Lord of Chaos Day
(April Fool's Day in our neck of the woods)
Birds are chirping as the sun is slowly rising, ushering in another new day in Dragonmount... The scene opens with a Farm Girl and her father, the Farmer, both of them working on the Farm.
The Farm Girl looks up from her hoeing. "Look there, father. It's a purple cloud." She points to the horizon.
The Farmer looks up and sees it. "Eh? Oh sweet Vidalia onions! Hurry, child! Indoors now!"
The Farm Girl is puzzled. "But why, father?"
The Farmer speaks to her and grabs her arm, leading her to the house while looking at the cloud. "No time to be gabbing, girl! That's a sign that today is Lord of Chaos Day. The End is nigh."
The Farm Girl stops. "No, it's not. This story is just beginning!"
The Farmer pushes her towards the house. "In!" He points to the little farm house.
The Farm Girl pouts. "Fine." She saches into the house.
The Farmer looks worriedly at the cloud and mutters to himself. "I hope that girl doesn't end up like those Randland women... Sheesh!"
The cloud floats slowly on to the center of Dragonmount and also the highest elevation of Dragonmount, the White Tower. It stops, hovering over the Tower. Meanwhile, in the Amyrlin's Study...
Kathana spoke without a smile.
"Lanfir, go to the Black Tower and take 12 of your Green sisters with you and 13 Warders."
Lanfir bowed low and hid her smile of delight. To turn Asha'man to the Warder's Org was her greatest pleasure.
"As you command, Amyrlin Seat."
"Good. Leave me now. And Lanfir..."
She looked into the Head of the Greens' eyes.
"You will not fail me this time."
Lanfir shivered and nodded uncontrollably.
"Good. Leave." Kathana made a fist. "I want those men unharmed and brought to me immediately when you captured them."
"Yes, Amyrlin Seat."
Lanfir bowed her way out of the Amyrlin's Study and into Chissa's Office. Chissa was sitting at her desk, having her fav white boots cleaned by a pair of Compelled Warders. Lanfir had to shake her head. What a waste of a pair of perfectly good men who could be manipulated into so many schemes. Chissa was a fool for indulging in her... fun.
"Chissa, I am going out for the Amyrlin Seat."
Chissa raised her head. "So? She didn't tell me to work with you."
Lanfir made a sound. Chissa could be so irritating some days.
"I am informing you so you keep out of my way and out of my plans." Lanfir told her rather angrily. The woman did get on her nerves. But people were fools if they underestimated Chissa. She might be cautious, but she seldom lost what she had worked to gain.
"Oh." Chissa said. "Be careful, Lanfir. The world's not like the way it was." She smiled her viper smile.
Lanfir gave Chissa a good glare and made her way out of Chissa's Office in a majestic manner. She was calm, frozen as ice. But inside, she burned with a fiery rage. Oh, yes. Asha'man, start running now. The puny Black Tower will fall! She snarled innerwardly. I swear it! And Chissa will lose the source for all her little 'pets'. Laugh while you can, Chissa. Laugh while you can.
"Hurry, child. There are only 24 hours in a day."
The Novice pants. "I'm coming, Serafelle Sedai."
The Novice stumbles and drops the books into the fire.
Serafelle nods approvingly. "Ah, 'The Study of Albatrosses and Pink Elephants'. That is a series of books well worth burning. You did well, child."
The Novice blushes and curtsies. "Thank you, Serafelle Sedai."
Serafelle gestures nonchalantly. "Now go back to the library and bring the next bundle of books for burning."
"Yes, Serafelle Sedai."
The Novice scampers off to the Library.
Ah. Serafelle reflects as she watches the Power-wrought flames devour the books. I should have done this years ago. What's the use of all these books if they only sit there, wasting space and my time and all of the Browns, keeping track of them? Because we have the highest life-span of all the Ajahs, if any sister has a specific question, she can beg us and we'll tell her. At a price, of course. She laughs and the flames roar higher. "Serafelle Sedai, here is another load." Serafelle only sees the flames and the books and laughs even louder.
Lanfir strode across the courtyard, to where the horses and the thirteen Sisters and Warders were saddled and waiting. She looked them over, making sure that she had chosen the right people. There was Alanna, with her half-Healed broken nose, grimacing at Morgan, who was fussing with her skirts so that they covered her legs 'decently'. Ilyena was holding her sword cross-like in front on her in some sort of religious thrall. Alleandra smiled with a fox-like grin and fingered her whip. Lanfir smiled. That girl would go far if she kept up her attitude. Laurelann had some Yellow tendencies for biological warfare: she had many bottles attached to her saddle and kept away from the rest of the group, muttering to herself continually. Lanfir hoped that she wouldn't require Healing before they left. Autumnflame was in full spirits, talking with Belina and Leane. She sighed. Oh, to be that young and innocent again. Neither of the three had ever been on a mission like this before. This was their chance. If they broke, well, the Red Ajah would always take them. Myrian was quiet and withdrawn, but Lanfir knew she was thinking no doubt about some matter of politics. Perhaps the Bonderholder's Bill that she had been working on with Nymphia, who was in saddle near her. Jinneran was bandaging her fists in preparation. At least there was some experienced Asha'man kidnappers in the band. Mindaren was also preparing for the up-coming attack, quickly knitting nets for the Warders, men mind-bonded to the sisters present, to use to contain and at least, distract the Asha'man. Mellyn had studied Asha'man exclusively during her time as an Accepted. Mellyn would know at least in theory what to expect. Mind you, Lanfir has observed that reality was a far cry from fantasy.
Lanfir nodded, satisfied.
"Okay, girls and boys, let's saddle up!"
All the sisters yelled in Amazonian glee.
Lanfir grinned and opened a Gateway to the Black Tower.
So long without a new Warder. Kathana will get her bunch, but not until I've had my pick! She laughed her beautiful, yet deadly laugh.
So perfect and so evil.
Ciara yawned and got up from her bed.
"Gee, I feel really weird today. Like a cloud's gone right out of my brain. Oh well..."
She changed into her Aes Sedai uniform and opened the window. The sky looked purple, but she thought that she has just woken up really early.
After eating a well-balanced breakfast cereal, she set out to go and visit the Warders' Practice Yard. She had never gone there before, never even desired to, so she asked a kind serving woman for directions. The woman seemed quite nervous, but after Ciara calmed her down, she gave clear directions to the Warders' Practice Yard.
Let's see, a right turn at the crooked gate; where's that? Oh, there it is! She walked with Aes Sedai calmness. Her jaw dropped...
The whole field was a mass of brightly coloured tents and wagons. Everyone was smiling and hard at work, mending wheels, sewing clothes, making dinner. Children ran about, shouting happily, running with large dogs and playing games. The colours of all of the people's clothes were almost blinding. She thought she saw Sathinar feeding pigeons and wearing a shirt that said: 'Have you hugged a tree today?'. No, that's crazy. But the vision of environmental and kind-to-animals Sathinar wouldn't disappear.
Amazed, Ciara slowly made her way down safely to the center of the Yard.
A tall, bespectacled man in neon pink and orange came to meet her, a welcoming smile on his face.
"Welcome, Ciara Sedai! Peace be with you."
The words came automatically. "And with you, Mahdhi Ben."
"Have you heard the Song?"
"No, Mahdi Ben."
"Shucks. Well, someone will find it one day. Guess I should start looking."
Ciara sighed. "What are you doing, Ben? Aren't you guys supposed to be practicing the sword and fighting skills?"
Ben's eyes suddenly opened wide.
"Shh... Don't say that. Those are bad words. The Way of the Leaf is everything. Everything has a place in the Pattern. The leaf is content. Don't shake the tree. Come." He wrapped an arm around her. "Meet my wife, Matalina."
A plump pretty and very pregnant woman stepped down from the steps of a caravan. She was wearing a long bright red dress with a yellow apron and a blue scarf around her hair. It looked like Matalina's face to Ciara's eyes, but Matalina in a dress and pregnant! No way!!!
"Ah. There she is! Mata!" He called. Turning to Ciara, he smiled. "We're expecting our third."
Ciara Sedai at this announcement did the typical Green reaction. She picked up her skirts and ran.
Oh Light! What has happened to the White Tower? Is this one of those miasma things from the Dark One's seal? Whatever it is, I have to warn the Amyrlin!
Ciara ran into the main courtyard, panting. She just saw a Gateway twinkle out at the corner of her eye. Shrugging it off, she leaped from stair to stair until she was at the door of Chissa's Office.
She opened the door and saw... Ohmigod... She quickly closed the door and ran towards the public washroom in case that queasy feeling in her stomach resulted in anything. When she felt a little more... calmer, she started to make a plan.
Well, if Chissa's been changed as well, then the Mother must be as well. Except why wasn't I affected? Hmm... No clue. Anyway, I should go and get some help. Maybe Phoenix would know about this problem. Yeah. He would help. But first, I have to go and check on Arik. Yeah. Good idea. Let's go to the Black Tower. Arik was her brother after all, her only living kin and although she had sworn to show no favoritism among people, she still cared for her big little brother.
Make a Gateway to Skim to Arik's Luxury Study, Ciara left.
The purple cloud moved quickly to the Black Tower as well.
"Alright girls. You did well. The Amyrlin Seat will be pleased."
Mindaren smiled and Alleandra chuckled richly. Leane was flushed with the joy of the hunt.
"I bonded two!" Leane crowed to Autumnflame, who was nodding. Belina was crying in the corner. There was a girl who had chosen the wrong Ajah everytime, Lanfir noted. Ah well, at least she hadn't warned the Asha'man and cost them a man or five. That would have been ...most unforgiveable.
Mellyn and Morgan were taking care of the failed Green. Both of them seemed to not fit the typical stereotype of a Green sister, but they were both efficient in the hunt for new Warders.
She eyed their prizes. Twenty-five men sat on the ground or were standing, every single one bonded to one of the sisters and shackled on a chain. Some looked at their owners with scorn and pure hatred, others with tears. Of course, none were as beautiful or grand as Lews Therin Telamon. She still had no idea how he slipped the leash. Damn the man. During this raid, she had bonded herself five of the best. The Amyrlin Seat would get the best man of her five. She sighed. Why did she have to make due with second-hand goods? Well, the Great Lord had all but promised her that He would take care of Kathana for her, because Lanfir was His favorite. But she doubted that, so she planned to one day catch Kathana off-guard and turn her into pudding. It would be a fitting end for someone who had probably never even tasted pudding before, she giggled mentally.
Ciara gasped when she saw most, if not all her fellow Green sisters at the Black Tower. The Tower looks like a war had blown through it. Char marks were everywhere, chickens were fried and many buildings were only piles of wood.
She saw a line of Asha'man chained together by... a group a'dam? It must be. What else could hold some many men from channeling? She saw Arik among the captured, eating fried chicken. His mind must have gone really wacko for him to eat chicken willingly and to like it. She also saw Lanfir directing the other Green sisters in packing stolen goods and dividing up the captured men between them. Ciara had to make her move now.
"Lanfir, what under the Light is going on here?"
Lanfir turned around.
"Oh, it's you."
She then turned her attention back to the other sisters.
"Answer me! Or..." Ciara gulped. "I'll..." She couldn't think of anything strong enough.
Lanfir laughed, a crystal clear and beautiful sound.
"Child, challenge me when you learn how to make threats."
Ciara frowned and suddenly saw a sculpture made of a bunch of glass rods, all horizontal to the ground and she had an idea. Slowly, she walked towards Lanfir. I hope Arik taught me how to do it right.
Lanfir grinned. "What are you going to do now? Try to punch me?"
Suddenly, Ciara jumped on Lanfir, pushing them both into the glass rod forest.
Meanwhile, the purple cloud decides to head back to the White Tower and see what Kathana is doing...
Kathana lazed in her office chair. "Jon'atha, send them in."
"As you command, Amyrlin Seat." He bowed with a mouth slightly touched with the amusement and the distaste of the one who the Great Lord Himself ordered the Hand to obey.
"What are you waiting for? Get up, worm and do as I command!"
Sheesh... "As you command, so I obey." He rasped.
Jon'atha quickly went outside to Chissa's Office and ushered in Ender and Narell. They knelt obediently in front of Kathana.
"Good. You both at least know your places in front of me." Kathana got up and walked around her desk towards the kneeling pair.
"What have you to say for yourself, Ender?"
He blinked. "Me, my lady Amyrlin Seat? Surely nothing!"
Her mouth became stern. "My sources tell me of you wearing filmy dresses that belong to Narell and Francesca, lately with high heels, stockings, accessories and make-up."
Narell hurried to speak. "I had no idea that he was doing this! I..."
Kathana snorted. "Please, save your petty excuses. My sources also saw you helping him and buying supplies for Ender's... experiments. It is not wise to lie to the Amyrlin Seat, Narell."
Narell's eyes widened in alarm. "Oh, please, great Amyrlin! Have mercy! Spare me! Kill him instead!!"
Ender's eyes widened and he joined her pleas. "Amyrlin Seat, I convinced her to buy the blush and teach me the secrets of Domani dresses! It's all my fault! Spare her and punish me!"
Jon'atha grinned, watching them beg at the Amyrlin's pleasure. That was one of the perks of being a lackey.
"Very well. Jon'atha, bring me the dress." He moved to fetch the dress quickly. Kathana smiled her truly evil grin. "I trust it will live up to your standards, Ender. I had it specially tailored just for you."
Jon'atha held up the pink Beltine dress with ribbons galore. Ender stared and turned pink and white, respectively. Jon'atha giggled mentally.
"Isn't it pretty, Ender? You are going to wear it when you walk from here to Shayol Ghul to ask for the Great Lord's forgiveness. Narell will help you prepare and even put matching ribbons in your hair." Jon'atha held up the pastel pink ribbons in his other hand. "Won't that be fun?"
"Yes, Amyrlin Seat." Ender intoned in the emotionless voice of a man about to crack. Narell was silent.
"Good. Now hurry along. I have more important matters to attend to." Kathana returned to her chair and took up a pen and started writing.
Ender and Narell exchanged looks and got up to depart.
"Yes, Amyrlin Seat?" Narell asked, a touch breathless.
"You forgot your dress and hair ribbons." She motioned with the pen for Jon'atha to hand the dress and ribbon to them. He did so quickly, giggling. Ender glared at him as he snatched them from his hands. Both Ender and Narell bowed to Kathana as they left.
The instant they left, Kathana put down the pen.
"Send in Yveva now. Her grape-eating has to stop now. She is starting a trend which distracts people from thinking of the Great Lord and myself."
Jon'atha shuffled his feet. "I cannot, Amyrlin Seat."
"You cannot or you will not?" Kathana hissed.
"I cannot. Yveva Aes Sedai has left the White Tower. Her whereabouts is unknown, but I suspect the Warders' Yard, myself."
"Send out the Guard then, you foolish excuse for a quarter-man."
He coughed. "Amyrlin Seat, I wish you wouldn't use that word. It makes one feel... inadequate." He shuffled his feet.
"But it is the technical term. You are the offspring of a half-man and a normal woman."
Kathana stared at him and he shut up, as he was accustomed to do.
"The Guards, Jon'atha?"
"Oh, yes. I already sent them out. They are due to report any..."
A knock on the door. Jon'atha grinned and opened it, quickly taking the folded piece of paper.
"No sign of the woman you described... Drat!"
Kathana sighed. "Well, if she's gone for good, then it's all for the best. She can't do much outside of the Tower without provisions and help." She quickly writes a letter. "Send this to Serinia. She has ways of getting runaways back."
"I will, Amyrlin Seat. May I ask a question?"
She eyed him critically. "Yes."
"What exactly happened to my predecessor, Lone Wolf?"
"He was insolent. Roland Broadcloak posing as a sane man. He had to be... removed for my own safety and sanity." She smiled.
She leaned back. "Now go and deliver my letter. You've had your question answered."
Jon'atha bowed and left with the letter.
The purple cloud leaves too for Shayol Ghul.
"I want my pudding!"
"Now, now. Just wait a moment, Nae'blis. I'm sure Cook will have it done soon."
Demandred made a face.
"But Lanfear, I want it now! Please, go downstairs and find out what's taking it so long. Please, dear."
Lanfear sighed. "As you command, Nae'blis."
Demandred scarcely noticed her leaving. All he could focus on was the empty and naked Spoon.
"Slayer? Are you free?"
Slayer put down the crossword puzzle and looked around in the hall.
"Yes, Dem. I am."
"Could you come in here and give me a back massage? I've got this nasty crink in my neck."
"Certainly, Dem. After all, it is the duty of the under-Nae'blis to ease the stress of the duties put on the Nae'blis so unfairly."
"Yes, yes. Now come in here and massage my neck."
Slayer hurried in, bringing the crossword puzzle along and started to work on the Nae'blis' neck and upper spinal area. Soon Lanfear came back, a large bowl of chocolate pudding in hand.
Dem opened his eyes dreamily. "Am I dreaming or is this real?"
Lanfear smiled. "Definitely real. Now come and have your pudding."
He eagerly drove in with the Spoon and both Slayer and Lanfear kindly left him alone to savor in the delight of his fav food.
As Lanfear closed the doors, Slayer asked her, nibbling on his pen, "By chance, do you know what a six-letter word for 'enemy of the Dark One' is? I simply can't think of it."
Lanfear paused. "Hmm, I don't know. 'Vanilla?'"
Slayer shook his head. "No, that has seven letters. Oh well, thank you anyway."
Lanfear smiled. "Anything for a fellow Chosen. I am going down to the market. Would you like me to get you anything?"
Slayer's eyes lit up. "Oh, I would love a new crossword puzzle book!"
"Then I will buy you one." She winked. "A special treat for being such a good friend."
"Oh, Lanfear, you don't have to! I have money!"
"No, I insist."
"Oh." Slayer giggled. "You're such a good friend! What would I do without you to brighten my day?!"
They both giggled delightfully in the hall and hugged each other.
When Ishamael woke up, he felt weird. Like a cloud had lifted from his mind during the night. Yawning, he got up, had his bowl of Cheerios, got dressed into his usual outfit of black and left his quarters to report in with Demmy. He could safely think that in the safety of his own mind. Demmy was only the Nae'blis, not the Dark One himself.
Whistling a tune from the Second Age, he knocked on Demmy's door. No answer. He tried the door. It was open. Sighing, he entered. Demmy should be more careful. Shadowspawn did have stealing compulsions on the behalf of the Chosen... OhmiDarkMaster...
Slurp. Demmy was eating chocolate pudding like a pig or an Amyrlin Seat. It was horrible; pudding on his face, hands, hair and clothing. It was on the carpet and furniture too. Slurp. He was making even disgusting sounds. Slurp.
"Nae'blis, I'm here to report for this morning. The door..." He trailed off as pudding rolled down Dem's lips and into the pudding bowl.
"Excuse me. I have to go."
Walking quickly, Ishamael went as fast as a respectable Chosen could to walk outside to the hall.
Phoenix must have gotten to him. Demmy had cracked and became just like Kathana, a living pudding head. This was an excellent opportunity to go and ask the Great Lord for a promotion. He rubbed his hands and started walking towards the Pit. I hope that I have beaten Lanfear and Slayer; those two could cause problems.
Walking outside, he saw the one Fade called D'spyre walking the other way. He was an unusual one, that guy. He would disappear, then reappear at the most inconvenient times. His eyes widened. That D'spyre had pinched the bottom of a serving maid. She hadn't even flinched or slapped him or anything! Instead, she had giggled and blushed! Something is terribly wrong here. He quickened his step towards the Pit.
The Pit was unusually sit.
"Great Lord!" Ishamael called. "I have come to seek your wisdom! Speak to your servant!"
"Great Lord? Hello?"
"Oh, Shai'tan take you!" He shouted in frustration.
Slowly, a bottle bubbled up and floated to the edge of the Pit. Ishamael picked it up and uncork it. A letter was inside.
'Sorry, but I'm away right now. I've gone on a holiday with Bob, my brother to Antigua. Be back next week. Ciao, Bill.'
"He's gone to Antigua? What a lucky guy." He said. Then he thought about the implications. Well, since Bob the Creator sealed Boss Bill, I guess he can let him out once in a while to get a bit of fresh air. But this is still weird. Still, that sort of gives me an answer to why everyone's acting weird. When the cat's away, the mice will play.
Shrugging, he left the Pit. He really wasn't surprised at all to see B'hob'ay, Kaos and Elyson wearing white robes, walking around outside with signs reading: 'Repent. The End is nigh. Pray. Save the Dragon.' The one thing that did surprise him was seeing an Asha'man... Ah, yes, Narell's bondholder, Ender wearing a pink frilly dress and heading towards the Pit. Ishamael wondered if he should tell him that Bill, er, the Great Lord was on vacation, but he decided not to. Ender looked rather irritated, sweat pouring down his face and ruining his mascara, his stout stockings dirty and holding his matching pink pumps in one hand. Ishamael smiled. Ender looked kind of cute with those pink ribbons in his hair.
He then saw when entering the main hallway Lanfear and Slayer... He shivered, THEM hugging. Deciding that life was just getting stranger and stranger around here, he went back to his room, changed into his pajamas and went back to sleep, setting his alarm for next week.
The purple cloud sneezed and went to hover over the Forest of Wolves and the Band of the Red Hand's encampment.
"What, me?" Aldiran pointed to himself.
"Yes. Have I got a deal for you! Walk this way and see!"
Aldiran shrugged. "You waste my time. I'll waste your face."
Darksmoon gulped. "Right. I promise that I won't. We have unbelievable deals here! Every day a new bargain!"
Aldiran followed Darksmoon into his stable.
"Well, sir. What are you looking for in a horse?"
Aldiran scratched his chin. "Well, I'd like a faster runner, but good plodder. You know, when they're loaded down with loot. About this high." He gestured with his hands at about his height. "And this wide." He indicated his width.
"Ah, yes. Any make or colour preference?"
"I'd like black and made in 1996."
"Ah, yes. A good year. As it happens, I have exactly what you're looking for. Right this way."
Darksmoon led Aldiran down to a stall where an old mare stood, munching happily and lost in her own equine dreaming.
"Yes, sir. It suits you perfectly!"
Aldiran stared at him.
"First, this is a mare. Second, it's shorter than what I said. Third, it looks like it has no brain!"
"Oh, sir, please don't say that, sir. She's a lovely horse. Runs like the wind and takes as much as a camel on her back. Why, look at that shine! It's so glossy and healthy. See these teeth?" He opened her lips to show pure white teeth. "That's the mark of a well-bred and well-taken care of horse. And she's smart. The man who sold this beauty to me said that she saved the man's children from a fire. Now that's the kind of horse you want. As for height... Well, she makes it up in heart and grace. Sitting on her, all the soldiers will be in awe of you."
Aldiran fingered his chin. "Hey, what's that mark on her front leg?"
"Oh. Dust. Let me clean that off her."
Darksmoon ran a hand through his hair and rubbed the 'dust mark' off.
He grinned. "See? There's nothing wrong with this baby."
Aldiran spoke slowly. "Very well. What are you asking?"
"What? That's crazy! That's the price of a house!"
Darksmoon smiled. "That's what I paid for her. But because I like your face, so honnest and straight-forward, I'll give you a special discount. Fifteen."
"Ten, horse dealer. That's final."
Darksmoon sighed. "You drive a hard bargain, sir. That's a fifty percent loss for me."
Aldiran stared at him with his evil warlord stare.
Darksmoon cringed. "Very well. Ten."
"Good. I will have my servants come and pick it up with your money."
"And to whom shall this lady be given to?"
Aldiran grinned menancingly. "Aldiran, Scourage of the South, Warlord of the Band of the Red Hand."
Darksmoon shivered visibly. "Yes, sir. I will have her ready for you."
"Thank you. I will let myself out."
Darksmoon stared worriedly after him and mentally began his preparations to leave before Aldiran learned of the shoe paint, false teeth and before the nag died on him. He sighed. Being a successful businessman was at times hard and impossible in the Warlord-controlled marketplace. Quickly he made his orders to Grey Wind and Aldazar to pack their belongings and gather the family. It was time to move on into the night.
The purple cloud agreed and decided to return to the Black Tower. Floating over the Aiel Waste, it saw the Aiel clans were having a Carnival Day, with balloons, dried zemai kernels being exploded in large metal pots and butter and salt poured over them in little paper containers, air-filled castles made from a Second Age material reaching high into the clouds and there were gleemen everywhere. There was also face-painting and large games of 'Twister', which involved a lot of giggling and toh. All in all, everyone was enjoying themselves greatly.
When Ciara had pushed Lanfir and herself into the glass rod thingy, the other sisters had been amazed. They had both totally disappeared. They were all so shocked that they didn't even noticed the man who crawled out under the ruins of a cabin and started to unlock the mass a'dam on the captured Asha'man.
"Hey Sam, what are you doing?" Hawkwing asked the man fiddling with his 'necklace'.
"Freeing you guys, stupid. We're Asha'man, not Aes Sedai Warder bait."
Shadowkiller, who was beside Hawkwing, sitting on the ground, spoke up. "But I like being a Warder. My Aes Sedai helps to me to avoid things like alcoholic beverages and smoking." He smiled happily. "Now I only eat vegetables and fruits and serve grapes to the people my Aes Sedai tells me to." Hawkwing nodded in agreement.
Sam looked at Shadowkiller and Hawkwing.
"It's the bond. You two aren't making sense. Don't worry. I'll get you guys out in a jiffy." Sam d'ma Shadar resuming his tinkering with the lock on Hawkwing's a'dam. It snapped open with a click.
"Ah... Okay, Shadowkiller, you're next." He went to his a'dam.
Shadowkiller's eyes opened with terror. "Ilyena Sedai! Save me! SK is afraid!"
The sisters immediately turned around and saw Sam.
"Well, what do we have here? A little boy that escaped us?" Alleandra put her hands on her hips, wearing a wicked grin.
"Good work, Shady. You get a cookie when we return home." Ilyena told Shadowkiller.
Shadowkiller beamed happily.
Sam began to make the weaves to Travel.
"Alleandra Sedai, he's making a Gateway!" Hawkwing shouted. Sam gave him a good glare and released the source.
"So sisters, who gets him?" Autumnflame drawled, a'dam in hand.
Morgan spoke thoughtfully. "Why don't we have a contest, all of us chasing after him? The first one to catch him bonds him."
All the Greens nodded in agreement. During this, Sam started to run, looking for a place from which he could make a Gateway safely.
The Greens noticed this and mounted their horses quickly and sped after him, leaving the mostly content captive Asha'man-Warders behind.
After several hours, Sam is cornered in a cave. A silouette of a woman stand in front of him.
"No," he pants. "Please... I want..."
"There's nothing to be afraid of. I promise it won't hurt. My name is Mellyn Sedai."
"Look, Mellyn. I don't want to be a Warder. It's not right to bond a man against his wishes."
Her eyes showed surprise. "That is the way it has always been and always will be. Hold still." Mellyn reaches up and wove the Bonding weave.
Sam stumbles and knocks Mellyn down to the ground and shouts, "You may take our lives, but you will never take away our liberty!" He runs off, occasionally stumbling.
Mellyn gets up slowly and sighs. "Well, the gentle approach doesn't seem to work. I guess the old method in Lanfir's book is the best method." She scribbles that in her notebook and leaves the cave, slowly walking to her horse and riding on after Sam.
The purple yawned. The day was nearly finished. Its bedtime was going up soon and it had one more place to visit. Gathering strength, it moved higher into the air, to the floating palace of the one called Phoenix...
Phoenix saw the purple cloud coming and sighed. He was getting tired of being picked on. He knew that a certain amount of it was because he was the ultimate guy in charge and all things in Dragonmount linked somehow to him, but still... He deserved a break.
Gathering the One Power through his sa'angreal computer and charisma, he unleashed an attack of massive proportions on the purple cloud. He used the complex flows required for Delete and he Deleted the purple cloud ever having an effect in Dragonmount.
Phoenix was truly great.
If any of the Dragonmount people had remembered the purple cloud's evil influence, they would have thanked him for defeating this terrible ...thingy of terrible effects. But because it never happened...
Lanfir woke up in a strange place. Wait, not that strange. It was the Black Tower, the middle of the main square actually. How did I come here? Did I go drinking with Dark Blight and...She blushed. Time to get back to the White Tower before anyone knows.
She then saw Ciara sitting on the side of a well, playing with Silver's butterflies. Apparently, they liked Ciara too.
"Are you looking for Silver? Is she flying? Yes? Well, I'm going home. Do you want to come with me and wait for Silver there? Yes? Okay."
Ciara jumped down and made a Gateway to Travel. Lanfir quietly made her own while Ciara was distracted. Best that no one knows.
They both winked back home.
Shadowkiller stood outside the room where she had been teaching Novices.
"Oh, Shadowkiller. What are you doing here?" She smiled and greeted him.
He shuffled his feet. "I don't know... For some reason, I really wanted to see you and..." He coughed. "I wanted to have some of your cookies. You know, the ones that I really like."
Kaleyra laughed. "That's easily fixed. Come. I was going to bake today anyway."
Wrapping an arm around her Warder and friend, they went to the kitchen.
Lone Wolf knocked on Chissa's door and popped his head in after a second.
"Oh, hello Wolfie. Kathana's expecting you."
Chissa looked up from her crossword and smiled.
"Good, considering that she did summon me." He smiled.
She laughed and managed to recover in a minute. He was impressed.
He then asked his usual personal question to her.
"Have you ever wanted more than one Warder?"
She laughed again. This time a little longer.
"As a Novice, of course. All girls dream of being Green. That's only logical. But most of those girl realize that there's other jobs to be done and choose other Ajahs. Why that question today?"
"Nothing, just wondering." He said that rather quickly.
"Well, you better get in there. Kathana hates to wait."
He smiled. "I know."
She laughed again and this time it didn't stop...
"Close the door, dear."
He smiled. "Yes, dear. So how's my fav Amyrlin today?"
Kathana grimaced. "My throat really hurts, like I've been shouting and my back kills. Plus..." She looked greedily to the pudding cup in front of her. "I'm really low on the pudding blood count."
"Well, you should go visit Therva and have her examine your throat and back. As for the last problem... I think I can help."
He smiled and picked up the Spoon and pudding cup. She laughed.
Demandred woke with a start. Smeg. He had missed his daily examination of the trollorc and herd pens. He supposed that Lanfear had done that in his absence. He licked his lips. He had a strange taste in his mouth, like... chocolate pudding. Except that was crazy. He didn't eat chocolate pudding. And Demandred, Nae'blis of the Chosen, was not crazy.
Stretching, he got up and opened the door to see Lanfear and Slayer arguing as usual.
"...But I dreamed it and it felt so real! You're the Mistress of the Dreamworld!" Slayer stood, shaking a finger at her.
"For the last time, I did not walk in your dreams, nor did I send a particular dream to your sleeping consciousness." Lanfear was starting to lose to her temper; her tone hinted at the fires within.
Ishamael's door opened and the Chosen himself strode out. With a giggle, he made the fire in his eyes extend five feet and ran towards the Pit muttering something about Bill and Bob. Demandred shook his head. It was going to be one of those days again. He really needed to brush his teeth; that taste just wouldn't go.
Darksmoon woke up feeling guilty for some reason. He wondered why that was. He couldn't think of anything that he should be guilty about. Shrugging it off, he got up and went to visit his good friend, Aldiran.
Arriving at Aldiran's tent, he felt another guilt pang. Somehow, his wolf instinct thought that he had done his friend wrong. His instincts were seldom wrong. So he quickly thought of how to make it up to Aldiran as he entered the tent.
"Good morning Aldiran." He greeted Aldiran, seated at a make-shift desk.
"Good morning Darks." He smiled.
"Al, you need a good horse? I have one I'm looking to get rid of, since I don't ride anymore and the four-legged brothers are getting tempted." He grinned.
Aldiran paused. "Um, okay. I can always use a good horse."
Darksmoon smiled, relieved that the guilty feeling was leaving.
"Follow me. She's back at the Forest."
"She? What's her name?"
Darksmoon grinned. "I call her Blackie."
Ender opened his eyes sleepily. It was hot in his room. He could feel sweat running down his back and the hot air blowing up the skirt of his dress in a strangely pleasant way...But something was wrong... What the?! A DRESS!!!! He really woke up and looked around. He was the Pit of Doom! Wearing a dress! With ribbons in his hair and wearing a pink fluffy dress!! In the Pit of Doom!!! He quickly got to his feet, saw a pair of pink heels and put them on and walked quickly out of there, nearly falling over. Damn things. Why do women wear them? They hurt and you can't walk properly in them. Women are strange. I must ask Narell about that sometime.
He just managed to leave as Ishamael entered, muttering to himself about Fades rising above their rank and talking to Bill about it. Or was it Bob that he said? Nevermind. But I could have sworn that I heard laughter coming from the Pit. Could it be? Nah. I'd never do that on a dare. But wearing a dress and going to the Pit was a pretty big dare. I would what the other Asha'man had to do? He chuckled. He seemed to dimly remember seeing Arik eating chicken and Hawkwing singing a dirty song to some Tinkers. What a party to wipe out my memories that much. Oh NO!!!! The M'hael and Kathana!!! I HAVE TO get back to the Black Tower to get a uniform and go to the White Tower to Narell! Narell will cover for me. Wait, I have some extra uniforms in Narell's room and Narell has some grapes... With a big smile, he made a Gateway to Narell's apartments.
Matalina ran into Ben's office.
"We have a crisis! There's no fancloaks to be found!" She tossed an odd assortment of brightly coloured cloaks on his table. "They're all been changed!"
Ben sighed. "I know." He lifted the edge of his bright yellow cloak. "I have the Aes Sedai making us some new ones, but it'll take some time until then."
"But what about the Warders going outside?"
He shrugged. "Stout dark green and brown will have to do until then."
Matalina sighed. "Why did this happen? Who did this?"
Ben gave another shrug. "The Aes Sedai are investigating. The Asha'man are suspected for playing a prank."
"But why? They even have Warders among their ranks."
Ben gave a final shrug.
Matalina gave up and went outside, where Sathinar was following a pigeon. There would probably never be a clear answer for the cloaks. Another X-files case. She shook herself. Tari's obsessions were starting to cross the bond. How long will it be until I start worshipping the Fox? She shivered and went to the Tower, passing the Library. Strangely, she heard shrieking and weeping inside. Peeking in and taking a hold of her sword, she saw the whole Brown Ajah mourning half-burnt books and those that had 'disappeared'. Matalina made a discreet exit. There were some things that no Warder should ever have to watch.
The Wheel turns and chugs out books once every two years. Some are good and others are great. Many are questioned and philosophized by the people of Dragonmount. Many theories are made but only one knows the truth...
The man who Deletes stands alone,
Giving his words to all,
What words... will he allow to stay?
What authoress dare... to stand against his editing?
One story to find them, one story to bind them
And in the written word,