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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Turnings of the Wheel (Fior's first RP)


CorenYi
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Fior smiled as he looked up in the grey light of dawn and thought back on the weeks since he had left home. The journey had taken the better part of a month and, despite the reports of trolloc patrols and Shadowmen south of the blight, the greatest trouble they had encountered was the weather. The horses kicked up enough dirt into the air that breathing was like trying to drink the ground.

 

Though the heat beat down relentlessly, Fior remained excited about what lay ahead. Much of the days were spent in pleasant conversation with the guards his father had sent along, when he and Fiy weren’t talking anxiously about the new life they were about to begin. Each night he practiced the forms tirelessly, hoping to master as much as he could before he arrived. No matter what else happened, he was determined not to disappoint. When he was simply too tired to continue he would lie back and watch the stars or play a game of stones with Maxxer, Captain of his father’s guard.

 

In this manner the weeks had passed quickly and pleasantly. They purchased what little they needed from the occasional village or farming settlement and, on two occasions, were even able to spend the night in a real bed. Just short of two weeks into their trek Fior caught his first sight of the cloud covered top of Dragonmount. Nearly a week later, as they crested a rise, he was able to make out a vertical line in the sky just to the left of the fabled mountain that could be none other than the White Tower.

 

And now, as he lay awake waiting for the day to begin he felt excitement stir inside him along with the slightest twinge of nerves. Today they would enter Tar Valon for the very first time. The soldiers would escort them to the bridge into the city but no further. It was something of a right of passage that the members of the family make their way from that point on alone. A symbolic first step into their new lives.

 

Hearing a soft sound from the other side of the fire-pit he sat up and smiled at his sister. “Couldn’t sleep?”

 

Stretching inside her bedroll she grinned to herself. “It doesn’t feel real. I almost can’t believe that we’re actually here. Just think, less than a month ago we were just children of the house of Canain, and by this time tomorrow we’ll have presented ourselves to the Mistress of Novices and Trainees and be starting our training.”

 

Looking back towards the city that was now shimmering in the light of dawn Fior thought about just how big this actually was. To devote yourself completely to a cause, it was a staggering thought. And yet, he couldn’t help but feel comforted by what it meant. To devote yourself to the eradication of the Shadow. Could there be a more noble purpose?

 

Yawning, he stood and stretched before he responded. “It is pretty awe inspiring.” Not entirely certain himself whether he was talking about their future or the city. “But if we’re to actually be ready tomorrow morning we’ll need to get a move on soon. We still have a good bit of ground to cover before we reach the city.” Looking over to where the Guards had set up their campfire he saw that the last watch was beginning to rouse the others and reached down into his bag for some dried fruit and bread to ease the gnawing in his stomach. It was going to be a good day.

 

*****

 

Just after midday the small company rode into the village or Jualdhe that lay on the western bank of the Erinin. As they made their slow progress through the town the eyes of all were captivated by the magnificent sight that lay before them. The white city grew from the island as a magnificent flower, it’s leaves spread across the island, it’s roots stretching to the far banks of the river and there, in the center, the flower towering about it all.

 

Fior could not help but stare in awe as Lancer cantered excitedly behind the other horses. Realizing his jaw was all but dragging in the dust of the road he shook himself to get his bearings and patted Lancer to calm him. Glancing over to see how Fiy was taking it all in he burst into laughter at the look on her face.

 

“Fiffers, you look like about as stunned as a trolloc who was just run through by a squirrel. If your mouth was hanging any lower you’d have rocks for teeth.” He grinned.

 

Blushing a bright red, Fiy glared at her brother and spurred her mare forward to catch up to Maxxer and his grey charger. Laughing even harder Fior took another look back up at the city and smiled as they stepped onto the bridge and began the walk to the other side. A short distance from the island end of the Bridge Maxxer raised his hand and signaled his men to halt. “Alright you two. This is as far as we go. Good luck in your respective trainings and don’t forget to write.”

 

Extending his hand, Fior clasped wrists with the older man and wished him a safe return journey. Then, turning to Fiy he asked, “Ready?”

 

“No.” she replied simply. Waving over her shoulder at Maxxer, she turned her mare back to face the Tower and smiled up at her brother, “But let’s go anyway.”

 

*****

 

Tar Valon was a labyrinth of winding streets filled with shops, houses and inns. Try as he might Fior had difficulty figuring out the path to the Tower, though it towered directly in before him. And so it was that, after hours of wandering the city trying to make their way to the elusive Tower, the two siblings found themselves on a wide thoroughfare dotted with large sprawling shop fronts running straight into the center of the city. In the distance he could make out a wall and just beyond that, the Tower. Grinning at Fiy he spurred Lancer to greater speed. Mere moments later the two leapt down from their horses before the main gate to the White Tower and approached the two Tower Guards standing before the gates.

 

Offering a traditional Saldean salute to the two men, Fior withdrew a letter from his cloak and presented it to the guard on the right. “I’m Fior Canain and this is my sister, Fiy Canain. We’re here to begin our training.”

 

After a quick glance over the letter the guard looked up at Fior and smiled. I hope you two enjoy your stay here, and let me be the first to welcome you to the tower guard. I’ll send someone to alert the mistress of novices that your sister is here, and someone should be down shortly to escort her. In the meantime you should follow me. I’ll show you to the Mistress of Trainees so we can go ahead and get you settled in.

 

Turning back to his sister Fior pulled her close for a quick embrace and kissed the top of her head. “I might not be there as much as I used to be, so you’re going to have to learn to look out for yourself now. But if you ever need me, I’ll come running. The Light shine on you sister. I love you.” And with that he turned and saluted the guard once more.

 

“I’m ready sir. Lead the way.”

 

Following the man through the Warder’s Yard, Fior admired it’s beauty. However, a few minutes later he realized that he did not recall the path they had taken to get where they were and, as they turned down a final hallway he realized that the guard had stopped. Fior waited patiently as the man knocked three times on a door. His ears barely picked up the word, “Enter.” come from within the room. Opening the door the Guard said, Mistress, I’ve a new trainee here to see you. His name is Fior Canain. Stepping into the room, Fior took a moment to take it all in and waited for the woman to address him.

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Ginae looked up from her books as she heard a knock on the door. "Enter" She called loudly so they could hear her. She had been reviewing the progress of some of the trainees when the knock came and right then she was more than happy for the distraction. As long as it wasn't one of the trainees she had been reviewing. Peace but she really disliked reviewing files for the students who didn't seem to be keeping up or progressing. It made for dull reading and hard thinking as she tried to find ways their mentors hadn't to spark the ability.

 

Yes, a distraction was needed. One of the Tower Guards stepped into the room and nodded his head slightly. "Mistress, I’ve a new trainee here to see you. His name is Fior Canain."

 

"Thank you. I'll see to him." As the Tower Guard walked out the young man stepped further into the room and she motioned for him to take a seat as she sat back a bit. She looked him over for a moment before giving him a small smile. "My name is Ginae Auvriani and i'm the Mistress of Trainees. You are Fior Canain. Would you like to tell me anything else about yourself?" She asked, giving the young man a chance to speak for himself.

 

Ginae, Mistress of Trainees

 

 

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Fior stepped forward and took a seat in the chair the woman had gestured to. Returning her small smile warmly Fior took a second look around the room before replying.

 

"There's not much to tell ma'am. I've spent most of my life in Saldea with my family. My mom came and trained with the tower when she was younger, but apparently didn't make it very far. I've wanted to be a warder since she first told me about them. I can't tell you how excited I am to begin my training." It all came out in a rush of words. He hadn't realized how nervous he was until he started talking. Taking a couple of deep breaths he focused on slowing his heartrate and hoped he hadn't looked too foolish.

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Ginae gave the young man a small smile. A born and bred boarderlander herself, she could understand the stories that were told about the White Tower and it's fabled warriors. That some fell short of the mark and other's excelled far beyond, she had experienced first hand but it never dulled the stories she had heard in her youth.

 

"Then we shouldn't waste too much time getting you settled in, should we?" She asked. She took a moment to get her record book out and quickly but neatly put Fior's name in the book as a Trainee. "And with that technicality out of the way, we can work on some other things. Like getting you set up in your rooms."

 

She stood up then and ushered Fior out of her office. "The barracks are just this way." She said. He followed her out and she nodded as they walked. "You'll be assigned a mentor who will help you with your training. That mentor will be your best friend, your closest ally, and the person you turn to first." She gave him another smile then. "Of course I am always here as well if you need me, though mostly if you see the inside of my office, it's not a pleasant visit. So let's try to keep those 'training issues' to a minimum, shall we?"

 

As she finished, she stopped in front of a door and opened it. "Your new home. Go ahead and get settled in and i'll send word for your mentor."

 

PSW.gif

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Following the Mistress of Trainees out of her office Fior struggled to get the butterflies in his stomach under control. He didn't trust himself to talk, so he just smiled and nodded as she lead the way to what would serve as his new home

 

"The barracks are just this way. You'll be assigned a mentor who will help you with your training. Of course I am always here as well if you need me, though mostly if you see the inside of my office, it's not a pleasant visit. So let's try to keep those 'training issues' to a minimum, shall we?"

 

Fior chuckled at that. "I'll do my best ma'am."

 

After a few more steps they arrived at a wooden door. "Your new home. Go ahead and get settled in and I'll send word for your mentor."

Smiling warmly at him, Ginae turned and began to head off in what he could only assume was the direction of his mentor's room.

 

Smiling exuberantly Fior faced the door to his new room and, remembering his manners, called after the mistress, "Thank you for everything."

 

Turning back to the door as she waved over her shoulder in response he opened the door and stepped in. It wasn't until the door shut behind him that he wondered just who his mentor would be. Setting his single bag on the nearest bed, he surveyed the room before taking a seat.

 

It was a simple room. Clearly meant for two people, it was lightly furnished with two beds, a small chest of drawers placed against the wall between the beds to serve as a night stand, and a table and two chairs. A small metal pitcher sat atop the table and next to it sat a small, unlit candle.

 

Searching around inside his pack for his flint and tinder, he rose and lit the candle on the table, moving it beside the bed in the process. Setting his dagger next to it, he decided he would leave the unpacking until tomorrow. Kicking off his boots he lay back on the bed and thought about what lay ahead.

 

Fior Canain, Trainee

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Guest Arie Ronshor

Ooc: Only 'semi' forced. ;)

Ooc2: NPC'ing Ginae to keep the RP moving. :)

 

 

The half Andorian Tower Guard let out an aspirated sigh as she swept her gaze around her room. Although, the light shon on her slightly better good fortune. Whoever decided that it would be fun to fill the bed with dirt and ants and a ..was that a sleeping frog?!? .. had not picked her bed to do it in.

 

"Thank the Light.. " Cairma muttered as she shook her head. Normally she would take the time to clean, but maybe, just maybe, it would be enough to get Llugh to remember to lock the door. "Serves him right.. " She smiled. And then she chuckled. For once it was not her that was pranked and it made her laugh. If she thought about it for a moment it was rather funny.

 

Picking up the lathes that she had returned to retrieve, Cairma closed the door, not bothering to lock it this time and moved out of the halls and out of the Barracks. Starting in the direction of the Armory she found herself being approached by Ginae.

 

"'Morning Cairma."

 

"Ginae." She smiled at the Mistress of Trainee's. "What can I do for you?"

 

"I got an assignment for you." Cairma raised her eyebrow at the woman, waiting for an explination. "A trainee by the name of Fior Canain. Just arrived this morning. I know your not training anyone but Vera Sedai and Coraman."

 

Cairma nodded. "Of course. Is that all?"

 

"Yes." The woman grinned. "Up for it?"

 

"Of course."

 

"Good." Cairma gave the woman a mock salute. "Good luck, Cairma."

 

"Thanks."

 

The woman walked off as Cairma still held the lathes. The things that happen int he day that ywould never be expected. A Trainee. Lovely. Looking to the lathes and the Barracks that she had only previously left, Cairma turned around and headed back in. She can drops the lathes off when she helps this Fior Canain pick out.. Her? weapons. Contemplaiting the new trainee's gender she headed her way through the hallways to the newest filled room, knocking and then entering.

 

"Is there a Fior Canain around?" She inquired.

 

 

 

Cairma Vishnu

TG

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Ooc: he arrived the night before, so It just seemed appropriate :-P Enjoy.

Ooc: Also RP'd Cairma a bit, feel free to fix/change anything you want.

 

"Is there a Fior Canain around?"

 

Startled from his sleep Fior bounded from his bed and looked at the woman standing before him confused. As he struggled to throw the sluggishness from his sleep addled brain he ventured."Y-yes. I'm Fior. How can I help you?"

 

The woman before him wore her blonde hair close cropped and had the most strikingly beautiful green eyes he had ever seen. She also had an odd smirk on her face and seemed to be trying to surpress a laugh. And it was then that Fior realized he was wearing little more than the bed sheets strewn about his feet.

 

Blushing brightly, he quickly gathered the sheets about his waist and gave an embarrassed smile to the woman. "Guess I should start locking my door, huh?" After which the humor of the situation overcame him and he began laughing at his predicament. The woman's mirth showed through those striking eyes of hers as she too began to laugh.

 

After the laughter died down she put on a simple smile and, extending a hand said,"I'm Cairma Vishnu. I'll be your mentor..."

 

Fior's body turned an even brighter shade of red as he blushed again. This was his mentor... Oh bloody Light, of all the things to happen on his first day!

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Guest Arie Ronshor

When she had first walked in, she had struggled to keep from laughing. She had kept it in rather will. But as the trainee started laugh, she gave in. It was not often (if at all) that a Trainee was caught with their pants down.

 

Most indefinatly with out a doubt. .. Male! she thought with a grin as he struggled with the sheets around his waist.

 

After the laughter died down she put on a simple smile and, extending a hand said, "I'm Cairma Vishnu. I'll be your mentor..."

 

The boy turned a various shades of red, and not only on his face, but hiw whole upper torso seemed to be changing colour. Retracting her hand, she smile with amusement. "I'll let you collect yourself before we start discussing behavioural and other expectations that will be placed on you." She reached for the handle and slowly started to close the door.

 

"I will wait outside for now." She paused for a breif moment before adding. "And i would highly recommend locking your door. You never know what might barge in." She chuckled as she closed the door as she thought to Llugh. If he had a mentor that barged in on him, would he start lockign their door? Knowing her luck, most likely not.

 

 

Cairma Vishnu

TG

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"I will wait outside for now. And I would highly recommend locking your door. You never know what might barge in."

 

"I'll try to keep that in mind." He said with a self depreciating smile as she pulled the door shut behind her.

 

Dropping the sheets to the floor he made sure the door was locked before rummaging through his bag to find his clothes. I really need to do laundry.

 

Securing loose fitting breeches suitable for exercising around his waist he began searching for a clean shirt. Tossing that over his head he laced up his boots, grabbed his favorite green jacket and headed for the door, pausing only a moment to wonder exactly what she had meant by "what".

 

Stepping out into the hallway and closing the door behind him he saw her leaning against the wall and waiting for him. Blushing slightly upon seeing her sly smile he extended a hand in formal greeting. "Fior Canain, at your service."

 

She pulled her head away from the door frame as Fior walked out. It took a lot of control not to burst out laughing once leaving the room, but she seemed to have managed some how. Ironic the one thing that she was hoping her roomate would learn she had already taught to a trainee. How to lock a door. It could be ever so very easy.

 

She smiled at his direction but she allowed him that little bit of personal space. However, as they walked, she could tell that it would be hard as he was significantly taller than her by many inches. It would be hard to intimidate a boy his height. But than she did not have Beast strapped to her back. First day of training, he will know.. she smiled to herself. "I take it that you have only just arrived? Tell me of yourself, Fior. What knowledge of the Sword do you have? And why did you come to the yards?"

 

"I arrived late last night with my sister Fiy. As for my knowledge of the sword; I began practicing with lathes when I was 12. Mostly just simple arm exercises to help build the stamina required to weild a true sword in combat at first." Fior replied, flexing his thick arms unconciously. "It wasn't until around a year ago that I began to practice the basic forms. With the rest of the schooling that my mother insisted on giving me, it has been slow going. However, I've been practicing the forms during every spare moment that I can find, and I believe that I'm beginning to make some progress." Though I'm far from mastering them "I also know a little of the bow, and some basic hand-to-hand."

 

It was clear that she took in every word he said, weighing it... Or was she weighing him? as though searching for something. Remembering her last question he continued, "I could tell you that I came to the tower as a part of the tradition of my family, but that would only be a partial truth. Honestly, I came here to learn. I want to learn to dance with blades. I want to be a part of the battle against the shadow. Ever since my mother first told me about warders when I was a boy I've wanted nothing more than to come and train with them; to learn their arts; to master their ways. I wish to set my land free of the constant struggle it faces so that we may know a life of peace." Knowing that he probably sounded like a naive fool, he waited for her to respond.

 

Fior Canain, Trainee

 

and

 

Cairma Vishnu

TG

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Guest Arie Ronshor

She nodded as she took in all that he said, although she was not as proficiant with hand-to-hand combat she still held a healthy respect for it. It was quite possibly because of her size, and she liked to keep some distance between her and her opponant, but everyone in the yard fought differently. And for Fior, it was no exception.

 

"A noble cause." She said simply as they walked into the Armory. She smiled thoughtfully as she had once looked in here as a new trainee and saw with eyes far too big for a child of her size. Not that it had stopped her in the least.

 

"We train on with a Primary weapon, and of which you are granted a Secondary and Tertiary. Some even pick out more than that." She paused for a moment, "Or i suspect in your case no weapons at all. But if you came here to learn the blade it might be a good idea to start with the Blade as your primary and work with your hands as a Secondary." She smiled with humour in her eyes. She hated to admit it but the morning's display still was threatening to make her chuckle. "Take a look around and see what you can find. Ask any questions you wish as i'll be able to answer them all, or so I hope." With a slight sweeping motion she beconed him to enter and take a look around.

 

Setting the Lathes that she brought with her to their spot, she spoke a simple warning. "But bare in mind that the weapon you choose now will be the weapon you work with the most. Be it a long sword or stave, that will be what i will teach you. Possibly some of anouther, but if that is what you wish to learn now i'll be sure that you learn it."

 

 

 

Cairma Vishnu

TG

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As they reached the Armory, Fior could see laughter sparkling behind that emerald gaze, and guessed at the source. "Take a look around and see what you can find. Ask any questions you wish, as I'll be able to answer them all, or so I hope." Smiling thoughtfully, he followed her gesture into the room, first with his eyes and then with his feet.

 

Passing through the large double doors into the Armory, Fior's eyes widened as he slowly took in the sight before him. On the walls hung weapons of every variety, from axes to bows, and even whips. Swords of all types filled the racks covering the floor, and armor of various sizes hung on wooden mannequins forming a ring around edge of the room. Stepping over to a rack holding training lathes and placing the ones she carried on it, Cairma said, "But bear in mind that the weapon you choose now will be the weapon you work with the most. Be it a long sword or a stave, that will be what I teach you. Possibly some of another, but if that is what you wish to learn now, I'll be sure that you learn it."

 

Dragging his eyes away from the stunning collection of weapons before him, he looked to his new mentor with surprise. "You mean that I get to pick any of these?" His words hung in the air as she merely smiled and nodded.

 

Looking back around the room, Fior didn't know where to begin. Walking once around the room he took a closer look at some of the weapons that graced the walls. Quickly ruling out axes, No finesse... he moved on to a section of polearms. Not seeing anything that caught his eye, he turned to the nearest rack of swords. He hefted a couple, but none felt quite right. There was a beautiful Katana that struck his eye... but I'd rather something one-handed.

 

Stopping at a rack he had passed before he began to examine the swords more carefully. Amongst the other straight-blades on the rack, one stood out. It was almost elegant in its simplicity. The leather wrapped handle was the same soft black as the sheath. Reaching out to lift the sword, he was surprised at how light it was. Placing his left hand on the sheath, just below the quillions, Fior attempted an awkward Unfolding the Fan. Even while wincing at his error he couldn't help but marvel at the balance of the blade.

 

The sword truly was a wonder of craftsmanship. It must have taken a master smith to shape the steel and form the complicated S of the guard. Three grooves ran down the center of the double edged blade. Fullers, he thought suddenly, remembering their name. The rounded pommel, while not ornate, added to the elegance of the weapon nevertheless. The entire length was a little over 5 hands, a good hand shorter than a bastard sword, and was two and a half fingers wide at the base. He took a short test swing and nodded appreciatively. He would be able to get a great deal of power out of this sword without sacrificing any speed.

 

Turning towards his mentor he smiled, "I believe I've found my sword."

 

Fior Canain,

Trainee

 

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Guest Arie Ronshor

She watched carefully as Fior moved carefully through the armoury. It was clear that the boy was impressed and would not pick just any sword. She was impressed, at least to a small extent as he would pick up something examine it, weighing it, and then continuing to something else. "I believe I've found my sword." She nodded her approval.

 

"Wise choice. But will this be your only weapon?"

 

Seeing his mentor's approval he paused, considering the question. Would this be his only weapon? He hadn't even given a thought to carrying two swords. Or was she talking about the other weapons he would learn eventually? Looking around the room again, he tried to decide if there was anything else he would like to train with.

 

Returning to a section of the wall with spears and staves, a strange weapon caught his eye. It consisted of three sections of wood, each approximately two feet long. Two of the sections had a metal cap on one end which was connected by a short length of chain to one end of the third section. Setting the sword down on a nearby rack, he lifted the strange weapon and examined it closely.

 

"Could you teach me to use this?" he began, turning back towards Cairma. After a second he continued with a chuckle, "Or for that matter tell me what it is?" Throwing a wry grin at his mentor, he waited for her to reply.

 

Cairma chuckled as she folded her arms and leaned against the door frame. "I can teach you anything you wish to know. And that," She pointed to the weapon he was enquiring about, "Is a Three-Sectioned Staff can be used as both a short range weapon and as a long, flexible whip-like weapon." She caught the slight enlightenment in his eyes. "However it is extremely difficult to learn and will earn you more bruises than the sword. But if it's something that you wish to become proficiant at, we can certainly look into it if you like." She smiled with amusement in her eyes.

 

 

 

 

Cairma & Fior

 

 

Ooc: Edited Length. *hmm.. that seems dodgy*.

Ooc2: I'll be online later than expected. Work lacks in mature people that can work late so, being the sucker that i am and unable to say no...... :P

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Returning her amusement with a smile of his own Fior gripped the center section of the staff and took a test swing. Seconds later he found himself fumbling to keep a rack of swords from crashing to the floor while a section of the staff came around with a resounding thud to his head as thanks for the attempt.

 

"Bruises I can live with." He began, straightening the swords with a bemused smile. "And besides" he continued, rubbing his head thoughtfully, "I never back down from a challenge, and that sure felt like a challenge."

 

He smiled broadly at his mentor as he collected his new sword and, carefully, folded the staff into the crook of his left arm and gave the green eyed warrior an exaggerated wink.

 

"So...." he asked impishly, "When do we start?"

 

Fior Canain, Trainee

 

Ooc: Was supposed to be tacked onto the end of that last one, Sorry I kept you up so late dear mentor. ;)

Ooc2: I edited it a little to give it some more body.

Ooc3: Also, You should edit the length of the staff in that post. It should be 2 feet per section, not four. Sorry about that, it was my mistake. *sheepish grin* Sleep well.

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Guest Arie Ronshor

Eager.. He won't be so eager in a week or two after her introduction to the yard.. and an insane amount of laps to ensure that the boy was in good shape to tackle sword form basics.

 

"You will learn soon enough." She smiled at him. "But seeing as you have only just arrived I see no problem with you taking the day to learn your way around the yard." She held up a finger as she placed down conditions. "As long as you stay out of trouble. No going into the Tower unless you want to meet up with the Mistress of Novices. No leaving the Yard. You signed up, your stuck here. No point leaving when your going to be busy here. And for the light, please don't pick a fight. I don't need any trainee under my care causing any more trouble than I. If you have a problem, please bring it to me and let me be the disciplinary hand, not you."

 

She thought for a moment and nodded her head. "And that's about it. Any other questions?"

 

 

Cairma Vishnu

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Fior pondered for a moment at her choice of words. "more trouble than I." If his mentor had a reputation for making trouble he'd have to look into it a little around the yards and see what he could learn.

 

"I think I've got it, and I'll try my best to respect the rules so long as they respect me." With an impish grin he continued, "I certainly don't want to be kicked out. So, should I just wander my way around the yards? I'm sure I can find everything alright on my own if you have something else to attend to." Almost as an afterthought he added, "Though I wouldn't mind getting to know you a little better if you did have the time. As much as we'll be together in the near future, it certainly couldn't hurt." Smiling at her, Fior moved towards the door.

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There was something in his nature, something that she couldn't put her finger on just yet, but it was in part of his intelligence that was giving him away. The boy was not naive - at least not like Braxton of who Aran would complain about one the odd drunken rant. “Let’s move to the yards than. It's too nice to chat in the Armory." She turned as he nodded and lead the way along the fences of the Yard. "You wish to learn about me? What would you like to know?" She always hated this part. However, the sooner it was done the less it was questioned later. Theoretically.

 

Fior thought for a moment before answering. "I guess we should start at the beginning. Where are you from?"

 

"Probably nowhere that you would know of. Kings Crossing, along the western border of Andor.. if even that. My town had barely 50 heads and was greatly out numbered by cattle and sheep. I had 5 older brothers and I never knew my father." If she could even claim to have one. "I left because I didn't want to be a farmers wife. Too much inter marriage."

 

Fior could sense from her tone that there was more that she wasn't telling, but he wasn't one to pry. Especially not into private matters that someone intentionally left out of conversation. "Where did you go after you left?"

 

“Travelled." She said simply. "And then I ended up here. After hearing what were fables of Aes Sedai, I was curious to know if maybe I could be one of them. However I had neither the talent or the spark. With no other real set goal in mind I signed up in the Yards. it was tough as I was assigned to many mentors, as I was assigned to you. My first mentor was a woman. Bril. She was amazing with the blade, but she was sent away. She never returned. At the time I joined there were very , very few woman that had picked up the blade. I was probably the 5th Woman to complete all of my training and stay within the ranks without being bonded."

 

"You said you were from Saldea? Where abouts? I have yet to travel there, is it nice?"

 

Sensing that she was trying to change the subject, Fior went with it and, rather than pressing on, answered her questions."I'm originally from Northern Saldea. My family has an estate just south of Maradon. My father used to be a captain in the Saldean Military and is now a prominent merchant. He hired on some other retired military to train personal guards for our family. It was from them that I learned what little I do know of the sword." Inclining his head towards her, Fior voiced what he was wondering. "What of your family? Surely they must be proud of your accomplishments. Have you spoken to them since you left?"

 

Her eyes flickered cold but warmed instantly with a forced sadness. "We were never close. I have not heard nor seen them since I was 12 when I left home."

 

Seeing the change in her eyes and unable to determine it's meaning he replied cautiously. "I'm sorry for that. I don't know what I'd do without mine. But I seem to have encroached upon a sensitive subject, so let's move on. How long did it take you to complete your training?"

 

Thankful for the subject change, she chuckled at his next comment. "Finish? That would depend. I became a Tower Guard when I was 18. So training took about 2 years. but I doubt I’ll ever 'finish' my training." She smiled with a bit of a shrug. "What do you expect to learn, or want to learn while your here? Many do leave after they reach the Red Cloak."

 

 

Fior gave a quiet laugh at that. "I'm here for more than just a red cloak. I want to be the best, and I'm not leaving 'till I'm bound to a Sister and can take the war directly to the Shadow."

 

"Bound to a sister?" Cairma laughed.. truly laughed. It was the second funniest thing that day... "Burn me... Bonded?!" She took a moment to breath. "Few are bonded and even then most that reach the Red Cloak prefer it than to the political headaches within the tower. Be warned, Fior. Aes Sedai live only for Aes Sedai. We are only a tool. At least without a bond we have the right to claim our own name."

 

Smiling at her concern he said simply, "I believe I understand all that, though I'm sure I will come to understand it far better in the future. But it seems to me that there are some things that are more important than a name." Leaving it at that he decided to change the subject again. "So, is there anywhere to get some food around here? I'm famished."

 

She could see a few other guards waving her way, waving back she smiled at Fior. "Tell you what. Food is that way," she pointed towards the mess hall, "And consider yourself dismissed for the day."

 

Bidding his new mentor a fond farewell, Fior hurried off in the direction she had pointed to search out some food.

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