Malcym Ashe

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Malcym Ashe
MaL-cem Ash
Created by Jack
Gender Male
Occupation Drin
Affiliation The Grey Tower
Nationality Mayener

Malcym Ashe is an Mayener Drin of the Grey Tower.


It’s hard not to notice Malcym Ashe. Decent looking, albeit just above the average look. Square jaw, youngish, as if just entering his second decade. He has a slender build, but a soldier’s standing, albeit one who was just freshly minted. The young soldier stands a few inches below six feet, slightly olive-like skin and a shock of brown hair.

His hands are rough as if they had seen hard work, but those eyes -- sharp sapphires bespeckled by bits of silver -- belay an intelligence that one could miss by his simple demeanor. He’s polite but curt, and the few times he does speak, it’s hard to miss the slight Mayener accent.

He looks like one to follow orders, but underneath there’s an independent spirit that could be forged into a weapon sharper than any Powerforged sword of old. He knows his numbers, letters and history, as if tutored by a master scholar somewhere far in his youth, but his attention seems more focused on strategy and military history, when not on his surroundings.

He’s not dressed like a soldier however. More like a wanderer, dressed in eathern tones, mail and leathers and hunters boots. He wears a set of rings, one a plain silver and one made of jade with gold leafing, a simple bracelet of knotted leather.

He’s armed. A long blade, slightly curved, resides in a scabbard on his back. The hilt is leather-wrapped antler horn and he acts if he can wield it with some skill. A knife lies concealed under his cloak, a second in his right boot.

Traveling companions? Three other people, two soldiers bearing the colors of some Andoran house, a bit tattered but well-armed. Didn’t pay much attention to them because they seemed the type to simply take orders and protect their own.

The third person — heavily cloaked and his face hidden by a deep hood. He seemed just under six feet, and all three of the men seemed to give certain deference. Of course, Master Ashe seemed ... more cognizant of something than the other two soldiers. The only thing that seemed to leap out was his eyes — a flash of gold against a green field.


Malcym's eyes took in everything — and his ears were ever open. It was necessary given the current weather.

Astride a sorrel mare, Malcym Ashe was at the head of the four-man group, about fifty feet ahead and scouting their forested area.

It was the furthest he could go before he left sight of his companions before the heavy mist obscured them. His sapphire eyes could pick them out, but just barely, all three men on horses of different breeds. Two were heavily armed and stood out in the forest surrounding; the third was dressed more like him, capable of blending into the area if needed.

The last didn't appear armed but Malcym knew better — even if he didn't know who the man was, he could identify the most dangerous man in a group, even if he couldn't stop that person.

Malcym had no experience combating channelers, only brigands and make-believe soldiers.

The mist around them was thick. Given their travel from Caemlyn to Camden Corelle — and before — Malcym would not rule out an attack so close to their goal.

Twice they had been attacked between Andor's capital and the last vestige of civilization before their destination in the middle of the Mountains of Mist. Their party had once consisted of six.

He could ... smell it, trouble ahead. It was an odd sensation. It was there, in the back of his mind. Instinct drove it.

"I say we wait," he murmured, his sapphire eyes scanning the area. "Wait until the fog has lifted and go from there."

A small chuckle sounded beside him. Malcym blinked before glancing sideways, only to see a pair of gold-green eyes look back at him.

"You expect a horde of Trollocs this close, Malcym?" the man murmured in a slight Ebou Dari accent. "You'd be as likely to encounter that as much as you would Whitecloaks, Seanchan or White Tower soldiers."

Malcym smirked. The man beside him knew his passion for history. Twice at least the area had been host to the Seanchan Empire's siege, had been at war with Tar Valon once and multiple assaults by the Children of the Light.

And then there was Trolloc invasion when the city of Hama Valon was yet an infant.

But that was long before his time ... when the Whitecloaks were still an independent power and the Aiel were still a new presence in the Westlands.

"Ser, I'd still recoommend we wait given all that has occurred," Malcym murmured.

The cloaked man looked backward to the two soldiers before briefly shaking his head.

"Soldier Ashe, we press forward," he murmured. "Our companions are tired and eager to return home to Camden Correl. And I for one long for home and the gardens of my Tower."

Malcym nodded but before the man could turn, he asked one question. "How long."

"Too long."

Malcym inclined his head in understanding but was still curious.

"We could as well turn around, ser, and return to Camden Corelle," he murmured. "You seemed at home there."

The man next to him chuckled, something that almost seemed eerie. It was like a Trolloc showing compassion.

"Home is more than just a place you might consider a place you could belong," the man said. "Home is a time, a moment, a stirring and impact of the soul. It's the place we are inexplicably drawn to at our beginning and the place we look toward when that soul wants peace of mind."

Before Malcym could ask another question, the man continued.

"I learned whom I was there. I was married twice there, and four of my children were born within its walls," he murmured. "One gave his life to defend it from Seanchan, another died because of whom I became. One I never knew, and the third became the center of my world. A fifth died there as well, and yet another ... a father could never be prouder of his accomplishments."

The man's eyes flashed from beneath his hood, as if he were actually reliving those moments.

"I fought in four wars for this place and sacrificed more than most men were willing," he murmured. "I lost more friends and loved ones, and sent others to their deaths. I alienated others because I could never see past my war with the Shadow."

"Then why did you even bother ..."

"Because everything I did was for this place, because I believed what this place stood for," the man murmured. "I loved, I lost, I wept and I laughed in this place for more than a hundred years."

The party progressed, and Malcym's hand strayed to the sword at his saddle.

Such was his life. While he was a Mayener by blood, his career had been with the army of Murandy, if that was at all an army.

His mother had emigrated from Mayene while still heavy with child and found favor with a middling landed noble of that land. He'd been but one. In time, his mother had wed the chief captain of that lord's small army.

Malcym had grown up in modest comfort — nowhere near what lords and ladies were accorded, but enough to be afforded some education. But the lord's favor only extended so far, and Malcym was expected to enlist in the minor lord's armsmen or serve the de facto throne of Murandy.

He chose the latter because it meant his sister, whom his mother gave birth to mere months after their arrival, would be spared marriage to a nobleman nearly 30 years her senior.

For five years, he'd been a soldier, rising slowly through the ranks from mere grunt to a lowly officer. Malcym learned from the men he respected — all of them below him but more seasoned. The men he was given charge of respected him in the minor sorties he led against marauders or rouge Aiel only because he showed due consideration for their opinion.

It earned him the notice of his superiors — and not in a good way. Murandy was a hotbed for the Game of Houses as much as Cairhien was, but the former's higher-ups played it much more poorly.

It showed the day an Aes Sedai cloaked in purple came to the manor he was ordered to patrol around. One man was all she requested, to escort someone home.

Needless to say, his captain had been more than eager to offer him up for that duty. Two months, enough time to poison the thoughts of the men against him.

He'd arrived in Caemlyn via gateway and from there been told by some minor lord we would be escorting someone to the legendary Grey Tower along with a small retinue of men. The orders were simple: home at any cost.

The man he was ordered to escort was always shrouded in a cloak, with few opportunities to glance at his face. All he saw was a man of Andoran ancestry, with a face that appeared ageless and piercing eyes of gold-green.

Few words were at first spoken during the journey from Caemlyn. He was more familiar with the five men who formed the escort, all of them wearing the colors of House Walker.

A House whose manor had fallen into ruin when Malcym was but a lad of 10 winters, when it was laid waste by an unknown enemy, its family and armsmen slaughtered. The house captain, a man by the name of Majere, was presumed dead.

All that remained was the branch at Camden Correl in the Mountains of Mist.

Within a week, they were assaulted by unknown forces, a man lost. Malcym had killed two that attacked the camp, but they only bore brigand colors. No notes among the bodies, no indication of why they attacked. Not among the eight men who were slain

The second attack was more intense, and they had lost their most experienced man. Twenty men had attacked ... none survived between the armsmen and the channeler who created fire and lightning.

A second man had perished and Malcym had demanded answers of their charge that night.

A glare had silenced Malcym. A simple glance enough to make men know better than to question an order or doubt a commanding officer's very earnest, very logical decision.

Since then, the man had occasionally spoken to Malcym, enough to gauge that channeling was apparently a draining affair. For the two days following, he had been downright lethargic after mounting his horse. Another day before he even spoke to someone else.

Since Camden Corelle, where they received a cool but cordial welcome, they had not been attacked. His charge had been invited to eat and stay with the lord of the township, and the remaining escorts housed in good accommodations.

Since Camden Corelle, he'd also started having strange dreams. Sharper ones. One night, in their ten-night stay, he'd gone hunting with a few locals. He'd gotten separated when he saw the wolf — on the edge, waiting for him.

He could almost sense it, not a threat. The wolf ... snorted before it left.

Malcym had insisted on staying near his charge, but a look silenced him. And conferred that the man was capable of taking care of himself.

And now ... they advanced through the mist, and his hand gripped the sword hilt as tightly as possible.

Regardless of his charge's irreverent comments, Malcym knew the risk weather played in the difference between life and death.

He'd fought in enough sorties where the weather concealed their movements — and lost at least one captain who was bold enough to think he was beyond nature's respect.

Well, two captains. Some Murandian military leaders were idiots.

It was a half candle mark before they saw the brief silhouettes of the spires of Hama Vala in the distance.

Malcym raised a closed fist not two heartbeats later. Something ... smelled wrong. The stench of men, fear, desperation.

How could he know that? In the distance, he heard a wolf's howl.

"Fifteen men," was the response the man gave. It was surprisingly sharp, and when he looked back, he saw that the cloaked man hadn't moved from their companions' side.

Malcym sighed. He hated weather such as this. And the fact that his charge could pick the people out before he could.

A blast of lightning ... and well, he wasn't sure the man was capable of it without fainting.


"Directly in front."

"Can you provide a ..."

The burst of lightning came from nowhere directly to their right. It was followed by a second.

It was all Malcym needed. He looked back at the two soldiers and gave one simple order.

"Protect the Asha'man all cost." It wasn't so much a command to attack as a warning.

He spurred his horse forward into a gallop, his curved longsword drawn. His lungs gathered air as he shouted some random phrase in the Old Tounge.

Unfortunately, his knowledge of the Old Tongue was fairly limited. Whatever he meant to say, it translated to "rotten pork on a pitch."

But it got their would-be ambushers' attention ... or what remained of them. For some reason, he could ... smell burned flesh, knew there were at least six less than what had been before the lightning fell.

As he skirted past the men still mounted, one came close. He saw a man in a dirty white cloak, lightly armored. He acted on instinct, his sword slashing across even before the other man could react.

The strike was true, cutting through flesh. The smell of blood filled Malcym's nostrils ... even as he became the prey.

The advantage of surprise ended when the remaining men gave chase. He urged his horse harder, and she gained speed beyond them.

They were always a few heartbeats behind, but far enough not to do harm ... until the arrows started flying. A small flurry whirled past him, one grazing his left cheek in the process.

A few more moments and he rolled from his horse, his body conforming to minimize the damage to his body. His breath nearly rushed from his lungs as he hit the grounds, but years of military training took effect.

He was crouched, hidden in the fog as his horse continued to gallop. His sword was still in hand, slick with blood from the only wounded enemy.

He heard hoofbeats as his pursuers bought the bait. A decoy always worked, except for the decoy.

This only proved too true ... the sound of boots in the dirt approaching.

Malcym turned as the first of what he assumed the first of four men burst through the mist. He raised his sword in time to parry a wild blow and punch the other man in the jaw with his sword hilt.

The enemy fell to the ground but it threw Malcym off his balance. The second man came charging, and Malcym suddenly found himself in an off-balanced fight as he went on the defensive.

A slash slipped through, or rather was deflected, and slipped across Malcym's left side. Malcym delivered a savage return blow that put his opponent on the defensive, but the resulting exchange of strikes and parries quickly reversed that.

"Why do you protect him," the other man said with disgust. "He's a heathen abomination and channelers are a sin against the Creator."

Malcym's gaze hardened as he circled, hearing and smelling more than seeing the other two men grow closer.

"If it's a sin, then at least he's one of the good ones," Malcym spat back in retort. "Though I'd daresay the bigger sin is your goatfaced expression. Did your mother by any chance spend the night with a Trolloc horde?"

The other swordsman let out a savage howl and lunged wildly, apparently hit harder by the insult than any past blow. Malcym acted as quickly as he could, wheeling around in a semi-circle as he dodged the would-be life-ending thrust.

The other man stumbled and attempted to regain his balance, but the blow to the back of the head by Malcym's sword hilt caused him to crumple like a cut sack of flour.

Malcym turned back to face the other two oncoming men when the first crossbow bolt took him in the upper left leg. Through mail, leather and flesh it tore, sinking in and causing the young soldier to fall to his knee. He gritted his teeth as pain flashed up his body into his mind.

Even as he attempted to stand, a second bolt hit his left shoulder, piercing it. His nerves caught on fire as he subdued a howl of pain. Two men emerged from the fog, grim expressions on their faces.

Malcym spat in their general direction, his grip on his sword tightening in his good arm. Beyond the smell of blood, he could sense two other men approaching behind his would-be executioners.

"They made it to the gates ..." was all he could hear of the two furthest men. He smiled grimly, his eyes defiant as he glanced at the two men in front of him.

"You failed. The channeler made his way to safety," Malcym said through the pain, almost mocking the men who brought him down. "Guess you're going home empty-handed and your rear ends set to be someone else's new saddle."

The butt of the crossbow came crashing across the side of his head. He almost swore he could hear the bells of Mayene ringing from the sheer impact of the blow.

Not his most favorite sound in the world. The man who struck him said something but it came through only in spates.

"Sorry, couldn't quite hear that," Malcym said with a bitter laugh. Oh Light, but that laugh stung. "I couldn't get over the stench of sheer incompetence. And I think your companion soiled himself during that first bit of lightning."

The second man in front of him delivered a swift kick with his mailed boot to his lower ribs. Malcym spat again, this time with the coppery taste of blood on his tongue. The kick likely broke a rib or two.

"Bigger girls than you have tried to kill me," he muttered through the pain. "Prettier ones at that."

Another kick as the two men emerged from the mist.

"For Creator's sake, let's just kill him and take his head back as an example," one man said. "There's no way the demon can be extracted from that flaming place without ending up in the gallows."

The other man grunted and muttered, "Guess your number is up, boy. Too bad, was looking forward to the poison on the bolts doing its work on you."

Malcym's vision began to blur at that point. He could only make out shapes, but the smells and sounds remained sharp despite his worsening vision. He could hear the rasp of metal against leather as a sword was unsheathed, the utter ... anticipation of glee on his soon-to-be executioner's body.

And then a blur of a shape slipped across his vision, white as snow. A howl of pain and surprise erupted from the man with the crossbow as the blur knocked the man to the ground. A bare second later, blood filled Malcym's nose.

The other man, the one with the sword, was just as startled, tried to regain his composure and swing his sword, but the blurred white image emitted a low growl. It pounced a bare second later, ending another life.

Malcym heard the rush of boots, followed by more behind them. He looked up at his unlikely rescuer, and came face-to-face with the golden eyes of a wolf. Malcym's grip on the sword tightened briefly, to which the response was a growl.

The sword dropped from his grip as he became dizzy. The wolf snorted ... and was gone.

He reached for his sword, the curved blade feeling heavy as he picked it up. He might die, but he would die sword in hand.

He growled and brought his sword up ... just as a third bolt pierced through his side. He attempted to stand but a sharp kick to his chest suddenly knocked him backward.

"You flaming savage ..." was all Malcym heard before he heard screams and the sound of arrows whistling through the air.

He fell to the ground ... moments seemed to bleed into eternity. He heard boots, voices ... and felt hands on him.

An explosion of sensations flooded him then as a wave hit him. Arrows pushed through, the snapping of wood ... and then his world went black.

Malcym opened his eyes, woken by the rumbling in his stomach and a dry throat. His body felt like it had gone without rest for a week.

Unfortunately, the light coming from a nearby window came in too brightly and he swore violently. He attempted to sit up as well ... and was firmly pushed back down by a firm, unyielding hand.

"Stay down, soldier," a familiar voice rasped. Malcym opened his eyes again, the hand coming into view. A jade ringed hand, of which a few fingers were missing some tips.

His former charge appeared well and alive it seemed. He lifted his eyes to see the still-cloaked man looking down, gold-green eyes peering through the hood.

"What ..." his voice gave out from the dryness.

The man gave a humorless chuckle. "You were at death's door when the Healer and his Warder found you. Good thing they had a few archers to spare."

"How ..."

"How long were you out?" the man asked. "Nearly a week. Three poisoned arrows, a sharp blow to the head, sword wounds and few broken ribs, one of which punctured something vital. That takes its toll on the person who is Healed."

Light, but was the Asha'man a flaming mind reader? No, probably just a flaming insufferable know-it-all. Bloody ashes, but he hated channelers.

He was about to same something else, when his stomach rumbled and the smell of food wafted into his nose.

"It also tends to make an impact on the stomach," the Asha'man said. Malcym could almost hear the wry half-smile that seemed to be on the man's hidden lips. "They've been feeding you broth this entire time, but now that you're awake, stew might be a better choice."

A minute later and he was hauled into a sitting position rather unceremoniously and food and a mug of water shoved in front of him. Malcym's hand was around the spoon handle and shoving warm mutton stew in his mouth without a second thought.

"You sent the recuse party," Malcym said with a mouthful of stew in his mouth. At this point, ceremony was out of his mind.

The cloaked Asha'man had since stood up, looking out the window.

"After they got over the shock of seeing a ghost, yes," the man said with a decisively Ebou Dari accent. It was the first time Malcym could place such an accent on the man. He had always been hard to place by voice alone, but it was odd for someone of apparent Andoran accent.

"Though they had questions about how two men died, as if their throats had been torn open," he said. "I don't suppose you know anything about it."

Malcym's mind flashed back to that moment, felt the pain of it despite the Healed injuries ... those golden eyes.

"All I remember was two men about to kill me and extreme pain ..."

The gaze hardened, as if he knew Malcym weren't telling him everything.

"And then they decided to tear out their own throats?" he said calmly. "You may want to remember that little detail when you are asked by the Tower Guard."

Malcym washed down the stew with the water he had been supplied, and began scraping the near empty bowl with the bread he had been provided.

"With respect, Asha'man, my orders were to escort you to Hama Valon and protect you if necessary," Malcym said. "Duty discharged. I've oaths to keep ..."

The Asha'man pulled a small scroll from a hidden pocket, its seal broken. "A pigeon came from Murandy a day ago, Master Ashe. It seems that there's a new commander for your regiment and he didn't think too highly of you. Some high born lad from a spit of land outside Mindea named Alain a'Cadan, appointed by some general in Lugard."

Malcym frowned and took the offered scroll. He knew the name a'Cadan from somewhere ...

"Oh, flaming blood and ashes," he muttered. A high born brat he was, Alain a'Cadan, and one who thought his status earned him the right to have his way with a tavern servant some six months before being ordered to escort the Asha'man. A few words and a sharp knee from Malcym ended that that notion.

The only reason he hadn't been killed or clapped in irons for that stunt was because his captain had some pull and couldn't afford to lose any men.

It seems a'Cadan wasn't forgiving in his nature. It was evident by the message on the scroll. "Cut loose the wolf. Kick him the dog if you can. He is formally discharged from Murandy and the king's service."

"He doesn't like you very much," the Asha'man said.

"So much for following orders," Malcym muttered. "'Take this man to the Grey Tower, protect him at all costs' and it ends up without so much as a flaming thanks and some uppity brat who bribed his way into a command decides he wants to eke some satisfaction."

"For your service and the risk of your life to protect mine, you've my gratitude," the Asha'man murmured. "You fought well and acted foolishly."

Before Malcym could utter a word of argument, the Asha'man raised a ringed finger. "It takes only one well-placed arrow, or a single sword blow to kill. You rushed against opponents who clearly outclassed you, outfought you and took you down like prey."

"I'm a trained soldier of Murandy ..."

The Asha'man cut him off even as his eyes turned back to the window.

"Who could be disarmed and gutted by a second-year trainee of these Yards armed with nothing more than a wooden sparring sword and a dinner fork," the Asha'man rasped. "I knew a man once who would have knocked you senseless for a stunt like such as what you conducted that day."

"And an offer might have been extended for you to sign the rolls," the Asha'man said.

Malcym frowned slightly, not liking this conversation's direction.

"I'm a soldier sworn to the throne of Murandy," he began.

"You are a disavowed warrior cut loose by his commander with nowhere to go and no lord to serve," the Asha'man countered. "And I would think should you return to Murandy, to Lugard, you would likely face the gallows."

Malcym frowned. He hated channelers, especially when they were right. His options were limited. He could venture to Mayene, a place he knew nothing about. Or he could travel south to Illian. A foreigner could rise high in the Illian military based on merit alone.

"I'll travel south to Illian," he murmured.

The Asha'man was quiet for a long moment before nodding. "Very well then. The Illianers do like someone who is brave and value solid soldiering skills. When you have recovered sufficiently, a Guardsman will likely want to debrief you, see your sword, armor and supplies return and I'll see you get a horse."

Without another word, the Asha'man left the room.

Malcym stood from the a partially concealed alcove of a building overlooking a training yard, one hand on the hilt of his sword. His sapphire eyes took in the scene below, of young men and women dressed in varying shades of gray going through drills or sparring with one another.

Some moved with a grace that even most trained soldiers could not conduct. Others were still little more than raw recruits. Some older men and women either led the drills or watched. They were at ease, but with that of a coiled spring ready to loosen.

The Mayener was dressed in newly provided traveling clothes, worn under his mail. The armor had been repaired. He had been provided a clean bill of health by one of the Yellow Aes Sedai a day ago.

As promised by the Asha'man who had been his charge, a fresh horse had been provided and was waiting in the stables. He only stood here now because a request for a second debriefing had been given to him – well a request and promise that he would not be able to leave until after he acquiesced.

So he stood, watching the training and sparring. And Light, but the Asha'man was right. Some of those trainees could easily disarm without anything more than a dinner fork.

Well, maybe more than just a dinner fork.

"A sight to see, isn't it," an Amadician accented voice commented from beside him. It took all of Malcym's strength not to jump or react to it.

He looked to his right and noticed a slight man, dressed in a white shirt and leather breaches, hands folded behind his back. He was clean shaven, closely cropped chestnut hair and his brown eyes calmly staring down at the yards. He couldn't be more than a decade older than Malcym but seemed more ... experienced. He was like one of the men or women down there, like a coiled spring.

"Aye, reminds me of my first year as a recruit, all that training," Malcym said. That only elicited a smirk of amusement from the other man.

"You asked to see me, Master ..."

"Joram Satile," the man said. "I'm a Gaidin here in these Yards, bonded to Liam Kodan Asha'man. You seemed to have healed up nicely from when I saw you last."

Malcym grunted and swore under his breath. Of course he would be debriefed by the Warder who had helped rescue him.

"The Asha'man you were escorting wanted me to speak with you before you departed, and I must admit I was curios about you," the Warder quipped. "Most young soldiers would have tried to make a run for it or asked the Asha'man to conjure more lighting ... but you charged their ranks without a second thought."

Malcym grunted again. "Protect the Asha'man, see him returned to Hama Valon. Those were the orders I was given. And the last time the Asha'man channeled that much, he wasn't much good use for days after. So my options were quite few."

The Warder cocked his head, the amused smirk still on his lips. "You took down a few of them. Impressive. But then you got taken down in turn. It looked like you tried to fight, got some ribs broken, whatever little sense you had left knocked out of you and ready to be gutted."

Malcym inclined his head. "Tougher idiots than them have tried to kill me and failed," he muttered, his eyes going back to the training yard below. "Of course, most of them tended not to be able to read more than their name."

It was true. After all, most of his military career had been spent dealing with well-armed brigands or settling petty squabbles between the armsmen of minor noble houses sworn to the more powerful Houses who truly controlled Murandy.

"And those idiots who attacked you were well armed, well trained and had you two seconds away from death's final embrace," the Warder said. He nodded below to the Yards. "And yet you charged them like a Trolloc chases its dinner, without regard to your own life for the sake of protecting a channeler."

"Brave and foolish," he quipped. "Or the makings of someone who might benefit from their training."

And so the other shoe, Malcym thought. The appeal was certainly there, but so was the knowledge that Warders don't do well some times. He knew enough stories to temper any temptation.

"Of course, you could go to Illian, rise higher than you ever could have in Murandy, and ... what, serve at the whim of some lord, just like you did in Murandy?" the Warder asked.

"Every group has its own agenda," Malcym muttered. "Better it be serving some lord or nation who can do some good rather than hire on as some person's thug or enforcer."

The Warder turned his brown gaze toward Malcym. "And the Asha'man you decided to protect, what made you think he was worthy?"

Malcym shrugged. "He showed some kindness during the journey here, and he seems a good man," he murmured.

The Warder raised an eyebrow. "You know who he is, what he is," the man inquired.

Malcym nodded. "I've an idea, confirmed it when we passed through Camden Corelle," he murmured. "I've heard the stories, the legends and rumors. Most channelers I've met were never sunshine and rainbows. But he's still a good man."

The Warder's eyebrow remain raised. "Those things you hear, most rumors about him are true," the man murmured. "Most outside this Tower might have the good sense to let him fall prey to his hunters, or those outside his family."

Malcym turned and spoke softly. "I swore an oath to see him safely to the gates of this bloody city, and I did," he said. "It doesn't matter if that man was the Dragon, some lost king or lowborn swineherd who caused the Breaking. Rumors, or stories or truth does not matter if I could see a man safely home or toward doing some good."

The Warder smiled slightly. "Well said, Master Ashe," the other man said. "It takes some recruits a few years to get that much. It's an attitude the Yards could benefit from, as much as you could benefit from it ... unless you're still set on Illian."

For the first time, Malcym didn't respond right away. His eyes went back to the yard below them.

"It doesn't pay, it's hard work, rigorous and they will try to break your spirit if you show one gram of defiance," the Warder muttered. "In short, it's not the Murandy army. But if you make it, Creator help those who try to come between you and your charge."

Malcym inclined his head. "You've made a point."

The Warder smirked yet again. He turned to leave, as if he had accomplished an important task.

He stopped three steps from the stairway. "The two men who would have killed you. They had savage wounds, as if their throats were torn out. The Asha'man never did explain that one, and I suppose you never provided one yourself. An extraordinary feat, given that you were at death's door. What did happen?"

Malcym's sapphire eyes were still as he looked first at the Warder and then at the Yards.

"They didn't realize ghosts can bite," Malcym murmured.

Career History

  • Drin (18 May 2020)