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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

The Common Room (OPEN - TRAINEE'S ESPECIALLY)


Guest Arie Ronshor
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Guest Arie Ronshor

(Ooc: This thread follows Fall from Grace where there were quite a few Trainee's present. You are more than welcome to act as a spectator or hear about it by word of mouth. It's not everyday that those high-handed TG's openly spar. And it's been a few years since Cairma's lashed out.. Common? I think not. :))

 

IC:

 

"Do you see what I have to put up with?!" Conors voice barely cracked as he spoke over the murmuring of the crowd. "My mentor is bloody insane. Always knew she was a few threads short of a net." Both Cairma and the ruddy old guy had disapeared into Brands office. Part of him flet bad because it had been his fault in the first place. But the old gaidin had gotten on his nerves. Although he wouldn't admit to it, half the things he said to the guy had been a lie. He secretly wanted to meet an Aes Sedai and dedicate his life to her. It was fun to think that being a Tower Guard had so many perks, but after seeing the changes in so many Gaidin and Gaidar that were bonded.. They always seemed to have their life put together, while the rest of them floated about.

 

Not that there was anything wrong with floating about, and Conor had every intention of enjoying it.

 

"Yo! Ale in the Common Room. All is invited!" He looked over to Sahra and passed her a few coins. "Lost the bet, it seems. Rosh coming in and ruined it, but I still think Cairma would have won."

 

 

Conor Palfrey

Tower Trainee

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Xilanin sat watching Conor talk and talk and talk. He shook his head and glanced over at Sarha. She was …stunning, as usual. He knew that she was already in a relationship, but he could not help but despise that fact. In the couple weeks that he had been here, she had been very kind and a lot of fun to be around. He found that he would go out of his way just to get a look at her during the day.

 

Somebody actually did end up brining some brew in, but Xil politely declined, He still had a nasty aftertaste in his mouth every time he remembered the incident last week from the bar…not only the bruises, but more to the fact that he had never drank before and he had…he still didn’t know, how many drinks that day.

 

Xil looked back at Conor, still having mixed feelings about what had happened outside. Still wondering why Cairma had gotten so…worked up over the man’s comments. But what really was irritating Xil was that Conor had started the whole thing. Xil had heard him talking in line, and heard him egging on the older warrior.

 

“Conor, you’re such a wool headed…Can’t you keep quiet for one moment? Rosheen did what she should have. And you should learn to keep your words from taking you too close to disaster. If you had kept quiet, Cairma would not have gotten in the fight in the first place.” It was evidence that Xil was upset…He had not said much more than this since he had gotten here. He was quiet by nature, given he and his mother had lived in solitude. And he was never one to provoke a fight…but Conor was really getting to him.

 

OOC: just feeling feisty…take it as you will. Fight me, blow me off. :)

Xil

Guardian of his Mentor’s Honor ;P

 

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Conor's words made Sahra puff her cheeks and breath out in exasperation. He didn't really think that of Cairma and it annoyed her to hear him belittle her publicly like he meant it. Cairma did alot for him and even if she was pretty stern... well, Conor needed it. She loved him like a brother but sometimes he needed a good chop on his butt. And while drunk he had let slip to her some of his dreams about getting Bonded some day himself so he shouldn't be mocking Warders like that. Maybe he was ashamed of that goal even though she couldn't see why. But she wasn't going to betray his trust by speaking of it publicly even if privately they would have some words.

 

Sahra handed Conor the coins back and shook her head. "It was a stalemate and didn't have a proper ending so all bets are called off. And likely Cairma would have won but we'll never know now." Thwapping the back of his head, she spoke in a voice tinged with affection and wryness. "You really are a dolt, Conor. But I never spurn ale even if it is offered by a total numb wit."

 

Once they all were seated with their pints of frothy ale, Cairma's other mentee Xil spoke up and berated Conor. "Hear hear!", she called. "Well said about big mouths, Xilainin. I disagree about your point of it never having happened otherwise. Shoarsie was just waiting for the chance to go off at someone sooner or later and both he and Cairma should control themselves better by now. But lets leave it at that and keep things amiable among us at least, alright? Cairma is going to smack Con here silly so may that be enough punishment for this time."

 

"Lads and lassies, I propose a toast. Let us drink for Vron Din Manshima, the best Trainee team there is." There was an insolent grin on her face as she knew that she was going to draw retorts from the Blades that was their main competitor team. In her opinion there was nothing wrong in playful verbal abuse as long as it didn't get physical.

 

Sahra Covenry

Mouthy Trainee

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Kopair walked into the common room and immediately spotted a couple of fellow members of Vron Din Mandarb enjoying a drink nearby.  He'd just finished his date with Veria and this looked like an ideal way to help forget how long it was going to be until he could see her again.  Walking over to the group with a smile and gave a casual salute.

 

"Well well, what do we have here?" he said in a light tone. "You're not getting yourselves into trouble again are you?"

 

Pulling up a chair he straddled it backward and folded his arms on the back of the chair after signaling for a drink.

 

"I've heard some rumors about what happened the other day, though I was sorry I missed the fun." Grabbing his mug from the server he took a large drink. "Though granted, I'm enough enough trouble with Thera and Liitha as it is, so maybe I'm not sorry I was there.  So what are you all up to anyway?"

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Guest Arie Ronshor

"I don't have a big mouth..." He muttered rubbing the top of his head.

 

Feeling a little patronized, Conor plopped down on the chair near Sahra, his back to the wall so that he could at least watch who was going in or out. It never boded well for him to say something when the person he was talking baout would be entering. A few unhappy events taught him that one the hard way. Grabbing a glass he poured himself an ale and took a large gulp.

 

"Reeming out a old guard, watching a fight and then getting reemed out by friends." Conor said in an non-chalant fashion. "You're Koplair, Or Kopper....? I hear Liitha is a harsh mistress here." He paused, "Now that I think about it, there are a lot of women Grandmasters. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but what happened to all the men?"

 

 

Conor Palfrey

Trainee

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Kopair nodded to Conor and held out his hand in greeting. "Kopair actually. Kopair Rialyn.  As for Liitha being harsh, I wouldn't say that." Taking back his hand he fell into a relaxed pose in the char and drained his drink. "At least, not as long s you keep on her good side, and she respects you.  And though she might not like why I left, she respects the reason, and that I came back."

 

Signaling for another drink, Kopair turned to smile at Sahra. He'd not met her before now, as the team assignments had just been made, but she'd been pointed out to him in the Yard.

 

"Of course, one would think you could have kept them out of trouble. Or..." he trailed off, giving a wink at Xilanin. "I would think you could keep that one in line.  From the way he's looking at you, well..." and he trailed off again with a grin.

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Sasha couldn't help but retrot at Conner's comment.  "What happen to all the men is right?  See how you handled yourself today, that's probably the reason why there are so many woman in high places around here, someones got to keep you men in line."  She'd been sitting idle for far to long among the boys here.  She knew she would get herself in trouble here, she was far less trained than most of them she was sure, but that was her own fault, she had difficulty with even the basics it seemed.

 

She was glad she wasn't the only female present though, she really didn't know anyone here, but she was glad to be out and about and drinking with others going through the same thing was.  She hadn't seen the fight, only heard about it, she'd been too busy doing her chores in the Armory to have seen much, but the return of old gaidin and grandmasters sparring well that was something she wished she could have seen. 

 

Sasha

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They were attracting quite a crowd it seemed but the more people, the better the party was in Sahra's opinion. She returned the relaxed salute the newcomer, Kopan or something like that, gave with one of her own and smiled at him as he helped himself to a seat and a tankard. Conor's question about the male Grandmasters made her arch her eyebrows at him. Sure, he might say that there was nothing wrong with it, but he was getting closer to the line again. She nodded as Kopair corrected Conor about his name and she repeated the real one in her mind a few times to make sure she'd remember it. She hadn't known that he had left the Yards but she definately got curious now.

 

She grinned at his comment about keeping the boys in line but it turned into a slight frown at his comment about Xilanin. And the way he boy blushed... oh no. No, no, no. She wasn't going to head there ever again even if she found it awfully cute when a guy coloured like that. Sasha's retort at Conor brought the smile back. "I'll drink to that, Sasha" and then she did that just. Wiping the froth off her upper lip, she added "And Kopair, even the Creator himself couldn't keep Conor in line if he doesn't want to stay put. But he's still nice to have around." She ruffled his hair affectionally and gave Xil a friendly smile that hopefully would be interpreted in the spirit it was intended.

 

"So, has anyone done anything clever lately?" She lowered her voice to a conspiratory whisper. "I think that certain Tower Guard with four lettered name that starts with A is badly in need some heckling that only Trainees can think up. What's the best we can wreak upon him? Other suggestions of targets are also welcome. Maybe we could split and prank as many as we can."

 

Sahra Covenry

Trainee

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Sasha thought, oh no I didn't just get myself involved with prankster's did I?  She didn't think she'd have any fun doing that and particularly not to Aran. She'd had one too many run ins with him she wasn't about to pay heed to that again.

 

But could a prank be all that bad?  <i>It would lighten you up a bit, so stiff necked.</i> Her conscious had a vicious streak about her it seemed.  She wasn't sure if she wanted to yet, but she took a swig of her ale and set to listening.

 

What am I getting into?

 

Sasha

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Kopair chuckled at Sahra's comment and took another long drink of ale. He then listened on as Sahra attempted to see who would be up for a prank.  He thought for a moment, considering the options, before speaking.

 

"I'm not sure if I can join you there, though I'd love to.  A part of me says that he wouldn't report us to Thera if he caught us, because he's a prankster himself. On the other hand, if it did get back to Thera, I'd be facing being turned out. She told me not one more foot placed wrong, and I believe her. She seems to be a tough one.  Yet I still can't help but be intrigued by the idead."

 

Kopair cupped his drink in his hands, but didn't touch it to his lips again. Instead he leaned forward to rest his chin on the back of his chair and looked thoughtfully at the table top.

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Guest Arie Ronshor

 

Leaning back in his chair, Conor refrained from physically pouting as he usually did when Sahra mocked him. However it did bad for his mascline pride to have her beat him out on the case of his gender. -Let her think that.- He thought carefully and instead smiled brighly and kissed her forehead as he always did whenever she mocked him. A brotherly action that rarely caused a moment of pause. However he watched the new girl carefully. Shy, quiet and quite beautiful. Very beautiful.

 

"I wouldn't say I get into a lot of trouble. Shoar was making everyone angry. Did you see the look Rosh gave them both? I'd say it was worth heckling him if it gets him to be quiet." Finishing his ale he went for a second one and passed a few rounds out, one first to Sasha and then second to Sahra, and then so on, "After all, the man would never hit a trainee. And if he did there is a Tower right there full of beautiful healers." He paused.

 

"Although, I have to admit, the trainee that got Cairma's clothes while she was in the bathhouse has my thanks. She was so bleeding angry that she didn't show up to teach." There was also rumours she had been helping anouther Trainee dress like a woman... That in itself was a scary thought and Conor prefered to think she was just angry.

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Arturus stepped into the common room, an air of mystery about him.... well not in the sense that he was mysterious, but in the sense that someone in the room suddenly said "What the heck is that smell?" The student was obviously referring to the pine based soap Arturus used to clean wounds from training and the mint extract in his mouth. If someone didnt like the outdoors he knew that his presence would be unwelcome. He hadnt even noticed anyone was even in the room at first as he was caught up in a book. He didnt really know anyone, so he read, mostly about herbs and alchemy. He didnt notice the eyes on him until he ran into a chair with an occupant still in it. "My apologies." Arturus gazed around the room. He had expected to find it empty. Luckily his presence didnt stop any conversations, though the mention of a prank made him nervous. He had been the target of too many in his short time in the yards.

 

Finding a chair at one of the few remaining empty tables he was content just to be around people that werent trying to hit him with some sort of weapon. He frowned at a patron who mad a grab at a servers rear. He would have done something about it but Thera had him doing her laundry cooking, weapon and armor maintenance and cleaning already for his many fights on the yards for one person or another's honor or out of just pure bad luck. When the server approached he smiled at her "I dont envy you your work." She smiled back at him. "It will just be glass of wine if its ok." He reached into his pocket and pulled out the only two coins he had, two Andoran gold marks. He parted with one and knew that he had over paid. (She probably deserves it anyways.) He thought. When his wine came, he leaned his chair back at an almost precarious angle against the wall and listened to the prank ideas fly...

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Kopair listened with mild interest as Conor talked. He certainly seemed to have some hard feelings towards more then one Tower Guard. He was interrupted in his listening though as someone bumped into him from behind. "My apologies." he muttered absently as he gaxed around the room, then without looking back walked off to a table by himself.

 

Kopair watched him for a minute, then finally realized why he looked familiar. He was one of the new Trainees that had arrived recently. He watched as the newcomer placed an order for wine and pulled two very lonely looking coins out of a very empty looking purse and paid with one of them.  He felt the heavy belt pouch against his leg and couldn't help but feel a little bad for the guy.

 

Signaling to the waitress as she left the other's table, he slipped her payment for a couple of drinks at least and told her he was buying for the other. When she returned to the Trainee's table she gave him his wine, and his money back, letting him know his tab was covered.  The man leaned back against the wall and seemed to make a study of listening without appearing to.  Kopair chuckled and walked over to him.

 

"Greetings.  My name is Kopair Rialyn, fellow Trainee in the Yard.  You're new, right?"

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Arturus nearly fell out of his chair. Not many had spoke a word to him that was not a taunt or a punishment for some sort of mistake. He half expected to be attacked but relaxed when he realized it was not a threat.

 

"Greetings.  My name is Kopair Rialyn, fellow Trainee in the Yard.  You're new, right?"

 

Arturus looked at Kopair's outstretched fore arm and grasped it with a fair bit of strength. It would not do to be weak towards another servant of the Tower. Even if his father advised that shaking hands or grasping forearms left you open to being pulled into a blade.

 

"Yes...very new I am afraid. It is an honor to meet you Kopair. I am Arturus Logres."

 

Arturus set his chair back up and noticed that his blunder had gone noticed by others.

 

"I am sorry if I am a bit jumpy. I got into three fights my first day here and a dozen more since. All with the same group of trainees, and Thera is running out of chores for me to do."

 

 

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Sahra laughed at Conor's story about Cairma's lost clothes. You would think that a woman who was a mother and all therefore clearly not all innocent and virginal would take the loss of clothes with better humour. "Anyone want to 'fess up? Do you know who did it?" She shot Conor a pondering look. He had told it as if it hadn't been him but he had been sneaky like that in the past.

 

She was too busy with listening to the chatter and talking herself and emptying her glass to notice the new Trainee who entered but Kopair stood up and made his way to the other table. She realised with slight mortification that they had been pretty thoughtless. Arturus... he had been placed into the Blades team and when he mentioned the fights, she had a pretty good idea who they might have been with. Likely the obnoxious Vron Din Aman. She liked spear as a weapon but they were as blunt as the shaft edge but withtout the sharp end. Though the way she had heard the story, this Arturus had done his share of provocating too.

 

"Hey everyone, grab your mugs and asses and move them to the next table. The party is there now." She gave Arturus a friendly grin and almost laughed at the jumpy look she got back. The poor kid was likely thinking that they were ganging up on him but they would be just making up the neglect. Then she felt a hand on her own rear. Giving Conor a glare and a good thwap on knuckles she retorted "Which part of 'your ass' you didn't understand Conor?"

 

Sitting down beside Arturus, she smiled at him again. "Hey Arturus. I am Sahra and this is Sasha and..." She proceeded to introduce everyone. "Sasha, Xil and Kopair here are in your team."

 

"Now, I'll be backtracking to me previous topic despite you all wanting to wuss out of it. If no one else dares to go prank Master A with me, I will do it all by myself. But does anyone else feel like doing some mischief? The target is hardly set and I am willing to help with anything."

 

Sahra Covenry

Trainee

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Guest Arie Ronshor

 

 

Conor's grin was beyond contageous despit the slight pain on his knuckles. Cairma had done worse to him so Sahra's rap on them didn't hurt enough to flinch. Instead her just winked and moved over tables. Leaning against the wall as most of the chairs were taken, he towered over most of them, watching as he drank at his Ale.

 

"If you go after Master Aran, I'm out. I've heard stories... many many stories. it's just not worth it. I would rather face Cairma's sword than Aran's wrath." His face steeled as he thought back to the last time he saw Fior. The boy had been a mess... Shaking his head, he smiled. "I'd say an orginized prank on more than one Mentor or two. I'm sure Liitha, Thera and a few others have lacked a certain amount of entertainment in their lives."

 

 

Conor Palfrey

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Xil sat back and watched the happenings. He was still taking in all the activity that happened here in the yards. It was much different from the quiet solitude of his home.

 

After turning completely red at the comment Kopair made, He did go pick up an ale for something to distract him from looking at Sahra.

 

Sahra, of course came up with her plan to get at Aran. Xil did not know him directly, and he had never thought of doing anything to prank anyone. He was intrigued, but most of the other trainees did not sound as enthusiastic at the prospect of piting themselves against Aran.

 

Xil got up with the rest as they moved tables to sit near Arturus. He did not know Arturus very well, though he was in Vron Din Mandarb with him and the others. He had heard that the larger man had been in quite a few fights, but he always seemed pretty calm when Xil had seen him. So he made no judgements.

 

Sahra took no time in starting back up with her idea of a prank…

 

Smiling Xil said “I’ll try…What do you have in mind?” He could not think of what to do, having never pulled a prank nor having one pulled on him.

 

Xil

 

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"Now, I'll be backtracking to me previous topic despite you all wanting to wuss out of it. If no one else dares to go prank Master A with me, I will do it all by myself. But does anyone else feel like doing some mischief? The target is hardly set and I am willing to help with anything."

 

Sahra had scared the heck out of him. Not used to affectionate smiles from opposite sex he was a bit more than unsettled. At the mention of a prank however he raised an eyebrow and looked her the eyes, ignoring the fact that his own gray eyed gaze could be intense itself.

 

"I just happen to have a book of herbs from the library with as much written by students as the author. One mixture I am looking at can turn someones hair a most interesting shade of blue while another with some itch weed can make a bar of soap that is the same color as the soap we use here but will be quite a distraction depending on where it is used. I had planned to use it on some trainees who I bumped into in the lunch line and as a result of the duel I was ordered to do Thera's cooking for the next few months."

 

Someone made a comment about what he said that would lead to a duel and Arturus was quick to answer.

 

"I bumped into them, and they spilled goat milk on their food, he threw a punch and before I knew it fists turned to a blade and my practice sword which lead to his broken hand. He was lucky, I was aiming for his head. Next time I will aim for his hand and hit him in the head." Arturus grinned. That should settle the rumors.

 

"So? Whats it going to be?"

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ladies and Gentlemen; boy and girls; children of all ages. Well, you know what's coming next.

 

 

 

Rubbish.

 

Knowing fully well the scope of his limits, it was a great ambition beyond his capabilities to carve a staff but as he had naught else to keep him occupied for the evening, besides failing to find his way into the Tower Library again, he brought his work into the common room (he'll be rubbished for it, too. Children can be so cruel). Master Seshir had pointed him here, at the dismissal, and obediently he did his duty, somewhat. A place for socialising, interacting with your fellow students, the Gaidin had told him, but all Ashley ever found here were the two separated tables, one of the Blade, the other of the Sword, and trainees who would defend their teams desperately(I don't see why, they both suck). To be sure, he might have found the courage, jimmied the block in his throat and joined in the verbal sparring as a Blade, too (or choked on the block and died horribly), ‘cept as fortune would dictate it, his roommate was on the other side. Now, he had never found Alwyn to be lacking in intelligence (I have!), or want the sensitivity many of his teammates on the Blade had done their utmost to avoid, rather the lad had a good understanding strengthened by a sound education, taste and considerable skills at facilitating conversation so to make Ashley feel at ease with him, unlike many of Ashley’s Blades and Bladettes (HK-47 protocal droid: facilitator of communications). Nonetheless he had plonked his rear down at the table he was assigned to, with little inclination to move around, other than squinting at the shavings as they fell to the sawdust floor, abandoned for the moment (better be cleaning those up by the time I get to the bottom of this post).

 

When the fight broke out he was still whittling. Trying not to engage any unwholesome attention, Ashley kept his head down. The affairs of his higher ups was none of his business, and if a melee broke out amongst arguably the best warriors this side of the Spine, he was not going to have a part in the brawl, thank you very much (no, thank you!). To his immense sense of relief (due to some latent fears for his well-being) the commander of the guards eventually told the dueling pair to put up their respective blades, and face the music as Brand dished out some overdue disciplining. A trainee would have thought since one was Grandmaster and the other somewhat near Grandmaster status that they would have been control over their tempers, actions by now, but even the Warders were human, and the trainee would do well not to cross them, especially if they could not handle their “swords” as well as he expected. That was his thought anyway (lies, you don't think!) .

 

‘Parently another Blade did not agree, and true to their non similar thoughts, this fellow wielded his tongue about as seriously as his pen, brandish haphazardly as he took down bets and names, justifying his proclivity for gambling (and a flare for excess allowance?) by whining about his Mentor (bet he couldn't write his own name). By the drift he gathered that the woman Cairma had the honour of being the subject under discussion, gratuitously referred to as “bloody insane.” She really ought to teach her student some respect. Ashley would not mind if she beat it into the lad, especially when the boy raised his already embarrassing loud voice, and complaints so that the other table could hear him as well (let's be fair though, Cairma is bloody insane).

 

Groaning inwardly (I bet that hurts), he tried to shut his ears (probably not as much as that though) - before they start to bleed - to the moans that rekindled the common room to flurries of conversations, recounting the fight, and other likewise incidents. He did not really care for a bond, was only around to learn how to defend himself, but Master Seshir had explained his cause, and told Ashley a bit about Rossa, the Aes Sedai he loved. It was all very admirable, and he could not help but to respect the Gaidin. Perhaps like Mentor-like Mentee after all. He had nothing against the Cairma woman, but the Warder, the old man with the formidable look of experience, he was to be heard, not ridiculed. Whatever he had said, done, he was still the elder, and that demanded regard. To-day’s society’s so bent on stay young, and thought most Aes Sedai didn’t get to power ‘til they’re quite old, their smooth faces that seemed not a summer past twenty certainly didn’t help the fear of growing old, as if getting on in the years affected the person’s competence at work. Whatever happened to respect for the teachers, the wise? (The same thing that happens to old shoes.) Ashley was not alone in wondering this, and he had to nod his approval when a trainee from the other team rebuked the Blade, calling him a “woolhead” for talking too much (baaaaaa). Yes, the Swords were up ahead, and Ashley tallied up a point to the Swords, until a Swordette raised her tankard to toast her venerable team. Boy, did that put the other Blades’ backs up, their hackles raised, snarls and growls populated Ashley’s table (who let the dogs out, woof, woof, woof-woof). He also felt like snarling, and wanted to stab the lass for disturbing the peace once more. But value, differences would not a cultural war make, right? (Do it, give in to the darkside, strike me down with your hatred!)

 

The commotion continued, and grappling with Spring (that's not nice, but I bet she's a looker) he drew on his violent tendencies, spreading his emotions so stoically, and not quite in the manner that Master Seshir instructed, so that instead of the sought-after invigoration he felt increasingly frustrated, hardly noticing Kopair and Sasha, familiar teammates, within vicinity (if you don't notice them, they aren't important). Kopair was a Blade he had known by name and face, but little beyond the obligatory hello (except for name and face). He liked Kopair in that the other never used him for information (only gratification of a more physical sense), to compare their training schedules or whatnot, but rather had let him be, out of respect for Ashley’s privacy. The man seemed capable of reaching out as he soon demonstrated, but if Ashley wanted to socialise he would initiate interest, and at the moment he was more content only to withdraw, not really listening as his chisel dug deeper into the staff. (Reach out and touch, someone who cares, make this world a better place--if you can!)

 

Scrape. Sasha’s remark about the women keeping men in line made him smile faintly. The quiet slip of a girl reminded him of somebody he knew, one of his sisters although younger than he, seemed convinced the men thought with the hair on his chest. Tarec had ruined that for Ashley, of course, quipping that men thought what was under their stomachs (I think intestines, look there they go now!), and the trainee soon learned not to read too much into whatever the Shienarian told him. Scrape-scrape. The trouble-gabbling Swordette mouthing off about somebody (James, it's always James), almost as loudly as the Blade, Conor?, had been. An A. Sasha sat up, and even Cairma’s-mentee-Blade listened. Scrape. A whiff of something… interesting, like the fresh pines and the road. Somebody toward the entrance blurted: "What the heck is that smell?" (It was me!) The trainee glided in, murmuring his apologies. That was neatly executed, and Ashley approved thoroughly of doing right by people. He paid a measure of scrutiny to the latest arrival, Arturus as he introduced himself, and his heart spat a yarn of sympathy as he had come to the Yards to train not so long ago (I would be alarmed if my heart did that). It was a bizaare, unforgiving environment, where the only smile would have to sustain you for days, because there were no others. Nay, he did not suppose he could not scrounge out a smile for Arturus, simply on principle. It’d be fake otherwise.

 

The party had moved to crowd their table, the Swords came to welcome Arturus, and as Blades and Swords grouped together in a concerted effort to plan out pranks. Somehow Ashley did not suppose the Mistress of Trainees had expected pranks to be an intra-team activity, but there you go as names, respectively if not respectable, blasted into the ales they nursed. Names that went into this uncanny list of notoriety… Aran. Cairma. Aran. Thera. Aran. Liitha. Aran. Whether it was a good idea to outline the schemes in public was one thing, but the excitement encouraged by their tankards was quite another matter. It could definitely be his ale talking, but perhaps getting into trouble, being part of the team wouldn’t be so bad after all.

 

Master Seshir had mentioned teams were a good way of interacting with people one doesn’t normally get into contact with, after all, and perhaps some fun could be had at the present (Then again, perhaps not). Fun affected, bothered him in a good way, if not always wholesome, but a good way (like a blood worm). Now, Ashley had a choice, a simple decision to exchange ideas with. Boy, or girl. Turning, he tugged on his sister-think-alike Sasha’s sleeve. “Is it just me, or it’s hot in here partner?” (Just you, and you're not all that and a bag of fries)

 

The last word was spoken lightly, but could be taken another way if the other's mind was steeping in crime. (Boo!)

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He heard it first, a strange, unnatural sound. Then it brushed across that aptly named sixth sense, ‘The Braxtonness.’ It was a well known fact that anything about Braxton had the name of Braxton somewhere in the title. His feet were ‘Dual Braxtons’, his fingers were, ‘Groovy Braxtons’. There were others, such as ‘Little Braxton’, but we won’t be going there until you’re all over the age of eighteen, unless you have really nice hands. Do you have really nice hands?

 

The weight of the unnaturalness jabbed him from every angle, like how a person would feel after rolling in some hay with the sheep, naked and ... anyway, it was just wrong. And what was this wrongness, this pervading –nay, disturbing sensation? It was joy and happiness without “The Braxton”, and that simply was not possible. No, he would simply have to share the love whether they wanted it or not.

 

It was time for the check of the man. Mullet—check; side burns—check, pocket-comb—check; manly scent of yak—double check. There was nothing more manly than the manly scent of yak, at least that is what the vendor had said and he had an honest face. He was the one, after all, who had sold Braxton some of the finest imported spirits, and though if it did look suspiciously like what was being used to remove stains from metal and clean paintbrushes, he believed the vendor when he said it wasn’t.  He had taken a draw, he remembered that part, but somehow lost the next few days and woke up in a slum wearing a toga. Good times.  Air guitar—chazizeck!

 

The Braxton strut, containing enough oil to grease twelve engines, went into code red, “alpha-cool”. There would be no stopping him. Nothing could withstand the Braxtonator, not even Super-Man. The common room doors bowed inwards from his innate manliness, bowed inwards and down and opened purely of their own accord, his hands had been there only as a caloyer's benediction.

 

His eyebrow cocked like a loaded rifle, and he spat on his hands and unslung his air-guitar ‘Braxton Lite.’ He spread his legs wide, threw back his head and yelled while strumming furiously, “Attention!” Only it wasn’t your average run of the mill attention, it was attention with attitude, and a few dozen more letters,‘Aaaaaattttteeeeeeeeeeeentttiiiiiiiiooooon' like that. Then, once he had commanded enough attention, “What up, my peeps!” Yes, so slick it was a wonder he could walk at all.

 

 

Braxton

Commanding attention since 1876.

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"Chicken", Sahra sticked her tongue out at Conor who refused to help with Aran. "People like you help to inflate his reputation. If the prank is intelligent - the only chance it has to work - and funny, Aran is going to be all well-natured about it. But if you do something stupid or mean, you won't like what you are getting in return. I can help you to organize stuff on your mentors but I'm going after him." She beamed at the support she was getting from Xil and frowned thoughtfully at the question about what exactly it should be. After foaming about cleverness, she didn't want to suggest anything that had been done many times before or was just plain dumb.

 

Arturus' suggestion made her tilt her head thoughtfully. "The hair colour might work but the big question is how to get it on Aran as he is really crafty. However the itch weed is just plain nasty and I'm sorry but I really wouldn't want to be involved in that plan." She didn't want to even think on what Aran would do when he found out who had been behind it.

 

The apparition walking through the door of the common room caught her attention and she wanted to wince. Trouble had just entered. How Braxton had become a Tower Trainee was just beyond her and she didn't want to even think on what he would be like if he was promoted to a Tower Guard. She could just stare when he pretended to play an invisible guitar and yelled for attention. That he got plenty enough. "Hey Braxton", Sahra greeted him wryly. "Want to join the company? You missed a good show, a showdown between Shoar and Cairma. After that we've been just chatting and planning possible mischief. You have any contributions? Especially if there target were Aran."

 

Sahra Covenry

Tower Trainee

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Kopair couldn't help but shake his head at Braxton's entrance.  He'd not had much experience with him, but knew him by sight. And with this first experience of the man, he had a feeling all the rumors he'd heard were true.

 

He grinned though at the attitude Sahra gave to Braxton. If he wasn't already in love with another, Sahra would certainly interest him.  So he focused back at the task at hand.

 

"I think Aran would love to be pranked," he said finally, breaking his long silence. "As long as, as Sahra says, it's done right.  I know Aran well, and he's a good sport.  The only problem I have is, if we were caught by the wrong people, I'm out of the Yard. So we need to plan this carefully.  And I love Artutus' idea.  We just need to figure out how to make it happen."

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“Aran. Prank … Aran?” Braxton’s mouth sagged as he attempted to reconcile the two words into one cohesive statement. It did not work. One did not simply ‘prank’ Aran. One may as well slap a bull between the eyes or put a blood viper down one’s trousers. There were certain possibilities that the trainee’s mind were incapable of acknowledging; this was one of them; his mind almost buckled with the strain.

 

“No Aran, no-no-no, Aran. Beat him in his sleep with a stick, poison his food, burn down his quarters, but never—never—let him catch you. While he is asleep, yes, asleep, he cannot hurt you then.” Braxton gave a humourless laugh, his face fell  and his eyes darted in every direction at once (or tried to) and his voice took on a fearful and conspiratol tone, “He never sleeps!”

 

Inexplicably his body began to ache and his stomach gurgled—it remembered Aran. His numerous dealings with the older man had never ended well, or remotely close to well. well. His ankle throbbed. He checked just to make sure his whip was in place, what if Aran heard, what if Aran knew he had been here? Braxton’s mind retreated into the far recess of his skull and began rocking back and forth.

 

Braxton ran out of the common room faster than he had entered, emitting a keening wail. In his haste he forgot his air guitar, but that mattered less than not being anywhere within Tar Valon when Aran was beset. His keening wail continued as he ran up and down outside the common room entrance several times before disappearing back to wherever it was he came from.

 

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"The hair colour might work but the big question is how to get it on Aran as he is really crafty. However the itch weed is just plain nasty and I'm sorry but I really wouldn't want to be involved in that plan."

 

Arturus was not really disappointed that his ideas were pushed away. He wasnt familiar with "pranking" anyways and everyone on the table could tell that that wasnt him. He ran his fingers through his black hair and suddenly felt very uncomfortable he had even suggested it and turned his eyes away from Sahra doing his best not to blush. His discomfort with women was already a thing of legends on the yard, from his bathing in the river instead of the bath houses to his horrible blushing during health class when anatomy was being explained. This would be just one more confirmation.

 

He had to say something intelligent "Well yeah... ok" (Doh!) Peering into his mug of wine he wondered if he could crawl into it.

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“How about an accident?” Xil said. It felt as if all eyes turned on him. Conor scoffed a bit, but Sahra looked at him encouragingly.

 

“I mean the hair dye. It could be an accident. I’ve seen Aran walk through the dining hall at noon bell sometimes. We could stage an ‘accident’ as he is walking through. I will carry my plate and cup of drink and bump into him. The drink would be the dye. I…I could make sure that the bump made a spectacular splash.” He waited to see what the others thought.  He could feel the warmth of the draft he was drinking running through him along with the warmth of sahra’s gaze…-STOP IT!- He thought to himself. And he looked around at the others.

 

“What do you think?”

 

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