Illanova Restrov

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Illanova Restrov
ill-a-nova rest-tov
Created by Ash Falcon
Information
Gender Female
Occupation Drin
Affiliation The Grey Tower
Nationality Tairen

Illanova Restrov is a Drin of the Grey Tower.

Description

At eighteen, Illa is small and trimly athletic, with dark hair and medium skin. Her eyes are (now) mismatched: one blue, the other silver. Her left arm and forearm appear to be some sort of dull gray metal, or at least covered in it. She dresses simply, sometimes passing herself off as a boy, and always wears gloves when she goes out in public.

Illa grew up in extreme poverty in the slums of Tear, and was mostly raised by her older brother Jocas; their mother worked as a seamstress when she could, which wasn't often. Illanova is audacious and resourceful, but does not give her trust easily. A lifetime of petty theft, cat burglary, and dodging thief-takers has left her with an excellent sense of her physical capabilities and a deeply ingrained habit of knowing where the closest exits are. Unfortunately, her recent acquisition of a metal hand and a silver-irised eye -- along with the dagger that she keeps in her boot -- has made her too distinctive to continue her criminal career... or to remain in Tear, for that matter.

Biography

Illanova Restrov stumbled backwards out of the doorway, and found herself looking up at a smooth, featureless metal tower. She glanced back down at the door, but it was gone; there was nothing but an unbroken wall of metal in front of her. Then she glanced down at her left hand, and nodded. Well, apparently that worked. She stood and considered for a long moment. She felt... not tired, exactly, but stretched thin. Disoriented, though not physically off-balance. There was a dagger on her belt that she didn't remember owning, either, plain and functional save for the curious, labyrinthine tracings carved on either side of the guard. Something didn't quite seem to be right, but at the moment she couldn't think what was missing.

She stepped away from the tower, then turned back to it and whispered, "Thank you."

She bathed in a stream that night, and made herself a small fire with the flint she found in one of the pouches on her belt. She was tired, hungry, and frustrated with the way her thoughts kept twisting out of her grip. Some sleep would do her good. So, she rolled herself up in her cloak and slept.

She felt better the next morning: more awake, more refreshed, more *solid*. Also, she was ravenously hungry, and stream water only did so much to compensate for that. So when she returned to her camp and saw a rabbit at the edge of the trees, she immediately went still. Then, ever so slowly, she drew the new dagger from her belt. She weighed it in her hand, reversed it... and then hurled with a single, quick movement.

The rabbit straightened, then tried to bolt, but it was too late. The dagger struck it and it died. It died with none of the usual twitching or struggling or thrashing; it didn't even cry out. One moment it was nibbling at a bit of grass; then the dagger entered its side and it immediately went still.

One bargain fulfilled, thought Illanova, and went to retrieve dagger and rabbit alike.

Once, long ago, her brother had explained to her how to gut an animal and bleed to carcass so that the meat didn't go bad. That had been back during one of the times when Jocas was trapping rats to provide the family with a bit of meat. Illa hadn't lost that memory, and the dagger proved a perfectly adequate tool for the job. She wasn't sure of the details, so she wound up overcooking the meat just to be safe. Still, it felt like the first meal she'd had in forever, and the blackened surface didn't really detract from the flavor once she bit in.

The world around her still looked a little... off... but at least it was starting to feel like that was the world instead of her. It felt something like stepping back outside after spending several days sick in a darkened room. Good enough; she'd keep going. She should be able to reach Whitebridge in a few more days. She took the time to go through her pouches and catalogue everything she had on her person, and by the time she had finished she felt fairly well prepared. Traveling through the wilds like this was neither familiar nor comfortable, but she had been at least somewhat prepared... and most of her young life had been devoted to the bare essentials of surviving in a hostile environment. She could make her way through this.

By the time Illanova reached Whitebridge, she'd added a nicer skirt, a loose blouse, and a vest that was only slightly too tight to her wardrobe. She'd also managed to wash her existing clothes in a stream; they weren't really respectable, but at this point they would pass. She pulled on her best Hesitant Lass Eyeing Clothes That She Can't Really Afford But Is Desperately Interested In persona, and managed to charm one of the selling-girls in prosperous store long enough to lift a pair of calfskin gloves, which she put on as soon as she was safely away. Then she went looking for Birno.

Birno was a scholar, thin and nervous, and claimed to be an Asha'man -- one of the male channelers recruited by the Dragon Reborn and his people. As far as Illa could tell, he was mostly a wastrel, getting by on odd jobs and his few remaining connections to the scholars he'd known earlier in his life. She wasn't surprised when she finally turned him up in a tavern in one of the city's seediest slums.

By then she'd already been propositioned three times and very nearly assaulted once; but Illa remembered how to talk and how to move, and the dagger -- like her left hand -- gave her confidence. She managed her search unscathed.

The tavern was the sort that rented rooms, albeit most often by the hour. Illa remembered it, and gave it only a brief look-around before she approached Birno.

She might not have been surprised to see him, but he was certainly surprised to see her. He half-rose out of his seat, blinked three times in rapid succession, then passed a hand across his eyes and looked at her again. Finally he asked, "Illa?"

She nodded, pulled back a chair, and sat down at the small table beside him. "It worked," she told him.

"No it didn't," he said, thoroughly flustered. "You're dead. You can't be here."

Illanova Restrov frowned. "Who says I'm dead?"

"You-- It-- Ah--" Birno swallowed. "You didn't come back. You went to the tower, and you didn't come back."

Illa drew her head back, baffled. "Yes I did," she said. "I'm here right now."

"Illa," Birno told her, desperately earnest, "It's been a year."

Illa swallowed. "It's been what?"

"A year. You've been gone a full year. At least." He looked at her. "Did they...?"

She nodded and held up her left hand, then pulled off the glove to show him the dull grey metal that sat where her flesh had once been. "This," she said. She pulled the dagger from her belt. "This." Then she shook her head. "And there should be something else, but I can't find it."

Birno's eyes widened. "Have you found a mirror since you returned?"

Illanova shook her head. "No, I came straight-- why?" she asked.

"Your eye," he told her. "Your right eye." He began glowing faintly, then leaned forward, reaching out. There were some sort of weird glowing threads extending out from his hands.

Illa reacted by instinct, reaching out and batting them away. When her left hand touched them, they dissolved.

Birno flinched back so hard he fell out of his chair. From the dirty wooden floor she heard him say, "You saw that? You stopped that?"

"What in the Light were you doing???" Illa demanded.

On the other side of the table, Birno shifted his weight and put a hand on the seat of his chair, then raised himself back up to standing. He stood there, staring at Illanova and swaying. Finally, he took a long look at his seat, and lowered himself into it. He swallowed once, then again.

Finally, he looked around until he caught the eye of one of the servers. The young man approached, and Birno said: "Whiskey. Lots of it. A full glass for me, and another for my friend here, who's apparently back from the dead. There's a bonus if you leave the bottle."

The young man looked at him, then glanced down at the floor. "Are you sure you haven't already had enough?"

Birno straightened, met his eyes, and said: "I haven't had half enough for this." For a moment, a faint nimbus of glowing threads danced around him.

The server clenched his jaw, then nodded. "A moment," he said, and walked away.

Birno looked across the table at Illanova. "I was channeling," he said flatly. "I was trying to see what they'd done to you. And you... somehow... saw it, and stopped it."

Illanova swallowed. "Try it again."

Birno moved his hands more slowly this time. "Can you see that?"

"Yes."

"Okay. Stay still this time." The glowing threads moved forward, and slipped into Illanova's right arm. She couldn't feel them, but she could see them. She waited -- one heartbeat, then another, then a third -- and suddenly the threads were gone. "That's... fascinating. Also terrifying." Birno's voice was calm, but his mouth and eyes were a little wider open than they should be. She thought he was breathing a little fast, too. "Your new hand is woven into the stump of your arm. I have no idea what it is -- some sort of ter'angreal, I assume -- but my weaves dissolve the moment I touch it. And your new eye can clearly see my weaves. I wonder if it works for Saidar as well?"

Illanova Restrov tilted her head. "New eye?" she asked, feeling her voice rise slightly.

Birno nodded. "The right one. It's silver around the pupil. Very distinctive."

Very Distinctive did not sound like anything that Illanova Restrov wanted in her life, but on the other hand it sounded as if the foxes had given her what she'd asked for. She sat back and sighed, and at that moment the server returned with two glasses and a bottle. He filled each glass, then set the bottle in the center of the table. "That'll be ten and two, sir."

Birno didn't even glance at him; he pulled out twenty and handed it over.

The server blinked and said, "Thank you, sir." Then he turned to Illa. "You'll see that he gets home safe, won't you?"

Illa glanced at him and offered a smile. "Fear not," she said. "I will." He wasn't particularly interesting, but he was cute.

As the server moved to the next table, Birno leaned forward and took hold of his glass. He drained half of it in a single swallow, coughed, and then settled back to study Illa again. "What did you ask of them?"

"I asked them to restore my hand, for a way to keep myself safe from the Power, and for a way to kill that bastard Tairen lord." Illanova's words were ice in her throat. She could see how the foxes had met their side of the bargain.

Birno frowned. "And what did you offer in return?"

"One year of my memories," Illanova told him. "I was hoping they'd take the most recent; I could have done without those, as long as you were here to tell me who I needed to kill. But it seems they left my memories with me, and held me for a year while they... explored? Sampled? Supped?" She wasn't certain of that; the snakes and the foxes were strange beyond reckoning, but she thought she'd made a fair offer, and they'd accepted it in their own way. That might explain why she'd felt so drained when she emerged.

"You didn't ask them for safe return?" Birno asked, looking faintly puzzled. "I'm sure I warned you about that."

Illa shook her head. "No, I..." ...Got too wrapped up in my own anger to keep a clear head.

"It was probably the last bit, then," Birno suggested, and his hand clenched like he wanted to be holding a pen. "You asked them for a way to kill Lord Atruman. I'd guess that's the dagger, but also they wouldn't have fulfilled the bargain if they didn't let you back out to make the attempt with it."

Illa nodded. Suddenly, she was tired of explanations and speculations. She'd lost an entire year of her life in her search for revenge. She wanted to sleep until she felt ready... and then go make it happen. "Maybe," she said. "Is Atruman still in Tear?"

Birno shrugged. "The last I heard, yes. The only way to be sure is to go there."

"Then that's what I'll do." Illanova yawned. "As soon as I've rested."

"Are you sure you still want to?" Birno asked. "After all this time? You're a resourceful girl, and luckier than you deserve. You could go anywhere, do--"

"It doesn't feel like a year to me," she said. "It feels like less than a month. And if his pet Aes Sedai hadn't healed me before they threw me into the street, I'd likely have died there. No. Atruman dies."

Birno frowned at her, then nodded slowly. "Very well. If you must." He hesitated, still studying her. "Have you given any thought to what you'll do... after?"

Illa shook her head. "Distinctive eye, distinctive hand. Not much good for a life of crime."

Birno drummed his fingers on the table, clearly hesitant. After a long moment, he said: "Perhaps some Aes Sedai or Asha'man might be interested in an unusual sort of Warder. There's a place I've heard of, new and old, not too terribly far from here..."

"Lord Atruman first," said Illanova firmly. "Flight from justice after."

Career History

  • Drin (10 January 2023)