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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Grey's Beginning


Arinth
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Grey halted his horse abruptly as he caught sight of Tar Valon and the White Tower for the first time. His stomach tied itself in knots. He wondered again if he was making the right decision or not. He tried to force a laugh out to calm his nerves but none came.

 

He looked over at Bryn. The sturdy old guard looked back at him with a calm that Grey envied. His father had argued long and hard against Grey’s decision to seek out the White Tower and become a warder. At last when his father realized that there was nothing he could say that would change Grey’s mind he insisted on hiring the best guard he could find to insure Grey’s safety to the tower. It was a long and dangerous trip from Caemlyn to Tar Valon and Grey was far from a warder and so Bryn had been hired to come along.

 

“I think I should go the rest of the way alone.” Grey said. His voice sounded nervous even to himself.

 

“I was told to take you all the way to the tower.” Bryn replied.

 

“And here we are. I have appreciated your company but if you come all the way to the tower with me I fear for you. They make take you immediately into the tower guard or an Aes Sedai may need a warder.

 

Bryn laughed. “You flatter me Grey. I have never been a man of such skill. But maybe caution is the wiser course. I am not ready to settle down yet. The tower guard would not do for me.”

 

Grey nodded. “We will part ways here then. May the light protect you. Tell my father I will make him proud if you don’t mind.”

 

He urged his horse forward. His stomach was still tied in knots but as the wind caught his hair and he felt the fresh air on his face he felt a rush of excitement. For better or worse he was starting a new life.

 

There would be new people to meet. He would make life long friends that would stick with him through think and thin and if he was good enough and lucky enough he would find an Aes Sedai that he could protect. They would go out into the world and they would do good. They would defeat the shadow of darkness that loomed over the world. Trollocs, and worse would fall to his sword, well once he learned how to use one.

 

Before he realized it he was at the White Tower being halted by the tower guard. He was still smiling from his daydreaming. He dismounted from his horse and stepped forward and told the guard that he was looking to join the tower guard too and train to be a warder. The guard looked him over but his expression gave away nothing, neither approval nor thinly veiled doubt. He gave Grey the directions he would need to present himself to enlist.

 

Grey was so excited and nervous that he only caught half of what the guard said and that made little sense. The guard had probably seen thousands of men come to train to be warders and he hadn’t turned him away. The sun felt good on his back.

 

He was not however the best with directions. He was amazed at the size of the White Tower and its training yards as he wandered around leading his horse. It was much larger than he had ever imagined until he realized that he had been wandering in circles and had passed the same place three times.

 

It was just then that he saw someone who appeared to be an officer step out of a door. As he closed the door Grey caught sight inside of what looked like an office. Well that sounded like where the directions finished up. He pulled his horse forward and called out to get the officer’s attention.

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  • 2 weeks later...

OOC. Sorry for the delay!

 

Kalan puffed lazily on his pipe. His day was over for the most part. Well, the work part of it. He had managed to finish his paper work with only a few outbursts of anger, which was pretty good for him. His hands were stained in ink, which was something he hated. As the Master at Arms for the Tower Guard, he was used to having dirty hands. Blood, dirt, sweat, and even ale were all acceptable things to cover ones hands, but ink? It was an outrage! He was a warrior, not some clerk. But try as he might, he could not convince Mia to let him shirk those particular duties. So he went on, doing them as best he could, and only causing problems part of the time. But today, he was done and only had to worry about training, which was hardly work at all.

 

As he walked out of the barracks, Kalan noticed a young man waving him down. Odd, he didn't think he had any obligations that would necessitate a messenger. But upon closer look, it seemed like this young man had just arrived from a long journey, his clothes dirty and travel stained and the leather on his saddle worn. And I thought today's work was over. This looks exactly like someone who is intent on joining up. Bloody hell, looks like the day is just getting started. He walked over, puffing on his pipe as if it was the only thing keeping him alive, looking for all intensive purposes like an angry forge. Cloak swirling around him, Kalan approached the lad. Speaking around the stem of his pipe, he drawled, "And what, pray tell, do you want with my flaming attention?"

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Grey felt a sense of relief when the officer noticed him. He didn't think he could have waived his arms around any more frantically. Even though the officer maintained a measured pace as he appraoched Grey he had the feeling that the man was charging him. He look absolutely furious as if...well Grey had no idea what would make someone so angry. There was actually smoke rising from his ears. Wait, Grey felt a small sense of relief, the smoke was coming from a pipe. He had started to become a little concerned about his safety as well as that of the officer.

 

He tried to offer a weak smile but the officer didn't seem to notice or care. Grey wasn't sure exactly where he had gotten the idea and he was beginning to wonder if he had been completely wrong in aquiring it, but he had thought that the warders and tower guards were an amiable bunch that were happy and smiling. It was only in killing darkfriends and trollocs and things Grey had never dreamed of that they became deadly serious and their swords sung the final song of death.

 

"And what, pray tell, do you want with my flaming attention?" The officer asked.

 

Well for starters I'd prefer that it not be flaming he thought. He hesitated for a moment and wondered if he truly had thought it or if he had said it outloud. From the look on the officers face he either had said it outloud of the officer was pretty good at reading minds. He didn't look like the type to appreciate snide remarks. Grey made a mental note of that. No snide remarks. He tried to stand still and not shake as the officer stood in front of him. He was sure that something was shaking somewhere but he didn't want to look down to find out if it was his arm or his leg or his whole body.

 

He felt lanky, thin and awkward standing in front of the officer. After what started to become a painfully awkward silence he remembered that the officer had asked him a question. "I apologize for delaying you, I was wondering if you would be kind enough to tell me who I can talk to about requesting to train with the warders?"

 

Should I have called him sir? He wondered.

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"Rain with the Warders? Rain with the Warders! What in the Creator's sweet mercy is wrong with you boy! Delaying me and not making a lick of sense." Kalan jabbed his pipe at the man, stopping just short of his chest. "Probably wanted to train here, is that right? Don't bloody talk when I'm pronouncing! Can't speak and rude to boot. I'm going to have to keep my eye on you, you've got the look of a rotten bad seed. But enough talk, let's get down to business." Taking one last drag from his pipe, Kalan banged it out on the bottom oh his boot, letting out thick streams of smoke as he did so. Putting the pipe in his coat pocket, he threw his arm around Grey and gripped his shoulder tightly. With his strong swordsmen hands, it could not be comfortable. "Well then, lad. Let's get you started, shall we?" And with that he began walking, dragging the man with him.

 

As they made their way through the yards, walking together in a most uncomfortable fashion, Kalan realized that he knew nothing of the man who was under his arm. Flaming spy! Trying to get into the yards without telling me who he is or even his bloody name! Well that son of a goat isn't going to escape me that easily. Looking down at the young man, Kalan stared with a perfectly sane smile on his face. "Well now, you never told me your damned name! You can't train with us if we don't know your name. We would have to call you all sorts of things like Ugly Puckered Goat Arse to get your attention, and you wouldn't want that. So tell me, just who are you and how did you end up here?" Kalan knew the man was uncomfortable and most likely a little angry, but he didn't care. If he was going to have to deal with milk sopping children in his Yards he was going to have a little bit of fun!

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Grey felt like he was be crushed in half, his thin frame smushed and his spine about to snap when the man threw an arm around him and squeezed. He started dragging Grey along as he talked to him. Grey noticed that the man talked alot and never gave him time to answer a question before he was saying something else. Grey kept silent and followed along trying to look cooperative. From the smile the man gave him it was possible that he was not entirely sane. Did they let insane men into the tower? That seemed like a bad idea.

 

The man had said they were getting started. Grey assumed he meant his training and the thought anxious shockwaves through his nerves. Ever since he had heard about warders he had dreamed of becoming one himself. What better thing for a young man to aspire to be. He knew he couldn'tn think of anything else at least.

 

Grey heard the man say "Ugly Puckered Goat Arse" and it quickly got his attention. He realized that he had not been paying attention to what the man was saying and had no idea what he was expecting as he looked at him.

 

"Ugly Puckered Got Arse?" Grey responded not realizing that he was inadvertently answering the man's question. It was certainly not what he would have chosen to answer if he had heard the man's question.

 

"Ugly Puckered Got Arse?" The man asked him. Grey couldn't tell if the man was about to laugh or scream at him or do something else unpredicable.

 

"Ugly Puckered Got Arse?" Grey asked. He was very confused and not sure where the man was going with his comments. Where they starting training or something else.(looking for his mother maybe?) He feel into another awkward silence and stared at the man.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Kalan stared at the man in under his arm. Did this young man really want to be called an Ugly Puckered Goat Ass? He was dumbfounded. Obviously that was absurd, that name was far too long to be practical! Didn't he know that? Maybe this young man isn't right in the head? Maybe he has already been beaten to simplicity? Whatever he is, I'm going to have to think of a different name. Frowning at Grey, Kalan stopped walking. "We can't be going around shouting out four words every time we want to get a hold of you. I'm going to call you Bad Kiss instead of Puckered Goat Ass. Flows off the tongue more naturally. Anyways, let's move on, Bad Kiss!"

 

Kalan started walking forward again, pulling the newly christened Bad Kiss with him. He smiled to himself as they walked. First day as a trainee...er, almost a trainee, and this boy already had a nickname. And a good one at that. Better than the one he had received. Although come to think of it, Kalan couldn't remember just what they had called him. All he could remember is beating some of his fellow trainees pretty bad for it. Oh well, it was time to focus on Bad Kiss and his training. "Anyways Bad Kiss, you never told me your story. I'm going to need to know just who you are before I do something as silly as let you have a weapon in your hand. Want to make sure you aren't crazy and won't hurt someone." Kalan squeezed Bad Kiss just a little tighter when he said that last part. It was important!

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"Anyways Bad Kiss, you never told me your story. I'm going to need to know just who you are before I do something as silly as let you have a weapon in your hand. Want to make sure you aren't crazy and won't hurt someone." The man said.

 

"Crazy? Oh no sir." Grey tried to reply. He was finding it hard to breath with how tightly the man was squeezing him. His reply had probably sounded more like a croak than anything else.

 

"I wouldn't hurt anyone sir. And Bad kiss? Well honestly, I've never even kissed a girl." He admitted. He probably was a bad kisser he thought but he had never done anything as of yet to actually merit the name. He had heard things like this might happen and the truth was that he could have earned a much worse nickname. His father had warned him about the kind of nicknames the caravan guards had.

 

"But I am here to study and learn and hopefully be good enough one day to be a warder. I am from Andor. Caemlyn itself. I don't really have a story...um yet. I was hoping to begin my story here." He said. He was still awed by the White Tower and the warders yard and the the men and women that called it home. Just passing warders in their fluttering cloaks and Aes Sedai in all their beauty and power sent shivers down his spine.

Edited by Arinth
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  • 2 weeks later...

"Running off to to join the army before you've even kissed a girl? Faw, Bad Kiss, you flaming youth are growing dumber by the year. And the name ain't about the lasses you dangle on your knee, lad." The two arrived at the armory, a dull stone building just like all those in the yards. "A blade can 'kiss' you just as well as a woman, and I'll leave it up to you to find out which one can hurt the most. But enough talk about bloody kissing, it's time we put some real steel in your hands. I figure you aren't the type of person who would stab up the place. I'm a pretty good judge of character, rarely wrong. And when I have been, I've always been able to clean up that mistake." Another evil grin. Kalan wasn't insane, well not really. He was one of the best swordsmen in the land and could teach better than anyone living. He was just...eccentric. That's the word! He was an eccentric, misunderstood teacher, who sometimes let his fancies get out of hand. They never impaired his duties, but they did cause some concern among the trainees. Anyways, his mind was wandering away from the task at hand, which was to get Grey armed.

 

Inside the two went, the grand armory of the guard. Just about any weapon or piece of armor from land could be found inside. Of course there was standard equipment drops around the Tower for military purposes, but this was where you could capture a bit of yourself in metal. Kalan released his grip on the boy, who rubbed his shoulders gingerly, and spread his hands out wide. "Well lad, pick whatever you wish. Go around and pick your weapons and equipment. Put your hand on the blades, swing them, find the right ones. This will sound bloody stupid, but a piece of yourself is in this dump just waiting to be found. Now go on, find your pieces, and bring them right back here. We haven't got all day." Kalan sat on a barrel and pulled a small knife from his belt. He began to flip it around his fingers idly as the boy went searching through the racks. This knife was old and dull, a gift from a pretty woman a long time ago. With his pipe in his pocket, he needed something to keep his hands busy while he waited. "Hurry up, boy, I told you we had things to do!"

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  • 4 weeks later...

Arinth rubbed his shoulder as he looked around the room full of weapons. He supposed there was a name for the room but he wasn't sure what it was. What he did know was that it was scary and the thought of holding any kind of weapon was scary. From the crazy look on Kalan's face he didn't think picking up anything that could be considered a weapon would be a good idea. The man might think that Grey was a problem he needed to clean up and that would make his mother cry.

 

Kalan told him to hurry up and he took a step forward and looked around. He did need to pick a weapon. How could he be a warder without a weapon, that was just madness. He saw a fierce looking axe and tried to pick it up. He set it back down quickly when he nearly dropped it. He tried lifting a hammer but it was even more difficult to hold. That was a mistake.

 

Finally he turned to the swords. There were swords everywhere, spread throughout the room. Swords that curved, huge broadswords and smaller swords, ones with ornate hilts and ones without a hilt. He didn't know the first thing about swords. How was he suppose to know which one was better than the next?

 

He glanced over at Kalan but the man wasn't even paying attention to him. He doubted he'd get much help from him in either case. Apparantely this was something he was suppose to decide on his one. His sword was suppose to be a part of him. He didn't know what that meant but he had the idea it was important and so he took it seriously.

 

The only problem with that was that Kalan was urging him to hurry up and pick a sword. He realized that he had been taking what must be an irritatingly long time to anyone waiting. How hard was it really suppose to be to pick a sword? He closed his eyes and reached out. His hand closed around the handle of a sword and he opened his eyes. It didn't look like a legendary sword that would help him make a name for himself with but it felt right in his hand. He lifted it higher and looked at it. It was a pretty normal looking sword. He turned around to look at Kalan.

 

He considered asking the man what he thought but he wanted to sound at least a little confident and assertive. "I think I'll take this one." He said. His voice shook as he said it, defeating his intentions.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Kalan grabbed the knife out of the air and slammed it back into its sheath, grunting. "Is that all you want? Had a whole room full of free armor and you taking that flaming thing? You boy, are daft. But the dumb ones can fight just as well as the smart ones, although they tend to get stabbed a little more, so I guess we'll take you." Walking over to another bin, this one full of small bundles of reeds strapped together with leather straps and covered with a leather handle, Kalan pulled two out and tossed them over his shoulder. "Anyways, we should probably get out of here. Still got a lot to do today to see you enrolled here in the Yards and can't wait around here."

 

Kalan led the two of them back out into the yards where people milled about, practicing the sword in some cases, just being lazy in others. Kalan didn't like the layabouts, but even though he would have liked to get them working on something he had to figure out just how good of a trainee he was dealing with. Tossing one of the practice swords to Grey who caught it in midair, Kalan explained what was going to happen next. "All right then, lad. I need to figure out what sort of muck has shown up here. If you would kindly take that practice sword in your hand and attack me, that would just be grand. Don't be shy about hitting me, I'm sure you couldn't hurt me even if your life depended on it." Grey looked terrified, sword visibly shaking in his hands. Snorting, Kalan walked over to him. "You're doing it all wrong. I need you to attack me. Swing your sword, try to knock my head off. Like this." Kalan swung his reeds down at Grey, who blocked them and jumped back. "There, that's better. Come on now, let's dance!" With that, the two men started to duel.

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  • 5 months later...

Grey stared down at the practice sword in his hands. He willed it not to shake but it would not listen. He looked back up at Kalan and saw the man swinging his sword at him. He raised his sword defensively to block the strike. Kalan had not swung hard yet Grey still almost dropped his sword.

 

Kalan instructed him as he beat him with the practice sword. Grey did his best to listen and tried even harder to stop the practice sword from striking him. The reeds hurt.

He attacked when prompted and retreated when attacked but the sword was a clumsy thing in his hand that did not do what he wanted it to. He did not look heroic with it in his hands. His feet got tangled and he stumbled around enough that anyone watching would have thought he was doing an impression of a drunk man.

 

It definitely was no an elaborate dance. There were positives though. He was beginning to feel comfortable holding the practice sword and he knew how hard the practice sword felt when it caught his arm or his legs or his ribs.

 

When Kalan finally called a halt to things Grey was sure the man was going to turn him back out into the streets when he looked at him but after what seemed like a resignated sigh Kalan motioned for him to follow him so that they could continue with getting him enrolled in the Yards.

 

Grey followed without a word hoping that one day he could learn to fight with his sword like the men around him.

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The boy was terrible. He got his sword mixed up with his limbs, he had no balance, and was generally in more danger of stabbing himself with his sword than getting stabbed by his opponent. But no matter how many times Kalan smashed his lathe into Grey, no matter how he cursed and spat, Grey never quit. It was frustrating (the raised vein on Kalan's forehead could attest to that), but the lad would not stay down! Anybody could learn how to hold a sword or swing an ax, but the one thing Kalan couldn't teach was bravery. The minutes stretched into an hour, and Kalan could clearly see that Grey had little left in him. At least he's not stabbing himself in his feet now. Still a milk drinking sop but at least he's learning. Kalan held up a hand and grunted at Grey to follow him.

 

The two of them left the yards and went towards one of the stone barracks that surrounded the yard. The one they approached was three stories of off white stone, not nearly as nice as many of the buildings that dotted Tar Valon, but still nice than one would expect lowly soldiers to inhabit. Kalan pulled his pipe back out and begun chewing on the stem, irritated at this babysitting he had to do. It came with the territory, but it didn't mean he had to like it. They came upon a door on the second floor which Kalan kicked open. Inside were a number of beds, some chests, and a small table with a bowl and bucket for water. "Grab any bunk you want. We'll have some more grunts arriving soon, so don't enjoy the solitude. If you want grub, you bloody better ask someone where the mess hall is. I don't care what you do tonight, but I expect you to be out in the practice yards shortly after first bell." As he hustled himself out of the room, Kalan looked back at Gray. "Oh yeah, I forgot, welcome to the yards. I hope you know what you are doing." And with that, Kalan left the young man alone with his thoughts.

 

ooc. One last post by you and you are all set!

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“Oh yeah, I forgot, welcome to the yards.I hope you know what you are doing.”

 

The words echoed in Grey’s head as he looked around the empty room. His empty room. It was completely unlike the room he had back at home. Everything was completely different then the life he had had back home. That was he had left. He wanted adventure. He wanted to be a hero. The thoughts of being a famous Warder and saving his Aes Sedai made him smile.

 

He stood up straight and tall and raised his arms imagining that he was holding a sword dripping with trolloc blood. He made a cutting motion with his imaginary sword. His feet tangled underneath him and he stumbled forward crashing into a chest. He stumbled backwards and tripped over a chair and ended up on the floor.

 

He was terrible. He could tell from the way Kalan’s head had almost exploded that he was terrible. He had been defeated by a chest and a chair. He laid on the ground for a moment. His body ached. His limbs were sore and bruised. He had never worked so hard in his entire life.

 

He sat up after a few minutes and decided to stop feeling sorry for himself. Things had to get better. Heroes always faced challenges and the chest and chair had only been the first one. His stomach rumbled and he remembered that he had not eaten in some time. He wished Kalan had told him where the mess hall was. He was afraid if he approached anyone else they’d decide he wasn’t fit to be there in the first place and he’d get kicked out.

 

Eventually though his hunger got the better of him and with a gulp and a growling stomach he set out to find the mess hall and become a hero of great renown.

Edited by Arinth
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