasted by another Fire Trap.