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A stroll in the city


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((OOC: Hmm, looks like I messed up in my other intro thread, but I'll edit that as necessary to include anything from this.))


Vincent walked across the bridge to Tar Valon, a smile splitting his face. His once fine cloak was tarnished and tattered in places, he had run into a few issues along the way. He'd even managed to have his horse stolen, but here that would all change. Here he'd learn to wield the blades at his hip, and he'd learn how to defend those he'd spent years idolizing. Aes Sedai.


He walked down a main road of the city, its architecture stunning him. You were wrong father, there is a city more impressive than Camelyn. If only by a little... Warder-to-be or not, he was still an Andorian. The buildings stunned him to the point, that he took a turn down a smaller road, and another, and soon found himself not knowing which way was towards the center, where he envisioned the tower to be. Your no better than a Farm boy in his first city Vincent.. His own thoughts berating him.


He found himself wandering, trying to find his way on his own, his pride not letting him ask for directions. Each step echoed by a mental oath. He kept his hands on his sword hilt the entire time, his eyes constantly scouting for thieves. Yes, bad experiences on the way. After an hour of aimless wandering, his stomach threatened him with a rumble, and all Vincent could do was sigh. "If its not one thing, its another." He quickly found an inn with the sign "Green's Advocate" painted in a dark green. A shrug, it looked clean.


He pushed open the doors, and quickly shoved his way through the throng to the inn keeper, and ordered some nice hot mutton stew. The fat man nodded, his extra chins dancing with the action. "Will you be needing a room tonight?" Vincent looked out a window at the setting sun, and regretfully nodded his head. This was going to break him. The inn keeper's smile only widened, and he was given a table with three other men at it. Each eyed him up and down, there eyes turning when they noticed his weapons.


Vincent shook his head, not sure whether to think the men cowards, or himself lucky. This inner debate soon ended, when fresh, hot meat was put in front of him. The smell made his mouth water, he hadn't had a warm meal in a good while. He devoured it in record time, a smile crept over his lips as he thought of what his mother would say to that. One of the men turned to him, again eying him. "So, kid. What're you doing in Tar Valon?" Vincent smiled, "I'm going to be a warder, you?" The man's eyes widened, and he again eyed that sword. Vincent could practically see him think, rob him, and piss off a future warder, or leave him alone, and miss whatever goods that Vincent carried? His mind decided, he looked at Vincent's face once again, "Just a local." Vincent's smile widened, and he did his best to put as much menace as he could. He had had enough of thieves.


The man glared back, but eventually turned. Not wanting to risk his luck, he stood and went upstairs, being led to his room by a pretty serving girl. She gave him a wide smile when they reached her door. "Well, this is your room." She eyed the body he had trained night and day for since he was a small child with lustful eyes. "I don't suppose you'd want some help getting that sword belt off?" She offered him a wink, and he shook his head. "Maybe some other time, its been a long time since I've had a bed, and I don't plan to share it." She pouted, but left him alone. As he stepped into his room, he locked his door, and forced the hilt of his sword under the door knob, no sense taking any chances someone would have the key.


With that, he hurriedly got undressed, and fell into bed. A deep, undisturbed slumber, filled with dreams of himself in gleaming armor, and a color changing cloak wrapped around his shoulders. A women with an ageless face, and a golden  great serpent ring on her hand. He awoke with a grin, remembering where he was and how far he had come. Suddenly, the problems he'd had along the way seemed minor, and he got dressed, absently noting that the end of his sheath was further ahead than he had left it, and retrieved it to belt onto his waist.


With a bounce in his step, he walked himself down to the common room. His last coin spent on some stew for breakfast. Finishing it, he leaned back in his chair. Relaxing before his day began again...

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  • 1 month later...

Oh, but this was freedom. Freedom, with capitals hovering about midair, lettered in bright gold. It was going to be a good day, and yes indeed, gut instinct was something she believed in most firmly. Besides, the signs said it all.


She had risen early but as was habitual to her, lingered in her bed for some time as she pondered about how to go about her day. It had over the past few weeks, become routine to her to do as the Trainees did, which in very simple words, was exactly what their Mentors told them to do. Therefore, when Mac told her to run, she ran. When he instructed her to ignore all that was interesting, more commonly known as Alwyn and continue sparring with the undesirable, greasy faced Darryl, she did so. And most recently, when he told her it was a free day and she could do as she wished,  she most certainly did so.


It was her first time out alone in the city, since she had abandoned both her roommates and the acquaintances she had made in the Yard,  for some time by herself. It was, in Tirzah's mind, the best way to learn about the city, especially considering the dismal facts of her life that clearly stated that this place was going to be 'home' for a while yet.


If Tirzah had to name one thing she liked best about the city, it would be how busy it seemed. You see, with the bustle, came a sense of purpose. To see several people, one after the other like faces tacked onto a pack of cards, with their eyes looking afar as they went around in their purposeful bustle was...stimulating. It let a little of said aura pass on to her and make her strut and pose, while others giggled by. There was no harm in experimenting after all, and if the strut didn't suit her, she'd just switch back to her ever so easy saunter. Options, choices, variety. Good things.


Long walks, Tirzah had realized much earlier in life, almost always ended with entrance into the Inn just around the corner. It was with some level of curiousity that she eyed the one she was steadily approached. A dark green side, painted neatly(even around the corners, and they never finished the corners.) came into view, naming the inn just as she stepped in.


For a day that was still only stretching into the first hours of the morning, the Green Advocate seemed to be flourishing. A few eyes turned as the bell above the door tinkled her in, but otherwise, the customers were preoccupied. Most were situated in groups around tables, and since she didn't feel like fitting in with women who clearly headed Tar Valon's gossip mongering sector, she turned her eyes to the few people who were alone.


It was bound to be the strong one who caught her eye. Judging a book by it's cover was all well and done, but the man before her looked like ideal conversation. If someone younger, stupider perhaps, was to ask her the meaning of Tall, Dark and Handsome, she would likely find the man before her now, and point. Smiling as she noticed the empty chair beside his, she moved in smoothly and grinned at the Innkeeper.


"Nothing for now, but I'll have you know the moment I ache for one of your fine refreshments." Turning back to T.D.H., she eyed the sword approvingly. "Nice sword." Grinning when she noticed a flicker of change in his eyes, she spoke bluntly. "I'm not planning to steal it love, sometimes a compliment is just what it is."





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Vincent, was to say the least, a bit taken aback by the woman approaching him. She even complimented him on his sword; which caused his hand to reflexively reach for it. She explained herself, and his hand relaxed, but never left the hilt. "Pardon me, I've had a bit of a rough journey, the last woman who talked to me wanted into my bed; so she could rob me in the morning." He blushed, though it hardly showed. "Oh, um, sorry. I didn't mean to imply.." He took a breath. "I'm Vincent, a future Warder, just as soon as I can find my way to the yard." His eyes fell to the sword at his hip, a smile creeping onto his face as he thought of what he'd soon learn to do with it.


That night he told his father what he wanted to do came back to him, but the scene was so familiar by now it hardly distracted him as it flew by him in real time. "Now, may I ask your name?" The thought that trailed after, So I know who to turn in?, but he wisely kept it to himself. A very hard journey. "Maybe even a bit about yourself, if I may be so lucky?" He actually gave her a grin; no reason to be cold if she her intentions were as innocent as they seemed.


"Or, maybe even directions to the Warder's Yard? It is a bit hard to find anything in such a large city; as grand as Camelyn." Yes, so, he was still a bit arrogant; just not so bad as most Andorians. He doubted he'd ever truly rid himself of his national allegiance, just supersede it with his loyalty to one Aes Sedai.

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The hackles rose easy with this one. She observed him with a merry face, grinning so that his initial suspicion relaxed into casual acceptance. Laughing when she heard about the lady who had come 'offering', she was about to declare very bluntly that she'd no intention to do anything of the sort, but he got to speaking the next few words before her. She noticed with interest that his accent grew a bit thicker as he introduced himself, as if all that there was to him and his past could be summed up and fitted to his name. Considering the way she tended to say her one, with what Cia believed was "just the right touch of arrogance," Tirzah decided that she didn't have the right to be amused and thus, no such feeling showed on her face.


"Tirzah, just Tirzah. You might want to call me other names while you train with me, I'm known to get pretty competitive. It'll be interesting if we get the same Mentors too." Flashing her teeth in a pearly smile at Vincent's look, she nodded. "That's right, I'm currently training with the Warders. To sour what seems like a fantastic life, I'll now add that I'm actually a student from the White Tower." Curling her lips as if she'd just tasted sour grapes, she continued. "I think a simple way to put it would be...that it's complicated."


"At any rate, you should be all thankful and indebted right about now and beg me to lead you to the wonder that is the Warders' Yard. Shall we leave, or will you be buying yourself-and uh, me in that case-another drink?" 



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Vincent discovered just how wide his eyes could go this day. He had to consciously control his breathing, all he had to do was keep her happy, and he got a guide to the Yard. Plus, there was a chance he'd be training with the woman; no sense to upset her. None at all, still, there was the chance that she was lying. "Well, though I hate to waist time, I suppose you deserve a drink." He reached his hand under the table, and behind his belt. There, molded into the back of the belt, were slots. This way, he had some money unless some girl managed to get his pants too. He almost sighed as he realized how close that was to happening...


He pulled a single Camelyn silver mark, and set it on the table. He motioned for a serving girl to come to him, and ordered whatever this bought him. "Well, I'm no stranger to competition, though being on good terms with them would be." His arms swooped over his defined body, "Almost every scar I have is from the same group of boys, who loved to tease the boy who hadn't the best education. Worked fine for about five years, every day. Then apparently I got just big enough to get them all." A smile crept over his face at that memory; the day he left his home. "I'd been training myself before that, trying to be passable by the time I reached the Yard; my trip here showed me how little I accomplished." His neck fell into his chest at that; and then the drinks came.


What it got him was ale; a lot of it. He shrugged, and downed the first stein. "What about you? You got any interesting stories about your pre-yard days?" Alright, so he was starting to warm up to her; what could he say? She was a bit charming, and it had been a long time since he'd seen a friendly face. He rested his jaw in his calloused hand, and picked up another stein; though he drank this one slower. It wouldn't do any good to show up for admission to the yard drunk.

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"Just when I was going to ask you the usual whys and hows, Vincent. It seems you're a step ahead of me. I wonder if you'll be like that while training?"


Her response was a spontaneous one, like they often were, but she had listened to what he had to say with a neutral expression and careful thinking. Nodding in thanks as the serving girl placed a drink before her, she took a few sips as she reflected over what he had revealed about himself, so easily. From the sounds of it, he had given back the bullies enough to let them taste the dust. And judging by the bitter expression and then, the sudden, swift smile that had bloomed, Vincent hadn't been exaggerating either. She liked that in people, admired it even.


It was always easy to shape things in a fashion that would bring out the desired outcome, and unless Vincent was attempting to charm her within the two minutes that they had met, her new acquaintance wasn't one of them. Which was a good thing- if he did bond someday in the future, she had no doubt in her mind that the Aes Sedai would be bursting with the need to let out some of her 'restrained emotion'. Why, a few months in the Novice Quarters had shown her that the place was rife with future actresses.


"Don't worry about getting enrolled. I think you have what it takes and besides, I could tell that you've trained before. And no, it wasn't the sword that gave it away. As for stories..." Oh, she could tell him plenty. Whether he was referring to her time in the Tower, or well before that, in the Borderlands, there were several to choose from. "I think it'd be easier if I told you a little about myself first. I'm Saldaean, and came here with complete assurance that my twin, another Saldaean, would be accepted into the White Tower and I would join the yard as her future Warder to be."


"Sadly, the Creator hates me and the Aes Sedai dislike me nearly as much except for a special few, so I ended up getting stuck as a Novice instead. I'll tell you why I'm a Trainee at another time, and in case you were wondering about whether or not to trust me. The black and white uniform I'm wearing marks me as one. You can ask the serving girl who's been eyeing you for the past few minutes to confirm this if you like." Smirking, she waved casually at the serving girl before turning back to Vincent.


"So, that's my little tale. What brings you here though, Vincent? Why the dream to become a Warder?"



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Vincent's eyebrow raised as she continued to speak. She seemed to have an interesting life; especially compared to his of being beaten, getting up, and getting beat down again. "Well, that will be an interesting tale, I'm sure. By these drinks," he motioned to all the drinks being set on the table, "You owe it to me eventually." He gave her a laugh, and again sipped his drink. "Oh, and to warn you. Being intuitive is the only way to beat so many opponents, especially when your only real advantages are a high pain tolerance, and strength. Just give me a while to catch up." He tossed her a wink, "And now now, how do I know you haven't killed an initiate, and taken her gear?" His eyelid fell into a wink; an obvious jest.


Another couple inches of his drink slid down his throat before he began his tale. "Why this dream? My father. Its not that he trained me, or had a particular love for Aes Sedai, though he had nothing against them. It was his dedication to the Queen. He loved that woman as much as my mother, and seeing that devotion revealed one of the basic things a man needs in his life. Something to die for." His eyes closed, sipping again, getting more into the story telling as he continued to speak.


"One day, I was only about nine, and my father sat me on his shoulders to watch a parade that the Queen herself was in; it was the first he wasn't on duty for. All of Camelyn gaped at her, except perhaps myself; though I did gawk just as hard as the others. Just at her adviser, an Aes Sedai. A society older than any country, and held more power than any throne. That day I knew that if I was to give my life for anything greater than myself, it'd have to be for the greatest cause that deserved my life. That night, I asked my father for a weapon, he gave me this dagger," he patted the second hilt on his waste, "and later this sword. I trained every day, and after about a week started getting my beatings from the local boys. Five years later, I'm here. Talking to a Trainee of the Warder's Yard, and a Novice of the White Tower to boot." His lips moved to take another sip, until he realized it was empty and grabbed another.


"Now, you've got every key point in my life. How about a couple of yours?" He was getting far to comfortable with this girl..

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Vincent could talk, and she liked that. The conversation flowed easily between the two of them and without she noted, any discomfort on his side, which was usually not the case. In some ways it made her more interested in their conversation, making her give more to it than she might've otherwise. The other benefit of having met a stranger who she could get onto good terms with without any difficulty was that the talk itself was not one-dimensional, and instead chose to drift from subject to subject, working in almost a ripple as their words descended into the next.


For instance, they could jest. She grinned wickedly as he pointed out what she could've done, but returned his winks and laughter with a quick response. "If I'd killed an initiate and taken her gear, I wouldn't be sitting next to a man who considers himself to be a future Trainee and telling him all about myself. For one, that would mean if people were looking for me in the Yard, you'd have a fair share of answers to supply them with. For two, that'd just generally be a bad, bad move." Winking and then joining in on his laughter, she stopped herself from saying more as she could tell there was more to come on his part.


Her laughter faded quickly, thinning into a simple smile as she considered his tale. It was odd in her opinion that she would find herself empathising with a boy who she deemed reasonably different to her, but there it was. Then again, it was a simple matter of considering the facts carefully. She too had not been accepted easily at first. Dressing as a boy, turning up everyday at training where others chose to snicker until they learned better... somehow, she had not minded it.


Perhaps that was where she drew her strength from, being able to focus on one thing, and one thing alone. Still, she knew what it was like. While Lucrecia had had lessons with her mother on the art of knitting, she would be throwing herself around in the dust, racing with the local boys as she made up her mind to beat them. Respect and camaraderie had come along with difficulty, but the fact was that they had in fact, appeared.


She would've given him her opinion on the Tower and his dream had he wanted, but Tirzah had noted how quickly he had turned the tables so that the arrow pointed at her and suddenly, it was her time to give a little. She didn't mind, honestly. Friendships were based on a little knowledge, after all. Gulping down a few sips, she swallowed before speaking.


"I can see why you were drawn to them, to this place and its legends. I was too. My life changed when I was fourteen. You see, when a stranger comes to you in the borderlands, with saddened eyes that say more than any greeting, you know what to expect- Loss. My father, a general in the army, was lost to a raid. It was in simple words, devastating."


"We grew to climb over the fall though. We had to- we are Saldaean. Everyone in my family chose to accept change differently and the same goes for me. I cut my hair, so that it's so short to this day that many mistake me for a young boy. My garb, my way of life, my interests, all changed. And I loved it. Then of course, I wanted more."


"It was my twin who grew restless first. She'd been studying see, learning new and different things from my mother while I took my father's place. She proposed that we go to the Tower and try our luck and I accepted. After all, my life is defined by hers. I cannot stand imagining life without her, so where she goes, I will too."


"We both took the Novice test. She, for a dream and I, as a person bearing humour to jest." Smiling down at her glass, she watched the little bubbles of froth that were trickling down. "That's a lot of talking I've done- you've downed your glass and my drink is nearly-" Pausing, she took hold of her drink and tilted it, tasting it for a few seconds before letting it slide down. "Done." Grinning, she looked towards the door. "Shall we leave, do you think? You can see a bit of Tar Valon on your way and then I will lead you to the Yards."



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Vincent shook his head at her comments, "Or you could be leading a false trail, trying desperately to evade the Tower Guard." He stroked his smooth chin, mimicking the act of considering these thoughts, before laughing and sinking into his story.


As she told hers, he nodded. He understood the principles well enough, even though his were applied differently. It wasn't the first time this had happened; he'd felt the same kinship with his father. Both knowing what it was like to dedicate your life to something else, and now he could add a third to that list. "Your fortunate to have a companion. The world is a very dark place when your alone." He still held his smile, but his mind moved briefly to darker times. He quickly changed it, willing his thoughts to the present.


He looked over the glasses as she spoke, smiling. He could drink a good amount more with out showing the effects. Still he stood leaving them behind. "Alright then, show me around the city. I suppose I should enjoy at least one day of freedom before submitting myself to whatever horrors the yard can conjure up." He let out a chuckle, and thought better of extending his hand to help her up. She was a warrior; a better one than he most likely. No telling if she'd find offense to such a gesture. "Lead the way."

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  • 3 weeks later...

Her lips twitched into a slight smile as she rose. Vincent was quick at smoothening his expressions and thoughts into polite interest, or wide smirks not so different from her own, but the hesitant seconds that passed between his agreeing to her voluntary tour of the city and rising from the seat had been amusing to watch. Clearly, he had manners that had been ingrained and endured so long that they were now all habits that made him who he was, but he'd been observant enough to wonder about what her response to an offered hand might have been and had chosen to play it safe. Which was absolutely fine with her, perhaps even a little pleasing to realize that strangers did consider her just a 'little' different to the world's stereotypes.


Grinning more widely when he asked her to take the lead, she wondered about where she could take him. They had only just left an inn, which endowed visiting yet another inn very little value indeed. There were shops aplenty in Tar Valon, but the idea of browsing the vast displays was not an ideal one. When she had considered herself brand spanking new to the city, discovering it had been an interesting challenge that had held many experiences. Most had been pleasant, memorable even but there were a few she'd like to leave safely closeted in the back of her mind.

"Hmm, let's see if I can surprise you a little. Especially considering you don't look like one who is surprised all that often." Vincent had said that he was from the city of Caemlyn, and if history lessons with the Master back in Saldaea were to hold true, grandeur and plomp were not among the things that would fascinate him. Tirzah admittedly, had been very taken with the magnificence of Tar Valon, but in time, she'd found some places that she'd marked as favourites- sites that she could resort to when required.

"Are you one for long walks? It's only morning after all so we've got time. This way!" She lead him through the wide paths, that would turn oddly narrow due to a swift turn to the left or perhaps seemingly impromptu backtracking. Tirzah was surprised to see that he asked no questions of their destination, and so, kept her silence on the location as well. When they finally did arrive, she turned towards him. "We're here." Hiding a smile as she noted his expression at the dull grey wall, she took him by the arm and lead him in.


Bright light flooded the room they entered, but as they always had, Tirzah's eyes drew where the loud ringing of metal drew them. A middle aged man-or as he liked to title himself, a man in his prime years, was the answer behind the clash of metal against metal. Forge, when he had still been in Tar Valon had taken her to meet him, informing her that once he was gone, Master Jinn would be the best person to meet, should she require any advice or assistance. The man, with his bright blue eyes and toughened skin had a sharp, perceptive look to him that had appealed to her immediately, so that visits had become as regular as her duties allowed them to be.

"No better place outside the Tower, for weapons and more importantly, good counsel. He won't ever admit it, but he does all he can to help when you are in need, and while this might just look like a forge and armoury, there is more to it, just like there is more to him." In truth, Master Jinn served as a pair of eyes and ears to an Ajah in the Tower but Vincent didn't need to know that unless Jinn decided to tell him so himself, some day in the future. She doubted she would've been told anyway, had it not been that she had come close to guessing after learning more about his past. "This is one of my favourite places, outside those in the Tower." Smiling, she moved towards Jinn.

"This is the back entrance," came a thick Shienaran accent. "Turn and go- Tirzah! You're here early. And it seems you brought a friend. Good Day." Smiling at Jinn as he limped forward, Tirzah watched Vincent closely to see if he'd react to the crippled leg. When nothing came, she turned back towards Jinn. "This man here asked me to show him the city, so I brought him to you." Grinning at Vincent, she took a step forward. "Vincent, this is Master Jinn, Master Jinn, this is Vince. Ent. Vince has a nice ring to it though. He wishes to be a Trainee, like me."

"Indeed, like you," came a dry rejoinder, but to Tirzah's relief Jinn chose to turn his attention on Vincent instead, greeting him in a manner something between gruff and cheerful. It was an odd combination certainly, and one that had amused Tirzah when she had first met the man. He often reminded her of a porcupine, but those were thoughts best kept to herself. "I won't ask you what brings you here or any of that since this one probably prodded you with those already, Vincent, so I shall simply say, welcome."


OOC: I left it open to you to do as you like. Since you're online, we can figure it out there. :d


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Vincent was led around the city by the nose, taking note of every twist and turn they passed, ingraining it all into his strong memory. When they came upon a simple black wall, his paranoid mind flashed a simple thought of her betrayal, before he was grabbed by the arm. Perhaps taking her by the hand wouldn't have been so bad? He mentally kicked himself for overlooking the opportunity.


As soon as he stepped in, a smile crawled over his face, looking at the weapons and armor. He wondered, would be one day wear a full plate? He doubted it; movement was to important to him. That breastplate however... He brought his eyes back to Tizrah, chuckling. He wondered how many other women would have brought him here, given free reign? He couldn't name one.


"Good day to you as well, Master Jinn." He noticed the man's leg, but paid little heed to it. The man was his senior; and Shienarian, a land filled with great warrior. "And yes, prodding, I suppose thats one way to put it." He let a laugh roll out of him, eying Tizrah for a response. "I must say, you've quite a selection of excellent weapons and armor here. Though in truth, I've little eye for quality goods." His hands hands reached for the two blades; dirk and bastard sword, sheathed at his waist, and patted the hilts. "I couldn't tell you if these were power-wrought, or made from the iron of a sickle. Mind answering that question?"


The grizzled man let off a peel of laughter, "Well, I doubt they are of the power, but let me have a look; I'll tell you if a village boy was having fun with his first hammer." Vincent complied, drawing the dirk and holding it out for Jinn's inspection; who promptly took it. "Not bad Vincent, but there is better work out there. Still, don't expect it to shatter to soon. It is a fine blade." Vincent nodded, expecting as much. His father couldn't afford an armor of Master Smith's blades; but he wasn't the type of man to purchase cheap goods. Especially if they were ever to be used in the Queens own defense.


"Now, Jinn, I'm afraid I've led a terribly boring life in Camelyn, you though. You must have an interesting story to tell? I've always wondered what to believe about the borderlands, and the only other witness I have is Tizrah." He smiled, and waited patiently for the grizzled veteran to respond.

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