Bound by Duty
Posted 11 September 2010 - 12:11 PM
Off to the east a dozen or so birds bolted from a copse of trees as if spooked by something or someone. The void was easy to assume, it had become natural to him. It allowed him to see so much more than a person could without it. He felt one with his surroundings. Perivar noticed Kabria staring in the same direction. "An animal most likely." he said to her and she nodded. Her saidar enhanced vision allowing her to make the same assessment.
Perivar smiled at her and she returned the same. "I love you" he said to her though she needed no words to remind her. Kabria could feel it through the bond and so could he. It was refreshing to know at least one thing was certain in a world where so much was not. She smiled wryly "I know" she said followed by a loud chuckle then spurred her horse leaving him staring at her back. "I know!" he shouted at her half laughing then added, "The proper response is I love you too!" Perivar spurred Nightdancer then slowed to match her speed when he caught up. He shook his head then smiled, his large eyes drinking her in. She was beyond beautiful to him.
Kabria laughed at him, poking fun at Perivar whenever she had the opportunity which seemed quite often to him. He didn't minf, her laughter and playful manner was like a drug to him. If she was happy he was happy, if she was not then he was not. That was they way it went for them. Another merchant train passed them, likely on their way to Caemlyn. He waved his hand to make the dust left by the passing wagons dissipate. "If I may be serious for a moment we are only a few hours from Four Kings." She made some comment about him never being serious then smiled to soften the blow. Perivar was almost always serious and proper, in public at least. When he and Kabria were private he felt he could relax a bit. "We are going to stay at the Dancing Cartman. I hear it is favored by the merchants. With the way they love to gossip we'll hopefully hear news of events in Murandy."
Kabria had been sent to Murandy to find a woman who was apparently posing as a Green sister. This imposter had been causing some problems which left alone would only get worse. Apparently she managed to aqcuire a few followers who were acting as warders exacting justice on any who spoke against her. Perhaps the fool of a woman thought she was far enough from the White Tower that they would not hear of her exploits. If that was the case then she was a fool of epic proportions. If that was not the case then she might be sick in the head. Obviously it was bad for the White Tower and the Green Ajah to have someone pretending to be affiliated with them acting in their name. They rode on and within two hours they arrived at the Dancing Cartman.
Posted 11 September 2010 - 05:52 PM
A small cluster of birds burst up from the grasses to their East and Kabria’s hands tightened on her reins. Through the bond she could feel focus, and surety but the Power filled her and she prepared a few weaves. "An animal most likely." The world seemed to come alive, each blade of grass exposed its secrets to her, and she nodded in agreement that it had just been an animal.
Releasing the source she smiled at Perivar, letting the intense glowing veins of love and desire that came through their bond engulf her. Too often she had to push them aside in the name of duty, even now they didn’t really have the time, but for just a moment she relished in the feeling of being a woman young and in love. Spurring Blade forward she laughed as Perivar had to gallop to catch up. Moments where she could just be free were too rare; and she wanted this one to last as long as it could, but of course her duty driven Perivar did not allow it to last long.
“You?! Serious! I cannot even form a picture of that in my mind" Kabria quipped with mock scorn. Giving him a small smile she drew her horse closer to him so that their knees almost touched. If he was not going to allow her emotional freedom she at least wanted to be close enough to touch him. Even with the closeness that their bond game them, she often felt that he was half a world away.
Her lips pursed in disgust at the mention of rumors. There were few offences worse in the eyes of Aes Sedai then pretending the title when it was not earned. The fact that this woman was claiming the Green Ajah only made it more personal in Kabria’s eyes. She’d given up her freedom for the ring, she’d almost given up the love of her life for the shawl and because of that she could feel nothing but contempt for a woman who would claim a rank she had not earned.
“This woman, whoever she is, better pray to the Light that at least half the rumors we’ve already heard are not true. Or you will be hard pressed to keep me from bludgeoning this woman to death with my own two hands.” Perivar chuckled and Kabria gave him an icy look. “You think I jest, but there will be nothing left of her to return to the Tower if she really did trick these men into believing they’ve been bonded. You men act fool enough without the added idea that you are some sort of ledgend”
Glancing at Perivar she couldn’t help but feel calmed by his presence. He was the embodiment of honor and duty, and rarely could anything crack his hard exterior. Her anger melted back to a slow boil, and she tried to enjoy what little free moments they had left.
Once the merchant train had passed them the other way, they had the road all to themselves until they reached Four Kings. Allowing Perivar to take the lead she sat quietly on her mount while he arranged them rooms and gave the grooms strict instructions on how to care for their horses.
Settling her cloak over her arm she followed Perivar into the common room, and to a table in the far corner. It gave them a view of the entire room, but more importantly it put them close to the merchants who were haggling over the cost of silk. It was not the typical trade talk in Andor, but it sounded as if one of them had come on it by accident. Which could mean that it came from a less than reputable source; a fact they would want to keep hidden.
Ordering wine for herself and ale for Perivar she also asked for two meals and a round of drinks for the room. Getting the merchants to gossip would be no issue, but they would talk more freely once their business was finished and their tongues were wet with someone else’s drink. Biding her time, Kabria settled onto her chair and dug into her meal.
Posted 12 September 2010 - 03:37 AM
An image of a Whitecloak assassin going after Loraine Sedai flashed in his mind and he quickly began forcing it away. That was a very dark time for him, he was misguided by his own sense of right and wrong as well as his untimely departure from Kabria. In his anger he forced the man into a duel the man couldn't win. Even though Perivar thought he was protecting Kabria and her would be sisters in some round about way, she did not agree and it had nearly caused him to lose her. It was too painful to think about, he pushed it away and focused on the banter in the room.
Pipe smoke filled the common room dancing around the patrons as the ale and wine flowed freely. Rumors ran wild about this impersonator. She was in Whitebridge, no another said Far Madding, they heard someone even suggest Illian though they had reliable information that she was somewhere in Murandy.
Finally a heavy set well dressed merchant spoke of being chased out of Murandy by this imposter. Apparently the merchant refused to pay a tax that she levied on his trade in the name of the White Tower. Kabria gave Perivar a look then brushed his hand with her fingertips as she got up from their table. She spoke a few words to the tavern's owner then left the common room. She would be waiting in a private dining room to speak with the merchant.
As the crowd thinned Perivar took the opportunity to approach the merchant. The man was reluctant at first though a few coins and encouraging words had him up and moving toward the private dining room. Perivar knocked then entered, Kabria sat at the one end of the table looking regal as ever. Perivar guided the man to a seat then moved to a more strategic position as Kabria welcomed him and began questioning the man.
Posted 24 September 2010 - 04:52 PM
Refusing the offer of seconds she ordered more wine and settled back to wait on the news she sought. As more and more empty plates were taken back to the kitchen the noise in the room increased and so did the wariness in the bond. Perivar could never be at ease, if there was even a whisper of a hint of danger near her. As much as she was sometimes vexed by his over protective nature she also knew that it was his over diligence that had kept her alive. In truth he was the model image of a Warder, many Aes Sedai would like to lay their hands on him.
Feeling of jealousy stirred within her, but she suppressed them quickly. His whole heart was hers, the bond told her as much, but even without the bond she would have trusted his love. Giving Perivar a small, sly smile she turned her attention to a portly man at the next table.
Rumors of the rough Aes Sedai were on every tongue, but this man seemed to have a firsthand account of her whereabouts. Giving her beautiful Warder another smile Kabria got up and picked her way carefully through the crowd towards the innkeeper. She quickly arranged for a private dining room; Trusting that Perivar knew her mark, and knew what she desired of him. Quickly the bond told her that she was right, but then she wouldn’t have been surprised if he could read her mind without the help that their link spun of Saidar provided.
Arranging herself at the head of the table she gave Perivar a warm smile that she extended to the merchant; motioning him to take a seat next to her.
“I regret pulling you away from your drink and your company, but I hope not to keep you too long.” It only took about an hour to ring every detail from the man. He spoke freely and gave up everything he could remember. His voice grew with passion as he spoke of being chased out of the city, and Kabria had no doubts that his words were truth.
Giving the man a few more coins, Kabria sent him away and set to planning with Perivar. They now knew that this Aes Sedai imposter Her blood boiled at the very thought was in Murandy and they had three possible towns in which to search. She was young, perhaps only in her early 30’s and she had 4 Warders to her name. Even for a ‘Green’ Sister that was gluttonous.
Kabria glared at the map on the table as if by staring hard enough she could burn the woman where she stood. “I want her Perivar! She needs to be taught a lesson. It is bad enough impersonating an Aes Sedai, and even worse for her that she chose the Green, but to do so in such a way to soil our reputation…. I will make her wish she’d never even heard of Aes Sedai.”
A cold furry burnt in her belly, and she was more determined than ever to see this woman stopped and brought to justice in the Tower. She would pay dearly there for all that she’d done.
Posted 26 September 2010 - 03:37 AM
Perivar helped Kabria mount blade then took up the reins of the packhorse before mounting Nightdancer. He patted the warhorse's neck, he had served Perivar well over the years. The warhorse was a gift from his father before sending him off to the White Tower. They turned from the stable and began crossing the yard to the hard packed dirt street.
"My lord!" a male voice shouted from behind. Turning he saw a servant running to catch up and he readied himself ever suspicious of everyone. The servant called him by name which struck him as odd then the man handed him a folded sheet of parchment. "I'm sorry m'lord this just arrived from Tar Valon." Perivar took the folded parchment then dug out a silver mark and handed it to the man with a word of thanks. He studied the folded parchment as the servant ran off. He could feel Kabria's question through the bond though she remained silent for the moment. Perivar rarely received correspondence.
A quick study of the seal in the green wax gave away who had sent it. "My Mother" Perivar said as if talking to no one in particular though it was an answer to one of Kabria's unspoken question's. Popping the seal he read it astride Nightdancer in the middle of the street where they had stopped. Kabria must have been feeling emotions through the bond for he felt some flooding back from her. Perivar handed her the sheet then stared north.
Perivar's father had answered a summons to help the eastern Arafellin lords with the trouble rising on the eastern border while his mother had remained behind. His brother had gone with his father though they had split, his brother had gone north into the Blight with some of his father's troops when they learned of trouble there. His mother could not get word to his brother, she was uncertain if he was even alive. In short his mother wanted him to return to the borderlands. His father badly injured, his brother missing and he could do nothing.
Kabria was finished reading the letter, he could feel her eyes on him. He could feel her concern for him. Perivar knew that Kabria was trying to think of a way to do both, to find this impersonator and help his family. She somehow believed that she could personally right every wrong and help every person that was in need. He loved her for it, she had a heart of gold but trying to carry the weight of the world on your shoulders could be very exhausting.
Perivar glanced at the sun that was well past mid day then turned to smile at Kabria. "I know your wheels are turning my love but we must finish what we set out to do. I am bound to you and to the White Tower, I am no longer of Arafel." The last fews words resonating in his head like the fading notes on a harp. It pained him to say it but it was the truth, it was as they were taught in the yards. Perivar got Nightdancer moving, they headed South out of town further from Arafel. He knew his decision was the right one but he felt as if his heart had torn in two.
Posted 29 September 2010 - 03:28 PM
The grooms in the stable were slow with their mounts, but eventually Nightdancer and Blade were led out them. Both horses visibly relaxed with their owners on their backs. They were well trained animals but even the most well trained horse could balk at a strange hand. Kabria allowed Perivar to help her mount Blade. As the swung her legs over the side of the large animal she smiled. For a woman born in the city, and raised on the sea she had become very comfortable on Blade’s back. Horses lived a long time by the standard of animals, but she still knew that the day would come when she would have to say good-bye. Praying that the day was still far off she arranged her skirts and checked to see that her saddle bags were in place. There would be hard riding to come and she wouldn’t want to lose anything precious to her.
Just as they started down the road she heard the nearly panicked call of “My Lord! My Lord!” Drawing back on her reins she eyed Perivar quizzically, but did not say a word. He would tell her what the message said when he was done; there were no secrets between them.
Almost as soon as his eyes began to scan the page, Kabria could feel the heart ache coming from Perivar and the almost immediate steely resolve. It was not good news. Her hands twitched to snatch the letter from his hands; wanting nothing more than to make whatever hurt lay on its pages disappear. But she waited until he passed the letter to her. It only took a few words to make her own heart sink.
Kabria did not have proper parents of her own. Her recent reunion with her mother had been shaky at best; but Perivar’s family felt very much like her own. Her memories of their time in Arafel were all fond, and she very much hoped to return soon. But now this….
The pain was evident in his eyes, as much as he tried to hide it, but when he spoke his voice was calm and sure. Her heart was breaking for him, but she knew that he was right. Duty first, family second, but if only she could bring this woman to justice quickly. Perhaps if the woman were killed they would not have to take her to Tar Valon after all. The thought was wicked beyond measure, and Kabria knew that she could never bring herself to slay the woman; whatever her crimes; but she wanted to make this easier for Perivar.
What she had to say was hard, but she would offer him a chance. “My heart, you will always be Arafellian whatever your ties to me and the Tower. I know that your duty is to be at my side, and it is your joy to be there, but this is your family. Perhaps you could go no without me once the woman is brought to justice?” She knew that Perivar would never leave her. His sense of duty was too great, but she wanted to give him a chance.
Posted 30 September 2010 - 08:45 AM
A tear streaked down his cheek and he fought the urge to wipe it away. When was the last time he had cried? He honestly could not recall. Perhaps the night that Kabria came for him years ago when he thought he had lost her. "Thank you but no, I can't." Why did he feel the urge to cry like a baby? Was it because he knew how much she cared for him beyond a shadow of a doubt? The fact that he knew she would do anything for him and would always be there for him. He turned to face her and gave her a loving smile "We will see this through to the end." After that perhaps there would be time to ride north.
It was time to make their way to Murandy before the situation became worse...
Posted 30 September 2010 - 02:53 PM
They rode in silence for most of the day; for all the words that they could speak to each other had already been shouted through their bond. They were both raw, but focused beyond reason. Completely their current task is what would allow them to complete the task of their heart.
A few hours put them across the Murandy border, though there had been nothing but stone markers to tell them they had crossed out of Caemlyn. It had been some time since anyone had truly controlled these deserted lands near the borders, but it was widely thought that if Murandy ever tried to exert their claim the Queen of Caemlyn would see them sadly disabused. At the first small speck of a village they dismounted in search of more information on where the rogue Aes Sedai had last been seen. It didn’t take long for them to discern that the woman was making her way towards Lugard. A land where the King could hardly keep control even in the capital was ripe for the plucking for anyone with fear and swords on their side. If this woman was making her way towards the capital she must be gaining confidence that she would find a way to take control.
Thanking their most recent informant with a few coins, Kabria had them mounted and out of the small town barely an hour after they’d dismounted. When they stopped to rest their horses Kabria took a moment to discuss their plans with Perivar.
In the recent months the ageless look was becoming more apparent in her face, and it worried her. She would no longer be able to hide what she was; it would be an adjustment she was not yet ready to face.
“I think it may be best if you do most of the questioning from here on out. I shall be your lady, and you can be my Lord and escort. It is a slim chance that this woman does not know she is being hunted by the Tower, but we should leave as light a trail as we can.”
“This is where your battle mind shall be important, how can we get close to this woman without alerting her to what we are?” Kabria wisely said nothing of the Borderlands or his family, hoping that by setting him a puzzle she could further ease his pain.
Posted 30 November 2010 - 10:21 AM
They mounted and got back underway heading towards Lugard. Perivar reluctantly brought his thoughts to the task at hand. He refused to waste time thinking on a plan that included them taking seperate paths. He would not leave her, wouldn't even consider it, but how could they get close to this woman without revealing their true identities. Now that Kabria had begun to take on the ageless look It was harder to mask who and what they were. Perivar remained alert but he was so focused on the puzzle that his brow was furrowed. They needed more information.
At the next village they discovered multiple rumors. Some said the false Aes Sedai was camped about a day from Lugard gathering soldiers and servants. Others said she was already in Lugard entrenched in an estate that she had strong-armed from one of the local nobles. After more questioning the latter seemed to be more likely.
After retiring to their room in one of the two inns in the village he spoke. "We need to get close to her, together" Perivar gave her a look that said to do otherwise was not an option ", but how do we do so without showing your face. It is possible that her followers would not recognize the face of an Aes Sedai but it is safe to assume that this pretender can." Infilitrating would be easy if they could hide what Kabria was. This woman seemed eager to swell her ranks.
"Perhaps a veil? A childhood accident that left you with a bad scar, but what if someone wants to see it or manages to lift the veil? We don't even know if we could procure a veil." Perivar knew it was weak but he was frustrated and could not find a better solution at the moment. Kabria was the thinker, perhaps she had something in mind.