|Created by||Kenneth Edberg|
|Nickname(s)||The Reaper of the Yards|
|Affiliation||The Grey Tower|
- 1 Description
- 2 History
- 3 Family
- 4 Career History
- 5 References
Caden Ives, a Gaidin residing in the Warder Yards of the Grey Tower, is a man in his late fifties. A tall man, about 6'1" he bears the distinguishing features of a man used to the sword in terms of movement and bearing. The left side of his features still display the face the Yards have grown to know - pale skin and the carved features of a Gaidin, an ocean-green eye set under a noble forehead and a stark jaw-line. A face he had prided himself with in his ignorant youth.
While the right side...
The skin is savagely burnt, yet healed, like a battlefield covered with the bliss of time to hide the raw truth. His ear is gone, only a hole in it's place, and his eye is as white as the belly of a fish - blind as cold death. The rest is a twisted mass of scars, with craters and cracks in slick skin. The flesh of his chin is very very gaunt, as most of it has been seared away. His lips are unhurt though, yet his grey and white hair - which he wears long and tightly bound in a leather tong behind his neck - grows only in patches on the charred side.
Few dare to meet his gaze anymore. New recruits are terrified of him. And inwardly, he is just as scarred, though none shows through more than his clenched behaviour. Earlier in his life, he wore a black rune upon his right hand, a sign of a past heritage from the Shadow. Yet now only a patch of scar tissue remains. He is armed with a bastard sabre with a black scabbard. Ornate silver covers the encasement as well as the pommel and handguard. His second weapon is a curved dagger which is sheathed behind his back. Other than that, his bare hands are weapons enough. Upon need, he wears scaled armour and worn, dented shoulder pads in steel.
He generally relies on his own judgement, and he believes formality is the core to good hierarchy. He might even hide behind such formality if rendered hesitant. Well-spoken yet easy to anger, there is a decidedly exotic air about him. He is a man of action and may rush in where more cautious individuals fear to thread. Although his courage along with his experience and studies of tactics, strategy and warfare makes him an excellent leader, solitude is often the price he pay for his position of authority. When a smile finds it's way to his face, it comes out rather faint. When mused, he merely chuckles. He has not laughed even once since his face was ruined.
In the House of Ives, a child was born in the Arafellin winter.
As the son of of the High Seat, the infant boy held the birthright to succeed his father and be raised in the warring spirit of this prestigious noblilty. For as it lay just shy of the Blight and the Mountains of Dhoom, House Ives was one of the many strongholds that stood against the hordes of the Dark One. Over the centuries, the standard of the silver sword and ensnared in wines was raised to ward the Nations against the derelict slumber of the Great Lord of the Dark.
Yet merely a dozen weeks into the world, Caden's father - Deacon Ives, a general of the Arafellin's army and hero of the Trolloc Wars - showed his true nature. Not even a man, this shadowspawn of Aginor's latter experiments turned on his House and family and decimated them in blood and callous laughter. Since that day, when hundreds living in the Ives estates joined their ancestors, Deacon's bloodline was forever to be deemed tainted in the eyes of his human kin.
Deacon's brother, Maleljien Ives, was the one who had taken his brother to the slopes of Shayoul Ghul in their adolescent years and whilst Maleljien was not turned into shadowspawn, he was a darkfriend in heart and soul. While Deacon crippled House Ives on the eve of a Shadow-incursion into Arafel, Maleljien played ignorant and aghast - maintaining an innocent facade during the carnage and vowing to Caden's mother that he would save the child from his father's blade. Dinah Ives, unaware of Maleljien's hidden agenda, gave her child to the darkfriend in the nick of time - before Deacon descended upon her.
While the Ives estates were smeared in blood and Arafel rose to defend against the Dark One's assault, Maleljien took Caden south into the nations - saving the child who was not truly a child for his own personal benefit, as he was to collect the child when it had come of age. For as he had inherited the tainted blood of his father, Caden was not human - but shadowspawn as well. Historians spoke of his rare kind as the Runelords, or by the ancient name Isha'shan, yet their known presence and the surviving memories of these crafted creatures were in modern times shrouded in the rolling mists of time.
This creature was brought to a haughty informant of Maleljien's network of spies and murderers, and it was to be raised in the belief to be human until a time where its true nature manifested itself - when the rune that marked the creature took control and swayed both heart and soul to the cause of the Great Lord of the Dark.
Caden was indeed raised in the belief to be human, under the cold stare of a man styling himself to be the creature's uncle. This darkfriend named Tharenwo reared shadowspawn with abuse and scalding words - forced it into labour and toil in order to make his own poor life in the harbour of Bandar Eban more liveable. The creature, in its early teens, lifted cargo for the merchants that either came to port or embarked for other nations with their trade. A hard life, with a harder man waiting for the creature when it returned home, that set it to do the chores and the cooking and only to be rewarded by the belt or the cane - that was the life of the creature that knew itself as Caden Ives.
It met a girl named Delilah, by chance, whilst it worked in the docks - and learned to know the warmth of someone who cared for it as opposed to the blighting hatred it faced every day. This little rivulet of goodness shaped the creature more than the collective years of mistreatment. In secrecy and under the threat of being discovered by Tharenwo, it knew flickering flames of something from beyond the mire of despair.
Until one late evening, when it's tainted nature manifested itself.
Sharp Learning Curve
A voice spoke in the creature's mind, telling it things that was later proven as lies. Yet it explicitly showed Caden the extent of it's powers - under the pretence that the voice was jus as real as the scourging conflagrations that spilled from the creatures hands. Yet as it actually were, the voice within came from beyond a rift in Caden's sanity. The dark nature of the shadowspawn manifested itself as a separate persona which - over the coming decade - would gradually overtake Caden's mind.
That night, when the shadowspawn was made to believe the rune upon the back of it's hand urged it to take control of it's own life, Caden killed Tharenwo the darkfriend and fled the authorities of Bandar Eban - leaving upon a ship that took it to Tanchico.
A poor life led on the filthy streets made the creature, still ignorant of it's own non-human nature yet enlightened with a false explanation to it's powers, travel the southern nations. Eventually, its steps led to Tear, where it by fortuitous chance was employed as a page for a High Lord of the Stone - a kind man named Varcan Saniral.
Caden became the son that Varcan never had, just as much as Varcan became it's foster-father. Putting the darkness of it's past behind itself, the creature enjoyed blessed years amongst the younger lords and ladies of the Stone. It was put to the tutelage of old master Hezahl in the art of war, and became a young scholar in tactics and warfare strategy. As it were, it had no ambitions to seek the battlefield on its own, but rather learn the theoretical implementations of this prestigious ken.
This, because it did not wish to tempt itself to use its inborn powers and reveal its own differing nature. It believed itself to be a young man, but knew it was different. It tried to ignore that eldritch voice in it's mind, and lead a life akin to its brethren young noblemen.
These years - this time of respite - came to an end on the road to Ilian.
A band of highwaymen came upon the caravan of lords that was travelling to the neighbouring nation on a diplomatic mission. The Lords and their guards rattled their swords and spoke desecrating words that fell on deaf ears. The battle ensued, and in the end, Varcan lay on the roadside - bleeding his life away beneath Caden's horrified green eyes.
"Take my sword," said the lord before he died, "and honour it."
Of no noble blood, at least in the eyes of the Tairen Lords, Caden would be disowned and put out of the Stone - having led a life under the esteemed High Lord's watchful and mindful care. Without Varcan, Caden would be worth less than the dirt on the road where the Lord had fallen.
Dressed in the same coat that it had worn that day on the roadside, with the engraved bastard sabre of its late foster-father and the coin in its purse, the creature known as Caden roamed the nations in search of meaning - a purpose to its life that still eluded it. The haunting voice still lingered, telling it to make use of the powers that resided within - to smite humanity for what had been done to it during all the years and wishing to make Caden repress the memories of his friends and loved ones in the Stone, as well as the now distant time the creature had spent with the girl Delilah.
Yet Caden was not ready to give up on the dream to find a place where it belonged. Oh, there was darkness inside, and the creature took employment as a sell-sword even though it had little skill with the blade that it had been given by Varcan Saniral. Then, another man came along - taking a predominant role in the creature's life. It was a solemn man named Elrion - an old soldier and master of the blade that took Caden as his apprentice in the art of the sword.
For three years, Caden travelled together with the Blademaster - leading a scarce life with naught but physical training and studies of martial arts to fill the days. They ate, travelled and trained with little want for more, until the day where Elrion faced Caden with the choice - the ultimatum that made the creature seek the role as a Warder of the Grey Tower. There... was the purpose to it's existence; the meaning it had sought - to make use of the knowledge it possessed in both the art of war as well as the sword.
As a Drin'far'ji, the creature's swordsmanship was evaluated by Ashfalcon Asha'man and it deemed an expert. Thus, it was set to teach it's fellow Trainees from an early stage in its training towards becoming Gaidin. It chanced upon an Aes Sedai named Leanna Damodred of the Grey Ajah, and after a time of secret courting, the creature - now in its late twenties - became the Aes Sedai's lover and Promised Warder-to-be. Even at that age, it became the male - as it were - rolemodel for Leanna Sedai's two children Kylara and Neilan.
Still believing itself to be human, the creature showed great compassion and care for this woman that was more than twice it's own age. When this Aes Sedai was kidnapped along with several others - taken from the Tower by the Black Ajah to a hiding-place in Illian - the creature worked together with several others to free her; putting its own life on the line in order to claim Leanna back from the Shadow's clutches.
This, while the creature still did not know it's own true nature.
The Shades of Truth
The very day Caden was raised to Ji'alantin, after the survival test in the woods of the Mountains of Mist, the creature's past might have taken a long time to catch up with it, but it finally did. In the place named the Warrior's Rest - an abandoned museum in the Brown Ajah halls - emerged the creature's father.
The shadowspawn revealed the truth about Caden's existence, and opted to appeal to the side of the Ji'alantin's mind that had been speaking during all the years since that night in Bandar Eban. Yet when the attempt failed, a battle took place that lay the Warrior's Rest Museum to ruins. Caden, in the knowledge that it was not human, fought bitterly with it's father, until the arrival of others made Deacon Ives leave the Grey Tower by means known only to the Shadow. In the end of that brief yet devastating skirmish, the knowledge of Caden's true nature was not revealed.
In the aftermath, Durent Asha'man together with Urikanu Gaidin rallied all the present trainees to travel north; to the Larithan stronghold named the Fortress. The creature travelled with them whilst it fought a battle within - where the person it had grown into faced the nature of its own existence.
Urikanu Larithan Gaidin and his ward and wife - Llewellyn Sedai - led the group of Learning Ranks and Trainees to the Fortress together with Durent Asha'man, Jesriad Gaidin, Aviaine Sedai, Kiryn Asha'man and Aleatha Sedai. Shortly after the arrival, it became evident that Urikanu's father was about to be usurped by his other son. Furthermore, Deacon Ives haunted Caden's thoughts and compelled the creature to realise it's truthful place in the world. Eventually, blood ran thicker than water, and the Isha'shan that Caden was meant to be seized control - diminishing the spirit of humanity into a deep recess of it's mind.
The Isha'shan took Urikanu's sister as it's hostage, and faced the Gaidin in a hall of mirrors named the Iron Centipede. Equal in swordsmanship, the once-Ji'alantin fought head to head with the nigh eight feet tall Gaidin, and only the appearance of Durent Asha'man allowed a fortuitous outcome for the Light. The Isha'shan's powers were sealed, and the creature thrown into the Shienarian citadel's dungeon.
Yet when the Shadow rolled down the foothills of the Blight in wast numbers and made for the Fortress, and when Deacon Ives was revealed to lead the Black Ajah cell that caused the Larithan bloodline to turn on each other, Durent Asha'man visited upon the shackled Isha'shan and managed to temporarily seal the demon mind away - allowing the with-the-years-assembled human spirit to resurface.
Together with the rest of the Grey Tower's present strength, Caden, Durent and Urikanu managed to foil the Shadow's ambition to overtake the Fortress by surprise. Consequently, the two Isha'shan - father and son - faced each other upon the roof of the Fortress, where not only they fought each other, but Caden also fought it's own dark nature. As the battle raged along the fortifications, Caden committed patricide in the name of the Light.
Only afterwards was Caden granted true - genuine - humanity, as Durent Asha'man and Aviaine Sedai linked and managed to Heal the inborn taint. He - as he was no longer shadowspawn - would never forget this gift, and still considers himself indebted to the two Channelers. Furthermore, it was sworn between the eyes of the present Tower representatives that Caden's past would not be mentioned - that the reborn human would be granted the same chance that every other individual sworn to the Light was granted.
At the Grey Tower, meanwhile this great Battle of the Mirror Lakes came to its end, Leanna Damodred was elected the sixth Amyrlin Seat by the Hall of Sitters. Thus, when Caden returned, he learned that once he earned the Fancloak, he was the future Warder to one of the Watchers of the Seals.
A Gaidin to the Flame.
To Heed the Call
The Battle of the Mirror Lakes made Caden Ji'alantin take up his old studies of warfare and strategy, and after reviewing his old notes and gaining a much clearer perspective, he taught a Class on the subject that would survive the fickle Lace of Ages even to this day. For his studies and his deep insight, he was awarded the Honour Shield and Dagger - named Sa'ji'alantin and gaining a chair in the Privy Council.
After a couple of years, Caden was raised to the Fancloak while Ellisande Alenar was the Mistress of Arms, Sigmund Gaidin was the Master of Training, and Amara Moran was the Gaidar Captain. By that time, the position of Warder-Channeler Representative was held by Saphire en'Damier, and when Amara Gaidar left the Tower for personal pursuits, Saphire Sedai called upon the Gaidin she had once named Sa'ji'alantin to the Executive Council. Given his promise as a commander in the event of war, and with great respect to his consuming duty towards the current Amyrlin Seat, he was offered the vacant Gaidin Captain chair.
As the commander of the Unbonded Gaidin and Gaidar, and by extension the Warders-to-be, Caden finally finished his book on the strategy and tactics of warfare - appropriately titled "The Strategy and Artifice in Passage of Arms". Since then, all the coming Gaidin Captains of the Yards inherited that tome - as theoretical guidance in the battles they would face.
At this time, a young woman by the name Basha Surani signed the Drin'far'ji book. It was soon discovered by Caden that she was the child of Delilah - the woman whom he had met in his youth. What sprung this realisation was the weapon she carried when she arrived; an ashandarei that Caden had come across in the docks all those years ago. It had been left behind after a merchant fleet left port, and Caden took it to Delilah since he would never have been able to keep it for himself if Tharenwo found it. Yet since Caden had to leave Bandar Eban in such great haste, he had left two things behind: Not only the ancient weapon, but the unfinished chapter of his life that had now suddenly revealed itself to him.
The young woman - Basha Surani - was Caden's as-of-then unknown daughter.
Unfortunately, the woman vanished shortly after she arrived, and Caden never learned the reason why, be it because she might have earned the Isha'shan taint and travelled north to join the Shadow, or she found the life as a Drin'far'ji not at all for her. Yet the young woman did leave the ashandarei behind, and Caden still pay homage in his mind to this unfinished and lost chapter of his life whenever he practice with it. Therefore, he named the weapon Remembrance.
As the Amyrlin Seat's Warder as well as the Gaidin Captain, Caden employed a squire named Edon Santagar to care for his weapons and to train him for a life in the Yards - even though the young man had yet to sign the Drin'far'ji book. One day, as Caden and Edon rode for Elman's Creek, they found two children ambushed by brigands. The Gaidin and his squire rode to the children's aid and drove the brigands off. Edon was injured, so Caden sent the young man back to the Tower while he escorted the children home to their father.
The father - a wiry blacksmith - turned out to be a former Warder of the Grey Tower. More precisely, he had been exiled from the Yards, and therefore challenged Caden in bitterness to a duel upon a grass-clad mountain plateau. The ex-Gaidin was called the Shadereaver, and was one of the few Gaidin in Tower history that had earned the herons upon his blade. Caden fought the Blademaster until first blood had been drawn, and the Shadereaver eventually lost.
The Ripples of Shadow
Three Sa'ji'alantin with a common, dark cause began to beat individuals of lower rank into doing their bidding - and when Caden observed this, he made further investigations. He found that the three men of differing origins were Promised to Eya Grenwyne Sedai of the Green Ajah. Between the four, dark schemes and a plan to overthrow the Tower's political power had begun to take form. The Shadow would have fallen dark over the Tower without anyone knowing, yet the Black Ajah's secret endeavours were discovered by Caden. He immediately reported his findings to the Mistress of Arms - Ellisande Alenar - and together with the other Gaidin and the trainees who still stood free, they made plans to stop the darkfriends from succeeding.
They had to reveal the Shadow's intentions and bring them to justice before it is too late, yet somehow still contain the problem from spreading to other cells of the Black Ajah. For if they would succeed in bringing down the Black Ajah's representant, this Eya Grenwyne, and her three loyal subjects, who could predict what might happen next? Who could know the nature of the Dark One's retaliation? Was this just the beginning? The Light's actions might still send ripples of shadow through the ranks of the whole Tower unless they used extreme caution.
The next morning, on a single day that would go down in Tower history for what was to come, the battlements were caressed by the wind as it passed over its merlons and flags. Before the wind died, the last fringe reached the Warder Hall...
...and the body of a young man at a rope's end - swaying upon touched by the last gust.
The Drin'far'ji hung by the neck at the front of the big structure, dressed in a blood-stained uniform. The light-grey shade of his formal set of clothing was illuminated by the dawn's sun - the wet and sticky patches glinting. His brown hair hung in strands before his eyes, dampened red. The morning was silent, and fingers of mist still trailed over the training yards. That morning, Luantar cen Thaal's training had ended.
The young man had written a letter that revealed the true nature of the three Sa'ji'alantin and their common Promised Aes Sedai. Yet it was later revealed that Eya Grenwyne was working for someone else - someone that masterminded a clever invasion of the Tower on three different fronts. As soon as the Light moved to intercept the Shadow's plan, everything was set into motion - just as Caden and the Mistress of Arms had feared.
The Amyrlin Seat and equally Caden's Aes Sedai, Leanna Damodred, was kidnapped on orders from the shadowsworn behind the events - someone called Shar'rahien; the Dawn of Blood. Secondly, Sitters and Ajah Heads were targeted in the ambition to replace them with Brothers and Sisters that had sworn themselves to the Dark One. As a distraction to cover this ambition, an army of the Shadow was sent through the Ways to a place named the Claw Stone - only a half a day's ride from the Grey Tower.
The Tower rode out to meet the threat, while those that stayed behind had to deal with the threats within the battlements. A secondary horde of trollocs was sent through the old passageway that connected the Old and New Tower, and the only ones present to thwart that threat was a handful of Trainees led by Caden Ives - who had to chose between the survival of the Tower as-a-whole, or to save Leanna from the Shadow's clutches.
Making the choice to have faith in his Trainees and leave them to set the black powder that would seal the passageway, Caden attempted to make his way back to Leanna. Yet halfway there - in the dark bedrock beneath the Tower, he was ambushed by an impersonator of the Dawn of Blood. In the end, Caden tore out the young man's throat while his own face was burned by saidin.
While Caden lay unconscious, the real Dawn of Blood arrived and placed a Warded trap upon the Gaidin Captain's body - a trap that would spring as soon as someone tried to Heal his face. Beatrice Sedai arrived together with Leanna's son Neilan, and sprung that trap. While both Beatrice Sedai and Neilan survived, the mid-way aborted Healing caused Caden's burn to become permanent. Since then, no Healing would ever restore Caden's features, since if the body believed itself to be fully restored even though it wasn't, there was nothing for the Healing Weave to remedy.
The Battle of the Claw Stone ended in the Shadow's defeat, and the passageway was sealed in the nick of time. Sitters, Ajah Heads and the life of the current M'Hael - Ashfalcon Asha'man - was saved by various groups of enlightened Channelers and Warders. Yet Caden was plagued by the fact that he, as Gaidin Captain, had let darkfriends enter the ranks of the Yards. He has still not forgiven himself for it - even if Amora en'Damier Sedai, a latter Amyrlin Seat, later stated an official absolution.
In the aftermath, while everyone else were celebrating the victory at the Claw Stone in the Grand Hall, Caden had retreated to this study in order to clear it out. He had just tendered his resignation to Ellisande Alenar, when the true Dawn of Blood revealed himself. As it turned out, the one that had been slain at the Claw Stone had also been yet another impersonator.
The Dawn of Blood was the Gaidin Captain's squire - Edon Santagar. This, was another shame that Caden still lives with - regardless of forgiving words. Caden was almost killed there in the silent study, had not a shadowsworn by the name Drelle Tai'shar turned to the Light and stopped Shar'rahien to finish the deed. Edon Santagar was killed by the Novice with a dagger in the back, and she was absolved from her crimes.
The Freak and Reaper of the Yards
After Caden was burned, and after a long and insufferable time of trying, the bond and relationship with the bygone Amyrlin Seat - Leanna Damodred Sedai - had met its ugly end because of his ugly change in temper and appearance. Their bond was dissolved. She left the Tower to take residence in a manor hidden somewhere in the foothills of the Mountains of Mist.
Despite Caden's feelings of inadequacy, the new Master of Arms - Sigmund Gaidin - offered him the position of Master of Training after he passed the official Blademaster trials. Reluctantly, and with the condition that he would be granted leniency by Tower Law to actively persecute shadowsworn in the ranks of the Warder Yards, Caden accepted - taking the Rod of Discipline and the name Reaper of the Yards. The Trainees opted to call him the Freak in fear of his cold wrath, while others named him so out of ridicule, yet he accepted the name as his own, and wore it freely. It did not take long until the snickers died in the throats of all, as either his scarred fist clenched around their necks, or his heterochromatic stare pierced their souls.
In becoming the demonic embodiment of the training being conducted in the Yards - a visual representation of what might happen once the Fancloak was draped around someone's shoulders - he grounded a harsh reality in the minds of all who came his way. To aspire to be a Warder was to aspire towards one's own death - all for the sake of one's ward and the greater good. To make the final sacrifice was to aid the Light across the ultimate threshold - Tarmon Gaidon.
In due time, Caden found a kindred spirit in Miahala Sedai of the Green Ajah - another who had been scarred by the Shadow and shared both his plight and his resolve. After a blistering winter night fighting side by side, and after saving her life through the offer of a Bonding, Miahala became Caden's second Aes Sedai. A purely professional arrangement, where they formed the Triad together with Miahala's other Gaidin - Toseth Briel Aseld.
In this time of bitterness and iron certitude, there was little room for warmth. Yet there was one who managed to slip past the fortifications of Caden's cold heart, and her name was Llewellyn Phyre - who was lonesome after Urikanu Gaidin had returned to the Fortress and the Mirror Lakes in order to rear their children into fighting the Shadow at the slopes of the northern mountains.
Yet when this brief romance ended with Urikanu Gaidin vanishing, and subsequently forcing Llewellyn to leave the Tower in order to protect her children, something broke in the Gaidin's spirit. The iron of Caden's certitude turned out to be brittle in the wake of a second woman leaving him, and since Llewellyn did not leave him any kind of letter of note explaining her actions, it was easy for the Master of Training to assume that she had left for the very same reasons Leanna Damodred and his relationship had come to an end.
For who could truly nurse feelings towards a Freak such as him?
The hurt became a crack that slowly expanded, until his mind gave away. The following recuperation was difficult, where Caden's dreams were haunted by the amassed pain in his life - the burning of both his face and his heart. Once he lumbered to his feet, he resigned as Master of Training, and accepted the position as Keeper of the Citadel. There, he fought the Shadow actively and drenched his emotions in shadowspawn blood. For years, he defended the nations against the Dark One's minions, but there was not enough tainted blood to quench all the pain and the shame. He sought respite in the fact that he was to die in battle with the Shadow, accepted it and welcomed its imminent reality.
He had settled in the Citadel to spend his last few years dancing with death at the border of the Blight. But death did not come for him then, so after a battle that dwarfed all the others he had fought at the Citadel - after five years led on the front-lines - he returned to the Tower in order to tell Miahala Sedai that he would seek a new path. A path, that had been revealed to him during the time in the Borderlands - where a certain Arafellin House still existed.
Inheritance; a birthright which should have belonged to him throughout his life, but which had been cruelly denied him. He would find his origin - and reclaim his birthright as the High Seat of House Ives. With a mutual agreement, the bond was dissolved, and the Freak returned north.
A Second Chance
Though he craved solace in life after his time at the Citadel, the fifteen years Caden spent in Arafel was rather a desperate attempt to find meaning - a purpose to live for and a goal that was a tad more graspable than the futility to fight a foe such as the lasting Shadow.
After he reclaimed his birthright, and whether that was the meaning of the painful life the Light had provided him, he could not say. Yet he did manage to sway the people and gain influence though his sense of pragmatic efficiency.
His family, cousins and distant kin, had squandered House Ives treasury and lavished themselves in luxury while the farmers and the commoners starved and toiled to pay their taxes. The possibility for improvement was the key to Caden's success - added with his blunt and honest implementation of the Game of Houses. He did not care for flatter and snide gossip, and given his appearance and background, he was not the kind to indulge in such things. Yet he knew the rules of the Game, and challenged their weaknesses so that he might restore the Ives estates to their former standing - a force to be reckoned with once the Final Battle would come to pass.
The lordship of the House of Ives was essentially not a grand title, but it was not shallow greed or want for power that drove Caden during those fifteen years. Rather, it was a way for him to settle his past. By rectifying what the nobles in the province had ruined, he merely meant to surpass his late shadowspawn father. That name, Deacon Ives, was one of the reasons why it took the Gaidin so long to complete the set task.
Oh, there had been fierce opposition because of what had happened so many years ago, though Caden did not blame them. His father had left only blood and ashes in his wake, and the hatred towards his very existence was like a blood-stain that refused to go away. The Freak and Reaper of the Yards, however, was accustomed to be feared. He had learned that his linage stretched over centuries, so despite the opposition, he did not care to be the broken link. Resolve remains forever greater than valour and might.
Though once he had accomplished his task, and readied House Ives for war, there was naught more for him to do than to fall back upon his old needs - his lasting wish for respite. The sight of the Blight and the distant mountains called to him, and bereft of hope to find meaning in his solitary war yet still shared war, he eventually left his estates behind - meaning to carve a bloody path straight towards Shayoul Ghoul, however far he might get before he was granted a final resting-place.
Yet the Lace of Ages still did not let the Gaidin end his life, since it sent Caden's former Aes Sedai in his way. After a situation where they had to fight side by side once more, Miahala Sedai convinced him that no matter how little one individual might be able to affect the tide of the times and the imminent battle with the Shadow, the importance lay not in the results one might bring, but in the aspiration - to try. The difference lay not in the result, but in the aspiration towards it. To end one's life in the Blight was not the answer, and even though Caden argued, he knew he was wrong.
With Toseth Briel Aseld Gaidin not by Miahala's side anymore, Caden offered the Green Ajah Head to be her Warder once more, and what had been once lost was restored. Yet as they joined causes again, the link they forged proved stronger than before - making the bond something more than the professional kind they had shared fifteen years past.
After a time of travel and further strife in the Borderlands, Caden and Miahala returned to the Grey Tower. Now, not just as comrades in arms, but a Covenant of Steel and Power.
Upon their return, Caden and Miahala were faced with dire choices - twists of the Pattern that challenged every fibre of their new bond.
After Caden, with the aide of two Drin'far'ji of the Yards, saved Liana en'Damier Sedai from a Dreadlord named Trakin, something in the Lace of Ages fell into place, and the Gaidin was summoned before the Flame to be given little choice but compliance.
The current Amyrlin Seat - Amora en'Damier - was not only the mother of Saphire Sedai and grandmother to poor recovering Liana, but also prone to see prophecy though Foretelling. It had aided the Tower before, when Edon Santagar had almost claimed the Tower for his own, yet now the words that spilled from the haughty woman's mouth were less fortunate - at least in the remaining ear of the Reaper.
It detailed how Sigmund Gaidin - her own Warder - would be required to step down as Master of Arms, and that Caden had to take his place to lead the Yards in time for Tarmon Gaidon. Yet Caden, who in his own eye had failed in his duty as Gaidin Captain and was reduced to a mindless wreck after a long tenure as master of Training, found the declaration a travesty, and immediately refused. His only obligation, as far as he was concerned, was to protect his Aes Sedai and lover, and not to - once more - involve himself with the governing of the Yards.
Yet Prophecy was what it was, and there seemed to be no choice in the matter, however bitterly Caden rasped to the en'Damier woman that even though he had the capacity and the ken to meet the requirements and flog truth and determination into men and women and make them deserving of the Fancloak, he was himself undeserving.
To refuse the request of a Queen of Kings was to commit treason, so in taking a calculated risk and with the face of Miahala at the back of his remaining eyelid, Caden bowed his head and told the Amyrlin Seat that her present Warder and likewise his own friend would have to take his head before he would shame the Executive Council's table with his presence once again. As relentless as the Prophecy she had foretold, Amora absolved him of past mistakes and rendered his argument false.
Therefore, he would be named the 13th Master of Arms.
Before the ceremony took place, the Freak briefly eloped together with his Aes Sedai in order to trace the sudden silence of one of Miahala's informants. It took them to Andor, where two Houses were to merge in wedlock, yet the father of the groom had a somewhat differing agenda. The betrothal ceremony became a blood-bath, with Caden and Miahala in the middle of it - fighting to preserve the lives of both families but loosing the bride to unknown captors. In the aftermath, with the dead as their witnesses, the Gaidin and his Aes Sedai agreed to be married in place of the parted bride and groom.
Following a trail to find the kidnapped bride, the newly engaged walked into a pre-set Black Ajah ambush - meant solely for them. This was the first time they fought these dark mirror-images - an Aes Sedai with her Blademaster Gaidin devoted to the Great Lord of the Dark. Their names they did not learn, yet they came to know two worthy adversaries that would haunt them for years to come.
His tenure as Master of Arms begun, and Miahala remaining the Head of the Green Ajah, the betrothed seldom managed to tear themselves away from the grim work that their Offices demanded, yet he and his Aes Sedai did manage to leave for Arafel one day, to be wed in the Borderlands - namely the Ives estates. Husband and wife, they returned to the Tower, only to later find that despite her advanced yet indiscernible age, Miahala was with child.
Before it was born, the Black Ajah Sedai and her Warder that had attacked them in Andoer once more sought to cut the Freak's and his woman's Threads from the Pattern. With the aid of others, Caden managed to save Miahala from torture and abuse by the hand of the Warder, one named Garin and who now revealed himself to be the leader in the bond - as he had a higher standing amongst the Dark One's devotees.
Though both the child and Miahala survived the abduction, it took a long time for the mother to recover from the emotional wounds that Garin had inflicted upon her. Furthermore, Caden's kin in Arafel usurped the High Seat and reclaimed House Ives in the Freak's absence. Niga - Caden's spymaster and liegeman, had been named the steward, and Caden felt compelled to travel north and free him from the dungeons of the mansion. Another grim choice to face; whether he ought to aid his friend or remain by his wife's side in the last months of labour.
It was not until the child was finally born that Miahala, and this following a birth than nigh killed her. Caden managed to get back to her just in time, but the House of Ives remained lost to him. Yet though he had lost his birthright to the High Seat, he and Miahala was granted a son by the birth of Haeden Sha'hal Ives.
The Sevenfold Conflict
After a message that detailed the plight of seven informants of the Grey Tower made its way to the M'Hael and Amyrlin Seat, the decision was made to act. And not only that, it was decided that a new organisation within the Tower would be formed, the Sovin Tar, and this would be its first mission.
Yet there was much more to the message than met the eye, for the hidden facets of this incident would portend more than anyone could realise. It might just be that the ones who left the Tower in searching for the Last Seven were the fortunate ones...
Back in the Tower, an All-Ajah banquet was held on the first night - with an unexpected outcome. The Black Ajah used the occasion to set the Ajahs against each other, but when things were on the verge to get out of hand, the Amyrlin Seat restored order. This night was also when the first attempt to kidnap Lysira "Mouse" Viathene took place, and Caden was attacked by an exiled Drin'far'ji. By then, people were - in general - unsuspecting about the things to come.
The captive - one named Geano Hashmal - was freed from his confined recuperation in the Tower Infirmary. This second day, information about the approaching White Cloak army was apprehended from reaching the right ears - resulting in the disappearance of three Trainees. The Birching Ceremony that the Amyrlin Seat ordered in the wake of the banquet took place and later that evening, Caden found himself attacked once more - this time under more disturbing circumstances.
The second attempt to kidnap Lysira "Mouse" Viathene took place before dawn that same night. Not only that, but Caden's and Miahala's son Haeden was taken by the man calling himself Ophan. Misfortune seldom comes alone, and in the early morning, a Soldier committed suicide. Yet this incident, as if on purpose, was gravely overshadowed...
...as a detonation shook the whole Grey Tower. Debris rained over the grounds, and panic ensued. By now, the whole Tower learned that things were not quite right, yet none held any explanations.
With the entire Tower Grounds an ant-hill that has been kicked over, and a varying degree of panic reaching everywhere in the wake of the explosion, Caden and Miahala had set out to search for their son - uncompromising and uncaring about their other duties. Yet soon, they decided that Caden would continue the search alone, while Miahala addressed the collective concerns of the Tower. Not only in the sense of what was happening in the shadows, but also the now plain threat of the White Cloak army. Again, in the Tower Library, an attempt to kidnap Lysira "Mouse" Viathene was made - now stopped by a Dedicated by the name Lucan din Nicander Riven Sail.
Meanwhile, the abductor of Caden's child caused further mayhem - yet not without divulging his true identity. It was a Blue Ajah Asha'man by the name Riven Trimak.
The next night, Lysira "Mouse" Viathene was finally captured by the Shadow, and whilst in the clutches of the mastermind behind the plot that seemed to encompass not only the Tower but the Sovin Tar mission in the south, she learned directly from the source just how grave the situation really was.
Outside the battlements, where Miahala Sedai had joined the negotiating party sent out to the besieging army, the negotiations with the White Cloak army fail. In short order, the Battle of Lights commenced, just as another played itself out in the White Ajah Halls - where Lysira "Mouse" Viathene was freed from the shadowsworn instigator. As she fled, while Lucan din Nicander Riven Sail together with Jip Ji'alantin, Drin'far'ji Jamelia and Soldier Daeric kept the captors at bay, she managed to take Haeden Ives with her.
Caden found Lysira and Haeden in the corridors, and not only was his son restored to him, but the Freak learned from the young woman the scope of what was to befall the Tower unless they did something about it. Thus, Caden took his news to the M'Hael before he joined his wife at the battlements. They had come to learn that there was a strategist leading the forces of the White Cloaks against the Tower, and his name...
...was Maleljien Ives.
Commanding a sortie straight through the chaotic battlefield outside the Tower gates, Caden carved a path through the White Cloak forces with the strength of his Aes Sedai as well as several others of both Yards and Ajahs. They sought to find Caden's kinsman and to take of the head of the beast. They found Maleljien at the top of a siege tower, and Miahala learned more about Caden's nature than she cared to know. While Caden guarded Miahala's Kabor's and Jerid's backs, these linked Channelers fought the Dreadlord - eventually killing him in a spray of crimson chyme.
When the Battle of Lights failed to turn out the way the Shadow had designed, the Alternative strategy came into play instead. The forces of Light faced the Black Ajah at the grand plaza of Hama Valon, and a battle transcending the one that took place earlier that day was fought. Caden came face to face with Ophan - or rather Riven Trimak - and after chasing him through the unfinished city of Hama Valon, the Freak killed the traitorous hound.
At the plaza, Dedicated Lucan din Nicander Riven Sail faced the Head of the Black Ajah - the instigator of this grand plot to tear the Tower down to the ground - and with the help of Lysira "Mouse" Viathene and Jip Ji'alantin, this ancient Asha'man by the name Lycos al'Seraphim was defeated.
The Sea Folk Dedicated cut the beast's throat, and watched it bleed its life out in the snow.
Serpents Hidden in Shade
After the final conflict with the Black Ajah and Lycos al'Seraphim, once might think some of the hidden snakes in the Tower had been cleared out. However, it rather appeared things were too quiet, and that the residing evil were still there - only more cautious, clever and cunning.
The Reaper saw this, and together with Miahala, they might appear to have turned to their regular administrative duties. They might have nourished their relationship and cherished the survival of their child, but never did they for a moment think that even such a showdown as the one that took place at the plaza would have turned every rock. The serpents were still there, waiting for the next moment the Light might expose its throat. They sought to further strengthen the Yards and the Green Ajah; to make them stand ready and never forget the Battle of Lights and the display of the Black Ajah's might in the winter construction-site of Hama Valon.
One time which explicitly proved how the Shadow still had a foothold in the Tower was when their comrade-in-arms, Jerid Walker Asha'man, found his closest kin slaughtered in their Caralain Grass mansion. After killing or capturing the present perpetrators, there was an eerie discovery made pertaining to the writing in blood that addressed the Asha'man. The handwriting in the message was the same as that of Lycos al'Seraphim. This writing of the dead was the greatest evidence found that showed the Reaper and his wife that someone closely affiliated with the events surrounding the Battle of Lights still remained as a very potent threat.
In their efforts to map the activity of the residual evil in the Tower, they came across information about Lysira 'Mouse' Viathene's mother and father, and after telling her, they pointed her towards Murandy. The newly raised Gaidar brought the Atha'an Miere hero - now styled Lucan Asha'man - there, while Caden and Miahala remained at the Tower.
At one time, the Shadow lured the forces of the Tower north - deep into the borderlands. It was a plot conceived out of a personal vendetta towards Caden's Aes Sedai, and once the ambush came, it was only through sheer luck that Miahala and Caden got away unscathed. It was then discovered that it was Garin - the Gaidin that had planned the abduction of Miahala years before - that led the Shadow's minions against the Tower's forces. Though Garin and his new Aes Sedai got away, and the real mastermind behind the ploy to spread the Tower's forces thin was not discovered, it served Caden and Miahala to renew their older investigations and take them in a new direction.
After a couple of years, they received the fruit of their labour.
They learned about the location of Garin and his Aes Sedai, and by bringing others of their closest trusted, they managed to cut these two threads in the pattern. As if this success was the rub that unravelled the tapestry, they consequently learned that a woman of Miahala's past - one named Jenkai - had designed the sequence of events that had the Tower forces ambushed in the Borderland. Again, they collected a selected few that would be of benefit to the mission, and set out to Miahala's family farm in Saldaea - as it was there Jenkai was most likely to go.
Upon arrival, Miahala found much of her kin taken by the flames, and a brutal battle ensued to save those left alive. Miahala was overtaken by a triggered Ward in her old wedding band, and it was Caden and the rest who had to challenge flame and brimstone, shadowspawn and Dreadlords in order to end the century-long vendetta in the Light's favour.
After this, when Miahala had recovered, the first thoughts about retiring from their challenging services formed, and Caden realised that there was a third path trailing between the two previously known - death or duty. The respite he so long had sought was there; to withdraw from the world together with the woman he loved in wait for the Final Battle. He would still serve in the capacity the Prophecy that the en'Damier Amyrlin Seat had forseen, yet until then, the years left were his own. His, Miahala's and their child's.
Before they could realise this dream, a final revelation forced them to act in advance. Niga, Caden's spymaster, had discovered the identity of the new Head of the Black Ajah, and told Caden the name with his dying breath. The revelation sat heavy on Caden's shoulders, since the name was one he could not even utter to his wife until he had ensured their safety. He made quiet preparations and plans, and saw only one outcome - the designated end of their time at the Tower.
For the name of the elusive serpent was Lucan din Nicander Riven Sail, who had been named the new Watcher of the Seals, the Fang of Hama Valon, the M'Hael of the Grey Tower.
By facing the M'Hael and his Warder at an unwary moment in the bowels of the Tower; by naming his crimes and Sealing him from his powers; by cutting of his sa'angreal ring and gaining the confession; and by arranging so that the one person most deserving to end the Atha'an Miere's foul life killed him with arrows that could not be traced to her or the Light, Caden and Miahala made themselves outlaws in the event the truth was ever learned. The Tower could not afford to know the role their loved M'Hael played, lest the Hall would be overthrown by the mob, so the Freak and his Aes Sedai did what they had to do, and would accept the blame should they ever be found.
They left the Tower then, that very night, in order to only return on the eve of Tarmon Gaidon.
Years passed, where Caden and Miahala raised their child in secrecy - hidden from the eyes of the world and eluding the Eyes and Ears of all three Towers. They led a quiet life in their haven, which was a farm hidden somewhere in the Borderlands - which were in a sense their common origin. The seasons passed, and they used a small pigeon coup on the back of their small house in order to stay in touch with the world and to gather news from their Eyes and Ears.
They would have remained there until the Dark One stirred from his prison and his minions marched down the slopes of the Blight, had it not been for the fact of that pigeon coup.
After learning dire news that made them both contemplate their chosen course, they sat down by their table and discussed what had to be done to ward the Light in the fashion they had warded it before - to make it shine brightly and not be overtaken by the shades that nestled their way up the wick of the flame. They already knew - through their feed of news from the Grey Tower - that the murder of the past M'Hael had not been linked to them. At least not yet.
With Haeden old enough to take the tests as a aspiring Channeler, yet with the Tower to dangerous given the news they had received, they decided that since he had to be trained in order to control his powers, he would be sent to the Black Tower - under the close supervision of informants and kin that they already had placed there.
So, with saddened hearts and furious anger at the indisputable nature of their next task, they brought Haeden to the Black Tower and said their farewells, but also instructed their informants that they would take the young man to the Grey Tower at the first sign of the Black Ajah learning the child's true identity. Hopefully, they would have been able to ensure safety for Haeden in their old home, should it come to that.
Thus, the Covenant of Steel and Power set their course towards the Mountains of Mist, and with hardened and weary hearts, ascended the mountain trails once more. The respite that they both had sought and found had been denied them, and what remained was their duty towards the Light - with the inability to tell anyone what they had come to know. They no longer knew whom they could trust, and should a single word or name find its way to the wrong ears, then everything they had fought for up to that point would have been for naught.
They returned to the Tower underneath a darkened sky - the light drizzle a seepage of leaden clouds.It veiled their approach, as their faces veiled their intents. Behind the spring rain, dusk had closed over the battlements, just like darkness that weighed upon their souls.
- Gaidin Captain
- Master of Training
- Master of Arms (24 March 2010)
- Master of Arms
- From the Sevenfold Conflict MRP, Old Biography & Long Lost Love
- Old Biography, A Lesson Taught, Commemoration
- The Warrior's Rest, Dreams Disturbed & Sanatarium of Sanity
- Caden Gaidin - Raising Fanfic, Shadereaver Part I & II
- The Ripples of Shadow MRP
- The Hidden Facets of All, The Ripples of Shadow MRP, My Life as a Drin'far'ji - Chapter Five, Six and Ten, The Silence is Pierced
- A Second Chance - Part I - V, Resuming Duty
- Above the Green Ajah Halls, Things Foretold: Chapter I - IV, Triumph, A Crime inside Tower Walls - Chapter I - IV, Intertwined, Haeden Sha'hal Ives, The Extension of Steel
- The Sevenfold Conflict MRP
- Music of the Night, The Last Battle Waits for No One, The Caralain Carnage, Martyr's Pardon/Prologue, Recreation & Re-creation [NSFW] , Closure - Part I - IV, The Wedding, Discovering Anger, Dissolution (The End)