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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY
ashara

The Admiring Commoner ~Halvie~

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There were too many people who resided in the Trainee barracks, who had recently sniffed at her in an all too hypocritical manner and informed her that her chosen verbiage was 'crude'. And she said hypocritical because she believed she'd judged them well enough to tell just the extent of their vocabulary, thank you very much Mr. and Mrs. Prim. Admittedly, there was a point-alright, most points-in Tirzah's life that would have had this little tidbit of information passed from one ear to the other and out, but they'd caught her on a bad day.

 

See, training was being a bit of a bother. It wasn't so easy anymore, not half as easy as she'd imagined it to be, even though Mac was explaining and demonstrating as well as any teacher might. It certainly wasn't his fault that she was abnormally lacking in hand and leg coordination at certain hours of the day. For those who were more than just curious, certain hours are more popularly known as "afternoon", in this part of the world.

 

Yes, afternoon. Afternoon, with the sun blazing through the sky, glinting marvellously in rich, auriferous hues that shone through the cloud and tree, sparkling here and there. How she despised it. The sweat that it ultimately brought around, stinging her eyes and back as it dripped off her uniform. The sudden weakness she had while sparring against another Trainee, due to being forced to face the sun. The odd fainting episode of a friend, with the cause being named as some Yellow Sister as "too much sun." The sun served them just fine when it was kept at bay, in the mornings that were dotted with grey clouds, so what pray, was the need for it to gloat so?

 

Mac had noticed her irritation too, of course. Her rapid slackening in focus and mood were clear signs of her dislike of the afternoon, and in some ways, finding that Mac had headed to the city for some work only aggravated her. She would've liked to try and tackle said despised afternoon once more, but no mentor meant no progress, which meant that she was left with nothing to do. Why, Tirzah would even have pronounced herself as 'Bored and ...Bored', had it not been for the fact that the words would seem 'too crude', for some. Besides, it was not like any of the other Trainees were free. Most were in the same area as she, specks of black and white that grew more or less detailed according to their distance to her. They were not interesting. They were not even Alwyn or Ashley, so any chance to join some training with them was scrapped too.

"Back to admiring the ever so fresh scenery then," she muttered aloud with all the contempt she was experiencing. Her eyes drifted across the grounds as they had done so often before, pausing from time to time as something caught her eye. Usually, this was a familiar face, or a spar that made her frown as she tried to predict the victor. At times, there were also women she studied who stood out a little beside the rest, perhaps because their backs seemed straighter than those of their trainers, or because of the manner they moved with. Aes Sedai.

 

There was one who was not so far off from where she stood.  She had caught her interest early in the 'game', but had only just arrived which made her, even with the brilliant red mane of hair and tall, imposing figure, not so fascinating to look at. She was certainly an Aes Sedai and if she guessed rightly, the very woman a fellow Novice had sat complaining about all through lunch one day, some time back. The Novice was a dreary thing to be around, but her tale had been intriguing. It concerned a chore, a terrified Novice and the notorious Halvie Sedai. As expected, the ending of said tale had not been a pretty one. Somewhat secretly, Tirzah had hoped to meet her, even back then. First, because damn, the Tower didn't seem to have many of the likes of Halvie Sedai. Secondly, because she was Green Ajah.

 

Now that Tirzah's eyes were drawn back to her, several minutes later, it was clear that training for the Sister had well and truly begun. It was not surprising that she found herself unable to look away. Clearly, this was a woman with years of training woven into her mind and body. It was apparent in her solid, confident steps as she moved around, yes, even in the calm with which she proceeded through forms. It was present in the steady, determined focus that she exuded. Most of all though, you could tell by the dream-like state she was enveloped in- tangled in her own world as thought, speech, the real world, faded into nothingness. It was winning Tirzah's respect, very quickly.

 

Temptation was a tricky thing. Once you gave in, there were few doors that led you out. Still, she found herself edging closer to the Aes Sedai, so that the distance that had previously been there was fading. If Halvie Sedai noticed her now, she had Tirzah's respect and a little more. Besides, she'd always said she'd wanted to meet her. 

 

~Tirzah Behen

Inquisitive

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Everything froze. The novice with raven hair in slight disarray, the gangly trainee and blonde cropped hair, both wearing mirror features contorted in horror. The faint blush on their cheeks deepened as Halvie continued to regard them aloofly, her steady pace never faltering as she walked on, approaching, drawing closer to where both sat until... she was walking past them. The girl released a half-strangled whimper then, shattering the disquieting silence, and causing Halvie to pause in mid-step. Foolish girl, she mused wryly, as her voice, smooth as refined glass with a nasty twist of sarcasm, almost mechanically flogged the two verbally before allotting a suitably punishing penance that sent them scurrying in opposite directions soon after. Fleeing would’ve served as a better description, judging by the small cloud of dust their running feet left in their wake. A brief rueful grain flitted across her façade though to any casual observer, her granite features remain as remote and ageless as ever. She’d never fooled around with the male trainees before, thank the Light, but nonetheless the experience would have probably interesting and memorable, even. Not that it made her any less a person for not looking for more than casual acquaintances in her days clad in white apparel.

 

The wave of nostalgia hit her cruelly from behind, unexpectedly. Simple memories, treasured snapshots of a life that had once been, a past so tightly guarded and suppressed that looking back, those times seemed to have belonged to another person whereas she’d been a mere observer. The crisp chirping of blackbird shook the last vestiges of sentimentality from her system as she resumed her brisk pace towards the training yards, anticipation of honing her more physical skills growing with every step. The sabre she’d picked long ago as a mere Accepted she had long since replaced with another more finely handcrafted blade, a hefty commission she’d never been given cause to regret. The single-edged blade was so often carried around she barely noticed it now though she would have to start working on her daggers as well, soon.

 

The sun was a blistering red against a clear blue sky but despite the heat, there remained a decent number of people training around the large yard. The sounds of clashing metal that rang sharp and sweet, groans of pain but above all, a sweeping grace that governed very movement as opponents advanced and retreated, absorbed fully in their own fight. Halvie chose a position that took advantage of a large oak’s shade, an obscure corner nearby the creek that would offer her some small form of privacy. She abhorred the limelight and little choices such as this reflected her personality. Besides, this northern part of the yards was the precise location where she had first been initiated into the world of the tower guards and warders, albeit in a more diluted form. Alriand. She hadn’t seen him for some time now; no doubt involved in some distant assignment along with his Aes Sedai.

 

She began the forms slowly, almost cautiously slipping into the kind of mindless training mode where muscles instinctively reacted before the mind registered its movements. Some would call it instinct, Halvie deemed it as self-preservation. Heron Wading in the Rushes. Many of the more advanced forms she’d slowly picked up after attaining the shawl, manipulating her timetable until some empty slots materialised before picking certain Tower Guards to help her improve. They were nearly always different but that was expected; each had their own lives and no doubt many priorities to take care of. Hummingbird Kisses the Honeyrose. She remember insisting they teach her the Flame and Void, how frustratingly hard it had been to grasp and the hours spent just trying to understand the concept of something so… insignificant as a single licking flame. The Boar Rushes down the Mountains before launching into The Courtier Taps His Fan. Colourful names that understated the powerful, lethal strikes each described.

 

There were eyes on her. A casual glance as she twisted with her blade sweeping forward before reverting into a guard stance confirmed her suspicions. Tiresome and irksome, to be the object of someone’s keen scrutiny or worst, admiration. It was past time to be gone, she decided, bringing her blade down with a sweeping slash to end with Folding the Fan. Sweat slicked down her back as she coolly regarded the girl before her appraisingly. A familiar face within the Tower, a novice surely, problematic if the rumour mill was to be trusted and one did manage to uncover gems of information through it with some perseverance… She had a block. She was… not a novice she’d ever noticed before. Light, she ought to have paid more attention to the grumblings of other Aes Sedai regarding their charges. ‘Your name, child,’ she requested. ‘Surely you have better things to do at this time of day?’ She’d place a name to this face before leaving for Tar Valon, cut the conversation dry at the next instance. The girl meant nothing to her, after all.

 

 

Halvie Sedai

Sister of the Green Ajah

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Ominous. Steely. Firm. The richly enunciated words, simple as they were rang sharply through the shaded grounds, speaking of familiarity with great power and authority all at once. Still, what drew her interest was the softness of the voice itself. Velvety? No. Then again, it was alarming how a soft voice could keep itself within the defined lines, while managing to ring clearly in her ears. She blinked at the Green Sister, controlling her instinct to draw back by only seconds. Instead, she drew her shoulders out as habit had often made her do and tilted her head to the side as she acknowledged Halvie Sedai's brief 'greeting'. The bizarre sense of expectancy in the air prickled her ears, making her blink once more. A second later however, the penny fell and with it, Tirzah too, in the form of a deep bow. She would not curtsey, not even to such a woman. Besides, Arette Sedai had wished for her to proceed as she would've before her admittance into the White Tower.

 

"Tirzah, Halvie Sedai. Tirzah Behen." For once, she found herself dwelling in deep ponder. What would the Aes Sedai think, what would she pick up on now that Tirzah had named her so? Would it be, perhaps with some amusement, the acknowledgment of her ever so notorious profile in the Novice quarters?  Doubtful. Would the last minute slip of her surname give Halvie Sedai pause to think and remember her twin, the intelligent, persevering Lucrecia? It made for wondrous contemplation, no? For a moment she wished for the company of Cia in large surges beyond what she normally allowed herself to give into. Her sister would've known what to do, before a woman such as this. It was not that Tirzah was afraid of Halvie...it was more that in Halvie Sedai, the Tower had presented her a challenge.

 

Challenges. What could she say about challenges? Bah, she could never resist them. It had been the driving force of a possible 'challenge' that had pushed her forward after all, past the dusty dryness of the yard to the crisscrossing lines of shade provided by Wonder of Nature the first. The difficulty with the Aes Sedai before her was that Tirzah had come seeking a venting match, in the form of an authoritative, all too superior Sister and was instead finding herself bowing low and responding politely. The only way she could reason with her behaviour was that today, simply wasn't hers. When she heard Halvie Sedai's next question though, the dark clouds gathering above rolled away, and Tirzah found herself grinning. There were several good reasons after all, why people often liked to call her a little crazy.

"Well, that's a bit complicated, Aes Sedai. I would normally be making futile attempts to run around and practice forms while the sun transformed all that was freshly bathed into sweat. My Mentor has had to go to the city for some work, so I'm a sitting duck. I decided to study others training." Namely, Halvie herself. As far as Tirzah was concerned however, that latter bit was an unnecessary addition. For now.

 

~Tirzah Behen

Bizarre

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Tirzah Behen was in grave need of a flogging or a mouth stuffed with ginger, a particularly nasty thing novices detested, as Halvie had discovered none too long ago. She had encountered Tirzah’s more feminine twin several weeks back, one whose face no doubt haunted quite a number of young trainees during their rare idle moments. After a moment longer of scrutiny, she concluded that perhaps there was a certain strong resemblance between the two after all, made harder to detect given their polar personalities. She frowned impatiently at the impudence Tirzah was flaunting and briefly considered assigning the girl even more rounds around the yards just to be rid of her incessant chatter. The girl had no dignity or respect to her peers and it was tiresome, not too mention distracting when there was a whole score of business to be attended to before the day drew to a close; a packed itinerary that held no space for a garrulous additional baggage.

 

‘Indeed, the one who thinks herself a boy’ Halvie muttered, aiming a sharp frown that was doubtlessly lost upon the intended recipient. ‘Then I recommend the next time you find yourself with some spare time to come to me; there are plenty of things that I want done but have insufficient time for. However, I recommend you shadow another peer as I am done.’ So saying, Halvie casually ran a hand through her tousled hair which glinted a brilliant red as light rays speared through them, before proceeding to head towards the gates leading towards Tar Valon. Unbelievably enough, the girl failed to register a dismissal unless blatantly issued. Either that or she had underestimated the girl’s impertinence by a far mile.

 

‘Are you tailing me?’ Halvie hissed somewhat more vehemently than calculated. ‘Don’t. If you have so much additional time, go run 20 laps around the yard. Now.’ Pausing expectantly, arms delicately folded against her chest, her narrowed eyes must have finally had some effect for the girl, following some hesitancy, began a decently paced jog away from her. As soon as Halvie judged the girl immersed enough in her own activities, she left. Catching eye of a lounging trainee on the way out, her mouth twisted somewhat with amusement as she gestured curtly for him to approach. ‘Keep an eye on the girl for me. Make sure she doesn’t leave the yard until her time to return to the Tower. Understand?’ The boy nodded nervously as Halvie began to stroll pass him. ‘Good. See that you don’t fail me.’

 

Halvie Sedai

Sister of the Green Ajah

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Temptation. Again. She had succumbed so easily as it had drawn her in, kept her steady and afloat for a few promising seconds, and then twisted path so that the little window of opportunity was diminished and more rapidly than desired, lost. There had been hints of a future present, at least in Tirzah's mind, as she had surveyed the majestic air that the Green had swathed herself in. This grandiose had not only swayed Tirzah's opinion of Aes Sedai by making it teeter towards much more positive lines than usual, it had stirred an unsettling dream that had awoken within her when she had first surveyed the halls of the Green Ajah. Then too, she had gone with the sole aim of recovering some food actually worth eating, only to find herself the startled customer to much curiousity and passion driven questions to a patient Green Sister. However, there were some differences in this second moment of uncertainty.

 

Halvie Sedai, if Tirzah was to be crude-which was precisely what she wished to be at present, because pettily enough, she could-had plumbed the glimmer of hope right out of Tirzah's system, proceeded to walk around on it enough to successfully trample it and then, as a finishing touch, the Aes Sedai had deigned it important to grace Tirzah with a little snippet of what she thought of Tirzah's gender bending. Charming. And in other ways, disappointingly predictable. Too many Aes Sedai in this Tower had taken the bait at face value and attempted to tear her apart for it. Too many women, albeit after decades of training, thought it natural to assume. Suddenly, the splendor she herself had assumed into Halvie Sedai's persona seemed tainted. The well of hope that had burst into motion, dry.

 

It angered her. Her not so dormant temper sparked into life within seconds of the woman's exit, as it was bound to. Pausing to scan the empty field Halvie had flung at her, Tirzah smiled. Twenty laps of that weren't impossible, but if she did them now, finding Halvie Sedai would become an impossible task. Which of course, was probably why she had been assigned one in the first place. She would not have minded taking the punishment; Tirzah was quite fond of running. That would came later though, perhaps even much later, depending on what the consequences of following Halvie Sedai would be. Maybe the situation wasn't so unfortunate after all- she was still going to face the thrill of a challenge. As she turned past the corner, she took a moment to correct her previous hunch. A Trainee had come into sight, whose eyes had lit up and then hardened just a little as they fell on her. Not very different to scanning for prey, if that is, you could look at Tirzah and sincerely imagine her to fall under such a category.

 

"Hello. Goodbye." She made to move past him and thus, was not the least bit surprised when he shook his head and took a step forward. They were closer than before now, so she could see his eyes. Not weak. Not weak at all. The Trainee was probably one who had spent several more weeks in the yards than Tirzah. If one was to go by the slick sheen of sweat that his face shone with, he was a committed Trainee, which made him a difficult opponent. Letting her eyes widen with wonder as she let them flicker from the boy's grey ones to the tightly packed muscle beneath his uniform, she gave into a deep blush. Stepping back, she faltered as she looked at him again, the young, dedicated lad who had given his life to the Tower. He hesitated a step forward, reaching out with a hand to steady her. Not giving away the most fleeting emotion, she kicked. There was a soft thump. "Goodbye. We can spar another time so that you can make up for this. Let me be today." He did not follow her, but that did not change the lead Halvie Sedai had. There had been several minutes that had passed between the time that she had 'dismissed' Tirzah and her tripping of the unknown Trainee, but if she sprinted, she would be able to pick up some vague trail.

 

The path was not a difficult one to find. She had distanced herself from the throngs of people who filled the streets, so that she might have a better view of them, which made things much easier. There was a definite pattern in the spheres of disturbance amongst the crowds, as if someone had forced them apart. Stepping forward, she slipped through quietly, keeping focus on remaining unnoticed. It was only when a familiar swish of dark brown occurred before her, that she looked up. Green eyes stared into hers. The game had begun.

 

~Tirzah Behen

Challenged. ;) In more ways than one. ;)

 

 

 

 

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Shadowing; its meaning ran almost parallel to the word, spying. And disobedience to indicate her level of wilfulness not to mention the streak of stubbornness required to elude let alone locate a one held a place in the ranks of the legendary. And finally, sheer stupidity. Most novices would’ve learnt the appropriate conduct expected by them by now, if not bred into their since birth from before. This… impudent menace of a child showed none. And most importantly, Tirzah had violated the golden rule of defying the command of an Aes Sedai; Halvie’s word. It was enough for the mild irritation to morph into a silent rage kept well beneath an exterior of absolute indifference. Privately, she itched to drag the girl straight back into the Tower for a switching or even better, a sound flogging session. So Tirzah thought herself a boy and aspiring fighter to boot. Halvie had witnessed the army discipline enforced cruelly with a horse whip; such a punishment could help the girl end her gender confusion very quickly… If only.

 

‘You must think yourself, funny, even smart,’ Halvie hissed, eyes narrowing slightly. ‘You have not run your rounds and still you come. You are incapable of your studies in the Tower and even now in the grab of a trainee you fail. Most would jump at the chance to take your place, or have you forgotten? The Tower has no place for weaklings; weeds such as those are eliminated, if not immediately than eventually.’ These were harsh words that held a steely ring of truth but an element of spite gave the speech a nasty twist. Uprooting her authority in such a brazen manner was something Halvie would never tolerate as it gave rise to questions regarding her own competence as a leader. For a fraction of a moment she recalled the vicious blade of despair and desperation, of all those tall numinous sisters clad in ceremonial green, the heartless cold voices as they threw her petition out within moments upon receiving it – rejection, for she had not been unable to measure up to their standards. But that was years ago, so many seasons had passed since she’d gained full rank. Why? Why couldn’t people ever accept her capabilities and just bloody follow

 

‘Go back,’ she stated simply, eventually. ‘Apologise to the trainee and do your rounds. Do this and I may consider a lighter penance for you later. If not…’ she trailed off somewhat suggestively, ‘You will regret. You are no one and you’ll remain so unless you do something about it.’ Already, her mind shifted towards an intended meeting with a smith regarding a particular weapon she’d commissioned; there were variety of weapons out there that were subtly different as each was adapted for a particular purpose. Using such knowledge gained, she had an artists’ impression drawn of the ideal kind of light, small blade that would suit her purposes perfectly. It was a personal matter and if the cursed chit would not leave, she would most certainly be forcefully ejected out. One way or other, she was leaving.

 

Halvie Sedai

Sister of the Green Ajah

 

Ooc: Felt under the weather while completing this so I apologise if the post is somewhat hard to understand. I wouldn’t know; the words are swirling like mad in my head.

 

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