Debts

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Theren
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Jul 04, 2017 12:21 am

Debts

Post by Theren » Thu May 14, 2020 6:01 pm

Theren kicked at the stone popping out of the soil and was rewarded with a sharp pain through his sturdy farm boots. The lanky teenage boy hopped around, the bells in his braids jangling as he let out a string of curses that he would never have let his mother hear. The old plow horse, Rahaj, neighed with what sounded like laughter at his antics.

“Oh, you find this funny don’t you, you nag?” Theren said warmly, walking over to pet Rahaj’s nose. The plow was well and truly stuck. It seemed that the stone blocking its path was more boulder than anything else. Theren eyed the half-plowed field, deep in the grasslands of Arafel, and cursed his luck once again. He was fourteen, practically a man grown, and he was desperate to escape the farm life. His family had been farming outside the town of Tifan’s Wells for generations, turning the rugged landscape into vital food. He thought he might hate it more than anything in the entire world, though he didn’t tell anyone but Rahaj that.

Theren’s father had served in the Arafellin army, and Theren could not remember a time when he had not been trained in the sword. While he learned his letters and sums from his mum, his father taught him how to use a blade to defend himself and his family. Theren’s father told him he could decide to enlist in the army when he turned seventeen, and it seemed all he could think of these days. Theren would never run away from his responsibilities on the farm, he could not handle that much dishonor, but he did daydream about what it would be like to have an adventure.

Theren was doing just that, daydreaming about leading a force of Arafellins into the Blight to slay the forces of the Dark One, when Rahaj let out a panicked scream. He jerked out of his reverie, his already large eyes somehow growing wider as he scanned the fields. He spotted the smoke wafting from where he knew his home to be just as he saw the small group of trollocs charging into the field. His hands were steady as he unbuckled Rahaj from the plow, setting the old horse free to run away, but he knew he had been too slow. Drawing the large knife he kept at his waist, he turned to face the oncoming band.

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Theren awoke, his body aching, head pounding, and a searing pain across his face. He touched gingerly at the bandages wrapping his entire head, with only a hole for his nose and mouth. “Water, please” he croaked, wincing at the pain of using his split lips. A tin cup was pressed to his mouth and he drank greedily, the cool water splashing onto his bandages and chest.

“Come, Vandene,” a woman’s voice said from somewhere farther away. “He is too far gone, save your energy.”

Theren groaned then, as he came more into himself. He thought something may be broken inside of him. The pressure and pain were much worse than his face. “Help me, please,” he whispered, struggling for air. There was a brief but shocking chill that rocked Theren then. He gasped and bolted upright in his cot before passing out. The bandage on his face slowly began to turn red, but his breathing seemed closer to normal.

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The bells of Shol Arbela always made Theren smile, twisting the jagged scar that decorated his face from hairline to neck. Theren had made a home in the City of Ten Thousand Bells since the raid that had disfigured him and cost him his family, but he could never quite get over the sound of it. Bells were always ringing, whether it be in someone’s hair or a tower, the cacophony made many outsiders uncomfortable, but to Theren they were a celebration of life. Here, in all this sound and fury, was where humanity truly made their stand against the Dark One.

He was seventeen now and had spent the last three years living in Shol Arbela with his mother’s cousin, a kindly baker. Theren spent the years training, working to hone his body and mind. He no longer daydreamed of adventure, he knew now what that adventure looked like. Instead he focused on finding the ko’di, the technique of stripping away all else but the fight before him. His skill with the blade grew quickly, and he soon found himself besting soldiers more than twice his age.

All this time, Theren never forgot the night he awoke, blinded by a bandage. He knew now that his injuries would have killed him had someone not intervened on his behalf. He remembered the name Vandene, and knew that it belonged to the sisters who lived on the edge of town. He had written her a letter, once he was fully recovered and in Shol Arbela, asking how he could repay the great debt he owed her. His honor depended on it, he wrote.

Weeks later a simple envelope appeared, and inside it a short note, written in a masculine hand:

Vandene is much too busy to write. The only way to restore a debt such as this is through a life of service. When you are old enough, head to Tar Valon, and seek out Coulin Gaidin. Perhaps he will be able to make use of you.

Theren touched his pocket to be sure the paper was still there. As he rode his horse out the gates of Shol Arbela, the bells in his hair keeping time with his horse, his large eyes took on a determined look. He would train to be a Gaidin, seek to serve as a warder to an Aes Sedai. He would repay his debt.

Ominas
Posts: 129
Joined: Thu Jun 18, 2015 4:07 am

Re: Debts

Post by Ominas » Fri May 15, 2020 2:22 am

Very nice

Arbies
Posts: 39
Joined: Sun Oct 27, 2019 2:02 pm

Re: Debts

Post by Arbies » Fri May 15, 2020 2:35 am

Not enough beef or cheddar.

Ominas
Posts: 129
Joined: Thu Jun 18, 2015 4:07 am

Re: Debts

Post by Ominas » Fri May 15, 2020 2:37 am

The beef and cheddar is their worst sandwich you weirdo

Jullien
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri May 08, 2020 10:05 pm

Re: Debts

Post by Jullien » Fri May 15, 2020 8:44 am

They're ALL their worst sandwich...

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