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#1 Dalinar

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Posted 19 February 2012 - 06:42 AM

A faint sheen of sweat covered Dali’s long, lithe body, beading on the tight muscles over his chest and shoulders. His shirt and coat hung on a nearby weapons rack leaving him freer to move in the blasted heat.

His staff spun in his hands and his knees bent low in a duck as the shaft swung in a low arc that would have knocked the legs out from under an opponent. The momentum carried him forward and up, he whirled and the middling raised up in a block against an imaginary blade thrust, a twist to deflect the steel and a sharp jab to bring his sparring partner to his knees.

Out of the corner of his eye across the yard, a silver slash twisted and spun into being. A black-coated Asha’man, collars adorned with the silver sword and golden dragon pins, stepped through. Behind him trailed a couple of young men, not in the Tower uniform, looking around them and taking in everything they could at once.

The Tear gate, it was. A cordoned off section reserved for arrivals from the Stone. Most of the major cities had their own transit space now, for Skimming or Travelling gateways to open and close and to avoid unpleasant… accidents. Even Dali’s once-Talent with Healing had not been enough to save a man nearly sliced in two by being in the wrong place at the wrong time as a gate opened, and there had been other accidents, not fatal, but that had left a few permanently scarred and maimed.

He shrugged off those thoughts, if he dwelled too long on them he would start to taste bitter resentment in his mouth again at what was lost. Saidin. Healing. Purpose.

He paused for a time, casually resting against the weapons rack and leaning on his staff, appraising the new arrivals as they received some curt directions from the Asha’man who then abandoned them for some more pressing task.

Dali.

#2 Dalinar

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 12:01 AM

As he is having difficulty with board access, Cai has PM'd me this response, posting on his behalf...

Cai stepped aversely through the whole in the middle of nothing that the... Asha’man had made. It was the first ability of these black coated men he had seen done, other than the flame for his testing of course. It was going to take some getting used to.

After being, tested he had been shuffled off with this tall, intimidating looking fellow who was supposed to take him to some farm. Hopefully there were some herbs there as his bag was getting low from helping Lily out in Tear.

Once on the other side of the whole, Cai felt a rush of cool relief, if it could be called that. Something along the lines of going from a cooking pan in the middle of the day, to one at night. The other men, ranging in age, all shuffled over just as carefully and began gathering around the black coated gentlemen. Cai on the other hand choose to hang back a little and listen from afar.

“Listen up as I have other things to do then deal with you lot,” the Asha’man belted at his small band. “You will be receiving instruction on your quarters here in a moment from another Asha’man. Until then you will be fed by one of the maids around here…. somewhere, but are not to leave until you are housed. From there you will begin your training.”

Cai groaned a little at that. He hadn’t thought they would begin so soon, but it was the reason they had all willingly come. What’s done is done, as his mother always used to say. The Asha’man took off into the center of the small gathering of houses, leaving the rest of the men behind. The other men seemed a little off by starting so soon as well, but began finding areas to sit down or lean, in anticipation of food.

Cai on the other hand took the opportunity to distance himself a little further from the rest of the men, leaning against one of the surrounding buildings and taking the time to memorize his surroundings.

Cai searched all over for any sign of a barn, but nothing that looked like it contained any farm animals. The one thing that he did notice was another man a distance away, covered in sweat with his shirt off and leaning on a tall black staff among numerous other weapons. He was simply staring at the new arrival of men, blank stare the same as the first black coated men had. Cai accidently allowed himself to make eye contact with the man, and immediately turned red and looked away to listen in on what the other men were talking about. Cai was sure to make it unobvious, but he continued to watch the man with the staff from the corner of his eye.


On behalf of Cai

#3 Dalinar

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 12:27 AM

Dali gathered up his shirt and put the black staff back in its place. He hadn't come out with the intention of training, so his preferred bone-white staff that had been modified by Ragnar was resting in his quarters abutting the Infirmary. But it had been a good distraction. He found himself with too much free time now, he found, and could lose himself in the forms with the staff, and sparring with others training around the Farm, much as he had some years ago - before the Dragon, before the amnesty, before he knew he could channel.

So he found solace in that now, that familiarity. Though it was marred by the lacking he felt when he held the void in his mind. As oft as not he trained without it, just to avoid the emptiness, the frustration of saidin just out of sight and out of reach, but as well be the sun itself for all the stretching he could do to try to reach it.

Oh occasionally this or that Storm Leader would ask for his time, quiz him on things to do with Tower politics, contacts, negotiations, allies and enemies. But all in all most seemed to prefer to leave him be, or avoid him even. There were certainly many, some who he had trained to use the One Power himself, who turned their eyes and head down when they passed him and avoided making eye contact. That was better than the ones who held his lingering gaze with sorrowful, pitiful eyes. And Skechid insisted on keeping him busy some of the days, tending to minor ailments and injuries in the Infirmary, things that could be managed without the Power. He resented that in some ways more than he did the pitying looks. It just reminded him more of what was lost to him.

Skechid. He was somewhere distant today, no doubt having Travelled or Skimmed to get there. That bundle of empathy that was always lurking at the edge of his consciousness. It was strange - different somehow to his last Bond, but similar in others. Certainly it had kept him alive, if nothing else. He was in Cairhien, perhaps, No doubt playing his Game, Dali thought to himself.

The askance glance from one of the newcomers didn't go unnoticed by Dalinar, and he was aware as he approached that the initial contact was followed after by a close watch from the corner or the new man's eyes. He was tallish, for a Tairen, almost as tall as Dalinar himself, and of similar age, he would guess. He would wager, too, that the bag slung over his shoulder that looked a little too empty had once held a swatch of herbs, if the stains around the edges were anything to go by.

Shirt over his shoulder, he approached the man from Tear. "Welcome," he said in a friendly tone as he got close, "to the Black Tower. Welcome," he gestured around at the buildings and grounds around them, "to the Farm." He held out a hand in greeting. "I'm called Dali."

-D.

#4 Cai

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 05:22 PM

Cai noticed the shirtless man gather up his shirt and place the black staff back in its rack. The man gave the staff a quick glance back as if regretting something, but continued on toward the new arrivals, specifically aimed toward Cai, same calm expression on his face.

Cai readjusted himself, preparing for a scolding from the muscular fellow on leaning against the building, or standing on some holly soil or some such fallacy. Putting on an innocent face, Cai braced for impact when the man stopped in front of Cai and announced “Welcome, to the Black Tower “in an overly friendly tone. “Welcome, to the Farm” as he gestured to the surrounding buildings. The man extended a hand toward Cai in a friendly greeting.

Cai sat there for a second, looking at the hand and then back at the man, the hand and back again. Finally, he extended his hand reluctantly to shake with the other man.

Cai took the man in for a second, noting the firm hand shake, a very lean muscular form, standing a little taller than Cai, but more than likely years older. One thing that Cai did note specifically was the absence of sweat. Earlier he had thought the man was covered in sweat; however this man had no droplets upon his flesh, even in this staggering heat. He must be making it look like he was working hard to impress the new comers, what a joke, Cai thought to himself, but he put on a face and simply said "they call me Cai. Are you one of the black coats here to direct us to the living quarters?"

Edited by Cai, 28 February 2012 - 05:23 PM.


#5 Dalinar

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 03:28 AM

A smile tugged at the corner of Dalinar's mouth, and then his head tipped back as he let out a short laugh.

Peace! Does the Taint still gnaw at me? That was not that funny. But am I a black coat? Does the man make the uniform? or the uniform the man?

"Cai, then. Some friendly advice - Cai - and it's yours to take or leave as you will, but if I were a typical "black coat", or at least, as puffed up as half of them are, you would probably be wishing your mother had never laid eyes on your father for the next week. The Dragon chose the name Asha'man. Did the upstart who brought you here explain at least enough to know what that means? Dalinar, by the way, but most just call me Dali."

OOC: I have a long weekend ahead, so will try to get some quicker replies in if you can do the same ;)
Dali.

#6 Cai

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 08:59 AM

Cai lowered his head a bit as the man laughed at him and spoke about how truly ignorant Cai was.
This already was turning out to be a poor choice, and he already had a person who got on his nerves.

"My apologies Asha'man." Cai stated, bowing to the still shirtless man, the new word awkward in his mouth. "I know little of this area and have traveled far
to learn. I am afraid that the last Asha'man gave us few instructions." Cai stood back up and took a few steps back away from the Asha'man.

"Im not sure how all of this works, but if you would be willing to inform me I would much appreciate it." Cai stated, arms spread wide, palms up.

OOC: Sounds good to me!! :)

Edited by Cai, 02 March 2012 - 09:04 AM.


#7 Dalinar

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 08:55 PM

Asha'man. The title grated in his ears now. Was it really suited to a man cut off from the True Source? But then, the essence of it still held, perhaps. Guardian. Protector. Those who stand and fight for truth and justice and right.

"I said it was Dali, and I won't bite you for using a name I give you. But if you're as quick a study with the Power as with words, then I don't doubt you'll go far. If the Taint doesn't take you first, of course." Dalinar shook out the shirt from over his shoulder, stretching his arms over his head as he pulled it back on. "You can channel, I assume? Some come who can't, but not many. And usually only if they're following somebody or running from something. You look like you've come alone, yes? No family or girl from home following behind?"

Dalinar started off towards some buildings, looking back over his shoulder as he did so, "Come, come. We'll find you somewhere to put your things."

-Dali.

#8 Cai

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 04:09 PM

The Taint? Cai thought to himself. Another new word he had a feeling would be of importance in the future. So many new things to remember already and just from his first conversation
at the "Farm."

Cai began to follow Dali through the area, watching the hustle of the numerous people who were staying at the farm.
There were all sorts of people running around at the Farm. There were simple merchants and shopkeepers selling their wares.
It appeared that even black coats needed to eat. There were also women and children moving about the Farm. These must have
followed their husbands here to their training and had just taken up from where they had left off.

But there were also other black coats moving about, receiving pockets of space through the other masses of people.
All with the same deadly grace and stone faced looks.

"Sorry, Ash... Dali." Cai stated after a raised eyebrow from Dali.

"Yes sir. I have no other attachments than my herbal bag and the clothes upon me. Which I would ask if there is someone near by who partakes in such practices. There must be a medicine woman or man near by for all these people."

"As for channeling, I was told I would be capable from the first Asha'man I met in Tear. He went on about
being an odd one in some way, but I think I can still channel. Will you be the one who shows me how to do such things?"

#9 Dalinar

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 06:41 AM

Dalinar led Cai through the Tower grounds, nodding occasionally to people he knew and returning salutes, fist to heart, to those who directed one towards him. Many of the newer faces did not.

"That's everything with you? Well tomorrow we can see about getting more clothes fitted for you. If you've family, then you will stay in the soldier's barracks for now. Perhaps later you will earn more private quarters, but they are mostly reserved for the Asha'man. Until then the common quarters will suffice. Your days will be filled and you will spend little time there except to sleep in any case."

Dali stepped into a long, large building and headed down a corridor, talking as he went, "Thee are some of us with knowledge in herbs and tending the sick and injured though I think you will find it less than conventional how much of it is dealt with. Still, there is always use for such skills and we can see about making use of them soon enough. Perhaps tomorrow if there is time I will show you my - the Infirmary." Old habits died hard.

Opening a door into a small chamber, Dali gestured inside. "You should find what you need here. I won't be teaching you to channel, no. I can make sure there are others who attend to those needs though."

"Settle yourself in. You can get a meal halfway back down the corridor, turn right, then follow it to the end. You'll be in the mess hall. Head back out to the yard where we first met in an hour and we can start with your training. I will meet you there."

-Dali.
OOC reply here and it will be ample to fill one of the requirements. Then either you can start a new thread for your first 'class' or I will start it tomorrow. :)

#10 Cai

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 04:17 PM

Cai sat down on the rough hay-filled bed with a sold thud as Dali exited the small enclosure.

"Only coming back for sleep?" Cai moaned to the air. "Looks like Im going to be having loads of fun here."

But with a quick check over of the room, Cai left his herbal bag and ran down the corridor as the black-coat... Asha'man had directed.
It was going to take him a while remember that. All of Tear had called them black coats behind their backs, but Cai hadn't
heard of the real name for the black coated figures before today.

Entering into the small open area, Cai grabbed a bite from the rather large cook who waved her spoon around like a scepter and pointed out the line for food.
The meal was decent compared to what Lily had been able to afford, consisting of a good sized bowl of poor man stew,
a bun of bread, and a tall glass of luke warm water.

Cai sat by himself in the corner and finished his meal swiftly, as some of the other, younger looking, black coated men around him were watching him.
Not as something interesting and out of the ordinary, but simply as another addition to the dining hall.

Dashing back to his room to check on his herbal bag, Cia decided to leave it behind and wait to wash it in the next few days.
"I should have time enough for that at least" he moaped to himself as he took off once more for the entrance to soldier's barracks.
Reaching the outside once more he strolled through the Farm, taking time to note the interactions of the people around him, being
sure to tuck any interesting tid bits and building locations in the back of his mind for later.

Finally reaching the yard where he had first laid eyes on Dali, Cai went up and stood near one of the racks displaying a few
black shafted axes, leaning his arm against one of the edges for support. He misjudged its weight and went faltering to the ground in a heap.
Standing up quickly and bolting out "Cai, Reporting for duty sir" laying fist to heart as he had seen many of the men in the camp salute to one another on
his way over.