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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Arrival to the Shining City


Rekinu Alasayaar
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With his hair blowing in the air, he walked resolutely into the Great City of Tar Valon. His clothes were well worn, with bare threads visible near where it creased the most. He was ready. The idea had only been introduced to him merely moments before, but he was attracted to it like a moth to flame. He would show he had honor, and prove to all he was not just a bastard.

 

He straitened his sword, swung across his back in the Arafalin fashion, continuing through the bustle, reminded of his younger days running with the street rats in Shol Arbela. Sliding easily between the press of people rushing about their many tasks, he remembered living like a ghost, invisible to all, trying to find work to eat... even stealing morsels of food from time to time. 'Never again' he thought, 'never again. I have paid each person i stole from, and will not go back to it.'

 

Pausing for a moment, he looked longingly at some of the clothing vendors, admiring the well-made stuff that was on sale until the vendor took interest in him. He waved his hand in the negative and passed on. He paused to ask a passing City Guard the direction to the White Tower, after getting directions to the center of Tar Valon, He headed there, munching on the last of his salted meat in his pouch finishing it off. He was happy, having finally made his decision, and was more than ready for whatever his future might hold. As he approached the White Tower walls, he saw less civilian activity, but noticed a few women, with the tell-tale ageless faces, with more men that were armed going to and fro. Some seemed deadly, just to look at, and Rekinu realized that they must be warders, and he stopped for a minute to observe. He loved the way the seemed to glide across the ground, seemingly aware of everything around them, all at the same time.

 

Taking a deep breath, Rekinu stepped forward, and took the last few steps to the entrance, and was met with a challenge. "Who comes to enter Tar Valon?"

 

Bowing low, Rekinu replied in his most respectful voice, "My name is Rekinu Alasayaar, and I wish to be accepted for training with the Tower Guard. I wish to protect the Aes Sedai, and help ensure that the world is ready for Tarmon Gaidon."

 

They let him in, pointed him to a row of buildings to the side, and told him to enter the right one, mentioning the door he was to knock on.

 

As he crossed he saw many people of obvious different skill levels sparring with various weapons in the training grounds between the building and the wall. He knew that he could not face any of them with any hope of winning, but he made a promise to himself. He would get up every time. If nothing else, he would show his honor by rising each and every time he fell/was knocked down. He would have honor.

 

He also saw a single Aes Seai in the yard, she looked like a green. It was not uncommon for Aes Sedai to visit Shol Arbela, and he had been near them often enough, even been spoken to by them before. Actually, now that he thought about it, an Aes Sedai had once given him some food. He had been especially hungry that week and he had drug that gift of food out for a whole week, and it had meant more to him than anything else that anyone had ever done for him, except for his loving mother. She was talking to two people who looked like they were trainees, but did not appear to be warders, though he thought he might have been wrong.

 

Entering the building, he ducked around a larger man, dragging a much younger man out the door berating him for some failure, and Rekinu paused, waiting for them to finish talking. All of a sudden, the older man, turned and barked out, "What is your business in here today?"

 

"I am Rekinu Alasayaar, here to be trained with the Guard" He replied.

 

(ooc: if i have done anything wrong, let me know and i will change... this is my first RP, so i expect to make lots of mistakes, and am more than willing to fix them. Please do not hesitate to send me a pm if you feel you need to... also, hope this is in the right forum... Also, is it ok that I tied in Rasheta's conversation with SwordSworn and Visar in a current thread, or is that frowned upon?)

 

(I got some feedback, and put in the italicized portions, took out a few 'and's...any other suggestions?)

Edited by Rekinu Alasayaar
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Visar was angry today. One of his best pupils who showed a lot of promise with the sword had been slacking lately, and if there was one thing he couldn't stand it was letting valuable talent go to waste. Calling the trainee into his interim office, not far from the Master of Arms', Visar chewed his ears off, stressing the importance of hard work in training and how he was letting himself down. Sure, he had talent, but even a talented swordsman could be destroyed by a mere rookie if they weren't diligent and disciplined.

 

Punishing the trainee for failing to show up to his lessons, Visar kicked him out. As the trainee fled, Visar decided that he needed to go outside to get some air. Letting his anger fester was not the thing to do, as that had led to all sorts of trouble in the past. It had even once almost made him give up his Warder calling, but that was a can of worms he did not want to deal with today.

 

But once Visar left the door, another person seemed interested in his attention. Creeping blood Light, could he not catch a break today? He barked out at the newcomer, his frustration showing easily.

"What is your business in here today?" he said at almost a yell. He took the newcomer in. Clothes tattered from traveling, no doubt. Another journeyman hoping to start here. His sword on his back, Shienaran or Arafellin? Visar was not sure. Both countries had been decimated over the last few years from Shadow attacks. What was a young Borderlander doing here? Visar wondered.

 

"I am Rekinu Alasayaar, here to be trained with the Guard"

 

Yes, that was exactly it. At least he didn’t seem eager to be among the hundreds who wanted to be a Warder. Why would they want to be a Warder? Sometimes Visar himself didn’t want to be a Warder, but it was his job and he had already gone through that phase of rejection once or twice. It was too painful to repeat.

Had to stay polite. Had to stay in control.

 

“Greetings, Rekinu. Come inside,” Visar said, weariness creeping into his voice. “Have a seat, and something to drink, if you wish,” Visar gestured to the chair as he slumped into his, and grunted at a wine skin and a pitcher of water.

 

“You want to be trained with the Guard.” Visar repeated, making sure. Time for the ‘interview’ then. Visar unleashed a string of questions, seeing how Rekinu would react.

 

“Well then, tell me a little about yourself. Where are you from? What brought you here? Do you have any family? Why do you want to join the Tower Guard? Do you have any recommendations or experience to offer?”

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“Greetings, Rekinu. Come inside,” the man said seemingly tired. “Have a seat, and something to drink, if you wish,” he gestured towards a chair in front of the desk, as he went around it to his own chair he also motioned to a wine skin and a pitcher of water that sat on the table.

 

“You want to be trained with the Guard.” The man repeated as Rekinu get settled in the seat. Sitting in it lightly, then the man continued “Well then, tell me a little about yourself. Where are you from? What brought you here? Do you have any family? Why do you want to join the Tower Guard? Do you have any recommendations or experience to offer?”

 

Eying the drink with a large amount of interest, Rekinu replied first "As I mentioned, I am Rekinu Alasayaar and I wish to be trained with the guard." He sipped some water from a cup he poured, before setting it down and continuing.

 

"I am Arafellin, from Shol Arbela itself. I have traveled here with a band of merchants, paying back an honor debt that I owed, and the man there suggested that I would be better suited here. I am here to show that I have honor." He took the sword out of its scabbard, with one practiced pull, careful to keep his actions non-aggressive. He slowly untied the rag from the handle and passed his weapon to the man in front of him.

 

"Look at the hilt." Rekinu said. "It is the line of the ruling house in Arafel. I am a bastard" Visar could hear the contempt of the word ringing off Rekinu's voice when he said it "with no honor. The sign, marked with a line through the center, means I have no honor, and proved my father didn't either. He died to prove he was honorable, fighting in a campaign in the Blight. My mother, my the light bless her, died of sickness years ago. My grandfather passed on to my my father's sword, the only piece of him to return from the Blight"

 

"Of all the people I have known, few have shown kindness to a bastard, and of those, only one stands out above all others. An Aes Sedai gave me a gift of food when she was passing through the main square. I do not know her name, nor nothing else about her. But that ageless face was a savior to me in a time of great need and want."

 

He continued, looking directly at the man in front of him "As you can guess, by now, I have no family. I came to be a Tower Guard, because i have no skill, so no Aes Sedai would have me as their warder, but I still wish to protect them, and help them be prepared to assist the Dragon when he calls for their aid in the Last Battle. I have trained little with the sword, all I know I have taught myself after watching the merchant guards train. I can move through large crowds, and have hunting experience, which is how i lived in Shol Arbela before making my journey here. I know my weapon skill is low, but I will learn. I can take care of myself, and I am not afraid of work."

 

Sensing that this was an evaluation, Rekinu kept his eyes on the man before him, while keeping his voice level and even. He pulled his pack onto his lap to get it off of the ground, and took another drink from his cup, relishing in its cool texture... 'too bad there wasn't any food here' he thought to himself. Running through his mind, he thought that he had answered the man's questions adequately, and then said: "is there anything else you would like to know about me?"

Edited by Rekinu Alasayaar
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Visar took in Rekinu's story with considerable interest. He appraised the sword that the Arafellin carried: the hilt might have been plain and marked with shame, but the blade was of the highest quality steel and had been taken care of well for how old it was. Before he had taken better care of his newer long sword, Visar's first sword from the Tower had long since been rusted and nicked beyond repair, and he had made it into a blunt practice sword.

 

Visar took the blade for a moment, testing its balance. Yes, whoever had made it was good at his craft. It was expertly balanced. Visar gave it back to its owner.

 

"That's a very good sword. There is no shame to carry such a blade or to aspire to its mastery."

 

Rekinu went on about his history. His family was dead, and Rekinu himself had struggled to maintain his honor up there, mentioning something about paying a debt to merchants on his way down. And the Aes Sedai helping him reflected a story that many who came here told. Aes Sedai who healed them or their family, or even were simply generous to those in need.

 

Rekinu admitted to having little experience with the blade, but skills as a hunter were always invaluable to anyone who sought to be a Warder. And the Tower Guard always needed good scouts who knew how to read tracks or hide themselves from detection.

 

"is there anything else you would like to know about me?" Rekinu asked. Visar pondered for a moment. The man had explained his story well, and even if it was not entirely the truth or if he was leaving something out, everyone who came here deserved a chance to start over.

 

Plus, Visar was getting hungry and needed a breath of fresh air.

 

"No, that will do for now. I will sign you up as a trainee for the Tower Guard. Train hard and well for two years, follow the rules, and act honorably, and you will be given a position in the Guard."

 

Rekinu seemed to take that in well, and Visar found the large tome and together they entered his name into the ranks: Rekinu Alayasaar, from Shol Arbela.

 

"Here, let me show you something," Visar said after a sudden thought. He flipped back many pages, searching, searching, until he found it.

 

"Here it is." Visar said with half a laugh. Years and years ago, there was his name, Visar Falmaien, from Tear, scrawled in an absolutely horrendous handwriting that had only improved marginally over the years.

 

"I too had no family, or at least I had to depart from the family I had, and I have never seen them again. Even bastards and poor, beggers and thieves, can start over here and rise high if they set their mind and body to the task."

 

Visar hoped that would be encouragement for Rekinu.

 

"Now that you've signed up, let's get you a room in the Barracks, a meal, and some equipment to train with. Come with me, I need to stretch my legs!"

 

They left the office, Rekinu gathering his things, and made their way outside to the fresh chill of the air. Visar, as if reading Rekinu's mind a little, offered to take care of a meal first.

 

"Say, I'm hungry, let's go get something to eat. I'll show you where the Mess Hall is located." Visar hadn't eaten in the Mess Hall in. . .how long had it been? The food was hardly fine cuisine, but it was filling and served hot, and that was what mattered on days like these.

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"No, that will do for now. I will sign you up as a trainee for the Tower Guard. Train hard and well for two years, follow the rules, and act honorably, and you will be given a position in the Guard." Said Visar.

 

He signed his name with some difficulty, as those are the only letters he knows, but he was proud to have learned that much.

 

He was sitting there, looking at his scrawl then Visar said "Here, let me show you something," After flipping a couple pages towards the front scanning after a couple passed, he suddenly stopped. "Here it is" Visar declared with a small laugh, almost a bark. There was his own name, Visar Falmaien and he was from Tear. At seeing Visar's handwriting was almost as bad as his made Rekinu chuckle to himself.

 

Then Visar said something that gave Rekinu heart: "I too had no family, or at least I had to depart from the family I had, and I have never seen them again. Even bastards and poor, beggers and thieves, can start over here and rise high if they set their mind and body to the task."

 

I will have a start. I will gain honor through service, and perhaps some one who would care for him as well.

 

"Now that you've signed up, let's get you a room in the Barracks, a meal, and some equipment to train with. Come with me, I need to stretch my legs!" Visar said as they left the office, and made their way outside. Rekinu's stomach growled at the mention of food, and apparently Visar heard because he said, "Say, I'm hungry, let's go get something to eat. I'll show you where the Mess Hall is located."

 

Rekinu's ears perked up at that, and paid close attention to where the mess hall was... in his short life, knowing where food was located could be the difference between life and death. As the walked in, Rekinu stopped for a moment taking in the mass of men, milling about in seeming confusion, some with food on their plates, headed to some tables, others to fill theirs. Visar directed the way to where the plates were, and showed him where to get the food.

 

Once they got there, Rekinu's eyes widened. There was only a small selection, but to him, this was a veritable treasure. Never before had he seen so much food! His stomach rumbled even stronger now that he had the smells in his nostrils! He tried to follow Visar's lead in portions, and then followed Visar to a table off to the side.

 

Visar sat them near some people that he knew, and introduced them, but honestly Rekinu's mind was solely on the food in his plate, with its tantalizing smells wafting around. Rekinu vaguely remembered that one of the men had joined the guard at the same time as Visar, but that was it. Once they sat down, Rekinu wolfed down a few bites before glancing at the others. They were using things to pick up their food, so even though his stomach screamed at him to keep shoveling, he wiped his hands on his spare shirt from his bag, though it was dirty so it did little good. He attempted to eat like they did for a bit before he growled in frustration. Silverware, as he later learned they were called, were such a bother. He dropped more than he got to his face for a bit, before finally getting the hang of it. Trying to eat as slow as the men around him, he still finished first, but his stomach was the fullest it had been for as long as he could remember. Glancing around, he listened to Visar and his friend talk about some campaign that they had both been in many years ago, for a few minutes before Visar got to his feet. Rekinu followed, and as they passed the table with the food, Rekinu could not help but take a couple of slices of bread, putting them in his bag very slowly, so as not to appear to be thieving. You never knew when food would come your way again.

 

As they went outside, Visar took him on a tour of the grounds, ending at the field near where they had first met. Turning to Rekinu, Visar said, "This is where we train every day. Be here tomorrow by sun up, for your first lesson." Rekinu nodded his understanding, and Visar led him to his barracks. "Here is where you will sleep." He said, motioning to a row of beds, "yours can be the last one on the left." Visar left him there, with his thoughts.

 

He moved to his bed, and sat on it. He looked around. The place was sparse yet clean, and felt secure. Rekinu smiled to himself. This could be home. he put his bag and his sword in the chest at the foot of his bed, and sat on the floor with his back in the corner. He fell asleep, with one eye half open, looking towards the chest. Old habits die hard.

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They went to the mess hall, where Visar caught up with some of his old Tower Guard buddies. The ones that were still around seemed to be doing rather well. It was good to introduce Rekinu to them; they'd likely be some of his instructors in years to come, and it never hurt to give a good impression to your teachers. Unless your trainer happened to be even more sadistic and brutal when he liked you. . .but that was a matter of perspective, of course.

 

Visar amused himself observing the young man eat. At first he dug in like a starving animal, and then, sensing the supposed "civility" of everyone else, struggled to eat with utensils. Clearly, Rekinu had come from humble beginnings, but Visar did not judge him. He himself was also, and he found that trainees from poorer backgrounds tended to have better fighting instincts and better attitudes when it came to training. The nobility types, they tended to have more official training and skills like writing or etiquette, which was important when dealing with Aes Sedai and other respectable clients of the Tower, but their attitude of superiority over poorer classes often got in their way to true mastery of their styles.

 

Visar stopped focusing on Rekinu for a while though, when one of his oldest buddies and he started reminiscing about their Borderlander campaigns. Ah, those were terrifying and miserable times, yet even now Visar missed them with a strange sense of nostalgia. He had learned so much fighting Shadowspawn in beleaguered Shienar, and really fighting as part of a unit, not some southern style duel like many of the Warders trained almost exclusively for. Sure, sometimes the Borderland styles lacked the subtlety of form of the southron dance, but it was simply effective and worked well.

 

His conversation trailing off, Visar promised to have a drink with his old companions after he had seen to the trainee's lodgings. On the way there he briefly showed him the main training yards where Rekinu would begin his training, and then showed him to an available bed in the barracks.

 

Leaving him there with his thoughts, Visar then went to catch up with his old war buddies over a much needed drink! And then to make sure Rasheta was well in her quarters. They did not sleep together, and it would be a long time before he earned her trust again for deserting her in Murandy, but things looked hopeful. In the meantime, they gave themselves a healthy amount of space and kept busy, and trusted in time to improve their relationship.

 

- - -

 

The next morning, somewhat hung over from the drinking last night, Visar still was up before sunrise, giving himself a quick warm up before readying to prepare trainees to fight.

 

Rekinu arrived, looking like he slept decently. Odd, Visar thought. They usually either didn't sleep at all or they sleep in on their first day!

 

"Morning," he said, his voice somewhat hoarse. "Follow me, real quick, I want to show you something."

 

Visar took Rekinu over to the armory to select the weapons he would focus his training on. The man had a fine sword already, but getting one roughly like it to care for and beat up a little would preserve the edge of the nicer one. And there was more to fighting here than just with swords. Visar hoped Rekinu would choose his weapons wisely.

 

-Visar Falmaien, Warder to Rasheta Sedai,

Edited by Visar Falmaien
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Rekinu awoke, ready for the day. He woke several times when the others entered their shared room, but once they were in, he slept soundly while nothing stirred to awake him. It was different sleeping inside, and Rekinu was not sure he liked it, The familiar noise of things happening was greatly missed, but at the same time, the ability to sleep all night without being driven off by someone was a great improvement.

 

He remembered where the food was (you never forget something as important as that), and woke up early with plenty of time to spare. He ran over to the mess hall, and grabbed just one plate of food. He was famished, but Visar had said something about doing some training? He wasn't sure, but decided to keep the meal simple enough. Even then, the biscuits, eggs, and gravy was Delicious, and he decided he might have to learn to cook sometime. Food is really something that is enjoyable, once you eat slow enough to taste it.

 

After he finished, he ran to the training field, he didn't want to be late!

 

"Morning," Visar told him, his voice somewhat hoarse. "Follow me, real quick, I want to show you something."

 

Rekinu followed Visar over to a building that they had skipped the previous day in their walk around the area. It looked like all the others, but Rekinu thought he detected a little bit of smoke on the eaves of the building.

 

Once they got inside, Rekinu was amazed at the number of weapons that filled the building. He had never seen so many instruments for killing, and he could name even less. Turning to him, Visar said "This is the armory. You get to choose three weapons to train with. Pick weapons that fit you, but also that will give you a broad range of skills, and I'll show you how to properly care for them." Visar then leaned against the doorway, and watched as Rekinu entered the large space.

 

There were so many! 'How am I to choose just three?' He decided to work his way from the right of the area to the left. On that side hung many axes. As he went, he would pick up first one, and then another, gagueing how they felt, and how they swung. Though he liked the way many of the axes looked, it wasn't the right feel, so he passed them by. When he got to the armor, he started to admire some of the chain mail shirts, and Visar spoke again. "I would pass the armor, as you will have the opportunity to assist in paying for it later by helping out in the Armory, and then you can have it made specifically for you."

 

Passing them by, he came upon the shields and found one immediately to his liking. It was circular, with the White Tower painted on it, with a Spike rising out the middle of it. The White Tower was on a Red field, and the edges were painted the same white as the Tower. He picked it up, noting its weight. Over time he knew that he would be able to hold it for a long time, though now probably an hour of holding it, or 15 minutes of using it would probably be his maximum. It was his first choice, and he was very satisfied with it.

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After bringing his shield back to the door, and leaving it with Visar, he nodded at him, and wordlessly continued looking. He passed the pole arms, stopping only when he saw a stout, and beautifully carved staff. This was his second choice, and he knew it. Being a staff, it could be used in walking, or as a surprise weapon. The one he chose was just a tad larger than him, and had steel tips that covered the ends, protecting them from any possible damage while in service.

 

Nodding to himself, he headed to the swords, to pick out one. When he got there, there were so many, he couldn't make up his mind. Setting the staff aside, he hefted a two handed sword, that was beautifully crafted, before deciding that the swing would be too slow. Besides, that is why he is going to train with the Staff-to get the range. He put it back in it's place, and picked up a brace of swords. One was a hand-and-a-half, and the other was a regular short sword. He pulled them from their scabbard, which was set up in the regular hip fashion of the Southerners.

 

As he held them, he made a couple of practice swings, before deciding he was ready. Taking a moment to buckle the swords into place, he retrieved the staff, and returned to Visar, where he picked up his shield. He was ready.

 

"I have made my decisions, Visar" he told him. "You said something about intro training now?" He was slightly worried about that, but so be it!

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Visar waited quietly while Rekinu chose his weapons. He remembered a long time ago when he had done this. It had seemed ages ago. There was a certain quiet holiness in the moment that he did not want to spoil for Rekinu. After all, it was not easy to pick weapons that you would train with for two years, or even much longer. Some trainees chose poorly, thinking the weapons that looked the most formidable were the ones most suited for them.

 

But those that trusted their instincts, based on what link they felt on some spiritual level with the weapons they trained with, they tended to always choose well.

 

Visar looked at Rekinu's choices. An iron-shod staff, which was a very formidable weapon. In skillful hands it could be just as deadly and swift as a spear. A spiked shield, which when paired with a short sword could be quite an elegant and vicious weapon combination. And a hand-and-a-half sword, close enough to the resemblance to Visar's own war sword that he used with swift ferocity, could fight just about anything.

 

The two swords could also be used together in Arafellin fashion in a pinch, as Visar guessed Rekinu probably had in mind. Visar made sure that Rekinu knew how to clean and care for each of the weapons they had chosen, and then he nodded his acceptance of the trainee's choices.

 

"You chose well. Now I want to see what you can do. You say you have little skill with the sword, but perhaps you have some good fighting instincts I can work with to start with. Follow me to the yards."

 

Visar left the armory and locked the door after Rekinu.

 

"You can put those down for now, but don't get them dirty" Visar said concerning Rekinu's weapons. In the yards, they did not start trainees off using live steel. That was dangerous, even to experienced swordsmen, and more practically, trainees tended to bash the edges together awfully and ruin many a fine blunted blade. It was much cheaper to use wooden weapons at first, which could afford to be wasted, and use blunted steel to perfect their technique later. Visar picked up a ubiquitous wooden long sword that most trainees started with and many of the Warders favored. It could be used one or two handed, and one could prefer to use it single edged or double. A versatile weapon, and easy to train to use, but it was incredibly subtle in its mastery.

 

"All along these fences there are wooden weapons. I want you to choose one or a pair that makes sense, something resembling what you've just chosen here from the armory. Whatever weapon you want to focus on the most, the one you think you'll be best at. Find a wooden one, and come back here. Then, you're going to try to hit me without being hit yourself. That is the essence of fighting, no matter what weapon you have, or completely unarmed."

 

Visar waited for Rekinu to find his weapon, and then they squared off a few paces apart. "Come at me with all you've got and hold nothing back." Visar said, and made ready to fight.

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After he told Visar he was ready, Visar said: "You chose well. Now I want to see what you can do. You say you have little skill with the sword, but perhaps you have some good fighting instincts I can work with to start with. Follow me to the yards."

 

Rekinu followed him outside, where the went to the training field, and Visar said: "You can put those down for now, but don't get them dirty"

 

Rekinu oblidgingly set them down, leaning them against a pole to the side, near where they entered the field.

 

Visar then went to the side of the training field and selected himself a wooden longsword. The way he picked it up, and gave it a few practice swings made Rekinu think again. This man had looked dangerous before, but now he looked deadly. Visar spoke again, motioning to the edges of the field, "All along these fences there are wooden weapons. I want you to choose one or a pair that makes sense, something resembling what you've just chosen here from the armory. Whatever weapon you want to focus on the most, the one you think you'll be best at. Find a wooden one, and come back here. Then, you're going to try to hit me without being hit yourself. That is the essence of fighting, no matter what weapon you have, or completely unarmed."

 

Rekinu stood there for a moment, and thought. Light. What should I pick? A shield will offer me some protection, but I do not know how to use it... The staff I am even less familiar with as a weapon, so, swords it is. Rekinu wandered around the yard until he had selected a hand-and-a-half sword, smiling at the irony of a bastard using a bastard, before finding a smaller knife to complement his arsenal. He would have preferred two swords, but knew that he did not know how to wield both with any accuracy, so a sword, with a knife that could be dropped and retrieved easily was more reminiscent of some of the scuffles that he was in on the streets.

 

Once he was ready, he approached Visar, and they squared off a few paces apart. "Come at me with all you've got and hold nothing back." Visar said, and made ready to fight.

 

Rekinu took his stance, fighting was a regular part of life when you are in the street, and now is no difference. Visar started to rotate, and Rekinu kept up. In a fight, you do not want your enemy to get to either side. With them in front of you, you will have a better chance to see exactly what they are up to, and hopefully have more time to react. As they circled, Rekinu struck out with the sword (in his right hand) stepping closer, but his swing went wide, and Visar simply stepped back, watching him. Again he tried, and again he missed, and then Visar went on the offensive. He thrust, knocking the sword from Rekinu's hands when he tried to block, and followed it with a strike that had been aimed for the torso. Rekinu twisted aside almost getting out of the way, but Visar changed the direction, and sharply slapped Rekinu's left leg. Not a stranger to pain, Rekinu went into a roll, to get a bit furthur away, before standing, feeling his leg for damage. No, not broken, but it will bruise, he thought. Now his only weapon was the knife, and he swapped hands so that it was in the right. Gauging the distance, he knew that the sword was out of reach for now. Visar continued to circle, but in a half-circle motion, not letting Rekinu get to his fallen weapon, almost teasing him.

 

One time, as Rekinu dashed foreward, Visar countered with a strike, and Rekinu barely avoided it, with his shirt catching in the swing. With a ripping sound, the shirt tore, coming halfway off. Rekinu reeled back a few feet, favoring his leg, and assessing the damage. Noting that the shirt was now a liability, he took it off, and threw it to the side, tossing it out of the way. He was a scrawny kid, with no noticeable muscle, but good color. There were marks from his body, mostly from fist fights over food, and he was a little self-consious about it, but he shook his head to clear it and to get his head back into the game.

 

Not too soon either, as Visar lunged at him again, almost catching him unawares. He used the knife to keep the sword from touching him allowing it to be knocked away, and twisted away, scrambling for the fallen sword, but Visar pivoted faster, and got between him and the sword again. Visar's eyes seemed to taunt him, daring him to go for it, and Rekinu was all too ready to oblige.

 

Deciding that he would have to go on the offensive, Rekinu dashed forward, testing Visar, at different points of the arc, and Visar stayed steady, with his sword at the ready. When Visar was at the furthest point from the sword, Rekinu dashed at him, before pivoting his body sideways, and rolling to the sword, barely missing the swing that Visar swung at him. He rolled to his feet, with the sword in front of him. Rekinu already had sweat beading down his face, but he keeps his face determined. His leg was now cramping from the quick change in direction, and he stood slowly, keeping the pressure off of it. When Visar came at him the next time, Rekinu took a chance. He folded back, letting the sword go over him before snapping back with his own weapon... to only swing at air. Visar had danced away, and Rekinu was unsure of how it had happened. As he puzzled over it, Visar lunged again, slicing to the side, and Rekinu instinctively brought his sword up to block. Using both hands he held against the blow, but felt it all the way to his toes. A flash of fear went over his face, and he lashed at Visar with his foot, catching him in the torso. Visar responded by grabbing his foot and flipping him to the floor, before dropping his weapon to Rekinu's chest, signalling the end of this bout.

 

Visar helped Rekinu get to his feet, and wordlessly helped him dust himself off before he spoke.

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After Visar had disarmed Rekinu, he played like a cat with a mouse, seeing if Rekinu could keep from being wailed upon while trying to recover his sword. Finally he did, and threw up a block just in time, and even tried to kick Visar, which was an interesting move. But he twisted ever so slightly and made Rekinu fall.

 

Helping the young trainee up, Visar said,

 

"Wasn't that fun? Well, you get the idea of things, and no matter how badly you think you did, you can only improve from here. You'll be doing a lot of that from now on, fighting with trainees, guardsmen, Warders, whoever you can. The more you fight people that are better than you, the more your technique and skill will be forced to improve. Not that we won't teach you many other things, but mock fighting is one of the best ways to learn."

 

Visar glanced over at a group of trainees crowding into the yard. They looked hungry for sparring. Visar smiled.

 

"Why don't you join and train with them? Get to know your peers and test your skills against them? We'll have lessons fairly regularly, but you'll have plenty of time to train with other people. And while fighting Warders is one thing, they often know what you're about to do. Trainees, they're a bit more unsuspecting," he said with a wink.

 

Putting up the wooden sword that he was using, Visar nodded to Rekinu.

 

"I have to run an errand real quick, but I'll be seeing you in the yards."

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After he was standing again, Visar told him, "Wasn't that fun? Well, you get the idea of things, and no matter how badly you think you did, you can only improve from here. You'll be doing a lot of that from now on, fighting with trainees, guardsmen, Warders, whoever you can. The more you fight people that are better than you, the more your technique and skill will be forced to improve. Not that we won't teach you many other things, but mock fighting is one of the best ways to learn."

 

That is not quite how Rekinu thought it, but be that as it may, it was informative about how much he had to do. He was far from where he needed to be, but he would get there. He would have honor. This was his way, and his customs. He would be worthy of his father's sword.

 

 

Visar looked to a group of trainees that were crowding into the yard, to get ready for their own day of training. They looked hungry for sparring. Visar smiled, and continued.

 

"Why don't you join and train with them? Get to know your peers and test your skills against them? We'll have lessons fairly regularly, but you'll have plenty of time to train with other people. And while fighting Warders is one thing, they often know what you're about to do. Trainees, they're a bit more unsuspecting," he ended with a wink.

 

As he put up the wooden sword that he had used, Visar nodded to Rekinu, and finished with: "I have to run an errand real quick, but I'll be seeing you in the yards."

 

Rekinu waited untill Visar was well away, keeping himself tall and proud. Once Visar had left the area, Rekinu limped over to where he had left his new weapons, hung up his wooden ones. He had worked up an appetite, but then again, when was he not hungry? Returning to his room, he laid his new things in his chest, and headed off to the mess hall for his second meal.

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