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Now this is what I call a work-out!
Sat May 27, 2006 12:36 (XFF:

To Riani’s surprise her body hurt considerably less after the game of tag than it had earlier. She and Harina both stood gasping for breath as the Sei’Tar who was teaching gave them a small lecture on how they could not expect other teachers to provide them with a warm-up before the actual lesson began, and Riani could feel her face flush a deep red. She knew there was something they had forgotten! Harina mirrored her, but since her skin was considerably paler her friend’s face looked even redder that Riani’s did.

Philosophies, Riani thought as the Sei’Tar described the two main philosophies for how to handle a sword. Light, but she had never thought – her parents had never thought – it would be necessary for Riani to know these things, and so she had never learned them. Still though, she was used to the exercise of learning theory, and so she had no doubt that she’d be able to remember at least the theoretical aspects of whatever she was taught today.

The Void, she decided, didn’t sound like anything she would be able to do even if she tried. Her father had always said that she was too emotional, that she needed to shelve her emotions to be able to ‘focus’ – oh Light how she hated that word, focus - on what ‘needed to be done’. What ‘needed’ to be done was unvariably something Riani had no wish to do at all, of course., but it was the incessant nagging on focus, emotionless focus, that had very nearly driven Riani on the wall whenever her dad scolded her for not doing enough.

“I cannot begin to express my disappointment in you, Riani Seruam,” he would always begin, continuing with how he had told her ‘again and again’ how important it was to push ones feelings aside, how that was the ‘only way to succeed in life when the going gets tough’.

Well, father. There seems to be another way.

As the Sei’Tar listed off the disciplines they would be required to choose from Riani listened attentively. There were five of them, and by the expressions on some of the trainees around her it looked like some had serious problems remembering them all. Riani, however, had no such problems; her problem was of a much baser sort – how to find a discipline that would balance her weaknesses and, if possible, play to her strengths.

Elimination of those disciplines that were clearly not for her was easier, and so the Aethan’Tar decided to go that route.

The first and the last were, of course, the first to go. Riani looked at Sirestes; he might be able to pull of both of those, since he was both strong and, judging from their…activities…had enough stamina for anyone. The man was so unlike Riani herself; where he was tall and strong Riani was tiny and well, quite fragile; where he seemed to be able to run across the Waste from which he had come Riani felt short of breath and quite exhausted after an hour or two of intensive exercise.

So. Three left. The three in the middle all appealed to Riani on some level of another. Though, she knew that keeping level-headed in the midst of any emotional upheaval was beyond her, and since she had chosen the ‘way of emotion’ – she had named it as such to be able to catalogue it into her brain – emotions would be part of battle, for her.

Battle. Riani Seruam, if you ever think your father will let you into a battle-

"Okay." The Sei’Tar spoke, and Riani was torn out of her musings on her father and his rather…absolute…views on women and battle. In one of her letters – Riani did her best to write home every month, even if only a quick ‘all is well’ – Riani had mentioned that training to be a Gaidar had done wonders for her physique and that sometimes she actually looked forward to defending someone else’s life, giving her own if necessary. Her father had replied, his cold rage evident from the state of the piece of paper, that Riani could just remove any dreams of being the new Brigitte from her little head immediately, since he would sooner send her to mine in the Mountains of Mist than allow her to participate in battle. ”You,” he had written, ”are at the White Tower to learn discipline. Nothing more. If you had had the ability to channel I would have sent you to the White Tower proper to become Aes Sedai, but I will not have my daughter think she can go off gallivanting with a sword on her hip.”

“Hopefully you've found your philosophy or discipline by now,” the Sei’Tar continued, “and you can tell me about them in a minute. If they truly are suited to you, you'll be able to remember and tell me all about which one you picked after I've shown you the basic stances.”

Riani thought fast. She had eliminated the one with calm in battle, that meant there was only the one with the forms and the one Harin had called The Path of Water left. True, Riani had always been good at learning new movements; that was something those dratted dance lessons in her youth had taught her! – but with a sword…?

Too difficult. And with that, she realized, her decisions were made; her way would be that of emotion combined with the Path of Water.

The Sei’Tar, she saw, had picked up a set of lathes as he left them to consider their choices. As he continued talking, this time about stances, he moved fluidly in demonstration, the lathes looking as if they were part of him. It was a sort of dance, Riani realized, if a lethal one once real steel took the place of simple lathes. Once he finished giving their instructions Riani walked over to him, informing him in polite tones which strategy and discipline she had chosen. The Sei’Tar nodded in consent, and if he thought something amiss about her choices Riani could certainly not see it in his face.

As Riani had suspected the movements in themselves came to her easily. Feet and arms slid into position at each call the Sei’Tar gave, slightly uncertain at first but with more and more confidence.

Also as suspected, the lathes was what gave her the troubles she did encounter. Somehow the lathes refused to move in time with her fine-tuned body, refused to become part of her as it seemed it had been of the Sei’Tar. Instead it moved as if on its own accord, in the most annoying of moments sticking itself between her ankles or – worse – falling too far back as she held it in the stance Harin had called Rahien’Val. The latter was in part caused by something Riani had not expected from the ease with which the Sei’Tar let the lathes dance around; they were heavy. Her arms started burning not long after they began; after what felt like an eternity but was most likely minutes only she was gritting her teeth in pain – and when Harin finally gave the signal to seize her muscles felt like they were on fire.

Light, she thought to herself, brushing sweat from her forehead with a long sleeve, that was hard work.

(OOC: sorry about length…I suck at restraining myself when I am in a writey sort of mood. Good lesson!)

  • Philosophies, Disciplines and Stances!Harin Rieldred, Sei'Tar, Wed May 24 04:18
    Scanning the courtyard, Harin decided that the game had done the job. The trainees looked slightly red faced, and a couple of them were stopping to double over and pant slightly. Yes. He'd let it go... more
    • The Forms to Success!Harin Rieldred, Sei'Tar, Wed May 31 05:18
      They weren't children, so it was easy enough to rectify a mistake once and expect not to see it again. As such, Harin spent his time nipping possible bad habits in the bud. They were all quick to... more
      • Swing it, shake it, move it, Spar it.Harin Rieldred, Sei'Tar, Sun Jun 11 05:47
        Harin watched as the more pitiful attempts became… less pitiful. The forms were executed with a complete lack of precision or poise, but what they did have, was promise. Some seemed pleased with... more
        • Lesson ClosedRick, Tue Jun 20 04:13
          Nice job guys. Thanks to all who took part. Credit is awarded to: Sarin, Aethan'Tar Riani, Aethan'Tar Valla, Aethan'Tar Sirestes, Aethan'Tar. I will be e-mailing Jeremy with credit later today. So... more
        • To Be Practical or Orthodox?Sirestes Aethan'Tar, Sun Jun 18 08:04
          Sirestes appeared to have done well enough with this activity, it seemed, for he was feeling confident in his skills when the time came to progress. He claimed no mastery over the weapon, but thought ... more
        • Enter The DummyValla Karajan, Aethan'Tar, Thu Jun 15 14:22
          Valla did not want a fair fight. She wanted someone with the grace and speed of a three legged pig. Half the intelligence; optional. It was not due to a desperation for victory, rather, not entirely... more
        • An Expected LossRiani Aethan'Tar, Wed Jun 14 13:55
          Sparring, Riani thought, gritting her teeth, oh, that’s just great. Excellent. Her mouth should have been dripping with the sarcasm of her unspoken words, but Riani had had sixteen years of practise... more
        • Wood as SteelSarin Cordana - Aethan'Tar, Sun Jun 11 18:08
          Sarin scratched his chin as he listened to the Sei’Tar lay out the rules for their spars. He smirked when he heard that if you got hit in the leg you lost use of it, he couldn’t imagine himself... more
      • Give It All, or Give It UpValla Karajan, Aethan'Tar, Sat Jun 10 11:46
        Letting the lathes dip down toward the ground Valla allowed herself a muscle loosening shake. It wasn’t that the activity was taxing, though holding a stance for an extended period of time does... more
      • Four in SuccessionSirestes Aethan'Tar, Sun Jun 4 08:40
        Once all had been said and done, and once Sirestes, breathing more heavily than he might have liked to, could lower the wooden lathe in tandem with the rest of the trainees, the lesson could... more
      • Dancing Cats & Kissing HummingbirdsSarin Cordana - Aethan'Tar, Fri Jun 2 22:10
        The lathe in his hands began to irritate Sarin as he shifted it from stance to stance and back again. He snuck a quick glance down at them and noticed that his right hand was now a bright red. He... more
      • No Pain No Gain, Right?Riani Aethan'Tar, Thu Jun 1 10:47
        Riani felt the weight of the lathes in her hand even as she stood at careful attention, listening to the instructions of the Sei’Tar. She had absolutely no desire to lift the wooden thing above her... more
    • Decision and IndecisionSirestes Aethan'Tar, Sat May 27 14:42
      As the last vestiges of the game came to a close, and as the final few Aethan’Tar finished tossing the ball around, even with the halfheartedness of exhaustion, the Sei’Tar summoned them to begin the ... more
    • Now this is what I call a work-out! — Riani Aethan'Tar, Sat May 27 12:36
    • Try, Try AgainValla Karajan, Aethan'Tar, Sat May 27 03:46
      Pressing the back of her clammy fingers to her red cheek Valla took no more than a moment to collect herself. The game had truly woken her up, she now pulsed with energy. In fact, rather too much... more
    • Super-conducting loopSarin Cordana - Aethan'Tar, Fri May 26 17:52
      The void, it was something that was constantly talked about during lessons and to tell the truth Sarin never could get a hold of utter calm within his mind. Every time he had tried to find this void, ... more
    • New and OldSoldier Falora Tilde, Thu May 25 01:51
      After twenty odd minutes, the Sei’Tar finally decided to call a halt to the game, gathering the trainees into a cluster in front of him. Once all had gathered, Harin began the lesson proper by giving ... more
    • Low Wind RisingTain Aethan'Tar, Thu May 25 00:47
      When the Sei’Tar began to describe the two different types of philosophies, Tain smiled slightly to himself. Faoelin had drilled the Flame and the Void into his head, as forcefully as she could,... more
    • Rinse and repeatAccepted Celeste Illharess, Wed May 24 23:30
      Finally, the game drew to a close as the Sei’Tar, one Harin, called the group to gather. He began the lesson proper by touching first on the philosophies of fighting, the schools of thought that... more
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