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Raising a Mark or two

Visar Falmaien

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Torvus breathed in, drew the arrow smoothly to his ear, and slowly sighed, releasing the string with the thumbring. The arrow shook free of the bow and zipped forward to the target. He blinked, and looked at where he had hit. Just to the left of center. Again.


He nocked another arrow from his quiver with practiced ease, but did not try for top speed. He did not have the nimbleness in his bowhand for that anymore. It was a miracle that he could still shoot at all, and it had taken him almost two years to work himself back up to some semblence of proficiency with his Saldaean horsebow, and that still a mere child's toy compared to the heavy draw weight of his father's monstrous bow of horn and sinew, which he had never had the strength to string much less use. Sadly, Torvus did not yet have the instinctive aiming on horseback back either, and so he resorted to the crossbow for his rounds, as it was much easier to hold steady.


But he missed the joy of archery, and so he was determined to practice and recover his skill in the ancient art which his ancestors had perfected for thousands of years. Nock, draw, loose. Adjust the aim, do it again. And again. Torvus almost didn't notice the other trainee who had stepped beside him. Then the young man scuffed his feet slightly to get Torvus's attention. In mid-draw, Torvus turned without thinking, and he lost hold of his arrow, which left the bow only to land a few paces away. Rekinu laughed, and Torvus even chuckled a little at the wimpy shot.


"I'm much better than that, that was a fluke, I swear," he said to his friend. His friend nodded, seeing four arrows already in the target, one of them very close to the bull's eye. They had been training for a long time and had gotten to know each other decently well. Rekinu had the Dark One's own luck, but his earnestness and enthusiasm made him hard for even Torvus to dislike. Torvus had been there almost a full year before Rekinu, but they already were among the more experienced trainees on the yard, and Torvus swore some of the higher ups were noticing. But would they raise them to Guard status yet? Likely not, they were too stupid to give them the opportunity when it was a good time. Torvus put it out of his mind and reassumed the Void, preparing to take another arrow.


"Care to join me?" Torvus asked Rekinu.

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Rekinu had been walking around for a little bit, he was completely engrossed in thought. It had now been some time since his trip with Taia, and the feelings that she had stirred up, and then she had practically dissapeared. He still did not know what to do, or even think about all that had happened during his first real mission, he had killed a man for the first time, and had experienced loss as well. Truly a Tower Guard's life was hard, but he had never felt as alive as when they were in the thick of it, hunting darkfriends, and ridding the world of evil people. It felt right to him. The night he had returned, it had taken him a bit to warm up to the other trainees again, and of all people, Torvus seemed to understand more than most, and had just sat quietly with him his frist night, looking up at the starts. Little had been spoken, but it was unneeded. Surprisingly, they had become friends after that, and had started to train together, especially when they were using their free time.


Which brought him to where he was, watching Torvous fire some arrows at a target. He had only been there a few minutes, but his friend had that odd crossbow that he loved to use. No matter what he said, Torvous would be deadly with that in a fight!


He stepped up beside him, being careful to make some noise. Suprising Torvus was almost as deadly as trying to surprise most of the instructors. A fact that Rekinu remembered with little fondness. The one time his had actually managed to pull it off had them in a full fight before Torvus had realized who it was he was fighting with! After a bit, he scuffed his feet again to get Torvus's attention, causing him to let go of the arrow at an odd angle.it fell a short distance away, and Rekinu could not help himself, and let out a laugh. That was one thing he always had, he loved to laugh, even if something was only a little funny.


Instantly, Torvus was on the defensive, "I'm much better than that, that was a fluke, I swear," he said. Rekinu nodded, looking towards the arrows already in the target, one of them dangerously close to the center.


Care to join me? Torvus asked before Rekinu could say something.



Smiling, he spoke, "You know I am no good at shooting arrows, but I always welcome a chance to train with you!" He had known that Torvus was training with his bow, and so he had brought his as well. Standing next to him, Rekinu slung his quiver over his shoulder to put the arrows at easy reach over his right shoulder, and got ready. He assumed the Void, before saying "We are going to train on swords next right?"


He laughed so hard at Torvus' response, that his first shot went wide, hitting Torvus' target instead. Keeping his face completely still, minus his left corner of his mouth that was trying so hard to smile, he said "Would you look at that? Blood and ashes, you are getting Good!" Rekinu's shot had accidentally knocked two of Torvus' arrows away, but had buried itself right between his closest shot and the line of the center. Allowing himself to smile, Rekinu took aim again, and they started to train.


After a while, they got into a rythm, so muh so that they would draw arrows together, and release them at near the same time. Rekinu kept the void tight around him, reveling in the clearness of purpose, and the purity of action that it offered.

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  • 2 weeks later...

(ooc: Edana, care to join us real quick? hope you don't mind me posting your dialogue a bit, let me know if you want me to change it)


"We are going to train on swords next right?" said Rekinu. Torvus gave his friend an odd look, as if to make it obvious that that was what he wanted to do the least (Rekinu was far better at the sword than he was, and he always would be) before biting back.


"More proof of your sadism, my friend: you just want to cover me in bruises. It's like you get off on that. Save it for the ladies, my friend, though be careful not to be accused of anything too scandalous" he added with a wink. They shared a laugh at that, and Rekinu's first shot went wide, hitting torvus's target in the center somehow.


"Like I keep saying, Reki, you have the Dark One's own luck," Torvus said, not a little impressed. Rekinu shrugged off the comment, a little uncomfortable with Torvus using that phrase, and they continued to practice. Torvus noted with some satisfaction that his groupings were much better from here on.


They went at it for a while, getting into a good rhythm, when Torvus noticed someone coming up behind him. Luckily for that someone, he had already loosed an arrow, so he couldn't be a safety hazard by whirling around.


"Yes?" Torvus asked, then fumbled with his bow, standing straight into a salute. "Yes, Guardswoman Edana? How may I be of service?" he asked more formally. You did not want to rub Edana the wrong way without consequence, though Torvus suspected the showing of formality did the trick just as well. She gave him a look that meant she was here on business. Business.


"Trainee Arathel, Trainee Alasayaar: both of you are to come with me. And no questions."


Torvus already had a question about to form in his mouth, but he shut his mouth just as quickly. He glanced at Rekinu, wondering if he was in the know. This would be quite a practical joke, potentially, if he did, but Torvus didn't think so; he looked as baffled as he was.


They followed Edana to a glade of trees. Torvus had not really been here before, but he knew its purpose.


"Oh," he said, understanding why they had been summoned there. Their Tower Guard ceremonies.


Torvus Arathel,

is he even ready for this?

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  • 2 weeks later...

The training went on until Torvus turned around, and saluted. Rekinu was quick to follow. If Torvus was fast at saluting, then he needed to be just as fast. Torvus was one who never had scared easily. Once he had turned around, half into the salute already, Rekinu recognized the person that was standing there. It was Guardswoman Edana.




"Yes, Guardswoman Edana? How may I be of service?" Torvus said.


She responded with her characteristic low voice; "Trainee Arathel, Trainee Alasayaar: both of you are to come with me. And no questions."[.b]


Exchanging clances with Torvus, he could see the bafflement as plain on his face as plain as anything he had ever seen.


They followed Edana to a glade of trees. From the way Torvus looked around him, Rekinu knew that he had not been here either. However there were many stories that had been told about this place. Now he was just scrambling his mind to try to remember the phrase he would need to repeat in time.



Rekinu Alasayaar

Slightly unprepared.

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Edana took her time getting dressed, strapping her sword belt on last and eyeing her reflection in the small mirror over the wash stand, her fingertips tracing the hilt of the sword on her hip. How was she going to keep her face straight? She idly thought about the two trainees she was after as she crossed the Yard. Torvus had a mouth on him, but Ed had never cared much about that. Whether he could hold his liquor and still control his smart mouth... that was the question! She forced her lips to straighten out as she found the two trainees and made their way to them.


Torvus heard her coming and his first response made flattening her expression easier, even if watching him fumble when he realized who it was nearly made her smile again. "Trainee Arathel, Trainee Alasayaar: both of you are to come with me. And no questions."


The last was to stop the question she could already see in their eyes. She turned on her heel and led them towards the ceremony grounds, stepping to the side as she entered the clearing to take her place among the other participants. Only then did she allow herself to smile.



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(ooc: for reference: tower guard ceremony)


Torvus was nervous as he passed into what could only be the Glade of Remembrance. Thick trees blocked out the late morning sun, all save for the stone slab in the center. There were two other people already there, the Commander of the Tower Guard Mia standing behind the stone. Edana took her place on the right, and to the left was a familiar face to Torvus. Taia Sedai was standing on the left. She seemed amused at Torvus's presence, but he knew that she looked at Rekinu with unwavering respect and passion.


Torvus glanced at Rekinu curiously but did not say a word. He knew Rekinu had been involved in missions outside the Tower, but he had no clue what they had been about or who he had gone with. Now he had a very good suspect, glancing back at Rasheta. And yet he still did not know the details! how infuriating!


A silence came over the five of them. Torvus and Rekinu were standing there awkwardly. Oh yes, the words! They had to say the words. Torvus quickly made sure he was unarmed, and Rekinu did the same, before they stepped forward to swear their vows. Torvus cleared his throat, glanced at Rekinu, and they both kneeled before the stone. They began the words of the ceremony, staggering and hesitantly at first, but remembering the words as they went,


Torvus and Rekinu spoke, "I come here unarmed, offering to give myself to the defence of those who serve all."


Commander Mia asked, "Who would speak for you?"


Edana spoke in the following stillness. "I would speak for him. He is fit."


Commander: "Who would trust you?"


Taia Sedai spoke to them, though it seemed to Torvus it was mostly to Rekinu she looked, "I would trust him." A shame, thought Torvus idly; she was a very ravishing woman for an Aes Sedai! He knew his chances were nil, though.


Commander Mia intoned,"Who would accept you?"


Edana responded, "I would."


Commander Mi continued, "Who would witness your oath whose word is beyond question?"


Taia Sedai firmly said "I will" Torvus wondered why she trusted him. He had never felt entirely trustworthy. But it was just a ceremony, and he was glad for the references all the same. They didn't need to know how he felt.


Commander Mia cautioned them, "Do you understand that once pledged you are forever bound to a rule of defence? Defence of all Aes Sedai, the defence of the White Tower?"


Torvus felt a little uneasy, but he had already started this, things had already gone in motion for him to be here and accept this role in his life. He responded a split second after Rekinu's emphatic, "Yes." with his own affirmative.


Commander: "Do you understand that once pledged you are forever bound to a rule of obedience? Obedience to your officers, obedience to all Aes Sedai?"


They replied, "Yes."


Commander: "Do you understand that once pledged you are forever bound to a rule of commitment? Commitment to serving faithfully, commitment despite any adversity?"


Ah, commitment. Torvus hated that word. It stood for everything rigid and unthinking in his mind. It would keep back progress and flexible change. It would limit his options to only one, only commitment. But it was part of the ceremony, so he bit his lip and replied in the affirmative.




Commander: "Then give your oath now."


Torvus paused, and then Rekinu and he looked at each other. Torvus thought the oath process a little tedious, especially with all the "by the light of hope and salvation" rhetoric, which sounded a lot like the Children of the Light's message. But it was part of the ceremony, and Torvus did not intend to stay a trainee forever.


-Torvus Arathel,

about to swear an oath he might regret.


(ooc: I'll let you pick up from there Rekinu)

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For him, Rekinu's mind was twirling. He was in wonder at this point happening at all!


He had waited for it, with hope for so long. He was slightly surprised, yet gladdened by the face that Taia had come to offer her support and speak in their behalf. He always wondered why an Aes Sedai needed to be there anyways, but he was glad she had come.


the rest of the ceremony was easy, all they had to do was say yes, and Rekinu tried to say it each time with the conviction that he felt.



Commander: "Then give your oath now."


Rekinu went first for this part:


"I swear by the light and my hope of salvation and rebirth, as a Tower Guard to defend the White Tower and all who call it home."


"I swear by the light and my hope of salvation and rebirth, as a Tower Guard to serve faithfully for as long as the White Tower requires me."


"I swear by the light and my hope of salvation and rebirth, as a Tower Guard to fight the shadow and uphold the light until my dying day."

He then continued, adding a small part at the end, to better capture his feelings on this day,


"I swear to fight the Shadow, and to ensure peace and safety for those who follow the light!"




Torvus said the oaths,

"I swear by the light and my hope of salvation and rebirth, as a Tower Guard to defend the White Tower and all who call it home."


"I swear by the light and my hope of salvation and rebirth, as a Tower Guard to serve faithfully for as long as the White Tower requires me."


"I swear by the light and my hope of salvation and rebirth, as a Tower Guard to fight the shadow and uphold the light until my dying day."



(ooc don't know weather I should go on or not... if so, PM me and I will fix it!)

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Taia was talking to Mia, they hadn't seen each other in some time and it was good to catch up. They were busy giggling like novices and reminiscing about their days as novices, then later as new Aes Sedai, when a young man approached them. Both sisters put on there Aes Sedai mask and Mia addressed the young man asking him what he wanted. Taia's gaze looked him over, he was handsome enough, tall and with the look of the borderlands about him. Not from Saldea she was sure but maybe Kandor or Shienar no if he was from Shienar he would be wearing his hair in a top knot and he wasn't. She noticed his eyes of blue next and she was a little to intent in her study as when Mia said her name she started in surprise. "Your presence is requested at a Tower Guard ceremony Taia." Mia reported to her. If she hadn't been so schooled in keeping her face blank she would have blinked in surprise. What in the creators name could anyone want with her at a ceremony of any kind she wasn't the best person to call. Still, they had requested and she wasn't one to say no it could be fun. She nodded to the young man and said she would be right along. She ran up to her rooms and brushed her hair out and then pulled it away from her face she picked up her shawl and draped it around her shoulders, next she left the room and set off for the training grounds.


She came on to the grounds and found where the ceremony was to take place, the two men being raised to Tower Guard were Rekinu and Torvus. She was slightly amused at Torvus presence she had thought he was close to being raised when she had met him some time ago, apparently she had been wrong. She wasn't needed at first so she took a moment to look both men over. It had been some time since she last saw Rekinu he had changed for the better she thought. He had never come to see her after there trip where he had first killed, she supposed that it was because seeing her brought back bad memories. She couldn't blame him but it did still bother her a bit. She had hoped with a lot of training he would eventually consent to be her warder, now she wasn't sure if it was possible, especially if being in sight of her made him unhappy. He wouldn't agree to protect her with his life. She spent a moment letting herself look at him from his feet to his head and back again. Yes he had changed and for the better, she turned her attention to Torvus. He seemed faintly annoyed at something, she wasn't sure what. She interrupted her thoughts to speak her part of the ceremony. It almost seemed strange that the boys would need her to speak for them, but the tower had strange rules sometimes. She went back to looking over Torvus, he had changed too if anything he looked a little more smug, she wondered about that. She had stayed away from the training grounds since she had stolen Rekinu away and had been the cause of the death of another of the Guards. She didn't need anyone to think she was bad luck. She waited and watched the rest of the ceremony with no expression, the commander turned to lead them away, Taia knew she should go as well but she was never one to be conventional so she paused and eyed Torvus and Rekinu. She went and stood in front of Torvus first she spoke softly.


"Don't make me regret speaking for you." She turned and moved to Rekinu's side.


"I.." She was going to say she had wished he had come to see her, but that would sound like she was love sick and she wasn't. She was a little hurt he had not come to see her but love sick, never. She tried again. "I wish you the best, be well and serve the tower well." She then turned around and walked off.

Edited by Rasheta Ardashir
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Torvus said the oaths, though the back of his mind was buzzing with a slight resentment at all the religious gibber jabber.


"I swear by the light and my hope of salvation and rebirth, as a Tower Guard to defend the White Tower and all who call it home," he said. He took a breath.


"I swear by the light and my hope of salvation and rebirth, as a Tower Guard to serve faithfully for as long as the White Tower requires me." He took another breath. At least it was repetitive and dry enough to remember. Sometimes he wished he could forget these useless ceremonial lines.


"I swear by the light and my hope of salvation and rebirth, as a Tower Guard to fight the shadow and uphold the light until my dying day."


There, oaths done with. Now could he go party? No, not quite yet.


Commander Mia spoke to each of them in turn. First she spoke to Rekinu, who had spoken his oaths first, and then to Torvus.


"We welcome you to the Tower Guard, you that were known once as Torvus Arathel of House Schaim of Saldaea."


Then Taia Sedai came forward, fixed the cloak on Torvus first, and told him,


Then she went to Rekinu, and fixed his cloak on. Torvus noted that she spent a little more time with him, but that was to be expected.


"We welcome you as Torvus Arathel of the Tower Guard, our brother in arms. Rise and stand as one among many."


Torvus stood along with Rekinu. Edana stepped forward, and presented both him and Rekinu with daggers. Torvus took his quietly. He half wondered if it was considered ill form to sell it at first chance; he already had a dagger, and it was far better than this one. But he wouldn't dare do that any time soon; people kept track of things like that. Plus it was a symbol; it would at least look good on a wall somewhere.


"You came to us unarmed, and as our mark of trust we place this steel in your hand. May you keep it as a symbol of the trust that has been placed in you, and may it serve you well." Yes, yes, those were the words. Ceremonial piece of steel for a shiny ceremony rigid and lifeless.


"Spare a moment for those who have come before you and to who you have become, as shall those who follow you." Commander Mia concluded, and she left them there. Edana left as well. Taia came to Torvus and spoke,


"Don't make me regret speaking for you." Torvus almost had the bad sense to wince. What was this thin strain of hostility or suspicion in her voice? It was as if she expected him to do something terrible already. Well he was a bit of a rascal, people kept saying, so maybe she only meant it well. He hoped he could be worthy of her attention further. He nodded and stared at the stone slab for a bit.


Meditate on those that had come before. Well, he wasn't those who had come before; he was his own man now. A guardsman. That was good enough for now, though Torvus had plenty of ambitions. Maybe he could rise to become a Captain in the Guard. Enough reflection. It was time to get a drink.


Torvus patted Rekinu's newly cloaked shoulder.


"Well, my friend, I'm going to the taverns to celebrate. You coming or shall I leave you here?" Torvus knew Rekinu likely took this all extremely seriously, all the duty and honor and whatnot. Torvus would do what he was ordered, and do it well, but he knew he was meant for more than just dry duty and honor. It was almost worthless to him other than the respect other people gave.


He turned to leave. Maybe he would in his envisioned revery find a nice new lady friend happy to befriend a new Tower Guardsman? That would be nice.


-Torvus Arathel,

about to get very drunk.

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He was deep in his thoughts when Torvus patted his shoulder, and invited him to join him on a trip to celebrate. Knowing Torvus lots of ale would be in the plans, and probably women. Grinning, Rekinu nodded. He could do with a drink, but just one. Then he would return to he rooms, and polish his weapons again. He had not done so for a couple of days, and he needed to make them shine. He would bring Honor to his family name once again, and he would keep the oaths made today. But that was for another time, now, he was going to go have some fun!


Rekinu Alasayaar, about to have some fun!

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