Content warnings: none.

A Lesson in Manors (part 1)

Ricardo pushed a stick through the campfire, keeping a close eye on the pot of soup that hung above the flames. He filled his bowl, tearing a off a chunk of bread and dipping it the soup. The spicy flavours reminded him of home, and the warmth was welcome. The nights were much colder here in the Borderlands than in Tear or Andor. Through the bond he could sense Marielle, who was far to the south. At this distance her presence in his mind was like the soft chime of a bell. His thoughts turned to her each day, and he missed her deeply, wishing that he could be by her side. But right now he was hunting Shadowspawn, always a dangerous task. There were reports of a Myrddraal leading a band of Trollocs in the area, and Ricardo had been dispatched to hunt them down. Marielle was back in Salidar, caught up in her duties in the rebel Aes Sedai camp, who were still debating what to do now that saidin had been cleansed.

After he finished his dinner, Ricardo extinguished the campfire. He couldn't take any chances that the light would be spotted by passing Shadowspawn. He seized saidin, channeling the One Power to set wards that would wake him if anyone approached the camp. He reached into his pack and pulled out a pendant, a small sphere of clouded white crystal attached to a leather cord. The pendant was a ter'angreal that enabled him to enter Tel'aran'rhiod. Marielle had her own ter'angreal, and tonight they were to meet in the World of Dreams. Ricardo donned the pendant, and set about erecting his tent. Of course he would have preferred to be physically next to Marielle, but Travelling would send up a beacon to any nearby Myrddraal. Instead, the couple would regularly unite in the World of Dreams, and as they had discovered, Tel'aran'rhiod was a reality that had its own set of rules. Climbing into the tent, Ricardo settled himself under the blankets. He fingered the pendant that lay against his chest, underneath his shirt, channeling a small amount of Spirit. Ricardo laid his head against his pillow, eager to find sleep as visions of Marielle flitted through his mind's eye.
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