Played on 2004/09/19
As written by the hand of Be'hlarah
11th Day of Danu, 999 NE
I awake late in the morning, the sun is already almost at its peak, but I slept right through everything. I was totally exhausted. Why ever did I stay awake to await Kheldar's words about the room? I just had to know if I wasn't going crazy. But if I just would have gone to my sleeping bag on time I would at least have had a normal night's rest. Kheldar's words just simply blew me away, there was no room under the main building. All there was was a basement stairs. As if they wanted to make a room there in the past but they gave it up after making the stairs. Was it all just a bad dream? Am I going crazy? Why am I doubting myself, I know something happened to Eadrica and I know I was in the forest. No! I am definately not going mad, I have to at least believe my own thoughts and I will!
There is not much we can do from here anymore, we need to tell the other sisters about what happened. And I need their support and strength in the One Power to help us clear this up. We shall go back to Salidar and ask their advice. This small mission of gaining experience and using our skills to becoming an Aes Sedai has gone all awry. We need a fresh point of view and the years of experience the other sisters have.
After this is decided we get all our things and make ready to journey back to Salidar.
The day passes slowly as I am deep in thought, I let my horse make it's own decisions how to follow Tryana's horse. Luckily without problems we reach the bridge again when the night falls. We make camp again in just the same spot we did the last time we came upon the bridge. I can almost see Eadrica sitting there on the log where she made her bed last time. I definately need sleep and I sure am tired enough to not have any too troubled dreams. But can I trust my dreams after all this? After dinner I make my bed quickly and quickly crawl into it. Before I fall asleep I see Tryana and Eleya working on weaves together. How can they concentrate enough to learn new spells at a time like this? But before I can think to much my eyes close by themselves and I am fast asleep.
12th Day of Danu, 999 NE
I awake refreshened. The sun hasn't risen yet, but this is a good thing, the heat during the day is almost too much to bear at times. How can it be so hot in the middle of the winter? Eleya tells us it will snow tomorrow but how can this be with the weather we have had lately? I decide not to think too much of the weather, there are already enough things I can make no sense of. Sisters with more weather experience will probably already be wrecking their brains on it.
Time to continue our journey to Salidar, I will be glad to arrive there and just simply scrub some pans or clean the beds and having the other sisters think about our situation for a bit.
As I am totally enveloped in my thoughts about what happened to us, Tryana suddenly stops her horse and points to the ground while saying things about the tracks below us. It seems that 50 or so horses have passed this way. To Salidar no less. They were still expecting straggling sisters to come in, but not a group as big as 50. Whatever can this mean? Tadra can see from the tracks that the horses were ridden in formation, all with people on them and the horses and hooves are well kept. Combining that and the direction they came from the word 'Whitecloaks' jumps to mind. Oh no! More things happening. We must find out if anything has happened.
Kheldar and Tadra quickly dismount and move of into the forest to have a closer look at where these tracks lead and what who they are. After a short while Tadra comes running back with news that Whitecloaks have taken over Salidar. I am not wise in the ways of reconnaissance, but it strikes me odd that she comes running back instead of moving as slowly and silently as she disappeared into the trees. But she ensures us that she has not been seen. I suggest that we move a little to the north and off the path for safety anyway. I had not even noticed, but Kheldar was already back too. Quite a more appropriate approach of return at this time if you ask me.
As we move north off the road they explain to us that Salidar and almost all its buildings are in ruin and that the Whitecloaks are guarding the place. My whole body shivers at the thought what might have happened to our sisters. Have they been captured? Have they been killed? Escaped? I can hardly believe that they came uppon them in surprise, they are full sisters. Wise in the ways of the One Power, they will surely have had time to act and escape or evade when confronted by these horrible men. We have to find out what happened exactly, we need their help. I dread the thought that it is them that need our help. I need to be strong, for my sister and for the group, sisters of Tar Valon should be decisive and help the world. We shall do our part and find out what happened. Some of our little group want to contact Egwene to tell her of the proceedings, but I advocate to find out more information first before we have to worry the already full head of our Amyrlin Seat.
We decide that Kheldar and Tadra will go for a better look again, to get as much information as possible. I ask them to look for a good place within 40 meters of some of the more important Whitecloaks so I can try and hear what they speak of. I have learned a weave for this special purpose. I also ask them to see if they can find a lone Whitecloak we mind be able to subdue, to take his clothes. After a while they come back to report that only the main building is left. No horses can be seen and it is almost impossible to get close enough to eavesdrop.
No horses means either that they have been hidden or that a lot of Whitecloaks have already moved on. This might mean that there are even more of them than we guessed by the tracks we found earlier. We will have to search the surroundings of the village first before we can draw any conclusions on this though. My thoughts that it is better to have a look in the morning for signs of travel is set aside as we think they will probably have left the main path to the east towards the main north-south road. But this idea proves untrue, after traveling in a wide bend around the village towards the easy road, we find no new tracks of any kind on the main path to the east. More time wasted it seems, what are we to do? I guess the morning will tell us more, we need sleep now.
13th Day of Danu, 999 NE
The morning drags away as we move around the village to find any tracks whatsoever to help us figure out what might have happened to our fellow sisters and to the horses. Our hope dwindles as we are almost around and we still haven't found anything worth noting. How can they all have disappeared? This does not bode well for the Sisters. Or us for that matter, we have only bad news to tell Egwene. No, we did not find a Black Sister, we just lost them all. But then we see something moving towards the village and hope comes back a little -- even though we have no idea what it is. Kheldar decides to go and investigate to see who or what might be there. We stand and wait for his return.
It does not take long before we can hear shouts coming from where Kheldar went. Whitecloaks he seems to be shouting. I feel my fellow sisters around me embracing the Source as I do the same. I immediately feel better as the Power flows through me. I quickly grab Kheldar's horse and start riding towards him so we can make our escape, we are not ready to fight Whitecloaks now, specially not without Eadrica. As we ride close we see Kheldar running away from a Whitecloak. As I can finally see him closing in I quickly make a turn with the horses so he can jump on and so we can ride away. Suddenly I feel a weave coming from one of my companions and I see the Whitecloak fall to the ground. It doesn not seem that the man can get up again, good, we can make our escape now. As Kheldar comes to his horse and nimbly climes on it, I see Tadra going for the Whitecloak to investigate. I do not quite see what he is doing as I am already slowly moving of. We need to be somewhere else, other Whitecloaks will have heard the shouts for sure.