“Rhia, do something! Anything!” The Cargo Master yelled at her, his face bloodied, and his wife slumped on the ground. Incapacitated, but alive. She made her way in a run across the sun kissed decks, leaping over a dead man who would be properly put to sea later. She ran to stand on the top rear deck, and felt for the other channeler. The boat they faced was huge, perhaps twice the size of the Deeprunner.
Channeling came from the near deck of the ship, as it faced them broadside preparing an attack; she was relieved it was only one woman. Rhia embraced the Source, revealing her location; quickly she launched fire, pure and as strongly as she was able, setting the mast above the other woman aflame. Her attack allowed the other woman to complete her weave, and the main mast of the ship creaked sickeningly as she made contact with the front of the ship; men ad women began shouting and running behind her, she ignored them.
Weaving Air and Water, she set a weave beneath the ship, camouflaged by a large tidlewave, rocking the Seanchan vessel. As the Whirlpool began to form, Rhia felt a sudden flash of heat, and was thrown from the path of a blazing ball of fire. The Cargo Master laid burnt and dead behind her. “The Cargo Master has fallen!” she yelled it, but could not react, the Seanchan channeler was weaving.
A shield swatted at her, but as she looked around at the waters, the Harbor aflame, the Folk’s vessels sinking and being boarded; she refused. She would not die, she would not be leashed. The Sailsmistress was out, and so Rhia gave the order, as she cut the Seanchan woman’s weave of shielding with thick flows of spirit.
“Retreat!” She bellowed it, her unusually deep voice carrying across the sounds of attack. “We sail to Tanchiko to regroup! Hall the masts, but leave the main, he’s damaged!”
As she spoke, she wove a weave she loathed to create, meant to sink a ship, it gave no true other effect that she had learned. She grasped the Winds, thick flows of air flowing from her into the sky, with the Whirlpool’s help, she began to spin the winds, causing the Seanchan vessel to turn.
Another blast of fire from the sea erupted, missing the ship. The ability to stand straight on such a tumbling deck; well…the winds would make it near impossible for the Seanchan damane. She launched a crushing blast of air into the broad side of the ship as it spun; disabling it’s small life-boats. They would not receive the gift of escape; not after the number of lost she’d just witnessed. Light, but they’d be lucky if one in two of the Sea Folk survived.
As their ship, the Deeprunner sailed away, Rhia continued her work, the whirlpool causing water to mingle with the tornadic winds. She let the weave go, allowing the winds which had been altered, and seas that had been changed, to ride out the storm she’d made. The effects were buffeting the sails, and soon she was forced to turn to helping speed them from her own storm.
She fell to exhaustion as the power slipped from her just as the sun began setting in a red sky. This was not good; nothing would ever be the same.
When she awoke; they were near Tanchiko’s coast. The crew and Sailsmistress grieved and had already put to sea the dead, including the woman’s husband and Cargo Master. They wore the traditional mourning clothes, and it was by a saddened woman with tear filled eyes she was greeted when she sat up in the cabin that was her own.
At first she breathed easy, knowing she wasn’t leashed on a Seanchan ship, forced to fight against her own people. And then she remembered. Her tears were echoed by those of her Sailsmistress. If the Coramoor really had come, why had he not given them all the seas of the land? The Jendai Prophecy said so. Why was this happening?
After changing into appropriate mourning clothes, Rhia and the Sailsmistress emerged on deck, to be greeted by weeping and some still shocked sailors. Battle was not uncommon, destruction, capture, and fights of the One Power was very much so. The Insect like soldiers were talked of as monsters on ships of strange wood. She hugged many, and thanked others.
The quiet rising of the sun was spoiled, as with it the flags of Seanchan ships appeared upon the horizon. Fear struck at her very heart as the lookout yelled from atop the reinforced main mast. She’d only slept a couple of hours, she still felt like a wet rag. Even wet rags had a use on a ship; and she’d have to play her part.
“We cannot fight here today my Windfinder.” The sailsmistress spoke and her voice seemed heavy with regret, and anger. The anger Rhia understood, but she also knew the truth of what the other woman spoke. They had no Cargo Master, and the Sailsmistress was still not up to normal. Rhia was exhausted, and the ship was only half repaired from the damage it had taken. No, they could not fight and win here today. They owed the dead a victory, not a pitiful fail from the start attempt. Other vessels began moving in the harbor, word was out.
“I will guide our Winds and currents, leave the sails down.” Rhia spoke, knowing what she would do would bring her to near uselessness for days. It was dangerous to channel when exhausted; but what choice to live had they? She guided the ship until it reached Tremalking and Winterbiter’s Finger, and then was forced to retire to her rooms as the crew took over sails. They did not stop on the island, it would be next.
While she slept they continued on, until they ran into other Atha'an Miere ships in the Ebou Dar Harbor. There they sought shelter off of the main shore, where an eye could be kept on the horizon. They waited in Ebou Dar as word of Tanchico’s inevitable fate befell those moored there. Sadness overcame the people of the Sea, as the Wavemistress was killed in the fighting; along with several Windfinders taken and ships hierarchy dispatched.
As Illian was given birth from the ashes of a Forsaken ruler; the Coramoor finally agreed to meet with the Mistress of Ships, to discuss the bargain which must be made. This forces the Ships to stay gathered in Ebou Dar, where Rhia worries and bites at her reigns to return to the Seanchan fight. However, she had also changed much in all of this. No longer were Aes Sedai her hatred, her enemy. No, they were like her, women who sought to channel, and do so without a collar around their neck. The Seanchan were the enemy. She would never trust Aes Sedai, no more than one trusted a shark that happened to scare off the shark fish threatening your bate. But they were a tool.
She is still in Ebou Dar, some days taking the small docking boats in to the city for supplies or trade, and a look around. Battle had been brought to the Atha'an Miere, and these water bugs would feel the wrath of the sea’s children. She has heard of Aes Sedai, and their Battle Aes Sedai, the Green ones; and seeks to speak with one so that she may give them information about the Seanchan in return for help in learning to defeat them, channeler against channeler.
Edited by Amore, 07 May 2011 - 12:02 PM.