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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY
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Asfaloth

Sana Learns the Spring

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Shawn reclined against a tree, marveling as he usually did at the beauty preserved here in the old Ogier Grove. It had been by the lake here in this grove that he had first met with Rosheen to learn the philosophy of the Spring, and here he was waiting so he could pass that knowledge on to her brother of all people. He did not usually take the time to train others in the philosophy he'd chosen to follow but he'd done it a few other times so when Ursana asked him he was glad to help out. Aran, the boy's mentor, was more than capable of teaching him this lesson himself, but he'd left the Tower for some reason and had asked him to help the boy out while he was gone.

 

So here he sat fighting sleep and waiting patiently for the boy to arrive. Would he be an eager student, ready to learn what Shawn had agreed to teach, or would he be one of those arrogant fools that thought they knew better? Knowing Sana as he did he suspected the day would go well. What could be keeping him?

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There were days when he wished he could just bury himself in his bed and never leave. And lock the door. And the barracks too, with everyone outside so they'd leave him alone. And bar the gates so no one in Tar Valon tried to get to him either. Because today, it seemed everyone wanted a piece of him. How was it that in the process of making his way to his morning work out he had been stopped by 2 different new recruits who needed directions? Not that it was that bad a thing, but it had made him late for his workout, but also to a training session with another Tower Guard. Having see that Sana could run laps easily enough, the Guard had found a...smellier...way to make sure Sana was never late for training again. A chore by way of the stables.

 

Once done he'd had to run back from the stables to the barracks and bathe quickly which..... made him late for his first meeting with Shawn. Not the impression he wanted to give, certainly not since he'd already had a lot going against him at this point. Sure they'd been teammates together for a short period, but since then Shawn had caught him coming out of the White Tower and had punished him for it. And Aran's brilliant idea of making him wear a dress while in the stables, the armory, AND wall duty had just been the finishing touch of the torture that was his life. Oh, wait. No, the finish touch had been the curtsying and having to answer to Ursula for 2 weeks.

 

With a sigh, he managed to stride over to where Shawn was waiting for him. At least he didn't look angry. He took a deep breath as he approached. "I'm sorry for being late. Aran sent me to the stables... and you really didn't want to smell me after that." he said, hoping a smile would ease things over. "I won't make a habit of being late though. I really appreciate your time and your teaching."

 

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"Don't worry about it, I'm sure you had good reason for being late." Really Shawn didn't much care what his reason was. On any other day he might care more but today he had set aside much more time than needed for this lesson so starting late wouldn't exactly upset his plans.

 

"Now, I'm sure Aran has probably already explained this to you but I need to make sure you know what you're getting yourself into. There are two philosphies of life and training taught here at the Yards and you can only choose to learn one. Thus, yourdecision today is a very important one."

 

Seeing that he had Sana's full attention Shawn continued, ""First the Flame and Void technique. Those who follow this philosophy of training are characterized by discipline, strength, and emotionless movements. The body is forged into a weapon through the will of your mind. By shunning emotion and detaching from the world, one becomes powerful through precision of forms, discipline of the body, and absence of intruding thoughts and emotion. The warrior becomes true to the blade and cold to the surrounding environment.

 

"Though they both provide the same benefits to their adherents the Spring is nearly the opposite in its approach. Followers of the Spring are characterized as being relaxed yet passionate, with a very creative mental outlook. By embracing the emotions you live life to its fullest. You become passionate and fight with emotional content. Not fears, hate, rage, love, or anger, but rather with the strength we as a race get from the emotions we are born with. Creativity springs from the instincts of survival, energy is derived from both the positive and negative. For the body to be strong the mind must be in tune with the spirit and body, harmony is achieved through a passion for life.

 

"As you can see these two are mutually exclusive of each other. I can teach you the Spring, and I can find someone else if you choose to learn the Flame and Void techniques, but this is your choice. No one can decide for you, and once you decide there is no going back to learn the other. So, what will it be? Feel free to take your time if you need."

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Ursana listened as Shawn spoke about the different forms though he had heard similiar speeches before. He hadn't moved forward lightly on this and he understood the choices. He couldn't imagine living a life without emotion, even for a few seconds, let alone training himself to be that way.

 

He nodded his head to Shawn. "I'm ready to go on. I've talked to a couple people about the differences and i've been thinking about it for a while. I just can't see myself learning to form the void and keeping everything away like that. It's just not... natural. Not for me. I'd like to go forward and have you teach me the Spring."

 

PSW.gif

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“Good.” Shawn started, thinking of what to say or do next. He wanted Sana to relax a little, but was unsure if the boy would be able. Relaxed or not, Sana would learn how to create the spring. It might just take him a bit longer if he was stressed or nervous. Shawn grinned at his former teammate. “We’ll get started then. Close your eyes,” he ordered.

 

Then his voice took on a more soothing and calm tone, one he had practiced on other students in the past. Everything not to unsettle his student. Creating the Spring, and keeping a hold of it would seem like the hardest thing he had ever done, even without further distraction. "Now think hard. I want you to pick a memory. It can be any memory, but it must be the memory with the strongest emotion that you can recall. Think about the emotion. What is this emotion? Don't answer out loud. Instead, focus on this memory, and compress it. Keep pushing it down and down into a small ball, until you've compressed it so much that you cannot make it any smaller. Let me know when you've gotten to that stage." Shawn himself had barely been able to lift his arm when he had reached that point, focussed as he was on attaining the Spring.

 

Shawn laid back against the tree and watched Ursana struggle to find just the right memory and compress it. His face went from relaxed to focussed and back again a few times. After what seemed like a long time to Shawn, the boy signalled that he was ready to continue. Shawn smiled, “Very good. Now I want you to do the same with another memory, another emotion. Take a hold of it, and compress it until it’s just a layer around the ball you’ve just created with the first memory. When you’ve done that I want you to go on with a third and a fourth memory. On and on until you’ve layered all the memories you can onto the first one. Stay focussed, and don’t worry, it’s ok if you don’t get it right at once. You’ll know when you have it right.”

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Ursana took a deep breath as he relaxed into Shawn's instruction. The voice calmed and soothed where he had never realized it cold before. It was strange to notice it, but as focused as he was on Shawn's teaching it was an inevitable discovery.

 

The strongest emotion. Light, where to start? But he already knew the memory, knew the pain and hurt he had felt and still carried inside himself. Somehow time and distance had never really dulled the memory of being left behind. He focused on it, trying to do as he was instructed. Sometimes, he felt he had it, and then suddenly the emotion would surface so strong that his concentration would falter. Memory would whip about his mind of Rosheen's leaving, of the loss of the person he still idolized the most. In the end, he finally managed it though and he nodded to Shawn.

 

Another memory? His family leaving him in Tar Valon while he was injured so he'd have to face his sister. Another pain, another leaving.

 

More. Becoming a trainee. Meeting Esthelle. Meeting Karli. Betrayal. Pain. Joy. Pride. The memories and emotions each came and he struggled with each to make them the smallest, tiniest points he could. In the end, it seemed like everything clicked into place and he took a deep breath, relaxing further into it.

 

PSW.gif

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OOC: Ok, now as to what the spring does as soon as Sana opens his eyes: I’ve always imagined it as if you were stepping into the little ball of emotions you’ve just made. As to what the Spring should do; like the Void it makes you more aware of your surroundings (sounds, feelings, smells...) and heightens your senses. While your strength isn't increased, as a Spring user you’ll have more stamina, meaning you can go on longer without getting tired like you would normally. There are, of course, limits, but basically the Spring makes the user less aware of how tired they are so that they can continue on for longer. So more stamina and more ‘focus’, meaning you don’t get influenced by things ‘outside’ as much anymore, like pain or taunts from your enemy.

 

IC: Anwashawn watched closely as Ursana went through the motions of grasping the spring. Almost automatically he found himself doing the same, first slowly, building it up emotion after emotion, and then swiftly. If needed he could have the Spring firmly in his grasp within the blink of an eye, but he enjoyed taking it slow sometimes and really getting down to the basics of the process. The strong core of emotions hadn’t changed much, but he had added many new memories from his time in the Yards. Some of these were good, such as the fun times with Dene and finishing his blacksmith training, otehrs not so good, such as when Dene told him so emphatically that they were through. Good or bad though, they were all a part of who he was and therefore they were all useful. He smiled, hoping that this training session would turn out to be as useful for the young man in front of him as it had for him.

 

Shawn was waiting patiently by the time Sana indicated that he had acheived his goal. “Very good.” Shawn said, sitting up. “Now I want you to open your eyes.” He had to wonder if the experience of looking at the world while inside the Spring would be as different to Sana as it had been to him. If the way the boy blinked was anything to go by, he would say it did. Shawn pointed to a tree a fair distance away, “See that giant oak over there with the burn mark on its side? At the top of that tree you’ll find a bag. I want you to get the bag, and then return to me. Whatever is in the bag is yours to keep.” Shawn smiled again as he watched him go. The task shawn had given him wasn’t hard enough for him to fail at it, even without the spring. It was merely about seeing the difference between an exercise with and without the spring.

 

OOC2: What's in the bag is up to you.

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Opening his eyes was like opening them for the first time, the world was different, more detailed and more colorful. He noticed things he would not have before and it took him a few minutes to get used to the feeling before he could turn his attention back on his teacher. His awareness was too new and too extraordinary. He knew that his face must have shown it too, something he hoped he would be able to change in time.

 

When Shawn told him to look at the tree, he did as he was told, marveling still at the details he could make out. How had he not seen them before? He got up at Shawn's words and went to the tree that had been pointed out. It wasn't hard to get to the small bag that had been deposited there, but he knew he took longer than he needed to, just getting used to the feel of the Spring and focusing to keep it around himself as he moved.

 

He retreived the bag and brought it back to Shawn, wondering over it. To his hands he felt something small and round in the bag. As he walked a faint sounds cema from the bag but he couldn't tell what it was exactly. As he sat down before Shawn he put the bag down and opened it out of curiosity. The bag dumped into his hand showed a multitude of small stones in multiple colors and sizes. Sana picked one up and looked at it closely, the way the light hit it, the way it felt in his hand. He smiled at Shawn as he put the stones back in the bag. "Mission accomplished."

 

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“And now we get to the hard part.” It was always fun to see the eyes of trainees widen when they found out that the task they had been working on wasn’t complete yet, even if they thought it was. “During the next week I want you to practice grasping the spring and holding on to it as often as you can and for as long as you can each time. Especially be sure to try it during what you consider to be the most difficult times as well.” Shawn remembered his own first week of learning the spring.

 

“I expect you to be here, exactly one week from now, to tell me how you’ve progressed.” With that said Shawn turned, and walked towards the barracks. The sun was already starting to set, and he was hungry.

 

Ooc: you don’t have to rp the entire week, just rp coming back to the lake, meeting up with Anwashawn, and telling him what you’ve done during the week.

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Amazingly enough, the week had gone by quickly. He had expected the time to slow down as it normally did when you were really wanting it to go fast. It was odd that it had behaved itself so far.

 

He smiled at Shawn as he walked over, holding the Spring as he did so. It had become easier over the past week to hold it as he continued to work on it. Sometimes were harder than others and remembering Shawn's earlier words he had tried in earnest to master the new skill.

 

Their greetings were short and sweet and Shawn seemed as eager to hear of Ursana's week as he was to talk about it. "The first day I think was hardest because I was trying to remember to do it and I had to stop and really think about it each time. Then I went back to my room that night and just kept doing it. As soon as I'd feel the Spring, i'd let it go, to try to get used to getting it. I still have to think about it, but it's a lot easier than it was at first."

 

He smiled at Shawn as he continued. "And I seem to have a lot of trouble concentrating in the morning so I worked on it a lot when I got up." He wasn't exactly the morning person he used to be. When he had been part of the caravan he'd had no choice, but here in the Yards he'd become far more laxed about his mornings. "I seem to be able to hold it longer now though than I could, and to be able to hold it while i'm doing other things. I still lose focus too often though, but i'm working on it."

 

Ursana Tahn Sakhr

 

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