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Time to meet your Mentor ((Attn: Selene))


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Perivar stood outside the door to the Armory idly testing the edge of his dagger with his thumb. Maybe he would cut his finger off and be spared from training another person.  He disliked it immensely except for the fact that it did make the days go faster.  His trainee, an Accepted should be arriving soon.  Aside from Kabria this was the only other person he had trained from the Tower.  Most had been trainees in the Warder Yard.  Kabria was the only one he had not minded training.


Life in Tar Valon was not for him, at the moment it was out of his control.  Kabria was busy with training, the Light only knew what she was learning for she couldn't speak of it with him.  There was a time when he thought that Kabria would have more time on her hands when she became an Aes Sedai though he had been sadly mistaken.  He had seen her more when she was an Accepted.


Perivar glanced at the mid morning sun wondering when the Accepted was going to arrive.  As if his thoughts had brought the girl on he caught sight of the white dress with the banded hem.  As his eyes rose to her face he smiled.  They had not told him who his trainee was so he was shocked to see it was Jasine's sister Selene.  He breathed a sigh of relief, he liked the girl.  Maybe she was not a girl any longer, no more a girl than he was a boy. 


Perivar nodded respectfully. "Good morning Accepted"  It seemed odd being so formal with her.  "May I call you Selene?"  He waited on her response for a moment then went on.  He shook his head "I will never understand why they send you here for training in those white dresses.  Of all colors, white is the hardest to keep clean."  What a foolish comment, as if she didn't know firsthand.  Even so it irritated him to no end.


"I trust you are well, no more horses trying to stomp on you in the stables."  His look was apologetic.  It still bothered him how his warhorse, Nightdancer had acted towards her.


Perivar tried to get it all out quickly for if she was able to get a word in then he would have difficulty getting control of the conversation back from her.  She was nice as can be but the girl could talk like no other he had ever met.  He held the door to the armory for her then went to the wall with the aprons and picked out a clean one for her.


Perivar handed her the apron "So you don't get your dress filthy.  I don't need the Mistress of Novices coming over to take some skin of my hide because I got you dirty.  I want you to walk around the armory and pick three different weapons that interest you.  You can place them right here on this table."  He touched the table next to where he stood.  "If you have any questions then do not hesitate to ask."  He knew she wouldn't but he still had to offer.  "And don't touch the blade, they're sharp."  He smiled innocently as if that were even possible for him.

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Selene reveled in the freedom of being able to leave the Tower as she wished.  It was true that she wasn't supposed to be in the Yards unless she was going there to train, but as long as she told everyone she was going to train, would they really know any different?  Her schooling was going so well and now that she was an Accepted as well, she'd had the privilege of helping Melianna as she was studying ter'angreal, which was exciting and scary all at the same time.


A little like weapons training with a dashing warder who she knew belonged to another woman but couldn't help but think of it ways that would probably get her switched if Larindhra Sedai knew.


She smiled brightly when the very boy she was thinking of was the one who met her at the Armory.  She was still in that transition, working on going from the novice that curtsied to everyone and that all called Child, to the Aes Sedai she would one day be that made kings and queens bend knee.  She dropped the slightest of curtsies to the man and inclined her head to him.  "Good morning, Gaidin." She nodded her assent to him calling her Selene and then grinned at his mention of the white.  "You know, I think the Aes Sedai may just be sadistic enough to make us wear white because it is so hard to keep clean.  We have to either manage to keep ourselves pristine, which shows control and careful behavior, or we work our fingers to the bone cleaning the fabric - which is supposed to build character."  She brushed the back of her hand down across the skirts and then turned dancing brown eyes back up to him.


"NightDancer?  Are you still worried about that?  It was my own carelessness, Gaidin, and happened just ages ago.  Think not of it again, I haven't thought of it in quite a while."  She tied on the apron as she was bid to, she'd worn one int he stables when she met the man, and then stepped forward and listened carefully to what he said.  She was maturing out of her chatty nature, but only slowly.  She would still ramble on for hours if she didn't rein herself in by force - and sometimes she forgot to even try.  "I think the Mistress would have my hide if I did anything so foolish as to let her catch me dusty and dirty.  I remember when I came back to my room after weeding one of the gardens in the Blue Ajah and happened to pass her before I got to a basin.  She had me trim back my nails all the way, they hurt for days!  She said if I wasn't capable to tending to myself than I hadn't earned the right to have the accoutrements of a lady." Selene laughed softly as she moved towards the racks of weapons, she never seemed bothered by her few punishments from the Mistress of Novices. 


"It's not nearly so bad as the punishments she's called down for some of the other girls.  Deanne and Jasmyne were stripped of their hair, bald as sheep after shearing, for vanity and being difficult." She took up a lock of her hair in one hand and toyed with it, peeking at him from the corner of her eye as she fingered a quarterstaff.  "I should very much hate that, I'm rather fond of my hair."  She released the lock and shook her hair back, the pale blonde locks dancing to past her hips.  She wrapped a hand around a thinner quarterstaff and hefted it, liking the weight and feel of the weapon.


"I think I like this one... and I should learn a dagger, they are much easier to hide on a person dressed in finery than a sword."  She moved down and took up one and set them both on the table.  She nodded a moment and then looked back up to the Warder.  "What other weapon would be appropriate do you think?  A staff I can hide as a walking stick.  A dagger concealed.  Maybe a bow for hunting?  I should hope I have a warder at my back to tend to such needs one day, but if not I need to be able to provide for myself."


She moved to the racks of bows and turned to him, hoping for guidance with which type she should choose.




Selenessin Accepted

Flirting must run in the family.

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Perivar smiled as she spoke and was completely oblivious to her eyes on him though he did wince everytime she called him Gaidin.  It was a sore subject for him but she had no way of knowing.  He smiled as she talked about the dresses and even managed to chuckle at a few of her comments.  The Mistress of Novices seemed like an interesting person.  Perivar noticed Selene playing with one of her pale blonde locks and could not imagine how he would feel if someone took his hair off with the power.  Selene did have beautiful hair which flowed down pasted her hips.  She was a very pretty girl.  He had no choice in who he got to train.  He hoped that Kabria would realize that.  He wondered what she would say if she saw him training the pretty Accepted.  Come to think of it she would probably be mad at him if the girl was a cow.


"I'm just a Guardsman Selene.  I'm not a Warder yet though I appreciate your confidence that I may one day become one."  Maybe it was that or just that some people thought calling you by a higher rank was a polite gesture.  "You can call me Perivar.  If I am going to call you Selene I can't have you running around using titles on me." 


There was something about her chipper mood that was infectous.  In a way she was very much like her brother Jasine.  Speaking of which he had not seen his friend in quite some time.  She had seen the worried look when he mentioned the incident in the stables and assured him that she was fine and did not blame him or Nightdancer.  That did make him feel better about the whole ordeal.


Perivar studied her as she picked through the barrel of quarterstaffs.  Selene touched a few, hefting them to check their weight and balance.  She seemed to have a good eye and a feel for what she wanted.  She picked up the dagger making a comment about the benefits of having one to which he nodded.


"That may be a wise choice.  It will take some time to learn but once you do it is a good weapon to have especially for hunting as you said."  He knew that she would have no difficulty finding a Warder and would have no use for the thing except for sport.  She was very pretty and very pleasant to be around so there would be potential Warders lining up for her.  If she became a Green she might have a dozen Warders if she was not careful.  He could not picture Selene being mad at anyone.


He went to the rack and picked out a horsebow.  She would be able to draw it and it would suit her size.  The other bows would be too big for her and she would have serious difficulty trying to draw it.  Perivar handed it to her. "Is that your final choice for now?  You can always change your mind later."  He assured her.


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Selene nodded slowly, wondering at his words.  What had Jasine meant when he said Perivar had been taken by a new green sister?  She turned to face Perivar more fully and arched an eyebrow. "So then you are available as a warder, Perivar?"  Selene grinned and picked up the bow he had offered.  "I like this one, it's small enough that I think even I could build the endurance to use it."  She held the bow in her left hand and drew on the string, startling and squeaking when the string slipped through her hands and twanged back into place.  She blushed a bit and smiled up at him through her lashes.  "Sorry about that, I'll get the hang of it."


She set the bow on the table beside the staff and dagger and eyed her selections critically.  Perivar did say that she could always change her mind later, but she didn't want to start on this new chapter of her life as an Aes Sedai with a misguided choice.  After a long moment she nodded firmly to herself and then to Perivar.  "Yes, I'm sure.  These are the ones I want to train in."

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Ooh Light what had he done.  He saw the grin on the Accepted's face.  Now she thinks he is available, Light he was a fool.  After those trying weeks with Andrial Sedai he did not need any more misunderstandings.  That woman was purely wicked while Selene was the complete opposite.


"No, actually I am sworn to an Aes Sedai though not bonded yet."  Perivar winced as she pulled back the bowstring and let it go with a twang as it snapped back into place.  She blushed and made an apologetic comment.  "No I am sorry, I should have unstrung it before I handed it to you though this will be your first lesson.  You must be careful with all weapons.  Now that they can hurt you or others if they are mishandled."


Perivar took the bow from the table and unstrung it as she informed him that these were her choices.  "If you leave the bow strung all the time the bow and the string will weaken.  So it is best not to string it until you need it."  Perivar hooked the string on the end of the bow then ground that point so he could string the other side.  He unstrung it and did it again making sure that she saw how he did it.


Perivar handed Selene the bow.  "Practice stringing and unstringing the bow until you can do it with ease.  Be careful and take your time."  He watched her closely to make sure she did not hurt herself.

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Sworn to, so that's how he's been taken. She nodded and let the intriguing fancy of bonding the big Arafellin herself pass away.  She listened intently and then did as she was told while she chatted easily with the man.  "Sworn to a sister, I knew you would be snapped up right quick when I met you.  I bet you can swing one of those huge swords that's taller than I am and nearly as wide." She braced her foot against the bottom of the bow, biting her lip as the wood dug through her soft slippers that weren't at all suited to anything but the carpeted hallways of the Tower.  She bent the wood as she'd seen him to, pushing down on the bow and looping the string over the tip. "You strike me as just exactly what a warder should be, Perivar.  Strong, steady, patient, and intelligent.  The sister who will hold your bond is a lucky woman."  She weighed him as she would a fine horse, and liked what she saw.


If there was one thing to be said for the difficult novice life, it was that it didn't lend itself well to being a weakling when it was all over.  From carrying heavy baskets of laundry and scrubbing pots for house on end, the muscles in Selene's arms and legs were nicely toned.  The banded dress hid them so it wasn't immediately apparent, but she had to problems with the bow as long as she was concentration on it directly.  Her fingers grew red and throbbed long before her arm muscles tired, but after several repetitions, she felt confident that she could string and unstring her bow without hurting herself.  It was a slow process, however.  Each time she had to very carefully take tension off the string and make sure she didn't let the bow spring from her hands.


"How do I care for a bow other than not leaving it strung?  Is the string oiled, or the wood?  And will this be my bow, or is it to be kept at the armory?" She tried to make eye contact with him and continue working with the boy but as soon as she looked away from the wood she felt it slipping in her hands and turned her gaze back to it.  She recovered control without mishap, though.

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Perivar watched carefully as Selene worked stringing then unstringing the bow.  She did it exactly as he showed her with little difficulty.  No doubt she would be able to draw the bow.  Perivar didn't blush but he became visibly uncomfortable with the focus of her conversation being him.  "Yes Selene, I can wield just about any weapon here though with much less skill than the ones with which I often carry.  Most of the Tower Guards could wield these weapons effectively but how effectively depends on the weapon that they primarily train with."


Perivar was amazed at her ability to carry on a conversation while stringing the bow.  As the string made its way over the horn tip and into the notch she made another comment...wel a string of them.  This time the crimson color creeped into his cheeks.  Light she was making him blush.  He quickly formed the void pushing all emotions into it yet on the outside edges he knew his cheeks were still heated.


"Thank you Selene, that is very kind of you but there are many here of all shapes, sizes, and backgrounds who will make excellent Warders.  Looking capable is one thing, actually being capable is another.  As for me,"  He shrugged slightly "Well we will see what kind of Warder I will be when I am finally bonded."  As much as he tried he knew his frustration had shown in his final words.  When he was bonded, the Light only knew when that would be.  He had his personal penance to deal with and she had more training to do before she could bond him.  Well he had additional training after being raised to Tower guard but what additional training could an Aes Sedai need?  Was it just the Greens or were all new Aes Sedai not able to bond regardless of Ajah.  He had tried to inquire, not openly but subtly though that got him nowhere.


Light as he spoke he could not help but notice her eyes on him.  Was she was weighing him up and down?  He was often very oblivious to things such as this but there was no doubt this time.  Had they been in a group he would not have noticed but alone as they were he could not help but notice.  Light Andrial Sedai said she had watched him for some time and he had never noticed her doing so.  That woman was mad, she had tried to bond him knowing that he was sworn to another.  She had twisted his mind up in knots making him doubt that his oath to Kabria was valid in light of the oaths he swore as a Tower Guard.  Selene would not think him intelligent if she saw him interact with Andrial Sedai.  It had been more strenuous than fighting a battle where he was outmatched five to one.


Perivar was glad when she changed the conversation back to the bow.  He noticed her small slip as she was trying to watch him while working the bow though she quickly drew her attention back to her task.  "There is little care for the bow itself other than leaving it unstrung when it is not being used and not exposing it to the elements unnecessarily.  The bow is treated and conditioned when it is made to keep it from drying out and becoming brittle so there is little to no maintenance.  As for the string, they are coated with beeswax to make them less susceptible to moisture.  Once the string weakens the only option is to replace it.  It is important to always carry one or two extra bowstrings."


As she finished unstringing it he told her she was finished for now.  "This will be your bow until you decide to buy one.  You can keep it here in the armory along with your other weapons.  This bow is certainly serviceable but there are bowyers in the city that can make a much better bow for you.  They will customize it so that it is the perfect size and draw for you.  With a good horsebow you can shoot accurately up to two hundred paces.  If you are exceptionally skilled then you may be able to reach up to two hundred and fifty paces."


"Rest for a bit while I show you how to sharpen the dagger's blade."  Taking out the oil and whetstone he picked up a spare dagger then began running the whetsone along the edges.  After roughly fifteen minutes he had Selene try it with the dagger that she had selected. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Selene unstrung the bow and set it on the table beside the others.  She was surprised and delighted at how calm and easy-going her instructor was.  After years of working with Aes Sedai, always pushing them to work hard but not to take on too much difficulty, she was enjoying being out of the Tower immensely.  Not for the first time, she wondered if Aes Sedai were too hard on the girls who came to the tower to learn to channel.  She knew that there was a great deal of responsibility that went along with channeling, and she was still only an Accepted, but surely life as an Aes Sedai couldn't be as hard as the training that went into it.


"I will learn with this one for a while before I go to buy a bow.  Perhaps when I am ready to purchase one I will have built up the strength necessary for a harder draw."  Selene had always been a girl focused on bettering herself and achieving the most that she possibly could.  In this training, there would be no exception to that rule.


She had no idea what to do with herself while she was resting, so she did what it was she always did when she had free time and a captive ear, she talked.  "There's so much to learn about weapons, Perivar Guardsman.  I was a little nervous when you asked me to choose my weapons to train with.  I know so little about them, how can I be sure that I have made a wise decision in the weapons I have chosen?  What if I come to find out that I'm absolutely horrible with a quarterstaff and have to begin all over again with a different weapon.  There must be some natural aptitude when it comes to weapons, just as there are natural strengths among the different elements in Saidar.  Personally, I have a very strong aptitude for air."


She wove the strands of air together with an ease that would have impressed most Aes Sedai of full strength.  The staff laying on the table lifted up smoothly and easily, without even bobbling, and she spun it quickly before stopping it and setting it back down on the table. "But with water, an element most women are apt with, I can do barely more than most novices."  She didn't demonstrate her skill with water, she tried to avoid struggling with the difficult element whenever possible.  Spirit and Air she did very well with, but the other three were so weak.


She flashed him a quick smile to break her own darkening mood and hopped to her feet, shaking her arms loose a bit as they had begun to stiffen after working with the bow and then doing nothing at all.  She would have to ask Perivar how to condition her body to be a better warrior as well.  She took up the dagger and one of the other whetstones and watched Perivar carefully before she pressed rock to blade and began working on honing the sharpness.  She was more quiet as she worked at first, paying close attention to what she was doing and to his guidance.  Once she had become used to the motions and knew what to expect, she began chatting again, asking Perivar of his weapon choices and what he did before joining the Warders Yard.



Selenessin Accepted

Mighty Warrior

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  • 2 weeks later...

Perivar smiled at her demonstration with the power.  He had never been afraid of the power, he was more enamored by its potential uses.  He pondered over her words for a moment.  What made someone stronger in one element over another?  Was anyone equally strong in all five?  It struck him that Kabria had never discussed this with him.  He would have to remember to ask her.  He did not know much about the power.


It was actually refreshing that Selene was asking questions.  Not just asking idle questions but questions that were logical showing that she had an analytical mind.  With the exception of Kabria most of his other trainees were not very forthcoming.  Come to think of it he had not been either.  Luckily for him there were others who asked questions.


"Yes there are various types of weapons and there is a lot to learn before you can wield them properly.  You can always change your mind if a weapon does not suit you.  You have picked three weapons.  You may find that you like all three or perhaps only one.  As you said you will have a natural aptitude for certain weapons.  Those such as yourself who are able to channel are in a unique position.  There is much that you can do with the power so you may find that you would prefer to only work with one or two weapon types."  He watched her working with the whetstone.  The blade was dull yet he watched her as if it were as sharp as a razor.  He hwas happy to see that she was focused on the task at hand.  He did not need another injury under his direction.


"You may find that the bow is fun for sport or at least valuable for hunting though surely you could do the same with the power.  Though you never know when you may be in a situation where channeling would not be wise.  The quarterstaff is another weapon that may not be as useful to you.  It is cumbersome but can be quite handy in a pinch.  You will have plenty of time to decide what weapons are right for you."  


Perivar let his words linger a moment as he decided what he would tell her about his past.  He tried to cover it but he was certain that she had noticed the wince when she asked about his past.  He was obviously uncomfortable and was in a dilemma.  He hated talking about it yet he could not lie to her.  If you ever spoke to her brother she would know that he had lied to her and she had to trust him as her instructor.   


Perivar briefly went over his weapon choices and the reasoning behind choosing them.  "What I am going to tell you I ask that you keep to yourself.  It is not something that I feel comfortable speaking about but I am certain that your brother has an idea about my past."  Perivar took a deep breath then continued.  "Before I came to the Tower I spent my time training to be a Lord.  My father's estates lie in the northwest of Arafel.  The northern border is the blight and its western border is Kandor.  So I spent my childhood learning to be a Lord.  I was taught to manage an estate, the intrigue of local and foreign politics, and how to properly serve a Lord.  My older brother is the true heir so I would have eventually served under him yet I still had to learn all the duties of nobility in case he did not survive to succeed my father."


"You can imagine why I do not want others to know of my past.  Many people have preconceived notions of nobility.  I just wanted to fit in here, to be like everyone else.  I didn't want anyone thinking I was receiving preferential treatment.  Anyone who truly knows me is aware that I have trained just as hard as they have.  Even so I would prefer that few know my true past.  The fewer the better in my opinion.  Certainly some of the Aes Sedai know my past as my father has always been in good standing with Tar Valon.  He has always heeded the call of the White Tower when aid was requested of him.  By sending me here my father has tied himself tighter to the Tower so I do not want to do anything to cause him any grief.  Anything I do here reflects upon my family.  In a way my family's honor depends on my service to the Tower." 


In a strange way it was actually refreshing to get it off his chest and not have to hide behind a facade.  It may seem silly to her but to him it all made perfect sense.  As much as Selene liked to talk he felt that she would not betray his trust.  There was something about her that made him trust her.  "I trust that you will keep this to yourself?" 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Selene's strokes with the whetstone slowed and then stopped altogether as she focused on his when he spoke of his past.  He saw her nodding slowly, as she saw the subtle signs of trained nobility show through in little ways, and found it a perfect explanation to things like the unspoken command and proper posture, even little things like the way he tilted his head as he spoke.  None of it was condescending, he had shunted that much of his nobility off - likely with great effort and care - but the signs were there once you knew to look for them.


"By the Light, yes."  She spoke softly, without the vehemence of an oath, but with the simple and quiet honesty of someone who rarely, if ever, lied and never did so on important matters.  The al'Thorins were well-liked and numerous in Four Kings, and as a person who dealt in the trade of livestock her father had always stood by his word.  You lost customers if they found out you'd spoken ill of them when they couldn't hear.  And even if she'd never been a horseman herself, she was an Aes Sedai - or would be some day - and she'd decided to try to live by the oaths she would one day take.  Except when Deanne asked if Selene liked her.  That was one time where lying was the best possible option.


"You should not hide your nobility, Perivar."  She held up a hand to still any protests that might come.  "You have your reasons, I'll respect them and abide by your request.  But you should accept all that you are, and wear it proudly on your sleeve.  Anyone who knows you longer than a moment will like and respect you for who you are, regardless of your titles."  She looked back up from her dagger and met his gaze. "But you will not find peace if you do not first accept who you are."  She dropped her gaze again and flushed a little.  Who was she to give advice like that?  It sounded like the grand words of a wise woman in some book.


But then, her Aunt Sari was a Wise Woman, quite literally.  And Aes Sedai were accepted to be among the wisest, if trickiest, of people.  So maybe she should take her own advice and accept herself as being allowed to give advice.


She shook her head briefly and then flashed a smile at Perivar.  "Your family must have beautiful horse stock if NightDancer is anything to judge by.  Did you choose him, or was he chosen for you?"  She steered the conversation away from touchier subjects and talked about their shared experience with horses, the Yard, and the Tower as she worked on her weapon.  Once he had deemed it sharp enough, she listened intently as he taught her to oil it.  As the conversation left the serious behind, her own bubbliness came to the surface more.  She was trying hard to make herself as serene and composed as an Aes Sedai, but there was only so much control an Accepted could be expected to have when she was away from the disproving eyes of her mentors and teachers.




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  • 1 month later...

((Sorry, don't know why this post took me forever to write but this should do it for this Req.))


He felt guilty as he thought on Selene's advice.  There was more to it, much more.  He was about to tell her though he let the words go unspoken, there was simply no point.  He was never very good expressing his thoughts or feelings.  Most of what he had told her was rubbish or at best only partially true.  He cared little what others thought and less for whether they liked him or not.  The one truth was that he did not want others to know his past.


Something else she said stood out.  Peace.  He would never know peace, it was not in the equation.  There was no such thing as peace in the Borderlands.  Peace was a dream, a dream that had no chance of coming true.  Maybe he didn't want peace.  Maybe he enjoyed the turmoil and the struggle of life.  Would life hold the same value if there was peace?  Luckily Selene's question pushed those ridiculous thoughts from his head.


"I would like to say that I chose him but I did not.  I fear my eye for spotting a good horse is not that good.  My father chose him for me.  He probably thought I needed a fast horse to keep me out of trouble.  My father always scolded me for being careless.  He said that I would charge into a whole fist of trollocs without giving it a thought."  He chuckled then flashed a smile at Selene.  "Well he's right, I never put much thought into anything until I came here.  I put more faith in a sharp sword than a sharp mind which is probably why he sent me here.  He must have thought that I would die foolishly in battle if he didn't find some way to send me away."  He shrugged then chuckled again "Well he was right I guess."


A part of him still felt that his place was in the Borderlands.  Blame could not be laid at his feet but he still felt guilty about being safe in Tar Valon when so many were struggling for life along the blightborder.  He was committed to the Tower now, leaving to rejoin the struggle in the Borderlands would only shame his family.  It did not make it any easier to deal with.  He still felt the pull, felt some sort of obligation to his family and their people.  Nobility was a responsibility not a luxury. 


Perivar felt relieved when Selene steered the conversation in a different direction as if she detected his discomfort.  She truly was a remarkable woman.  Smart, kind, intuitive, and very easy to get along with.  The list could go on for days.  Selene was going to make an exceptional Aes Sedai one day.  Something about her made him think that she was probably close to being raised.  She certainly would have absolutely no trouble finding a Warder.  He told her what he thought of her which resulted in blushes interspersed with occasional smiles.


"While I still have your attention let me talk to you about the quarterstaff.  Much of a quarterstaff's quality comes from how it was prepared.  When a smith is crafting a quarterstaff he carefully selects the sapling making sure to avoid those that have large knots, decaying branches, or cracks.  Those are all signs of weakness.  Once he has selected the right piece he cuts it to the desired length leaving the bark intact then places one end in a barrel of teak oil.  Next he pours teak oil over the exposed end, as much as it will absorb.  He wraps the ends to keep as much of the oil inside the sapling."  He paused to make sure she was following along.  True to form she seemed to be absorbing it all, she could probably recite it word for word.


"Finally he shaves the staff of its bark shaping it to the desired thickness.  Occasionally you will have to treat the staff with teak oil to make sure that it does not become brittle and crack.  That is it, there is not much to it.  Next time we meet we can work on your conditioning then you can learn how to handle them."  

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