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Part I: A Long-Winded Approach
Wed Dec 27, 2006 10:26 (XFF:,

Ansel nodded as the Soldier, Pigarin, made his introduction. His greeting was spoken with the undecided quaver that reminded Ansel of, well, himself some number of months back. Upon his arrival at the Black Tower, Ansel Melangel had been a nervous wreck. It had taken the course of several lessons to strengthen his mettle, to fortify his nerves. He could feel for the young lad, though. He wasn’t beyond feeling. Not yet.

“Good,” he said, nodding to the young man. “I myself am Dedicated Ansel Melangel, and I hail from Four Kings. I’m nineteen. It’s great to have you here, Pigarin–and I’ll see what I can teach you.”

“Before we begin, though, I just want you to know what you’re getting into. You might have heard stories about the Black Tower . . . about it being all hard work, right? Well, the stories are smack-dab on the center. The Black Tower will be harder than anything you may or may not have endured in your life. You’ll be pushed past your limits, certainly. Remember that. The last thing you want to do is get on the wrong side of an Asha’man or Dedicated. They can make your life brutal if they need to. It’s just how it is. From sun-up, you’ll be training, and it’s not until dusk that you’ll be given a break–maybe. You eat your meals when you can, and any socializing is an absolute windfall. Don’t expect those opportunities too much.”

It was quite a silly thing to say, now that he thought of it. In sooth, recruits found every possible moment they could to socialize. Most, anyway. Sure, there were some that fit the mold to precision of what an Asha’man was supposed to be. Only some. Others, like Ansel, sought every possible moment to speak or laugh or flirt with another recruit . . . whether that moment was as they were Spinning Earthfire, or maybe practicing sword forms. Only a fool would believe, really, that they could make anything else of them.

“Which brings me to my next point,” he continued. “All Asha’man and all Dedicated are to be obeyed. Period. Dedicated is the second rank upon the Tower’s hierarchy, right above Soldiers, and are denoted by the silver pin called the Sword. Asha’man is above Dedicated and has the red-enamelled Dragon pin. In effect, you do not speak until spoken to, and you either bow or salute to every man or woman of rank. It’s just how it is.

“Our objective is simple. You train to serve the Dragon Reborn. As members of the Black Tower, it is our duty to serve the greater–greatest cause–of justice. When you make this pact, you are expected to uphold it with every whit of your being. This means that once you become a recruit, that’s it. There’s no leaving. No point of return. If you think you can hide yourself from the Black Tower, well . . . good luck with that one!” He laughed, and richly. “There’s no escaping the Black Tower. When you entered, did you see the large tree in the center of the Tower? Those men, too, thought they could escape. They got thoughts of desertion into their heads. And the Tower, ah, got the heads themselves.

“Tracks are another aspect of the Black Tower. Your choices as far as tracks go include being an Officer, an Ambassador, an Assassin or Spy, a Healer, or a Jack of all Trades. In brevity, Officers engage in combat, Ambassadors deal with treaties and negotiations on behalf of the Tower, Assassins and Spies are more prone to cloak and dagger efforts, Healers Heal and Jacks of all Trades have cleaved their own path in the Black Tower. You’ll find one or two initially appealing, likely, though your range of skills usually determines how well you’ll do in each track. I’m a Jack. I didn’t feel the need to specialize, so I don’t.” He grinned.

“Got all that? It’s a fair bit to know, but you really do need to make sure you remember it. I’d like you to voice a question, now–no reason, really. Sort of a custom, I suppose? Just ask anything your heart desires. Preferably about the Black Tower,” he added as an afterthought.

OOC: Thanks for the quick reply! Great post, so keep it up. Just write about what’s going through his mind as Ansel explains this stuff to him, and think of a question to ask. Anything. *grins*

  • Seizing: Glory of SaidinDedicated Ansel Melangel, MuC, Wed Dec 20 20:46
    For all the snow, for all the daring grip of winter, Ansel would not allow himself to be distracted. His channeling was fluent. Water and Air were caught from his grasp on invisible tendrils of... more
    • Completion!Mark, Fri Jan 5 20:37
      Hooray! You receive seizing credit! Excellent work, and I look forward to seeing you in the Traveling lesson. *grins* /|\Mark
    • Part II: Lights and FilamentsDedicated Ansel Melangel, MuC, Wed Jan 3 13:57
      “Could there have been some mistake? Surely there is no way to tell that I channel until I actually do. I don’t understand, how could the Asha’man tell I could channel just by making me stare into a... more
      • A Little Less Fear, A Little More PowerSoldier Pigarin Maenred, Fri Jan 5 17:26
        Pigarin was crestfallen. He had hoped beyond hope that the Dedicated would say there had been a mistake, that everything was fine and that he could leave. Walk away from the One Power, from the war,... more
    • Part I: A Long-Winded ApproachDedicated Ansel Melangel, MuC, Wed Dec 27 10:26
      • Fear for SurvivalSoldier Pigarin Maenred, Wed Dec 27 23:21
        Pigarin stared directly at the floor, examining one small spot. There was nothing particularly fascinating about it, nothing that differentiated it from any other, except that it was the one he had... more
    • Tired, Sore and AfraidSoldier Pigarin Maenred, Wed Dec 20 21:54
      Pigarin gasped for air when the Asha’man finally let him stop running. Sweat gleamed across his face despite the snow, and his long mass of black hair was matted to his head. Apparently there were... more
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