Eye Color: dark
Hair Color: dark
Place of Origin: In a wagon on the road
Character's name: Ashley Wilkes Age: 16 Place of Origin: in a wagon on the road Hair Color: dark Eye Color: dark Height: 5'4 Weight: 50 kg Notes: Fiddler, Vegetarian, Whittler (of wood and patience) Q: Ashley, why [i]have[/i] you enlisted as a trainee? Would you give your life to protect an Aes Sedai?
A: Why would I, Master Seshir? There is no hatred when I think of evil, no desire to hunt down and slay the Shadowspawn with [i]your[/i] prowess. I have never seen a Fade, and nor do I wish to ever meet its eyeless stare. The passion with which the other lads speak about war has made fighting Trollocs as easy as felling trees. To me, the listener, their feats may just be as mundane; hewing trees will not get me killed while Trollocs may. My blood chills. It stirs not with the lust of a battle, for I have never fought before. Truth be told, I may let some of the rougher lads in on my secret, and once they know the extent of my disinterest, watch that 'diluted blood' course out of my veins, should I feel the need. To be faithful I should remain peaceful, rather than raise a finger in retaliation. My upbringing has a lot to say for that, the same as everybody else's. Unlike most lads' fathers who were Queen's sons, noblemen, or respectable soldiers and merchants, queries on occupation has found a rarer reply: my father fixed pots. At the past tense the lads have bowed their heads with the courtesy they are brought up with while I nod or smile at how polite they are. I know what they are thinking. He has died to the cause, a nameless victim of the evil they are always thinking about, the heroic dreams. I do not go on and tell them this is not so. There is no need to elaborate, no desire to tell the lads that my father is not like them. He has been like me, peaceful instead of violent. Soft, my speech is gone beyond the Way, and I now gather my thoughts on why I am here. Nay, it is not they thought, that my father has told me to seek you out when his thread unraveled. Quite the opposite, and on both accounts: His thread is not yet cut; he has not told me to seek you out. But I am not here because of my father, who fixed pots. Here, read the tinker boy's story. [i] There once was a village, and further away from the village parked a pack of wagons, where its people would work for the suspicious villagers during the day, and dance amongst their own during the night. A few years ago the drought came over the hold. It was quite a sight to see, actually, the sight of their children running after a speck of cloud in the sky, yelping as they ran. The day-work slacked as the villagers felt the need to conserve, but the people of the wagons continued to dance throughout the nights. There was not much to make merry about any more, as the people dwindled. Babies were the first to be afflicted, and soon there were as little children making their way to adulthood as there were storm clouds. With heavy hearts the people danced, not so much to make merry as to incite the rain. This year or in the year to come the rain would come, they said to one another, but both years the rain would not come, and the people turned to their leader, and said unto him: [i]Mahdi[/i], help us. Then [i]Mahdi[/i], whose instincts voted for a nomadic solution, spoke. He spoke of seeking songs elsewhere, despite the greater concentration of people who may be suspicious of the wagon people. The people gathered their belongings and returned to the road they came from, away from the outskirts of one village to another. It was during this move that a boy was born to them, and people approved as they baptized him in the rain. They named him in their tongue, and declared that his name was a sign. It was a sign, that of the change as faces lightened, and its people praised their caravan leader for his wisdom. After the move, the people rebuilt their stakes and campfires, and smiled upon the little boy with pleasure. The older people spoilt him whilst the younger taught him their crafts, those of mending pots and leather in the days, and of weaving and dancing in the evenings. Soon he was learning how to fiddle, and besides helping the womenfolk gather roots and berries, he was free to do as he like so long as he remained in the wagon. But the child did not have other boys his age to play with, and wearied of the dolls. Girls who were of the age considered boys odd and stayed wary, while he considered the slow dancing young women who tousled his hair odd. He would have been left to his own devices longer were it not for the travelers who would occasionally stay with the people. The strangers were always welcomed warmly, and fed with good food. In front of the fire, the people gathered, pausing good music to listen to their visitors' stories. Many spoke of their homelands, which boy liked best. They came, telling stories to any who would listen, and when Mahdi and the people he led sent them off on the farewell, they often invited the people, knowing well how improbable a visitation was. One day, a man from the village came, and joined them. When he invited the people back to the village the tinker boy took the man's words at face value and made his way to the local market the following day. He met boys his own age who were not of the people, whose clothing were dull with age and ragged. But together he and the ragged boys explored the market with him together, and their company made him happy. After he familiarised himself with the village he would slip out from the wagons whenever he could get away, and the children trusted him enough to show him their craft. And what fun it was, when first he reached into a matronly apron, and thrice he fell in the streets so that his playmate would take apples from a neighbouring stall. All those tricks he had played, and kept playing until a new boy he never saw before cuffed his mate. This boy, bigger, buffer than the others then pushed him down as well. The tinker boy whimpered. Nobody had never hurt him intentionally, and the malice glittering from the other's eyes was searing when tinker boy knew he had done nothing to the other. Buffed boy jeered, and led the others to taunt his bright clothing as well. One by one, the ragged boys chanted that hateful rhyme, and finally playmate of his joined forces, his face unrecognisable as it tore with excitement. As for the tinker boy, he swung both fists helplessly as he lashed out, cried, pleaded ? all to no avail; if anything, the other boys grew more frenzied, as if his reactions stirred them on. Blow after blow rain on the overwhelmed boy, and he even bit another boy's hand as his pain seized body clenched. Crunching himself tighter he curled on the ground until the boys grew weary of the sport, and left the bleeding tinker boy in the market. It was his father who found tinker boy, though every capable man in the wagon searched for him. Tinker boy spat out a piece of the finger he bitten and wept as his father chastised him for fighting back. He told his father goodbye, and the terrible arguments finally ended when he pushed his father aside. When he left, the tinker boy had no farewell, nor did he invite any of his people anywhere. He left, with [i]Mahdi's[/i] unspoken farewell, which he heard so many times around the fire, tolling in his ears. "You came in peace, depart now in peace. Always will our fires welcome you, in peace. The Way of the Leaf is peace." [/i] So, now you know my story, and how I have not come for the Aes Sedai. As for your answer, there is no desire in me to protect these powerful women, whom I have never laid eyes on. I have no hatred for evil, no crusade of my own to inflict on others. I am come for the sole purpose of learning how to fight, that when the odds are against me, I may defend myself. My father cannot protect me; how can he when he will not see me anymore? I ask only of you, [i]Gaidin[/i], to teach me the way of the sword, and I will be on my way.
Voltaire: "We have a natural right to make use of our pens as of our tongue, at our peril, risk and