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Training Day


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Mia strode across the fields outside of Tar Valon, heading towards a small rise in the ground where a command tent had been erected. The day was bright, with not a cloud in the sky, although that was likely to change over the case of the day’s events. In the field in front of her the Tower Guard was preparing for battle. Banners flew over head and armor sparkled as men and women and horses ran back and forth making sure everything was in place. To someone who was not versed in the arts of war, it would appear to be chaos, but to Mia, the Commander of the Tower Guard, it was a beautiful sight. She watched as her soldiers performed their tasks brilliantly, and she knew that this force was as well trained and deadly as any army in the world.


She walked into the tent, nodding to the Guards who stood outside. Inside, she was greeted with a sight that would cause most other commanders pause. There were men and women standing in armor, which was to be expected in a command tent, but floating amongst the soldiers were women wearing silks with faces that were neither old nor young. Aes Sedai. They stood amongst themselves, ignoring the soldiers that were next to them, even though they were high ranking officers. They glanced up as Mia walked in, but quickly went back to their whispered conversations. Being the leader of their army, Mia was not wary of Aes Sedai like so many out in the world, but their presence here reminded her of their purpose here today.


It had all started with the Seanchan. Their invasion of the West and their use of those damane had changed warfare forever. Using the one power as a weapon, the Seanchan had quickly destroyed the standing armies sent against them, that is, until the one power was used against them as well. It had become clear to Mia that battles would be won and lost not by normal soldiers such as herself, but by those who could channel. She knew that even as brave as her soldiers were, if they were asked to fight the men of the Black Tower by themselves they would surely lose. So Mia had approached the Amyrlin Seat and proposed a training exercise to ensure that when the Guard was called out to fight an army with channelers amongst them. It would be a simple exercise; the Guard would try to march across a “battle field” while Aes Sedai used the one power to stop them. It was not enough to know that the ground may erupt underneath you, a soldier needed to experience it, or the shock could stop them in battle and be their death.


Mia had asked for a mock battle to train the Guard and the Amyrlin had delivered. She had agreed with Mia that maintaining an army trained to deal with the worst the world had to offer was essential to the Tower. But the Amyrlin wished to take it a step further. Everyone would eventually be called upon to fight in Tarmon Gai’don, and so it was her wish that Aes Sedai also stand amongst the soldiers, so that they would be prepared to march and fight with the army and offer their unique support when the time came. It had been more than Mia had hoped for, and so that is how she found herself here in this tent.


“Good morning to you all. I will make this brief so that we may be about our task today. We have all been briefed on the purpose behind this training exercise and our roles, so I will not repeat them here. I just wish to reiterate that what will happen today is as real as any battle, and we must treat it so. This is no mere training exercise, men and women will be hurt today, and while we should not expect any deaths, anything else may certainly happen. Go about your duties diligently, and do your best. We will learn a great deal about what to expect in these types of situations today, and more importantly, about how we as individuals handle such circumstances. Now, get to your stations and prepare for our signal to begin the exercise. Good luck and stay safe. Dismissed.” Mia stood as the men and women filed out of the tent. She wanted a moment alone before they began.


Mounted on her horse, Mia removed the looking glass from her eye. As far as she could tell, everything was in place. The assembled might of the Tower Guard stood on one end of the plain, with a number of sisters standing on a hill opposite them. In front of the hill were two flags, marking the invisible line the Guard needed to cross in order for the exercise to be over. Flashes of color moved among the silver clad Guards, sisters assigned to the army. Horses stamped, impatient to be about. The sisters on the hill stood motionless, but that was to be expected of Aes Sedai. Everything was in place. Nodding to the Aes Sedai to her left, Mia watched as a burst of light exploded over the field, marking the start of the exercise. Putting the looking glass back to her eye, she watched as the first explosions shook the field.

Edited by devon
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It was days like this that Elin did not regret being in the Tower. Most days, she longed to be on the road, traveling about, searching out young women to send to the Tower... and young men to be sent for a different reason. Today, however, was different. Today, she found herself standing amidst a horde of soldiers and warders, as well as a few of her sisters. Across the field were yet more of her sisters... though, for today, those women were her enemies. The rules of engagement for today forbade her from attacking them, which was foolish in her opinion. Yes, the primary purpose of today's battle was to prepare the Tower Guard for battling damane and perhaps asha'man, and eventually Dreadlords in the Last Battle... but at the same time, they had to find it discouraging that their Aes Sedai would only be defending and not returning attacking salvos.


She politely nodded, and made some small talk, with the other sisters on this side of the field. They were mostly Reds, along with sisters from many of the smaller Ajahs. Though, their opposition was primarily made up of Green sisters. Today's battle would play out in a physical representation of many battles in the Hall and the Tower as a whole. It made Elin grin with a bit of grim satisfaction.


Elin looked up and saw the woman who lead the Tower's military forces go riding by. It unnerved Elin, just a bit, to see a woman in such a physical role. To her mind, women could be leaders, but what sense did it make to swing a sword when there were stronger and faster men who could do the same thing. If a woman wants to be a General, a Noble, a Queen, Elin wouldn't bat an eyelash... but seeing women with swords and armor strapped on made her think. They would, of course, fulfill their roles excellently... else they wouldn't be the cream of the Tower Guard. Perhaps Elin needed to reconsider her preconceptions.


The battle line began to form, and Elin took her place behind a knot of soldiers. The men and women on the line were spaced out in small clumps with breaks, to reduce the damage that could be done by an explosion under their feet. That open space gave Elin an idea.


Embracing the source, Elin quickly spun Spirit, Fire, Water, and Air, into several illusions. She tied each one to one of the soldiers' armor. Where that soldier went, an illusory soldier would follow. With just a few weaves, she doubled the number of targets in her area. Her sisters across the field would not be able to tell which soldiers were real and which figments of the Power.


Several of the soldiers jumped and startled when they noticed the illusory soldiers beside them, but then settled quickly. They knew Aes Sedai could do many things.


Elin sighed with a bit of satisfaction. The battle had yet to begin, but she had already begun defending her soldiers. When the flares went up, the soldiers launched into battle. For now, all Elin could do was wait to see what the Aes Sedai opposite her would do.

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To be honest, she was a bit nervous about today's events. When the Amyrlin had indicated strongly that she thought the Reds would be best suited to defending against One Power attacks since they had all that experience with capturing male channelers, she'd agreed. However, most men, however strong, didn't have the years of experience that the Green Ajah and various other Aes Sedai had. This would be interesting indeed.


Zarinen peered around curiously at the assembled men and women, armour shining and weapons at the ready. Reds sometimes made use of Tower Guards if a mission looked to be especially dangerous, but their contact with Warders was limited. Reds had very little interest in men who could not channel. A few of these men and woman seemed to stand out - there was an extra level of danger and alertness to them, it seemed. She wondered idly what Arath would make of today's little caper, then brought her attention back to the matter at hand as she saw Erin Weaving several illusions.


Eyes narrowing, Zarinen pondered the matter, then nodded sharply to herself and started gathering Flows of Air and Water, weaving it together with just a touch of Fire added. Slowly fog started to creep over the assembled army, hiding more and more of them from view. The result wasn't as good as she'd hoped for, Air and Water not being her strongest elements. Much to her own amusement, she felt herself wishing that Arath was there so that they could have linked. Drat the man - he'd been right about the usefulness of that, and she should have thought of linking with some of her Sisters. Making a mental note to investigate the use of circles in battle, she gathered Spirit, ready to sever any flows she saw or felt coming her way. Luckily she was much stronger in Spirit than in any other element.



Zarinen Rafaliva

Red Highest

Wishing for her Asha'man Bonded, much to her own surprise

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Llugh checked and adjusted his sword in the light of the dawning sun. He had been told to treat this as actual combat however he knew it was not. He was of the path of Ren'shai. To him combat was everything. He was one of the living blade of the tower. This exercise would do well to show him the true resiliency of his chosen path. Ren'Shai were trained to be living weapons. Herbalism as well as swordsmanship was learned to keep them going even when injured. True he was a master of the path however the main drive of ren'shai was to find your limits..push beyond them and to redefine ones self.


He took a deep breath and closed his eyes. Letting the breath out slowly he focused his mind on the task at hand. He knew there was no true fighting to be had however he had a defined objective. Make it across the field with minimal loss of resources. In this case the resources being the other members of the tower guard.


He looked around as he rested his hand on the hilt of his sword. It was going to be a long day and there was no sense in wasting energy. Most of the guards he did not recognize. He had been gone for a time and the studies he had put into his path had kept him busy when he wasn't on duty. He looked up as the signal flare to start was given. He gave a nod to the guards around him as they started on there way forward.

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Van looked around and simply shook his head. He knew what this exercise was for. The tower was trying to gauge its effectiveness and readiness against the Chosen when the time came for battle. He was truly amazed at the audacity of them to think they could take on the Chosen. However this would give him good information to report back to them in regards to the weaknesses of the Tower as well as there possible battle plans. It was always good to have a man on the inside.


He adjusted his shield and looked around the front line. He was a master of thunder on the ocean. Part of his job was commanding the shield wall. Thunder on the ocean was the breathing shield wall of the Tower. They were the front line defense, the immovable force. He barely kept the sneer from his face. These few were supposed to be able to hold against the hordes of trollocs and other things that would come pouring out of the blight during tarmon gaidon.


He saw the flash of light marking the beginning of the event. He kept his eyes open looking around taking mental notes on formations and numbers as they started forward. This was going to be a long day and the more he could pay attention and remember details. The more they would be pleased when they received his report.

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Kathleen woke with a mix of excitement and a mix of anxiety. A mock battle was good practice, but she would be against other sisters and the warders. She wouldn't be able to put her all into it, but accidents could still happen. No matter how much the Tower trained them there was no way to truly be ready for fighting against the one power, fighting against those who truly wish to kill you with it. The tower guards had practiced for years with swords and would know the difference between a testing spar and a real battle. Anything Kathleen's group would send at them today would be only a minuscule percent of what they would face in a real fight.


She knew accidents could happen and she worried over it. She had to allow herself to see this as the direct order it was. To see it as a help, and not a real threat to the allies on the battle field. If she couldn't she wouldn't be able to make any of the weaves to use against them, and then she would truly be no help.


It would be good practice to plot out an attack and be creative about it, but she would have to scale everything down to be sure no one was truly hurt. It was an interesting challenge, but Kathleen was up for it. She readied herself for the mock battle and made her way to meet the others to ready the attack.


~ Kathleen Vandiar

Aes Sedai of the Green Ajah

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Torvus Arathel gripped his crossbow tightly, betraying his excited nerves. He was among a mixed formation of foot archers and swordsmen, most of whom were actual Tower Guard! They were led by a Warder too!


Their battle line stretched out from left to right as far as he could see underneath his helmet. He was in the center along with most of the trainees, where most of the inexperienced troops would be stationed. There was silence for a long time as everyone moved into place for the drill, forming a battle line with two rows, a front line and a support line about a bowshot behind it. From a distance however, it probably looked like one big mass of people. And how many people! There must have been over five thousand there, maybe even ten it was hard to tell!


Torvus was surprised to be in the front line; wasn't the front line supposed to be the good soldiers? He was just a trainee. Well he certainly show them he wasn't afraid at all, even though they were marching through a field and going to be "attacked" and stalled by various methods of the One Power. He had seen some of the One Power at work already, and thought he could know what to expect. Lots of flashing lightning and fires, invisible bits of air, earth spewing everywhere. Yes, nothing to worry about.


A brilliant flare lit the sky. That was the signal. Torvus marched forward along with everyone, spreading out in their loose formation. Nothing to worry about.


"What in the Light?" Torvus exclaimed as he saw two splitting mirror images of himself marching right next to him. He started, but forced himself to keep moving. It was just the Power, right? He nervously looked over at the other 'Torvus's', wondering if they looked back or not. They didn't, they just kept marching ahead like he did.

"Hmf. Not bloody good copies," he said with a superior air. They were probably just to confuse the Aes Sedai at a distance, though they confused him plenty too.


It was not long until their section was covered by a thick fog. Torvus frowned and made sure he could see someone in front of him, hopefully a real person and not a Powered copy.

"Great. Now we can't bloody see anything either." he muttered. If this was a real battle, how was he supposed to shoot anyone when he couldn't see but a few paces in front of him? It was small consolation that the enemy couldn't see him either. Just keep moving forward.


Thunder rumbled in the distance and Torvus could feel the ground shake slightly beneath him. Flashes of lightning lit the fog in eerie colors. The wind howled about them. All of a sudden, the mist surrounding him blew back a little and he could see the sky and ground in front of him for an instant. He felt the blood drain from his face and he stared dumbly.


"We're supposed to flaming walk right into that?! Blood and bloody ashes!" he exclaimed, hoping no one in charge could hear him. All of a sudden the blind fog seemed like it would have been a great comfort right about now.


-Torvus Arathel,

a now terrified trainee :D

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Jasen's cloak was slowly growing heavier as mist from the fog gathered in its folds. He could feel the water clinging to his chain mail, feel droplets form on his face and run down his body. Well, some of that could be sweat, as Jasen's nerves ran were at their breaking point. He knew that he could not be killed in this training exercise, that as long as Aes Sedai constrained by the Three Oaths were channeling that they could not kill members of the Guard even if they wanted to. But even as he told himself this over and over, his mind was rebelling, telling him that he must flee from the battle field. He knew he could defend himself from a soldier or a Trolloc, but there was no sword or shield that could protect him from the power.


So far, nothing had really happened. As soon as the flare had gone up, phantom soldiers had appeared, making the Guard look much larger than they actually were, and a mist had enveloped them. Horns had delivered the signal to move out, and so that is what they had done. Jasen stood amongst those in the front line, being one of the more experienced Guards at holding a shield wall. The decision had been made to sprinkle raw recruits among the veterans on the front line during this exercise, so that they could gain experience in what was technically a safe environment. Looking down the line, Jasen spotted the trainee Torvus. If he was terrified at the prospect of this exercise, he couldn't imagine what that young man must feel. But there was no way to ask, no way to stop and collect yourself as the Guard marched across the field.


Jasen's mind was just starting to accept his situation when the first bits of channeling struck them. It was light at first, the ground began to rumble slightly, rocks jumping every which way at their feet. The wind began to blow unnaturally, causing Jasen's damp body to shiver. "Bloody hell," he whispered, wiping the sweat of his face and gripping the straps of his shield tighter. All of a sudden a group of the Guard flew back, as if some invisible giant had punched the middle of the line. Men and women screamed as more sections were punched back with the Power. The line slowed to a crawl, as Guards ducked behind their shields like they would if arrows were flying over head. But the One Power could not be blocked by wood and metal.


Soldiers to Jasen's immediate left flew back, as he ducked a plate clad arm. Waving his blunt training spear overhead, Jasen screamed to be heard over the chaos. "Regroup! Shields will do nothing, we have to spread out so that they can't take as many of us out at once! Staggered formations!" And like that, the Guards' training clicked in. The lines reformed, with everyone leaving several feet between their comrades on either side. The attacks slowed and finally ceased, as silk clad woman walked through the line, touching their hands to Guards who had broken bones and Healing them. Lighting flashed through the fog, but it didn't reach the ground. Heart pounding, Jasen watched as the Tower Guard regrouped. Soldiers too injured to continue were helped to the back of the lines and fresh faces joined those at the front. The horns sounded, and once again the Guard moved forward. And then the real chaos began...

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  • 2 weeks later...

Rasheta finished braiding her hair and stood up to look at herself. She smiled she looked well enough for the day's training. She had sent Visar off earlier to get himself ready, she had promised him to try not to blow him up today. He had just smiled at her and thanked her. She smiled at the remembrance it would be good to see how well he did now that he'd seen battle himself. She turned and left her room, she stopped and picked up an angreal, she would need one today if she was going to use Fire and Earth weaves. They were her weakest elements and she didn't think short of killing anyone she would use water weaves, which was one of her stronger elements. Boiling another sister's warders blood didn't seem like a good idea, or very sporting for that matter.


Rasheta came outside and looked out at the "battle field." She was a little late it seemed as the warders and trainees were already moving across the field. She nodded to a Grey sister who seemed a little to eager today. Kathleen was standing not far away and Rasheta nodded to her. Kathleen had taken care of Visar for Rasheta sometime ago he had come back so Rasheta owed Kathleen for watching after him. She shook herself mentally and embraced the power and nodded to the two sisters next to her.


"well lets show them what a battle feild is like." Kathleen nodded, she knew how totally ruthless Rasheta was in battle. She wasn't going to be easy on the men today or the other sisters, who were down with them, for that matter. Rasheta wove earth together and set it down just before the line of men. The ground erupted in a shower of earth and falling rocks. She used next pitfall, sending some of the men down into a hole. They would be alright if the sisters could get them out of the hole. She continued with earth for awhile then switched to Fire, she used combust to set some of the small bushes on fire on the feild. She was hoping the sisters next to her were having as much fun as she was.


Rasheta Ardashir~

Green Sitter, and trying not to blow up her warder.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Visar stood at the head of a small group of about twenty guardsmen and trainees. Most of them looked like they didn't have any clue what they were about to get into. Why were they even bothering to advance in a conventional battle line in the first place? Well, they would see soon enough what happens.


The flare went and they went forward, concealed in mist for a ways. Then the attacks with the Power got more intense as they got closer. Some men got blasted back with air, and had to abandon their heavy shields. Visar felt he didn't really need a shield. Two hands were better to both grasp a weapon anyway as it was easier to use.


They continued to advance, the mist starting to falter in a few places. They spread out, hoping their increased area would limit the 'casualties' inflicted.


They were running now, and everything seemed to be going alright until suddenly the earth erupted around them.


"Down! Everybody down!" Visar shouted, calling a halt. Ironically, some men were literally lowered to the ground as pits started to form around them. A mound of earth was raised out of nowhere, blocking their path. Visar could hear the crackling of flames nearby.


"Come on, we're going around. Use the mound as cover. They can't get you if they don't know you're there!"


Visar helped a straggler out of a shallower pit with the shaft of his lance, and motioned the group forward. A couple were badly bruised from rocks, but for the most part they were ok. Visar dimly heard the crash of earth in other parts. He had a suspicion that he knew exactly who was doing this.


You're having fun today, aren't you Rasheta? he thought with half a laugh. You think you can stop me from reaching you? You're on!


He led his group to the shelter behind the mounds, and started moving them to one side, looking for a gap. They waited for a while. The sounds of earth exploding receded.


"Now!" The group surged over the mound in a more shallow part, and rushed onto the burning field.


"Step lightly! Hot ground hot ground!" They broke into a dash, trying to cross the field as quickly as possible before their feet caught fire.


Another blast of earth ground them to a halt, and they went sideways further to the left. Pretty soon they'd reach the boundary of the field and have nowhere left to run. Unless. . .


Visar made a quick decision. They could get ahead of the main group and make actual progress on their own, or his antic would provide a welcome distraction from the main group.


"Come on men! Out of bounds! Let's get to those hills over there and get closer to their lines!"


Some guardsmen were taken aback. It was just an exercise, and they were about to cheat. One ran back to tell the others. The others followed Visar. He had a feeling he would get in trouble for this. And he knew Rasheta could sense exactly where he was.

Come on! I'm right over here get me get me! he thought through the bond, hoping the distraction would do something and draw some fire off the main field.


-Visar Falmaien, bending the rules

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