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Tattoos and Training ~Arie~


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It had been a bitter, but rational Vera Cadsanome who had ventured to the Yards with the request that she would have for one of the Tower Guard train her. She had not expected any eyebrows to be raised or guffaws to occur before her, but at the least, she had hoped for some surprise that she, prejudiced and blind Sister of the highest sorts had finally taken it upon herself to be able to wield a weapon. The realization had come, while not easily, during long evening rides from Tear, where it dawned on her that Saidar just wasn’t enough. Lucky though she had been till then for no confirming experience to have been inflicted on her, Vera decided firmly that it would be better to ensure that such times could be ducked as best they could. She was certainly no Green, but self defence was something any woman could need. Subtle though the increase had been in the number of Accepted and Sisters who were training in the Yards, leather outfits had been sighted far more often than before and so Vera told herself reassuringly that a dozen women she knew herself could not be wrong about wanting to train with the Warders.


Tick tock tick tock tick…The clock hand was quickly reaching the chosen time, the sound a slightly irritating reminder that she needed to get her act together. Rising from her chair, Vera quickly opened the tightly wrapped box that lay on the table. She had organized for her training garb well before the day they were to begin, all fitted and cut to perfection. The colours were rather dull, but suiting somehow. The breeches were the darkest, a blue-black that reminded Vera of bruises. Mistress Devena certainly had a flair for bringing out the most in women, and it had required a certain amount of persistence to ensure that her own were not the clingiest things to have ever been worn. The tunic and vest, both a shade lighter were thankfully loose enough to walk around in, thus endowing Vera with a certain level of satisfaction as she glanced at the mirror. Atleast she would look like she knew what she was doing. Tying back her hair, Vera opened the note that had arrived earlier that day. She had already been told that it would contain the name of her mentor and the time, and was hoping that it would be someone she knew.


Cairma Vishnu, of the Tower Guard. The name did not ring a single bell. Of course, it was not like she knew many members of the Tower Guard, but being acquainted might’ve helped, was it so that she got stuck or found to blunder more often than not. Still, perhaps this woman would be pleasant and easy to talk to. Easily enough an image slid into Vera’s mind of the possible Cairma Vishnu. Tall, Vera would think. Muscled, slim and calm. Yes, now there would be a perfect combination. Looking one last time at the mirror, Vera left.


It was warm outside, but fittingly so. Early though it was in the day, the training grounds were filled with scattered trainees and mentors, and even a few Sisters who she nodded at while passing them by. Approaching the first person she found idle, she greeted the person politely. “Good day to you. I was wondering if you knew where I could find Cairma Vishnu?”


~Vera Cadsanome

Afraid, meek little thing

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Looking up as he opened his eyes, Jaz immediately pushed off the tree as he got to his feet when he saw who was there. A woman. A beauty had addressed him and sought his help. One who was searching for Cairma in the garb of a trainee even if the garb was perhaps a little too fine to be entirely mistaken for such. Short and pale, her chestnut hair was tied back and it was with soft grey eyes that she was regarding him. Her face could have been said to possess a similar softness but it possessed a certain ageless aspect to it, one that said that the woman who stood before him was not just a trainee though she was no doubt in need of training.


"My lady, I am most dreadfully sorry. I was so captured by the sweetness of your voice that I didn't quite understand what you said, then I saw you and anything I did catch just melted away. How is it that one of such natural grace and charm came to speak with me of all the yard's most humble denizens? Truly, it must have been fate, indeed the weaving of the wheel that conspired to bring us together."


Taking her hand as he bowed forward and kissed it, Jaz looked up at her with one of his more charming smiles as he spoke. "I am Jaromir Verakov, though there is no need for such formalities between friends because we are friends already true? You should call me Jaz, and if you would indeed show compassion to this poor wretch who has been overwhelmed by your majesty and magnificence is there a sliver of a hope that you would grace me with your name which is no doubt as wonderful as your eyes which have stolen my heart with but a glance. Then perhaps you could speak to me of what was just spoken and then I in turn could speak of what you would wish to know and once I had spake such things then we could speak more so that we could say that we had spoken?"


"One could only claim to have spoken to this beautiful mistress of hearts and passion if one had spoken her name and you are in luck for I shall speak her name and her name is Vera and once spoken one would truly wish to speak it again, no?" Aran had kept a straight face the entire time as he had landed behind Vera and started talking as she had whirled about but Jaz had seen him coming. Then again, Jaz had known he was there, they had both been resting though Jaz had done so at the foot of the tree whereas Aran had been up in the branches in order to avoid people disturbing him. Listening in the entire time, he couldn't help but join in the fun the moment that she had revealed she was after Cairma and with her clothing marking her Cairma's student no less.


"Truly, the name Vera rolls off the tongue so deliciously that it causes me to tingle all over and feel lightheaded from having been gifted a name to call that which is irresistable." Jaz's smile was adoring as Vera turned to him and over her shoulder he saw Aran wink.


"Indeed the mere thought of her name brings to mind slim ankles and regal bearing that cause my breath to become ragged and my thoughts to wander. Does she not make one wish to do anything to please her? And now she wishes to find our fair friend, the Lady Vishnu who causes us to go weak at the knees the moment she looks at us." Taking Vera's free hand in both of his own as his own vapid smile confronted her, over her shoulder he saw Jaz wink back at him. "The Lady Vishnu we can find, can we not Jaz?"


"Yes, indeed we can, but why not tell our fair maiden where she is? She must be impatient with us for distracting her so, even as she distracts us unto pure distraction." Jaz looked concerned as he spoke.


"I daren't!" Aran's looked away from Vera as if shy and abashed. "Just holding her hand is enough to drive a man to the brink of insanity as one's heart soars. I fear what would happen if she spoke words to me, be they cruel or kind."


"I understand, for I too am stricken so. Truly, she spares us the loveliness of her voice for it would strike us dumb. Elegant like a white lily upon the crystal waters of a secluded lake, she is almost too perfect to be real. You are real are you not?" Squeezing her hand, Jaz nodded with a happy smile. "Of course you are, and now that you are with us you should not have a care."


"Indeed." Aran squeezed Vera's hand, causing her to turn to him. "She could regale to us much of herself, for behind such lovely eyes I see wisdom and compassion beyond what we could ever hope to know and if we were to be graced with it for even a moment we would have lived full lives for having witnessed such a thing."


"I concur." Taking her arm lightly, Jaz smiled at her warmly. "We must indeed talk awhile, and allow myself and more similarly stricken companion to be warmed by the tales you could share with us. For even though we have been truly been stunned by what we have seen and the little we have heard, there is still more to you yet that we would learn and appreciate for the sharing. There is no shadow of a doubt that there is a touch of the divine about you."



Jaz & Aran

Tower Guards

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Guest Arie Ronshor













Picking up a shirt after shirt in search of a white one, a soft mutter of bemusement along with a small string of curses that would make a sailor blush, yet all Cairma could find were multicoloured shirts, blouses. Scouring the room she shared with Llugh she dare not look through his things -mentally shuttering to herself, light only knows where it's been- She knew that she was out of time. No time to ask to borrow anouther shirt, it meant only one thing. Vest and breeches for her first training session.


"Ashes.. ... " She sighed, quickly pulling the vest around her chest and pulling on her sheath for beast. Making a quick mental note to talk to Ginae about cracking down on lazy trainees, she clipped in Beast into the sheath and headed out the door, carefully taking the time to actually lock her door. Not that it mattered. Llugh never did. She needed to get a new roomate.


Striding into the yard bare armed, swirls of a blue tattoo mirrored on her shoulders and 6-foot sword strapped to her back, Cairma was as ready as she ould ever be to start her training. Of an Aes Sedai. .. She nearly groaned out loud. It was one thing to help a younger trainee along the path, but an Aes Sedai? All high and mighty and most with things far more important than to be bothered with the likes of her, not that she minded. In fact, she liked it that way. No Aes Sedai politics.


Blinking at the scene in front of her, Cairma struggled not to laugh. Picking up a small stone she made a light toss at the boys as the held the hands of one very obviously confused Aes Sedai. Walking over calling.


"Hey! Jolly Jaim Twins! Leave the poor woman alone."


"Ow!" Rubbing his arm, Aran turned about as Cairma approached them only for his eyes to go wide and for him to release Vera and grab Jaz by the arm instead. "Is that who I think it is? Could it be? The slayer of trees and boulders? And she's only wearing a vest! Look at those tattoos for how they almost seem to swirl and sway with a life of their own as she walks to us, for walking is she not? Perhaps she is gliding with a grace not even the swan knows."


"Indeed!" Looking to Vera and then back to Cairma, Jaz's knees gave out on him as he fell onto the ground. "Such loveliness gathered about us I cannot even stand, for to stand would be to assert a will that I have now lost. And she calls to us! For if she asks us to leave this beauty she must mean she wishes for us to attend her true?"


"For true! Come, let us attend her!" Walking to her even as Jaz rolled to his feet and did the same. Taking one hand even as Jaz did the other, Aran was vapidly smiling as he squeezed the hand then turned to Jaz. "Can you feel that? Hands so silky and smooth yet so callused and strong, I could melt."


"Melt? I have already died and gone to the Creator's embrace!"


Incredulous, she wasn't sure who to feel sorry for. Vera Sedai, or herself. Taking back her hand she motioned for Vera Sedai to follow her, causing both Aran and Jaz to swoon more from her own touch but release them both. "Shut it, you two. No one cares to hear your iincessant ramblings." She smiled at Vera Sedai. "Forgive them, Aes Sedai. They are not of sound mind and are often fallen under the influence of a sod, or anouther troublesome affiliation."


Aran looked shocked but it was Jaz who fell to his knees as he implored. "Not of sound mind because I have been struck by the beau-"


"Shut up."


It was Jaz's turn to looked shocked as Aran then moved forward with a charming smile. "But my Lady Vi-"




The pair exchanging glances, something silently passed between them in that moment before Jaz clutched his heart as he sank back and sat on his feet. "We have been denied! How can we live with this?!"


"I cannot!" Letting slip a sob, Aran placed the back of his left hand upon his brow as he ran with a gait that was convincing in its feminity. A moment later, Jaz was on his feet and likewise mimicking the act as they left at least one of them wondering what had just occured.


She shook her head at the pair. "Bloody pair of Greens, that's what you two are. Go pick on some other trainee." With a shoo of her hand she turned away before the boys could follow them with more of their irritating -yet amusing- eloquent speeches, Cairma lead the Aes Sedai away from the yards and to the Barracks.


"I am sorry you had to meet those two. Nothing but trouble, they are." Cairma paused in her speech as she continued. "But now that you are temporarily safe from them, Ginae told me you with to learn the Sword. What sort of skills do you posses? Have you ever handled a weapon before? And what sort of training are you looking to gain." Cairma paused in midstep. "And please just call me Cairma. Titles never suited me."





Cairma & Aran & Jaz

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  • 4 weeks later...

What makes one person approach another? For Vera, it was usually something soft in the person’s appearance- those twinkling eyes or the ever present smile. At other times it could even be the stern, solid feeling she was subjected to upon looking at the approachable- that impression that he or she really knew their way around. Then of course, came the last sort- the idle so called drifter with apparently nothing better to do. Vera always believed that approaching the ‘last sort’ as she had titled them, was a tricky task simply because, they were the ones who most disliked being disturbed. And so, when Vera had chosen an idle man who was enjoying the shade of a large tree, she had told herself that it was because she was on new grounds. New grounds allowed a good number of excuses after all. Looking at the Tower Guard uniform, Vera had given him a small smile as she had waited for an answer.


Now, with her smile rapidly fading and her eyes shifting from one man to the other, Vera was unsure about just what had hit her. Or more importantly, why! She hadn’t ever met either of them before, she was certain of that, nor had she heard their names before, which did not mark them as connected to anyone she did know amongst the people of the Guard. But wait. That was the point was it not? Having her-an Aes Sedai, at that- staring befuddled at them would give them exactly what they wanted, and she, while probably the best candidate when it came to fulfilling such a wish had a tiny tiny thing called pride. This pride had now swollen up, a large wall between her and the dreadful possibility of crimson cheeks and large school girl eyes. What would Shayna do? She wondered, the question spinning around in her head as she noted that other people were now watching the little…scene. The answer came to her quickly enough. Vera began to smile. A broad smile, which showed off pearly white teeth; the result of vigorous brushing since well, quite a while.


Vera was about to open her mouth and speak, swaddled with contentment as she said her winning words in her mind. Only of course, as befitted such a day, she was interrupted. Turning, Vera knew as she looked upon the woman that this was none other than Cairma, her mentor. Or as the men had so articulately titled her: Lady Vishnu. The first thing Vera noticed about her future trainer was her arms. A swirling blue mass…of Light knew what coiled impressively around her arms. Tattoos. Lovely, she thought a little weakly. First off there were two men who had chosen her as their prey for the day, and here was a powerful woman with a beast of a sword strapped to her back who had her arms covered in tattoos. Making friends seemed a rather distant thought, she realized sadly as she watched Cairma push away the two with a sardonic grin. Wondering as to how she should introduce herself to Cairma, Vera was relieved when the other spoke up first. Only to be put into yet another ponderous state as the questions sped by her. Ah well, atleast the woman was pleasant.


Smiling warmly, she considered Cairma’s words once more as she spoke. “Well Cairma I would like it if you could call me Vera then and lets have titles behind us for these few weeks then. As for skills and weapons? I’m afraid I’m useless with weapons, unless your regular kitchen knife counts. I…quite enjoy cooking from time to time. I know a little bit about herbs and such because of that, but I doubt you needed to know that. I can do my bit of aiming and throwing though. It used to be a hobby of sorts. Does that help at all? I’m afraid you’ve a total novice in your hands.”



Not quite out of her shell yet :D

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Guest Arie Ronshor

ooc: Wait for it.





Cairma chuckled softly and shook her head. "You are not the first 'total novice' that has bene placed in my care. All the better to work with. It is easier to mold soft clay than drying clay." She giggled a little, "Or however the saying goes." Motioning a change in direction, "This way, Vera." She said and then headed towards the Armoury.


"One of the things that we will start you off is choosing a weapon, But before we go into too much about that I will need to lay down the ground rules before I will even start to agree to even teach you." Cairma didn't even miss a step. "As an Aes Sedai you are given an advantage over any mere man or woman and have the ability to thwart all that oppose you. The foundation of learning the Sword in addition to what you have learned in the Tower is to compensate where you may otherwise be lacking in a battle. When you pick up a Sword you either work with the One Power, or your Deny it's existance and only use the blade.


"I can not teach you how to use the One Power any more than you can teach me how to use a sword. When you are with me your are strickly only to Learn the sword without the One Power." Cairma looked to the woman as they reached the door of the Armoury. Pausing she looked the woman, Aes Sedai, in the eyes. "I can not stress this enough. If the situation calls for it you will be without the One Power and only with your sword. If you constanly compensate for that, your have nothing."


"Before I even let you into this room, I must have your Oath to not Touch, Channel or even embrace any aspect of the One Power when you are under any lesson I am to give you. If you find that I am asking too much You may go find yourself anouther Mentor. Some will teach you under your rules, but Under my, you're under my Rules. Is this understood, Vera Sedai?"


Cairma nodded at the womans oath and Opened the door.


"Choose wisely. Ask questions and I will answer them. When we are done I will show you how to care for them."





Cairma Vishnu

Tower Guard

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  • 5 months later...
  • 4 weeks later...

She had expected no less. Oaths were binding things; the feel of the Rod through her limbs was more than enough proof than that. She listened without comment as Cairma spoke, choosing rather to expect her completely unknown surroundings over the option to question and demand, or digress by disagreeing. She would rather that her new Mentor assumed whatever she thought best, than being forced to state her thoughts herself. Truth was, Vera wasn’t sure herself. These were unfamiliar grounds, and she would rather not make any standing before she understood the terrain a little better. It was one of the reasons she had come in the first place, after all.


Besides, Cairma’s rules fitted in perfectly with Vera’s own aspirations. She had not come here to dominate, or subject Tower Guards to treatment that showed her as greater than them. They all did their tasks with equal effort, and she did not feel superior beside Cairma. Not being reliant on the One Power was something Vera wanted herself, and perhaps if friendship would spark between herself and the Tower Guard, she would tell the woman so. Perhaps. For now, she took to surveying the Armoury.


Again, being Aes Sedai had taught her some things. She did not gape, like she might have had the sight of so many weapons in one place been shown to her as a Novice. Vera was impressed of course, but there was more to it. She wondered about the technicalities behind the making of such a great horde of weapons, and oddly was reminded of Lillian. When Vera had first met her, Lillian had fascinated her most by her knowledge of stones, her ability to carve them out as she desired. She would speak to her friend soon she decided, on just how she had been reminded and what Lillian’s experience had been like as well. Unless her facts were muddled, Lillian had trained with the Warders herself.


Her voice was quieter than usual as she examined things closely, questioning them from afar as Cairma answered her ponders with fact and advantage alike. She was grateful for the knowledge Cairma could provide her with, because it certainly helped. Some weapons, as graceful and tempting as they seemed, would be no good balance when it came to her strengths, or rather her strengths to be. 


That meant that all hammers were out of the way. Thankfully- she would never have managed to use things that looked so imposing herself, let alone picking them up, no matter how much flesh was tightened into muscle. First of all, she found her eyes drawn to the swords, because she was the utter definition of stereotypical when it came to her knowledge of weapons. When she thought of a Warder, she thought of a sword. Vera shied away from the broader or longer ones- her petite frame would not handle such monsters. Her eyes went down the variety with wonder, and she did not stop herself from letting Cairma guide her one way, and nudge her away from another. Finally, she found herself settled on swords that she was told were made for those who believed in agility and accuracy, rather than unmatched strength that she did not have. These were slender arms, curving gently into slight arcs.


The scimitar was her first. She tucked it away in her mind, and knew Cairma had seen her favouring it above the others too. Next she moved onto something smaller, and more extreme, that she would’ve been able to keep on her body when entertaining danger. Daggers had always appealed to her; tiny points sharpened shiny gleaming out as she went down the rows. Here, she found herself drawn to butterfly knives. When the Tower Guard noticed however, she sensed the clear disapproval in Cairma’s voice as she instructed her to look at the others more carefully. Upon explaining that she needed a pair she could conceal easily, and hopefully once trained, fish them out from clever disguise quickly too, Cairma smiled and informed her that after some research, she would offer her something better by next week. Vera accepted this, but still found herself favouring daggers on the whole. Her eyes set them apart, and when she thought back to the scimitar, she felt a flash of doubt. Was she allowed to choose two sets? This was something she had not asked Cairma. Turning to face the woman, she spoke more clearly than before.

“A scimitar, and daggers. One that I will carry openly and the other concealed, this is what I’d thought of when I looked around. What do you think of this, Cairma? I welcome any suggestions you may have.”


~Vera Sedai

Mentee to Cairma

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Guest Arie Ronshor

Ooc: I'm going to make this short so we can move forward. :) Just need one reflection post and were good for the next round. :)


What do you think of - http://www.fighting-knife.com/large-push-dagger.JPG or http://www.fighting-knife.com/keris-kris-knife.JPG  If this works for you, you can start the next thread with Cairma passing them both to you. ;)




Cairma smiled politely as she guided Vera Sedai through the different racks of weapons, actively giving her advice where needed. For the most part she was impressed with the womans practicality of her choices. More often than not the Cairma noticed her looking at something more flashing, taking in the beauty of the weapon only to pass it over to something better built for stealth or viability.


"Take them both." She smiled. "It never hurts to give yourself as many options as possible. When you run out of options your run out of chances to survive. I hope for your sake that you never learn this, however, shall we continue?" Cairma took her outside into better light, passing her oils and stones. "You will want to keep these on hand. A dull sword is a weapon against you." She then took the time to show Vera how to keep the blades oiled and sharp. Watching very for a while as she tried her hand at it. Nodding her approval.


"Well done. We can continue this tomorrow. I will show you baseics as well as get you into better shape." She winked, "Because no matter how much walking you may do you would be surprised at what you can't do now but will be able to do when I am done with you. Be sure to dress appropriately."




Cairma Vishnu

Tower Guard

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  • 2 weeks later...

Their first lesson, with its tangles and introductions was now over. Vera had decided that rather than returning to her chambers as she had originally planned, a good place to visit would be the gardens, where her sharpening of the weapons with the tools Cairma had provided could be done in peace. As she’d expected, the calming shade of the apple tree gave her all the peace she desired. She wondered how one of the others would react to seeing her sitting like this, dressed in a manner different to her usual garb, polishing the ends of a blade. Vera tried her best to do it carefully, running the damp rag over every spot she could find. In a way it felt strange to adopt the role of student again, after so many years spent as teacher and guider, but on the other hand, it was a refreshing change. She had been right to sign up and glad that Cairma seemed to be someone she could cooperate with. Besides, it was shameful to live beside the world’s most elite warriors and learn nothing from them.


Thinking back to Cairma’s last words, she smiled softly. The idea of gaining enviable flexibility was a precious one, and one she was determined to transform from just an idea to reality. From the steady smile on her new mentor’s face, as well as the little she had seen of other Aes Sedai who had trained in the Yard, Vera knew it could be true. Of course, it would require discipline and training, hard work and pushing limits, but then again, this was something that should not prove difficult for her, or any Sister. After all, they had all been Accepted once, and before that, Novices too. She was still a Sister many others could-and would- consider young, but Vera decided that at least in this one field, it was a good thing. Dipping the rag in oil again, her hand moved back and forth as she resumed her task. Perhaps after this was all done with, she would not be dependent on any one strength. Perhaps.



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