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Training the Cai


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Dalinar had his coat back on and his usual staff back in hand when he returned to the training grounds... Just in time to see the new recruit clatter harmlessly through the rack of training weapons rather unceremoniously.


Cai scrambled back to his feet and mimicked the salutes he must have already seen being used around the Farm.


"Right then," Dalinar said, squinting at the sky, "There are still some hours of daylight left. And we don't really need light to begin in any case. Or to continue. I said I won't be teaching you to channel, but there is much to learn and not all of it requires you to touch the One Power."


"To start, you listen. You listen well and you mark every word - for some of them may save your life one day. Tairens have ever been ones to quash talk of channeling and the Power, so it is probably for the best that we take it back to the beginning."


Dalinar tipped his head as if thinking for a moment, and then nodded to himself. "Perhaps we will see the Infirmary today. It will give us some quiet and privacy."


Without a pause, he lengthened his stride and set off for the building in mind. Some minutes later, they arrived and Dali was thankful for the coolness that the shade of the building provided. Stepping into the shadows, he changed course for an empty side room with a few beds and chairs in it.


"Sit," Dali gestured, making himself comfortable in one of the chairs, "And listen now as I tell you how many of the stories your mother told you as a child are true."


"The Creator, at the dawn of time, fashioned the Wheel of Time, from which is spun the Pattern of the Ages. The fate, the destiny if you like, of all things in our world, and all other worlds too I suppose. The Wheel, and Time itself, are driven by an infinite source of energy that we know as the True Source, the One Power..."


OOC: A drawling commentary ensues about the Power, saidin/saidar, the Taint etc etc. The dangers, some history around the Breaking, etc etc. Pick and choose what you like. Ask questions if you like and feel free to use my character to play out responses. I'll move onto Flame and Void afterwards, so don't steal my thunder or I will have to come up with a new idea for the next bit ;)



Edited by Dalinar
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After hours of conversation Cai was regretting not bringing his herb bag that contained a small bit of parchment on which he could be taking notes.

Many called him intelligent, but he still took time to memorize something.

With this much information he was hoping he could remember it all.


All this talk about the Power and saidin and the taint (which he briefly remembered) was beginning to give him a head ache, but he was determined to remember as much as he could.

It was also very intimidating come to terms of everything that was going to be put before him with the intense training and a good chance of him dying during it.

Well he had come here to learn to heal better than ever, and to perhaps had a chance at killing a few of the blasted whitecloacks.


It would be a good revenge... a sweet revenge.

A secret smile began to appear on his face for a moment and then was removed while Dali was

talking about the destructive power of saidin and the risks involved.


Something sparked in his mind, that Cai came to realize as Dali continued on with his talk.

"Asha'man Dali, might I ask, why will you not be teaching me to channel?" in a cautionary tone.

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“… And so, you see, saidin is addictive. You will want it all the time, to seize it, to work with it, sometimes just to feel it running through you and-“


“Asha’man Dali, might I ask, why will you not be teaching me to channel?”


Ah. There it was. Like a thunderclap it stopped Dali’s diatribe in its tracks. Well, what response to give then. The truth was as good as any.


“You want to know, mmm? My… views once held some sway at the Farm. Some agreed with them and some didn’t. I was attacked by one of those who didn’t. He was far stronger in the Power than I, and once, why, I could almost work saidin with the skill that is written of from the Age of Legends, but it was nothing to the Power he threw against me. If my skill was akin to the Aes Sedai of old - no, not the White Tower, the Aes Sedai of the Age of Legends when men and women alike worked wonders with the One Power that we can only imagine today - if my skill was akin to that, then his strength was too.” Dalinar’s grip went slightly white knuckled on his staff that he had laid across his crossed legs when he sat down earlier.


“I digress. I was attacked. He won. I escaped, but as I did he - well there is a way that a man can be permanently cut off from the One Power. You must surely have heard of the False Dragon who was gentled by the White Tower only, mmm, perhaps a year ago? Well it takes many women, sometimes, to stop a man from channeling like that. But that is what they did - gentled him. And I suppose that is what he did to me. Gentled me. Severed. Cut me off from the Power. Forever it seems.” Dalinar paused, collecting his thoughts, pinching the bridge of his nose with one hand. He felt tired of a sudden.


Dalinar looked off into the distance, lost in his own thoughts. “I nearly died. He had injured me far more than just my ability to touch saidin. But another Asha’man found me, rescued me, Healed me. He thinks maybe he could Heal the severing, too, the cutting off from the True Source, but that we haven’t managed yet. I don’t hold out false hope. It’s funny in a way, we had never thought to even try before, perhaps when together we could have worked it out...”


Dalinar snapped his attention back to his student. “That was a few months ago. I hid for a time. Then word came - those in the Tower who were sympathetic to my views had turned on the traitor. They killed him. And so I thought it safe enough to return. This is as good a home as I have known for some years, I suppose.”


Dali’s smile was dry, “There are many lessons in this. Never be too confident. Never take your gift for granted. They are as much my lessons as yours, now. So you see - I can talk you through channeling until we are both old men, but I can’t feel it with you. I can’t show you what you will soon be able to see, to help you learn. I can’t see how you work the flows, and so I can’t correct what I can’t see. But most importantly, I can’t protect you, if you draw on the Power but cannot stop, I may not be able to stop you. And there are worse things than being severed, perhaps. If you draw too much of saidin, more than you can handle alone, then it can destroy your ability to channel completely. Being burnt out, we call it. If being gentled, or severed, is like a wire that is cut between a man and the One Power… then being burnt out is perhaps like destroying the entire length of that wire altogether.”


Dali lapsed into silence, his gaze settling heavily on Cai’s. After several long moments he asked a simple, important question. “Do you understand?”



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Cai was beginning to be able to read the black coated man emotions the more his education continued on. There was clearly anger in his tale of this other man’s deeds, sorrow from being cut off from the One Power, and Cai almost thought he could feel a similar rhythm of a successful revenge that Cai longed for.


Coming to attention at the end of Dali’s story, a little put off from the severity of his final words, Cai saluted his teacher from his seat pronouncing “Yes sir, Asha’man Dali, sir. I will be sure to manage my gift and to keep to keep a short handle on my axe.”


A little hesitantly he continued “Then Asha’man Dali… what do you do here? Will you still be one of my commanders here at the farm? Or do I continue on to another?”

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Peace! This man from Tear was hard-hitting with his questions.


“You did something before you came to the Farm, yes? Those stains on that bag, I think you worked herbs, mm. A Reader, or Healer, Guide, Wisdom, whatever they call them down there in Tear. So you come with skills, don’t you? The day before yesterday, you didn’t know you could channel. So there is more to you than channeling, yes? Or does channeling define who you are, what you are, and what you do?” Dalinar’s eyes were cutting, grey, clear, the eyes of a man who had once held much influence in the Black Tower. “I hope not. Don’t let it.” The tension slowly eased out of his face.


“I was charged, once, by a dear friend on their death bed, to seek out the Dragon and to do everything in my Power - at the time I didn’t know I could channel either - everything I could to protect him and his cause and see him to the Last Battle. The Black Tower serves the Dragon Reborn. So, for now, our purposes align. Some oaths taken are binding. As for the other? Will I command you? The Tower has commanders aplenty and I am not one of them now. They still call me Asha’man - sometimes I think out of pity more than respect - but I do wear the sword and the dragon on my collar, so I get the respect that goes with them from most. Being… gentled… has staved off the effects of the Taint, for now, and so I have seen more and know more of the Tower operations than many here. Even someone who cannot channel is useful. The Dragon asks us to train, to fight, to protect. With the Power, and without. If you are cut off from the Source, or burn yourself out, then you can still fight. 'To spit in Sightblinder’s eye on the Last Day', I have heard the Aiel say. I was training, when you arrived earlier. It’s a nice distraction from other things that consume my thoughts some days.” Dalinar lifted the staff out of his lap, his hands caressing its smooth wood along its length, eyes running up the shaft. “I speak with no ego when I say if a staff could be heron-marked, then mine would have earned it. Most prefer the sword, but some will choose other weapons for their training. And in the rest of my time? I go back to my roots. Before, a few years ago, I earned my keep as a Healer in the Borderlands, in Shienar where I grew up. Yes, there are those here who can Heal far better than herbs and splints and poultices, but sometimes even they tire and so the more minor ailments can be dealt with more conventionally. And again it keeps me busy.”


Dali smacked the white wood staff firmly into the palm of his hand. “Light, but I go on. Weaving, smithing, cleaning, cooking there is much to do here, channeler or no. When you begin learning to channel, then that task will fall to another. Until then, there is more to teach before you sleep tonight, if you are ready.”



Edited by Dalinar
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Cai flinched from the razors edge of Dali’s looks, regretting his questions once more, but still felt that they were questions that needed to be asked, and that was part of a healer’s role.


This man named Dali was something else. In his past years of being a healer he had never know a man with so many layers. Once you thought you understood one portion of him he displayed a whole new side. The man had much remorse it appeared from his past, not only from losing the One Power, but it seemed so much more.


The warmth and emotion from Dali also began to reach out to Cai, something that he had not known other than Lily’s friendship in Tear. Perhaps someday she could come to visit, maybe even find Riordan once more. For now, Dali would do, even if he seemed like an off center fellow, Cai was beginning to trust the man… if only a little bit.


At the slap from Dali’s staff striking his palm, Cai flinched and came to understand the black coated man’s place on this Farm. Though part of his spirit was gone, the rest was coming in to make up for last room. This man would be tough on him, Cai could see that clearly, but he knew that he would learn much, and one day soon have what he wished.


“I would be honored to be tutored by you A..sha’man Dali.” Cai looked to the side from his salute, a small blush coming across his face. “But my lord, I would have you know that I am not a man of Tear, I am a man of Ghealdan, blessed be her walls” he stated making a sign of three points.


“If you would be so willing Asha’man Dali, may we continue with my training?” Cai stated, an incline of his head toward the other man, a smile coming across his face. “Do I get to start weapon training soon?”

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A well humoured scowl painted Dali’s features, the smile in it touching his eyes. “Lord? Peace! There isn’t a drop of nobles' blood in my veins, Cai. My father was a warrior and my mother kept house as only a Shienaran woman can. Certainly our name was not of any House and our family carried no sigil. Just Asha’man. In private, Dali is fine. We’re almost of an age to be brothers or friends in any other life, I’d guess. But out there,” Dali pointed with his staff through the walls around them, “Asha’man, and a salute.”


“You are keen to learn weapons, mmmm? Well not tonight, for that. Perhaps tomorrow, or the next day. You won’t be wanting for the learning before long. I meant it when I said your days would be long, and hard. There are plenty here who can teach you, though.”


Dalinar reached a hand into his coat jacket, and pulled out a small piece of cloth. It was a dark, rich blue, with silver thread around its edges in images of water splashing on rocks in a stream, soft and almost shimmering. He unfolded the fabric carefully, almost reverently, and laid it out on the floor. Nestled in its heart was a clear glass sphere, slightly flat on the bottom, with an image of a bird of prey with wings spread wide and claws outstretched etched in it. It was odd, how it seemed almost as if the image had been carved on the inside of the glass, yet it surely could not have been, for the outside was flawless and smooth. Two tiny gleaming blue stones marked the creatures eyes, and silver tipped the claws and beak.


“My friend, the one I spoke of before, used to love this. It kept guard over her affairs, she would say, as she used it to hold down papers on her work desk. It is pretty, I think, and precious to me. But tonight, it might serve a purpose other than pleasing my eye.”


“So, have you ever heard of the Flame and the Void?”


OOC: You can go ahead and play out some learning about the Flame and Void, and trying to grasp it. Dali would warn you about saidin in the void, and not trying to reach for it. The paperweight is just a focus point, if you like. It was Power wrought - but power wrought as something like an art piece, it holds no power of its own and is not an *’angreal or anything like that. Just spectacularly detailed and lifelike, and draws the eye. A pretty nick nack. :)



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Of age? The Asha’man had to be at least ten years his senior. But Dali it would be.

Cai eyes grew wide with curiosity at the glass sphere. The design was impossible, the brid was etched on the inside of the structure. How this could be Cai had no clue, but much already this day had seemed impossible yesterday.


“So, have you ever heard of the Flame and the Void?”


Never taking his eyes off the intricate piece of work before him Cai licked his lips stating “I don’t know about the flame and void, but I do know of the nothingness.” Sitting down on the ground with the glass sphere Cai stared deep into its depths. “If I guess right I am supposed to stare into this sphere to clear my mind. Remove all sense of thought.”


A frown grew upon Cai’s face and eyes leapt to his eyes “My mother had taught me it for when we were save someone from death’s grip. It was to keep us sane she said, to remove the remorse and pain that came without position.”


Taking in a deep breath and closing his eyes Cai did so now, thinking of a void, a black space in his mind that ate everything, removing the lost thoughts of his mother and the anger that always came with it.


Exhaling heavily and releasing his gaze from the bird Cai looked up to Dali “But I never was very good at it, especially recently. I can’t seem to shake this light that remains in the nothingness. My mother just told me I needed more practice, but I haven’t had time with the recent chaos drawing me ever more into my work.”


Looking back down at the orb Cai asked “I know you had already stated that things do not have power, but does this glass ball have something to do with me learning something?” A raise to his left eyebrow coming up, staring intently at the ball on the ground.


OCC: Didnt think you wanted me touching the source quite yet, so I just made the light in there. :)

Edited by Cai
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OOC: Ouch Dali must look old :P he's around 28 ;)


The Nothingness, then. It was a new name to Dali, but there were so many different names for the same things that it was no surprise really.


"I could see the use for that, though it had never occurred to me to use the Flame and Void for in such a way before I could channel. Myself, I always preferred to feel than not when it came to those moments. The loss, the grief, the pain and suffering - they were a temper for me, and feeling them I knew that my humanity was sustained. If I stopped feeling those things..." Dalinar shook himself and gestured back at the orb. "Nevermind. Suffice it to say, if I couldn't feel then I worried I would stop caring. Now, this 'light' you describe? Cai, that is saidin. Can you hold this Nothingness? Keep it about you for a time? There is no failure in seeing the light, quite the contrary. And not something you could control in any case. It is in your Nothingness that you will find saidin, eventually, and there that you will be able to draw on the One Power."


"My bauble is just a trinket. Sometimes it helps for those first learning to have a focus, something they can lose their attention in, and I have ever found that the image in the orb tends to draw your concentration in in a most curious way. For you, the orb might not be necessary. Show me how well you can hold onto your Nothingness."


OOC: Dali will go through some things, use your literary licence, to see how well you can hold the Nothingness. Perhaps just getting you to speak to start with, solve a riddle, not lose it when surprised by something. Perhaps you might want to bring things around somehow - or not - to memories of the whitecloaks in Cai's past and what effect that has on his concentration. You can touch saidin if you like, it doesn't particularly matter. We have pretty much fulfilled the requirement for this thread by now though I think - whatever 'extra' you want to do is up to you :)

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OOC: Sorry, was trying to give the maturity appearance and the almost warder look to him. :)


"But how could you take so much of the pain and suffering?" Cai asked of Dali. "Doesnt it just eat you up to see so many people dye at

a point when you could have saved their lives, if only you would have done a little better?" Cai was lost in his own thoughts at this point, looking

past Dali and beyond.


Snapping out of it Cai nodded to Dali's statement of holding the Nothingness and immediately sought the void, the absence of everything but that one point of light.


Dali walked around Cai, watching him as his expression grew from concerned to serene in a matter of moments.

"Now I will test how good this Nothingness of yours is Cai. I want you to hold on it it as long as you can." Spinning about Dali came face to face with Cai "Are you ready



"Yes, sir." Cai said in a slow easy way.


Dali had Cai begin with simple tasks such as speaking, walking around, answering questions and carrying out simple tasks.


"Good soldier... now begins the actual test." A smile coming across Dali's face.


Dali began with more emotional questions, prying deeper and deeper into Cai to bring out the intensity that lied beneath.

Cai divulged all the information, small amounts of awkward and comfortableness coming out sharing such personal information

with a man he barely knew.


At one point Cai did loose the void when things reached to a certain point to close to home and Cai shouted out.


They continued into the night with further testings on a physical level trippings, lashings, flicks, and touches that threw Cai off balance.


This training was not going to be fun at all, Cai thought to himself, not at all and they had barely begun.


OOC: First training done?? :)

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  • 3 weeks later...

OOC: Sorry mon - been a busy week!


They continued for a few more hours, until a tranquil quiet had settled itself over the Farm grounds and the moon was high in the sky casting a pale glow across the building outside.


"Enough." Dalinar called an end to the session. "We are done, for tonight."


Dalinar unfolded himself and slid to his feet, staff in hand. "To bed. Training will start again tomorrow at first light. Get as much sleep as you can between now and then." And without further word, Dalinar slipped out the door to find his own rest.



Yes - training done.

For your other requirements you have:

"non-channeling learning RP" -- weapons, herbs, knitting, fishing, whatever you like

"one (more) free RP" -- prank, flirting with barmaid, or in Cai's case maybe stable boy lol...


Activity seems to be tragically down in the Tower (I wonder how many active players we have at the moment) so I think we could negotiate at least one of those being yours to RP out as you like - ~1000 words just one post and bam you're done rather than back and forth back and forth -- and then you might get to Dedicated (and a bit more freedom with RPing) a bit faster. That's ultimately Arath's call though!

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