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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY
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Christine

Many paths are before you, so choose the right one!

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Now in the Armory, Deneira was half ignoring her new trainee as she looked around the room. The boy had never wielded a weapon, she bet, and now she had to teach him to use one. Honestly, why did these little farm boys come to the city? They should have stayed where they were from, and leave the fighting to those that knew what they were doing. This was completely unfair to the teachers… They were given useless people, and told to make warriors out of them. People a swordsman or spearman was not something taught… it was something that was born within, and carefully molded along every step of growth… this really was some cruel joke.

 

She went over to the different weapons, and began picking out a few from the shelves and racks. A set of daggars, a short sword, a two handed sword, a scimitar, a rapier, and many other weapons were carried to a table, and she layed them all out so that he could see them. These were only a few of the many choices that he could take from, but she figured she had better help him along with his choices.

 

“Pick three. I would like to suggest perhaps something for close combat, and another for distance… trust me, you will be glad of it later.†She picked up the two-handed sword, and let him see it. “This would take great strength, and a lot of control to use this weapon.†She moved onto the daggars. “Excellent choices, but not exactly the best for your main weapon.â€

 

She went onto her favorite. Holding the scimitar out to him, she beckoned his eye to her own weapon. “This is speed, a scimitar. It’s a form of the sword, but do you see the curved blade and the one sharp edge? You must be very talented at speed to use this.†She moved over to the rapier. “I myself would never use one of these, but others prefer the distance that is granted… you would also need to know hand to hand combat with this one.â€

 

“Now, the katanas, these are great for distance and up close. Once again, strength is necessary, but if you think you can handle it, then I encourage you to uptake it.†She layed them back down among the rest. “Go ahead and try them out… see which one you like the most. A weapon should feel right to the wielder. But, I suggest you choose wisely… it might just save, or end, your life.â€

 

 

Deneira

Tower Guard

Mentor?

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Several things struck Braxton at once. The first was the physical nature of his mentor, the second was that he recognized most of these weapons from his many stories and could attribute most to one hero or another.

 

Glendermid, for instance, wielded the spear of Ephraim in a titanic clash against a great and powerful Dread Lord. Ephraim, of course, was a broken Dread Lord who sought redemption and the light. The final act of his life proved to be the echantment of the spear, into which he imparted all of his being, including his dying breath as he was struck down by assassins.

 

The infamous pirate captain Gordon Bleu wielded dual scimitars in his many voyages plundering coastal villages and sinking enemy vessels. He met a gruesome and fitting end at the point of a Sea Folk first mate's sword.

 

On and on it went until Braxton came upon a weapon, one weapon he could not assign to any of his childhood heroes. A humble, simple, shortsword.

This is the one! He told himself firmly, with this I shall leave my legacy. He also selected a small rudimentary dagger.

 

As for his third choice, or to be precise, his second. Braxton reached behind him into a cleverly concealed sheath and drew forth the whip he had lovingly crafted with his grandfather. A grandfather who, despite his rough nature, Braxton missed terribly.

 

"I choose these three." He stated, sounding more certain than he felt. He was finding it increasingly difficult to find his voice around his mentor, who by all accounts was very pretty.

 

His childhood stories were filled with them. The type of woman a mother tells her son to stay away from. Braxton's grandfather had been much more frank in his warnings. He had told his grandson that it was great while the flame lasted, but when one wanted out, it was difficult to extract oneself from the situation. There were always the small parts of the anatomy that had been severed and were carried around by said strumpet in a purse. Getting those back was almost impossible.

 

Braxton winced, his eyes straying to the figure of his mentor, just to see if he could find one.

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Watching her mentee, Deneira moved to lean against the wall. While she relaxed, she watched his movement, and watched to see how he held himself as he walked. He looked almost uncertain, and yet at the same time, excited. She remembered her arrival into Tar Valon… what a sorrowful one. She was a heartbroken child, so naïve, and so alone. She was taken advantage of, then tossed aside, before falling for a guy hard, that left her just like the first jerk that had pulled her into bed. She had been so alone, so hurt… none of her teachers would have guessed that the proud Deneira l’Spada, the speed child, the runner, the amazing, beautiful, gorgeous trainee of the yard was broken. Those were the worst years… at least, until she met Shawn. Until then, it had been a bed here, a man there. But he had made her wait, and now as tower guards, she was happy. even when they were not a couple, they were the best of friends, and it was his friendship that helped her on those days.

 

She watched as Braxton walked along from weapon to weapon… he couldn’t be but a year or two younger than she… she was only twenty, and had been a Tower Guard for six months. If he was younger than eighteen, she wouldn’t touch her scimitar for a month, and that would about near to kill her. He was lean, and rather skinny. She could see the farm boy muscles, but there was a lot to work on. Unless he worked really hard, he would never be very good at excelling in strength. Being mediocre between strength and speed, she was certain she could push him for, but he would be wonderful at speed. That, she was certain of.

 

His hand ran through his short brown hair as he looked at a weapon, and from her position against the wall, she could still see his dark brown eyes light up as his hand touched hovered over the short sword. He slowly wrapped his hand around the hilt and picked it up, as if testing the weight, and he smiled to himself, as if a thought or dream past behind his chocolate eyes. She watched, enjoying his happiness. A first weapon was always the greatest… oh, the dreams she had had when her papa had given her that first training weapon. ‘Train hard, Live strong, Die well’ he had always said. And then her scimitar… light, she still had that scar on her foot from the first time she had forgotten the weapon in her hand was nod made of wood, but of steel. It was the first blood spilled on the blade, proving to her and the world it was her weapon… her weapon alone… If only she could read the words on it… one day, she would read it, but that would come after she learned more than just a few letters in order to spell out her name. That was the only thing she could read. There was many letters, then a Deneira l’Spada, followed by many more words… the greatest secret she had never had the courage to ask of its meaning.

 

She was lost in her own thoughts as he spoke up, smiling at her from his position. A dagger was also in his hand, along with a whip. A whip? There was certainly a grandmaster around here that knew the whip… he was bonded to a yellow sister… the infirmary was frequented by her often… birth control was very necessary… Of course, she would have to ask around the infirmary to find… Lwena, she believed, and ask a favor of her. Perhaps the woman would help her to convince, and ask, and gain the courage of asking a grandmaster to teach a lesson to her mentee. Perhaps she would even hang around on these lessons… it would certainly be interesting.

 

Walking up, she ran her hand over the flat of the blade, and took it from him, holding out the shortsword. Looking at him, she gave him a cheeky grin. “A short sword, eh? Certain you wouldn’t prefer a scimitar?†The determined look in his eyes and the way he shook his head no made her laugh, and she tested the weight in her hand. “Alright, alright, I shall let you use a short sword. And a dagger… a noble choice, I must say. But this whip…†She handed back the sword and ran her fingers over the taught leather. “May I?†she asked, sensing there was a story behind it. He nodded, and she took it from him, a snapped her wrist lightly, testing it. If he had any training with it at all, she was impressed.

 

Nodding, she returned it to him the way she had received it, and began returning the other weapon’s to their original places. Pointing out to the other short swords, she told him to look at the others, making sure that that one was the right weight and length for him. She wanted him to be certain. As soon as he was done, she helped him choose out a sword belt and scabbard for his new blade. As soon as all was in order, she led him into the yard. Pointing out a tree across the yard, she said, “I shall be back in a moment. I need to go into my room and get my shortsword, so maybe we can learn a little something!â€

 

Running back into the barracks, she went to her room where, as usual, Shawn was not. After reflecting on her past, she could really use a hug. They weren’t currently together, but he was still her best friend, and he was always there to listen and hug her tight when she needed him. She quickly switched her favorite weapon for her least, then grabbed a whetstone and cloth, like the ones she had given him before leaving the armory. Running back to him, she found him under the tree, sword in the belt, whip wherever it had been before, and the dagger in its case. Sitting beside him in the shade, she relaxed against the tree, closing her eyes. “Tell me all about yourself, Braxton. All about any weapons, where you got that whip, and anything else I might need to know about you.â€

 

 

ooc: find one of what? god, im confused sam! dont be mean to your mentor!

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"About myself?" Hesitation. "I come from a cattle-farm a few days ride from Tar Valon. To tell the truth I haven't been here all that often, once or twice that I can remember and never by myself. It is much different. To be here alone. It is larger than I recall. More complicated and complex but thus does the world appear without the ornery minioning of my grandfather.

 

"He is the reason I am here. I would have been here sooner but for my mother and her worries. Were it her choice alone I'd never have left the milking sheds. She does what she thinks is best. Often they turn out to be dead wrong from my perspective but she does what she does out of motherly protectiveness. Thankfully that hasn't urged her to abandon her senses completely.

 

"My father was a Tower Guard, you see, as was his father before him. My father died in service, a noble death by all accounts but not the stuff of legend. My mother forbade me to follow in his footsteps. A command that held sway until recently. Finally she relented and here I stand. You might say it's in my blood.

 

"I made this whip with my grandfather, a parting gift you might say. For his sake I'd better not return a failure, he's an old man but I swear he's as spry as a yearling colt in a field full of mares. He has this stick... well that really isn't important but there is little else to tell. I came here to make a future, not to perpetuate the past."

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Deneira nodded her head. "I guess mums are like that... Just be glad she cares about you. After all, parents only want the best. I guess I am a bit opposite from you, however." Sitting up, she sighed, and ran her hand over the hilt of her sword. "My mother died when I was born. It was my da and my four brothers... We all kind of trained together, battling the blight. One time, we got attacked, and they all died. Da wanted me to come here to train... and I did that. Now, I just dont know what to do. Guess Ill just stay here until I am not needed and then Ill leave..."

 

She sighed, then hopped up, grabbing Braxton's arm and pulling him up, she nodded to his sword. "Ok, pay attention. I know you have only hit cows around a yard, so this should take only a few more brain cells, and just a little energy. You see this?" She pointed to the sword hilt. "This is where you hold it. Think you understand so far?" Smiling, she winked, showing she was joking. "How about you show me what you know with that whip thingy, then I'll show you what I know with my sword."

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The young trainees teeth flashed white as a grin spread across his face. Now there was an proposition worth entertaining. He had no inclination whatsoever to show off what he could and could *not* do with a whip. It was impolite. He would be more than oblinging in recieving some lessons though.

 

"Well. If you find me an adequate stockwhip, I will perform a show, but this--" he patted the whip handle lovingly--"this is not for show. It doesn't crack, nor does it perform. It was created as a means of defence only and I fear that any tricks I attempt will lack substance. I would humbled if you would teach me the sword, however. Perhaps I will showcase my farm talents at another time."

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Deneira had to laugh. For a naive farm boy, he sure did know exactly how to sweet talk himself out of what she wanted. Well, she would take it as a hint he knew nothing in particular... so now, it was time for him to watch and learn. "Fine then, but I guess I shall just have to show off a few odd moves. These are some you will eventually learn..."

 

Her sword was in its sheath at the moment, and she took a few steps back from him, resuming guard stance. Her hand flew to her belt, and she moved into Unfolding the Fan, her sword now ready. Stepping forward, she moved into The Boar Rushes Down the Mountain, her sword swinging from high to about midwaist, when she stepped out of it and turned into Moon Rises Over the Water. Her sword went up and around, and she continued to move, just letting sword forms flow from her. She twisted and turned, jabbing and slashng, her feet moving quicker, using both basic sword forms, and the most challenging she knew.

 

After a few more minutes, she quickly turned around, using Twisting in the Wind, before moving into Folding the Fan. Her sword was back in it's sheath, and she took a breath as she left the void. Her feet were still in guard stance, and she smiled at him as she moved from it, walking to him. "Think you can repeat any of that?" She laughed at his reaction. "No worries, I've been here for four years, and was raised on a sword."

 

Returning to guard stance, she set her left foot slightly behind her right, and let her sword fall into her hand. "This is the guard stance. Why dont you try it, then attempt to sheath your sword, without falling over, and still looking straight at me." She demonstrated, then waited for him to try.

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Braxton was--to say the least--impressed. Having never seen a person wield a sword with proficiency it was a fascinating event. His grandfather had been capable with the weapon and yet the old fool had abandoned it for the stave. Braxton would be the first to admit that the stave was formidable but it could not catch the sunlight in that peculiar way, to flash silver in the sun's fire like a weapon of immortal sundering... well... at least that's how the book described it...

 

Sheath his sword... while looking at her? The chit was--oh... but her eyes were very--mad! There was no way he was going to... Braxton's internal tirade ceased as he tried to remember the last time he had seen lips that vibrant... Braxton's cheeks began to warm and his adolescent psychology came to the conclusion that a brash and impulsive action was the order of the day. If--and only if--he wished to impress his young mentor.

 

Now rash adolescent actions, especially when performed by males of the species are never truly successful. The one universal excuse for such failure has and always will be "it seemed like a good idea at the time." Braxton, having been in possessing a sword for the better part of an hour, flourished his sword about in what he hoped was an impressive arc. It wasn't, by any definition of the word but let's not deflate the young trainee. Barely managing to keep his grip on the weapon, Braxton sheathed the weapon with decisive force...

 

... Directly into his thigh.

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Deneira was tired, not from the exercise, but because she needed sleep. And he just stared at her. Why was he staring? He just kept staring, and his face suddenly went red. Next thing she knew, he was swinging his sword around, and her eye brows raised in shock. Somehow, the sword was about to fly from his hand, but instead, landed in his leg.

 

Deneira's mouth dropped open, in a bit of shock, and ran forward to catch him and set him down. "I NEED SOME HELP!" she yelled. Looking at it, she realised what happened, and fell over laughing. Her sides her, she was laughing so hard. Two trainees had to help her up, and somehow, they struggled to get Braxton into the infirmary, where an angry yellow pulled out the sword, and healed the wound. Braxton of course screamed out, but Deneira had her mouth covered with a rag, trying to not see her tears. She just couldnt stop laughing.

 

As soon as he was healed, she made him get up and follow her back into the yard. He sort of hung his head, and this time, she took his sword away from him, and gave him a stick. "Sheathe that... and if you hurt yourself again, I just flat out will leave you there!"

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