Table Settings (Attn Bella and Roan)

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Lugh
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Table Settings (Attn Bella and Roan)

Post by Lugh » May 15th, 2018, 3:44 am

Beron
Beron walked through the grounds of the Grey Tower, his hand idly drifting down to the roll of parchment he had received. He was surprised to have been requested by name, even though he had learned on his first day as a Ji’val that many of the Ashaman and Aes Sedai could ask for the service of a Ji’val.

With the scroll had come a time to meet, and a few items he had been requested to procure from the supplies. The Mistress of the Kitchen had been prepared, and so he was carrying a basket full of silverware, linens and other sundries. He was surprised that an Aes Sedain would need such items, but if Andraste Sedai needed a valet, he supposed he would try to not make a fool of himself.

As he entered the Red Ajah quarters, he was impressed with the decor and the touches of crimson he spied on the shawls, cords and dresses of the passerbys. Beron nodded his respect as the Sisters and Ashaman passed him, luckily his basket and bearing making it clear he was on a task.

He tried to recall what he had heard of Andraste Sedai, but unfortunately the Grey Tower was so vast that he had heard little. As a Drin, he had buried himself in his studies and the weapons yard. Now though, with the lesson and the proving ground of the Three Arches behind him; Beron was beginning to meet the Aes Sedai and Ashaman who would one day become his peers.

As he arrived at the quarters of Andraste, he knocked politely on the door and awaited the call to enter.
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Bella
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Re: Table Settings (Attn Bella and Roan)

Post by Bella » May 16th, 2018, 8:49 pm

"Enter," Andraste called.

She was inside her quarters, preparing for the visit of two Ji'val who had been assigned to her for a lesson. This lesson would precede an event, but she wanted to make sure that all was in order before the latter occurred. Although she wasn't sure how she had ended up being the tutor for this particular task, here she was.

When the door opened, the small Red looked up to see a young man enter. From the descriptions she had been given, she guessed that...

"You must be Beron," she said with a warm smile. "Please, set that on the table here." She gestured at the table set up in the middle of her sitting room. "We are awaiting one more before we begin."

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Re: Table Settings (Attn Bella and Roan)

Post by Roan » May 18th, 2018, 3:49 pm

Bastian
Life as a Ji’val was not much different to life as a Drin, though there was more time for independent study and fewer chores. Bastian wasn’t one to sit idle, so during his free periods, he was in the Yards practicing the unarmed techniques Lysira had been teaching him. On this unusually warm (bordering on hot) Spring day, Bastian found himself in one spar after another. Most were unarmed, but some were with practice weapons.

Three hours after high, he was drenched with sweat that mixed with the dust of the Yards. When his last spar came to a close, he looked down and realized how filthy he was. Fortunately, he had some time to clean up before his next lesson. The Mistress of Training had arranged for him and one other to learn some of the finer points of being a Gaidin. Words like diplomacy, attire, and table manners were all tossed in when Riahana Gaidin spoke with him. Those same words were on the scroll on his desk in his quarters.

After the sparring sessions in the Yards, the large Gaidin took his time cleaning up, relishing every moment in the hot tub as he scrubbed away the last vestiges of dirt and sweat. As the hot water turned luke warm, he pulled himself out of the tub and dried off, finally using the towel to get the excess water out of the locks of his hair and beard. Less than five minutes later, he was fully dressed and pulling his long locks back into a ponytail at the nape of his neck.

Grabbing the scroll, Bastian made his way from his quarters in the Warder Hall to the Tower, making his way to the Red Ajah. Before long, he came to the door he was looking for and knocked. It wasn’t hard to hear a woman call ‘Come in’, and he obliged. He hadn’t seen the inside of an Aes Sedai’s quarters, nor had he seen anything quite so grand in all his years, but Bastian did his best not to stare at the decor and looked to the Aes Sedai.

It didn’t occur to Batian that he stopped mid-stride when his gaze fell onto the petite woman. It didn’t occur to him he might be staring at her instead of her decor until he heard someone pass in the hall behind him. Bloody ox of a thimble brained man, Bastian. You act as if you’ve never seen a woman before!

Clearing his throat, the large Ji’val stepped fully into the Aes Sedai’s quarters and held up the scroll, “I. . .uh, I’m Bastian Vass. The Mistress of Training told me my presence was required?”
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Bella
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Re: Table Settings (Attn Bella and Roan)

Post by Bella » May 19th, 2018, 7:50 pm

Once the second Ji'val had arrived and entered, Andraste shut the door and gestured towards the table. She couldn't miss the big one staring at her, but she politely ignored it until he caught up to himself and stopped. "Welcome to you both," she said easily. "I'm sure you're very curious about this lesson.

"Well, it is fairly simple. An Aes Sedai or Asha'man might be called upon to attend any number of functions in formal settings. Their warder will need to go with them, ready to defend them as needed but also able to blend in to the situation. So, to assure you are able to do so when raised and bonded, we will be having...a lesson in decorum, shall we say.

"Today, we will simply discuss it and share a meal, but I will be attending a formal event in the near future and the both of you will be going with me." She smiled. "Any questions so far?"

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Re: Table Settings (Attn Bella and Roan)

Post by Lugh » May 20th, 2018, 3:19 am

Beron
Beron had failed to notice when Bastian arrived, as he had been laying out the tableware in the manner he was most used to. As a result, the poor Ji'val had been standing with two small forks that to his mind served no purpose. Scratching his head, Beron turned when he heard Andraste Sedai address another and he was relieved to see Bastian. Though he had only spent the one afternoon of ax instruction with the large man, there was a simple directness to Bastian that Beron appreciated. I suppose it's the Borderlander in me. A simple meal, well made with lot to enjoy is much better than whatever requires three different forks, thought Beron with a shake of his head.

It also didn't help that the other man was staring like he had been stationed on a watchtower with nothing but ugly veterans to enjoy looking at. Although as she spoke and moved through her room with an undeniable grace, Beron had to admit Andraste was beautiful.

"Welcome to you both," she said easily. "I'm sure you're very curious about this lesson.

"Well, it is fairly simple. An Aes Sedai or Asha'man might be called upon to attend any number of functions in formal settings. Their warder will need to go with them, ready to defend them as needed but also able to blend in to the situation. So, to assure you are able to do so when raised and bonded, we will be having...a lesson in decorum, shall we say."

At the words decorum and functions, Beron could feel his heart droop. He had only had the occasion to attend a truly formal function once; a reward for a particularly timely save of his captain with news that had prevented a major blunder. The tide of lace and scents haunted him to this day, and he felt red faced as he recalled standing there watching women wave fans at each other; and somehow knowing all the while it was about the smell of horse he had carried everywhere as a scout.

"Today, we will simply discuss it and share a meal, but I will be attending a formal event in the near future and the both of you will be going with me." She smiled. "Any questions so far?"

"I have to admit I have no questions Aes Sedai, although to be honest I feel like I should have a hundred," Beron replied truthfully as he sat down heavily on the chair he pulled out. Belatedly, he realized that Andraste had been standing there, and with a mutter apology he stood and pulled her chair out for her as she sat. A pleasant perfume washed over his nose, and he grew even more red faced when he realized he had smelled her hair almost by accident. "Oh by the Light, I am sorry Aes Sedai. I honestly feel like this might be a mistake," Beron said with an apology as he waved his hand at the silverware he had simply piled on the tablecloth.

"I have learned a lot since arriving here, and with my new rank I know bonding and serving as a Gaidin is my goal; I just can't help but feel like a Saldaean colt brought into the dress shop. But if there is enough time, and with your patience I will try to not stab myself with these extra forks," Beron said stiffly as he wrapped himself in the ko'di to help control his nerves and embarrassment.
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Re: Table Settings (Attn Bella and Roan)

Post by Bella » May 22nd, 2018, 9:21 pm

Andraste looked at the pile of silverware and smiled sympathetically. "It can be a lot to learn and to take in," she agreed kindly. "But that is why we practice, yes? Neither of you--" She waved to encompass Bastian as well. "--picked up a weapon one day and were expert at it, correct? Of course not. Neither would you be so at this.

"These events can seem almost as much a weapon as a sword," she said, dark eyes flashing. "For now, let's all have a seat and simply talk a little."

"My name is Andraste Alhandra Aes Sedai, and I am of the Red," she introduced herself once they both had sat as directed. "I was born in Kandor to a wealthy merchant family, so I grew up with some experience in these sorts of things. That experience has been reinforced since becoming Aes Sedai." She smiled kindly at them again, to put them at ease. "Why don't you introduce yourselves to me?"

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Re: Table Settings (Attn Bella and Roan)

Post by Lugh » May 23rd, 2018, 4:29 am

Beron
Beron breathed a sigh of relief when the Aes Sedai took the time to help him settle his nerves. He had been fretting making a mistake on his first true Ji’val assignment, but Andraste had an undeniable charm and grace.

Taking a seat, this time more gently and following her lead as she deftly rearranged the cutlery, Beron touched his forehead to acknowledge the truth to her words, “No Aes Sedai, it was quickly clear to me that I knew little about the art of fighting taught here.”
"
"My name is Andraste Alhandra Aes Sedai, and I am of the Red," she introduced herself once they both had sat as directed. "I was born in Kandor to a wealthy merchant family, so I grew up with some experience in these sorts of things. That experience has been reinforced since becoming Aes Sedai." She smiled kindly at them again, to put them at ease. "Why don't you introduce yourselves to me?"

“It would be my pleasure Aes Sedai. My name is Beron Faim, I was born the youngest son of ice pepper farmers in Saldaea. Our large farm was fortunate to be connected to a good trade, and I at least met a few people from the various nations. Mostly merchants come to inspect our wares. After I came of age, I took my sword to serve the army as a Scout. After some time with Marzell Sedai, a fellow Red sister of yours I believe; I decided I could aide the Grey Tower. Since then I have been raised as a Ji’val,” Beron reported, habit making him fall back into the tone and rhythm of a scout depicting enemy numbers and locations.
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Re: Table Settings (Attn Bella and Roan)

Post by Roan » May 25th, 2018, 3:19 pm

Bastian Vass
Bastian looked to the other Ji’val, and was somewhat relieved to see a familiar face in Beron. He listened as the Red Sister explained why both men were called to her quarters, and an inner voice groaned somewhere. He was to learn about ‘pomp and circumstance’ as his father once called it. His parents raised him to be polite, but neither were of noble blood, and they’d never attended anything so fancy as to require lessons in decorum. Pomp and Circumstance.

The large Ji’val couldn’t help but watch as Andraste moved back to the table while words seemed to pour from Beron about his purpose for being there, and the potential for harm from all of the extra forks. The other Ji’val had taken a seat and Bastian had barely made it to the table. He kicked himself when Beron stood and then pulled out the chair for Andraste and both of them sat down. The sense of awkwardness Bastian felt when he realized he’d been staring hadn’t quite left, and in fact seemed to amplify when he realized he was still standing as the conversation seemed to move forward. Moving to the only other open seat, he eased himself into it while Andraste introduced herself, speaking of her Kandori background before asking both Beron and Bastian to introduce themselves.

The other Ji’val seemed content to take the lead in the conversation as he spoke first. It struck Bastian that all three of them were Borderlanders, and he was pleasantly surprised to learn the Aes Sedai was a fellow Kandori.

As Beron finished, the larger Ji’val realized both Andraste Sedai and Beron were looking to him. He cleared his throat before speaking, “I am Bastian Vass, and I am also from Kandori. My father was Cadoc Vass, a Kandori guard, and my mother was Kanta Vass. When father left the guard, our family moved to a cabin away from the skirmishes of the border, where we made a living through hunting game.

“Father died when I was a young man, and I was content to continue living the life we’d lived, but a group of bandits thought they’d make my home their own. I fought them off, but had it not been for Ravak Gaidin and Miahala Sedai, I don’t think I would have survived. The skirmish destroyed my home, and the Aes Sedai and Gaidin suggested I might find a life with purpose here at the Tower. They were not wrong.” As he finished, he looked to Andraste, and offered a small smile, “Lessons in etiquette were never a big part of our family life. Politeness, and respect, yes, but we only ever had one fork and one knife at our table settings.”
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Re: Table Settings (Attn Bella and Roan)

Post by Bella » May 25th, 2018, 9:41 pm

"You are not alone in that," Andra said kindly. Tai'shar Kandor and Saldaea, she thought with pleased amusement, wondering if she had been paired with them for that reason as well. The denizens of the Blight Border always seemed to have a special kinship even if they didn't know one another. "Many people come to the Tower, even to train as Aes Sedai, who were raised simply.

"That's why we have lessons such as this. It's important to be prepared for any situation that you might end up in. No matter who you might bond, whatever Ajah, there always runs the chance of occasions like this. Even should you never leave the Tower itself!"

Her memory flitted around one such ball she had attended...and the disastrous results that went along with it. That, however, was not something she was going to inform these two young men of. They didn't need to know about that. Not the drunkenness, nor the body hanging from the chandelier...

She moved on. "There is more to it than simply the table settings, of course," she said, rising again and moving to a half-set place where she fixed where all the silverware was meant to go. "Formal events will usually require an extra bit of care and decorum as a warder. You will not be treated like other bodyguards, most of the time, and kept separate from your channeler. Although it cannot be ruled out of all scenarios, and you'll have to be prepared for that eventuality as well.

"With me so far?" She flashed another smile as she straightened, the place setting now in order.

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Re: Table Settings (Attn Bella and Roan)

Post by Roan » May 26th, 2018, 5:05 pm

Bastian
Extra care and decorum . . . The concept wasn’t wholly foreign to Bastian. His parents spoke of formal balls they’d gone to before they left the life of the city behind. His father spoke at length of the fancy food and drink while his mother spoke of the fancy dresses. All of it seemed something of a fantasy for Bastian until he came to the Tower and heard of stories of balls and parties celebrated on various occasions.

Bastian furrowed his brows and tilted his head, “I’m with you, but Andraste Sedai. . .what do we do if we’re asked to leave the presence of our Aes Sedai? We’re tasked to protect them. How do we do this if we’re not in the same room as they are? Can we decline?”

The Ji’val looked from the Aes Sedai to the place setting in front of her, still wondering how a person could go through all of those different forks and knives.
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