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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

A Chance Encounter [OPEN]


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A thwak echoed off the rock walls as the small ball sped toward the opposing wall propelled by the force exerted on it's surface by Corin's hand. The path of Misdirection required many things, one of which was dexterity. To that avail Corin had taken up the sport of hand ball as a chance to improve his coordination and speed. As a side line it help to distract his mind and free the tension in his shoulders and neck from the stress of his present predicament. Spinning his left hand connected with the ball and sent it back toward the wall again.

 

In a way the rhythmic sound of his hit against the ball and the louder sound of the balls return after colliding with the wall help create a trance like state for his mind. He still spent time in meditation when he had the opportunity and had gotten closer to the levels of knowledge that the master, that had trained him in the void, held. The opportunity to spend time in the gardens or grove in quiet meditation did not occur as much now that he had to find ways to be an unseen guardian over her. But it was by his own hand that he found himself in this place anyway. The small ball crashed against the wall with a resounding sound before heading back toward him again.

 

The sound was in a way softer then the crashing of wooden lathes that surrounded him many days as he worked to make the two in his charge worthy tools for the tower. At one time the sound of those lathes excited him, had his pulse racing at it's calling echo. But now they were just a common noise in his life, like the lark or swallow. He chuckled softly at the ironic comparison his mind had drawn. It was the scintillating sound of steel edges that now caught his attention and pulse rate. To dance with life taking edges in a game of chance and mastery brought a quickening to his pulse; but only when done in a game of challenge. To dance those edges for their true purpose was still not something he thirsted for. He would without hesitation for her; or in protection of either of them. What a mess you have gotten yourself into this time Corin. He caught the ball instead of sending it back to the wall in fury; knuckles whitening under the strain of the grip he held to the ball.

 

The darkness often over shadowed the good times in the yard for him now. Times when he tasted life more; or was forced to by those around him. Those like Rosheen; he had been on the receiving end of the crazy mohawked woman's mischief more then he cared to remember. But deep down he would not traded any of those times for a different life then he now held, trouble and all. They had been the few things to keep him grounded in reality while he trained and gained a closeness with Sirayn. He hadn't seen much of Rosheen since her raising. In fact he hadn't seen much of any of his old friends from that time. Duty and a destined drive separated and overshadowed him, kept him from those old alliances. I wonder what she has been up to of late. Her and Orion, and even Lyv. A smile finally found life on his face as the thoughts of old friends and old times eased the tension in his body.

 

Lyv had been an interesting surprise to say the least. His first encounter with her was upside down hanging in a tree. She had been one of Rosheen's accomplices and Corin had again been on the receiving side of Rosheen's mischief. But that was not the only time. He had met the Commander several time both in her role as commander and outside of it. One thing he had learned about her was for all the discipline and beauty the women held, there was still a little girl in there that longed for the things of family. That last meeting in her office; the help carrying the trunk that had brought out that little girl had been an experience Corin would never forget. It made the ex Commander more human to him then she would ever understand or know. She was another he would help with little question or hesitation. The intricacy of how each life's thread seem to be woven here in the yard alone was an amazement Corin wonder if many actually took the time to stop and think on.

 

A sensation of presence brought Corin back from his internal revelry and back to the surroundings of the yard and the stone wall in front of him Someone else was there now, he could sense them behind him, how long have they been there? Annoyance raced through him at the thought of someone watching him and not acknowledging there arrival. Were they there when this started? What have I shown outwardly that could be used as leverage? The game; always the game ruled his thoughts and actions since she had brought him into it's riveting depths and chaotic currents. “And what can I do for you?†His voice was level, the internal annoyance held from it and buried deep inside.

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Moridin had been going over some of his forms for the last few hours and was growing concerned with the sense of familiarity he felt for some of them. His sword felt natural in his hand and he didn't know why. Sword forms felt familiar and came easily to him and he couldn't explain how. Who was he? Or rather, who had he been before he woke up in that forest? It was a nagging void in his mind that he couldn't escape. Everything brought his mind back to that blank and it taunted him nearly every waking moment. It was an interesting irony actually the he had chosen the void as his method of achieving that inner sene of peace, as it was a void that brought him an inner sense of torture. Who was he!

 

He wanted to lash out at something which brought his mind back to the forefront. He looked up and noticed someone staring at a wall and holding a ball in his hand. By the looks of it Moridin wasn't the only one who was getting lost in his thoughts. He realized that he didn't recognize the man standing before but he could tell simply by the man's stance that he wasn't just another of the recruits. He also looked to be pretty close to the same age as he was himself and Moridin had noticed that there wasn't really any other recruits his age here. He also knew that he hated questions and everyone of every age asked him questions. It would be best to simply avoid that altogether by leaving.

 

“And what can I do for you?†So much for leaving...

 

Atleast he now knew he wasn't simply dealing with another of the kids around here. None of them would have known he was there without looking. His voice was also calm and collected, the voice of someone with authority. Moridin smiled inwardly. For some reason that kind of a figure was a comforting though. Given the situation and how he had stumbled upon the man before him he thought the truth might better suite it to a certain extent.

 

"I'm not entirely sure of the answer to that. I was somewhat lost in thought and found myself here." Pausing for a second he thought about how it might better suite him to know some of the people here at least somewhat. To survive one must know one's suroundings. "But maybe there is something... I don't beleive we've met so," of all ironies, "an introduction would be appropriate." Oh how he hated introductions... "I'm Moridin." He said with a semi-formal bow.

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THUNK, Tank, tink, tink. The rhythyms of the forge had a music all their own, a music that could at times be hypnotizing.

 

THUNK, Tank, tink, tink. Shawn hated days like this, days when he was the only Master working in the smithy. It meant that he couldn't lose himself in his work as he preferred but had to keep an eye on the journeymen and apprentices.

THUNK, Tank, tink, tink. There, the dagger was finished. Looking up, something out the window caught Shawn's attention. Was that Corin, his old mentor, playing handball?

 

"Jorb," Shawn called to the senior Journeyman, "You're in charge. Everyone has their assignments already so just keep an eye on safety for me. If you need anything, I'll be out there speaking to a friend of mine."

 

Shawn had thrown himself so fully into his work lately that he hadn't had any time at all to just relax and have fun. A nice game of handball would be just the thing to take his mind off his troubles. Working himself to the bone obviously wasn't doing the trick but maybe this would serve as a better distraction.

 

By the time he'd removed his apron, put up his tools, and made his way to the wall Corin had taken a break to speak to another man. Shawn pasted a smile on his face and inserted himself into the conversation. "Nice to meet you Moridin. My name is Anwashawn, and my fellow guard here that you seem to have interrupted is my old mentor Corin. So, what do you say Corin, shall we put on a little exhibition to show our new friend the finer points of the game?"

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Great another lost trainee looking for a reason to be more then they are or can accomplish without finding that internal need that will drive them through the paces the yard will place on them. Corin worked to keep the cynical smile from touching his face as he turned to face the new comer now rising from his bow. Resisted the urge to state the obvious as an old face joined them. As much as Corin had seen Shawn regularly with his training; now that the young man had risen to the cloak there was a noticed absence. Even though they worked in the same yard, their paths just did not seem to cross very often. Most likely due to the continuous draw he found himself in toward a certain green.

 

“Nice to met you Moridin, as my prior astute mentee has stated I am Corin of the guard, but bows are not necessary here†his hand moving as if to wave away the very act itself. “As for you Shawn, must everything be an exhibition?†His face was flat and emotionless as he stared at Shawn, watched his eyes as he fought the mirth welling up inside at the expression on Moridin's face and the unsure look on Shawn's. Finally he could not keep it in as he sputtered a few times before bursting out in laughter. “You really should have seen your face, both of you.†It took a short spell before he was able to finally gain control of himself again and continue the conversation.

 

“So Moridin, I hope you don't mind if we play while we chat. It seems someone has grown out of their shoes and needs to be reminded of prior lessons,†he smiled mischievously toward Shawn. This was actually just what he needed, a good distraction from Sirayn and his messed up life. Corin moved to stand to one side of Shawn cutting him off from the court while he faced Moridin. “Tell me Moridin, what brings you to the Great Tower and our yard of sweat and pain?†It was at that moment Corin sent the ball hurtling toward the wall at an angle that would place it's return short on the far side. The only sound following the thwack of his hand against the ball was a bitten off curse from Shawn and the scuffle of feet as the young man flowed into motion. This had the possibilities to become a very good day for a change.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Shawn yelled a curse as he took off to try to beat the ball to the ground. So that's how he was gonna be huh? Corin was the one that taught him this game and he was good enough not to need to use tactics like this to win. Shawn got there in time to hit the ball back at the wall, and added a spin to it that would send it in an unexpected location once it hit the wall. But he didn't stop there. He knew Corin would counter that hit so he ran to set himself in a position to make most of the court reachable and waited to see how Coirn would play the ball.

 

"Yeah, what could possibly possess you to come to a place where even the most innocent person would be accused of being an Aes Sedai assassin, right Corin?" He yelled with a wink. He had long since gotten over the insult Corin had first greeted him with those many years ago, but he had to wonder if Corin would even remember it.

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Watching Shawn lunge to return the ball, Corin could not help admit how much the man had improved since the last time they had played. His eyes tracked the ball as it raced back toward the wall in an arc feet already stepping out in the most likely direction from his mind's calculations. It was god to have something random and ever changing to focus his mind and thoughts on other then the continued quandary that plagued him. Peripheral view registered the movement of Shawn in toward the middle of their makeshift court.

 

Handball had been part of his training now for a while; a requirement of it's path. As the ball compressed against the wall and then spun out toward the court in a low arc only half the distance it's original trajectory would have carried it. Corin was already adjusting his steps to meet the ball's new path while his mind calculated his position relative to Shawn. As his body twisted like an uncoiling spring to drive the ball back a chuckle ripped from his throat; memories of his first meeting with Shawn wobbled the return. The ball would still return long to the court but the spin he was hoping to add to it was lost.

 

“Indeed, you have to watch the innocent one's the closest.†He smiled at his old mentee as the man began racing back. “They are always the ones that get into the greatest of troubles with Blademasters and need you to bail them out before they get killed.†The comment was in jest of course, the situation had been exactly opposite. But the small nod he gave the man now occupied with his return was one that spoke of respect and appreciation.

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Well this was turning out to actually be fun. Corin was still much better than he at this game but Shawn was holding his own. He didn't have the long hours of practice Corin had put in but his training in Path of Water was serving him well in this endeavor. His body flowed with a rhythm of its own across the court, moving with speed and grace to wherever Corin placed the ball. Unfortunately, apart from that first strike he had been on the defensive the whole time. He could get to every ball Corin hit to him but never with enough time to hit an offensive play. He was always scrambling. He had to find a way to turn this to his advntage somehow.

 

Over the next few minutes of play he manuevered himself further and further away from his opponent. Soon he was where he wanted to be and when the next ball came his way he sent it straight back at Corin instead of at the wall. Corin was wacthing the wall and got hit on his knee, totally unaware. Shawn knew he hadn't hurt his old mentor since he had softened the blow so it would slow down before hitting. He burst out laughing, "Sorry Corin, but I couldn't resist. What say we go into town and get some drinks to cool down?"

 

OOC: I decided we needed a change of scenery, hope you don't mind.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The ball careened off his knee, bouncing to the side as Corin looked back at Shawn incredulously. “Indeed, you have improved in this game Shawn, other then your apparent lack of aim. Perhaps you need to spend more time on the bow.” The large grin on his face told Shawn he accepted the apology in the good natured fun it was intended and knew how to return the ribbing. “Yes I suppose a cool down drink would be a welcome event, you are welcome to join us Moridin. But I choose the place, after all I'm the cripple now,” he chuckled heartily.

 

It was only a short jaunt to his favorite place and a chance to tease Savannah again. A past time he still enjoyed every chance he got since Orion had introduced him. Well he hadn't exactly introduced him but had been the first to bring him to this particular Inn. Settling down to a table in the corner and a quick wink at Savannah he turned his attention back to Shawn as they waited for the ale he knew the redhead would bring.

 

“So tell me Shawn, how do you find it on this side of the fence now; working to train your own mentee?” It was the first time he had to sit and talk with the man since his raising party. A chance to catch up was always a good thing. Friends where important in their field, help to keep a person grounded and in touch. Besides it help to keep his mind preoccupied on things other then Sirayn.

 

OOC: no problem ... sounds like fun. :)

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When Corin chose a table in the corner Shawn took the seat next to him, with the corner of the wall between, allowing them both an unobstructed view of the room. This had become so much a habit for Shawn that he didn't even think before sitting down. Moridin was forced to sit with his back to the room, a position Shawn would have found extremely uncomfortable.

 

"Well, it makes me wonder, was I really that naive when i was a trainee? These youngsters really have some growing up to do."

 

The serving girl came by again and they ordered their meals. "Mentees can be bothersome but they're certainly no worse than the apprentices at the forge." There it was, a nice little reminder that he wasn't the same youngster Corin had trained all those years. He had dedicated himself to his training over the years and was confident that he could now hold his own in a spar with his former mentor. No, he had come far and would no longer be the pushover for Corin that he had once been.

 

"And the pranks they get into. Did I ever give you that much trouble?"

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