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Lay of the Lance


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#1 Visar Falmaien

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Posted 02 January 2011 - 01:12 PM

Jederic Volan cracked his shoulders as the company came to a halt to stop for the night. even though they could have pressed on for three more hours before darkness. He rode up to confer with the Captain, and they were to set up camp here and train the new children until they were up to par. Their company was only a couple days' ride north of the Fortress, but here in the frequently wooded countryside it seemed like an entirely new world compared to the cool stone halls of the Fortress of the Light.

"Aye, Captain" Jederic saluted as he received his orders. He rode over to the company assembled, mostly of new recruits. Many of them were trying so hard not to look so obviously green, but Jederic saw the signs clear as the sunrise.

Some did not have their helmets or breastplates polished properly. Others seemed to fidget about while at attention, not used to standing so still or having their spears slanted at just the right angle. A couple of them were even whispering to each other. Jederic would have to stop that or he would be held responsible for any infractions of discipline within their ranks. They were his charge now.

"Silence in the ranks!" Jed bellowed, and there was blissful silence for a few moments. He took the scroll and read the names; those who had been selected for individual training with the lance. The others would make camp, and he and the Captain would examine their work to see if their camp was sufficiently done up to standard, each tent staked precisely in its neat, ordered row.

"You Children who have heard your names, step up and form a line!" Jed barked, eager to get their training started. The sooner started, the sooner finished.

---Second Lieutenant Jederic Volan, CotL Army---
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#2 Nynaeve

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Posted 03 January 2011 - 06:03 AM

Zoe stood erect, mastering all her will to stay still. She wasn't sure if she managed to achieve it, but if she did it was out of sheer stubbornness. Her eyes were fixed on their superior as he started calling out the names of the recruits that would remain to practice with him. She hoped her name wouldn't be called. Setting up camp was no pleasant work, but at least she knew that soon enough she would find rest. Starting a practice session with no determined ending to it didn't seem appealing. Her hopes were soon shattered, though, when her name was called.

She sighed and frowned visibly, walking to join the group that was to remain. She finally managed to soften her features but her sulking was still visible. Lately things didn't seem to go the way Zoe wanted them to. It seemed to turn into a growing frustration that marred her mood and made her feel like the world was against her. No one wanted her to succeed, everyone wanted her to fail. But she refused to give in and she fought to get the upper hand.

"You Children who have heard your names, step up and form a line!" The line formed eventually and Zoe watched the 2nd lieutenant carefully. She wanted to shift her weight to the right because her posture felt awkward in a way, but she refused to move a muscle while under his watch. She muttered under her breath and remained in her place like a good little soldier.



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#3 Verbal32

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Posted 06 January 2011 - 03:40 PM

Blais watched as the sulky girl talked to herself while getting in line for training. He had also been called, so he got in line next to her. He couldn't exactly make out what she was saying, but he had his own troubles to deal with. It had just occured to him that his helmet was on backwards. How in the Light did this happen?, Blais thought to himself. In his rush to learn all that was necessary to be a proper Child and gain the respect he needed to acquire a particular set of talents, he had totally neglected his gear and appearance.

As he watched the Lieutenant look at each recruit, he thought that perhaps the man wouldn't notice. If the man would only shift his gaze for a few seconds, Blais could adjust his helmet properly. The fact that the man would not made Blais feel uneasy. Did he notice? Was Blais to be in trouble for this, in the beginning before any training occured? Would he ever gain the respect he needed? Would this girl stop muttering to herself and let him worry in peace? This was going to be a long day, Blais decided. But he would buckle down and get it done. He had to. He needed to learn. It drove him.

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#4 Kathleen

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Posted 12 January 2011 - 05:39 PM

As she waited in line with the other recruits Katandra tried her best to stay still. She wasn't used to it, but she knew what was expected of her and would die standing properly before she broke poster. Perhaps she was standing a little sharp, a little too rigid. The longer she stood there the more this thought wieged on her and so she desided to slump just a little. As soon as she did she regretted the decision and pulled her self straight upright again. She tried to hold off looking around to see if anyone noticed as that would mean moving again, and just as she was cursing herself in own mind she heard her named being called. The girl jerked up in surprised and then just a step slower than she should have she jogged over to join the others who had been called. Great, of too a real good start in the real world! She thought as she joined the group.

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#5 Visar Falmaien

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Posted 13 January 2011 - 10:15 PM

Jederik examined his new trainees. Very green, he thought, full of inexperienced men that might kill themselves by accident as soon as kill an enemy. By the Light, One of them even had his helmet on backwards! He was not the drill seargent, however, who would no doubt chastise them on their sloppy appearance and overstiff postures. He was to teach them how to use their weapons, the lance first among them.

Second Lietenant Volan strode over to his horse and removed his lance from the loop which held it there. He went back over to the group and showed them the beginning postures.

"You Children, Take up your lances and reform this line. Be quick but do not stab yourself in the foot!"

Jederik resisted the urge to moan in dismay at their straggling retreat to their horses, some of which weren't properly tethered to the horse line yet. One soldier even hit another with the shaft of his lance as he awkwardly swung it round. After checking on the man's ailment, Jederik decided the man would be fine and shoved him into the line. Jederik smiled slightly as he noticed that the Child with the backward helmet had managed to fix it in the confusion without him noticing, but put it from his mind. He addressed them sternly.

"That the best you can do?" Jederik chastised them when they finally assembled as a unit, a full two minutes later.

"I want you to do it again, you good for nothing green louts!" He shouted in an angry tone.
"Back to the horses! double Quick! Put those lances back up. Mount up! Dismount! Take em back out. Reform the line. Faster!" he snapped, intending to have them do it again if they did not make it in half the time they already had. He watched them carefully, almost asking for someone to be foolish enough to try to take shortcuts while his eye was on them. They would have made a good example to the rest.

There were times when one had to dismount for fighting on rough terrain or in towns. And that meant that Children had to be drilled extensively to switch mentality from horseback to foot as a cohesive unit and not as individual warriors. It was not the place of green recruits to know the purpose of their torment, however, so Jederik kept them at the drill until they did not do it shamefully. Only then would he teach them how to use their lances. But first, they had to learn how to work together as a team; that was far more important than individual skill.

---Second Lieutenant Jederik Volan, CotL Army---

Edited by Visar Falmaien, 13 January 2011 - 10:17 PM.

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#6 Kathleen

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Posted 04 April 2011 - 02:37 PM

When the Second Lieutenant returned with his lance Katandra made sure to make eye contact with him. It would show him that she was alert. He began to show them the beginning postures and Katandra tired to study each detail, so much so that when he told them to get their lances it took her a few seconds to realize that he had given the order. The line broke up and Katandra ran to her horse. She struggled to get the lance down, and when it was free it almost fell. She cursed under her breath as she caught it and ran back into formation. She wasn't the first one there, but she wasn't the last. She took a quick look around to see how the others were holding the thing and quickly copied her peers.

Apparently displeased with the slow group the Second Lieutenant sent them back to the horses. Katandra turned back to her horse before the glare showed on her face but she followed the order and moved as quickly as she could, putting the lance back on securely, mounting her horse, dismounting and readying the weapon. She was shocked when they were told to do it again, but she did it without complaint. When they were told to do it a third time she realized it was a drill and she felt embarrassed about how she had reacted earlier. She calmly and quickly repeated the motions until the Second Lieutenant told the group to stop.

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#7 Nynaeve

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Posted 20 April 2011 - 12:57 PM

Zoe cursed under her breath as she lost her balance momentarily, almost falling off her horse head first. She wasn't too accustomed to the animal and felt guilty for not practicing riding her more often. Her name was Duchess, a regal gray mare with a bounce to her step. She could sometimes be hard to handle, testing her limits when Zoe least expected it. But once she was reined in, she'd calm down.

Zoe followed the Second Lieutenant's instructions. Or at least, tried to. That lance was tricky to balance. Her legs were already harboring quite a few bruises from whenever her grip on the lance would falter and it would hit her across the thigh. She cursed every time too, rubbing the area while rushing off to finish the task. She didn't remember having such a foul mouth upon joining the Children of the Light, but frustration seemed to have brought out a less than pleasant side of her.

Again and again they did as instructed. Zoe was always one of the last ones to finish, but never the last one. It was a small comfort, but a comfort none of the less. She could feel herself growing more sluggish and yet a bit more precise with every try. Ignoring her aches and tiredness she went on with the group, refusing to be the first one to break.



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#8 Visar Falmaien

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Posted 20 April 2011 - 01:49 PM

Jederik watched as they did it again and again. He could see the frustration and anger on some of their faces as plain as midday. They did it a few times, and were at least getting a little better at it. But this was no time to pamper recruits with praise. If they thought they did a good job they would become lax in their training. Better they hate him now, and work hard to do better to prove him wrong.

"That's enough of that!" he ordered. Time to have a little fun. "You look more like worms than soldiers! As lancers, you'd be less use than the blades of grass I trample down! I don't have time to watch you all day, so we're moving on anyway, even though clearly you can't do it right!"

Seeing that they still had some energy in them, Jederik resisted the urge to smile. It was so easy to manipulate them.

"I don't think you greenies could possibly stand as a lancer alone. So we're going to group you together and see if the lot of you can be of use on foot. Line up three deep: shorts in front, talls behind. Keep those lances straight up!"

Jederik continued to bark orders to get the group to form into a rough but workable phalanx. Lots of spearmen in a phalanx, if properly trained, could repulse even a heavy cavalry charge. And as future mounted lancers, these men and women would have to know about the tactics designed to resist them.

"Alright, you're in your spear wall. Lower spears! Front line brace the butts on the ground. Rear line hold your lances overhand to stab over them. Hold that position!"

Jederik rushed over to his horse and mounted up in moments, wheeling his stallion back over to inspect his "troops". He rode back and forth along the front of it, inspecting it for weaknesses a cavalryman would exploit and correcting when necessary.

"You there, keep your point up. Do you want to get trampled?"

The line shaping up, Jederik decided to test them.

"Not bad for blades of grass. You're not going to get charged from the front all the time though. You're ambushed from the rear! Quickly! You have only a few seconds. Raise spears: reverse the spear wall!" As Lieutenant Jederik spoke, he rode around their left, deftly leaning his body weight and pinching his legs to guide his mount's actions. He reached a point where he could turn around to attack them directly from behind where they had been facing before. He lowered his lance to a bit above head level, and rode to approach them from the rear. If they were not ready, he'd be all over them, and dinged helms and bruises would be the least they had to worry about.

--2nd Lieutenant Jederik Volan, CotL Army--

Edited by Visar Falmaien, 20 April 2011 - 01:51 PM.

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#9 Kathleen

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Posted 15 August 2011 - 05:14 PM

Up and down. Up and down. She went at a steady pace, keeping time with the others. She had enough sense to see they were supposed to move as a unit. Up and down, up and down. She went from determination to do it right to frustration that it wasn't good enough even though they kept doing it. From that frustration she moved to anger that they had to do it over and over and then back to determination to prove that the man, who was literally on his high horse, that she could do it. What ever he expected of her she would prove she could do it. She would fight through her aching muscles and ignore the sweat beading on her body. She would ignore the sun beating down on her. She didn't know how much time had passed, or how long it had been since she had stopped feeling or thinking anything when the man finally called them to stop. She had been repeating the drill on motion, her mind seemed blank.

As she listened to him criticize their work she almost blushed from realizing she had zoned out for so long, but his criticism was enough to keep her face from turning red and enough to bring some feeling back. It brought fierce determination but it was covered in anger. Anger for letting her mind slip away from her and anger toward that man sitting high up on his horse telling them they weren't good enough. Of course they weren't battle ready, it was day one! He had had a first time once, was it so long ago that he forgot what the first time was like? If he had such problems with what they were doing he could have stepped in and corrected the mistakes, but he didn't. He just barked is orders and looked down his nose at them.

Katandra waited in formation for her next orders and they were given she quickly looked through the group and found her place. She wasn't the shortest, but she was still in the front row. She quickly made formation with the others and held her lance steady. The man behind her knocked his lance into hers as they lined up but she steadied it quickly. She followed the commands that the Second Lieutenant barked. Satisfied with the front defense he told them to defend the rear and the group turned. Not as quickly as they would when they were fully trained, but it was quick enough to have a mostly solid wall up by the time he rode around them. She stood in the back and readied her lance, waiting to see what the man on the horse would do next.

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