The Intro to Warder Training class was written and taught by Jamil Gaidin. It was compulsory for and restricted to Gaidin Trainees.
Excited chatter filled the classroom. This would be trainees’ first class and they were probably eager to get to the fighting. They’d have to wait a little while for that. They needed to know what it is they are doing here. No one noticed him as he walked into the room and quietly shut the door. He didn’t expect that they would, he hadn’t been all that aware of his surroundings when he first began training. He noticed some heads turn in his direction when he shut the door but not many. He slipped a knife from his belt and slammed it into the desk. First impressions are always important. Every single mouth in the room stopped moving, open or closed. And now every head in the class was aimed at him. Good. The room was still and the echo of the thud hung in the air a little while longer. Jamil stood silent at the head of the classroom a few moments. In truth he felt awkward. It had been some time since he worn his hair in the
traditional two braids. He had refrained from the bells, which he really couldn’t stand. But it was obvious to everyone that he was a Borderlander. Not someone to be messed with.
“Good morning class. I am Jamil Gaidin, Master of Gaidin and I will be teaching you introduction to warder training. You had better listen carefully and take note. What I tell you here is vitally important to your success as a Warder. If you ever hope to wield a sword in this tower then pay attention.” He flung his hand out like a weapon, pointing his finger a fair skinned, and skinny boy in the third row on the far left. Where any kid would expect not to be noticed.
“You, you want to be a Warder? Why?”
“I want to take the fight to the Shadowspawn. I want to hurt them as much as they hurt us. I want to avenge every life they have taken. I want to kill them all.”
Jamil raised an eyebrow, “And just where are you from?”
“Shienar,” the boy replied. He face was set, indignant.
“Interesting ideals you hold there, boy. Now I suggest that you listen well,” He addressed the rest the class again, “I will tell you now that the duty of a Warder is not to kill as many Shadowspawn as you can. You will not be going off on your own personal quest to hunt down Darkfriends. Shadowspawn and Shadowsworn are indeed your enemies but when you are warder your priorities are geared for the Tower. You are not a Shienaran, Andoran or Arafellin. You belong to the Tower. It is your home and you will defend it to the death,” He paused. Let it settle in. “I tell you this now so that you will know what you are in for. If you do not like these terms then leave. If you do so then you will be free to do as you please but you will also never achieve your potential. You will never be the best, because that is what we are,” again a pause. No one moved. No one wanted to leave. Good.
“No one? Excellent.”
Jamil walked down the middle of the class. His two braids swayed slightly. At the back of the room he turned round and began speaking once more. “Now, one more thing you need to know. You have no doubt seen many Aes Sedai around here with their own Warders. Some will already know this but for those who don’t; it is custom for an Aes Sedai to choose a protector; someone who will be her warder. There is a strong bond between warder and Aes Sedai. And any Warder would give his lie for his Aes Sedai. This is a warder’s duty. We are part of the Tower and Aes Sedai are the Tower. We serve all Aes Sedai and we serve our own Aes Sedai above all. If you have the pleasure of being chosen you will follow your Aes Sedai’s orders, you will never disobey. No matter how close you become you are always above all, her servant. It is for that that you will be trained, to protect the Tower and the Aes Sedai. Do you all still wish to be Warders?” No one moved. People rarely did.
“Wonderful! Now I know my students at least have potential we can begin. And once you pass this most basic of classes we will begin your training to be ready, train you to fight and to defend. But do not take this class lightly.”
Jamil went back to the front of the class and smiled to himself as he saw that most faces were grinning. They would get to their swords soon. But not quite yet. He clapped his hands and grinned. It was the kind of grin he had always been afraid of as a trainee. It was the kind of grin his teachers would get when they had something nasty planned.
“You all have a single piece of paper in front of you. I want you to write down why it is you want to be a warder. You will hand these in once you are done and then can leave. Are there any questions?”
Jamil walked into the deadly quiet classroom; under his arm he carried a sheaf of papers. He smiled to himself; it seemed these trainees learned fast than they had in his day. Or perhaps the youths of his generation had just been more obnoxious. He glanced around the room at the attentive faces and fingered the knife at his side momentarily, but left it in his belt.
He took the papers from under his arm and lay them on his desk, then took a seat. The silence was thick in the room and the scrape f the chair grated on everyone’s ears. He was sure that they were all feeling a little awkward. He saw a few eyes glance at the papers but still said nothing. When he was comfortable he finally broke the silence.
“Good morning class. I have here, “he nodded to the pile of papers, “the essays you wrote for me last lesson. On the whole, they weren’t bad. Those that weren’t satisfactory, I shall be talking to you privately later. You may collect them at the end of the lesson should you so desire. Now then, I think today you will enjoy the lesson a little more.”
A brief murmur of speculation rippled through the class as Jamil bent underneath his desk to retrieve the implements for today’s lesson. The clatter of metal landing on he desk returned the trainees’ attention to the front of the room. A brief pause and then an excited group of trainees all began to talk animatedly to each other. On the desk lay several weapons. Jamil grinned. From the pile on the desk he picked out a long wooden staff. He would be surprised if no one knew what it was.
“Now, who can tell me what this weapon is?” From the forest of hands that shot up he nodded to a slightly shorter boy.
“That’s a quarterstaff, sir.”
“You’re right, it is. In fact, I’m sure you know what all the weapons are. However, as a Gaidin, you will be expected to be able wield any weapon with deadly skill. This,” He lifted the quarterstaff slightly to show them all, “is a commoners weapon. It’s not sharp, I can’t slice you open with it, it’s not an incredibly dangerous weapon, you couldn’t kill with it as easily as, say, an axe. But, deadly force is not the only effective force in combat, nor is it always necessary or even wanted. Still, against a sword what use could it be? Why, you could simply chop it in half and then where would the wielder of the weapon be? At your sword’s point no doubt.”
“Sir, why would we need to know how to use the staff, then? I heard a Gaidin is never without his sword.”
“Jearom Gaidin, remember that name. He was the greatest in history, and a name every Gaidin and trainee should know. He fought over ten thousand fights. Only once did he lose. And he lost to a peasant farmer and his commoner quarterstaff. Learn how to use the staff, learn all the tricks, the moves, the feints and the effective points of impact. Learn them an you can combat them. An, if by chance you are found without your sword or any other weapon. A suitable branch might be handy, or anything similar. Anyone who comes at you with a sword will underestimate you, and you will be able to fight that sharp blade. To fight with a staff requires grace, precision and great agility. You will learn these things in your training later.”
Jamil put the staff back on the desk and then drew an axe from the pile. “This weapon is much less subtle. Usually you would take down a tree with something like this. But it is equally effective against an enemy. Or against you. But, these things are heavy and clumsy, it takes great strength to wield an axe with effectiveness and each swing leaves you open to attack. Don’t take foolish risks though, it’s very difficult to stop an axe swing, and if you’re in the way, blocking it won’t do much good. No shallow cuts from this weapon; if you’re in the way, you will likely lose at least a limb.”
Next, Jamil took a small dagger. “Now, if you want subtle, and you want quick, here is the weapon to use. Using a dagger or a knife is a lot like unarmed combat. The weapon is almost feather light, you can move as if it weren’t there. You can get in close. And you can bluff your opponent like with no other weapon. When you move so fast in combat you can’t see a weapon this small, you follow the movement of your opponent instead. Throw your left hand at him below his ribs and he moves his body away and blocks with his arm. But you switched hands moments before and the blade is in your right coming in fast and high. He’s concentrating on your left hand. The first he knows of your right is when the blade is in him. Nasty,” Jamil realised he had been acting out his little scenario and lowered the blade, standing straight. “Combat like that needs quick reactions and a sly mind. Don’t be afraid to take risks. But, watch out, you have virtually no protection except blocking his arm with yours.”
Jamil put the dagger down and looked at the eager faces around the room. There wasn’t much that excited a young man like a fight. He grinned and pulled the last weapon from the pile. The sword’s blade slid from the other weapons with a serpentine grace. He played the blade through the air in front of him briefly, admiring the thin, slightly curved blade as it sliced through the air.
“Finally, the sword: a Warder’s weapon. An Aes Sedai’s life will often rest in this weapon, and it is a Warder’s pride. There are many types of sword, you will be trained in all. This blade is more subtly than the broadsword blade. Lighter and cuts through the air. There is virtually no resistance. Some swords are heavy like axes, some light and short, little more than longer daggers. And some, like this, have length and weight in their favour. Fighting with the sword is like a dance, grace, beauty and deadly accuracy. A sword can find it’s way through any defence. It can be deadly or it can be harmless. A sword can block an attack as well as make the attack. And, the versatility means it is suitable for most situations. The nobleman’s weapon, and the barbarian’s weapon, and the weapon of any soldier. Learn the sword and you can fight anything. This is why a Warder trains in the sword beyond anything else.”
Jamil placed the sword back on the desk and reached back behind the desk to pull out a second sheaf of papers. He paused before moving again.
“It is important you know about these weapons before you begin your training with Vincentais Gaidin and myself in the practical side, so that at the very least you don’t kill yourself in the first lessons. Hopefully, this understanding will also give you a respect for each weapon, and respect for anyone who you fight, regardless of what weapon they carry. Now, before you leave, I want you to fill in the answers on these sheets. I want to know that you have taken this all in before we let you loose with any kind of weapon.” Jamil paced down the class and placed a question paper in front of every trainee then returned to his desk and idly played with his knife as only the scratch of nibs on paper disturbed the silence.
QUESTIONS TO BE ANSWERED:
1. List the advantages and disadvantages of each of the following weapons: Quarterstaff, Knife, Axe, Sword
2. Which weapon is must a Warder excel in above all? Why?
3. Why must a Warder learn to use any weapon?
Lesson 3 (Final)
[This lesson is an Out Of Character look at RPing, the last lesson of the class]
RPing is, quite obviously, a hugely important part of being a Warder at the Great Hall. In order to keep our RP fun for everyone there are some guidelines that you should follow. In this, the final class, I’ll try to tell you all you need to know about good RPing.
First, let’s cover the basics. You have probably all read the rules already, but let me go over them again quickly. You must not kill or hurt another player’s character without their express permission. The reasons for this are obvious, each character is the creation of a player and control of that character’s fate lies only in the player’s hands. You would certainly not like it if your own character was sitting in an inn and you hit the MB to find you have been brutally murdered. Certainly wouldn’t fit with your plans for that character.
Similarly, do not control the actions of another character unless you’re sure it’s something that would fit the character and the player would not object. If a specific player has not made it clear they wish to RP in that thread then don’t RP them. And keep the actions you do play them within limits. If there are any major decisions for the player to make, let them make them. This goes for everyone. Not even the Amyrlin can make your decisions for you. However, laying an NPC is fine, no one to get offended there ;)
Do not engage in any large scale RP’s without the Amyrlin’s permission. Basically, this means anything that would have an effect on the world we are creating as a whole.
Right, those are fairly obvious, but don’t forget them. Now, some things to bear in mind for Role Playing. Your character is your own creation and you can create any kind of person you like. If you want someone who is just plain evil then that’s fine. Could be an awful lot of fun. Don’t be afraid let your character develop over time, even to change. This is, after all, a place where we all tell stories about our characters. Just remember that continuity is important in a character, so try to keep anything your character does within your character’s personality. That way everyone has a sense of what your character is like, and so do you!
In terms of story telling, remember that that is what you are doing; providing a story and people will want to read and enjoy the tales you tell. I’m sure that very few of us here are professional writers, but that doesn’t stop us from trying our best to provide varied and interesting posts. Use imagery, characterise, bring your characters and your surroundings to life. A well written post is a joy to read. Don’t worry if you don’t think you’re a good writer though. We’re all here to have fun, and enjoy writing. The more you write the better you get. There are many different styles here, read other people’s posts, if you see a technique you like, then learn from it, maybe look at more of that person’s work.
On a similar note, this is a community, not just a place to tell stories. The people here are a friendly bunch, don’t be afraid to talk Out of Character, on the message boards, by email, or via instant messengers. You can ask advice directly, most people will be willing to help out. Make friends, you will enjoy RPing with friends a lot more, and feel free to collaborate on an RP.
Finally, don’t be afraid to come to me or anyone else if you have a problem or a question. You can see everyone’s profile, and we have our contact details on there so we can be contacted. We, too, are all nice people :D
1. What are the 3 important rules to remember when RPing?
2. Who, apart from the player, has the right to make a character’s decisions?
3. Why must you not make major decisions for another player without consulting them?
4. What can you do if you want to improve your skills?