Decision and Indecision
Sat May 27, 2006 14:42 (XFF:

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 first part of the class. Well, it was certainly an effective warmup, suffice to say, and Sirestes felt himself ready to learn the sword. No matter how much he wished he didn’t, he wondered how it would compare to the axe. The axe . . . it had felt right.

I’ve got the right build for the axe, he thought, and I’ve only gotten better with it since then.

The sword would feel lighter, suffice to say, especially as the weight of the metal was distributed among the length of the blade. If it was too light, however, and he felt that he might as well be cutting paper streamers . . . well, perhaps it wouldn’t work. If he was not Blademaster material, he’d hardly bat a lash at that.

Harin began speaking of philosophies. One was nameless, and the other . . . and the wince could not be suppressed. He honestly winced as Harin mentioned the Void, and hated himself passionately for succumbing to emotion like that. Light, though! The Void! He’d not touched the Void once since what had transpired the night he’d departed from Tar Valon. Sirestes hardly knew if he’d be able to sense the True Source. If he could sense it, however . . . if he could sense it, and if he could–well, if he could . . . he didn’t know what he would do. Losing saidin had been the most difficult sacrifice of his life. And to have it thrust under his nose again . . .

. . . well, there always was the second, nameless option. He’d side with that.

However, this second option required emotion. This was not who Sirestes was. He felt emotions, yes, for he was not some bastion of indifference unto the world, though he did not let his feelings guide him. Tried not to, at least. During the end of his novice training, he was gradually considering the White Ajah further, even if he did not think that he had the cold rationality of a White. Perhaps it would have come eventually, though.

In spite of the turmoil that came intrinsically with the option of which philosophy to choose–philosophy; he was reminded further of the Whites–the question of disciplines came rather easily. Harin had mentioned that the larger Aethan’Tar would be better suited with Scales of Power, and he did not doubt that blindly overpowering would come easier than memorizing every individual form. After all, he’d gained nothing by memorizing every weave; that knowledge would simply be allowed to fade until he forgot what a thread of Earth even looked like. Scales of Power it would be.

The Sei’Tar progressed to speaking of stances.

Los’Val. Forward guard.

Taer’Val. Straight guard.

Mosiev’Val. Lowered guard.

Rahien’Val. Dawn guard.

Ji’Val. Side guard.

He was able to supply the meaning of the names that the Sei’Tar did not say by those simple words he could remember from his education among the Ogier. Sirestes wondered if that felt only one Age ago or a full seven. Once the Sei’Tar finished explaining each stance, the students crowded around the lathes, ready to try the stances on their own.

Choosing one of the wooden lathes, Sirestes didn’t bother examining closely. He didn’t expect they’d supply broken lathes to Aethan’Tar, after all, and he’d not appear like one of the melodramatic children examining theirs with the awe as one would upon seeing the gifts they’d received on the Feast of Lights. It did, however, not feel especially awkward in his hand. He slashed it idly a couple times. He had to adjust his grip every now and then, yes, but he thought the weapon wasn’t bad. Still, he lusted for the raw strength of an axe. He did.

It was time to practice the stances, then. Los’Val wasn’t hard so long as he did not have to hold the position for very long. He’d likely end up feeling fairly stupid, holding the lathe diagonally up so high. Taer’Val was much simpler, and he wondered how long it would take a Blademaster to go from the weapon pointed at their opponent’s throat to actually slitting it. It was an idle thought. The third of the stances, Mosiev’Val, was just an inverted form of Taer’Val.

Rahien’Val would require precision to master. Harin had advised that the sword’s angle should be kept pointed up, else it would simply take far too much time to bring it back down again. Considering how vulnerable one would be in such a position . . . the warning came on heeding ears. Sirestes tried to keep the lathe’s ends vertical, which would make a slit between the eyes easy . . . though as the sword was overhead, he could not be sure he was keeping it just right. Likely not. The last of them, Ji’Val, was awkward to perform, though some of
the more artful forms might be spawned therefrom. So long as he kept by the discipline of Scales of Power, however, he didn’t think he’d have to use it. The Light send it so.

He practiced a bit more; it was easy to confuse Taer’Val and Mosiev’Val, and he was beginning to feel the burn in his arms, which made concentration only more difficult. Nonetheless, he was ready to perform the stances, confident in what he knew.

As he approached the Sei’Tar, he bowed respectfully. “The nameless philosophy and the Scales of Power.” That was all. He performed the stances for Harin as the man shouted out each individual stance, progressing slowly, keeping his motions careful and fluent. Well, as much as he could, at least. It was difficult to imbue emotion into these, as he did not feel particularly spurned by his lack of comrade, though he made the effort. He was beginning Taer’Val as the man shouted out for him to perform Mosiev’Val, though he remedied that quickly. He hoped. I’d still rather have the axe, he thought.

  • Philosophies, Disciplines and Stances!Harin Rieldred, Sei'Tar, Wed May 24 04:18
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    • Decision and Indecision — Sirestes Aethan'Tar, Sat May 27 14:42
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