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Baby steps
Tue May 23, 2006 20:55 (XFF:

Water trickled. A merry gurgle over stone beds, the little stream wound its way through the woods at the edge of the Tower grounds. Further upstream, a muted roar told of a little waterfall. Cascading gently in the middle of a mist filled clearing, the fall beat a natural, easy counterpoint to the insects, the orchestra of the night. Shadows pervaded, the denizens of the night going about their business with nary a sound. Mist swirled, billowing slightly as it drifted apart revealing wraiths.

The figures sat silently beside the stream. Devoid of any sign of life save the gentle draw of breath, their chests moved silently, slowly inhaling the chilly night air. Theirs was a shared communion, each intensely aware of the other, even while they meditated within their own minds.

His mind was clouded today. Summoning his will, the smaller of the figures strove for calm amid the turmoil. So many questions with few clues and fewer answers still. So much had changed since he had left. The Tower felt… different. It was still home. But even homes changed sometimes. For all its seeming constancy, even the Tower had eras and one had ended while he had been away.

Many changes to the top brass had occurred while he had been gone, the major one being the resignation of the Head Gaidin, Rysor Darin. Rysor had been something of a father figure. Stolid and stable, as unchanging as a rock face, it was hard to imagine he was gone.

There was also the question of the new Head Gaidin. Jield. A somewhat unknown quantity. Their circles had never mixed much, even when they had been trainees together. Now, after his lengthy absence, he had been assigned, almost instantly upon his return, with an Aethan’Tar to mentor. The kid was alright, he was not the matter. Somehow, the Gaidin could not shake the suspicion that this was a test. Either that, or it was meant to keep him busy. If so, then why?

A mental alarm intruded. It was time. Thoughts were shelved as both bodies unwound, two figures side by side in the wafting mist. They began to stretch, easing shoulder and back muscles, coaxing warmth and suppleness into scar emblazoned tissue. Together, they moved through the callisthenic forms. The Ramparts of the Sun, the Shooting Bow, the Swallow, the Swan and the Crow. All one hundred and twenty seven positions flowed, in tandem, neither missing a beat in this ingrained routine.

A slight pause signalled the end of the stretching. Each took a moment to compose himself before turning to face the other. The figures bowed and began to shadow box, spinning and leaping, hands and feet lancing out, landing light blows on target areas as the men sparred. Rael was a big man, wide shouldered and powerful but he moved well, economy and skill compensating for the speed of his whip-thin adversary.

Eventually, the sparring ended. Both men bowed again. Sweat flowed from their upper bodies, the glint barely visible in the pale moonlight. The sky was lightening. Dawn approached. They walked from the woods.
“It is good to have you back, brother,” Rael muttered. “It has been lonely in the night these last few months and I have been sorely in need of a sparring partner.”

Both men paused awhile to grin at each other, a clasping of hands signalled the camaraderie of shield brothers. Rael took his leave, striding toward the barracks. Talaban turned the other way and walked towards the eastern training yards. The kid was supposed to be there at dawn.

As he walked, the Gaidin mentally ran through the information in his head. Basic sword. An age old lesson and one he had taught many sessions of. Still, it had been awhile. The wind blew gently, cooling the sweat and pulling at his black silk leggings. His shirt remained tied around his waist, its ends fluttering in the breeze. Katanas in their sheaths swung an easy counterpoint to his stride as clouded jade eyes picked out their target. Silver. The boy was on time.

Jack bowed as Talaban approached. The Gaidin returned the greeting with a nod of his head. He took a moment to examine the Aethan’Tar. The boy was not unlike what Talaban himself had been like when he had first arrived at the Tower. His frame said it all. Speed rather than strength. Skill and precision over brute force. And he had brought the lathes that Talaban had bade him to get from the armoury. This was good.

The former thief decided to begin. “Good morning, Silver. I hope that you’re well rested? Lets get started shall we?” Talaban drew one of his blades, letting its burnished steel gleam in the dawn light. “Now tell me, ever used a sword?”

OOC: Ok, here we go. Its been some time. This lesson is meant for Aethan’Tar Jack Silver and is supposed to be a basic sword lesson only. Anyone else who wants credit, email Jeremy, or join the sword lesson below.

    • Ill suited for lessonsJack Silver, Wed Jun 21 15:39
      Today was going to be gruelling day for Jack Silver, Aethan’Tar. An exceedingly boring gruelling day. He had to do what most young boys dreamt of. Learn to use a sword. From a Gaidin. Jack had no... more
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