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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

More to Air than breathing (atten Myrrhi)


Kathleen
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The moon was still high in the sky when Kathleen woke and began to prepare for what she knew would be a long draining day. She had spent years teaching in the Tower halls and she had been the mentor for a number of the Greens she now called sister, but those years were long behind her. She was nervous about starting up again, and with someone who she held such personal feelings for. The trainer in her told her to keep her emotions out of it, but the personal side of her was making it that very hard.

She dressed in a white blouse and long brown split riding skirts. She took a dark and worn riding cloak to keep her comfortable against the cool morning air, and she assumed she would need it again when the sun went down for the long ride back. Back. not home.  It was the first time that she realized she no longer thought of the Tower as 'home'.  She draped her cloak over her arm and was about to head out when she released she had nothing on her mark her as Aes Sedai, or as a Green. Something else she hadn't thought of in years. Something that when she had thought of it she had been making sure she was avoiding. It was strange to wear her station in public. Most of the world did not see it the way the Tower and Tar Valon did.

 

Her wardrobe held more neutral and travel clothes than anything else. There was a time when it had been filled with the finest lady's wear of all nations and respectable, impressive, outfits to make a mark on Novices. I really should stop for a fitting and round these drawers back out if I'm to stay in Tar Valon long.

She took the great serpent ring off the chain she had become accustomed to wearing around her neck, tucked under she shirt, and slid it onto the middle finger of her left hand. It felt strange. She spun it around a few times trying to have it settle comfortably. She took a shawl, crisp and cleaned that had been left behind the last time she left the Tower. The green fringe was long and the flame of Tar Valon was highlighted on the back. It shouldn't have made her uncomfortable, but it did. 

 

She took it and wrapped it loosely on her shoulder and made her way to the Initiate's room. She was unexpected, but at this hour there was nowhere else the woman should be. She knocked loudly three times on the door. She waited patiently for an answer on the door, but considered barging in. She didn't know what kinds of wards the woman may have put on her door, and she didn't need to be any more rude than she was being showing up unannounced at the early hour, so she decided against it.

 

When Myrrhi answered the door Kathleen addressed her, "you won't always get to choose your own missions, or the hour to leave for them, especially in your early years. We go where we are needed, when we are needed, and the sun has no say over that. Prepare for a long ride and meet me in the stables."

They mounted up and as the two rode out of Tar Valon Kathleen spoke, "Today we begin your Battle Training. I know you've spent years reading up, and I understand you took a course with Janine in your Accepted that likely showed you tactics or tricks and simple weaves for battle. Such knowledge would help any Aes Sedai with the mild trouble others get into. It will serve to protect them as they distance themselves from the fight and run to safety. We are not the other Aes Sedai, and the last thing you will ever do is run for safety when attacked. Of course, we must be prepared with more than a sword and shield if we hope to ride back out of the battles we run into.

Today I will show you things that are held only in the minds of Greens. These weaves are dangerous and some could argue they challenge the Oaths. Of course, that is hooey," Kathleen let herself laugh as she eased her posture in the saddle. They were out of view of others and if she didn't have to sit like she had a rod up her backside she would do so.

"You will not be able to do these weaves unless your life, or the life of another is clearly in danger. But they are very good weaves to know for when that unfortunate situation presents itself. As a Green that is not a question of if it will happen, it is merely a question of when. Every Green learns these tactics, and I'm sure they have been the cause of many a victory for the light in an otherwise overbearing attack. We do not show these skills to just anyone, only those who come before us to wear our shawl and take up our cause ever see them. These are not Accepted's games, though, I'm sure you're aware of that and wouldn't abuse the knowledge about to be given you." Kathleen shot the girl a warning nod.

The sun was long up when Kathleen stopped her horse in clearing near a town. They were far enough from the town to not draw attention, but she wouldn't ride long if she could help it, they did have to return, and an Initiate wasn't meant to go too far from the tower. Still the girl had all but been trapped in the Tower walls and the then in the walls of Tar Valon for decades. It was about time she remembered there was a wider world out there and she would soon be able to go about it in it. She also had to learn that outside of the safety of the Aes Sedia city there were dangers and challenges her mind may know but her body has forgotten how to deal with.

The space was quite like a meadow, with a rim of trees at the edge and a few stumps littered around the otherwise cleared grassland. "This will do nicely!" She said with a boost of excitement filling her voice as she dismounted. She offered the Initiate a hand to help her off her mount, unsure of how familiar with the animal she was.

When they were both on the ground and the horses tied off to a tree, Kathleen pulled some bread and cheese from her saddle and handed it to Myrrhi."I'm sorry if I did not give you time to eat. Our next lesson will come with more notice and more daylight. Eat," in an attempt to make it clear she didn't mean it as the order it may have come across as, Kathleen quickly added,"if it pleases you."

While the Initiate waited with the food, Kathleen retrieved a recently hunted grouse from a bag on her saddle and set it on a near by stump.

"We start with the ones easiest to most, those based in Air. There will be weaves from each element, but today you shall be shown only Air.

Let us start with the Air Razor. The name gives its use away quite clearly, but it is quite effective, and relatively simple to achieve."

Kathleen made sure the girl was watching as she raised her right hand, pulling threads of Air together to knot them into a loose weave. She made her movements with the threads slow, wide and deliberate to be sure the girl was able to follow the way they were to come together.

"As a razor is used for cutting, this weave is used for the same. It can cut through bindings, ropes and even some forms of metal bands. How strong the weave needs to be is dictated by the material you are using it against, and your own natural strength with Air, of course. Of course, most of the weaves I will show will have a mild use, as the example of freeing yourself from bindings is, but they will have other, more damaging, properties to them. It is because of these damage causing aspects that we keep them known only to those who wish to be Greens."

Kathleen turned her attention to the grouse on the stump, "When you are free from your bindings, and find your enemy relentlessness and still in your way, you will find this Air Razor cuts through flesh just as easily as bindings." Kathleen laid the weave over the dead bird and let it the Air Razor sink into the flesh, stopping just short of the bone. "I stopped before the bone, but I assure you, if I had pressed on, it would have cut through just as easily. This is a small bird, but with enough strength behind it, and well aimed attacks, you could remove limbs from a Trolloc."

Kathleen let the weave go and stepped away from the grouse. "You may try it when you are ready, Myrrhi." Kathleen stayed attentive as the Initiate attempted the weave and took aim at the grouse.



~Kathleen

You can reply to this and have Kathleen give as much or as little help as you want. I'll let you reply to this then we can back and forth for the other two air ones. 

1. Air Razor (Air 2, Skill 7) – razor of Air to cut through flesh, Higher strength in Air means blade is harder; higher skill, edge is sharper.

 

Edited by Kath

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Myrrhi had not slept much that night. She had had nightmares after nightmares. In some of them Elessar was in trouble, in others she was demoted to the rank of Novice. Some faces kept coming back, like Kathleen's, the Aes Sedai of the Green Ajah who had been charged with her education when it came to Green matters.

 

"Let's try something else," the young woman thought. She pulled herself out of her bed and rearranged her hair. There was not much room in her Initiate Quarters. Besides the bed, there were not many pieces of furniture she could sit on.  She picked a small chair and pulled it near the window. The moon seemed to have reached it apex. It was easy to see her in the cloudless sky. Fearing not to have enough light to read, Myrrhi channeled a little thread of fire to light a candle. It was followed by another thread of air to bring the candle closer to her reading spot.

 

Channeling brought joy to the young woman. She didn't want to let go of the Power, it brought her such a sweet distraction to her dark thoughts. But she had to, channeling could not become an addiction.

 

Sighting at the loss of Saidar, she picked one of the books she was reading and sat on her chair.

 

***

 

She had finished  a first chapter when she heard someone knocking at her door. Closing her book, she wondered who it was.

 

El... No, it can't be. Not at this hour...

 

As by reflex, she grabbed her Green shawl and pulled it around her shoulders. It's only when she placed her hand on the door knob that she noticed her mistake. Aes Sedai shawls were not meant to keep her warm at night. They were items to be respected. As fast as she could, Myrrhi pulled her shawl away and threw it back on her bed. Only then, did she open the door.

 

Kathleen stood right in front of her, fully dressed. "You won't always get to choose your own missions, or the hour to leave for them, especially in your early years. We go where we are needed, when we are needed, and the sun has no say over that. Prepare for a long ride and meet me in the stables." She told Myrrhi. She, then, turned her back and left, her steps resonating in the corridors.

 

Remembering that Kathleen had picked a white blouse and riding skirts, Myrrhi threw herself on the only riding dress she owned. It was a woolen dress of Andoran cut. It was far from fancy but it was made to be comfortable. It would definitely allow her to move freely whatever would happen during her "mission".

 

Once she was dressed and her hair was pulled back in a bun, she hurried towards the stables.

 

***

 

Following Kathleen's lead, Myrrhi mounted on a horse she had never approached before. She felt a little pang in her heart as she threw her right leg above the beast's back. She had never felt very comfortable riding, but she wanted to show her fellow Sister that she could behave like the Aes Sedai she was. She controlled her face and didn't comment on her unease.

 

It is only when the reached the outskirts of Tarvalon that Kathleen spoke, "Today we begin your Battle Training. I know you've spent years reading up, and I understand you took a course with Janine in your Accepted that likely showed you tactics or tricks and simple weaves for battle. Such knowledge would help any Aes Sedai with the mild trouble others get into. It will serve to protect them as they distance themselves from the fight and run to safety. We are not the other Aes Sedai, and the last thing you will ever do is run for safety when attacked. Of course, we must be prepared with more than a sword and shield if we hope to ride back out of the battles we run into. Today I will show you things that are held only in the minds of Greens. These weaves are dangerous and some could argue they challenge the Oaths. Of course, that is hooey."

 

Kathleen laughed and eased her posture in the saddle. Myrrhi responded by a polite nod.

"You will not be able to do these weaves unless your life, or the life of another is clearly in danger. But they are very good weaves to know for when that unfortunate situation presents itself. As a Green that is not a question of if it will happen, it is merely a question of when. Every Green learns these tactics, and I'm sure they have been the cause of many a victory for the light in an otherwise overbearing attack. We do not show these skills to just anyone, only those who come before us to wear our shawl and take up our cause ever see them. These are not Accepted's games, though, I'm sure you're aware of that and wouldn't abuse the knowledge about to be given you."

 

The Green Sister's words had captured her attention. Those weaves sounded to be very important and probably dangerous, exactly the kind of weaves the young woman wanted to know about. ..

 

***

To Myrrhi's surprise the ride lasted till the sun arrived close to its zenith. It brought the young woman and her companion to a clearing just past a small town. The view was quite refreshing, to see people, farmers mostly, so different from the members of the Tower or the inhabitants of Tar Valon. Myrrhi had tried to keep her face straight. She didn't want it to show that she was enjoying this ride. What would Kathleen think of it? Why has she brought us so far from the Tower but still some close to a Town?

 

She was afraid to ask answers.


***

After a fast lunch, the lesson started.

 

"We start with the ones easiest to most, those based in Air. There will be weaves from each element, but today you shall be shown only Air," Kathleen started. " Let us start with the Air Razor. The name gives its use away quite clearly, but it is quite effective, and relatively simple to achieve."

 

She stopped made a move with her right hand and pulled threads of Air to knot them in a loose weave.

 

"As a razor is used for cutting, this weave is used for the same. It can cut through bindings, ropes and even some forms of metal bands. How strong the weave needs to be is dictated by the material you are using it against, and your own natural strength with Air, of course. Of course, most of the weaves I will show will have a mild use, as the example of freeing yourself from bindings is, but they will have other, more damaging, properties to them. It is because of these damage causing aspects that we keep them known only to those who wish to be Greens. When you are free from your bindings, and find your enemy relentlessness and still in your way, you will find this Air Razor cuts through flesh just as easily as bindings."

 

Kathleen laid the weave over a dead grouse she had grabbed from one of her bags, let the Air Razor sink into its flesh, then stopped it just short of the bone. "I stopped before the bone, but I assure you, if I had pressed on, it would have cut through just as easily. This is a small bird, but with enough strength behind it, and well aimed attacks, you could remove limbs from a Trolloc."

 

The Green Aes Sedai turned her head towards Myrrhi to invite her to copy the weave.

 

The young woman opened herself to Saidar feeling its sweetness coursing through her veins. She channeled threads of Air just like Kathleen had done a moment before. Clumsily, she tried to knot them in the pattern she remembered. It took her a couple of tries to set them well but a soon as they were in place, she unleashed the Air Razor with full force on the carcass of the bird. The strength of the attack send pieces of the dead animal flying a couple of paces away.

 

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Kathleen held her composure as the bird's body split and shot out away from the spine it had been attached to. The Initiate held her composure too, but she was clearly startled. "That is exactly why we don't share these weaves. Look at how easily that lost control. i'm not saying you didn't intend to rip into the grouse, my point is simply that in untrained hands the razor could cause more damage than intended, and there are far less lethal weaves to simply cut or free yourself. The real use for this weave, over that of any of the weaves for cutting, is complete severing of limbs with ease and speed. There are very few ways to practice this with the Oaths set though, so we have to get creative. Now that you have the idea, we can try to refine it a little." 

 

Kathleen took a doll from her saddle bags, wrapped tightly with rope around the wrists, ankles and one around the neck. "you work on removing these binds without injury the doll. Start as close as you need for the first bind, move further from the doll for each subsequent hold. I'd suggest starting with the part around her neck when you are closest, then it doesn't really matter which bind you break as you move away from it. perhaps the hands, if she's Aes Sedai she could help with weaves when they are free. its your choice though. you'll see a difference in the Razor at different depths."

 

While Myrrhi practiced with the doll Kathleen set out figurines of various shapes and sizes all around the clearing. When Myrrhi had finished with the doll Kathleen called her over. "These figures represent a crowd of darkfriends. some are bigger, stronger - made of steel, some are smaller, weaker, stuffed with feathers. No two are alike. Not all threats will need to be killed or even have their limbs severed. Some, you will want to leave relatively unscathed, but you will still need to neutralize the threat." Kathleen began weaving more air into a new pattern. The weave took shape and formed into a club. 'Air Club." Kathleen took a swing at a nearby figure made of soft metal and a large indent took shape in it.  "Simple enough, but quite effective. Simple is often best, as you won't always have time to think about things when you need them." Kathleen thought back to her hundred weaves test and how she had thought of it as overkill. When, under the Light would she ever be in any of those situations? Of course, that was done before she had truly given herself to the Greens, and since then she'd realized that as one, she'd be faced with those stresses and physical demands regularly. 

"Depending on how strong you are and how much you put into the weave, you can break glass, hammer a nail, and even bend metal with it. And again, simple is often effective. A knock over the head can make all the difference or buy you precious seconds, even if you don't manage too much damage. If your opponent looses concousness they can wait in a few hours with minor damage and you can have moved on."

She let the weave go and explained that Myrrhi could shape the weave to look how ever came easiest to her, it needn't take on the same form hers had. "Play with shape, and see what kind of damage you can cause and what kind of control you can have. This can break bones, crush skulls, but it could be as light as a touch of unconsciousness to help you escape in silence without having to harm the person for life. 

She stepped back once again to let the Initiate have clear range at the target, but stayed close enough to help should the woman ask. When Myrrhi had a club formed Kathleen let her try it out a few times, and when she seemed to have the swing of it she moved on.

"Now that you have those two, how about some supper? There is a lot of wild life around. Rabbits and the like around the edge of the clearing, and a pond not far if you'd prefer fish. Go on now, find us a meal will you?" Kathleen figured her request would rile the woman, but she had to know the girl had killing in her. She wasn't prepared to put either of their lives in danger, but she had to know that this girl had at least a base level of what it takes to be green. What it takes to take a life. "There is one more air weave we'll try when our stomachs are full. 

 

~Kathleen Vandiar

Aes Sedai of the Green Ajah

 

And the details of the Weaves again. Have Kathleen do as much or as little as you'd like her to in assisting your Aes Sedai. 

Air Club (Air 1, Skill 4) – good for knocking an opponent out; not too spectacular and doesn’t take much skill/strength in Air.

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Myrrhi had to agree with her companion’s words. She had been so happy to have been able to weave the Air Razor that she had not paid attention to the way she had applied it on the grouse.

 

Not wanting to say that she’d do better next time – it would make her sound like a child - she simply nodded to Kathleen.

 

To the young woman’s surprise, the Green Sister picked a doll from her saddle bag. It had blond hair and was dressed in green. Coincidence or not, it  looked like a toy version of Myrrhi.


« You work on removing these binds without injury the doll. Start as close as you need for the first bind, move further from the doll for each subsequent hold. I'd suggest starting with the part around her neck when you are closest, then it doesn't really matter which bind you break as you move away from it. perhaps the hands, if she's Aes Sedai she could help with weaves when they are free. its your choice though. you'll see a difference in the Razor at different depths. »

 

The young woman took a deep breath. This time, she did everything she could to focus before channeling.

 

With a mind empty of doubts, she managed to weave the Air Razor after  first try. Feeling more confident, she applied it soflty on the binds surrounding the neck of the doll. The rope fell leaving the toy untouched.

 

Myrrhi let go of a small sight.

 

One after the other, she cut the other binds and freed the doll. When she looked again towards the sky, she saw that it was now standing lower on the horizon.

 

The training was far from over, though. As soon as she was done with her second exercise, Kathleen brought figures that she placed carefully on the ground. They were supposed to be « darkfriends ».
 
"These figures represent a crowd of darkfriends. » Kathleen announced. « Some are bigger, stronger - made of steel, some are smaller, weaker, stuffed with feathers. No two are alike. Not all threats will need to be killed or even have their limbs severed. Some, you will want to leave relatively unscathed, but you will still need to neutralize the threat."

 

Myrrhi smiled, her heart leaping with anticipation.

 

Her companion opened herself once more to Saidar and began weaving threads of Air into a new pattern.

 

« This weave is called the 'Air Club" she said before swinging the result of her channeling at a nearby figure made of soft metal. As soon as the weaving touched it a large indent appeared on its surface.

 

 "Simple enough, but quite effective. Simple is often best, as you won't always have time to think about things when you need them. Depending on how strong you are and how much you put into the weave, you can break glass, hammer a nail, and even bend metal with it. And again, simple is often effective. A knock over the head can make all the difference or buy you precious seconds, even if you don't manage too much damage. If your opponent looses conciousness they can wait in a few hours with minor damage and you can have moved on."

She let the weave go. « You can shape the weave as you like, whatever is the easiest for you, » she told Myrrhi. The young woman nodded once more. The club looked so barbarian to her. What about a hammer ? She tought. This could look way more interesting….

 

Still, she decided not to overdo her weavings during the lesson at hand. Better to stick with the shapes Kathleen showed me. But, I swear, as soon as I am back in the Tower, I’d try something way more elegant…

 

"Play with shape, and see what kind of damage you can cause and what kind of control you can have. This can break bones, crush skulls, but it could be as light as a touch of unconsciousness to help you escape in silence without having to harm the person for life. »

 

« I understand Kathleen, » Myrrhi answerd with a meek voice. « But the club will do, till I master this weave. »

It was now time for Kathleen to nod to the Initiate.

 

As her teacher stepped back, the young woman opened herself to Saidar. She channeled weaves of Air and turned them in a club very slowly. This time she tried not to put to much strength at once. She didn’t want to lose control of her weaving again.

 

Once she managed to sweep a couple of figurine, she let go of the threads of Air she had channeled, then made a small break to channeled again from scratch. The more she did the exercise the faster she acted, improving her speed everytime.


"Now that you have those two, how about some supper? There is a lot of wild life around. Rabbits and the like around the edge of the clearing, and a pond not far if you'd prefer fish. Go on now, find us a meal will you?" Kathleen asked, her face as emotionless as stone.

 

« Are you… »  joking Myrrhi ended the sentence in her head without voicing it. She didn’t want to question Kathleen but she felt confused. She had not seen the time pass – the sky showed her that they had reached the end of the afternoon – and hunting animals sounded crazy to her.

 

But, Kathleen was serious. She repeated her demand, this time adding an encouragement. "There is one more air weave we'll try when our stomachs are full. »

 

« Of course, Ae… Kathleen. »  Myrrhi answered before turning towards the forest. She had been so surprised that she had almost added « Aes Sedai » at the end of her sentence.

 

***

 

Myrrhi tried to put as much distance as possible between herself and Kathleen. She didn’t want to haver her in her back while hunting for food. She didn’t know why but the killing an animal that she would be hunting seemed to be something very intimate. How and where to start ? She wondered. Opening herself to Saidar, she let her steps lead her deeper in the woods. She knew she would not be able to find anything suitable too close to the clearing. The threads she wove allowed her to be barely visible between the trees and to move without a sound. She had read about them in a book written by an Aes Sedai who had spent most of her life as a spy. Animals were sensitive to the Power though. She would have to do her kills at a distance.

 

It took her almost half an hour to find a good target.

 

She finally saw it, behind a rocky outcrop. A deer was refreshing itself by taking big gulps of the crystalline water of a small stream. Without thinking she reproduced the Air Razor like she had done so many times before that afternoon and sent it with all her strength towards the beast’s neck. Its head fell on the ground, blood streaming from the stump while its body slumped to the ground.

 

At the sight of her victim, she noticed something strange deep inside her. She had not felt a thing for the animal, no sadness, no pity. Every action she had executed had been mechanical. A long time had passed since she had killed that assassin in the streets of Tar Valon. Does it mean I have lost my heart? She thought.

 

She was stopped in her thinking by the croak of a raven, perched a couple of feet away. It reminded her that she had work to do. Hoping she would not make a mess with the carcass of the deer, she sealed the stump at its neck with a thread of Fire. Then, with a thread of Air, she lifted the body and set herself on the way back to Kathleen. 

 

I hope I won't have to butcher it... She sighed and advanced as fast as the forest floor would allow her.
 

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Kathleen inspected the targets carefully as she collected then and put them away, trying to determine the strength and skill that had been used for each blow. The meadow was cleared up and there was still no sign of the initiate, except the familiar call of Sadair coming from someone using it not far away. Too far away, if her stomach had anything to say about it. She wasn't hungry when she had sent the woman to hunt, but the longer she was gone the more she noticed her stomach searching for food. The sun was sinking lower in the sky, still giving off light, but not for many hours longer. To distract herself she gathered twigs and fashioned a small cooking fire, not sure what food would be returning she tried to ready something that could handle fish or rabbit or other small animals. When the woman came back with a deer floating behind her the shocked flashed in her eyes before the green could gather herself. "Well, I think we found our first on meal duty when we set out on a mission with five or six sisters." Kathleen said in jest. She helped the girl ready two portions of meat for their mean and prepare the rest of the animal to be taken back to the tower. "i'm sure the kitchen staff can find good use for the rest of this." Kathleen gave the girl her portion supper and directed her to use the fire, then she set a weave to her own portion, too quickly for the woman to see the secret weave. She would learn it soon enough, but for now, she would have to settle with the primitive flame she had been instructed to use.

 

While their deer was cooking Kathleen decided to show the girl her last weave of the night."Your tactics training will have taught you that when you ride to battle you bring both offence and defense, yes?" She didn't wait for answer before continuing, "A warder brings his sword and shield, and we do to. I've shown you our swords, now it is time to learn Air Shield. This one is largely defensive, though anything you can do with a real shield, you can do with this one. I've heard tell of some Aes Sedai sharpening the edges by combining it with the Air Razor weave and decapitating a trolloc with it in one swipe. The biggest lesson there is that anything can be a weapon if you use it the right way, so be prepared to get creative with these, once you get the basics.

 I know it isn't often in the Tower training that you were told to experiment with weaves or be creative with them, but you are no longer a child needing close handling. Innovation on the battle field, changing strategy and being able to think on your feet is often the only way to survive and if your choices are die at the hands of the enemy because you didn't try or die at your own hands fumbling up an a defense, wouldn't you rather go out fighting than not even trying? I know I would and I know I'm not the first to think that way."

She turned her attention back to the lesson, "Air Sheild." She opened herself to the source and began, slowly and deliberately twisting the more elaborate weave of Air together until it formed a great disk in front her, large enough to cover most of her body. 

"Go ahead, try to breach this. Throw anything here at it, and truly try to have it hit me. Don't worry, the shield works well." Kathleen waited for the Initiate to find something to throw and braced the shield of saidar for the impact. When the girl had thrown a few things and found the shield to hold Kathleen called out a challenge, "Try a weave." She wasn't sure if the girl would be able to do it, if her Oaths would kick in was up to the girl's own morals. Still Kathleen knew the shield would hold. Unscathed in the end, Kathleen let the weave dissipate.

"My turn," she smiled, "get your shield ready" she quipped as she reached down to pick up what had been thrown at her. She watched as Myrrhi tried to recall the elaborate pattern as she made her own Air Shield, stopping her only to point out the odd weak spot or misstep. Soon she had a solid shield before her and Kathleen took her turn to test it. 

"If you would like to practice any of those again before we go, or if you have questions, be sure to take the time for them. I think I've earned my meal though, so i'll retire." Kathleen made her way to the deer, her own portion perfectly boiled. When the were done eating the fire had been put out and the women mounted their horses and Kathleen left the initiate to carry her kill. 

 

As they rode toward the White Tower Kathleen broke the silence, "While it is rare that Aes Sedai speak openly with each other in public, and even in private if amoung Sisters of another ajah for the most part, we Greens make a point to let down our guard around the other Greens, if only slightly with smiles and laughter and sometimes tears. We are all vunerable. We have all been taught for the majority of our life that emotions are weakness and no one is to be trusted. That any show of emotion is something to be shamed for and leaving out fate in the hands of others is foolish. We are taught be strong and independant. We are taught to push ourselves to be better than those around us. We are taught to sabitoge and scheme.

 

But we Greens are in this together, and if we ever forget that, it will be the end of us. We ride to battle together, not alone. We fight for each other, not ourselves. We need to trust each other with our lives. There is only one way to do that. We have to truly know each other. We have to know our strenghths and weaknesses, and we need to know each others so that we can fill in the gaps and use it to our advantage as a whole. So much in the White Tower is kept under lock and key and hidden behind the stone faces. With my Greens sisters is the only place I let that go, even somewhat, and I take advantage of every chance at that I can find. I suggest you do too. You won't see it in the halls, but if you open up in private you will be well accepted."

 

Kathleen quited then and left the initate to open conversation or ride in silence until they were able to stable the horses and deliver the deer to the kitchens. 

~ Kathleen Vandiar


And the details of the Weave. Have Kathleen do as much or as little as you'd like her to in assisting your Aes Sedai. 

Air Shield (Air 4, Skill 4) – a shield of solid Air (obviously good to avoid blades, enemy arrows, enemy weaves during battle). Used to protect yourself and your comrades. 

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"Well, I think we found our first on meal duty when we set out on a mission with five or six sisters." Kathleen told Myrrhi as she approached the little campfire the Senior Sister had built. The young woman felt herself blushing and cursed herself for it. She was an Aes Sedai now, she should be able to control her face better.

 

Kathleen surprised her by helping her out with the carcass of the animal. She showed her how to prepare two portions of food from the deer and what to do with what was left of the meat - it would be used by the Tower kitchens but had to be safely packed. The job turned out to be less messy than she had expected. It was still highly unpleasant but she didn't feel the urge to vomit, which was for her a small victory.

 

Myrrhi was invited to use the campfire to cook her food. She nodded to her companion and advanced towards the flames. Her meat had not yet warmed up when she felt Kathleen channeling. The young woman turned her head to see what her Senior was weaving but she was too slow. Kathleen's meat looked to be cooking thanks to the One Power but Myrrhi had no clue about the kind of threads that had been used. She probably doesn't want me to know about them, Myrrhi thought trying not to feel too bitter. Otherwise she would have told me how to do the same weave ...

 

The deer seemed to take ages to get ready and the young woman was happy to see Kathleen coming closer to talk.

 

"Your tactics training will have taught you that when you ride to battle you bring both offense and defense, yes? A warder brings his sword and shield, and we do to. I've shown you our swords, now it is time to learn Air Shield. This one is largely defensive, though anything you can do with a real shield, you can do with this one. I've heard tell of some Aes Sedai sharpening the edges by combining it with the Air Razor weave and decapitating a trolloc with it in one swipe. The biggest lesson there is that anything can be a weapon if you use it the right way, so be prepared to get creative with these, once you get the basics. I know it isn't often in the Tower training that you were told to experiment with weaves or be creative with them, but you are no longer a child needing close handling. Innovation on the battle field, changing strategy and being able to think on your feet is often the only way to survive and if your choices are die at the hands of the enemy because you didn't try or die at your own hands fumbling up an a defense, wouldn't you rather go out fighting than not even trying? I know I would and I know I'm not the first to think that way."

 

Myrrhi stayed silent thinking over Kathleen's words. Defense was important as much as attack, she knew that. And, she had already made a thousand plans in her head about how to fight armies of Darkfriends and Trollocs. Some of those plans included her being completely surrounded. But it was all theory. The Air Shield seemed to be a weave that could make the difference between life and death.

 

Slowly the Senior Sister wove an intricate pattern of Air threads, leaving the young woman the time to analyze each of her moves. Myrrhi focused and tried reproduced the weave in her head.

"Go ahead, try to breach this," Kathleen invited her. "Throw anything here at it, and truly try to have it hit me. Don't worry, the shield works well."

 

Myrrhi picked up stones that looked heavy enough to make some damage to a regular shield. When Kathleen nodded, to indicate that she was ready, the young woman started to throw her munitions one after the other. None managed to "dent" the Shield that seemed to stay completely untouched.

 

"Try a weave," Kathleen said after the last stone thrown.

 

A weave? Myrrhi gulped. I can't attack another Sister with the One ...

 

"I am not sure I can throw a weave at you..." Myrrhi tried hesitantly.

 

Kathleen answered her with a smile, pushing her to think further. Myrrhi took a deep breath. Well, if her shield is as good as she wants me to believe it, I won't be able to hurt her ...

Still the young woman decided to use the Air Club instead of the Air Razor. She wove the club faster than earlier that day and slash it at her companion. Just as expected Kathleen's shield held.

 

"My turn," Kathleen said as her shield dissipated, "get your shield ready!"

 

The young woman opened herself to Saidar and step by step tried to weave the Air Shield. Every now and then she was stopped by her companion who pointed out the weak spots of her weaving or her missteps. She eventually managed to create a shield almost as solid as Kathleen's. The Senior Sister tested it and Myrrhi felt happy to see that her shield didn't break against any of Kathleen's attacks.

 

When Myrrhi let her shield dissipate Kathleen announced her that the lesson was at an end. Of course, she could ask more questions if she wanted but Myrrhi thanked her Senior for the lesson and let her retire. She grabbed her own piece of deer and went to couple of paces away to train while eating. She enjoyed doing multiple things at the same time.

 

As soon as Myrrhi's food had disappeared in her stomach, she joined Kathleen and together their went to gather their horses. The young woman was charged to take care of her kill. She was not happy with it but understood that it had to be her responsibility. Instead of carrying it with a thread of air like she had done before that day, she decided to put it on the back of her mount. She didn't think that Kathleen would have allowed her to enter Tar Valon with meat floating in the air right beside her. The young woman still enveloped what was left of the deer with a thread of Air, not to make it fly but so her horse would not react badly because of its smell.

The best part of the ride to the Tower was silent, Myrrhi was lost in her thoughts. She had learned a lot that day. Still, before entering the city Kathleen brought her mount close to Myrrhi's to talk.

 

"While it is rare that Aes Sedai speak openly with each other in public, and even in private if among Sisters of another Ajah for the most part, we Greens make a point to let down our guard around the other Greens, if only slightly with smiles and laughter and sometimes tears. We are all vulnerable. We have all been taught for the majority of our life that emotions are weakness and no one is to be trusted. That any show of emotion is something to be shamed for and leaving out fate in the hands of others is foolish. We are taught be strong and independent. We are taught to push ourselves to be better than those around us. We are taught to sabotage and scheme..."

 

Kathleen breathed and looking straight in Myrrhi's eyes she sent on explaining how Greens were acting in battle. They were not supposed to fight alone. They fought for each other and trusted each other with their live. She explained then that it was important for the Green Sisters to know each other, their strengths and weaknesses.

 

She went on, "With my Greens sisters is the only place I let that go, even somewhat, and I take advantage of every chance at that I can find. I suggest you do too. You won't see it in the halls, but if you open up in private you will be well accepted."

 

"I understand," was Myrrhi's first answer.

Not wanting to open up completely, she limited herself  to saying that she would think about Kathleen's words. Opening herself to others would take time. It had been a while since she had spoken about herself to another woman. She had been very lonely since she had been raised accepted.

 

Soon the bridges that would lead to the city appeared and the two Green Sisters decided, each for themselves, that no more words should be exchanged at least till they would be back in the Tower.


 

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