Sail Away With Me (attn: Bella)

The World outside the Grey Tower is a vast place.
Alianora
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Re: Sail Away With Me (attn: Bella)

Post by Alianora » December 10th, 2023, 3:13 am

Liaran Sedai
Though she did want to take that walk with Haeden by her side, Liaran was so content where she stood that she allowed herself to linger for just a few more moments. Only after that did she move away from her husband, turning her back on the sea to look down the length of the raker. She faced the front of the ship, though it could not be seen from their current location at his back. Liaran gave Haeden a smile as she asked, "Shall we go?" and when her Warder was ready, she moved down the middle of the deck so that they would not disturb the deckhands as they worked.

Like any ship, this one had been built for function and not form, leaving her with little of interest to show to Haeden as they began to walk. While she did not think she would ever tire of the view of sea and sky they did have, Liaran knew Haeden wanted to learn more and wanted to share everything she could with him. She increased her speed, moving with the swaying gait that she retained even after living so many years on land. As they approached the first of the raker's large masts, the Aes Sedai slowed down and looked towards her husband.

"You may just have to ask me what you want to know," she admitted. "I don't remember ever being taught how to sail, exactly...there are rules, of course, skills to be learned, but so much of it was just another part of life for me. Words can't quite explain it....just imagine if you had tried to teach me about riding only by telling me about it, instead of showing me how." Liaran tilted her head back, studying the sails above their heads briefly before lowering her head and redirecting her attention to Haeden.

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Bella
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Re: Sail Away With Me (attn: Bella)

Post by Bella » December 15th, 2023, 12:11 am

He nodded with a small, pensive smile. "It's like most skills that require physical tasks. I could talk all I wanted about how to use the sword, and one must before you begin, but the student still cannot fully grasp it until they get a training blade in their hand and start to do things with it. And yes, much like riding as well. You learn about the horse in general at first, but cannot know how to ride until you start to ride."

That understanding did not mean he even knew where to begin with asking questions about it. There was so much to it all--like the sword and horseback riding--that it was a little overwhelming to narrow down to single points. One did come to him, though, so he figured it was as good a place to start as any.

"Growing up, did you have a focus?" he asked, then paused to consider that it wasn't as clear as it could be. "Such as the warder yard trainees... We can learn any number of weapons but we tend to have one primary focus. Was there any task or skill that you did most while growing up, or a does a life at sea tend to be more utilitarian and learning to do all the tasks?"

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Re: Sail Away With Me (attn: Bella)

Post by Alianora » December 22nd, 2023, 4:09 am

Liaran Sedai
With an entire journey still ahead of them, Liaran saw no reason to rush through their walk around the ship. Standing near the mast, the wide sails offered a small amount of shade, and the Aes Sedai chose to stay there and give her husband all of her attention. She looked up at him with an affectionate smile. He might feel unsure about his question, or so it seemed to Liaran, but she felt it was a perfectly reasonable inquiry from someone who knew little of her people.

"I learned to do everything, as all of us do," she began. "It is necessary when another hand might be required to assist with anything, at any time, so very few of us are able to focus solely on one task." Liaran stopped speaking for a moment as she studied Haeden's expression. "The highest ranking members of the crew, such as the Sailmistress and Cargomaster, have more limited duties, but even they can be expected to help hold a line if that is what is needed," she told him.

"That may seem strange to you," she explained, "but among my people, everyone begins training as the lowest-ranking of deckhands. I know that is very different from any country I can think of on land; they have their kings and queens whose children are expected to rule in turn regardless of ability, as I understand it." She was not always sure that she did understand, regardless of how many novice classes she'd endured. “But on a Sea Folk ship, rank is earned through hard work, effort, and ability; one’s parents do not matter at all. So like everyone else, I was a deckhand as a girl, and probably would have remained one for years if I had not begun to channel.”

Deciding that she had done quite enough talking at once, far more than she usually did, Liaran took a few steps toward the side of the ship and rested one of her hands on top of it. Turning to face Haeden, she watched him, aware not just of what she saw but of the emotions she sensed in their bond. He didn't feel overwhelmed yet, but she still stood quietly, wanting him to also have a chance to speak.

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Re: Sail Away With Me (attn: Bella)

Post by Bella » December 28th, 2023, 7:37 pm

Haeden enjoyed those moments when his wife felt more talkative than others, although he never begrudged the quietude either, since he was very similar in that. He listened attentively, with small nods here and there to show that he followed what she said and was taking it all in, just as his eyes did as they remained on her each time she moved. Like the Warder he would never cease to be.

"Many countries do," he agreed, "although not everywhere is like that. Some are more like what you grew up with. The Grey Tower itself, in terms of power structure, is closer to that. No one becomes the Amyrlin Seat or the Mistress of Training because they inherited it." He tilted his head slightly, eyes musing and tone conversational. He knew he wasn't saying anything she didn't know; he was just intrigued to look at the two things together. Consider the similarities and the differences.

"Though we do tend toward more specializing... The Ajahs, or weaponry/task specials for Gaidin. It seems like a bit of your cultural style and that of land cultures combined."

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Re: Sail Away With Me (attn: Bella)

Post by Alianora » January 7th, 2024, 2:25 am

Liaran Sedai
Liaran's eyebrows drew together as she frowned in concentration while listening to her husband. Nothing he said bothered her in any way; the Aes Sedai was simply lost in thought. The similarities between the Grey Tower and the people she'd been born to weren't something she'd ever thought to consider. For years, she had only taken notice of the many aspects of life in the Grey Tower that were foreign to her. Haeden seemed to view the two places in a very different way, one that Liaran found fascinating. By the time she moved to stand at his side again, the frown had disappeared, but his words still occupied all of her interest and many of her thoughts.

Looking up, Liaran said quietly, "I don't think it would ever have occurred to me that the Grey Tower had anything in common with my people....but you are right that rising in rank is almost the same in both places." The Aes Sedai blinked, still trying to process the idea. "Perhaps that helped me adapt when I left the sea behind to return....even if I was completely unaware of it at the time." She smiled at her husband, grateful that he'd chosen to share his thoughts, so different from her own.

Her dark eyes drifted up to study the sails above them as she contemplated what to say next. "I don't suppose you really want me to tell you how to sail a Sea Folk ship, do you?" she asked. Another smile appeared as Liaran added, "I know that you would listen to anything I tell you, but I don't want to just go on about anything that doesn't interest you." Even if she had, Liaran was quite certain they both knew that lengthy, detailed explanations of anything were not exactly a strength of hers. Making the attempt would likely be a task neither of them would enjoy.

Despite that, the Aes Sedai continued, "Of course I will try if you want, but what I learned as a girl, at least, is quite different from the methods most of our ships use. Our Windfinder was one of the few who could not channel, which is rare among them, and found only on the smallest of our ships. It would never work for a raker like this to have a Windfinder who could not channel." That Windfinders could channel was still not very commonly known, if not the secret it had once been, but Liaran did not even pause to question whether she should speak of it with Haeden. She would not keep secrets from her husband and Warder.

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Bella
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Re: Sail Away With Me (attn: Bella)

Post by Bella » January 14th, 2024, 9:10 pm

Much as she had done, he listened intently and thoughtfully to her as well. For him, the Windfinder thing was not news and did not need much commentary. At least, he didn't have any. Instead, he chuckled, a bit wryly. "Honestly, I'm still not entirely sure what does and does not interest me yet. All those such things are still pretty new."

That being said, he didn't think he'd ever have call to know too much about the details. It's not like he'd need to do any of them. If the ship reached a point where it was dependent on him to sail it, then they were all already doomed.

Bella, deciding to not make her writing partner try to figure out how to explain too much more about Seafolk sailing, has Haeden change the subject a little. Or at least move adjacently to it.

The Gaidin took a moment to glance around and saw that no one was particularly near, and those that were almost close were busy with their own tasks. It wasn't that he had any secrets to impart, but he still preferred at least some privacy for the couple. "Does being back on board the ship make you miss it?" he asked. It was not a question asked with any concern or insecurity for his part; simply that he wished to know his wife's feelings, now that they were among her people again rather than "his," so to speak.

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Re: Sail Away With Me (attn: Bella)

Post by Alianora » January 23rd, 2024, 11:40 pm

Liaran Sedai
Liaran looked at her husband, understanding through their shared bond that he was asking only because he truly wished to know. "I miss it every day," she said, an admission she would not have made to anyone other than Haeden. "It still feels strange at times, when I get out of bed in the morning and find that the floor is not swaying underneath me." She smiled, then shrugged. "It seems to be the smallest, most insignificant details that have stayed with me over all these years." Her eyes remained focused on Haeden, though she knew he was listening just as he always did.

"Being at sea, sailing again...there are parts of it I miss, yes, but there are others I don't miss at all," she said quietly. The Aes Sedai looked up at the sails for a moment, then scanned the area around them. She didn't want to draw attention by channeling, but also did not want to be heard by anyone other than her husband. Liaran's voice remained low as she tried to explain. "If anything...I'm glad to be here, to share this with you, but I am also reminded that I don't belong here anymore." There was no pain in those words, only a statement of what was true. She smiled at Haeden, then stepped forward and reached out, intending to hold his hand. "I think it does me good to remember where I've come from, but it was my own choice to leave the ships, and I've never had reason to regret that I did."

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Bella
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Re: Sail Away With Me (attn: Bella)

Post by Bella » January 29th, 2024, 12:14 am

He listened, nodding thoughtfully. He could not help but be a little sad that there was something she missed or wished that he could not provide her, and yet he understood. Life was all about choices, and at least to live without regret for that choice... Well, that was more than many people could say.

"I understand," he said gently. "And if you would ever wish it, I imagine we could arrange more occasions to be by or on the sea." He gestured out at the waters. "After all, while we may have many duties as members of the Grey Tower, we also have far more freedoms and abilities than most of the world."

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Re: Sail Away With Me (attn: Bella)

Post by Alianora » February 4th, 2024, 11:17 pm

Liaran Sedai
Liaran would have much preferred for Haeden not to feel that hint of sadness she sensed in him. She would never have dreamed of trying to dictate what he ought to feel or not feel, but it still disturbed her that he felt it when she saw nothing to be sad about in her long ago decision. Concern for her husband shone in Liaran's eyes as she studied him, responding to his suggestion. "I would like to return to the ocean more often," she admitted, "but only if you would like that as well. I don't want to ask you to spend what time we can find away from the Tower visiting the ocean unless you also find at least some enjoyment in it for yourself, not only for me." He might be Warder and husband to her, willing to follow her wherever she went, but his feelings and desires were as important to her as her own.

She watched Haeden for a moment, hoping he understood how much she valued him, then said, "I suppose, if we're going to walk around the ship, we should probably move on." She led the way, moving slowly and without speaking to her husband so that he could look at the ship, if he chose, without interference from her. Once she reached a point near the front of the ship, where she noticed the Windfinder's weaves guiding the ship, Liaran paused, observing the other woman's work. She knew the weave by heart herself; the base of it did not vary, though the variations Tayla used were much more complex than any Liaran had ever needed. There being no need on land for weaves like this, she had not practiced them since she'd returned to the Tower all those years ago.

The memory made her just a little wistful for a few moments, but then she remembered what a relief it had been to leave the narrow focus of life at sea behind her, putting to use every Talent she possessed and learning much more than she ever could have as a Windfinder. Liaran blinked, unsure how long she'd been watching, and quickly turned away to look at her husband. "I'm sorry, Haeden," she said to him. "I was just thinking."

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Bella
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Re: Sail Away With Me (attn: Bella)

Post by Bella » February 18th, 2024, 12:21 am

"Nothing to apologize for, Liaran," her husband responded warmly. He knew her, after all, and she was more introspective than the average woman, even the average Aes Sedai--if there was such a thing as an 'average' Aes Sedai, of course. That was a bit of philosophy up for debate and not right at that moment.

He had been thinking as well, after all, but more just a general observation, curiosity, and some fascination. It was all very different from what he was used to, but he did not mind that in the least. It was intriguing, and he enjoyed the view of the ocean. Not that it was a sight he'd want all the time, too used to the mountains and green forest, but for a visit from time to time...

"Care to share what you were thinking about?" It would of course be clear in his tone and from their history that he'd not be upset or offended if she chose not to. It was not something either of them ever forced the other to divulge until they were ready at any given time or on any given topic.

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