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What is in a lesson?
Fri Sep 1, 2006 03:14
87.42.64.33 (XFF: 172.20.24.56)

Arms crossed, propped against the trunk of a tree, Tain waited. He eyed the small circle of Trainees before him with interest, watching as one or another of them stepped into the circle from time to time, only to step back out, looking a little worse for wear. Tain suspected that like he, these Trainees, Aethan’Tar to the last man, were all waiting for the ‘lesson’ they were all to attend in a little while.

Lesson? What else could they call it I suppose? Pushing away from the tree as the last man in the circle stepped out, Tain strode purposely forward, into the circle, right to the middle of the open expanse.

He stood there for a second, meeting every eye that challenged him, with a cold level look. He was not about to pass up his chance of a little extra training, without the pressure of a Gaidin or Sei’Tar watching. When each man had dropped his gaze, Tain, with a small smile playing on his lips, turned to face his opponent, scooping the lathes that the last man had dropped, off the ground.

Big bastard isn’t he! Tain thought, eyeing up his opponent with open interest. The man was the biggest, meanest looking Aethan’Tar he could see, a tall black haired, grey eyed Andoran, by the name of Garun.

The man inclined his head slightly to Tain, before dropping into a defensive stance. Refraining from inclining his head even a fraction to the man, Tain noted the stance to be Rahien’Val. He would not exchange pleasantries or even acknowledge the man, not till one of them was lying in the dirt. Taking a second to centre himself, Tain opened his senses to the world around him. He stood for what felt like an eternity, drinking in the sounds of his surroundings, feeding off the energy coming from his opponent and from the other trainees in the yard. This was what he had been missing, since coming to the Tower. He missed the taste of adrenaline before a battle, the calm before a storm, as it were. Feeling at ease, Tain opened his eyes slowly and, preparing for an attack, beckoned the man into combat.


In warfare, Engage Directly;
Secure victory Indirectly.


Tain readied himself in Taer’Val, as the man took the offensive. Crossing the relatively small space between them, the Andoran brought his lathes up with a sharp swift movement and sent them crashing down atop of Tain, who only barely had time to shift guards to send the bundled lathes skittering off for a miss. Tain acted then, locking practice blades with the man, as he attempted to bring his own set up for another strike. The struggle went on for what felt like an age, both men attempting to overpower the other. Tain was losing stamina fast, wasting it on this pointless display of strength against an opponent he would not be able to best. Stepping in he drove his shoulder into the mans chest, pressing the Soldier back, freeing his own blade and knocking the man off balance.


The Skillful Warrior’s
Energy is Devastating;
His Timing, Taut.


In the second that the man struggled with his balance, Tain took a step back and out of his reach, taking the time to breathe and think. He could not match strength with the man who, although slightly shorter, was markedly broader. He needed to play to his own advantage, needed to work to his strengths and keep the man on his feet. The Andoran had long since readied himself again and looked set to wait Tain’s move out. Taking a calming breath, Tain darted forward and executed Cat Dances on the Wall, aiming the blows to draw the man out for an attack. The blows became quicker, but none landed, or succeeded in calling the mans move. Switching tactics, Tain assumed Los’Val and initiated Hummingbird Kisses the Honeyrose, altering the blows so that they would land just where the mans heart would be. His plan worked, the Andoran was made step back and in that instant, Tain reacted with lightning speed. Darting in, Tain dropped to a knee, to avoid a slash at his throat and executed Ribbon in the Air, while rising, hitting the man solidly in the left arm. He had over stepped his move then and found himself face to face with the man, who, after losing the use of his left arm, was ruthlessly using all he had at hand to see a victory. Tain received a kick in the midsection, which saw him bent double, fighting for breath, with barely time to react as his opponents blade descended on his exposed neck.

You cant lose! a voice bellowed inside his head.

As if some spectral force had seized control of his body, Tain reacted without thought. His leg swept out taking the man in the left knee and sending him toppling to the ground and his blow, although not stopped, diverted to thud heavily into Tain’s right leg. Crashing to his knee, Tain swept his blade down hard toward the mans exposed chest, only to have his blow turned aside at the last second. The man rolled away from him and to his feet.

“I have you now runt!” the man laughed, stepping back and stretching deliberately, as if to show how unimpressed he was with this younger Aethan’Tar.

Tain took this break to clear his mind, ridding himself of all extra feeling and emotion, drawing everything into the flame and sending it out along the practice blade he held before him. His mind now totally empty, he prepped himself for the attack. Assuming Los’Val, he awaited his time to strike.

“Any last words boy?” the Andoran asked, taking a slow step forward. “Want to beg me not to hurt you?” When Tain shook his head slightly, the man moved.

Darting forward at a speed defying his size, the man closed the gap. Tain reacted in an instant, executing The River Undercuts the Bank, aiming for the mans knees. Caught off guard, the man stumbled into his attack arc, and feeling the blade thump off both his kneecaps, reacted instantly, dropping to the ground before the Aethan’Tar. Sweeping his sword high, Tain brought the blade down hard atop the slightly stunned Andoran mans head, feeling a satisfying thud as he connected. Pushing himself to his feet, Tain smiled slightly at the man, who lay stunned at his feet.

“Good fight, boy!” laughing, Tain bent briefly, offering the man his hand, only to have it slapped away with a growl. Suit yourself! Tain thought, turning away from the man and strolling out of the circle, taking the lathes he held with him. I better get ready for this lesson!


His energy is like a drawn crossbow,
His timing like the release of a trigger.





Tain walked slowly into the large hall that was to be used for the lesson today. He took a second to scan the room, idly taking in everything. At one end of the room stood an Aes Sedai, Tain studied her for a second openly, forgetting himself, till she met his gaze. Such calm certainty in those eyes, he bowed fluidly to her before breaking her gaze and turning to join the small number of Trainees that had entered before him. When he joined the group he bowed fluidly to the Head Gaidin and smiled slightly. The man, Jield Gaidin, was more than just the Head of the Training Grounds to Tain, he was also the young Aethan’Tar’s mentor. Tain received a friendly nod in return and a small smile, before the mans gaze shifted to somebody else.

Let the games begin! he thought with a little laugh.

OOC: Quotes in Italics taken from Chapter 5 Potential Energy, of General Sun-tzu’s, The Art of War.

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