Ok, this is the profile of Ralkien. It mostly goes hand in hand with Sarah's profile; different accounts of similar stories. Asha'men can channel the One Power. Basically, they are magic users. Their successive ranks are Soldier, Dedicated and Asha'man. Dedicated status is denoted by a silver sword shaped collar pin, Asha'man status by a coloured dragon shaped collar pin. The Dark One's Eyes as a dice roll is all ones. In some games it is a winning roll, in others a losing roll. I think that is all you need to know. Also written in first person.
We were out in the fields, we almost always were; it was safe. My friends and I were playing. We were kids, thats what kids do. We had played in this same field as long as I could remember, it wasn't very large but we had long since divided it up into sections, depending on what game we played.
This day we played Catch The Chicken, there weren't any chickens in the actual game, but we would have teams, one bigger than the other. The bigger team was the Chicken team, the Catchers had to catch all the Chickens. There was a part of the field that was uneven, it was right next to the forest; there were deep holes and large rocks. In Catch The Chicken, this area was the Chicken Pen. The rest of the field was divided into the Crop, where the Catchers had to run through the pretended farmer's crop and Catch the stray Chickens and return them to the Chicken Pen, and the Catcher's house, which was some fallen trees where we could sit and rest; countless people had rested on them and their surfaces were smooth to the touch.
This day, I was a Chicken, along with five other boys, and there were three Catchers. Two of the Chickens were caught and sent to the Pen. O yes, I forgot to tell you, we were smart Chickens, we could open the Chicken Pen from the outside and free all the Chickens if we could get there without being caught. I was running to the Pen to free my fellow Chickens, flapping their 'wings' and squaking to imitate their part. One of the Catchers was chasing me, he was a faster runner than me, but I ran hard that day and managed to stay one step ahead of him, until we closed in on the Pen, and he slowed down - it wasn't smart to run in the Pen, because of the rocks and holes. I hadn't realised how fast I was running and the shouts of the other boys assailed me and told me to stop running before I killed myself.
I turned my head away from watching the Catcher just in time to see the ground slope down right in front of me with a hole where my foot would land. As fast as I was running, if I would've taken a longer stride I would have stumbled, a shorter stride would have put my feet too far behind me and put me flat on my face. I wasn't quick enough to think of either of these things anyway, but a panic grasped my mind, and chills ran down my spine as I knew my ankle would be wrenched in a fraction of a second. My pulse quickened in that instant and I could see every detail of the hole my foot was about to enter; every blade of grass, every tiny pebble of dirt at their bases. I closed my eyes so I wouldn't see my foot get ruined. My foot came down, on flat ground, my body still carried forward, I lifted my other foot; it came down, I was still running, and I opened my eyes and forced myself to slow. I watched the pitted land as I ran over it; rocks seemed to flatten and other holes filled themselves up for a few paces until I stopped running, staring in awe. The other boys apparently hadn't seen and were continuing the game, all the Chickens were freed from the Pen and the one Catcher in the Catcher's house came running out to help regather the Chickens.
Ten days later...
I woke up, but at the time, I didn't know I was awake. My vision was murky, clouded with fuzziness, and everything moved as if in a dream. That's what I thought it was; a dream. I tried to move, but my body wouldn't respond, I tried to lift my head, and pain lanced through me, up my spine and attacking the base of my skull. The world I saw through my veiled eyes lurched and my mind felt like it was collapsing in on itself.
The pain didn't recede. I laid in agony, time lost its meaning, I may have drifted off to sleep several times, the only difference was the pain. I don't know if I was awake or asleep at one point, but I felt like I was about to die. I needed to find a way to get rid of the pain, to buffer myself from it. The only thing other than the pain I was aware of was a picture I had seen in a book. There was water, so much water in this picture, and it flew off a cliff and fell into the abyss below. In my mind, I made the pain flow with the water. I managed to sluice it off my mind and it fell away from me into a chasm with no definition, no way to be filled, and no way for the pain to come back.
My vision was still muddled but I could make out general shapes. I believe my mother came to see me and left in a rush, then she came back, with another women, the Wisdom I thought. My mother stayed most of the time, I think, but the Wisdom left; she seemed unable to do anything to remedy whatever was wrong with me.
The only change I noticed was my vision clearing up, I was still sluicing all my emotion into that river as it flew into the chasm. Across my buffer zone, I could all of a sudden feel cold, no longer was pain etching my mind. The image of the void and waterfall vanished and I could see my mother patting my forehead with a damp cloth. From that moment on, the pain was gone.
Age thirteen, later that year...
It seemed lately, that the other boys didn't want to play with me. The weather was perfect, the field was green, but they all seemed able to come up with some excuse to be absent.
At first, after the incident a while ago, the other boys hadn't changed, not right away at least. I don't even know if they noticed what had happened, even when I was home almost that whole day. They still wanted to play with me though. Until I started to win. At first they laughed along with me, but I kept winning. I don't quite know how it happened, I wasn't the fasted runner by far. It didn't depend on the game either, I would win Catch The Chickens, Casting Stones, Sticks and Stones, whatever we played, I seemed to win.
After a while it became evident the other boys didn't want to play with me. I was sick for two days during the summer, but it wasn't like before, no splitting headaches, no high fevers, just a normal sick. After those days I couldn't find my friends anywhere. They would either be home, but unavailable, or simply 'away' doing a chore, running an errand whatever. They wanted to avoid me.
There were still some people I could be friends with, people that hadn't played in the field with me. I started to play with my brothers, they played dice games a lot, and one of their friends played with some cards as well. At first I would watch, but eventually they would let me play too. At first they joked about me being cursed, I would roll the Dark One's Eyes time and again. They laughed at first, but as soon as I started to win, the same thing happened as before. They shunned me, they said a little boy shouldn't be playing with dice.
At this time, there was only one person special to me. Her name was Sarah. Either she didn't notice the obscure way things happened around me, or she didn't care, but we didn't talk about it. Even at this young age, I thought - hoped - that I would be with her for life. It seemed that we would, we would always have fun together, go for walks late at night until our parents were worried; we spent a lot of time together. It was she who introduced me to the world of books. We would often read together, stories of far away lands, mythical lands. Shara, past the Aiel waste, the Blight, where men fought bravely day after day, the Shining Walls of Tar Valon, where lived Aes Sedai. We would sit enthralled for hours, not uttering a word, our presence with each other and the stories were enough.
As I said, we would walk, mostly for the sake of being together; being alone, together. When we walked, it would be her taking me to places. She had several secret places, places she never told anybody about, places where she could be entirely alone. I was amazed that she could find so many inside a city, but living near the edge of it as we both did, she managed. We would sit for hours underneath an old unused wagon, or a dead-end alley that was clean but never visited by people, simply sit and talk, and be together.
But she wasn't available all the time. Like normal people there would be days, sometimes weeks, where her parents would take her somewhere, or when she became sick, and there was nobody for me to be with. The magic of the books weren't enough during those times, I had to find another way to keep busy. At first I would sit alone, training my mind to summon the River, sluicing my emotions into it as it flowed into the depthless chasm. Whether the River raged or swept calmly by, the emptiness brought peace to my mind.
Also, along the years I had started to learn to use a bow. At first I could only use my brother's bow, as he taught me. Later, I had saved my allowances and managed to buy my own bow and practiced with that a lot. Flowing along the River brought calm and also brought concentration. The depth of the chasm seemed to reach beyond me, so deep, reaching past my eyes to the target. And instead of feeding all my feelings into the River, some I poured into the arrow. The chasm would call the arrow, lead it to the target, as I loosed it and it flew straight and true.
After years of practice, the long hours when I couldn't be with Sarah, loosing arrows became something I could identify with. I became very good, and it was calming. Whether there was strong wind, rain, or any element of nature, I could point an arrow into the air and loose it. The chasm led the arrow to the target. The more I practiced, the better I became.
One day, Sarah and I were walking, we headed towards the field I used to play in. She led me across the field into the trees. I questioned our destination in my mind, but said nothing. Aburptly we came into a small opening, barely 2 paces across. I hadn't seen it as we approached, but from inside, the forest was visible in nearly all directions for a small distance. Sarah released my hand, cross the clearing, bent to retrieve something and returned. I opened my mouth to ask her what he was doing, but she pressed her finger to my lips after I said only her name. She pressed something into my palm, something warm. I looked down at it, it was an oval stone, deep blue-green in colour. Instantly it reminded me of Sarah's eyes, which I had spent many hours gazing into. I looked into those pools, those beautifully deep pools of colour, and said, "Sarah, it is beautiful, thank you." I realized I was grinning, Sarah had small smile on her lips, and water in the corners of her eyes. She wrapped me in a hug, and I returned it. We sat there and talked for a long time that day, until we could barely see each other in the failing light. She led me back out of the forest and he hugged once more before returning to our homes. That whole week, I never saw her.
A few days later a bunch of black clad men, called themselves the Asha'man, came. I hadn't seen them but word spread almost as fast as they apparently appeared. They were testing just about every male in sight, claiming to be recruiting for the Dragon Reborn. Me being the misfit I had become, willingly submitted myself for testing, hoping I'd fit in. I sought them out and was tested. They said I would be able to learn to channel, something about being born with a 'spark' and told me to go through a gate, they called it Travelling. I asked there was time to say bye, the reply was a curt "Little." I hurried off to find Sarah, but as had been the case of the past few days, she was not to be found, though I searched everywhere I knew.
I returned to the Asha'man, all I had was a book in my hand, and the stone Sarah gave to me in my pocket. I would never be found without that. Especially after that day. I pressed my hand against my pocket to make sure it was there. I would treasure it forever, for who she was, for what she was; to me. I hoped I would see her again, and I still hold that hope even though years have passed, and my life has changed much.
A tear slipped from my eye as I stepped out of the gate. I was in a large place in the middle of nowhere, a bunch of men surrounded me, wearing black. I began my training that day and have since moved from Soldier to Dedicated. I aspire to the Dai Mahdi'in, the Battle Seekers, and will be raised to Asha'man soon after my training.