PDA

View Full Version : The Flame to Cairhien, Part 1


RogueSavior
11-05-2009, 01:43 AM
In the Twin Towers thread, i said I'd write the invasion of Cairhien that Danette, Stormy and I planned. This is the first part of what I'm writing for that, culminating in the invasion itself.

****

Before this begins, a cast of characters for the unknowing, and a note of thanks to Danette, SBX(Dycin), Van D’Vere, Sinistrum, Stormy and Gnarled (whose Theoryland name I cannot recall, but know existed) for being wonderfully creative with their characters - I hope to not have botched them too poorly, but I’ve read back as far as I can to strive to remain consistent.

The Characters:

Danette, The Flame of Hope, Former Amyrlin of the White Tower. Ruler of Amatsiru, a city-state between Andor and the Borderlands. She has lost her memory.

Gaul, Her Warder, and Husband. The Car’a’carn

Ambrok Chiqel, an Under-Commander of Cavalry in the Ever Victorious Army of the Seanchan, also an Isai of the Valley of the Three Towers under the false name of Elriq.

Gnarled, an Ogier with a dark and mysterious past

Dycin, an Asha’man of one tower or the other (just noticed The WoT Den died, and I honestly can‘t remember…), Danette’s recently Bound Warder

Ven D’Vere, an Asha’man of the White Tower, and the Blue Order. Of Some Renown.

Here goes nothing! Note, this early part will include lots of blatant plagiarism

Ambrok strode through the main gates, fuming at Bane, his Commanders, this accursed city full of marath'damane, life in general. The one person he'd thought sure wouldn't be able to channel in this Light-Forsaken "Valley" could. Next thing he'd learn, bloody Kartael would be able to channel.

Ambrok strode through the streets toward the Flame and Fang, intending to ask Timothe where he'd lodged Kelriq. There had been a Stables in the middle of the entry plaza. Pausing in the street, Ambrok turned back towards it. It was a distance to the Flame and Fang, and Ambrok might as well check there first.

Weaving through the crowd, Ambrok found his way to the door of the Public Stables. Stepping through the door, he stared, awed by the enormous presence of the stables. If Kelriq was here, locating him would take a while, unless...

A woman walked towards him, holding the reins of a tall Gelding. Stepping past her, Ambrok pulled a whistle from his pockets. Ignoring the attention such a tool was liable to receive, he blew a quick cadence, one that was sure to catch Kelriq's attention if he heard it. As the whistle's shriek carried through the stables, Ambrok heard the satisfactory sound of a horse rearing. Looking for it's source, Ambrok saw his proud Stallion standing in the difference. Stepping through the rows of horses, Ambrok reached the stall holding his real companion.

Hopping the gate, he stroked the horse's muzzle. “Long time no see, my friend. Have you been playing nicely with the other horses?“

He turned, to notice the woman who had been leading the Gelding storming towards him in obvious unhappiness. "Well, young sir, simply asking would've worked better than inflicting noise upon my ears and those of my horses!" She paused to collect herself, brushing hair out of her face, “Glad I am you found your beast, although for your future reference, all stallions live on the south hall of this stable, the mares as you would expect on the north hall, with geldings and assorted donkeys, mules, and striped horses on the east and west. You will remember this henceforward! And you will call a farrier sooner rather than later, since I can tell from here that your prancing stallion needs a new set of shoes."

At hearing the woman's concern about the state of Kelriq's horseshoes, Ambrok reached down and picked up the stallion's foreleg. Tsking at himself, and, also, at Timothe, Ambrok shrugged his shoulders. He'd have to return to the Isai barracks to get enough money to pay for having his horse re-shoed. He doubted that Isai had their horses re-shoed as standard maintenance because of the woman's comment, and he turned to her.

Placing the whistle back in his pocket, he apologized for disturbing the horses. After all, he wouldn't need the whistle again. He knew where Kelriq was stored, if only a very general area.

"How much would it cost me to have Kelriq reshod? I've only recently arrived, and I'm an Isai." There was an off chance after all, that Isai had their horses reshod for free.

"And from the looks of your horse, ye're not exactly poverty-stricken. But in answer to your other question that maybe you should've asked, stabling is free for Isai. Shoeing usually runs about a silver piece per hoof, but Isai get a break there, as well - although sometimes I wonder why. You'll be charged 4 coppers per hoof, and a fine job the stable farrier and his helper, Donidil, will do with it, too."

Smiling at the woman's complement of Kelriq, Ambrok hurried to the Isai barracks to grab his money. Isai did get a discount! What luck!

Hurrying up to his bed, he gathered his money pouch.

Noticing a note on top of his table, he put it in his pocket. He'd read it later, he had to hurry and get Kelriq shoes. The Stallion had practically danced when he'd seen him. If there was something they both needed, it was a good run.

Ambrok hurried back to the public stables, hands on his money pouch. He hoped that it wouldn't take too long to shoe Kelriq, he needed to ride.

Seeing the woman who had scolded him earlier, he walked up to her and carefully got her attention.

"Excuse me, ma'am. Can you direct me to the stable farrier's? Kelriq does need new shoes." The woman seemed to be exasperated with Ambrok’s neediness, but indicated the direction he needed to go.

The blacksmith pulled a few times on the bellows at his forge, thrust a curved piece of metal into the red coals, held it there, then pulled it out with the tongs and started shaping it some more with his lighter hammer. He was dark haired and possessed a stocky build common in the north, but with slabs of heavy muscle built up from decades of work at the forge. He had the usual burn scars on his forearms, and a perpetual squint from the glare of the metal. Standing nearby was a handsome black-and-white gelding, maybe 16 hand high, with a deep chest - perhaps a hunt horse. Holding the gelding was a man who looked as if he might be heavier than the horse!

The giant seemed to be talking to the horse, keeping him calm as the farrier filed the hoof and prepared to nail on the shoe. At that moment the gelding snorted, and the giant instantly calmed him but looked to see what had startled him. A young man approached, leading a fine-looking stallion, so naturally the gelding was a bit nervous. His huge face was split by a friendly smile. "Don't come too close - still putting ashoe on Dahvee, here." His voice seemed to come from someplace deep underground.

Ambrok stopped at the giant's warning, and looked for someplace to tie Kelriq. Seeing a post, he looped Kelriq's reins around it and sat down. He'd have to wait his turn.

After sitting for a short while with nothing to do, he remembered the note that had been on his nightstand. It was probably from one of the Isai he'd left earlier. Well, now was as good a time as any to read it. Opening it up, he stared at the words before him...

A little news that might be of interest to you: A minion of the Storm Leader, General Cor Sinistrum, holds the ancient city of Cairhien under an iron fist.

The farrier finished the paint gelding's shoe, cleaned it up, and grunted to his aide, who led the horse away and returned a moment later. He then looked at Ambrok, then more closely at the stallion. "Ahhhh, I see. Good you came. Well, let's get to work on him, then."

The giant took the stallion, stripped off his tack and replaced the bridle with a simple leather halter, then brought him to stand near the forge, and the farrier commenced working on him.

Ambrok sat on the bench, reading and re-reading the note. Who had sent it? How did they know about Ambrok's interest in the Storm Leader? He lost track of time as he was deep in south.

Noticing that Kelriq had been reshoed, Ambrok dug in his pouch for the money to pay for the re-shoeing . To thank the man for the quick service, he added 4 coppers. All-in-all, he handed the man 20 coppers, and, thanking him, led Kelriq back to the stallion's stall to grab his saddle.

Securing the straps of his saddle around the horse, Ambrok clambered up.

"I'll be back late," he informed the mistress of Horse, lingering nearby and leading two horses, "if you're gone, can I just put him back in the same stall?"

She grinned up at him. "There's always someone here. But I would not want to let that keep you from putting your horse up yourself. The same stall is fine, of course. Hold - here." She reached into a pouch on her belt, pulled out a hoofpick. "Take a hoofpick on your ride; the Valley roads can be rocky, and even the the sulcae on your beast's hooves won't be too deep now, he can still pick up a stone."

Her eyes twinkled. "And when you come back from your doubtless exhilaratin' gallop, you will of course take time to walk the lad till he cools down, then curry and brush him?" Still grinning, she raised her eyebrows. "And you'll be wantin' to know that the grooming gear is kept in each of the tack rooms, midway in each hall. And late in the evening, cross-tying in the aisle is okay." She grinned again, said "Off with you then," and gave the stallion a light slap on the rump, then turned to go back about her business as Ambrok galloped off into the city.

Nodding at the woman's answer, Ambrok slowed Kelriq to a walk through the gates and Foregate. Reaching the edge of town, he turned off to the east, galloping in a circle around the Valley.

As Kelriq began to tire, Ambrok pulled up on the edge of a clearing, and pulled out his note again.

A little news that might be of interest to you: A minion of the Storm Leader, General Cor Sinistrum, holds the ancient city of Cairhien under an iron fist.

There was something he was missing in the note. What it meant was clear - Cor Sinistrum, a minion of Tsorovan'm'hael, held sway over the land of the Rising Sun - ! His dream came back to him in a rush, he stood on a hill looking out over a Rising Sun that emanated evil! He must go to Cairhien. Only by following links to the nae'blis could he find the nae'blis, and regain his Empress', may she live forever, control of the Empire of Seanchan.

Folding his note, he put it back in his pocket. He looked around, noticing a man leaning up against a tree on the edge of the clearing. The man spread his hands wide. "Excuse me, I seem to have lost my way. Can you direct me to the Village of the Towers?"

Turning to him, Ambrok was surprised. He hadn't even seen the man there when he entered the clearing, or before he’d pulled out the note. Ambrok pointed over the new man's shoulders. "It's behind you. Turn, and walk straight. You can't miss it."

The man didn't even turn around, he kept coming towards Ambrok. A few feet away, Kelriq shied away, and this was all the advanced warning that Ambrok had. The man had pulled a dagger out of his sleeve, and his slow pace had turned into a running jump.

Spurring Kelriq, Ambrok let the horse pull him out of harm's way. He felt the horse lash out with it's rear foot, and the new horseshoe met the landing man's chest with a thud.

Satisfied that the horse had done his job, Ambrok and Kelriq darted eastward, weaving through the trees, knees gripping the saddle. He held on as Kelriq avoided stray roots and stones.

Breaking free of the trees, Ambrok found himself on a road that was growing empty with the setting sun.

Who WAS that guy? What did he want with me?

Sitting upright, Ambrok wheeled Kelriq about to look back at the woods. He hoped the man wasn't still following him - that Kelriq had done enough of a number on him to discourage pursuit.

Ambrok and Kelriq made their way along the road, heading ever eastward. Ambrok kept himself from looking back - Kelriq had to have disinterested the man.

He rode on until nightfall, and slept under a bush that night.

RogueSavior
11-05-2009, 01:46 AM
I started the story with Ambrok leaving the Valley because, well, he's my character, and I know him best. For this reason, as well, most of the POVs I use will probably end up being his.

Again, I'm not claiming anything up until the actual Launch of the Invasion as individual or original work - it's rather a more streamlined blatant plagiarism which will let non Twin Towers folks know what went on to immediately trigger the invasion. I also realized I left out Frenzy from my thanks before - she was especially heavily involved in the parts which take place in the Aiel Waste.