Age: 16 (6 by the Sword)
Birthplace: Fal Dara, Shienar
Appearance: Cain stands six feet tall with a slender, yet muscled frame. A freshly shaven head leaving only a topknot in the exact center of the top back portion of his head. Eyes as green as the forest of Shienar that normally gleam in the light but lately are as dull and dark as the Shadowlands. His face holds sharp narrow cheek and jawbones, a hooked hawk like nose off-set by evenly spaced and slightly tilted piercing eyes. He wears a novices’ leather armor bearing a black swooping hawk as is befitting a young warrior in training. Instead of the typical two handed longsword of most Shienarian warriors he wears a single handed longsword on his back, that is light enough to wield with one hand, followed by a shortsword on his hip for his off-hand. A fine picture of a Shienarian warrior in training.
Cain stood before the gates to Tear looking into the city with obvious discomfort. Do I truly belong here? Could my father be right? He thought to himself. Well, it is either here or the White Tower. The thought of the White Tower gave him the shivers, no man capable of channeling wanted the fate that awaits them there.
His thoughts were interrupted by an older man coming to stand beside him and asking, “ So, are you going to stand here all day or enter to be trained?”
Looking at the man he saw he was just graying and wore a black robe over his obviously armored frame. At his hip he wore a longsword of fine craftsmanship. The face was hard and stern with a look of gruff concern upon it now. Cain responded thus, “ Sir, I am not sure how you guessed my cause to be here and I’m not sure I should be here. I have come a long way to be here at my father’s urging, but can the Dragon Reborn really help me control this raging inferno swirling chaotically through my head? Can he teach me to keep the madness of the Taint at bay long enough for Him to burn the Taint away? This is by far the better choice of the two I have as the White Tower would destroy me. With all due respect sir I wonder if I should’ve just entered the Shadowlands and fought until they killed me.” He looked quietly and seriously at the old man while he started gripping the hilt of his shortsword, kneading it with the palm of his hand.
The man looked at him and said softly, “ It sounds like you have a story to tell. Why don’t we sit and you can tell me all about it. You can start wherever you like. Come sit on the side of the road here and let’s hear it.” he was being friendly and jovial as he attempted to calm the boy. Then he sat on the side of the road and patted a spot next to him.
The boy looked stiffly for a moment at the gate into Tear and then decided now was as good as any time to tell his tale. He moved over next to the man and, careful of his sword, he sat down. He started staring off into open air as he began, “ I guess that you have probably figured out I’m Shienarian by now sir. There is nothing odd or different in my upbringing worth mentioning, I was born and raised in traditional standards for my land. Lived in the care of a woman who I call mother until I was ten seasons, then given my first sword and lived with the warriors in their quarters under the watchful eyes of my mentor and father. I’m six blades old now by the way sir, in case your wondering. My story starts about a blade ago and it began as thus.” at this the boy takes a deep breath and prepares to remember the past.
“ It started as I said about a sword ago. I was lying in bed sound asleep and having pleasant dreams when all of a sudden they turned to nightmares. I found myself walking through the halls of Fal Dara but all was chaos! There was fire burning even where there was no place for it to burn, people screaming so loudly and shrilly that I couldn’t make out the words. Through it all I walked as a ghost feeling like my whole body was on fire as I slowly crept through the halls, walking through the fires and not feeling them. It was horrible, I knew I was on fire but I couldn’t stop and put it out or stop from helping it spread! Then as suddenly as the dream had taken me I was in another. In this one I was lying down in bed but the bed and my body were bare and burning in solid flame shooting five feet high. I couldn’t move and could see that if I didn’t stop the fire it would burn down the room and everything else. I awoke with a start and realized it was only a dream. The next morning however I told my parents what happened and my father had me stay in my room all day. The following day I got a terrible headache and watched as I walked around trying to find my father while I was burning everything I touched. Luckily my father hadn't left our quarters yet and he doused me with water, the only rooms getting burned was our common room and my bedroom. Then he knocked me out with the bucket!
" When I awoke later that day all I could think of was what had happened, even as I threw up for a good span of time. So I thought between bouts of getting sick, that I had been on fire and I could’ve burned down the entire fortress! In a panic I stood up and facing my parents I swore I would ride into the Shadowlands on the spot. You see in the Borderlands that was the custom with the only other option being to be locked away until the Aes Sedai came for you. However my father said there was another option. I could go to the Tear and join the others who could channel to help the Dragon Reborn, I could learn to use and control it like Him and become one of His sanctioned warriors.
“ My journey began that very morning. I got washed, dressed as you see me now and left Fal Dara just after dawn. Throughout the journey, which took me a full blade cycle, I kept accidentally setting things on fire. Usually when I got a headache or when I was daydreaming and my mental control was lax. The worst of these was the time I set an inn on fire. All the others were easy to fix as I tried to stay close to water, but I jump ahead of myself. I was scared, scared of leaving home, of traveling by myself and of what would happen if the Aes Sedai caught me first. I traveled to Fal Moran first and it was easy going along the road, but I didn’t stay, instead I passed through and continued south until I hit the Spine of the World. From there I followed the Spine until the river Gaelin which I followed to Cairhien. Again I didn’t stay as I had already had minor incidents while I trekked along the river banks. From Cairhien I sold my horse and booked passage on a river boat to Aringill. That was where things got rough. I rented a room at an inn on the river, but it wasn’t enough. I awoke in the heart of the night with the worst headache yet. While my mind was in turmoil and lax, the fire burst from my hand and I screamed for others in the rooms next to mine to wake up. I watched in rising horror as the room caught fire and what seemed like only seconds, the door to the hall caught fire. I don’t know why I did what comes next but it worked. In a panic now as the room was fully engulfed, I ran to the window and threw it open and then I jumped. I landed in the river and swam for the wharf closest to me, by now the water had put out the fire and cooled my head. Realizing that the inn was still on fire, I rushed up to the front of the inn and helped get people out and put out the fire. As soon as people were calm and started asking how it started I left. However, on the other side of the river I got sick and threw up several times before I was able to move on.
“ Now you might be wondering how I still have my swords, that’s easy, a warrior of the Borderlands never sleeps without his armor and swords upon him when away from the fortress walls. Inside a fortress yes, but I was traveling and didn’t know what trouble might come so even in the inn I slept fully armed. To continue my tale though, I followed the River Erinin to Tear itself but I was fearful of being near people, I was also sick for several days after the fire so I didn’t want people trying to help and stay close to me. It was this same fear and sickness which, although already having traveled for many months, forced me to slow down my journey. I avoided people and ships as I traveled, I left the river and followed it from a good distance and above all I took my time because there was no water immediately nearby to douse a flame. The last couple of months have been spent hiding and moving slowly through the land between Far Madding and Haddon Mirk as close to the river as I dared. Again I lapse in my story, during my time along the Erinin I had been fearful of getting caught and more fearful of getting a headache and setting a fire that got out of control. I have finally made it here only to question my right to be here. I want to stop burning things without any control, but what will that control cost me? My sanity? Will I go mad or become forever scarred? I wish this to be a blessing but I feel I’ve been cursed by the Dark One himself!” Finished he sat there rigidly and pale as a ghost. He was spent with no where left to go but in the Black Tower and he knew it. He stood and looked at the man sitting next to him and then started walking into Tear.
The old man called out after him in a dry voice, “ Boy, anyone touched with Saidin is touched by the Dark One, but we all fight against it and one day the Dragon will free us of the taint. Hold your head up high and remember that!” and then he laughed and Cain wasn’t sure if the man was crazy already or not.