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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Blunders and Beginnings ~Sana~


ashara

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Evening was weighing heavily on the skies of Tar Valon. The blue above had deepened, spreading out into streaks of purple and darker shades, so that looking up reminded her of the insides of a marble, except that in the circled nature of a marble colours were interlocked whereas what she saw above was spiralling outwards and reaching places her eyes could not see. Vera had left the Tower’s shelter earlier in the day, while the sun was still strong in all parts. Having kept herself in the Tower for over three months now, she had begun to find it difficult to stay inside the grounds for long durations of time.

 

So, she had taken to visiting the city once a week, aiding people where they required it- sorting out bargains where one was raising the mark unfairly high, or perhaps ending a year long feud between families who had been warring for so long, the initial friction was difficult to remember for either. Every aimless stroll had taken her down unexplored paths, and every week she had experienced something different, new. It had come unexpectedly, and like a breath of fresh air. She welcomed it.

 

Today, she let her feet move as they pleased. The city held no dangers for her, not even as she saw buildings that had once been gleaming brightly under the sun now fade into gentle silhouettes. People were still about, because Tar Valon, no matter what the sector she chose to roam through, was a busy city. She found herself moving through a region filled with inns, light and laughter flowing out in generous amounts as she passed by. Sometimes the laughter would lessen as they noticed her- she, Aes Sedai roaming in the city’s smallest-and in her opinion, liveliest- paths, knowing no familiar face. When this would happen, she would smile and greet them politely, which was always returned with the right amount of courtesy. And in this, lay her security. No matter how tiny the light flickering through the doors, every door knew the importance of the Tower. Such was the comfort of calling Tar Valon home.

 

When she was asked to favour one such tavern by entering it, Vera did not hesitate. Saidar was at her call anytime she required it, but as an Accepted once she had been brought to a tavern not unlike this, and that remained as one of her best memories. She felt no fear, not with these people. Some had cheeks that had reddened as the glasses of ale had emptied; others were dancing with the music that was jangling out in loud, dominating notes. The table that she was led to was larger than the others, and she noticed with a small smile, also cleaner. It was likely that the owner, a middle aged woman by the name Rhea was used to sitting here herself, so when she was ushered into a seat, Vera asked the other to join her for company. She watched the woman carefully as she offered, and was pleased when acquiescence came without any hints of hesitance, or worse than previous, false delight.

 

At first, she enjoyed what was around her. Fingers drumming along with the music on the table, she played the social butterfly that she was usually…not. Not soon after she had sat down beside Rhea, their conversation flourished. Rhea was the mother of two- one a lad who actually planned to join the Guard later on, and the other a little girl who spent the biggest expanses of her time with her cousins. Her husband was a blacksmith, perhaps the Aes Sedai had heard of him?

 

Vera was about to apologise, for indeed she had not. It was then that the noise that had been growing in the background thickened, and while she did not turn, Vera did not speak either. The disturbance had been there for some time, but she had pushed past it in her effort to strike up a pleasant acquaintance with Mrs. Rhea. The voices floated out easily enough. Both young men, their speech just slightly slurred under the influence of alcohol. They were arguing, and heatedly. Offering Rhea a smile, she excused herself from the table. These were things that could get sorted easily.

“Excuse me.”

 

They continued without any heed. At least it was clear what the fight was over now- money, lost in a gamble. The person who had won all the money had already left, gone from the tavern beaming in his victory, and the two men before her now were nothing but sore losers. However, they needed to be stopped. There argument was growing violent, because the men had risen from their chairs and were struggling against each other furiously. Fully aware of how odd her interruption might seem, she spoke once more.

“Excuse me. Yes, I am speaking to the two of you.”

 

She was louder this time, but her tone was still pleasant. “Is anything the matter?” she asked, watching the two men. Their attention shifted to her for a moment or two, only to endow her with endearing statements concerning how much better off she might be simply staying where she was. Vera felt no anger, even as she heard the guffaw go around the people around them, who were watching closely by now. Shaking her head at Rhea as she began to approach, she watched for a few moments as the men continued. Then, irritation took on a different form of control.

 

“Enough.” Embracing Saidar, she gently directed the sweet rush towards the men, using large weaves of Air to set the two apart. Settling them down in front of her, her voice was clearer this time. “This fighting is unnecessary. You are citizens of Tar Valon, and this is a city of pea-” It had been foolish to let them go after setting them apart. The men were at it again, and in their drunken state, every object around them was becoming a worthy weapon. The flaw in the plan was the lack of aim either had. Objects were being hurtled everywhere, and the scale of violence had only increased after she had gotten involved. Horror lurching wildly in her stomach, Vera struggled as for the first time ever, she found herself as part of a local brawl…

 

~Vera Cadsanome

Gray Ajah

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He hadn't been the only one to notice the Aes Sedai walking into the establishment, but he hid his curiosity quite a deal better than the other had.  A quick assessment told Sana that the other's were minding their business and there was no need to be concerned, but he'd spent too long in the Yards not to be concerned for the safety of an Aes Sedai, even in Tar Valon.  Still, he went about his game with only a small distraction for the ageless woman sitting at the table with the Inn's owner. 

 

Everything was going fine.  His purse was heavier than it had been when he'd arrived, he was certainly well fed and well watered.  He should have known something was going to happen when everything seemed to be going his way.  It was then that he noted the Aes Sedai had joined a couple of men.  Men that seemed on the verge of violence.  "Oh light..." was as far as he got before everything started to go crazy.  A pointed finger had been slapped away, which caused one man to pick up his mug and throw it at the other.  Things went downhill quickly after that.  Sana jumped from his seat and moved to the Sister's side.  He grabbed her wrist lightly so as not to scare her.  "This might be a good time to leave Aes Sedai." He said.  One of the men was pushed against him and while he was able to keep him from bumping into the woman at his side, his concern over her safety made him look at her when he should have been looking elsewhere.  The man before him turned and thinking Sana had pushed him as well, knocked Sana hard on the chin. 

 

He took a step back, recovering, but at that point, the brawl between two men had escalated into a few more tables that had surrounded them.  "Allow me to help you out of here Aes Sedai." He said, a smile on his face as he blocked one man's fist and connected with his knee to the man's ribs.  "I think this probably isn't the Inn you meant to visit tonight."

 

Ursana Tahn Sakhr :P

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What had she done?

 

She was unable to tear herself away from the mess, especially considering most of it was her mess. Saidar was still with her when it unfolded, but her somewhat dazed mind was finding it difficult to cope with the reactions her poorly made decisions had brought about. She should have never come to the inn, she should have never sat down beside Mrs. Rhea and heard the story of her life, and she most certainly should not have decided to take it upon herself to handle a scuffle that required a firm hand and solid beatings, rather than her pleasantly toned suggestion for the violence to end. Vera felt humiliated. She had settled treaties with lords and ladies of status known through all the lands, yes. She had travelled her fair share and meddled in politics, from the very start when her Gray Mentor had taken her to Mayene. But alas! Oh pity! When it came to the very core of her life, she had failed. In a darkened alley road leading to the lively music of city she called home, her hand extended a very short distance indeed. Was it truly the numbing of alcohol and greed that had done it, or her own blind courage?

 

The feelings were heavy ones. They choked her a little, slowing down her thinking as the havoc continued. She did not notice the steady movement of a chair’s leg making its way to her, but rather was startled by coming in contact with another. Rhea? She stepped away the slightest to face the unknown figure, and by doing so missed harm’s course by fractions. The gentle touch of fingers on her wrist prevented her from striking the stranger with a nice weave, but sense flooded back as she found that the person who had stepped in midway between her and injury was no middle aged woman, but a young strapping Tower Guard. Watching him fight snapped her back into action, and she nodded when he said that they should get moving. As they left, Vera gave one last attempt to help, by moving the less able as far away as she could from the brawl using Saidar. This was going to be one of those memories in Vera’s book that she wouldn’t be able to forget, shame before sleep as she curled into her soft bed. And as of now, Vera didn’t know if she was happy or not that there had been another from the Tower to help her.

 

Once they managed to escape though, her indecision left her. She had admired the fluidity with which the nameless Guardsman fought, smiling pleasantly as he brought down another brawler as he escorted her out. The image of him, half turning to reassure her while at the same time he hurled a punch at someone else was fixed in her mind and Vera knew with a fair share of clarity that it would not go away until she sketched it herself. As the light from the inn faded, and they were safely away she turned to him. “Are you alright? Did you get hurt in anyway? I can heal you.” It was dark now, so she channelled a little globe of light into existence and carefully surveyed him for any bleeding. She would not delve him unless the Tower Guard wished for it, so now it was his turn to speak. “Thank you, for what you did back there.” Pausing, she considered his face. “I am in your debt. If it hadn’t been for some handy thinking on your part…I would probably still be there. Thank you, Tower Guard…?” Eyes questioning, she waited for an introduction.

 

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He didn't know what to think about the Aes Sedai.  One he had been able to get her focus she seemed to move well enough, but his first instinct was that she'd never seen in brawl like that before, let alone being in the middle of it.  Sana had spent more than enough time in Taverns and Inns before coming to Tar Valon and he'd certainly frequented them in the city as well.  One thing he had learned was never to talk to two drunks who had lost money gambling.  Or a drunk who was winning.  Well, drunken gamblers were trouble in general, unless you were in the game and then they were only half the trouble.  Usually.  Since Sana liked to gamble, and he liked to win, he'd had more than one game struck up with a bunch of drunks.  Tonight was no exception but he had learned not to get too drunk when gambling.  That lesson had been beat into him a long time ago in the very streets of Tar Valon.  An incident that had set his life onto it's current path and one he was grateful for now, even if he hadn't been then.

 

"I am well Aes Sedai." Sana said as he pulled his thoguhts away from the past.  He made sure there were no followers and then slowed his pace so they cuold talk easier as they continued away from the Inn.  This Aes Sedai, once away from the brawl, didn't seem stiff like some of the Aes Sedai he had met before and he gave her a smile for her concern.  "I find that a few bruises after a fight help to remind me why I try to stay out of bar fights now a days."

 

When she asked for his name his smile grew larger.  He stopped and gave her a formal bow.  "Ursana Tahn Sakhr. And I am honored to be of service Aes Sedai.  Are you alright?  I don't think anyone would have dared to hurt you, but things tend to get out of hand in a place like that."

 

Ursana Tahn Sakhr

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Ursana Tahn Sakhr. No familiar bell rang in her head, and the name was lost on Vera. It did not matter much to her though, because as far as strangers went she had met the best and worst of them today. As was due for being in debt to the Guard, and since the man didn’t seem the slightest bit discomfited around her, Vera decided that as long as he saw it fit, she would accompany him. The thought made her cheer slightly; not all the things the evening brought were to be shunned. And although she had taken it upon herself to know and understand a little more of this Guardsman than she would have any other time, Vera made a mental note to pay Cairma a visit and ask her on the man. Especially if he was hiding any injury under the blanket of pleasantness that he seemed to be about. Vera had smiled when she had heard his response to her question on healing, but should the man need it in the future, she would abandon any task to give him the required time.

 

His next question was the one that truly startled her, but she was grateful for his concern. “I’m perfectly fine, its mostly just stupidity that’s ruling at this point of time.” She admitted it without hesitance, because his easy nature was something she knew she felt comfortable around. “I wasn’t ever concerned about myself though, it was more the people who were around the scene that I helped closely in elevating. Things like this shouldn’t happen,” she started with a frown, but after a moment’s pause turned it upward into a smile. “…but then again, a lot of things shouldn’t. It is a pleasure to meet you Ursana, no matter how odd the circumstances. I am Vera Cadsanome of the Gray Ajah, but Vera would do just fine. And it would be my pleasure to have your company for a dinner tonight, Ursana. Do you think this would suit you?”

 

 

 

 

 

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"It would indeed.  I would be delighted to accompany you Vera." He said, making certain to drop the Aes Sedai on the off chance it might upset her.  It was always risky.  From the stories in the Yards some Aes Sedai were as likely to snap at you for not following protocol even though they had told you to forgo it as they were to snap because you didn't forgo it when you asked.  "And please, my friends call me Sana.  Ursana is far too stuffy sounding for the likes of me." He added with a grin.

 

Well, this evening had certainly turned out much different than he had planned. Which, unfortunately happened more often than he cared to admit, but this time it turned out for the good.  At least he thought it had.  He'd made a few coins, met a new person, and managed to look like the exemplary Tower Guard he had always been trained not to be.  "Do you have a place in mind?" He asked, as they walked on.  "If not, I know of a few good places not too far from here.  They might be a little lively, but not the brawling sort at all."

 

Ursana Tahn Sakhr

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Sana then, it had a nice ring to it. She was happy with his effort to follow her suggestion to call her Vera, and smiled when she heard his consent for some dinner. As he spoke, she considered the places she enjoyed dinner at best, and then tried to select one that she thought her new acquaintance might feel at home in as well. Then, another thought struck her mind that appealed to her more than taking the Guardsman to somewhere where they would be greeted with formality and reverence, but she would prompt up the thought as a suggestion after he finished speaking. 

 

A slight breeze was flowing today, which with the River Erinin as their neighbour wasn’t unexpected. She realized that as they had walked, the architecture had changed too. Tar Valon really was like a quilt with many patterns interlaced together. What was curious was that they were both simply walking, rather than assessing the situation there and then and deciding on one place to go to. It suited Vera fine, because as these weeks had proven, she enjoyed the occasional wander.

 

"…If not, I know of a few good places not too far from here.  They might be a little lively, but not the brawling sort at all."

 

She blinked, and then laughed. Her thoughts held back out of courtesy had practically been snatched out of her mind and said by his mouth. An odd occurring and obviously one the Tower Guard couldn’t have realized. To ease any confusion away, she began to explain. “I had been planning to ask you if there was somewhere you knew of, but you did that for me.” She finished with a grin, and then continued. “Lively sounds perfect, especially without the added brawling bit. Where to, Guard Sana?”

 

 

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Sana was a little concerned when she laughed, afraid he had said something wrong, but her words made him smile.  "The Dancing Ring might be just the place.  If you don't enjoy dancing, it's fun to watch anyway and the music is always good." He said, then winked.  "And if you ask just right the owner might happen to have some extra sweets."

 

He was being a bit daring with the Aes Sedai but he decided that if she could laugh then she could have a good time.  If she didn't want to dance they wouldn't, but he wasn't joking about the musicians.  Sahra had told him about the place and they had long ago started frequenting the place on their 'family' outings with Aran. 

 

"That is, if you enjoy music.  I would like to escort you there, but if you prefer somewhere else..." He left it open for her to see how she would take it.

 

Ursana :P

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  • 2 weeks later...

“The Dancing Ring.”

 

She let the name roll off her tongue, testing uncrossed waters as her mind released flashes of imaginings of such a place, with such a name. Imagery was hardly something one looked for in every second inn’s name, but when she had been taught her grammar, her teacher had often stressed that when words became difficult, the best way to move forward was to let your mind do the work for you, and shape the word however it wished. When she had been taught these things as a young student, Vera had found it particularly handy, as well as something that she could connect to well. Even now, after having it affirmed to her that no word could be too difficult, she still clung to her former teacher’s tricks. Arcs of black twisted into bold letters, and behind them the desired scene would shimmer into existence. If she had ever needed to paraphrase the working of her brain’s communication wheels, then that previous statement had it in a nutshell.

 

Noticing that the Guard’s chatter had dulled, and was fading into question, Vera waved her hand in disagreement to his last words. She had asked him to suggest a good place, and the ease with which the name had sprung to his lips gave Vera cause enough to believe that their destination was to be worth the extra travel, if there was to be any. It amused her a little that after having been so sure of himself, he had paused to elaborate on the setting of the place. Had it not been that Ur- Sana was her acquaintance of only a few short minutes, Vera would have gladly pointed out to the Guard that there was no need for the extra caution. Sometimes it worried her that people forgot Aes Sedai were human, and then during a sudden musing she would worry that sometimes Aes Sedai themselves had the tendency to forget this truth. She hoped that dinner with this Guard would change the perception by some degree, at least.

 

“I asked for a place, and you have given me one. I enjoy music, and who doesn’t love a good dance? Lead on!”

 

~Vera

Gray Ajah

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Ursana smiled at her words.  It was always hard to tell what sort an Aes Sedai would show herself to be.  He was just glad that Vera Sedai was turning out to be the fun loving type that hid it well behind a good mask. 

 

Opening the door of the Dancing Ring, they were met with boisterous music and a lively crowd.  Sana smiled as he looked around, offering his arm to the Aes Sedai quickly to get her out of the doorway.  He came around and found a good table for them, one that would allow them to see the dancing well and yet was back enough to give them a little peace.  Very little, but at least they would be able to hear one another without shouting for a little while. 

 

The Innkeeper recognized him as she made her way around and came over quickly with a good wine as she saw that he had an Aes Sedai with him.  Not his usual companions of course, but there wasn't an InnKeeper in the city that didn't keep a little something stashed away in case an Aes Sedai surprised them with a visit. 

 

The wine was set out and Sana raised his cup in toast to her.  "To an unexpected meeting."  He said with a grin.

 

Sana 

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She asked a few questions as they went about the Dancing Ring, and occasionally about Sana himself, but generally the conversation lingered on lighter things, leaving the real nature of the inn they moved closer to still a touch mysterious in Vera’s mind. It was only when large doors of the Dancing Ring were swung backwards, that she caught in glimpses the true essence of the place. Upon stepping in, she was immersed immediately in a world quite unlike the deceivingly calm road she had glided down. Smile widening as she surveyed the vibrant scene, she took Sana’s offered arm with grace. They only managed a few steps beside each other before being ambushed by the ample smiles and curtseys of the Innkeeper, whose quick snap of fingers brought them by a table that provided generous space. Vera thanked the woman kindly, but was also glad that while some heads had swivelled upon the sweet chime of the bells by the door, most people were too wrapped up in each other and the music.

 

Vera could see why people would find such a place charming, why indeed, she was developing a liking and comfort in its setting herself. The clever position of the table provided Sana and Vera a good view of practically everything, from the swinging doors of the kitchens to the large wooden floor that was filled with a range of brightly hued dancers swaying to the music. Just because of how alive everything seemed, Vera knew she wouldn’t forget the sights easily. Perhaps she could even come again, with a useful little sketchbook the next time. She only needed a few of the outlines, the rest she could either base on her memory or improvise on.

 

When the wine came, her appraisal ended. Considering the wine as it sparkled under the glow of candles nearby, the delight of a toast did its wonders on Vera. Half smiling, half laughing, she toasted happily. “Indeed, unexpected but a good one. If only all blunders made good beginnings.” Raising the glass to her lips, she sipped it without any restraint. Vera liked a good glass of wine, especially red wine. She had often shared dinners and meetings with her student Saline over glasses of wine and other favourable alcohol, and Vera believed that a little in between tough tasks provided a good break for both of them. The wine was rich in flavour, and ran down her throat easily. “Do you come here often, Sana? You certainly know your way around.” She believed that he did, simply because of how easily the Innkeeper had recognised him as well as the ease with which he had made his way around the inn. Although, she doubted many other Sisters had visited the Dancing Ring. Trying to picture half the Sisters in her Ajah sitting around over wine in such a place would be hilarious, and she knew well that her Sisters would consider the situation with the same humour. And Vera suspected that the Innkeeper would have something of a fit if her rare Aes Sedai visitor transformed into an assembly of Gray Sisters.

 

“So, Guardsman Sana, do you dance?” Her eyes had been wandering occasionally to the dancers as they spoke, and with her glass now twirling half empty in her hands, Vera felt like one herself. They rose together and were on the floor quickly enough. The music was still as loud as ever, but at first it was a pace too fast to do anything but dance along too. So she glided as Sana lead, occasionally twisting herself into fanciful twirls she didn’t know she was previously capable of. Perhaps it was the wine. Perhaps it was the rhythm. Deciding that it was a bit of both as the pace slowed down gently, Vera looked up at her taller partner. “I thought Tower Guards only learnt the dance of the blade, bless my ignorance concerning the other half of the Tower.” Following Sana as he led them towards the right, she continued. “How long have you been a part of the Guard, if you don’t mind me asking? Do you enjoy the life you have taken on?”

 

~Vera

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"The life I have taken on?"  Sana smiled at the question.  In so many ways he had always let life choose his path.  To hear someone say it in that manner was refreshing because in the end, he had taken it on.  He had decided to stay as a Tower Guard, no matter his problems accepting it, and his sister, in the beginning.  Of course, it was easy to say yes as she danced around the common room with a beautiful woman on his arm, Aes Sedai or no.  There had been harder times though and even as he pushed aside thoughts of it, they resettled into the back of his mind where they had always been.  His anger with the way Aran had treated him at times, his fear of being a disappointment to his sister, his fear of being too much like his sister, his fear of abandonment that he never shared with anyone, his pain at Sahra's betrayal, holding his sister's hand after the Keeper's death and not knowing her fate when she had left after it... so many negative things that reared up, but he was not the sort to dwell on those.  They would rear their heads again soon when he was alone and he would have to contemplate them again.

 

"I have the happy advantage of being a Tower Guard.  I stand watch, I help train young men and women, and on occasion I get to dance with lovely women.  I cannot say that it is a bad life.  My feet may itch from time to time to get back on the open road, but there is always someone needing to get away from the Tower for a short while to help scratch the itch." he said with a grin. 

 

"And you, Aes Sedai?  Do you enjoy the life you lead in the high walls of the Tower?"

 

Ursana

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It was interesting that Sana had mentioned the road in their conversation. Earlier this morning, Vera herself had been given a task that would require her to leave the city, and upon learning about it, she had felt that familiar tingle of apprehension that came with the paths a road could lead one through. One was always a little reluctant to leave the comfort of one’s nest, but the information she had been given was under no circumstances unworthy of a Sister’s attention and care.

 

The open road. Yes, she knew a little about the itch for travel, but not as much as some of her other Sisters might’ve. Vera loved and would always love a settled home, with the security of knowing that the faces she saw one day would be the same the next, only creasing and curving slightly in accordance to emotion felt. The contained life, encased within high walls as Sana rightly said, was a safe one. It was a peaceful one. Some could call her a bore, even unadventurous if they wished it, but her life had shaped her into the person she was and there was very little in Vera that made her want to defend herself against wagging tongues of razor sharpness.

 

During her first few years as Aes Sedai, the desire to see the world from this new perspective, under the weight of the new responsibility that had been bestowed on her was a large one, and so she had done so. Occasionally it was for missions assigned by her Ajah Head or to prepare a promising Accepted as she could about the ways of the world, but there were also the few precious times that she had left at her own accord. These days however, then bouts of travel had thinned into the infrequent and Vera had chosen to spend time near and in Tar Valon. She had learnt much about her home by doing so, but as tonight had proved, never quite enough. However, it was not something she minded.

 

“My life is a peaceful one, and occasionally, I could even risk calling it stable.” Smiling, she pursed her lips thoughtfully for a few moments before continuing. “I was different when I first became a Sister, and I am different now, which I’ve accepted over time. Now I aim to draw as much from the city and Tower as I can, because one never knows when the next task calls.” Tilting her head slightly as a thought occurred to her, she looked at Sana curiously. “I wonder…do you think of Tar Valon and the Yards as home too?” She didn’t think the answer would be a no, but Vera was interested in hearing his views about it either way. “Did you travel often then, before your time as a Tower Guard?”

 

 

~Vera

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Sana smiled.  "I tend to think of home as where my family is.  The road, the yards, i've got a home on both." He said with a laugh.  "But I am far more used to a pillow and soft mattress than I used to be, that's for certain.  Before the Yards I used to ride with my family's caravan.  Never had what most people would call a stable home until I came to the Yards  I suppose, but my family was all I ever needed."  He wasn't sure why he was telling the Aes Sedai all of this, but it felt natural to talk and he was just going to go with what felt right.

 

"Actually the only reason I signed on to training in the Yards was to get closer to my Sister.  So I guess she's part of what makes the Yards home to me.  Of course, I realized a while back that even though I missed the road, I enjoyed what I was doing here so I stayed.  What about you?  Are you one of those girls that comes here looking to be an Aes Sedai?"

 

Ursana

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The peculiar resemblances in their two previously unconnected lives were ringing oddly in Vera’s mind. Had it not been that intuition told her to take Ursana at face value, Daes Dae’mar would’ve caused her mind to spill out all sorts of suspicions, that would’ve made the pleasant dance they were having several shades darker and tenser. He had come for his sister, and although his surname brought no names to Vera’s mind, the word sister was curious enough. It brought back memories of wounds that she’d accepted, but after years of letting healing seep in, she was grateful that the remembrance did not threaten to unleash the past. Instead, she chose to smile and blanketed all the rest carefully. It was not hard now to put on a mask, and times when it had been were becoming difficult to remember.

 

“Riding with your family would’ve made you all the closer then, I wish I’d gotten a chance to be on a caravan. One of those things I’ve yet to accomplish.” Home is where the heart is. The phrase came out akin to a whisper in her ears, giving the eerie effect that whoever had said it, was behind her. Logic of course shunned this belief, but the proximity of the words was strange nonetheless. Still, the phrase itself was one she understood and knew well. “Soft pillows are just the best thing about the Tower, no? I know for one that in my previous life soft pillows would be the one I’d fluff up nicely so that the Lady I was serving could have a good night’s rest.” Normally Vera would not have told a stranger such things, but she was warming to Sana and his easy nature, and it only felt right to give a little in return for the history he had mentioned.

 

What struck her that kept her even further away from the idea that this was some sort of frame worth question, was that for every similarity there was a contrast. It made a good balancing act, the fact that he was a traveller and lover of the road. When she heard his question, she laughed. “Actually, I was sister to another girl who came to Tar Valon seeking to be Aes Sedai.” Laughing when she saw the surprised expression, she continued. “It was my sister who convinced me to come for the ‘grandest adventure I would ever be a part of’. She could channel as well, but now all skill and strength that was in her has gone back to the dust we came from.” Vera’s lips curved up a in a small smile. “She passed on, but the last memories I have of her are here. So this is where home is for me as well.”

 

The music ended then, at what one could’ve possibly called strange timing. Perhaps it was so, or perhaps it was fitting- it was not for Vera to decide. She was glad that she could summarise Shayna in a few sentences now, but in a way it also saddened her. Something about that realization, along with her view of the darkened sky past the windows settled in the fact that their happy time together was drawing to an end. Turning to Sana, she voiced her thoughts. “Its growing late and I have an early start tomorrow, but thank you for this wonderful dinner and the quick save before that.” Smiling broadly, she waited for his response.

 

~Vera

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And so it was that their evening was over.  He smiled warmly at Vera Sedai.  "You are most welcome Aes Sedai." He took care of the waitress and made sure that they hadn't left anything at the table, then came back, offering her his arm.  "I would be honored if you'd allow me to see you safely to the Tower." 

 

The night was still young still and he could have stayed out, but he was enjoying the time with Vera Sedai and a walk to the Tower would give him a little more time with her.  He could sense a kindred spirit with her, not in everything, but in many ways.  Perhaps it was nothing more than a shared childhood experience, for her viewed his years before the Tower as his childhood still, but perhaps it was more.

 

She took his arm and he began walking, taking a leisurely pace as he did.  "Thank you for accompanying me tonight.  It was an unexpected end to the day, but a very pleasant one."  He added one of his best smiled so she would know that he truly meant it.

 

Sana

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