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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Manners (attn: Karli)


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The Reader's home smelled wonderfully of dried herbs and Sahra's head was beginning to loll thanks to the warm hearthfire and the brew for pain she had been given. The Reader hadn't let her to leave yet because she claimed that swelling in her ankle needed to settle a bit before she could put any weight on it. She was greatly tempted to just allow herself to fall asleep but then she would have stayed here till the morning and Sana might have found that he was gone and get worried. He would be angry enough at her for her horrible behaviour and getting hurt in the first place. Maybe even a bit guilty that he hadn't watched her better but a Trainee wasn't supposed to need constant guarding. She had been acting like a total wool head.

 

Part of her was really looking forward to Sana feeling bad the next morning but she really wished that that the trip wouldn't be ruined for him. She had done her best to make it so but maybe the Cairhienin woman had relaxed him a bit. Despite her resolution she couldn't be genuinely happy for him, not yet but she would keep it better in check in the future. She just had no right to him and never had had really.

 

But she didn't want to think it and chatting with nice Mistress Martel kept her mind occupied enough to not poke the unpleasent subject. They small talked and sticked to safe topics and time passed fairly pleasently. Sahra had lost her sense of time but she trusted the Reader to tell her when her foot allowed her to return to the inn. The pair was just discussing some basic herbs that were used for wounds and Mistress was showing her what the plants actually looked like and explained where they grew in the wild when someone knocked the door.

 

It was quite a late hour but Cairhien was big enough city that something always happened at day and nights. The Mistress opened the door and asked what kind of assistance was required. Sahra sucked her breath in when she recognised the woman at the doorway. It was her! Why had she come here? Had Sana realised that she was gone? Trying to keep her cool and appear non-chalant she waited for the wench to state her business.

 

Sahra Covenry

Tower Trainee

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Why?

 

That was the question that Karli asked herself inwardly as she made her way through the streets of Cairhien.  She knew the answer of course, but she indulged the thought nevertheless.  After spending a pleasant time with Ursana, she'd left him sleeping in his quarters and had been caught leaving the inn by one of her companions who chose to inform her that the girl that Ursana had for a student had tried to slip away.  To make things worse, the fool of a girl seemed to have hurt herself when her makeshift rope had snapped and the bad landing had resulted in her having to limp through the streets in order to find a Reader to take care of her.

 

There were only so many Readers to be found in the district, but Karli had the advantage of being told the location of her quarry.  Sahra, it seemed, had managed to find her way to Mistress Martel who was a well respected Reader, not to mention incredibly patient.  Karli had seen her a few times over the years, enough times that Mistress Martel would be more than willing to let her have some alone time with Sahra.

 

Indeed, she proved to be most accomodating when Karli arrived.  Stepping aside to allow Mistress Martel to step into the street for a few minutes, Karli entered and closed the door behind her.  Slowly walking over to the girl who was regarding her with an affected air of nonchalance in her seat, Karli didn't hesitate as she slapped the girl as hard as she could without having to wind her hand back.  The resounding smack certainly felt as good as it sounded and as far as Karli was concerned, it was entirely deserved.

 

"In the future, take a care who you decide to name slut."  Karli was most certainly not impressed by the attempt that Sahra was making to appear strong, even going so far as to lower her hand to her lap rather than hold it to her cheek which would have been the natural reaction.  "As for this hole you've managed to dig for yourself, lets just hope Ursana is particularly unobservant tomorrow and somehow manages not to notice your blatant stupidity.  Get up, we're getting you back to the inn now."

 

 

Karli

Rogue

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Mistress Martel left her alone with the woman Sana had slept with and Sahra managed to cling to her composed facade as the wench approached her slowly. The slap wasn't entirely unexpected and as an instinctive response Sahra's right hand snaked up to block the strike and wrench the arm into a lock. Or so was her intention but due to the painkiller her reaction was sluggish enough that the hand was gone before she could react properly. Her cheek stung badly but she had enough will power to not give the woman the satisfaction of seeing her cover it with her palm. She gave her a nasty glare, though, as she lowered her hands neatly on her lap.

 

She would not explode and she would mind her manners; she had decided as much with Sana, and even if she hadn't expected to meet his tonight's bed warmer ever again, the same resolve pertained to her too. Summoning the Spring, she breathed in deep as she fed the pain and annoyance and the retort on the tip of her tongue about being so lowsy fighter that she had to hit hurt people to score to the tempest. They were all still part of her and gave her energy and strenght but in the eye of the storm she was calm and they didn't distract her focus.

 

"That was deserved and I... I apologise", she added grudgingly. She couldn't say that she was sorry because she wasn't entirely over her petty jealousy and she wasn't sure if she regretted it truly and not just because she had lost control and acted like a total idiot. At least Sana didn't know the extent of her stupidity yet as the Cairhienin had obviously tired him already. The fresh hurt the thought evoked made her look exactly as young as she was but she covered it by reaching for the crutches.

 

"Sana can be quite blind from time to time" like for ever falling for her "but even he isn't that blind. It is a shame that he has to get bothered by it but unless there is an Aes Sedai in the town, there is nothing to do about it." Since he was her teacher still - even if he might want to sign off the job after this - he should know everything about her, including her weaknesses. Maybe there would be a way to work with it somehow and she would no matter how embarrassing it would be. If she really felt masochistic, she might even tell the whole story to Aran. He likely wouldn't joke about it but he would be disappointed with her.

 

She wasn't particularly keen on spending any time with the woman whose name Sahra still didn't know and didn't even care to learn but it was unlikely that the Cairhienin was going anywhere. And as Mistress Martel had left her to the woman's company it was likely alright for her to go back. She would avoid putting any weight on the foot just in case. Standing up awkwardly and taking a few hesitant steps leaning heavily on the crutches she signaled that she was ready to go. The less words they exchanged, the better.

 

Sahra Covenry

Regaining some sense of decency

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Nodding approvingly at the apology, Karli had little doubt that it wasn't entirely genuine, but it was a good start.  It was certainly a better option to Sahra trying to hit back, that would have ended badly for the girl.  The mention of Aes Sedai for healing made Karli contemplate the option but she quickly dismissed it.  She wasn't going to take the woman to one of the Aes Sedai within the city, it might have saved the girl a bit of embarrassment as well as Ursana, but that would have only lasted until they returned back to Tar Valon where someone would no doubt ask what happened.  That would defeat the whole purpose of trying to get the girl back to her quarters quietly.

 

Watching as Sahra got on her feet, well, foot, and began to use her crutches, Karli decided she was able to handle herself fine and simply followed Sahra outside.  Waving to Mistress Martel as they left, Karli didn't watch the Reader go back to her home but instead followed along, noticing rather quickly that Sahra seemed to be content with silence.  Karli, on the otherhand, was not.  She hadn't come only to fetch Sahra away from the Reader and get her back to her room with a minimum of incident, she'd chosen to do so in order to get some answers.

 

It was only a few streets before Karli chose to break the silence with something other than her steps on the cobblestones.  "So, what is the deal with you and Ursana?"  Karli didn't bother beating around the bush, it would have been disingenuous at this point as well as unappreciated.  "You're his student and you've got someone else but you're jealous enough to go do something stupid like this.  Not to mention rip into him infront of me.  Whats your problem?"

 

Subtle.

 

 

Karli

Rogue

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Sahra stopped to give Mistress Martel a greatful wave and smile. She had of course paid the woman but she had been really pleasent and compassionate so Sahra wanted to make the goodbyes properly. She walked with the crutches with some difficulty and kept her gaze on the icy cobblestones to avoid falling. The other woman seemed happy enough with the silence at first but she broke it after just a couple of streets. Her cheeks coloured as Sana's bed mate summarized her and Sana's situation. He had told her then it seemed. She wasn't going to engage in deep conversation with her but since she couldn't get rid of her at the moment and she would likely be awfully insistent and annoying, Sahra would have to say something. "My problem would be stupidity, self-absorbed bitchiness and selfishness in general." And that was as much as the wench needed to know.

 

Her lips quirking into a smile as she heard Sahra's answer, Karli wasn't going to be put off nearly as easily even if she did agree with Sahra's summary of herself.  Not that she had both sides of the story by any means, but the story she'd heard sounded similar to so many others she'd heard that they all sort of blended together to form a credible assumption.  "Well, why are you so stupid, self-absorbed, selfish and bitchy?  Hmm?  Its a long way back to the inn, carrot top, and I'll keep asking until I get something a little more solid than self pity."

 

The unexpected question gave Sahra a pause but she overcame it quickly enough. She didn't much appreciate the jab about self-pity but she couldn't deny the truth of it. There was that and acting and saying things without much forethought. Still, she would use the unpleasent fact to her benefit somehow and grow past it. "I just am and likely have always been. I don't know why." She wasn't happy with the current situation, though, and wanted to change but it would take some self-reflection that she had never really bothered with. This woman just wouldn't be the company she would do it with, she needed first to examine herself alone. "Why are you prying so much?"

 

Karli wondered whether she had ever been as young as Sahra, and if she were honest with herself she had to admit she probably hadn't been.  Sahra just hurt some feelings with Ursana and that was that, if she had done what Sahra had she might have earned herself a solid beating or worse, and it would have been deserved if the only reason she could conjure for being unfaithful was 'I just am'.  Leading people on only led to trouble, which was exactly what had happened with Ursana it seemed.  Yet the question that was fired back begged answering.  "Because I knew Ursana when he was younger and he didn't strike me as the sort to get all torn up over a girl.  So I'm curious, did he do something so terrible to deserve it?  Or did you just get bored with him?"

 

The woman's words about Sana being all torn over her were bittersweet. She certainly had never wanted to hurt him but in some perverse way it was delightful to know that he had so strong feelings about her despite all his philandering. But he would have to get over them because they just never would have worked. Of course there was just the chance that it was only his pride that had been hurt, just like her pride was hurting when he was getting over with someone else. She shook her head vigorously at the question about Sana doing anything to deserve it. That was the worst part, he had done nothing but been his gorgeous self. Sure, he had had others but that was him and she hadn't really minded. Or so she had been at least able to pretend until today when she had actually seen him with someone else.

 

Fior was something entirely different. She knew with certainty that if they were together, he would never be with anyone else. And deep down that was what she wanted. Or so she had thought until Dilora. Until Fior and her she hadn't even thought that she was capable of being with someone else or really desiring someone else when she had feelings for someone else. So she wasn't any better than Sana even though she had maybe in some level always thought that she was. In fact, why did she think that she deserved Fior any better than Sana? That was a startling thought and it had never even crossed her mind before. She had taken it so granted that she could just 'swap' Sana for Fior. And likely she could because her former room mate had feelings for her but she wouldn't be any better choice for him despite all her good intents of being different.

 

The last question earned the woman an angry glare. "No, Sana didn't do anything out of ordinary and it wasn't planned at all. I hadn't even realized that I might feel that way about..." She wasn't going to say Fior's name. "I hadn't thought that I could do something like that and then I did it again. Kind of. I never really let her to touch me and it was just because Sana was so..." She clamped her mouth shut when she realized that she was giving out far too much information. "I suppose that it is like I said to you before calling you things. We project on others what we really think of ourselves."

 

Listening, part of Karli wanted to hit Sahra.  Hard.  So much self pity that it was sickening, if she felt she was doing the wrong thing then why did she keep doing it?  That was just plain stupid, sure you could have your heart tugged at a couple of ways, but you decided one way and ran with it.  You didn't go and hedge your bets, not with something that important.  "More self pity and all self inflicted.  If Tahn didn't do anything to you, and you like him, and you like whoever else it is you're sleeping with, why don't you just make a choice?  One or the other?  Because if you've chosen this other person, why were you so jealous about me and your mentor?"

 

There it came again, the accusation of self-pity. So very true and yes, it was all her fault. She couldn't understand why she wanted to justify herself to this woman but she replied anyway. "It has all been a confusing jumble for everyone exactly because I hadn't decided. The week in Yards afterwards... I was kept too busy to even think about it; not very much at least despite him being there all the time. And then we came here and I thought that this would resolve it. And it did. I have made up my mind now and that is how it's going to be." If Fior would just have her. She bit her lip with uncertainty when she agonized over the thought that he wouldn't want her after all. He didn't know what she could be like and he might not be able to accept it.

 

"Well, if you've made your decision, just be sure about it and try not to hurt Tahn too much in the process."  Karli was fairly sure that Tahn would get rather hurt in the process, but that was his fault for picking a girl who was exactly that, a girl and who didn't seem to know what she wanted.  Well, maybe she did now, but when she'd been interested in Ursana and led him on she didn't seem to.  She actually felt rather sorry for Ursana, as much as he played the loose lad, he really did have a soft side and he'd just opened up to the wrong girl.  Or maybe it was just the wrong time.  Young people were prone to doing incredibly stupid things.  It was times like these that Karli was glad that she'd never been young like that, even if it had been at the expense of other things.  "Don't suppose you could hobble faster?"

 

The other woman seemed to have gauged that Sahra's choice hadn't indeed been Sana and she nodded severely at Karli's advice. She had never wanted to hurt him and exactly because she had, it was the best thing for them both. It might have been the best if he would stop being her mentor too but she wouldn't bring it up because they had already spoken about it. Unless he had of course changed his mind now. "I will do my best." The woman's last remark earned her an irritated glower. "And no, I will not go any faster. I don't want to break another bone because of stupid pride. But if you want to walk quicker, no one is stopping you."

 

Sahra & Karli

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Well, at least the girl was finding some of her prickliness again, though Karli wouldn't say she was entirely glad about it.  Then again, the girl wasn't her friend, she was her friend's student and that was why she was walking the idiot back to her quarters at the inn.  Not that she'd be grateful either, that would be too much to ask and that wasn't why Karli was doing it anyway.  She just hoped that Ursana would be alright and get over the girl, if she was that willing to drop him for another, then he deserved better.  Maybe if he were in Cairhien instead of Tar Valon, she'd think of giving him a go, but she knew that was a lie.  What they had was friendship, definitely not love.

 

"Hey you, pretty girls!"

 

Stopping in her tracks as she turned around, Karli spied the pair of men that were approaching them.  Black clothing, that meant noble, the night just kept getting better and better.  Turning to Sahra, Karli's words were rather dry.  "Well, this night just keeps getting better and better.  I swear, sometimes I feel like I'm in the middle of a badly told Gleeman's tale.  Just do me a favour, just hobble over there and leave this to me."

 

Turning from Sahra to the men that were coming closer, Karli took a few steps forward as she replied with a merry voice.  "Sorry boys, we're not working tonight, you'll have to go down a few streets before you find some company.  Oh my."  As they stepped closer, Karli held a hand over her mouth as she giggled.  "Aren't you boys strapping, I'm truly sorry I'm not working tonight now."

 

Though they reeked of alcohol as they stood over her, Karli didn't feel that they were particularly drunk, they didn't sway nearly enough.  Accepting the hand on her shoulder pleasantly, the offers of coin just made her giggle more as she patted the hand.  "I'm sorry, really I am.  But if you want fun you're going to have to go down there, take a left, then a right and there'll be plenty of girls who will be happy to see you."

 

Karli sighed, yes, she understood that she might be the one that was wanted, but that wasn't the point.  "Boys, you're not going to misbehave are you?  I've told you, I am not available tonight.  Now if you'd care to remove your hand from my shoulder and follow the direc-"

 

Feeling the hand tighten, her hand that was resting ontop of the man's suddenly clamped down in turn as she leaned forward, forcing the man to sink down even as she kicked at his companion's knee and smashing the kneecap inward.  Using her free hand to smash into her primary assailant's throat, it caused the man to lose control as he grasped at his throat, as if it would help him breath.  Not an issue for him as he fell to his knees as Karli quickly snapped his neck.

 

Taking a couple of steps over to the man's companion, Karli kicked him onto his back and then quickly stomped on the man's throat, finishing him instantly.  Bending over him, Karli absentmindedly relieved him, and then the other man, of their money before walking over to Sahra who had observed the entire incident.  "I don't suppose you'd care to hobble faster?  Its not as if they'll be the only idiots on the street tonight, and seeing as they're dressed as nobility, we probably don't want to be here."

 

 

Karli

Rogue

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The holler of the drunken men made Sahra give an exasperated sigh. She had dealt with guys like this plenty enough during her time as a barmaid and often they didn't believe anything but roughly said no between legs and bouncer's goodbyes. Sadly tonight she wasn't quite in the condition of kicking ass even if it might have made her feel slightly better. She frowned at her companion's urging to steer clear of it but because she would just be in the way, she complied. And she was curious to see how the woman would handle herself.

 

Someone might have found the exchange of words between her and the men funny but not someone who had had to have her own dialogues in situations like that. Finally it came to a fight and the Cairhienin was much better than she had expected, efficient and utterly ruthless. Sahra gasped and covered her mouth when the woman actually killed the first man. She had to look away when Karli finished the second one and she felt slightly nauseatic. She wouldn't have had to kill them really but her words about nobility explained some of it. If they had lived and would have recognised her, she might have been in trouble.

 

"You were really good", Sahra said a bit unsteadily. "Thank you for... ah, I guess protecting me." It galled to admit that she was a useless cripple but she resorted to her sense of humour that was slowly returning. "My hero! I would kiss you if I didn't know that you would smack me again." She almost laughed at the look that she got and tried to follow her 'suggestion' of going faster.

 

Her movement with the crutches was still awkward and even though she did her best to avoid uncertain spots, her one good foot and the crutch slipped on the black ice covered by a patch of snow. She landed heavily on her bum and her eyes welled with tears of pain. She felt absolutely miserable when the woman had to help her up but she did her best to put a good face on it and murmured her thanks as she didn't need anymore pokes about self-pity. Luckily the inn wasn't that far away anymore.

 

Sahra Covenry

Has taken quite a many hits on her pride tonight

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Arriving at the inn to find it locked, it was very quickly unlocked and Karli ushered Sahra in before quietly closing and locking the door behind them.  If there was anything that this night hopefully conveyed to Sahra, it was that not everywhere was as safe as Tar Valon and only an idiot wandered around during the night on crutches.  You were an easy mark to have your money stolen or worse if someone felt like it.  Sahra might not have run into them if she had left later by herself, but she could have just as easily run into someone else as well.

 

Reaching the stairs, Karli sighed as she saw Sahra stairing at them in consternation and simply told her to turn around and look at her.  Slinging Sahra over her shoulder, she used one arm to keep Sahra balanced on her shoulder while the other hand was used to help her lean on the wall as she took each new step up.  Not that Karli was out of shape by any means, that had been taken care of over the past few years, but she was tired more than anything else and she wanted to go to sleep.  And she couldn't do that until she had Sahra in her room and making sure she wasn't likely to wander off elsewhere.

 

The door to Sahra's room may as well have not even been locked as Karli jimmy'd it one handed and pushed it open.  Stepping inside, Karli closed the door behind them before moving over to the bed and setting Sahra down carefully.  She'd ceased being an idiot and had actually been vaguely pleasant, therefore Karli wasn't going to entertain the notion she'd had earlier of slapping the girl's ankle or otherwise handling it roughly.

 

Taking the crutches off her and propping them against the wall near the bed so they'd be in reach, Karli sat down next to Sahra and quickly freed the buttons at the back of the dress.  As she did so, she was very clear about what she expected from Sahra.  "Now, I can trust you won't wander off again tonight?  Straight to sleep, no playing about, no wasting time.  Simply go to sleep, and if there is any trouble with Ursana in the morning, just apologise and distract him with the fact I killed those two pigs on the street.  Then get him to fetch you breakfast, with any luck it might actually work."

 

 

Karli

Rogue

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Sahra was very impressed with the skill her company showed with picking locks. She had tried to learn the trade herself and gotten pointers from Sana and Aran but the woman was maybe even better than Aran as she practiced more often. She was very glad to be at her lodging already as she was growing more and more tired. It was more exhausting than she had thought to walk with the crutches and the pain killer's effect was dying down. Noticing the way she eyed the stairs, the Cairhienin woman bent Sahra over her shoulder to her mortification. But she genuinely appreciated the gesture and her thanks were alot more heart felt this time.

 

The room was fairly chilly as she hadn't been able to close the window properly when she had left but she could just wear more clothes. The woman seemed to be intent on her stripping it though and she just complied. The dress was likely ruined with her falling down with it a few times but she would worry about it later. She smiled tiredly when she was warned against going wandering again. "Oh, don't fuss mother, I won't be moving a fin tonight." Her brow creased on a frown when she got advice on how to deal with Sana. She could do it all by herself, thank you, but she decided to not comment on it. The main gist was to make Sana so angry at her stupidity that he forgot to feel guilty and she seemed to have had a good knack with it lately.

 

"Before you go, I would like to thank you again. And maybe providing a name might be nice too. I think that Sana is going to insist on us staying here for a few days so you could... you should... hmm... spend time with him." She stared firmly at the roof and tried to keep the words light even if it still pained her to speak them despite all her decisions. But she was going to ride at first chance as she wanted to go back in Tar Valon and get Healed and start training again. And it would be good to be with Fior and then there would be no doubts about her resolution.

 

Sahra Covenry

Trainee

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Thanks were nice, the mention of spending more time with Ursana was not quite so appreciated.  Not that the thought in itself was a bad one, but that it had come from Sahra.  There was pain in her voice about it and it had nothing to do with the ankle.  Silly girl, why were young people naturally stupid like this?  Where young people her age like this?  She didn't remember it.  Maybe she had just blocked it out, that was entirely possible.  Certainly sounded like something she would do.  "Spend more time with him?  It'd be nice but some of us have to work for a living.  Take my hands, want you to stand on your good foot."

 

Pulling her up, Karli quickly had the dress sitting on the floor around Sahra's feet.  Reaching behind her and throwing the covers open, she gestured for her to hop in while she turn around and closed the window, leaving it just a touch ajar for air.  Cold enough in this room, she didn't need the girl going and getting a cold.  Picking up the dress and laying it ontop of the covers that Sahra had pulled over herself, Karli was emphatic as she made her thoughts very clear so Sahra was left under no illusions as to what she thought.

 

"Tonight has been a relative disaster, just so you know Sahra.  Whatever you do, never wander around Cairhien alone ever again.  I wouldn't want to have to be the one to tell Tahn that you'd gotten yourself mugged or worse.  As to your choice...  Well, hope whoever he is is wonderful, or you're making a very stupid mistake.  But, young people make those I suppose.  Either way, take better care of yourself in the future."  At that, Karli turned and made her way to the door.  Opening it, Karli looked to Sahra again.  "And go to sleep."

 

Karli stepped outside and shut the door behind her before locking it and taking her leave of the inn.

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