Shattered Porcelin – A White Tower Mini-series

...for in character discussions, contributions and Wheel of Time themed stories.
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Re: Shattered Porcelin – A White Tower Mini-series

Post by Chloro » Thu Feb 01, 2024 7:44 pm

Minutes passed as Chloro cradled Gikarta in her arms, her face still a mask of serene calm, but silent tears slowly rolling down each cheek. The cold wind of a damp night in Tar Valon pulled her from her agonized trance. The city was still under attack, and the battle weaves still raged on, more intensely than they had before. The Moon was high in the sky as fire, and flashes of air pulsed all around her in each direction, woman channeling, some to defend others to attack. Men waving their hands as fire balls and flame wheels appeared.

With a heavy heart Chloro bent her head down kissing the girl’s forehead before pulling her eyes closed with fair skinned fingers and gently lowering the Accepted’s body to the paving stone. A delicate hand removed the great serpent ring from the girl. Chloro nestled the ring with care in her pouch as she felt two women who could channel approach. Standing gracefully, the time to grieve would be later she held her grip on saidar pulling more in, and then more still till she knew she could drink no more. Flows of air, water and spirit swirled around her in an illuminated mass.

Turning she faced the women to see a man in his sixties with them, his face scarred by what she could only assume was a weave of fire gone wrong. Sensing her strength and seeing the amount of Saidar seething around her one of the women shrieked and fled, the other dropped to their knees begging for forgiveness and not to be killed. The man looked on with a vile grin.

“You might scare the wenches, but I’ll make sure you remember your place witch.” He voiced.

Chloro, had talked enough, she knew the oaths, she could not strike first, not if he was not a threat to her. She stood there staring him down, daring him to do what he thought would work. With a stroke of luck, she might just avenge Gikarta and rid the world of one madman at the same time.

Seconds pasted, and the man growled before moving his hands, a fire ball bursting into existence between them the size of a large watermelon. Raising his right arm as if to throw, he launched the fire ball at Chloro’s stomach.

“Counter that you…..” The madman’s eyes widened as he watched the ball.

Chloro raised her hands, right hand palm down at bosom eight, left hand pam up at navel height as flows of air swirled creating a vacuum. Without show of effort the fire ball suspended three inches away from Chloro and flicked as weaves of air slowly, so the man could see it snuffed out every last flame. Flows of spirit and air swirled in front of her in a mass before she pushed her hands forward launching the man into the wall of a near by house. Hard enough to knock him out but not enough to kill, her heart grieved but she had taken oaths, oaths that she would obey until the mother’s last embrace.

Blue silks rustled in the distance as she caught Rafela Cindal and her muscular bronzed beefcake of a warder. The blue stopped in her tracks looking at the mass swirling around Chloro and embraced pulling near her strength as well. The young Aes Sedai was not as strong as Chloro, or Mother, but she could handle more of the one power than any senior sitter. Rafela nodded and turned towards the north as Chloro did the same.

Moonlight bathed the three moved, weaves flashing, enemy channelers being incapacitated or disappearing in flashes of light as Aes Sedai about the city began to repel and push out the weaker part of the invading force. The ground still rumbled, the fires still burned, and channelers on both sides fought on as the night continued in chaos.

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Re: Shattered Porcelin – A White Tower Mini-series

Post by Coshe » Thu Feb 01, 2024 10:11 pm

Coshe squeezed through the gate, moving forwards as quickly as she could, her right side still bruised and sore.

“I probably have a broken rib or two,” she thought, as she tried to take a deeper breath and was only met with pain. When she looked up through her grimace, the moonlight helped her to see across the courtyard and what she saw astounded and shocked her. People lay scattered across the grass and pathways. She could see the white dresses of novices covering some, accepted dresses on others. Between them were men and women, some dragonsworn, some just innocents caught by those zealots. “This was a safe place away from the evils of the world, murder and death. It is a beacon of safety, a bastion for what is right and these monsters would try and destroy that,” she growled. How could they do this to people trying to learn how to wield the power to help others, and not harm themselves, some of these novices were barely off of their mothers apron strings and yet now they lay here their lives changed forever or in the worst cases snuffed out. As the realisation of what had happened struck her, she looked towards the tower itself and could see saidar being weaved, could feel it striking out. Coshe embraced saidar again.

“I need to see what I can do to prevent this from continuing, I need to help these people. I have to stay calm and not let anger control my actions,” she repeated to herself as she moved carefully forward. Her sparring practices with Sarinda Sedai came rushing back to her as she slowly moved through the grass, watching every tree and every bush as she moved forward.

“An enemy who desires to hurt you or those you care about could be anywhere, do not take stupid risks,” she repeated in her own head. “I should head to the warders practice yard, Coulin is a blademaster, a warder that could strike fear into any enemy’s heart. If there is anyone making a stand it would be there.”

As Coshe moved closer to the practice yard, she could hear the sounds of steel clanging against steel, and the feeling of saidar being lashed out in random directions. As she reached the corner leading to the yard she, took a deep breath before Coshe turned the corner.

As she turned, she saw the unmistakable Coulin moving deftly between targets, ducking weaving and swinging his sword. It was almost like watching a cat play with mice as he brought down anyone raising a sword against him. Mixed in between were faces she recognized, warders fighting off the crowd of Dragonsworn. In the middle of the nearby circle, Coshe could make out an accepted, blood trickling down from her forehead, weaving out streaks of fire at anyone who got through. The novices seemed to be spent, holding their staves trying to fend off any remaining.

Coshe reached out and began to pull in weaves of earth, fire and air, aiming for the ground on the outskirts of the circle. She caused the ground to erupt at the feet of the dragonsworn, launching stone, dirt and people in different directions. She pulled weaves together, launching a fireball at two men who turned to face her. Screams came from where they stood, but died down as the former men collapsed.

The circle opened, providing a way to escape and the warders swiftly moved in to widen that gap allowing the accepted and novices a path to safety. They began to run, and Coshe watched carefully as they ran through the gap when she felt a tingle of saidar coming from her left. THWACK, the force of air hit her, knocking the wind out of her and throwing her to the right, sliding across the dirt.

“Maybe a Novice made a mistake, maybe they couldn’t control it while trying to help,” Coshe thought. She looked up and what she saw shocked her. A woman dressed in armor moved towards her weaving. A wilder? With the dragonsworn? Why? Why would she be here hurting these innocents? She saw the weaves increasing, what could she be preparing to push out? “I need to be prepared, if only I knew how to slice a weave. I could stop her from what she is doing in her tracks.” Earth, she recognized, and Spirit began to interweave…. Wait it couldn’t be? The wilder moved closer, her eyes focused with hatred on Coshe. “If she adds fire to that weave….” Coshe’s mouth fell wide open, “it’s incinerate.” Coshe began to weave fire as quickly as she could. “I need to throw her off and make her miss!” It was a long shot but she had to try. Coshe let the flames come from her fingertips at the wilder as her eyes seemed to be blinded by an intense flash of light.

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Re: Shattered Porcelin – A White Tower Mini-series

Post by Maddy » Thu Feb 01, 2024 10:57 pm

Turning from the now whimpering Male Channeler with a sigh of dismay, Maddy focused back on the wounded. Out of the corner of her eye she saw one of the newer Valon Guards carrying a small bundle. She watched as he gingerly laid it under the tree, whilst frantically searching the yard, hoping to catch someone's eye. Locking on his gaze, Maddy moved over to him, feeling his anguish as she gently asked him, “Are you alright?” She put a kind hand on his shoulder before crouching down to inspect the body he had so carefully placed. He looked at Maddy in desperation pleading, “Light save us. Please help this small one” Saying that, he stood and limped back out towards the City, the dark evening enveloping him. Maddy sighed with a sense of sorrow, for him, for herself, for everyone.

Gritting her teeth, she braced to the reality that this was a hurt child. Placing a torch beside her she opened the blankets, revealing a very frail elderly woman. Feeling a sense of relief, but also determination to help, Maddy’s face tightened in resolve as she firmly placed her hand on the woman’s chest feeling a steady heartbeat. The old one’s face was pale, her breathing shallow, with no apparent wounds. Trying to retrace the steps for diagnosing and healing, she reached for her notepad only to find her bag no longer hanging at her side. Her brilliant green eyes brightened in eagerness as her plan formed. With a sense of resolve, she thought “I will try delving”, something she had only seen performed once in a long ago class.

Furrowing her delicate brows, she struggled to remember the correct weaves. First things first she thought as she allowed the one source to fill her with its familiar warmth and completeness. Her eyes closed in concentration as she began to channel what she thought were the required elements. Blocking out the noises in the courtyard, her full attention directed to weaving the flows …..,pushing, pushing only to sink in exhaustion as she felt them falter and disappear Releasing saidar with a sense of defeat, she knew the woman's malady was beyond her skill, Giving the patients forehead a gentle touch, Maddy moved on, motioning for one of the helpers to take over,

Taking a moment to reassess the turmoil in the courtyard she realized the fight had moved. The echoes of the raging battle still seethed, but sounded distant and intermittent. Laras was sitting on the bench using her apron to wipe the beads of sweat off her face. The sounds in the courtyard had depleted to a low murmur of moans, coughing and quiet soothing voices. She felt relief as she watched the Aes Sedai from the Yellow Ajah moving around the yard with their light balls and bandages, making their magic, healing what she could not. Sneaking away, she skirted out to the hall, picking her way through the rubble, glass and bodies, some alive and some still.

Fear and anticipation surged through her as she crept through the dark corridor to the kitchen. Peeking around the door she found herself face to face with a wild haired, filthy woman. Startled they both reached for the one source. Maddy knew she was too late as she felt her enemies weave hit her like a slap in the face. Blinded, she instinctively wove fire and earth feeling the warm green healing restore her sight. Terror and panic driving her, she stabbed wildly with her dagger. She felt her thrust hit bone with a loud crunch and winced at the woman's painful grunt. Hastily she drew the weaves together forming a Flame Strike that hit the Dragonsworn square in the face making her scream in pain as her smoking body hit the floor. Maddy snatched the rough woolen cloak from the burnt corpse, swiftly wrapping it tightly around her own shivering frame. Still in shock, but running on adrenaline, she lifted the hood over her dark hair, and proceeded nervously towards the doors and the City beyond.

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Re: Shattered Porcelin – A White Tower Mini-series

Post by Erulisse » Sat Feb 03, 2024 5:32 pm

The square was wreathed in the smoke of a dozen fires. The illumination from the blazes was diffused, flickering red and orange on the white walls of the Tower as though the building itself was ablaze. The eastern gate was a gaping maw, blasted to splinters that now clung to the twisted metalwork like misaligned teeth. A company of the Tower Guard had tried to make a stand here. Their bodies were blackened and burned, or burst like gorey red pustules in a semicircle around the gate. Here and there pieces of armor glowed with red orange heat as they cooled. The stink was incredible, a mixture of burned blood, cooked meat and the fecal stench of burst entrails and voided bowels. It stung Erulisse’s eyes and made her gore rise. The sight conjured phantom images of the Other World, oddly overlaid with the flapping of Dragon Banners that didn’t exist anywhere beyond her mind. It was a nightmare rendered in smoke and moonlight.

The Brown Sister crossed the square as quickly as she dared, a dark hooded cloak taken from a corpse wrapped around her body. The cobblestones were tacky with partially burnt blood. As she passed the charred corpses she nearly lost her footing as she tread on a handful of disarticulated fingers that crunched sickeningly beneath her boots. The sounds of battle were all around, and she gripped the hilt of a looted shortsword beneath her cloak, fingers tightening and relaxing in rhythm with her heart. She passed through the gate without challenge, feeling a degree of confidence building in long familiar surroundings.

An agonized scream came from the central hall and a figure burst from a doorway ahead. They were wreathed from head to toe in flame so bright that even sex was impossible to tell. The figure ran blindly past as Erulisse pressed herself into an alcove, bright white teeth visible as heat shriveled the fatty tissues of lips twisted into a now soundless scream.

“We will see the Karaethon Cycle fulfilled!” a man in a tattered black and gold shrieked as he emerged behind the burning figure, hands raised exultantly.

“The untrained Tower shall be broken and bend….” he trailed off in a slur as the threads of spirit put him to sleep. His charge was arrested drunkenly and he stumbled to the floor, breaking his fall with a hand before sprawling against the wall in unnaturally enforced slumber.

“I doubt,” Erulisse said grimly as she crossed to his somnolent form, “that you can even spell Karaethon.” With practiced ease she thrust the point of her looted sword through his throat. Wakefulness returned for the few seconds it took his life blood to pour out of the dreadful wound, hands coming feebly to the blade only to fall away without quite touching it as the fevered light drained from his eyes. Erulisse wiped the blood from the sword point on his cloak by reflex.

She was not here for this. Others would win this fight if it was to be won.

Rather than climbing higher into the Tower she slipped downwards, following familiar routes into the vaults beneath the common floors. She had not planned for this, but the Pattern was giving her a chance that she could never have engineered on her own. She had no intention of wasting it.

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Re: Shattered Porcelin – A White Tower Mini-series

Post by Aleera » Sat Feb 03, 2024 6:19 pm

The good men and women of this particular Tar Valon neighborhood did what was needed. They wanted to flee; she could tell. Perhaps she should have even let them or encouraged them. Instead she guided them and they listened. They knew, most likely, that she was not an Aes Sedai, but they listened nonetheless. Their expressions were hollow, empty, desperate for something to fill the void rather than the fear that threatened to overwhelm.

She identified a couple of people who knew some basic first aid, and helped guide them in triaging those who had been injured and directing her to the most injured. To those, she administered Healing if they were willing, and otherwise directed the pair with some basic skill to do what they could. She continued until past dark, until the moon cast its light on them all; until she began to feel exhausted.

It was a lot, on all of their parts, but it was not enough.

She walked among the fallen; among the old and among the young. So much potential had been lost this day. She imagined what could have been for each of them, she imagined their successes and their failures, their joy and their despair. She imagined their absence in the world.

She bent over each, touched their foreheads, and then closed their eyes.

A dark-haired man, middle-aged, a dockworker. He was married and had three children.

An older man, hands and face leathered. He had no family, just a neighbor who looked after him.

A short man, balding. He lived with his brother and his family.

A woman with green eyes and blonde hair, in her thirties. Her husband had gone north and would not return for a month. Who would care for their children?

A young man, no older than her, dark hair cut short. He had dreamed of marrying his childhood sweetheart and had just asked her father’s permission.

A young woman, red of hair, in her twenties. She had fled a terrible situation to the south, and just arrived. No one here knew her or would weep for her.

A young girl, hair braided, not more than seven. Her mother held her in her arms, inconsolable.

She wept for each of them and softly sang:

Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circling flight.
I am the soft star-shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there; I did not die.

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Re: Shattered Porcelin – A White Tower Mini-series

Post by Chloro » Wed Feb 28, 2024 7:40 pm

With a heavy heart we bring this story to a close. In loving memory of Erulisse Sedai, long may she haunt the Tower Guards that survived her... (she is known for leading the most amount of tower master mobs to their untimely demise!)

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