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Pulling on one of his finer shirts, Aran went to have a look at himself in the mirror. He had to say, he was looking rather dashing if he did say so himself. It was something to be enjoyed while it lasted, because Aran was quite certain that he wasn't going to be in nearly as good condition within the next couple of hours. Still, if one was going to walk into danger, one should always be dressed well if it could be managed.


Rosheen had surprised him yesterday with a message that he was to be tested as a Blademaster. It was one of the rare times that he'd been genuinely surprised, he thought he'd taken better care to have as little notice taken of him as possible. He'd even played up his prankster nature and his irresponsibility specifically so such a thing would never come his way. Yet so surprised had he been, he'd simply said ok and Rosheen had wandered off at that.


Still, in hindsight it was perhaps better that way. To have refused flat out and to have deliberately gone out of his way to avoid the ceremony would have attracted too much attention if Rosheen had already seen Borac about it. Not that his alternative was much better, but that was what he was left with. He would go, the same as everyone else did when they were invited to a Blademaster Ceremony. He'd fight whoever challenged his ability, even lead a pretty dance.


And his ability would be lacking.


It wouldn't be as if he were the first to fail the ceremony, and that would be the end of it. Light but he hated the whole concept of the blademaster. If there was anything he hated above any other about being a Tower Guard, it was being exposed to the constant, vapid and foolish notion of people wanting to earn the title.


Well, that was a bit harsh, he supposed it was a nice way to mark one's achievement. To Aran though, the idea of holding the title made his skin crawl. Not even taking into account the habit of his previous life of avoiding any such labels, it had always seemed like a special friends club to him. Team Master as it were.


Well, that wasn't exactly true either. Some of his closest friends at the Yards held the title of Blademaster, and they were perfectly good people. Well, not perfect, but good people. Yet many held the notion that by holding the title Blademaster, that somehow made them greater fighters. Aran personally believed that to be a crock of... well, to be erroneous. Especially since he'd known people deadlier than some of those who had possessed the heron without holding one themselves.


The title of Blademaster was something he didn't want, yet he'd put on a good show nevertheless. Touching up his hair quickly, he adjusted the pair of short blades at his hips and proceeded to make his way out of the Barracks. His performance awaited.




Tower Guard

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Though the look on his face had been priceless, Rosheen was beginning to wonder if she’d made the right decision to ask him to step forward. Maybe she was wrong. Maybe he wasn’t ready, or maybe he didn’t feel like it yet, or maybe… she shook her head slightly. She’d seen him fight, and he was good enough. Light, he’d probably give her and Lyv a run for their money when it came to a fair fight, and he’d probably be able to beat either one of them when it came to an unfair fight. She shook her head slightly. She hadn’t seen the truth about her own readiness until Lyv had scolded her, which had always had the right effect on Rosheen. She had made the right decision to push Aran forward. Even Lyv agreed it was about time. Borac had looked surprised, but not all that shocked. After all, if she and Lyv could pass the test, then so could he.


She waited for him outside the barracks, with her back to the wall, humming the tune to ‘The Jester’s Dance’. It felt strangely appropriate somehow. She wondered who his challenger would be. Lyv? Ralleigh? Perhaps even Vasya? She smiled slightly at the thought of her battle with the bald blademaster for her own ceremony. Aran would have to move very fast if he was going to keep from getting bowled over by Vasya. He didn’t have a whole lot of weight to back him up, after all. Rosheen lowered her eyes slightly as Ginae walked past her, to hide the anxious look on her face. Surely not Ginae… It wouldn’t be fair, to have a Grand master challenge a potential blademaster. Then again, it was only a test. Ginae would be fair, even if she couldn’t stand Aran. Rosheen crossed her fingers and hoped that her faith in people would be confirmed.


She didn’t have a whole lot of time to worry about other options after that. Aran appeared next to her, looking sharp. Rosheen whistled. “If I’d known this was a dress up occasion I’d have put some more effort in my own garb.†She jested. “Well, time to go then. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you.†With that said she pushed away from the wall, proceeding Aran to the place where she herself had been tested a while ago. As expected the blademasters of the yards had already gathered there, standing in a circle the same way they had when she was tested. She turned to look at Aran. “You’ll do fine.†She said, nodding to herself as if she was the one who needed convincing. Then she turned her back on him and left him standing in the middle of the circle, taking her place next to Lyv.

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Looking up from his paperwork Borac noted the sun’s position outside the window of his office. The time for the gathering was upon him and the Master at Arms gladly pushed the pile of paper to the side and rose. Strapping his sword to his waist and donning the mantle of his office Borac walked outside into the yard and made his way to the circle of blademasters that waited for him.


Walking through the ring of Blademaster’s Borac stopped in the center where he faced Aran. Would the man be ready for the challenge? Only the trial by sword would tell but for every one person to succeed a handful failed.


“You have been presented here as one who is ready to proclaim himself Blademaster Aran.â€


Turning the Master at Arms spoke to Aran while looking at the gathered Blademasters.


“By what rights Aran do you come to us and proclaim yourself worth to be part of this elite group of men and women?"


Silence hung over the proceedings as he waited for Aran to stake his claim.

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As the circle gathered, Aran found himself studying all those that surrounded him. Some of his closest friends such as Lyv and Rosheen were present, and so too were officers such as Ralleigh and his own Vasya, even Ginae was there. She in particular caught his attention, she didn't seem all too impressed with being present. Most likely because she felt him unworthy to bear a heron, which suited him just fine. In fact, it gave him a rather amusing idea which might even work out for him.


Borac's approach found him finalising his speech in his head, his claim to be a Blademaster. He was sure that most people were usually quite formal, or even rather fierce about it. Maybe even a bit of an autobiography, a few highlights during their time as a Tower Guard or such. That wasn't what Aran had in mind at all. In fact, Aran was thinking about picking who he was going to fight just by giving a bit more incentive, if she wasn't going to challenge him to begin with. Speaking with a clear voice, his voice was greatly exaggerated as he slowly drawled


"I, am Aran." Lifting a hand, he pointed at Borac "are you Aran? No." Turning, he pointed at Vasya "are you Aran? No." Turning to Ginae, he pointed at her and suppressed a grin. "Are you Aran? Maybe if I put on a few years and really let myself go. But you are not Aran." Bringing his hand to his heart, Aran finished his exhaustive speech with "but I, I am Aran."




Tower Guard



OOC: I cite Orgasmo as my inspiration for that speech :D

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With a last tug Ginae fastened the straps that held the scabbards of her swords on her back. Any other ceremony she would have settled for a single Spatha at her side, but not today. Any other day she wouldn’t get involved in the testing of a Blademaster. Most argued that it would be unfair for a Grand Master to get involved in such matters. After all, what chance of winning did a potential blademaster have when facing a Grand Master? Not much, but it wasn’t the winning that mattered. All that mattered was putting up a good fight, and proving that you’re worthy. The potential blademaster that would be tested today was not worthy, and Ginae would prove it. A glance in the mirror told her she was ready.


The hilts of the gladii stuck out above her shoulders. Ginae had been a dual wielder ever since she picked up a pair of swords for the first time. It was her birthright showing through even now, years after she had last visited Kandor. With a slight smile curving her lips she left her chambers, accompanied by the soft creaking of her leather boots. If this had been a serious battle she would have worn armour, or at least leather guards. Today she did not. She very much doubted that today would bring her a serious battle. As she arrived at the location of the testing she saw that most of the watchers were already there. She took her place in the circle, flanked by a blademaster and another grand master.


Ralleigh glanced at her, smirking slightly. “I see you intend to challenge Aran.†She said, nodding in the general direction of her swords. Ginae’s lips curved into a displeased snarl. “I doubt it will be much of a challenge.†She muttered. Then the circle fell silent as Rosheen arrived, followed by Aran. The ceremony started, and Ginae tuned out a bit. She had heard it often enough to be able to recite the words in her sleep. When Aran stepped forward she focussed again. Her body tensed slightly as she heard him speak. Typical. Definitely unworthy of ever holding a heron marked blade. The second he finished his speech, Ginae stepped forward.


“So you are.†She said, unsheathing both her swords with a look of casual disinterest on her face. “But today… you are going to regret being Aran.†Without further delay she attacked him, the gladius in her left hand coming to him as Hummingbird kissing the honeyrose while the gladius in her right hand sought his stomach in Ribbon in the air. The time for idle words was over.



~Ginae Auvriani

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Aran had to admit, within the first few passes he knew that he most likely wouldn't have to feign anything, Ginae was doing all the work for him. Spinning and ducking as he caught Ribbon in the Air on one of his blades, his response of Whirlwind on the Mountain found little and he found himself leaping back to avoid being split in the middle by the Tower of Morning.


Leaning low and forward, he assessed the risks as he danced about her as the Creeper Embraces the Oak. She had a pair of blades the same as him, of little more length that it was negligible. She did have height though, and with that came reach which she would use if she was smart, and she was. If he got close, Aran thought he might have a chance, though he'd seen Ginae move quickly enough before that he was sure that his chances were far from equal. Still, that was only if she let him get that close, and she wouldn't.


The Cat Dances on the Wall until one is faced with Striking the Spark. Twisting in the Wind to give his lathes more power, Aran spun backwards as he parried attack after attack. Her attacks were focusing on his legs which meant she'd go high, yet he couldn't pick it. Receiving a biting blow that cut through his doublet and left a nasty gash in his right arm, Aran staggered back while flailing at her with Low Wind Rising to give himself a moment.


Leaping at her even as she moved forward, he managed to get inside her guard as he parried her combination of slash and hack, delivering a knee to her midriff to drive her back only to have his thigh stabbed as The Falcon Stoops even as she fell back. Gritting his teeth, he caught Lightning of Three Prongs in the path of the Falling Leaf as he made he made his way backwards, absorbing her new assault.




Tower Guard

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Ginae barely felt his knee connect with her body through the Void. It was a mere whisper, a promise of pain should she release the Void any time soon. She had no intentions of doing so, not yet. Aran was falling back even after he’d gotten a blow in, she made sure of that. Briefly she considered letting up a little. She would have to give him a fair chance, after all. Was she giving him a fair chance? The thought drifted at the edge of the void as she aimed Arc of the Moon at his neck, catching Low Wind Rising with her other sword. The benefit of the Gladius was that it was strong enough to deflect even the harshest blows. Vasya could come at her with warhammer or axe, and she would still be able to parry his blows without damaging the swords. The down side to the weapon was that the range was limited, and that it was truly more suitable for stabbing than it was for slashing.


And the other downside it had was that it had no handguard worth mentioning, not when compared to claymores or longswords. Something Ginae was always wary of when she used her blades, and something she would always use to her advantage when an opponent wielded a similar weapon. She used her greater reach to slash and thrust at Aran with one blade, parrying with the other as she performed The Cat Dances on the Wall. She continued the form tentatively, trying to avoid stepping in Aran’s reach by keeping him at a distance. This fight was nothing like the one Rosheen had fought against Vasya. That had been brute strengh versus balance. This was speed versus speed, finesse over brutality.


Finally Ginae stepped in slightly, seemingly opening her right side for attack. It was a feint, and a rather obvious one at that, but apparently Aran wasn’t in the mood for thinking his actions through. His gladius moved in Kingfisher Takes a Silverback. Before his blade was even close to touching her she locked her blade with it, performing The Grapevine Twines. A beginners move, one she had not expected to work. It was an attempt to draw Aran out. And yet it worked. It shouldn’t work, but it did. Surprise tickled the edge of the void, but Ginae ignored it. Her opponent was close to being defeated. One Gladius flew to the side, landing in front of the feet of another blademaster. The other fell from Aran’s hand as Ginea’s Gladius connected with his arm as she performed Thistledown Floats on the Whirlwind, the flat of her gladius connecting with his hand, right behind the inadequate handguard.


Just as swiftly Ginae spun out of the way, somewhat shocked about the fact that Aran had been disarmed in an attack even a freshly promoted Tower Guard would see through. Outside the void thoughts raced. Impossible. No one would go into the ceremony completely unprepared. She sheathed her gladii, before turning to look all of the Blademasters present in the eye. “I say this man is not ready.†She stated, simply but effectively. Borac would deny his motion. Aran would not receive the heron marked blade.


~Ginae Auvriani


ooc: Don’t know if it’s ok that I ended this thing so swiftly. I figured I’d make it short because Aran wasn’t trying all that hard and Ginae was. If not, let me know and I’ll edit.

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His second blade lost to Thistledown Floats on the Whirlwind, a part at the back of Aran's mind was simply glad she hadn't decided to take his hand while she was at it. Dropping to the ground even as Ginae was sheathing her gladii, Aran had his hands to his leg. Pressing down on it, he limited the flow of blood as best he could even as he gritted his teeth. Ginae hadn't pulled the blow by any means, it had almost reached the bone. While adrenalin helped block some of it out, he knew that given time he'd probably crack his teeth as it got worse.


Not that there would be time for that. Borac was already assenting to Ginae's appraisal, a small victory that didn't register on his face. Now that Ginae had managed to discredit his ability, he would be able to go on as before, and perhaps she wouldn't send anymore trainees her way either. Now that would be a real blessing.


Not that that weighed on his mind greatly at that present time. He was more concerned with his leg and hoping that the ceremony finished as quickly as it could, so he paid little attention to it. If he had been paying more attention, he would have perhaps seen Vasya shooting Rosheen a look that spoke volumes of what he thought about Aran having been put forward for Blademaster, and that Rosheen had put him forward. Or a couple of the other looks that passed around the circle.


The ceremony concluded, the blademasters dispersed even as a Sister of the Yellow Ajah came forward. A large enough chill swept Aran that had him almost breaking his knuckles he clenched so hard. Not to mention also left him rather woozy, his leg had drawn on quite a bit, and his arm hadn't been a flesh wound either.


Tapping out a bit, he only became aware that he was on his way to the barracks halfway there with Rosheen helping him along. Word had spread quickly as well, anyone who saw Aran was quiet or murmered bad luck. No party in the common room to celebrate a Blademastership as they had for Rosheen. On the otherhand, thats what he'd wanted.


Reaching his room, he caught his reflection in the mirror he had. Perfectly good clothes ruined, they'd take long enough to repair. Undoing his belts, he dropped them on the floor and loosening his breeches along with the cuffs of his doublet, he sprawled out on the bed.


Unfortunately, it seemed that Rosheen wasn't going to leave him unquestioned as she had while they'd walked. Instead, she chose to sit next to him on the bed, and while he wasn't quite afeared of a second beating like the one he had received in the past from her, he certainly didn't like the thought of the possibility. Especially with her temper, and if she decided to feel that he'd embaressed her instead of... Well, that wouldn't end well at all.


"Well, this didn't turn out the way I expected it would."


"I agree, I thought Ginae would have taken the opportunity to eunuch me."




Tower Guard

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From the moment Ginae stepped forward and attacked Aran it was clear to Rosheen that Aran was not going to get out of the battle without a scratch. The Mistress of Trainees put an effort behind her fighting unlike anything Rosheen had ever seen from her in a spar. And yet… there were blows that could have been dodged, instead of taken. Things that she would have done to throw Ginae off balance. Just… anything, but Aran was taking the beating with seemingly little resistance. He was beaten easily, and Rosheen couldn’t shake the feeling that something was off with the spar. She’d seen him fight before, and this… well, it looked like he was putting effort into it, but he shouldn’t have been defeated that easily.


She cringed when Ginae declared Aran wasn’t ready, and cringed some more when Vasya shot her a look that clearly meant he questioned her sanity. Great. That was all she needed right now. Other looks were sent her way, and only Lyv’s look was somewhat positive. “I guess I was wrong.†She muttered. Moments later she found herself supporting Aran as he made his way back to the barracks. A little later she sat down on Aran’s bed, cross-legged, as she had no intentions of going anywhere until Aran had explained some things to her. He avoided her first hint that she was waiting for that explanation, so she moved on to the more direct approach. “So… What went wrong there?â€


Aran looked Rosheen in the eye, and knew this would be the moment that decided whether he would need to see a Yellow Sister a second time for the day. "Nothing."


“You call that nothing?!†she exclaimed. “You just got torn apart by Ginae, and you’re acting like you’re not even mildly upset about the thing.†Rosheen looked away from him, taking a moment to regain some of her calm. Aran might not care, but she was definitely upset about his failure. “If you weren’t ready you should have told me, and I wouldn’t have put you forward.â€


Oh dear, light help me She didn't understand what he was saying at all, which didn't bode well. "You'd already recommended me to Borac, and I was so surprised that you were putting me forward for Blademaster I didn't ex... I just answered, and then it hit me afterward. But... nothing went wrong." Aran emphasised those last three words to point out that his earlier response hadn't simply been sulleness.


The way Aran said that nothing went wrong… there was definitely something wrong with that. “So you intended to get beaten into pulp. Well, that makes sense. Perfect sense.†She glared at him. “Are you drunk?â€


"I wish I was, speaking of which I might get the bottle out soon." It didn't seem to be dawning on Rosheen that he was serious. "You're right, I threw my match. And more so it did make sense, perfect sense in fact. The problem was further exacerbated by the fact that I was locked into the match."


“You weren’t locked into the bloody match!†she shouted. “I could have cancelled the ceremony with Borac, and that would have been the end of it.†She got of the bed and started pacing, in a way to get rid of the ever increasing urge to break Aran’s head. “You don’t just ‘throw’ a blademaster ceremony. Damn you, Aran, if you were going to throw the bloody match, the least you could have done was warn me. Or you could have gotten someone else to put you forward.â€


Wincing, Aran was at least glad that Rosheen hadn't put her hands on his person. That meant he had a chance to explain himself, though whether she'd like his reasoning would be another matter. "Shhh, you're going to make me having taken a beaten a complete waste. And what would you have told Borac? You're right, people don't throw these ceremonies, nor do they refuse them. What do you think would have happened if you'd gone back to him and said it was off. Then when you were asked why, you said that I refused? You think he wouldn't have asked questions?"


“I’d say that I bloody well changed my mind, that’s what. It’s pretty obvious to me that I was wrong thinking you were ready. It would have made him question my judgement, but guess what, it would have been him alone. What do you think is going to happen after this? That everyone is going to forget? Of course not!†she glared at Aran some more.


“First Vasya, Ginae, Ralleigh, Lyv, Borac, Andular, Deamon and every flaming Blademaster present at your ceremony is going to come to me, asking me what in the name of the light I was thinking, and if I’m feeling quite right in the head. Then they’re going to come to you, and they’re going to want to test you, to see if I was right or wrong. Whatever you were trying to accomplish, I’d say you failed miserably.â€


"And when they all test me, they're going to find me lacking one after the other. A second too slow, falling for a feint, whatever it takes to lose every single one of those matches. I'm hardly the first person to fail a testing, or multiple testings. Those that thought I had promise will feel that I've reached my limit, and eventually it will be left alone. And you won't bear some all consuming shame for putting forward the wrong person for long, don't be so melodramatic. Other blademasters have put forward people who have failed before." Aran sighed, this wasn't going to be over anytime soon, it seemed he was in for the long haul. Not that he hadn't considered Rosheen's problem beforehand.


“So… what? You’re making a charade out of something most of us work years and years for to accomplish? What were you thinking? Seriously, what’s going on inside that thick skull of yours because I honestly don’t understand why you choose to mock me, and Lyv, and Ginae, and every single Blademaster out there this way.â€


Blinking, Aran was groaning inwardly, instantly him throwing a match suddenly became mocking the years of work others had put in. "Well, you could sit down and I could explain it to you. Or you can just make some assumptions and get really angry about them and think I'm pissing on everyone's collective years of work and sweat." Aran gestured for Rosheen to sit next to him again.


"I think I'll stand."

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Now, how to say this without getting Rosheen's back up.... Nope, wasn't happening. "The concept of the Blademaster is recognition and title. My whole life I haven't needed recognition, indeed I've avoided it. As a title it would only get in the way of what I do. When you fight an opponent, you do not want them to know the measure of you. What greater measure is there but a heron? And even if you don't bear it on you, there is the possibility that your name could be linked to the title."


“So you don’t want people to know you’re skilled. You know, I would have bought that, if I hadn’t seen you get rid of the last threat from your past. I really thought the time for secrets was over. I guess I was wrong.†Rosheen snorted, leaning against the wall with her arms folded in front of her chest. If this conversation had taken place six years ago, her mouth would have been set in an angry pout, which had been almost as much of a trademark as her Mohawk. Rosheen was not one for hiding, or secrets. Aran knew that, and yet he had once again done the exact same thing that had made her lash out at him not too long ago. “I don’t know what bothers me more, the fact that you didn’t tell me before the ceremony, or the fact that you seem to think blademasters do nothing but strutting around, showing of their supposed skills.â€


Well, that was much calmer than I expected. Still, her latter problem was the one that was going to cause the trouble he was sure. "I couldn't tell you beforehand. The very reason you're annoyed with me about it now is the same reason I couldn't tell you. You can't act Rosheen, and if you hadn't been genuinely surprised they would be wondering why. And how many times have you weighed a person based on whether they had the heron or not? You have a greater respect for the skills of those with the mark than not, correct?"


“Now look at who is jumping to conclusions. For someone so ready to call me out for making assumptions, you sure do make quite a few on your own. When was the last time you asked me how I would react to something, or if I would do something or say something? I can’t remember when that was because you prefer to assume that I won’t be willing or capable to do so. Light, I’ve been training in Misdirection for eight years and you still think I won’t be able to act surprised on cue?†But that was beside the point. She could beat him up over that again, but what would that lead to? That same old feeling of guilt. She shook her head in disgust. “And you’re wrong. Only a fool judges people by what they can see. Having a heron marked blade wouldn’t make me step more or less lightly around you in battle than I would otherwise.â€


"You've trained yourself for it, I live it because I have no choice but to. That difference was important with a circle of blademasters and even grandmasters." Not that that made her happy, but he moved on to his other point. "You wouldn't step around me any different because you know me. Others would, especially when they see me fail before them. Besides, if the heron doesn't really change the way you think, why is it so important to you then? Why did you suddenly assume I was insulting you because I didn't want the title like you did?"


“Because you didn’t tell me!†she shouted, her anger slowly boiling inside of her, before she pushed it aside. She went through an exercise to calm herself, one that came with learning the Spring. The feeling of humiliation and rejection that came with the newly formed memory of Aran throwing the blademaster spar were compressed into a ball, something she could immerse herself in had she chosen to embrace the Spring fully. As it was she kept the ball in the back of her mind, where she could study it without feeling the need to break Aran’s face.


Her voice was calm when she spoke again. “Because if you had told me, I would not have felt as though you rejected what I am, and what Lyv is. If you had told me, I would not have felt embarrassed at putting you forward, only to watch you lose. If you had told me, we would have been here now as well, only we would have been laughing about the way Ginae looked when you kneed her in the gut. That’s the insult, Aran.â€


Nothing has changed. Aran raised an eyebrow at her "so the..." Aran fell silent as he tried to say a word, then found it didn't work. Other ways at trying to say what he wanted to say didn't work either as he sat there, thinking, clearly wrestling with what was on his mind. Instead of trusting him and the fact that what he'd done worked, instead once again it was the personal insult, that he had done her wrong. Nevermind the fact that he'd done his best to try and guide things, and limited the possible chances for a mistake by taking all of it on himself.


"We spoke about this before you know." Not the safest place to tread, but Aran couldn't think of any other way to say it. "Your trust requires me to tell you everything, and if I don't suddenly I'm the villain. Even though my trust is different, and I'm not comfortable with telling people so much, I could count the people I've told more than you on one hand. I need you to meet me halfway sometimes Rosh, why can't you?"


“Oh don’t give me that crap.†Rosheen said, looking half surprised and half disgusted that Aran would actually ask her to meet him in the middle of things. “You know how much I despise hearing things after the fact. You know it, because I bloody well imprinted it on you the last time it happened.†Well, at least she could say that without looking at her own feet now. “And yet you keep doing things the exact same way. I can’t meet you in the middle, Aran, because you’re never there. You always do things your way. There is no bloody middle.â€


That was rich. "I'm never there?" Aran snorted, which was the the best option compared to the retorts that had initially come to mind. The one frustrating thing about Rosheen, she always saw things her way without putting herself in other people's shoes. Which was the reason why she'd attacked him before and left him bedridden for days so he didn't get her in trouble by going to a Yellow Sister for healing.


"The entire time we've known each other I-" Aran bit his tongue, then started over. "Once again... Once again its... Faugh." Frustrated more than anything, Aran took a deep breath, and breathed out slowly. He didn't need it to calm himself, but it definitely helped. There was no talking about this, it couldn't be done when Rosheen was unwilling to try and see something beyond herself. Which meant that she'd never understand that when he didn't tell her something, he only did it due to good reasons, not out of some need to insult her.


"The reason you think I'm never halfway is because you don't try and look at it from my perspective." That was certainly a calmer phrase than the first few that had come to mind. "I don't do these things on whim, I do them because I feel the reasons to do so are critical enough that I have to. You think this somehow amuses me? That I do these things so you can feel like I've kicked you while you were on the ground?" A not so subtle hint to their earlier encounter.


"No, instead you're more than happy to say in hindsight 'I would have been fine, I could have completely fooled every single blademaster and grandmaster present'. You don't know that for sure, and I certainly didn't so I didn't put that role on you. I wasn't even sure if I could do it, but I knew I had a much better chance, so I did it alone, and even now we can't be completely sure it has worked. But no, instead of going 'you may have a point Aran', once more its an insult because I didn't tell you beforehand, so clearly I musn't trust you."


"What about you trusting my judgement on the rare occasion I don't tell you beforehand? Thats where the halfway point is. Its not as if this happens all the time, this is the second time its ever happened with something important. And for the second time, you're giving me a pummeling over it, thankfully not with your fists this time. Instead of just, just once having some faith. No you haven't done something without letting me know beforehand. On the otherhand, if you did, I wouldn't be jumping down your throat either. And even if you were wrong, I'd still know you did things with the right intentions, why isn't that enough?"




Tower Guard

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“I’m not giving you a pummelling over it.†Rosheen said, a hint of fatigue in her voice. She felt that this argument could go on forever and beyond that because Aran simply refused to see things her way. Then again, she supposed that the same thing could be said about her. “I’m just telling you that I don’t have to like the way you dealt with this.†She sighed, pinching the bridge of her nose as if she wanted to get rid of a swiftly forming headache. “It’s like the pot accusing the kettle of being black. You don’t see things from my perspective, and I don’t see things from yours.†She fell silent for a moment before muttering something about never having these issues with Lyv. “I wish you’d just… whatever.†Shaking her head she pushed away from the wall. “I’m going to get drunk.†She informed him. A drink was most definitely in order. With some luck she could be properly smashed before she met up with anyone else today.


"Wait a moment." Getting to his feet, Aran took the few steps needed to get to Rosheen. It wouldn't do to let her walk away angry, they were friends and it wasn't right to let something like this fester. Holding out his arm before him, he waited to see whether she'd clasp it or not. While they might argue and have different ideas about things, friends were friends.


Rosheen’s eyes narrowed for a moment, almost as if she expected him to trick her. Then her lips curved into an amused little smile as she clasped his arm. Well, this was surely familiar. She briefly wondered if they’d have to go through this ritual much more often before they found the middle ground they’d just spoken of. “So… Are you coming along then? Can’t have them thinking you’re hiding after your loss. That would be… un-Aranlike.â€


"Of course, let me get changed though, these clothes are ruined for the moment." Opening up his chest, he started slipping off his doublet as he spoke again. "Common room first and then the Siren's Call? They'll have the kegs there for having planned a celebration, and it can't go to waste."


“Sounds like a plan.†She said, eying Aran’s ruined clothes. “What a waste. Why wear your best clothes if you knew you were getting pummelled anyway?†Rosheen lifted her hands when it looked like Aran was going to reply. “Save it for later. Something tells me I need to be drunk before hearing the answer to that.†she turned to the door. “I’ll meet you in the common room.â€

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