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The Ghost Tour
Tue Oct 24, 2006 22:53
68.105.9.60 (XFF: 192.168.1.3)

It was a bold thing to say, one stranger to another. A daring one, too, what for Aes Sedai in all their stark serenity and smooth lines, all liquid edges and sanded corners. Her face was plainly calm, and Tira smiled - a winning smile. Locke normally would have shunned an offer such as this; two was a crowd when two weren't in the company of other people, such as at this party - but the smile hadn't been coy. It wasn't an invite. She just... wanted a tour. Locke pondered this thought for a moment, alluding to his own unsurities by taking a bit of wine and looking to his left and his right, noting, without saying, that he would be happy to show her the grounds, but being in the middle, was not certain whereabouts to start. "I shouldn't mind a distraction of sorts." Locke smiled in kind, a small, gentlemanly one, reaffirmation of his own state of mind. "I would suggest allowing me to refill your drink before we head out, however - the grounds are large, and one would be malinformed, were she to think a half-glass of Andoran red to be enough for the entirety of the walk."

Taking her glass gingerly from the bottom of the balloon, supporting it on the pads of his fingers, Locke was quick to procure new drink for himself and his companion; he was also careful to call for a heavy pour. A nine ounce glass, a three ounce pour under regular circumstances - ergo they were to be walking, ergo a bit of a distance, ergo a six ounce pour. Ergo is a fun word. Ergo, I say it in the form of a function in a list. Ergo, I am no longer entertained by ergo. Locke chuckled and extended the glass to Tira; she took it with verbal thanks and moved to his side in a manner that suggested that he was to take the lead. Her body language is stunningly abject. I wonder if it's a carefully honed skill, or if she was born with it? Locke smiled and gestured idly with his free hand. "This way first, I suppose." She was born with that behind. Locke caught himself thinking the sentence, but not in time to check himself. He never thought such things. Not like him at all! And then there was wine. "The main hub of the Tower is here, near the Green. The Tree, which I'm sure you noticed, is artistically adorned with the heads of deserters. We're like the White Tower, in that we don't approve of runaways - our treatment of them once found, however, is more severe than yours, obviously." It swayed in the breeze, cartoonishly decorated with strands and lanterns, made to appear festive. Nobody had bothered to remove the heads.It's garish. "Aside, we have the M'Hael's manor - quite a large house for quite a large ideal. It's more than he needs, and Lysander doesn't quite approve, but he recognizes the power of symbols, when those symbols have people behind them to flesh them out, make them real."

"He's quite young." Tira cocked her head to the side, looking at the manor house, answering her own questions in her own mind.

"True. But that is the beauty of a new institution - new minds and new power are oftentimes new people - objectively and metaphorically speaking. I myself am only twenty, but it was I who led the army in the Gap to crush the Seanchan, and I was awarded the prestige of leading the expedition to kill Pargarus after we destroyed his ambitions in Illian. I killed him myself - and at that time, I was only nineteen." Locke gestured broadly, indicating that he wasn't bragging, just illustrating a point. "Many of our brightest officers are also our youngest. I am of the manner of thinking to assign them the second attribute by proxy, but, in practice, I will admit that that is a flawed idealism." Tira nodded. How old is she, in her Aes Sedai practitions? She can't be anywhere near my age.

"I'd show you the lake, but it involves a trek through the wood behind the manor, and I would not subject your dress to the elements, a party such as it is. Suffice it to say that it is pretty in the moonlight, much like all lakes tend to be." Locke smiled at the thought; he spent a lot of time there as a Dedicated. "Let's move on, shall we?" He spoke softly, and she nodded, trailing behind him by a single step. Precise, but in an informal feeling way. Locke wasn't sure how she could be so physically assertive without seeming aggressive, or at the very least overzealous, but she wasn't either. Her stride spoke of nothing but keeping pace. At one point, their hands collided softly as they swayed in tune with their opposite legs; both parties excused themselves in whispers. Locke imagined he would have colored at the cheeks, were he a less adept creature.

"The northern yards are a maelstrom of activity in the mornings - the mess is directly ahead, and, as you can imagine, they would rival your Kitchens for production and general madness." Locke had a love affair with the cook lady who sometimes spun him sugarcandy in exchange for tutoring in geometry; he had a sweet tooth that went unsoothed most of the time. A weakness, he fancied, but a delicious one. "The classrooms to the left are simply that - classrooms - used seldom, because of the hands-on nature of our training programs. Usually they are occupied by Asha'man and Dedicated whose studies lead them outside the Power - tactics, music, history - the students of the Master Healers also read on Herbology there, as I understand it."

"You must spend a lot of time there, if tactics are taught therein." Tira chimed in, suddenly curious, and Locke noted that the tour seemed to be gravitating towards what he did in the Tower, and not what he'd originally anticipated. "No, actually. I confine myself to my quarters, to read and study, lest I am teaching. It used to be somewhat cramped - imagine seventeen books and a nightstand in one of your novices' rooms - but lately, upon my Raising, I've attained my own loft in the Old Town, away from most of this. It's well suited to that kind of study, without being stuffy or scholasticly disinclined, such as I find most classrooms to be."

"What is Old Town?"

"This Tower isn't a tower, quite obviously. It was formed in the quiet village that was south of you, when you Travelled here. When we grew far too large to be contained by the town's walls, we expanded, and that expansion has led to this. We will continue to grow, surely, and eventually I hope we will grow UP, and not OUT, as we are now. But, to the point, Old Town is the village where all this started. It's also where my home is." Locke paused. "I've been talking an awful lot. Please, tell me where you want to go, and what you want to know, and I'll do my best to facilitate. I hardly noticed that I'd dominated the conversation until I played back in my head what had happened. Please excuse me."

~________________

OOC: Sorry it took so long. :\

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    • The Ghost Tour — Asha'man Locke Lemain, Tue Oct 24 22:53
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