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Talaban Morenae, Gaidin
Last hurray?
Wed Dec 13, 2006 10:29 (XFF:

The chilly winter wind blew, sweeping through the high mess hall of the White Tower as Accepted and Novices alike shivered in their calf length dresses. This was merely the early stretches of winter. It would get colder yet before the first snows came.

Talaban sipped at his hot tea, glancing at the Sister seated opposite him. Estelle Sedai showed no sign of suffering from the cold despite her apparent age, her only concession to the temperature being the addition of a shawl to her normal do.

The Gaidin spoke to few Aes Sedai, never making conversation with them unless they sought him out. Few rarely did. He was one of those considered to be “almost but not quite there”. Good enough to make the grade to Gaidin but yet lacking that something which would make him a suitable Warder, Talaban, at twenty six, was not far from being relegated to the list of “discards”.

Life in the training grounds was getting increasingly monotonous. It had been ever since Rysor Gaidin retired, stepping down from the position of Head Gaidin. Talaban knew he was biased but the plain truth was that none of the subsequent heads had the sure, engaging touch of the bluff Shienaran.

Initially, Talaban had been happy with being left alone to further his mastery of the sword but ever since he had trained Ekaterine Sei’Tar to fight in the unique twin weapon style taught only to him by Myrjala Gaidin, Talaban found life in the Tower ever more meaningless. His oaths and the need to find a student had bound him to Tar Valon. Now, only the oaths remained.

He spoke suddenly, “I’m thinking of leaving the Tower, Estelle Sedai.”

The Green Sister’s head jerked up, her icy blue eyes staring at the Gaidin with all the intensity of a hawk eyeing its prey. Although the Head Gaidin was officially in charge of all trainees and unbonded Gaidin, the Sisters kept a close eye on the grounds themselves. Officially, Estelle was a liaison to the grounds. In practice, she was something of a counsellor to the trainees, available whenever they preferred not to approach Jield. After the Head Gaidin, Estelle was perhaps the next person who knew the most about every single arms man sworn to the Tower.

“You would forswear your oaths to the Tower?” She hissed softly, eyes narrowing dangerously as she leaned forward. Light reflected, showing the famous glint that sent shivers down even the spines of jaded warriors. “Or are you asking for release, Talaban… Gaidin?” Estelle spat the title at him.

“Neither, Estelle Sedai, neither. I wish to go into retirement,” came the answer in a tired, dry voice.

Estelle blinked as she sat back, leaning into the plush backing of her chair. She stared at the skinny man across from her. Dressed in black silk that shrouded his slight frame, Talaban Gaidin was one of the mavericks of the Gaidin corp. Estelle ran his dossier through her head mentally.

Predictable, if just barely, Talaban was one of the better fighters of his generation. Schooled in the art of fighting with twin blades, the night owl also possessed a famed disregard for authority. He had sense, for a man, but was one of the silent sorts. Few of the Sisters even considered him when they evaluated Gaidin for Warders. Of the same generation as Jield, the two men rarely saw eye to eye and recent incidents had not helped.

The points flashed across Estelle’s head as she took a sip of her tea. Laras had prepared it herself but the Sister barely noticed the fragrance, her mind focused on calling up details. He had served as a scout during the Seanchan altercation. Perhaps… Perhaps it would be a useful deployment for someone with his skills. But for this she would have to convince the Amyrlin…. Yes, perhaps it was suitable after all.

Talaban waited patiently, watching closely as Estelle Sedai drifted deep into her thoughts. He knew she would be running details through her head but ultimately, he did not expect to be “retained”. With no qualities except being an above average hand with a sword, Talaban knew he was not all that valuable an asset. It came as no surprise that when Estelle Sedai finally spoke again, it was merely to say, “Very well Talaban Gaidin, I shall convey your request to the Amyrlin. You will await my summons before doing anything.”

The Gaidin nodded as Estelle rose and left the table, her green skirts swirling around her knees as the Aes Sedai strode from the hall, ignoring the curtsies and bows as she cut through the crowd.

Silver spun around him as the Gaidin danced, the twin katanas forming a deadly web of singing steel. The blades lanced out, transforming into form after form as he danced in the dark, silent night. Lost in thought, Talaban paid little attention, his body instinctively moving through the exercise routines. The movements came easily, the product of thousands of hours of careful honing.

Later that day, he would be going on an expedition to the borderlands. Again. These expeditions were not as infrequent as one might have thought, though the fact that the Sisters were allowing a huge chunk of the trainees to tag along implied that it might be a little less fun than usual. Still, it was a good change to the normal, mundane routine in the life of the Sei’Tar and Aethan’Tar. They had to be exposed to the real world. This was something Talaban strongly believed in.

“Will this be my last expedition?” the thought intruded silently. Shaking his head, the Gaidin slammed both blades back into their oiled sheaths. Long strides took him back toward the barracks. Even Gaidin needed to prepare.

The jet black stallion stood still in the afternoon wind, its black mane barely ruffling in the faint wind. Its rider sat stock still as well, black on black, so that one was nearly indistinguishable from the other.

Dressed in his customary black silk garments, hair bound neatly in his hadori, the former thief looked no different from normal, running his cold green gaze over the assembled trainees. Most of them shivered slightly when they noticed his gaze, turning their faces away. He had something of a reputation for being a cruel instructor, though where that had originated from eluded him. Not that Talaban was inclined to disabuse tem of the notion. With that reputation, he was seldom disturbed by all but the most persevering of trainees, which usually meant that those who sought him out would not prove a total waste of time.

The black chain felt cold even through the cotton inner shirt he wore but knowing he was going into the blight, not even the hottest summer sun would have convinced him to eschew its protection. A family heirloom, the armour was supple as cloth and lighter than most other chain mail. Talaban spotted Kat in the distance, her slight frame standing out among the cloud of Sei’Tar. He smiled to himself. That girl had to be unique. Of all the trainees, she was his prize student. Hopefully, she would amount to more than he did. Nothing but a failed Warder, the thought came again, unbidden.

Scowling, the Gaidin checked his items again. The mail coif hung in a pouch on his saddle, the leather belt, with all its crafty accessories wrapped snugly around his waist. Blackened leather bracers covered his wrists for added protection. Talaban seldom wore this much armour but the blight was not a game. Every borderlander knew that.

It was time. Talaban nudged Shadow, the big stallion moving easily through the crowd to join the mass of Gaidin in front. He nodded at Jield, acknowledging the presence of the Head Gaidin. Talaban did not like the man but in a military organisation, personal opinions mattered little. At least he was sound tactically.

The Gateways opened slowly, slivers of silver splitting the air, materializing from nothingness. Talaban waited patiently as the Gaidin rode through pair by pair, each having prior instructions for different tasks to secure the area. He rode through the Gateway.

Fires flickered in the distance, the smell of roasting meat faintly reaching his nostrils. His stomach growled involuntarily. It had been four hours since he had come through the gate. Beside him, Rael sniffed, scenting the air. “Roast lamb,” he muttered, “with honey and roasted chestnuts.” Talaban merely nodded. He could not discern anything other than the smell of roasting meat but Rael was rarely wrong about food.

His best friend in the Gaidin corp, Rael was the polar opposite to Talaban, the fire to his ice, the light to his shadow. A giant with massive build, Rael had free flowing blond locks on a sharp, chiselled face. Pale blue orbs set off a slight moustache. Dressed in his scarlet plate, the big Gaidin was usually visible from a mile away. Strapped to his back was a huge two-handed blade. Fire and ice. Still, they got along famously.

Both Gaidin rode together into camp. The disparity in size caused more than one trainee to take a second glance. Riding to the middle, they dismounted. Rael reported quickly to Jield. Sent to secure the northern perimeter in a five mile radius, neither Gaidin had discovered anything out of the ordinary. Nodding, Jield dismissed them.

Pardon for the crappy writing. Its been awhile.

  • Section Wide RP: PodianJield Pilaweth, Head Gaidin, Fri Dec 8 12:06
    Jield’s eyes surveyed the campsite and as he looked over those doing their tasks he nodded in satisfaction; everything was going right to plan so far. They were currently in Kandor, camping a mile... more
    • ArrivalTalocan Mesandril, Gaidin, Sun Dec 31 08:44
      As soon as the gateway opened, Tal spurred his horse through, alongside two other Gaidin. They quickly spread out and scouted the area, finding nothing amiss. They were near the small town of Podian, ... more
      • To bond a warrior...Tianna Ithami, Aes Sedai of the Green Ajah (MuC), Sun Dec 31 08:46
        As Tal walked away from her, Tianna started trembling. She sat down on the log that Tal had been resting on when she'd found him and clenched her hands together to stop them shaking. Asides from... more
        • To stand ready, to fight, to fall?Talocan Mesandril, Gaidin, Sun Dec 31 10:27
          Tal felt his face twitch into a smile, an expression long unused. Tianna was trying hard to suppress the triumph she was feeling at bonding him, but it was still leaking out around the edges. He... more
    • Home in the country and home in the companyCrael Kantar, Sat Dec 30 13:56
      Crael smiled, he took another deep breath and his smile grew. He felt at peace here, almost at home. He squeezed Brutus’ flanks lightly to urge the horse on from the gateway to allow other through.... more
      • A Visit to a Place from the pastCrael Kantar, Sat Dec 30 13:58
        Crael had to admit the tents were pretty good, far better than he had expected and a luxury in comparison to what he had been used to in the lancers when they often made do with simply finding a... more
        • Luck, Armour and a feeling of belongingCrael Kantar, Sat Dec 30 14:00
          Just a couple of minutes later Crael was thanking the Light for the training back in the lancers that allowed him to get the barding on Brutus and everything else he needed done so fast or he would... more
          • Once more into the breach...Crael Kantar, Tue Jan 2 07:43
            Crael was the one who was laughing now, the Gaidin who had suggested that he train in armour would have been pleased at Crael’s efforts, for the past two days he had done just that. Most of the... more
            • A brush with deathCrael Kantar, Tue Jan 2 08:47
              Crael battled on as the clash of arms around him seemed to drag on interminably, underneath his armour he was drenched with sweat and Brutus’ flanks were increasingly warm to the touch. The battle... more
    • Getting A PartnerKael Zesiro, Aethan'Tar, Fri Dec 29 13:42
      Soon enough they were readying themselves to be off. Some of the Trainees, and most of the Gaidin, had their own horse, but Kael did not have the luxury. Instead, he mounted a horse that belonged to... more
      • Wood And WaterKael Zesiro, Aethan'Tar, Fri Dec 29 14:25
        The next morning began by dismantling the tent that he and Stephan had put up the night before. Like most things, it seemed easier to take apart the tent than it had been to set it up. Not that Kael... more
        • Food And TalkKael Zesiro, Aethan'Tar, Sun Dec 31 13:07
          Setting up the tent that night was harder than it had been the first, the two of them sore all over from the work. But, instead of being sour about it, they were both still in good spirits. They... more
          • SparringKael Zesiro, Aethan'Tar, Sun Dec 31 13:46
            “Hold your sword looser!” Stephan told him, as Kael bent to retrieve the practice weapon from the ground for what seemed like the hundredth time. The Gaidin were still watching over them spar, true,... more
            • A Walk In The Town And What Is To ComeKael Zesiro, Aethan'Tar, Sun Dec 31 19:05
              Both he and Stephan were able to have a good night’s rest that evening and early morning, without any tent collapses. Before they had both gotten to sleep, Stephan had apologized for the pain he had... more
              • Into The BattleKael Zesiro, Aethan'Tar, Sun Dec 31 20:59
                A daunting feeling of panic could be sensed underneath the forced calm that was over Kael and Stephan. This would be their first battle, as the Head Gaidin said it would be for many of them. The two... more
                • AfterwardsKael Zesiro, Aethan'Tar, Sun Dec 31 21:02
                  The battle was over…Kael couldn’t believe it. Breathing hurt, he realized then. That wasn’t the only hurt; many cuts on his body stung, but none of them were near as painful as the pain he felt each... more
    • The Hunter becomes the HuntedTain Aethan'Tar, Tue Dec 19 00:59
      The resonating twang of a bowstring split the silence of the wood. The sun was on its last legs and was slowly sinking behind the horizon. A soft pleasant breeze played across the wood as the young... more
    • Last hurray? — Talaban Morenae, Gaidin, Wed Dec 13 10:29
      • Into the BlightTalaban Morenae, Gaidin, Thu Dec 28 00:09
        The night air was dry here. Much drier than in Tar Valon. Alisse Sedai felt her throat itch slightly. Of its own accord, a water skin materialized in front of her. Taking it, she sipped before... more
        • Safe deposit withdrawalTalaban Morenae, Gaidin, Thu Dec 28 00:12
          Isabelle breathed deeply, taking in the sickly sweet scent of the Blight. The cloying aroma did not bother her. Perversely, it was the smell of home. After spending more than half her life in the... more
          • Strangers in the nightTalaban Morenae, Gaidin, Thu Dec 28 00:13
            The thrum of galloping hooves ceased abruptly as the riders pulled up beneath the first real trees on Shienaran soil. For several minutes, there was no sound save for the wheezing of the horses.... more
            • Blue on blueTalaban Morenae, Gaidin, Thu Dec 28 00:14
              Into the forest both figures went, each dancing nimbly across the soft ground, the stranger picking a rapid path deep into the woods with Talaban hot in pursuit. On and on they went, until, finally,... more
              • Deja VuTalaban Morenae, Gaidin, Thu Dec 28 00:16
                Talaban hissed slightly at the sting of the antiseptic solution. Rael murmured something meaningless as he ran the swab across the scalp of his fellow Gaidin. He alone among the entire corps knew of... more
    • What Would Warders Wonder?Kat Tenzin Sei'Tar, Mon Dec 11 13:58
      Kat bowed as a Gaidin moved forward, the fancloth spilling behind him with the motion of his forceful stride; the Aes Sedai with plain features and hair that seemed to have little life in the thin... more
    • Livin' the life.Tsuga Sei'Tar, Fri Dec 8 18:42
      It was a homecoming, in a sense. The gateway dumped their group just outside of a town very near the border between “civilized” lands and the Blight. The sights, the smells, and the feel of the place ... more
      • Just jump right in.Tsuga Sei'Tar, Thu Dec 14 07:09
        Spring had come to the Borderlands with a vengeance. The snow had melted in all but the most stubborn of passes through the mountains, and the bright green shoots of new growth showed everywhere.... more
        • Dazed, grazed, and confused.Tsuga Sei'Tar, Mon Dec 18 17:58
          She was mentally exhausted. Physical drain was something she was used to – and indeed, it was an integral part of her day-to-day life – but this much strain on her mind was not something that she was ... more
          • Surviving the morning after.Tsuga Sei'Tar, Wed Dec 20 19:44
            Tsuga hissed, half-rising off the bed and propping herself on her elbows as she twisted her head around to glare at the Aes Sedai probing at her back. “Be still.” The Sei’Tar grumbled and lay back... more
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