|Before the Insanity: A Friendly Game Of Darts
The scene: the Black Tower. Six or seven bored Asha’man, away from the watchful eye of Mazrim Taim, are occupied in playing darts. The dartboard bears a life-size and remarkably realistic image of the Watcher of the Seals, the Flame of Tar Valon, the Amyrlin Seat, Elaida do Avriny a’Roihan. At least, it would be realistic if Elaida customarily had several darts stuck into various parts of her body. (The fact that a great majority of people would prefer that she did is irrelevant.)
Another dart hits.
The Asha’man whoops. “I got the stole! Double score!”
Another aims his dart and throws. It hits the red stripe of the stole. “Triple score.”
“Fluke,” the first one mutters.
“Ah, none of you are any good,” a third jeers. Picking up a dart, he throws and hits the Great Serpent ring. “Quadruple score. Looks like some of you need lessons.”
The scene rapidly degenerates into squabbling. The older Asha’man are standing back from the scene, looking amused, when...
“I think you all need lessons.”
The voice coming from the doorway is that of a woman, surprising in itself. But what makes all the black-coated figures gape is the fact that the speaker, now crossing the room, is stunningly beautiful, the possessor of ageless features, and wearing a shawl fringed in bright red.
“You’re aiming entirely wrong,” the Red sister tells them patiently. “If you’ll excuse me?” She plucks a dart from the fingers of one Asha’man. “This is where you try and hit.” The dart flies through the air.
It hits Elaida squarely between the eyes.
“Winning score, wouldn’t you say?” The slim woman bestows a dazzling smile on all of them. “Keep trying.” With the same graceful stride as entering, she walks out of the room, and her muttering is heard fading away in the distance. “I never liked that woman...”
It is more than five minutes before any of the Asha’man pick their jaws up off the floor and stop choking. All except one. The one whose dart was taken, a tall man with bright blue eyes, is leaning against the wall helpless with laughter.
“Amazing,” he manages to gasp out between fits of laughing. “I just met someone as crazy as me!”