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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Dance Little Man... and Woman (Attn Eqwina, Lone)


Sangreal
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He didnt really care who the two trainees were that were caught drinking on training day. Who didnt matter for what he needed them for. They had already seen the Mistress and no doubt expected a harsh punishment. However Sandre needed someone for a very special task. Two someones actually. He wasnt sure what Thera thought about his plan. He always stepped lightly around the woman. He was convinced she didnt really like him since he soaked up knowledge like a sponge he was usually able to tell more things about people than most people were comfortable with.

 

He knew instantly who the woman was. His brother Dante had been hung up on Rasheta Sedai since he had first met her. In all that time only one other woman had ever drawn Dante's attention off of Rasheta and there she was outside of Thera's office. Sandre wasnt sure he should be pleased with that or not. She was a trainee and Dante already a Tower Guard by the time they had met, it didnt stop Sandre from wishing Dante had waited a little while longer, maybe then he wouldnt be so tormented over a unreturned love.

 

He took on his no nonsense exterior and stood before them both. The boy he did not know at all. That didnt matter though as long as he did what was told.

 

"Im Sandre Kaldun." He wondered if the woman would recognize his last name as being the same as Dantes. They were finally starting to look like brothers. "Im not sure how you caught the Mistress on such a bad day but that doesnt matter." Likely Thera had only acted to have been having a bad day. He couldnt tell them that though. "What does matter is that drinking on the job is a ongoing problem in the Tower Guards and while they get the benefit of being caned and having pay docked we do not want to make another generation of Guards with the same problem so your very lucky you were not escorted to the edge of the yard and told to leave."

 

He took a minute to let his words sink in. Likely that wouldnt have happened either unless their performance in the yard had already been below standards and they had been in trouble a few times before. However he didnt doubt the trouble part.

 

"On your feet both of you." As they rose he led them out to the cart of items he needed to train them. He planned to take them to the river bank. He didnt have to but it would be easier to train them at the falls. "You both have fifteen minutes to pack your gear. Do as your told and you will be allowed to come back to your rooms and unpack it." both set off at a run and Sandre smiled in amusement at their backs. Even he wasnt really this bad. However he had to get his point across before he lightened up on them. When they came back with their badly put together packs he climbed on the cart and looked down at them both. "Keep up with the cart."

 

Sure there was plenty of room in the cart for them and their packs, however had Thera seen him letting them ride likely she wouldnt think he was being hard enough on them. When they finally got outside of the city and made it river bank he looked down and asked them both. He had an amused smile on his face.

 

"So... can either of you dance?"

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Adela’s eyes were on her hands, refusing to look up for fear that Lone would see her cry. Thera’s harsh worse still rung in her ears, even the memory making Del shiver anew. She’d been harsher than she ever had before, even when she and Adamin had been caught in a rather vicious prank. This anger, the anger that had turned the woman’s brown eyes to red, was unmatched and untried. Sitting very quietly, without moving Adela considered her chances if she ran away.

 

The idea of venturing off into the world without Adamin turned her stomach to ice, but to avoid the disappointment in Thera’s eyes she’d almost consider it. After all was revenge really worth all of this? Someone else could surely teach her fighting, it needn’t be the Warders.

 

Several times in the last hour Lone had tried to get Adela to speak, but she only shook her head and focused on her hands. What was to come was surely going to be vile, and her sour stomach didn’t make her feel like speaking. A voice broke through her silent reverie, and Del looked up into a face hard and serious, but vaguely familiar. She rose mechanically and awaited her next command. There was no shock in her eyes as she ran off to pack her things…. Things? What things? The Tower Guard gave no list and she guessed as best she could. Adela packed extra clothes and supplies for hunting and food. Not knowing how long she’d be gone she also took her share of the money that she and Admin possessed. There was no time to leave him a note, but she took out of her pocket a tiny enamel pin. It had been their mothers; laying it on his pillow she hoped he would remember what it meant.

 

She and Lone arrived back at the cart nearly in step with each other. Another time it would have made her smile, but today she felt as if she were walking towards her death. Who had known drinking would lead to all of this??

 

Clamoring in to the cart Adela held on and kept her eyes straight ahead. Still too embarrassed to look at her partner in crime. Dance? Her eyes popped in shock and it took her a moment to remember that a question usually required an answer.

 

“There are many good dancers in my family Tower Guard, but I have never tried.” What punishment in the world would involve a dance? Unless he meant them to fight Aiel.

 

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Lone was genuinely surprised the amount of anger Thera held toward their midday drinking. He had heard of trainees & Tower Guards doing worse things and getting off lighter than they had. He rolled with the emotional punches rather well. His greatest fear at the moment was what Tower Guard Kaldun had in mind for their punishment.

 

He had given them fifteen minute4s to gather what ever they thought they might need and Lone had no intention of wasting a second of it. The first things he put on were his short swords, one hilt poking over each shoulder & his full throwing dirk quivers to each thigh. He wasn't what was planned but wasn't about to be surprised unarmed.

 

He quickly filled his pack with extra clothes & tools for life outdoors. His pack was not as organized as he would have liked, but he was in a rush. Lone made back to the cart at nearly the same time as Adela. They all piled into the cart & headed out. Not until they had reached the outskirts of the city did Kaldun speak. "So... can either of you dance?"

 

That was the last question Lone could have imagined escaping the Tower Guard's mouth at this time. He wasn't quite sure what to say. He heard Adela respond, Then felt the eyes of Kaldun on him. That's when Lone said, "I was taught by my mother the court dances of Kandor, but some of my teachers said some of the greatest warriors were among the most amazing dancers."

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Sandre smiled. They would at least have an idea of what was required then. "Of course they were." he answered Lone. "Where do you think the awkward stances of dancing came from?" The three set up camp and retrieved wood. He had brought spears for fishing though he wasnt sure how they would fare with them. Just the same they would have a chance to try since fish was healthy when you had to work muscles. He had a few hours of day light left so he thought to get started early. He needed all the time he could.

 

He settled into a stance in front of them. A bold legged slight squat that looked like you would be riding a horse. "This stance will build leg muscle. If you practice this your legs will strengthen. You will hold this stance an hour before break fast and an hour before you go to bed. Your legs will hurt but thankfully legs get used to pain from exercise faster than any other muscle. Now which hand is your primary?"

 

When both had answered he tied their main hands to their belt with a silk scarf. "When not practicing you shall do everything with your off hand. You will need to be proficient with it to get the best effect from this training." (and not kill each other.) he thought.

 

He threw them both a spear though the results were rather less than perfect having to catch with their off hand. "Now get us some fish while I set up the rope." He stripped to his small clothes and drove a four foot iron spike into one river bank and tied a rope on to it then waded across and drove another spike on the opposite end. He had muscles to spare, even still he pulled hard on the rope to make sure it was taut.

 

He had noticed reluctance to strip down to their skins so he warned them both. "You may as well get used to showing off a portion of your body, you will be wearing less than small clothes for the dance and will likely be surrounded by a hundred or more people, including Tower Guards and possibly Aes Sedai. Should you fail to do the dance correctly it will be a hundred or more angry people."

 

(Let them sweat that out for awhile.) he thought

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To Adela the punishment went from bad to worse, when she realized that Sandre had truly meant dancing, and that he meant her to do it with Lone. Facing black eyed Aiel would be much preferable.

 

She followed each order she was give mechanically, and without question, but even she could not be calm about being half naked in front of two men. Her eyes flickered to her friend and her face flushed, remembering the first time they’d met. Her stomach fluttered and she realized that she was still staring at him with the spear in her hand. Wait?! Less than smallclothes! Hundreds of people?!?

 

Suddenly it wasn’t fear that seethed in her belly, it was rage. How dare this Tower Guard presume on her in such a way? Hefting the spear awkwardly she wondered how accurate she could managed to be with left hand. By the look in Lone’s eye he was having the same thought, though when he turned to look at her she thought she detected a hint of pain. Could it be that he was enraged..for her? If he was presuming towards her as well….

 

Well a sigh Adela stripped down to her shift and picked back on the spear in her left hand. All men could burn and go to the Pit of Doom! Except her Ada of course, he would be allowed to live. It seemed as if most of her troubles had began with the man standing next to her, and yet she couldn’t help but stare at the tattoo’s that covered his body. Watching him walked towards the river she realized it was more than his tattoo’s she enjoyed. In fact even Sandre had caught her eye.  Flushed to her hair she quickly hurried after him and tried to concentrate on fish.

 

Oh Light! Why did she have to pick now to start noticing men?!

 

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Lone had done some spearfishing in his short time among the seafolk, but this was entirely different. Instead of being on a boat, he was in the water and instead of the sea, it was a small river. It being a river should make it easier for spotting fish, but he was used to the rock of the boat when doing this. On the same token, he wasn't too afraid of being nearly naked as most because of the seafolk. What made redden was being that way in front of Adela.

 

The closest he had come to this was his first night in the yard & that was on accident. One thing did surprise him a little. He felt angered by the fact that Adela was going to be forced to wear next to nothing while surrounded by hundreds of people. While he disrobed (with plenty difficulty being one handed & all), Lone wondered how he would manage with is left hand. He was well versed at using either hand as his primary, but he had been born right handed.

 

Pulling his spear from the ground, Lone waded to about a quarter of the way into the river and assumed the postion Tower Guard Kaldun had showed them. He caught sight of Adela in the corner of his eye. His jaw nearly dropped at the sight of her nearly naked & alluring figure. He was so distracted, he didn't see the rather large fish before it crashed into his leg causing him to become completely submerged in the cold water.

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Now that they were thoroughly pliable and upset Sandre was able to move on. They would get over it. Its not like they didnt see each other naked in the bath house after all... unless they bathed in the river like he did through training.

 

To be fair he too used his left hand while fishing. Even he wasnt great at it, but he didnt need to do what they would. Sure he knew the dance, but the dancers were supposed to be instruments death and beauty in the dance. While Sandre could certainly show a deadly side of himself his body carried too many scars to be considered beautiful to the majority of people. He stopped when he had a few fish on the shore. He didnt want to stop training to catch more so he was sure to have extra cooking while they practiced.

 

As they went back to the shore he instructed them further. "I dont want you to get the wrong idea about this. What you are going to do will help many people." He hoped that them thinking they would be near nude and somehow helping people would confuse them enough to just wait and see what he had to teach. "When you are done with this you will have built three new skills up. Balance, Grace, and your ability to use your off hand... though mostly balance and your off hand which will server for the rest of your life. Now... lets untie your hands. You will find training scimitars in the camp. Grab one for each hand. The scimitars will assist in your balance and if you do not control their weight correctly you will likely fall. I have made a tight rope across the river. Go ahead and practice getting across it using the scimitars for balance while I prepare dinner. If you have any questions ask."

 

He hoped that the promise of building some useful skills in this would make them happy, though he wasnt too sure about that from the scowls they carried.

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Adela’s sweet face that had made so many men stare was twisted into a grim frown. It stole the light that was normally in her dark midnight eyes, though did very little to mar her beauty.  Easing herself into the water all thoughts of boys, dancing, and nudity flew from her mind and all of her concentration went to not falling flat on her face. Fishing was not her strong suit and using her left hand pushed her to her limits.

 

Grudgingly and grumpily she admitted that even Lone was showing more grace that she was. Though after several minutes of trial and error she managed to pull in three large sized fish. Shivering and annoyed she climbed out onto the banks and awaited their next instructions. This truly was a strange form of torture, with the man jumping from one activity to the next, filling her head with vague promises that seemed almost threats.

 

It would be good to become more accustomed to her off hand, and balance was welcome in a warrior, but she still couldn’t see what that had to do with being nude.

 

Her wrist was slightly chaffed, but that slight pain was ignored for the shock at being told to walk on a rope. It was not far off the ground, but the fall would not be pleasant, and she knew she would fall. Glaring death at both men she picked up the weapons and stalked over to the rope. Few women could stalk like Adela when she was in a foul mood, and by the way her bare feet hit the dirt the earth should have shook and the sky fallen down on their heads. Someone was going to pay for this!!!!

 

Her mind tried to recall what she’d been taught about balance. Focus and a focus point? Looking across the river she found a small knot in the truck of the tree and locked her eyes on it. Intent on not taking yet another dip. It was only a few steps across and when she stumbled onto the other side she nearly ran into the knot in the oak. Shaking off a slight dizziness she turned to attempt the walk back and her eyes locked with Lone’s. Her cheeks heated and she wanted to turn away but she couldn’t. There was no way to go but towards him, unless she intended to run away. Which she could hardly do in only a short shift.

 

Keeping her eyes on his she took two steps out on to the rope and she began to waver. One hand dropped her side as she wind milled trying to regain her footing. The rope had already started to sway and she knew it was going to be too late. One last look into Lone’s eyes…..he winked and Del landed in the river with a huge splash.Fighting the mild current he head emerged only a few feet from where she'd gone in. Lone's arms were already extending down into the water to help her up as she latched on to the practice lathes. Who knew was Ssandre would make her due if she lost those. Perhaps dance completely unclothed? The light blasted fool!!

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

It was rather amusing to watch them attempt the rope for awhile before he called them back in for dinner. It was hardly a punishment though and not nearly as bad as they would have got. The real punishment was mental and they were doing it to themselves.

 

***

 

The next few days were spent working on balance. It wasnt important that they be able to completely navigate the rope but both were doing better than expected. When he felt that what they had done was sufficient he started them on the steps. The quick twists and turns no doubt made no sense to them and stepping into each others space while doing so caused more than a few trips and falls. When the complicated steps were done right the first time he figured by now they both knew this was not an erotic dance. So he gave them the dulled scimitars.

 

"The dance is not an erotic dance if that is what you thought. It is an old Blade Dance. We have some company today so I can show you what you will be learning."

 

The Shienaran woman that approached was the only Shienaran woman he could find on the yards. Women in Shienar did not learn the sword and this dance would be useless in combat anyways. However the dance was from a long gone country in the Borderlands where it was not forbidden. In honor of them a few who shared blood with those from the lost country still learned it.

 

He quickly taught Lone and Adela the rythm on the drums. He changed into the loose breeches that ended at the knee and his assistant wore the garb that Adela would. The silk veil, the length of silk pulled across the bosom and tied in the back and the skirt that hung to the ankles but was slit all the way up the sides to the hips.

 

With the percussion set the two began a dance. Clash of blades mixed with the percussion to form a music of its own. Bodies twined, one stepping where the other had just stepped. The Light reflecting from the highly polished dual scimitars each were using created patterns of light that looked like blossoms.

 

When it finished with both pressed against each other, almost kissing and blades crossed behind each other the dance ended. He could tell right away it was not what they expected and he hoped they would be eager to learn something so complicated and beautiful.

 

"If you are worried about the costumes Adela dont be. The fires you will be dancing around burn an herb that forces one to use visual stimuli to confront ones inner demons. The paint that goes with the costumes contains a chemical to give one courage and dull the physical senses. However the eyes see beauty more vividly among friends and those who already look attractive. To them...you will be a goddess as to our female participants at this event will see Lone as a god. When the effects of the paint and the fires wear out, they will remember the god and goddess and likely never make the connection of who really played those parts."

 

He smiled. "You see this is no ordinary punishment or ordinary dance. Its made so people can overcome their pasts."

 

OOC picture the tango mixed with the ancient egypt knife fight from The Mummy 2

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After helping Adela out of the water, it was Lone's turn to cross.He picked up a pair of scimitars, walked over to the rope, & stepped up on to the securing log. Taking a deep breath, Lone did a quick focusing exercise, then took his first steps out. He managed pretty well due to the fact there was little to distract him going this way, but coming back was different.

 

He had known that when was to come back this way, seeing Adela dressed the way she was going to be distracting as she had been during fishing, but only became amplified by the fact that she was now wet from head to toe. On his way back, he made it about as far as her before e started to tilt to his right. Right before he went down, he looked at Adela & she winked.

 

***

 

As the days passed, Adela & Lone eventually were able to ignore each other enough that they were able to cross back & forth multiple times in one attempt. Lone personally felt very proud of his improvement. Adela seemed to be smiling more often than not, there certainly was less scowling. Lone had theorized that all these days of nearly nude fishing & tightrope walking had loosed up their taboos & increased their chances of surviving training in the Yard.

 

Kaldun must have felt they had done enough of the exercises, as he began to teach them the steps  of the dance they were to perform in the near future. It was a very close proximity dance with Lone & Adela, almost constantly at first, falling only a few steps in.

 

"The dance is not an erotic dance if that is what you thought. It is an old Blade Dance. We have some company today so I can show you what you will be learning." A Shienaran woman wearing only silk veil across her chest & a skirt split from hem to hip on each side walked up & proceeded to dance the Blade Dance with Tower Guard Kaldun. When they were finished. Lone could finally let his breath. He shook his hands to rid them of the numbness from drumming.

 

"If you are worried about the costumes Adela dont be. The fires you will be dancing around burn an herb that forces one to use visual stimuli to confront ones inner demons. The paint that goes with the costumes contains a chemical to give one courage and dull the physical senses. However the eyes see beauty more vividly among friends and those who already look attractive. To them...you will be a goddess as to our female participants at this event will see Lone as a god. When the effects of the paint and the fires wear out, they will remember the god and goddess and likely never make the connection of who really played those parts. You see this is no ordinary punishment or ordinary dance. Its made so people can overcome their pasts."

 

Lone liked the idea of being thought of as a god but he realized the intent of the dance & would no longer disrespect it with thoughts of such things.

 

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It was a torture, a torture of her own making. Had she only kept her mouth closed that first day in the yards she would not be in this mess. Slowly though, as the practice wore on she began to focus more on the movements of her feet and less on the beating rhythm of her heart. She was no less attracted to Lone than she had been before, but somehow, at least for now, she was able to put that aside.

 

His slow smiles and winks now seemed encouraging and no longer set her face on fire. Then again you could only spend so much time half naked around someone before it became commonplace. But it was the realization of what this dance would mean that put paid to the last of her fears. She still did not believe that she would not be known, but the idea of releasing her past was more important than bared flesh.

 

Watching the blades meet her eyes shone. Her experience with weapons was minimal as of yet, but while her body flowed in the dance she felt like a master. At first each step of hers was met by Lone’s and they had to begin again. As she stepped forward he would flow back, moving almost as one and after a time they could make it several steps before having to begin again. It was complex and yet so fluid it felt effortless when completed correctly.

 

“How long before we are far enough to use the blades?” She tried not to make her voice too eager, lest he start thinking this no longer punishment enough.In truth she still felt self concious about her feels for Lone, and the idea of dancing in public, but it was feeling more like growth than torture now.

 

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