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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Nerves of... Jello?


Xivean
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        It was three days since his eighteenth birthday, three days since he had decided that he would attempt to join the Warders. And still Arramant hadn’t worked up the nerve to approach anyone near the Yard. He still had no idea who he should even talk to about joining. Three days ago he had made this rather large life altering decision… And he still had yet to act upon it.

 

        Taking a deep breath he moved from his spot in the shadows, the place he had spent years sitting and watching the Warders train. Running a hand through his shoulder length strait black hair he slowly approached a guard, one whom immediately gave a knowing smile “ ‘Bout time you decided to join boy. We all knew you would you know? You’ve watched them every day since you got to this city. Head out into the Warder’s Yard, somebody will let the Mistress of Trainees know there’s a new recruit eh?

 

        Arrmant nodded his thanks with a hesitant smile and made his way out into the yard. He knew he would be found but still wasn’t sure what the newest recruits had to deal with, he only ever saw the weapons training on his free time.

 

        He straitened his coat, black and sleeveless with a high collar, which he wore over a dark blue shirt, he found at a young age the darker his clothes the less his dark eyes stood out… One of the few attributes which gave away his homeland. He had nothing against Ghealdan really, it was simply easier if everyone thought he was from Tar Valon. Fewer questions where asked then and no explanation was needed about what had happened to his village. He looked around the Yard, taking in and analyzing every aspect. This would be where he would spend the next several year, possibly the rest of his life is he was not bound to an Aes Sedai, though he deeply hoped an one from the White Tower would eventually deem him worthy of such an honor.

 

        Arramant spent quite some time waiting in the yard for someone to tell him what he should be doing or where he should go, time that allowed him to think. What would the next few years… No, what would the next few days hold for him?

 

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Petulant was the only word that could be used to describe Thera’s mood the last few days. She and Serena had had another infamous fight, this one had sent Thera into a bottle of ale every night the last week. She’d even been seen carousing down at the docks. Hardly behavior befitting her station, not to mention completely at odds with everything a warder was supposed to be.

 

Trainee’s had begun stepping lighter than before, the only good that had become of the entire debacle was that Thera’s was recording less punishments that any other Mistress of Trainee’s on record.  Fear could have many uses. One of the older boys, a man really, had been sent to tell her of a new arrival, or an old one depending on how you cared too look. She had seen the short lanky haired boy hanging around the yards for some time. She had assumed eventually he would wind up the courage to put his name on the books.

 

Even though new names were always sought after Thera made no rush to find the boy. He would wait, after all patience was a skill they all needed to learn.

 

Like any other day the yard was filled with the crack of lathes, and the grunts of the men who took the hits. It was usually a sound that soothed her, but with her morning after head she would have paid for silence.

 

Almost an hour after the message had been delivered Thera ran across the young man, watching two of her older trainee’s practice their hand to hand combat. With a voice pitched to be heard of the din of voice she greeted the boy. “You there! There is no lolly gagging in my yards! On your feet!”

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

With a wide eyed frown Arramant turned to the woman who had yelled at him. He recognized her immediately as the Mistress of Trainees, his first instinct was deep respect for her position and everything it took to get to that position. The he thought 'on your feet?' he hadn't been sitting... Saying nothing he bowed his head as she continued toward him, moving to meet her half way.

 

"I apologize Ma'am. I hadn't meant to sit idly, but was told to wait for you here... If I should have done something else I'll take whatever punishment you think best for my transgression."

 

He may seem like a country boy, and in all reality he was. But he had spent the better part of the last twelve years in the city. Not to mention working at the tavern, he'd seen everything from the drunkest homeless man in the country to Lord's playing cards for money and alcohol.

 

He had waited for this day his entire life and he wasn't about to be dissuaded by an angry woman with a hangover. The frown quickly leaving his face he raises his head back up to meet her eyes with his own, resigned to the fact that this wasn't supposed to be easy.

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Thera cursed under her breath but she managed what she hoped would pass for a smile.

 

“My name is Thera Gaidin, not ma’am. Do I look as if I stand in a kitchen baking bread all day?” Her tone was harsh, but no more so than usual. “So, I have been told you’ve finally wound up enough courage to ask to have your name put in the books.”

 

She eyed the lanky boy, taking no cares to hide what she was about. “You’re a bit scrawny, but I suppose I can be persuaded to give you a chance.”

 

Thera knew her mannerisms were harsh, but she found if they learned right away that life was not easy they performed better and practiced harder. Over the years a few men had managed to break down her gruff exterior, but it was not often. Truth be told she cared for every man and woman who came to the tower seeking training. It took strength and courage to be willing to give your life for someone else, and she had the utmost respect for each and every one of them. It was sad that she could so rarely let it show. A few times she had attempted to be a mentor as well as a friend and every time it ended poorly. So for now, until she found a better way, they would just have to take her for what she was.

 

“ Well, speak up. You won’t convince me by just batting your eyes”

 

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  • 1 month later...

      With a bowed head Arramant let himself smile faintly. "I owe the sisters more then I could ever repay in a single life time... This at the very least will be a start." That wasn't entirely true, oh it was true he disliked feeling indebted to anyone, but that wasn't the whole reason he wished to become a Warder.

 

      He hoped to protect the Aes Sedai not only because he owed them anything, but because he felt they deserved to be protected for the things they did for the world. Idealistic? Maybe a little he would admit. "When can I begin?"

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Storm clouds were not in it for Thera’s eyes; they were caverns of turmoil and struggle. She knew now, more than ever it was never good to owe a debt to any woman; a sister least of all.

 

“Since you are so eager you can begin now, and I will see what I can do about helping you repay some of that debt.”

 

Thera headed for her office and motioned the boy to follow. The paperwork first and then she would see how much work the boy really needed. The interior of her dark cramped office was lit by only a single lamp, and a few stray cobwebs hung from the corners. It seemed some unsuspecting trainee would find him self donning an apron and a broom. She glanced again at the young man and for a moment her eyes glinted with a smile.

 

“So sit down boy, tell your name and more of why you came here.”

 

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Arramant followed the misstress of Trainees to her office and when told to sit did so. He would have prefered to stand but not doing as he was directed wouldn't be a good way to start his first day. "My name is Arramant Lasheva, I've lived in Tar Valon for a little under six years now. I've seen some of the Tower Guards coming in and out of the tavern my siblings and I work... Worked at. In fact Ma'am I believe I've seen you in there once or twice. I've watched the training in the yards every day since I got to the city... Any one of the guards could tell you anything you wish to know about me."

 

With a bowed head he continued "A sister... Saved Kimmy.. My sister when a plague wiped out most of our village. Our parents died before she got there but... She was able to save Kimmy. Without the Aes Sedai I wouldn't have either of my siblings. I can't repay them but at least I can try and protect them..."

 

Looking back up none of the sadness from his voice was visible on his face. "It may not be the best reason for joining... But it's my reason. I don't have much experience with a sword or any real weapon but... Well I spent the last six years dealing with unruly drunks and there unruly horses."

Running a hand through his strait black hair he looked directly into the Misstress of Trainees eyes and didn't flinch. He wasn't a big man but he found over the years that size was sometimes more of a problem then a benefit "I've wanted to join since I was twelve years old... I'll do anything I have to."

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There was a slight widening of Thera’s eyes, which was all that indicated her shock at being recognized. She tried to avoid taverns when she could; very little that was good ever came from her entering one. After countless bad encounters in taverns and common rooms Thera had taken to drinking in the safety of her own room.

 

“Arramant, many people who come here to the White Tower feel they owe the sisters some debt. You are not the first, nor will you be the last, but debt in itself is not reason enough to sign your life to the tower. I will not refuse you, nor send you away, but know this..one day you may feel your debt has been paid, but at that point it will be too late. The Tower becomes as graven in our bones as it does the sisters.” She stared at him unblinking, with cold eyes, filled to the brim with well masked pain. Thera knew the price that so many people paid all too well.

 

If the young man was scared or taken back by what she’d said, the only sign was the slight lowering of his eyes. “Look at me Arramant, what I say is no joke. The decision is yours to make, but I will have your answer now.”

 

“A decision made in haste is rarely the right one” was something her father had said many years ago, but Thera now knew that often in life there was not enough time. Too few hours in the day, or days in the week; always now, she felt as if she was running a race she couldn’t win. Slapping her hand on the desk Thera bellowed “Well?”

 

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