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First Steps ~ Cairma ~


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Her eyes opened slowly in the darkness of the night - but she knew the sun was coming soon. Nearly all of her mornings brought an early rising so she could wander the streets to find food and a job to do. And to wake up before the old hag did for the woman would've beaten her awake if Coraman felt like being lazy. Although she knew that she was safe here - she still rose out of bed from force of habit. She could see the silhouettes of the boys sleeping in the other three beds. Boys. It was a surprise that she'd be placed in a room where she'd be the only girl but she just shrugged it off.


She jumped off the bed and quickly donned her training clothes - it was not false dawn yet but she was able to see her way around the room. Another force of habit acquired from her years on the street. A flashback came where she was caught by a few other boys that were trying to rob the same place that she was. But thankfully, she saw them before they saw her - and she escaped through a small window that none of them could fit through. She shuddered at the possibilities of what would've happened if she had not seen them first.


With a quick yet silent step, she headed towards the tree. But Cairma wasn't there yet. She let out a sigh and looked up at the sky; the stars were hidden behind the cloak of clouds above so she had no way to tell if false dawn was coming or not. It was still relatively dark and there were faint sounds of someone off the distance - training perhaps. She walked up to the tree and sat down at the base - if only she knew how to climb Cairma would've found her up at the highest height of this tree.


Her thoughts dwelled inward towards Seiaman - she wondered what had occured to make the woman to decide that she was needed in Ebou Dar. From what she knew, her family drifted apart after the mother's death with the father running the Inn with hired help. Perhaps the father is ill? She frowned, that was unlikely - the woman would've said as much. And there was that shadowy relationship with the short Aes Sedai. Again, history surrounding these two were vague - all she knew was that they were connected at some point; yet Seiaman was blindly in love while Sirayn merely seemed unfussed about the entire situation. For a smart woman, she didn't understand why her foster-mother was tripping over her feet for a woman who didn't seem to notice she was. Not only that - her foster-mother kept strange company. From her few eavesdropping sessions, they spoke cryptically about a place. Or a thing? The concept seemed too big for her to grasp her young mind around but something did not sit right with that. And there was a casual mention of herbs that Coraman overheard Seiaman asking her acquaintance.


A shadowy figure appeared before her and Coraman snapped out of her thoughts to watch it. She realized that the clouds were getting lighter - false dawn was here. It approached closer until she could see the features of Cairma. Rising quickly, she waited to see what would occur next.

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Guest Arie Ronshor

Ooc: sorry for the late responce. My net is infrequent, and sometimes too weak for me to actually post, and only view threads. This is my top priorety (since i was on LoA so long) soo... *crosses her fingers* Since you already have a "2" ws, I'm going to forego the showing me what you do know, and go straight for the disciplining and training philosophies. I'm going to write this mostly by hand (to challenge myself, instead of copy and pasting someone else's post) so i got something wrong, let me know, cause you probably know better than I do. (This does not count that i was confused reading other peoples posts... *blushes*)


Timeline wise, you will probably see Cairma with pink skin...




24 hours. How could things change so much in 24 hours?


Wait. She did not need anyone to answer that. Cairma knew very well how much could change in a blink of an eye. Betrayal, Hate, a complete change of lifestyle and pink skin.


Bloody trainee's.


Pushing back her blankets, she stretched a little in her shirt and night pants. After learning of having a male roommate, she opted for wearing more than just a shirt to bed. Not that she didn't trust Llugh, she didn't like the idea of anyone seeing her undressed. Not like no one had never seen her wet and in a white shirt.


24 hours. Yeah... Living in the warders Yard of the white tower, you learn very quickly to expect the unexpected.


Dressing quickly, at least up to her neck, although leaving her pinks hands bare, she picked up two lathes that she pulled out of the Armory the night before, both the size and weight of the Katana's Coraman picked as her weapon of choice, and then headed out into the yard. Looking to the tree, Cairma could not help but smile a little. She was already there and waiting. Although she was not late herself, it was clear that the girl had been waiting a while.


"Good 'morrow Coraman. I hope you did take some time to sleep." Cairma smiled and motioned for Coraman to follow her into the Grove after her response. One of her favorite places was the Grove, a place of solitude and tranquility. And it was the perfect place, in Cairma's opinion, to learn more about her new charge without the pressure of the males of the Yard. Although the girl had no idea, the similarity in the two of them could be rather close. But she was not about to disclose to Coraman that she did not trust the Men of the yard any more than she could a man outside the tower.


Moving into the clearing, Cairma sat in the grass with the two lathes in front of her, motioning for the girl to sit across from her. Closing her eyes, she sat there, without saying anything for a moment. Just when she felt Coraman stir, did she start to speak.


"Everything in this world has a essence of life in them. And what a Tower Guard, Master, Warder learns to understand is that each life is precious. It is more noble to walk away from a battle as a loser who stood up for what you believe in than to win for something that contradicts any part of this belief. As a member of the Tower, it is your duty to uphold life and protect the innocent.


"By coming and petitioning as a trainee, you have placed yourself and your loyalty in service to the Tower, the Guard and this Land. Everything you knew before you came here means nothing. Although it is apart of you." She nearly choked on her own words, as her own story was anything but pretty, "It is not you. Who you shape yourself to become is what will define who you are."


"Come, tell me what you feel safe in telling me about yourself. What to you hope to achieve here?"

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ooc: um... pink skin? you lost me there. no worries about the slow posting, I'll keep myself occupied. :)


ic: Coraman followed her mentor silently into what seemed to be a vast park. The entrance was elaborate and inside, her senses were overwhelmed. Flowers had not bloomed yet yet their perfumes coated the air, dew covered the grass as if creatures of the other realms left signs of their existence, the trees seemed to reach for the cloudy sky offering their prayers to the Creator, and streams were as blue as she never seen before. Her eyes roamed the park as she kept Cairma in her peripheral vision; she was awestruck that such a peaceful place would exist so deep within a vast city. No old hags, no thieves, no guards. Surely this was where the Creator came when the White Tower required a visit from such a supreme being.


They came to a clearing and Cora quickly concealed her awe from Cairma. The woman seemed to be trustworthy but the key words for her was seemed to be. Only time will tell me who she really is. Her mentor sat on the floor and motioned for her to do the same, which she obediantly crossed her legs and lowered herself onto the grass. She looked at Cairma and realized that the woman's eyes were now closed. Her brows furrowed, pondering if she had to do the same.


Rather to get in trouble for not doing what should've been obvious, she closed her eyes although she wanted to soak in this vast place some more. Now she knew where it was, her visits would be frequent. I wonder if Seiaman ever came here. That thought pulled her to the line towards her foster-mother. The woman was apparently a new member of some sort of Guild for Innkeepers, Coraman inquired towards a small symbol that was engraved into the corners of the fireplace mantel. In her young life, there was never any mention of such a Guild; she knew of most of them. She wouldn't even elaborate more on it, just left it as that. Perhaps she could take her drawing to the Library, if she was permitted to go. In the dark of the night while all was quiet, Coraman had snuck downstairs and drew a rough sketch of the symbol for future reference. She didn't know why - but she felt as if it would be the right thing to do.


A grass blade tickled her knee and she moved to brush it aside when Cairma started speaking. She opened her eyes and watched her mentor, eyes still closed and listening intently to her words. For some reason, the creed seemed to closely resemble the street urchin's creed in terms of walking away. The innocence of life - well, she knew a street rat's innocence was destroyed beyond repair at her first theft, her first kill, and her first experience of being violated. Coraman quickly buried the thought and returned her attentions to her mentor."It is not you. Who you shape yourself to become is what will define who you are."


A grim determination entered Coraman's mind set. That was exactly what she wanted to do; a new life with new knowledge. She didn't know anyone except Sirayn, Ginae, and Cairma in this place - all new people, new faces. Anything to be away from the streets of Tar Valon. "Come, tell me what you feel safe in telling me about yourself. What do you hope to achieve here?"


Cora hid her frown, she thought she had answered this question but apparently Cairma had seen that there was a deeper answer than what she had given to Ginae. She gave a half-hearted shrug, "Truth be told - I've no idea. I just want a new beginning - Right now, all I aim to achieve is to learn the lessons of the day and grow. By many, I am a youngling, a sapling but yet I know more than what any of you ever expect me to know." She shrugged again, "What do I want to achieve? I don't know yet. All I do know is that this is a new path for me and I am going to do my bloody best."


She cocked her head at an angle, still looking at Cairma. "Since you are my mentor - ask what you want to know. If I am to trust my life in your hands, then I suppose I can trust you with my words." But if she ever heard an echo of her words coming back to her from other mouths, she would request a new mentor - if that was possible. People with loose tongues ranked very low on her list.

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Guest Arie Ronshor

Her face was stone as she did not regester her face to Coraman's responce. She had not hoped for a difference in her answer from before, merely a more evolved one. It seems the girl had very little direction. Refraining from smiling, it sounded a little familiar, but there was something about her that Cairma could not help but fear.


"Your words are safe with me. My word and my Honour." She paused for a moment and then continued the first of many lessons.


"In the yard, you will learn of two philosophies. As a member of the Yard, you will learn to define everyone in two two groups. The ones that Study the "Flame and the Void" and those that study the "Spring". Both are worth philosophies, and of which the only diference is how it effects the mind. You have been sitting here for a few hours, observing with both eyes and ears the world around you. But it is only limited to the untrained. But to the trained..." Carima couldn't help but smile. The world had been so different within the Void when she had first learnt.


"The Spring is a passionate, and creative mental outlook. By embracing the emotions you live life to its fullest. You become passionate and fight with emotional content. Not fears, hate, rage, love, or anger, but rather with the strength we as a race get from the emotions we are born with. Creativity springs from the instincts of survival, energy is derived from both the plus and negative. For the body to be strong the mind must be in tune with the spirit and body, harmony is achieved through a passion for life."


"I, however, study the Flame and the Void. Discipline, strength, and emotionless movements. The body is forged into a weapon through the will of your mind. By shunning emotion and detaching from the world, one becomes powerful through precision of forms, discipline of the body, and absence of intruding thoughts and emotion. The warrior becomes true to the blade and cold to the surrounding environment."


"I can only teach you on. What shall it be?"





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  • 2 weeks later...

ooc: sorry, I'm here. :) writer's block for a lil bit. And sorry this is a bit short. :)


ic: Cairma did not respond to her words nor did she press further into the subject. Coraman had to wonder if her answer was not the one she wanted to hear or if it was the typical answer that trainees gave to their mentors. It was true though - she did not have any expections, it was a hard lesson to be learnt on the street - you didn't wait for fate nor did you expect things to be a certain way. What was the truth today could be a lie tomorrow. Cairma continued on about the philosophies and groups of the Yards - she kept the confused look from her face; waiting until it became more clear exactly what the lesson would be.


Then it dawned on her. These were not behavorial philosophies or code of rules that split the Tower Guard in two. Cairma explained more on the two differences of the philosophies; tricks of the mind that broadened focus and concentration. The Spring did not attract her as much as the Flame did - emotions clouded her thoughts and that, again, was a lesson learnt on the streets. Tasks were accomplished faster and with ease on a clear mind and heart.


Only seconds passed from the moment Cairma asked which philosophy she wanted. "I would like to study the Flame and Void - I am already used to clearing my mind in order to survive on the streets. A child who is hungry and allows that to upset them is less likely to get the cooling loaf of bread on an Inn's windowstill."

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest Arie Ronshor

Cairma wanted to raise an eyebrow to the girls words. She wanted to inquire more into the girl, but it seems that she is opening up on her own, and for now, that was enough to settle Cairma's nerves. Now came the training. She needed a disciplined mind to survive. She needed structure. Something that the Void will give, while laps around the Yard won't.


"The flame and the void it is." Carima made a small, warm smile at the girl. "Not all achieve the Void on their first try. In fact, i have yet to hear of one that did. But patience and persistence will help you achieve it. Now, like before, close your eyes. And listen carefully to my voices. Take three deep breaths.." Together they breathed..


"Deep within the recess of your mind is a single flame. Brilliant, Vibrant. It flickers with emotion, life and the very air you breath. It consumes, conquers and destroys. It builds, warms and lights our very path. The Flame consumes everything to become nothing."


"Around this Flame dances images and emotions. Imagine your tears. Imagine your Pains. Imagine everything that was denied to you, Love, Friendship. Imagine every flicker of hatred, destruction, fear. Fear of those around you that could hurt you. Imagine being hurt for nothing, and allow the fire to consume everything.


"Everything that holds you to this world that ties you down, throw it away and let the fire burn away your doubts. Let is consume the rage with in you. Let it take away your lust for revenge, for hatred and pain for others. Let the Flame consume everything that would destroy life."


"All that is left is good. All the desire for love. Those that have brought you love, home, warmth. Feelings of comfort and desire of that which promises a better life. All that you might hope for, Peace, Family, Love, Friends. These are what we fight for, what we hope to protect. To Serve.


"Let the fire consume this need, sending it into the depths with a prayer. Let the fire consume the warmth and all that is left. Burning within you a passion to protect higher then a need for hatred. We are Ruled by love, and let that be your last thought as the flame rides through you, consuming ever thing in it's path. It licks along your skin like a blanket, consuming ever last emotion within you, until there is nothing.


"Nothing but the sweet darkness of the Void and time itself is still. Sharper are things, clearer like fresh springs and no longer do you feel part of it, but of it. Although apart, so attuned to the world around you that you forget your body, but ride with the winds that carry you farther than the world you once knew."


Once she achieved the Void, Cairma spoke once more, softly in the same in-toned voice. "Open your eyes, and tell me what you know."







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  • 4 weeks later...

ooc: I'm still around and lurking :)


ic: Coraman nodded at her mentor's warning of the first time - nothing ever came as it should be the first time around, that was especially true. Granted, there were lucky situations but Cora knew when it came to the Flame and Void, luck would have nothing to do with it. At Cairma's command, she took three deep breaths as as her mentor spoke, her eyes closed and she let the words fill her consciousness. The thought of Seiaman threatened her concentration but she simply let it pass. The single flame came in her mind in the midst of darkness. She imagined all that Cairma commanded - or at least she tried to. The emotions wouldn't come. So instead, she envisioned meeting an Aes Sedai for the first time and fear appeared. She continued to do so until her consciousness was brimming with the emotions of her heart.


There. Consume. The Flame didn't waver. It didn't do as it was supposed to. Frustration railed within after the first few times - she tried everything, to coax the Flame to take her emotions; to force the emotions in the Flame; and threaten the Flame that she would learn the Spring instead. Nothing happened. Cairma's words were still in the background of her mind and she took in a deep breath. She tried to imagine herself void of emotions when suddenly, the Flame wavered and all of her fears, angers, hatred, memories, needs, wants ... disappeared. The Flame seemed to be much bigger than it originally was. "Love." Coraman didn't really know love. Perhaps it was that warm alien fuzzy feeling when she started to become more comfortable with Seiaman. What did she love? The swell of coming knowledge grew within her heart - she loved this. The training, the knowledge that she's becoming a better person, that she would one day serve and protect the White Tower and its occupants.


The Flame consumed the Love - and all was quiet. Her eyes still closed; she could feel the gentle breeze that brought temporary relief from the scorching sun. She could smell the sweetness of sweat that was lightly coated on her mentor's body. The clash of wooden lathes from far seemed as if it was closer. She opened her eyes slowly and instantly the Flame disappeared. She let out a sigh. "I had it." Her mentor was silent but encouragement was in her eyes. She kept her eyes open and once again imagined everything that swirled in her consciousness. The Flame stood in the center of it all. And very slowly, it grew as each emotion was consumed - a startling Void left in its place. Her breathing was even but she refused to move her head and look at her mentor lest she loses the Flame again.


"Stand up." She grimaced but did as she was told, slowly rising to her feet but as soon as she shifted her focus on the rock beneath her boot, the Flame disappeared once more. Coraman let out a growl of frustration. "How do you keep it there?" And she knew that her mentor would either explain how or give a cryptic answer that she must figure out in her own mind.

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Guest Arie Ronshor

Ooc: didn't even see the post right away. *blah* .. oh well.. ^_^"



Cairma could not help but smile softly, remembering how frustating it was to hold the flame. Only those that trained within the Tower usually got it and had the mental disipline to hold the Void after a few tries. It had taken Cairma weeks to hold it without letting it waver, and even then for a few months after that she would drop it without warning.


"Patience and Dilligance. But you will hear that alot. Now, i'm fairly certain that not everything I said helped you to find the Void, Right?" The girl nodded with a bit of apprehension. "But you did find it. Let's try again, and remember that there is no rush, and you have time to figure it out, as it clearly is within you to do so. You have achieved the void, twice was it? That is more than some in such a short period of time.


"Now, as we are standing, i want you to search for that void, using the strongest feelings within you, accepteding them and consuming them. Nod to me when you feel that you can hold it, and then i want you to hold that void and follow my movements. I will start to show you a few forms unhanded to help you learn how your body moves within the Void. Once you can hold it while able to follow time with me, i'll start to teach you sword forms.






Teaches like Arie.. *ponders*

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  • 1 month later...

Coraman blinked at Cairma's prompt to begin the new exercise. "Using the strongest feelings within you..." She never really gave her emotions more than a passing acknowledgement and dismissal. They were more of a hinderance than a help so it was easy for Cora to not even think of it. But now - she was being told to think of her strongest feelings. She felt as if Cairma had asked a blind person to use the strongest lamp. Letting out a mental sigh, she allowed her mind to trace back over memories to see if a strong feeling emerged from it.


Being told that joining the ranks of the Tower Guard was not going to be easy - a surge of determination rose up from her. But Cora wasn't satisfied that it would be the strongest feeling she could muster. She went back a few more days and the scene of Seiaman trying miserably to romance an Aes Sedai came forth - she felt fear. Fear of becoming like her foster mother - she failed to serve her bondmate and the Creator. Seiaman resigned from the ranks of Tower Guard - she wasn't sure why but Coraman felt that the woman had failed. The emotion surged - greater than the feeling of determination - and Coraman envisioned her new half in her mind. The Flame came about and just like she did before, she thought of being empty, filled with a Void - the fear and determination was consumed by the Flame. It wavered with its new sustenence.


Coraman nodded to Cairma and watched, half of her attentions focused on holding the Flame in place.

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