|Portrayed by||Frederico Lima|
|Affiliation||The Grey Tower|
|Affinities||Spirit/Air, Fire, Earth, Water|
Short, wiry, and dark, Jaryd moves with a level of self-assured grace and agility that comes from years of hand to hand fighting, balancing on rooftops, and survival of the fittest. He appears to be roughly 20, but his black eyes betray his true age and hold the bleak pain of a broken bond. His dark hair is naturally curly; depending on where he is it might be well-cared for or it might be a matted mess. He typically has a beard that covers only the lower part of his chin, but if he is outside the Tower he may shave it off entirely or let it grow.
Within the Tower, or when on official business, he wears Ebou Dari clothing - loose breeches, wide sash, wide-sleeved linen shirts, and long vests- in various shades of red and scarlet. He never wears the Asha'man uniform and only puts on his pins for very formal occasions. Outside the Tower he wears whatever he must to blend in with the class of people he is interacting with.
Regardless of where he is or what he is wearing, he always carries a curved knife with a redwood handle thrust through his belt or sash. The knife's name is Watari ('Decision' in the Old Tongue) and means more to him than any other person or possession in his life.
Jaryd has spent a great deal of time at the Tower being disliked due to his choice of Ajah and his general attitude regarding authority and bureaucracy. Also, perhaps, for his attitude in general, as Jaryd's intelligence lends itself to both philosophical comfort and biting sarcasm. His undeniable dedication to doing what is right, and the fact that he has an uncanny ability to put the pieces of a situation together, see the full picture, and keep his mouth shut, has earned him the trust and respect of many in recent years, however.
"The Rahad is no place for a young woman to live." The speaker, a portly man with a sly smile, sat at their dining room table. "Your situation simply doesn't do your daughter justice, Mistress Kosari." The man shook his head and made a clicking noise with his tongue, as if to indicate great concern.
Jaryd didn't trust Master Boyder. It might have been his habit of swiping his hand across his greasy bald head whenever he felt he had made an exceptionally important point. It might have been his tiny eyes, set like twin coals in a large pasty face, that darted around their kitchen and seemed to absorb and magnify every humiliating detail of their poverty. Jaryd cast a sidelong glance at his mother. Eilana Kosari stood by their stove, her hands carefully hidden beneath her apron, and her face devoid of expression. Her eyes sparked, however, and she stood perilously still. The little boy knew what that meant even if Master Boyder did not. If Master Boyder had not made his leave by the time Jaryd's father came home, the stranger would find the consequences quite unpleasant.
The stilted conversation continued, but Jaryd took his leave. Ceselea had already done so shortly after Master Boyder arrived, and Jaryd wanted to know what had really happened. The ladder that lead up into the garret they shared as sleeping space only took a few moments to navigate before he dropped himself onto his bed and stared across the space at his sister, who had begun to comb her long smoky hair. Master Boyder's voice could still be heard, though muffled.
Ceselea had seen thirteen namedays, and her beauty had blossomed early, along with a certain vanity that the young develop when they know they are attractive. Jaryd had noticed, and resented the growing space between them, not wanting to lose the close relationship that they had had throughout their childhood. Surely she would remember, someday, that only a few months before she had been more than happy to play in the dust with her eight year old brother?
"Who is he, Cese?" He asked in a thin whisper.
"He is a merchant from Andor," she replied, her head lowered as she worked at a particularly vicious knot in her curls. "Mother sent me to fetch some meat for supper, and while I was at the butcher's, Master Boyder found me." She hesitated, her cheeks darkening, before continuing, "He said I don't belong here. He has always wanted a daughter, and he is willing to pay for my education and my keep if mother will let me go to him. I wish she would."
Jaryd stiffened. That giant boiled cod taking his Cese away? Although his young mind could not grasp why such a situation could not end well, he knew -as surely as he knew the sun would set that evening- that Cese should not go with the stranger in their kitchen. "Don't go!" he said more sharply than he intended, clutching his quilted coverlet to his chest. "He doesn't have a soul, just clinking coins." Cese laughed, looking up to meet his eyes for the first time, and shaking her head in amusement. With that one look, he knew he had lost his sister. "Please Cese," he whispered, "he is bad."
The older girl turned away, and began gathering her things. "Once I have learned what I need to know to get on in the world, I will come get you," she said brightly. "I'll work as- as a lady's maid, or maybe a seamstress, and you can be a blacksmith, or maybe join the Queen's Guard in Andor. Together we can take care of mother and father. Isn't that a good idea?" Jaryd bit his lip, hard, watching her fold her second dress, her shifts, her stockings, and a few other belongings into a neat pile on the bed. She wrapped that with a cloth, then tucked it behind her bed.
"I'm leaving tonight, Jaryd," she said. "If you tell mother I will break your fingers." Somehow, he believed her. And yet...the sick fear in his tiny heart would not go away.
He never saw her again.
A young man in a worn green vest leaned against a wall that had once been red but had faded to a pale salmon pink under the pounding southern sun. He cleaned his fingernails with a long knife, whistling a tune and apparently paying no mind to the activity around him. His dark eyes flashed up occasionally, however, scanning the street with an expert's quick attention. Despite his indolent demeanor, tension wound inside him like a coiled spring, waiting to be released.
Strangers were warned away from the Rahad. Most travelers chose to remain across the river, and even some of the common folk forced to live there built their lives to avoid trouble. To most, however, living with the danger came as naturally as breathing. Too many fell to the temptation of theft and crime as an easy route away from their misery, while a rare few chose to temper their misdeeds by preserving the peace in ways that the Queen's men could not.
Jaryd Kosari had joined that culture with both fists swinging, and despite the odds, had come out intact and on his feet. Lady Luck had found her mate, it seemed, and blessed with a young man's cockiness, he didn't question how it was that he came out on top so frequently. Not one to bow easily to another's leadership, he had formed his own band of thieves, cut throats, and gamblers, bound together by a tenuous line of thieves' honor and desperation. When other gangs laughed at the older men for allowing themselves to be led by a youth of eighteen, they were quickly and quietly taught the error of their ways.
A slender shape rushing down the street stumbled as she grew near to him, and dropped her basket. As she knelt to gather her belongings Natale whispered, "There is a man named Londane looking for any men in the Rahad who have experienced anything 'strange' lately. He's staying at the Lady's Touch." She replaced the cloth across her basket and rushed off again.
Jaryd's heavy eyebrow quirked up in curiosity, but he didn't move. He had heard of these men in black and their inquiries. They came every week or so, then vanished as if they had never existed. Occasionally a man went with them, never to be seen again. Usually, however, business went on as usual, and no one asked any questions. Jaryd intended to...once he had taught Regere and Josef a lesson in manners.
Speaking of which... his gaze flicked to the side, where a familiar pair had just rounded the corner and begun to walk towards him. Regere lacked a hand of Josef's height, and wore stark black cut in Tairen fashion where Josef wore bright red in Altaran, and yet they did not seem out of place together.
Jaryd watched quietly, until Adwal and Merl appeared behind the two troublemakers, flanking them even as they walked casually down the street. To Jaryd's right -ahead of the mismatched pair- three other men in green vests appeared, sauntering casually despite the length of knotted wood that the tallest carried over his shoulder. At that moment, Jaryd stepped forward as well, producing a second knife from his sleeve.
The fight was short and fierce, and Regere and Josef were escorted out of Jaryd's territory after being given several sharp 'reminders' of the previous warning to stay away. The next time those two chose to cause trouble, they would not live to see the next dawn. He had made certain they knew it, as well. He flipped the knife he had taken from Regere's boot -his toll, for their trespass- and grimaced at the poor balance. He would sell it later.
Flames flickered, lighting the night and warming the chill air with their intensity. Jaryd crouched in a doorway, his arms wrapped around himself to quell his shaking. The stench of burnt flesh and the screams of the dying filled the air. He could feel it happening with a terrible clarity, could see it even with his eyes closed tight. He didn't want to think, didn't want to breathe, didn't want to live.
I caused this. The certainty twisted his gut, although he could not have said how he had created the fire that had engulfed Regere's gang as they beset him in retribution for his 'lesson' earlier that day. He had begun to notice that his knives grew hot to the touch when he fought a few months before, but this time....Light help me, this time...lines of fire had sprouted when his blades made contact with his rivals' skin, and they had burned, each and every one of them, until nothing remained. It had surprised and sickened him, but what truly destroyed him and been when he missed a target with a throwing knife, and the blade had grazed Merl's arm. Jaryd friend, a man he had grown up with and loved like a brother, went up in flames before his horrified eyes. Then the flames had spread like a grass fire, hopping from person to person with wild glee.
"Stop," he whispered through gritted teeth, rocking back and forth. "For the love of the Light, please stop."
The flames flickered on, their fury unabated. He felt hot tears sliding down his cheeks as the fire engulfed Adwal, Eban, and finally, with sickening suddenness, Marisa. Her screams tore at his ears, and he whirled, running as fast as his stocky form could take him, away. Perhaps if he left the flames would stop and the rest of his friends could live. Perhaps if he left, the flames would follow him, and death could muffle the terror-stricken cries that he could do nothing about.
Does this count as 'strange' enough, Master Londane? The thought was oddly clear amidst the chaos in his mind. With dark eyes smarting from salt and the ashen remains of his friends and enemies, the young man turned his feet towards the Lady's Touch.
Jaryd disliked being forced to do what he didn't want to do, and he utterly despised the stark black clothing that soldiers of the Black Tower were forced to wear. It reminded him of Regere. Thankfully they had not forced him to be rid of his personal possessions, and enough of his fellow students had experienced similar things that they respected his desire to mourn for the dead. That respect did not, however, extend to allowing him to shirk his lessons or his chores.
At first he refused to practice this "Void" they wanted him to envision, or to do any of the chores they assigned him. "It was not my choice to come here," he had informed the grizzled Dedicated who had been sent to inform him of the chore roster, "so why should I feel obligated to participate in your blasted chores?" He had been taught -with an invisible switch- why it was that he should care about the chore roster.
It truly hadn't been his choice, and that thought consumed him more with each day that passed. He had gone to Lundane hoping for an explanation, and instead had found himself bundled through a hole in the air despite his protests. He had not seen Lundane since, and deeply resented being torn away from his home, even if memories of what had happened there still haunted his dreams. At least he had been able to retrieve the stone from Marisa's necklace when he took Lundane to the scene of his undoing. He had not been forced to give it up, and it hung around his neck on a fine silver chain at all times, a mute reminder of his crime.
As the weeks passed, he learned the basics of how to channel despite his best efforts not to. He kept to himself and made few friends, though he did win some gold in an occasional game of dice. As time passed, he grew ever more intent on escape. With what he knew he was certain he could control his ability enough to be able to avoid repeating such a tragedy. He would never channel again. Never.
Armed with self-certainty and an overwhelming desire for freedom, Jaryd stole a horse and headed north from the Black Tower compound six months after his arrival. Perhaps he could find a home in a quieter city. Surely Caemlyn would have an inn in need of a man capable of removing troublemakers?
In a world in shock from invasion, the Dark One stirring in his prison, and Aes Sedai fighting amidst themselves, there weren't many willing to trust a stranger, he found to his chagrin. He wandered from city to city, hoping each time that he would find a place to settle. And yet, always, after a few months he moved on to avoid an inquiring guard or a suspicious shopkeeper. For four years he wandered in that fashion, until finally he found himself once more at the familiar gates of Ebou Dar. With a defeated sigh, he turned his feet towards the Rahad, and the winding streets he knew like the back of his hand. Perhaps his parents would know what he should do next.
"Go to the Grey Tower," his mother said as she ladled thick stew into a large bowl for him. They had hardly recognized one another when he knocked on the door. The grey at Eilana's temples had spread over her whole head, and the laugh lines he loved had deepened to the creases of the weary and old. Despite that, the spark of temper they both shared still lit up her eyes, and her arms had been as warm and loving as ever when she hugged him.
"What?" Jaryd asked, startled out of his reverie. His father had been different, too. The cares of the world had hung heavy on Remen's shoulders since Ceselea vanished, and Jaryd had found himself thinking with no small amount of guilt that his own disappearance had probably given them both a painful reminder of that terrible day fifteen years before. "Why would I do that? I left the Black Tower specifically to avoid taking up with a bunch of crazy power-hungry people intend on changing me, why should I go back to another "Tower" for more of the same?"
"The Grey Tower is...different, they say," Remen said slowly, reaching down to loosen his boot laces as he spoke. "They train men and women alike there, and no one says nothing about it, not even the White Tower. You can't run from your fate, Jaryd. If you can channel, you can channel. It's better for you and the world that you stay with others who can, so that if you- if you want to make a difference, you can." Jaryd knew what his father had been about to say. "So that if you go insane." Comforting, Father.
"If I'm not insane now, I will be by the time those stuffy moneybags are done with me," he said sharply. "I was thinking of joining the Dragon Reborn's army. At least that way I'd get to see the world."
"If you do that, you're as good as dead," Eilana said, "and if you are wanting to avoid bowing to authority, that's definitely the wrong way to go about it. They say he personally executes men who do not follow commands." She passed Jaryd a lump of bread, and made a motion to eat. "Your heart cannot risk losing another gang," she continued, and although her tone was soft, it cut Jaryd to the bone. "You have the ability to do great things; denying it would be a crime worse than the one that caused you to leave. Go to the Grey Tower, my son. Prove your remorse and your honor through actions and sacrifice, not words and pride."
After that painful advice, Eilana Kosari would not speak of the matter again, insisting on instead discussing the everyday doings of their neighbors, and what they planned for the future. Jaryd went to bed that night in his old garret room, mind and heart full of ideas.
Perhaps -just perhaps- his mother had a point.
- Soldier (1 December 2010)
- Dedicated (6 May 2014)
- Asha'man of the Red Ajah (13 January 2015)
- M'Hael (27 December 2014)
- Keeper of the Archives (16 December 2015)
- M'Hael (10 April 2016)
- First Inquisitor of the Red Ajah (19 August 2016)
- Master of Soldiers (25 February 2017)