It was so bloody hot outside. Dakan had been traveling this blasted wasteland for near a week without shelter. What he was looking for, not even he could say. He had encountered no resistance thus far from the black-eyed savages called the Aiel, perhaps they were simply toothless desert cats not as fierce as their reputation. Thoughts halted as he came upon a small camp. And hopefully water.
He ducked into the tent where the old woman had set up shop looking nearly as surprised as she did. The rustic beard and sword he carried sounded alarms in her head. "What is this! Get out of here! You do not belong here!" The woman shouted and spat as she struck him with whatever nearby heavy object was within reach, her old face twisted with anger, shock, and disdain.
The wetlander smirked as he lifted his sword, turning from defensive to striking posture. That shining blade was the last thing the old woman ever saw. One swift turn of his wrist, and a spray of crimson blood painted a clean line on the dusty tan of the tent. The woman dropped into a crumpled heap of skin and bones.
What madness was this? Slaying women, shopkeepers...Why do I not care?
The Companion rubbed his hand hard over his rustic beard with a sigh into the empty tent. "Well, they're not going to like this, I think."
As Dakan emerged from the tent, sword drawn and stained red, he saw hundreds of them. Their light colored eyes staring silently at him. Almost as one they deftly donned their black veils. The lone wetlander turned slowly, sliding into Leopard in High Grass.
"A Clan Chief is Dead! Women who are not Maidens, Dead! Silversmiths, crafters! How many more?"
The sound of spears rattled on bucklers was enough to shake her very lungs. The roar of tens of thousands resounded from the stone walls in the sept. Ilda Caisn, Wise One of the Nine Valleys sept of the Taardad Aiel, watched from her perch of stone and dust between two other women as the leading men rallied their spears.
"Yet he did not stop there! He came again and again in the cold night to strike at our heart! This is no man... This is a plague we must burn from existence!"
The living forest of mottled caidin sor and sharp, deadly spear tips bristling, filled the valley with the thunder of vengeance. Yet the wetlanders will never hear a sound.
How he escaped the Three Fold Land is beyond her. She lifted her chin with a grim smile of satisfaction. But the wetlands will run red with the blood of Illian until this man is found and he pays.
King Mattin Stepaneos den Balgar paced the floor, hands clasped behind his back, before his once trusted personal body guard and one of the Companions. They were alone and his boots rang against the pristine marble floor. Early morning sunlight streamed in the wide glass windows, bathing the empty hall in glorious light. Dakan stood at attention with his back to the light.
"I should discharge you. Put you in the stocks. Have you flogged! Bloody fine way to pike off the savages, son. Have you taken complete leave of your senses? The King sighed gruffly. You know you are lucky to be alive."
The great double doors, emblazoned with two prowling leopards, swung open to admit a serving girl bearing a silver tray of tea and soft bread.
There is no way I could let it out that one of my own Companions went bloody berserk in the Waste. But how far can I trust this man to go unleashed? Mattin stopped his pacing to consider Dakan face to face.
The silver platter crashed to the floor with a head splitting clatter. Both men swung heads to the serving girl to see her staring open mouthed at the window.
There, rushing down the hillside like a violent flood of spears, death on foot came. The people and soldiers swept under the tide as it flowed into the city.
The King felt his heart clench for a fraction of a moment before both men moved decisively for the doors. He knew that a lot of people were going to die.
For RP announcements of the Westlands.
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