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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

(retro)The Life of Women in the Yards(attn Raeyn)


Eqwina
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The wind cut through Thera like a knife, but she ignored it as she stomped her way through the yards, muttering to herself. “Six Months” she grumbled. Six months she had been bonded to Serena and twice in that time the woman had run off without letting her know. How she was supposed to be her sword Thera did not know, it is not as if you can protect what you cannot see!

 

Thera was so lost in her rant that several trainees had to jump quick to keep from being run over. Her constant grumbling coupled with the normal everyday noise of the yards hid the tell tale signs from Thera’s ears.

 

One minute she was stalking with a fierce stride the next she was flat on her back, staring up at a laughing man on a horse. She lay there for several seconds unable to move; paralyzed by her shock and humiliation. A small crowd had gathered and even from her vantage point, flat on her back. She could see several of the trainees struggling to hold back laughter. Her self pride that all new Gaidin carried, and her anger melted away until all she could feel was bone deep humiliation.

 

The tall, almost handsome man on the horse leaned down and offered her a hand; his lips twitching fighting back laughter of his own. Waving away his help Thera leaped to her feet on her own and immediately busied herself with dusting off her cloak. In the back of her mind she knew that there were words that should be spoken, but for the life of her she could not conjure up what they should be. Her face grew redder as the silence stretched on until it matched her short cut curls, and she found herself thanking the Light that Serena was too far away to feel her humiliation.

 

The man on horseback must have sensed her pain because in a voice pitched loud enough to carry he stated. “I am sorry Gaidin, I saw that I was in your path but I was too slow about moving”

 

Thera’s heart leapt and she felt a sudden affection for the older man. Looking into his eyes she thought perhaps he was handsome after all. As the flush to her face faded Thera found her voice. “It is all right my Lord; it is I who should apologize to you.” With one hand on her sword and the other over her heart she gave a stiff bow, and turned on her heel to continue on her way. Thera did not hear the laughter as she walked on, but she knew it was there; and only stiff backed discipline kept her feet from running.

 

While she did not run, Thera did quicken her pace as she reached the Tower gates. It was still early in the day, but a mug of ale should help to ease the pain of her none too graceful fall.

 

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A cheery fire danced on the hearth at Salty Eye Lodge, where Mariasha had settled in for the afternoon to enjoy a bit of lunch.  The Lodge, in spite of its rough-sounding name, was a well-appointed inn that catered to ship's officers, and was located near enough the waterfront for those staying upstairs to have a nice view of the river and the harbor without being close enough to smell it.

 

<i>"And they do serve a mighty tasty fish stew!"</i>, the young Warder thought to herself as she called a girl over to order another bowl.  She didn't eat out that often, maybe once a week as a treat, but there were days when she felt the need for something that wasn't barracks food.

 

Today, of course, had been one of those days.  A few hours spent falling off of logs for balance training in icy wind had convinced her pretty quickly that a warm inn and a warm meal would be a welcome change of pace from the daily grind. <i>"Of course,"</i> she thought to herself in wry bemusement, <i>"That doesn't change the fact I've got other things to do today in that vein!"</i>

 

Shaking her head, she waited patiently for her second bowl of stew, and turned her gaze to the flames twirling around the thick logs in the hearth.  Which, of course, was interrupted by a human whirlwind named Thera coming in the door.  Mariasha stood up and called out, "Thera!  Come join me... erm.. what's wrong?"

 

Mariasha Valnar

Bemused and Sore Warder

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  • 3 weeks later...
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OOC: Wow you are a patient!! I would have had me flogged ;)

 

Thera stomped through the streets grumbling under her breath, and occasionally muttering a pungent oath. What a fool the woman was turning her into!

 

Picking an Inn at Random she found herself in the Salty Eye Lodge. While trying to recall if she’d ever been there before a raucous outburst made her jump a foot in the air, her face red by the time she landed.

 

Thera ran a hand through her tangled curls and searched the room for the source of the noise.  Mariasha! Of course, she should have recognized. Thera mentally chastised herself for nearly leaping out of her skin as she picked her way through the common room. By the time she reached the table her hands were clenched tight on her sword hilt and her face was more red than her hair. She flopped down on the bench across from Mari and ordered lunch and a drink before she spoke.

 

“Have you ever planted your face in a horses flank in front of a hundred people before? Oh or wait, has a man old enough to be your father ever condescended to you in front of thousands?” Thera knew she was ranting and probably sounding half mad, but she couldn’t seem to contain the flood. “If you’ve never experienced those things, then there is NO way you will understand the day that I’ve had” Flopping her head down on her arms Thera groaned. “ I let the woman lead me around by the nose so often it is no wonder I ended up with it in a horses rear.” As she brought her head up and swung her curls a green liquid was flung around the room. Looking up Thera could see the soup dripping from her curls. Would there be no end to her humiliation?

 

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Mari blinked at Thera's tirade and let out a soft whistle.  The other woman was grumbling into the table now; her whole body spoke of wanting to stab something.  Raising her hand, she waved over one of the serving girls, "A round of stout ale, if you would?"  The girl murmured an acknowledgment and departed, and Thera raised her head a few inches off of the table.

 

"I figured you could use a stiff drink," Mariasha smiled apologetically, "But... y'know... might relax you a bit and keep you from stabbing someone."  The other woman grumbled something incoherent, but sat up the rest of the way.

 

Eying her near-empty bowl, Mari pushed it aside and leaned closer to Thera.  "Condescending men, you say?" she smiled softly, and dropped her eyes to the table.  Mari considered for a minute, and spoke again, "Have I ever told you why I came to be a Warder?"  Thera eyed her quizzically.  "It's not the normal reason, I assure you."  Thera grunted non-commitally before speaking, "Umm... why then?"

 

Mariasha leaned back in her chair and stared at the ceiling, "My father was trying to marry me off in spite of what I wanted for myself in life, so I ran away from home and ended up here... how's that for condescending?"  She laughed, dropping her eyes back to Thera and letting a wry smile play across her lips, "But that's in the past, and I'm my own woman now," she sneezed suddenly and grumbled, "Even if I'm probably coming down with a cold from falling into the blood river."

 

At that moment, the serving girl returned with the beer.  Mari fumbled a few coppers onto the table and grabbed one of the mugs.  Taking a healthy swig, Mariasha grinned again, "Besides, our problems aren't so bad that a pint or two can't sort them out!"

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Stab someone? There was only one person she wanted to stab, and given the consequences to herself, Thera knew it was never going to happen. Sighing she eyed Mari with something just short of a scowl, before placing her head on her hands and mumbling words she hoped would pass as polite.

 

So her father had had ideas about the proper “place” for a woman as well. Thera snorted and grabbed her mug. “I think it would take more like a whole cask to drink my troubles away, but here’s to condescending men and the miles we put between us and them.” Clanking mugs with her fellow Tower Guard Thera downed it all in one pull and raised her arm, motioning for another.

 

Drowning yourself in ale was one thing, forcing the murderous thoughts down with them was quite another. As much as Thera wanted to spend the next month complaining she felt like a change of topic due. She reached into her belt pouch and pulled out a small leather cup, giving it a rattle.

 

“How about a game, for coppers of course while we drink my troubles and your cold away?” Had Serena known she still possessed those dice they surely would have ended up in the fire like all other means of entertainment unbefitting a Gaidin.

 

Mari nodded and Thera’s face bloomed into a wry grin. “I always liked a girl who could gamble” She tossed a single copper into the center of the table and passed the dice. “So tell me Mari, now that you have escaped your condescending man how do you like life in the Tower?”

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

 

Mariasha smiled as Thera pulled out her dice cup, <i>“Nothing like a drink and a bit of a gamble to pass the time,”</i> she thought to herself as she pulled out a couple of coppers and placed them on the table.  Stacking them neatly, she nodded to Thera, who replied, “I always liked a girl who could gamble.”

 

<i>”Is she flirting with me?!”</i> Mari thought with some incredulity as the other woman tossed a copper onto the tabled and passed over the dice cup.  Matching the bet, Mari eyed the cup and picked it up.  As she began to shake it, Thera spoke again, “So, tell me Mari, now that you've escaped your condescending man, how do you like life at the White Tower?”

 

Tossing the dice onto the table, Mari groaned to herself, <i>”A three and a two; this isn't off to the best start.. especially if she's going to be flirting with me too!"</i>  She handed the cup back across to Thera and replied to the other woman's question, “I quite like it here at the Tower.  Things aren't nearly as hard as I had envisioned, but not a cakewalk either... lots of training, but we all know that!”

 

She paused to push another copper onto the center of the table as Thera rolled again – a six and a four. <i>”Blood and bloody ashes, someone's luck is in today, and it's not mine!”</i> Mari thought to herself as she scooped the dice into the cup and rattled it.  “As for my father... I guess you could say that it felt like a betrayal of sorts.”

 

Another poor roll – a one and a three.  Mari pushed forward yet another copper, and handed the cup back to Thera.  Taking a healthy chug from her ale, she continued, “I was an only child, you see, so I had childishly hoped to take over the smithy from my father.  He let me help him out, you know – sweeping up, pumping the bellows, and so on.  Sometimes he'd let me make little things, that is, if my mother was away visiting her sisters or something!”

 

Mari made yet another poor roll of the dice and commented, ”I swear Thera, you've got all the luck tonight!  But you know what they say about luck in gambling and luck in love, right?”  The Andoran woman winked, and drained her ale.  She gestured across the inn for more, and continued, “Anyways, I don't even know whose 'brilliant' idea trying to marry me off was, and I obviously didn't stick around to find out – marriage just isn't for me!”

 

Her next mug of ale arrived, and Mariasha eyed it thoughtfully, “How many of these have I had now?”

 

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Thera began to lose herself in the toss of the dice; it was exhilarating to win even a few coppers after the morning she’d had. a six and a five, then a six and a four! Tonight she could not lose!

 

She order mug after mug of the moderate ale, always tossing in one for Mari as well. After all the woman had given her that wink. Who knew where the night might lead?

Thera finally separated herself from the dice cup, but let her winning lay. It wasn’t about the money after all.

 

”Hrm?” Thera muttered trying to recall what Mari had asked; something about the ale? “Ale? Oh I don’t know..5 or 6” or was it 7…..or 8? “Does it really matter? Where else do you have to be?” She leaned forward on her elbows. “Surely no place with better company than mine” Thera winked and blew a kiss at Mari. “After all the night is young”

 

It was as if the musicians had read her mind, the flautist played a few notes to get the rooms attention and in a flash the room was in motion. Tables were pushed to the wall and men and women began to file to the center of the room forming two lines.

“What do you say Mari, care to raise a few eyebrows?” Thera stood up and held out her hand.

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

 

((OOC - sorry this is so short and so belated... my head, she's been elsewhere >__<))

 

“What do you say Mari, care to raise a few eyebrows?” Thera stood up and held out her hand.

 

Mari blinked hazily into her cups, <i>"Blood and bloody ashes, she really </i>is<i> flirting with me... what under the Light..."</i> Biting her lip, she looked up at the other woman, "While the company has been more than fine, and I do like a bit of a dance, I have to say that my interests lie elsewhere."

 

She stood up, pushing herself upright against the table, "I'm... sorry.. if you thought otherwise."  Mari watched as Thera's hand drifted down to her side again, and clapped her hands across her mouth as a hiccup attempted to escape.

 

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OOC: NP..I have left you hanging just as long :D

 

Her interests? Thera barked a laugh before she could stop herself. “You are a beauty to be sure Mari, but my intentions were honest when I asked you for a dance.” She had always known that her flirting often led to misinterpretations, and if young Mari had been willing she would have considered, but….

 

“Since you and I are of similar situations I will let you in on a secret. You see..” She leaned in her words slurring as her voice took on a conspiratorial tone. “I am in love with my Aes Sedai and she with me..Shhhh!” Thera raised a finger to her lips and offered another wink. “ Such..dealings are not looked kindly on, so I go out and occasionally I end up in the company of one young man or woman. Harsh as it sounds Serena insists.”

 

Reaching out her hand again with a drunken smile. “This music is too fine to waste come along and dance. Not waiting to see if she followed Thera made away across to floor to stand in one of the lines.

 

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It was not as if she could simply forget her troubles, they were always there every time the music stopped or the drink wore off. Sometimes she longed for her trainee days when her biggest worries had been whether she was going to work the forms that day or if Master Andular was going to put her through her paces. She regretted having not made more friends back then, perhaps if she had she would not feel so dependent on Serena.

 

Dip and Twirl bend the knees and turn. Thera smiled at the young man whose arms she whirled into and gave him a wink as she was passed along to the next. She danced well for someone whose mind was on everything but the music. When the lines were formed again for a reel Thera leaped at the chance to lead the line. The more involved she was the less her mind wandered. For three more songs she twirled and dipped into the arms of several men and a smiling girl or two. She graced each one with a winning smile that didn’t slip until she was out of their arms.

 

Feeling winded she regained her seat and ordered another mug of ale. “Its too bad you didn’t dance Mari. I saw a boy or two that might be to your liking.” The liquid tasted bitter as it went down, but that did not stop her from ordering another. “Can I ask you an honest question? Do you ever still wish you were still just a trainee?”

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ooc on invitation by eqw ;)

 

Bang...Cy heads swirled, heavy noises was making it sound like a thunderstorm inside her skull. What in the pit of doom was going on, slowly she opened her eyes and squinted, memories came flushing back and she groaned. She had two days off, and had descided it needed celebration, thinking back she was sure it had been ligth before they had managed to stumble their way up to the officers room. She turned her head to the side, gone, he had mentioned his ship was out in the afternoo, she thougth he migth have tried to wake her.

 

She turned her head to the window, it was geting dark, water...she needed water, slowly she got on her feet and managed to find her way to the dresser who had a pitcher on top of it. The water tasted stale, and it was warm, but at least her troat didnt feel like sand anymore. The sounds were penetrating the floor, aparently the nigth was picking up downstairs. Looking in the mirror she squirted water in her face, then grabed a towel and dried up. Herwas a mess so she let it loose, untangeling it carefully and then shook her head, the upside to straigth hair was it was almost never posible to tangle it to much.

 

Now the best medicine for this kind of headache was something strong, but first she needed her clothes, and thus started the hunt around the room. Slowly as she found each piece of fabric she regained her desantsy. Her stomuck was churning, she needed something salt, smoked meat and chease with crackers would do. Her hand went to her head, and a strong whisky, then she would be alrigth. She found her boots and humped around till she fell on her ass before geting them on. A last check in the mirror, yup, it would do. She opened the door and slowly passed downstairs, hopefully the room was paid for. She smiled to the maid and passed her order for food and drink, then headed out into the room to see if she could find some seating.

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From the back of the room, even above the music, Thera heard a banging as someone half fell down the stairs. She was surprised to see it was Cyrain. Grabbing two mugs from the table she rushed across the room and put a hand on her arm to steady her.

“A rough night huh? Looks like you need this.” She handed the mug to Cy and led her over to the table she and Mari already shared. Thera did not know Cy well, but she could tell a fellow warrior in need when she saw one.

 

“Have seat, we were just discussing our days of training, Unless of course you are feeling up to a dance?” Thera winked and smiled still feeling a bit fuzzy from the ale.

 

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Mari blinked fuzzily at Thera, "Woman keeps moving around too much," she muttered under her breath, "Let's find the bottom of the mug instead!"  Happy with her choices, she proceeded to throw back the rest of her drink.

 

When she put the mug down, there was suddenly another person at the table.  Leaning over carefully, Mari blinked, "Wh.. where'd you come from... C-cy?"  She hiccuped and giggled, "Anyways, now that you're here, mind buying another round?  My drink seems to have vanished again."

 

“Have a seat, we were just discussion our days of training, Unless of course you are feeling up to a dance?” Thera winked and smiled still feeling a bit fuzzy from the ale.  Mari giggled a bit; what had Thera said about dancing earlier?  No, no, it wasn't important..

 

"Trainee again, you said?"  Mari asked while innocently trying to filch Thera's  full-seeming drink.  Thera whapped her hand, and the Andoran woman giggled again, "To be a trainee again... no, nope.. didn't make as much as a trainee!"  She grinned and lobbed a sloppy wink across the table as the barwench brought over another round, and Mari let herself sample a bit - just to make sure it tasted good.  Satisfied, she unsteadily raised her head back up and grinned, "Though making more now, it doesn't seem to last as long!"  Another hiccup, and she leaned back in her chair... and fell over. 

 

Snorting a laugh, she unsteadily set the chair back up, glared at the seat, and lowered herself back into it with all the dignity a drunk can have.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Cy laughed and sat down, once the maid arived with her order she asked to have a mug of beer brougth over as well.  "Drinks should be here soon enough Mari." she siped her glass and draw a long breath as she felt the liquid heat her. "Trainee days huh, those was something.." something of a hardship, "..sometimes I wonder how any of us made it through them sticking to the path." She grined at Mari's pun, "and yeah the sallery was not the greatest, though hardly sustaining now either, but at least there is some time to spend it...or rather we got better sence to spend it, instead of runing to the grove at every free moment.."

 

She let her minds wander backwards in time, "..though it was not all equaly bad" a smile passed over her lips as she remembered some of the more interesting times, "not at all, some fun was made as well"

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