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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Joining Up OTA


Corlock
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Tandis ran a had through his short cropped dirty blond hair, then lifted his other hand trying to arrange it into some semblance of order through his reflection in a glass tankard. It wasn't easy, the reflection was small, but he didn't have a mirror of his own, and the guest rooms were full, as they always were this close to the Tower. Finally, he gave up on his hair, hoping it was presentable enough. He was old enough now, and his parents had given their reluctant blessing for him to join the Tower Guard. He'd dreamed of this day for years. He had considered bringing the practice sword one of the Tower Guard had given him years ago, but thought he might look foolish carrying it with him. It hurt to leave behind what he considered his most important possession, but then he meant to leave this life behind and become a Warder or at least a member of the Tower Guard.

 

His blue eyes took one last look around the common room of his parents's inn, giving a friendly nod and smile to the guest within it. They gave their respects back. One of the Tower Guard got up and sauntered over to him, moving in that way of a trained warrior. Somehow managing to look relaxed yet dangerous all at once, Tandis wanted to be able to walk like that. Perhaps one day he would. The Guard stood in front of him and looked him over. In response Tandis stood up straighter, doing his best to stand at attention.

 

The Guard nodded in approval, and then clapped the boy on the shoulder, "I've heard today's the big day. Your mother can't stop talking about it. She's sad to see you go, but I'd say she's proud of you. And what native of Tar Valon, wouldn't be proud to have a son in the Guard, hmm? Your father hasn't said a word about it, but there's a bit of a spring in his step, and he's walking a little taller today than usual. He's proud of you too." The Guard would smile and shrug, "Well, I know they aren't going to say it, but I thought you ought to know it. I'd want my boy to know I was proud of him, even if I couldn't bring myself to say it. Good luck to you Tandis. I think you'll go far, just keep at it. It won't be easy."

 

Tandis would nod in response to the Guard's words, "Thank you." He'd look out the window and judge the time from the position of the sun, or rather the direction and quality of the shadows in the street. It was early yet, but the recruiting station ought to be open by now. Tandis took a deep breath, straightened his shirt and coat, and let out a sight, taking his final look around the inn. He'd make his way into the kitchen to find his mother and father. His mother was busy kneading dough, her arms covered up to her elbows in flower. He cleared his throat and spoke, "Well, mom, I'm going to be heading off now."

 

His mother looked up from her work, she was an attractive woman, if a little heavy set, she had tears in her clear blue eyes as she looked at her youngest son. She swallowed some air, then said in a broken voice, "I'll miss you, Tandis. Don't forget to visit often as you can. You'll still be in the city, so you'll have no excuse, you hear me?" She wiped the flour off her arms on her apron and shuffled over to him, wrapping him in a heartfelt hug.

 

He returned that hug and gave her a kiss on the cheek. He whispered into her ear, "I promise."

 

His mother would wipe the tears from her eyes and then step back, holding him at arms length and looking him over. Licking her thumb, she'd wipe an imaginary bit of dirt from his face, then nod in a satisfied mannner. "You look presentable now. Well, be off with you then, shoo! I've work to be doing."

 

Tandis would just smile at his mother and nodded. He stepped out into the back where the stable was. There his older brothers and father were cleaning the stalls. He stood for a moment watching them, his father was far from thin and his two brothers who had plans to go into the innkeeping business themselves were well on their way to the same state as well. Tandis would just chuckle, they always did make fun of him for his scrawny frame, saying it was good he planned to join the Tower Guard as no one could ever trust a skinny inn keeper. He cleared his throat and walked up to his father, "Well, da, I'm going to be heading off now."

 

His father turned and leaned on his shovel looking Tandis over. Tandis was dressed in his feast day best, the innkeeper simply nodded in approval at the boy's appearance then turned back to his work, "Well, be off with you then boy. And good riddance, I've enough mouths to feed as it is." Tandis's father then shot a look at his two older brothers, "And if they don't get back to work, they might just find themselves out on their ears."

 

The older boys, quickly wiped the grins off their faces and got back to work. Tandis would stiffle a laugh and turn on his heel and make his way out of the stable, walking to the street down the side path of the inn that led to the stables. He took a final look at the sign that hung above the door, it had a picture of the Tower on it, with emphasis on the large gate leading into the Tower. Finally, after years of waiting Tandis said goodbye to the Tower's Keep.

 

He made his way through the streets of Tar Valon, taking the quickest path to the Tower proper. His blue eyed gaze ignoring the marvels of oiger architecture he passed. It was easy to ignore wonders if you'd grown up seeing them every day as Tandis had. Sure as a child he had been overawed by the beauty of the city, and every now and again it still struck him, but for the most part he could ignore it as it was simply a fact of life within Tar Valon that the buildings could take one's breath away.

 

Finally he came to the main gate to the Tower. He'd never been inside before, but he knew how to get to the Warder's Yard, he'd asked the Guards and Warders that frequented the Tower's Keep plenty of times over the years how to get there. He had the path memorized in fact. He stepped through the gate, and even the breath of a native Tar Valoner was taken away as he looked upon the White Tower up close. It truly was a marvel. His head craned up to see the top. He shook himself out of his daze, embarassed to be acting like a country bumpkin.

 

He quickly took a survey of his surroundings orienting himself within the courtyard and pulling up the directions he had memorized. He then began to quickly make his way to the Warder's Yard to sign up for the Tower Guard. There was an eager spring in his step as he made his way through the Tower's grounds. He was finally achieving the first step in his dream to become a Warder.

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Tension on the brink of explosion at any given moment filled the hall, one of the largest sections seating a great portion of the novices and accepted. Even though all the spaces were occupied by chairs, it was a place not unlike a war zone. There was a set of stairs leading up to the podium.

 

The students' chattering ceased suddenly. A person appeared on the stage. Jet black hair, green jacket which matched her eyes, and white trousers - Lillian Tremina, aes sedai of the white ajah. As usual, she wore a confident and sly smile that caused the students to once again raise their voices.

 

"Everyone . . ." Lillian's amplified voice drowned out the chatter. "There isn't time enough left to continue this debate, so we'll simply pick up where we left off today. Thank you for your hard work, you've done well."

 

The topic that had attracted everyone's attention was the nature of saidar and saidin. A time-honored debate of worthy proportions, thought Lillian. Still as provocative as ever.

 

"Those who wish to, please feel free to stay as long as you like if you do not have lessons or other business to attend. Debate club dismissed."

 

Silence descended upon the hall. Then, slowly novices and accepted talked in low voices. Small chatter, not a huge commotion like before. Students who had challenged one another so ardently with speeches before began to talk among themselves. However, the noise failed to capture Lillian's attention. The Grays would handle it if anything gets out of control, like wailing, moaning or crying. They were a debate panel, not a childcare service worker.

 

The white felt glad however that the atmosphere was so lively, even if some words were filled with murderous intent. It would probably seem like childplay to the real sitters for the hall though. Not that Lillian would know. She was young yet, for a sister, and had no intention of trapping herself inside forever.

 

For example, it was a lovely day and she was going to use this time to exercise her body.

 

Which reminded her, a servant had told her they were going to hold her katana temporarily while repairing the notches from before. It was time to go gather her weapon again.

 

Happy at the prospect of being reunited with the katana, Lillian glided. The wind blowing past the wall made her dark hair dance. She turned her head to keep the hair smooth and quietly moved over to the front gate's side where a groundskeeper lived. The empty weapon harness hung on her waist.

 

Not for long.

 

Five minutes later saw her gliding directly into the path of a lean boy. He seemed in an excited state to get to wherever he was going.

 

Lillian looked at him with a curious “what’re you up to” expression.

 

Only her face remained ageless.

 

"My apologies, young man" she said smilingly. Then, prying "if you are not busy, what is your business in the yard? Are you ok?"

 

Lillian Tremina

Aes Sedai of the White Tower

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Tandis was making his way to the Yard, too engrossed by the sights and sounds of the Tower to truly watch where he was going. Then he bumped into someone, or they bumped into him he wasn't quite sure. "My apologies, young man," she said smilingly. Then, prying, "if you are not busy, what is your business in the yard? Are you ok?"

 

Tandis took a step back from the woman and looked her over. Recognizing her ageless face, as almost any native of Tar Valon would, Tandis gave a slight bow, and knuckled his forehead. There was a faint red flush to his cheeks as he spoke, "No, please Aes Sedai, my apologies. I should have been more aware. I am just fine, thank you Aes Sedai. I am on my way to join the Tower Guard, Aes Sedai. I wish to become a Warder. I was just looking for the recruitment area. Again, my apologies, Aes Sedai." He straightened slightly, after speaking, trying to stand straight and tall, straining for his full height of five and a half feet.

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There had been some that had mistaken her for being a trainee before but definitely not this guy by his reaction, she assessed. If Lillian were the giggling type she would have giggled at that. Instead she laughed and felt a need to make the boy more comfortable. For a moment, she considered bringing him to the white inn and making him play a game of stones. But it would be presumptuous . . . Maybe later. She would help him, after all she had bumped into him.

 

"Great, it seems we're headed the same place."

 

Not totally a lie if same place was loosely defined as the entire warder yard.

 

She was actually heading toward the armoury but then again so should he be after enrolling. Might as well stick around.

 

Lillian leapt through gaps in the path. What an exciting scenery to one so exuberant and young, she thought making sure to go at a brisk but manageable pace. Finally they reached Thera's office.

 

"When you speak with Thera, make sure you tell her your name, age and where you are from. And don't look so stiff, she's the mistress of trainees so she's here to help you."

 

One might mistaken the andoran warder being in charge of the warder yard recruits because she was a woman. Just like how the asha'man teaching Lillian basic saidin had talked about women being gentle and surrendering, feeding into what Lillian thought were gendered stereotypes even if it was true. But, also true, was the fact that Thera Trakelyn was tougher than nails, and bonded to a Green.

 

She knocked on the door.

 

"Who is it?"

 

"Lillian." She walked in, gesturing "Thera, a new recruit."

 

They waited for him to introduce himself.

Lillian Tremina

Aes sedai of the white tower

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Tandis watched the Aes Sedai who was leading him to the recruitment office leaping through the gaps in the path. He tried to keep a straight face and not raise an eyebrow at her antics. There had been a few Aes Sedai visitors to the Tower's Keep over the years, and this Aes Sedai was certainly not acting like any Aes Sedai he had ever seen in the Keep or the streets of Tar Valon. It was rather strange in fact.

 

But Tandis had little time to worry about her. Once more he would straighten his coat, and attempt to comb his hair into a presentable fashion with his hands.

 

"When you speak with Thera, make sure you tell her your name, age and where you are from. And don't look so stiff, she's the mistress of trainees so she's here to help you."

 

Tandis would nod in response to the Aes Sedai's instructions as she knocked on the door.

 

"Who is it?" Came from behind the door.

 

The Aes Sedai with him answered in turn, "Lillian." She walked in, gesturing to Tandis, "Thera, a new recruit."

 

Tandis would walk in after Lillian Sedai, still keeping himself straight and tall as he did so, straightening his coat slightly. He would salute Thera, fist to chest, "I am Tandis Daitan. I am sixteen years old, and I was born and raised in Tar Valon. I wish to join the Tower Guard and perhaps one day be worthy of being a Warder."

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When a sister lived the majority of fifty years in the tower until fairly recently, she would naturally come into contact with many people who made their homes here. Lillian had gotten to know Thera Gaidar well on a campaign to the borderlands in which Thera was protecting Serena and a few other sisters. It had not ended positively, with the interference of an unnamed dreadlord, but at least the months they spent travelling exposed the white to much useful knowledge, particularly concerning the other members of her group. Most of all, Lillian became familiar with whenever Thera became distracted, as she so often was whenever she was away from her bondmate for too long, even if Jaydena Sedai had ordered Thera to go without her. Or maybe Thera was thinking about her child, wherever it is stashed when Thera worked?

 

Of course, out of an interest she didn't even know why, Lillian had already decided she would wait for whoever assigned to Tandis to arrive.

 

Thanking Thera with a carefree smile she moved Tandis and herself to wait for Thera's assistant outside the office. Just in case. The fresh air was nice upon her face.

 

Her smile widened when Visar arrived.

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Visar Falmaien strode up to Thera's office to have a quick word with her concerning forming a Council of Five for later that month. Once he did, he was asked to show the new recruit around. He sighed slightly, wondering how many times he had done this before, but didn't complain. It was something to do, after all, and he enjoyed the training process. He especially enjoyed those trainees with eager eyes, thinking they knew everything about being a warrior already. It was all the more fun to put them in their place and force them to become humble and disciplined. It rarely made him friends with younger recruits, but it was a rewarding process all the same. He wasn't sure about this one yet, however. Perhaps he would know before long what kind of character this trainee was.

 

"Good morning, trainee." he said all the same, extending a friendly enough hand and a smile. "I'm Visar Falmaien, you may address me as Visar, Gaidan."

 

"And good morning, Lillian Sedai. You look quite lovely today on this fine morning," he complemented, trying out Rasheta's suggestion that he flirt with other Aes Sedai as a Green Warder should. He still felt a little odd about that, but was willing to try almost anything to break the mundane habits, where depression could easily find him. He smirked, and tilted his head to the trainee in question.

 

"This a relative of yours? Or were you kind and generous enough to show him to Mistress Thera to sign up?" Aes Sedai didn't usually care much about trainees much more than servants, but Lillian Sedai was more down to earth than others, Visar thought. He did not know her well, but he had met her before on a couple occasions.

 

 

Visar, Warder to Rasheta

Edited by Visar Falmaien
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Although it was technically the mistress of trainees' task to ensure that the recruits were properly placed, sometimes she would find people who were already doing their own stuff to assist with the training process of newcomers. Be it as may, it was a short-term placement that places the trainee into the care of the person until they get settled in and assigned to a more permanent mentor.

 

Visar Gaidan, at the mistress of trainees Thera Gaidin's behest, had found himself in such a situation.

 

Lillian wondered if he was happy to be pulled away from whatever he wanted to see Thera about.

 

Probably not, but he's making the best of it. She thought as he introduced himself to Tandis.

 

"I would call it neither kind nor generous, Gaidan. But it would be far less kind to Tandis here if I were to adopt him as my relative." Lillian laughed, taking in the warder's courteous expression. "After being called to magistrate a few mock trials first thing in the morning, I needed to stretch my legs and it is a fine day for such an endeavour."

 

She did not know a lot about the handsome Tairen other than his bondmate and that he seemed respectable not to mention tactful. That was enough for Lillian to go on asking after the fierce green: "How is Rasheta nowadays?"

 

Listening to his prompt reply, they made their way together to the armoury.

 

"My katana!" Lillian went right to the newly worked blade and restored it to the hilt at her waist. "This feels wonderful."

 

Up until now, Tandis just listened quietly while the other two conversed. But since Lillian got her weapon back, she was ready to go try it out. The katana had saved her before in situations where channelling was inappropriate, so she wanted to work on her skills more.

 

"Well, Visar, I leave this brat in your capable hands. Don't eat him before I get to play a game of stones with him." Lillian said with a straight face as she walked out. It took all her aes sedai restraint to keep in the mirth. She didn't do mean, but she did like to tease.

 

Ooc: Lillian is only WS 7 so she's no match. She knows enough to teach basics and keep up in formations :)

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"Good morning, trainee." The new man said, extending a friendly enough hand and a smile. "I'm Visar Falmaien, you may address me as Visar, Gaidan."

 

Tandis would nod his head in greetings to Visar, and shake the man's hand, "I am Tandis Daitan, Visar Gaidan. It is a pleasure to meet you."

 

Tandis stood silently as Lillian and Visar spoke, taking in their words, but appearing not to be listening. It was a skill one did learn working in an inn. He seemed a bit more relaxed in his stance as he waited for Visar to finish his flirting. Then Lillian spoke of a game of stones with Tandis, he was a bit taken aback by that, but responsed in kind, "I'll look forward to that game, Lillian Sedai. I'm sure it will be most educational, for me." He'd offer the friendly Aes Sedai a smile then. The action seemed to bring his entire face to life, and make him appear more than plain in his features, as he normally looked.

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(ooc: is it gaidin, gaidan, or gaidar? I keep mixing them up.. I think it's gaidin now that I think about it)

 

"I would call it neither kind nor generous, Gaidan. But it would be far less kind to Tandis here if I were to adopt him as my relative." Visar chuckled, glad that Lillian had an understandable sense of humor. With some Aes Sedai, it was very difficult to tell whether they were telling a joke or being completely serious.

 

"After being called to magistrate a few mock trials first thing in the morning, I needed to stretch my legs and it is a fine day for such an endeavour." Visar nodded, thinking for the first time that it was perhaps better to be a warder, where complaining of too much exercise were the least of your concerns. And it was a fine day. He wondered if the new trainee thought so too, and might be adventurous enough, or foolish enough, to spar with him to see where his skills were.

 

"How is Rasheta nowadays?" Visar blinked a brief hesitation, but answered smoothly.

 

"She is well. Busy, though. I have not seen much of her the past few days. Leaves me with more to do in the yards, but I don't mind. An idle hand makes an idle mind, and an idle mind never gets his catch of fish for the day," he said, butchering a quote from some Tairen proverb or other.

 

They went to the armory briefly for Lillian Sedai to pick something up. A new blade, it turned out. Not a bad one, either, though Visar much preferred the protection of an ample crossguard, and the sophistication of a double edged sword which gave him more options. He did not voice his preference aloud, however. He had gotten in trouble arguing with Warders about what kinds of swords were best, and in the end it really didn't matter. Every blade proven in combat had advantages and disadvantages, and no two people fought exactly the same.

 

"Well, Visar, I leave this brat in your capable hands. Don't eat him before I get to play a game of stones with him."

 

"Of course not, I much prefer the taste of older, more seasoned trainees." He joked, though his tone of voice managed to be close to dead serious. "They taste better with more muscle on them, and have been whacked on the head too many times to be much good for a game of stones." He laughed, his light voice ringing through the air, and he gave Lillian Sedai a slight bow.

 

"Trust me, he's in good hands. Good day to you, Lillian Sedai."

 

Visar turned back to the trainee, assuming a more stern, menacing stance.

 

"Now, this is the armory, boy. You will know it well, and soon you will be able to choose your weapons that you will train with here. But for now, I will show you to your bunk in the barracks and let you get situated."

 

They went over to the barracks, a lgray stone building, it was rather low-set, at least compared to the colossal Tower proper, and could house over a thousand trainees and guardsmen stationed at the Tower. Visar remembered his times as a trainee with a mixture of nostalgia and bitterness. Quarters had been ample for him, but some found them to be cramped, and he rememberd that there had been little privacy sharing a room with several others.

 

"You are from Tar Valon? Or farther south? You look to have Andoran features to me." Visar remarked as they walked, curious as to whether this Tandis was a local or from elsewhere. He himself had fled here for asylum from the cruel justice of Tear's High Lords. He was often curious as to why others decided to join the Tower Guard. Was it for the job or pay? Or was there some deeper reason to join such a cause? He listened to Tandis's answer, but gave a neutral grunt after hearing it.

 

Going inside, Visar led Tandis up some stairs to the third floor, and then down a long hallway with rooms on either side.

 

"I believe there is a free bed in here," he gestured towards a door. "Though if you do not like your roomates, requesting a transfer to another room is not difficult. Can I be of any service or would you like to get settled? Your training officially starts first thing tomorrow morning, but that doesn't mean you can get a head start with what's left of today."

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"Now, this is the armory, boy. You will know it well, and soon you will be able to choose your weapons that you will train with here. But for now, I will show you to your bunk in the barracks and let you get situated."

 

Tandis would look over the armory, eyes going wide at the variety of weapons available, especially the various swords. He looked at Lillian's sword with some interest. He'd then follow Visar out of the armory and to the barracks.

 

"You are from Tar Valon? Or farther south? You look to have Andoran features to me." Visar asked of him.

 

Tandis would respond, trying to be as respectful as possible, "I was born and raised in Tar Valon, though it's possible my ancestors came her from Andor, I don't know. My parents run the Tower's Keep, it's an inn near the Tower." He looked over the armory and simply nodded his head. He had been told what to expect by the Guards and Warders at the Keep, and so wasn't surprised. He was perfectly willing to share a room if it meant a chance to be a warder.

 

"I believe there is a free bed in here," Visar gestured towards a door. "Though if you do not like your roomates, requesting a transfer to another room is not difficult. Can I be of any service or would you like to get settled? Your training officially starts first thing tomorrow morning, but that doesn't mean you can get a head start with what's left of today."

 

Tandis would look at the door for a moment, remembering where it was in the barracks, or at least attempting to commit its location to memory. He'd look to Visar then, and state simply, "I'd like to get a head start with what's left of today, if that's alright with you. I haven't had a chance to practice my forms yet today."

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Visar nodded with respect when he heard that Tandis came from Tar Valon. He looked to be a capable enough person, and if he was a local it would be all the more easy for him to adjust to life as a soldier in training.

 

As Visar 'dropped' him off at the barracks, he smiled at the youth's enthusiasm to go practice his forms.

 

"Already have your things taken care of then?" Visar asked, just to be sure. He had known a trainees who had lost his belongings when he first came here, but hopefully everything was being taken care of. "Make sure you have them sent here." Visar advised.

 

"It's good that you're enthusiastic about training though. You will need that in the days to come. Well, Tandis, if you wish to choose real weapons to borrow from the armory, I can be available for that. Or if you'd like me to take a look at how you do your forms, I'd be glad to in a few minutes. Go ahead and just take a practice sword from the racks in the yard, they're there for you to use." (ooc: for a new thread?) Visar waited for Tandis to reply to either offer, and then added, "Hope you like it here. I'll be seeing you in the yards, young man." Visar nodded to him and then headed back downstairs.

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"Already have your things taken care of then?" Visar asked of him.

 

Tandis would take a moment to think of his response. As he did so, Visar continued, "It's good that you're enthusiastic about training though. You will need that in the days to come. Well, Tandis, if you wish to choose real weapons to borrow from the armory, I can be available for that. Or if you'd like me to take a look at how you do your forms, I'd be glad to in a few minutes. Go ahead and just take a practice sword from the racks in the yard, they're there for you to use."

 

"I suppose I should check on my things to make sure they are in order first. Then I'll meet you down in the yard for you to look at my forms. I would appreciate that. The Guards and Warders that frequented the Keep often did that for me, but I know I'm far from perfect in them, and I'd like to continuing ironing out any bad habits I may have. Perhaps after that, you can help me to pick out a weapon, Visar Gaidin." Tandis would nod in thanks to Visar, saluting fist to chest before stepping into his room in the barracks to check on his things.

 

(( OOC: New thread for forms practice sounds good to me. ))

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