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Busy Days [Attn: Alianora]

Posted: August 17th, 2022, 1:24 pm
by Bella
Dai Marjan wasn't a young man who had any problems with hard work, but he wasn't quite used to such a rigourous schedule full of so many classes. The chores were more familiar to him. He had attended lessons while growing up, alongside the other village children, but it hadn't been anything like what he'd been assigned to since coming to the Grey Tower.

It was two hour before High, so it was chore time again. Thankfully, those bells ringing through out the Tower grounds would help them keep it all straight.

Today's task was sweeping the garden paths and raking up leaves. Not all tasks saw Novices and Soldiers working together, but today's did. Autumn was settling over the mountains, and it was honestly Dai's favorite time of year. Some of the trees had leaves changing color and drifting to the ground, which was part of the reason for today's work. He didn't mind it, though. Summer's heat was gone and winter's chill not yet arrived, so it was really pleasant to be outside.

Dai moved along the path and found a Novice he hadn't met before, though he couldn't help but notice that they looked to have similar origins with their bearing and coloring. He brought the burlap sack in his hand with him as he approached her where she was raking leaves. "Can I help with that?" he offered, holding up the sack for the leaves to go into.

Re: Busy Days [Attn: Alianora]

Posted: August 20th, 2022, 10:28 pm
by Alianora
Ekaitza Dolrin, Novice
With a rake in her hands, Ekaitza watched the falling leaves swirl around the group that was working in the gardens. Of all the places she had imagined she might end up when she and Saralin arrived in Hama Valon, the Grey Tower had not been so much as a thought in her mind. It still sometimes surprised her when she looked up and remembered where she was. Ekaitza bent her head, continuing the mindless task of raking the leaves from the path before her. The work was not hard, despite how some of the other girls complained, and far preferable to some of the other tasks she'd been set to since she'd come here.

Alone with her thoughts, Ekaitza let her mind drift to her cousin and closest friend, wondering how Saralin was adjusting. She'd hardly been permitted to see her despite spending all her days with other novices. The Mistress of Novices had told them both that it was for their own good, that they should learn to form new bonds in their new lives, but Ekaitza didn't agree. Every time she managed to catch a passing glimpse of Saralin, or to exchange a quick word in the hallways, her cousin seemed more miserable. Her worry for her friend, and frustation with their enforced separation, continued to play in Ekaitza's mind as she moved down the path. She was raking the leaves into small piles at the side of the path which other girls were supposed to be picking up as their part of the chore, but were clearly neglecting.

She wanted to scowl at the piles, or to kick them and watch them scatter back over the grass. What is the point of this if nobody is going to gather them? Not that Ekaitza herself couldn't do it, but by the time she got a bag, they'd probably have blown away. Instead of any of the actions she wanted to take, Ekaitza forced the irritation down with the ease of long years of practice. Despite that practice, smothering her emotions still took effort, and she paused on the path, ignoring her surroundings.

The sudden intrusion of a male voice addressing her startled Ekaitza, and she looked up at him and blinked. She still wasn't sure what to think of the black-clad men called Soldiers. Their title made the Tuatha'an woman just a little nervous, though she knew they were the equals of novices like herself and mostly did not seem to bear the aggression their name suggested. For that reason, she was slightly wary of the speaker, stepping back from him despite how welcome his offer was. "I'd appreciate that," she said politely, not wanting to turn down the much needed help despite her uneasiness. If he shows any sign of violence, I can always run. It was, after all, what she'd been doing her entire life.

Re: Busy Days [Attn: Alianora]

Posted: September 7th, 2022, 2:47 pm
by Bella
Dai did not move with any aggression to it. Really, his movements probably resembled a large prey animal who moved with purpose but also caution. He didn't rush up on anyone in general, and certainly not with a young woman working here in the gardens. He did move closer, but only as far as need be.

Kneeling, he held open the sack so that she could use the rake and push the leaves into it. His dark eyes flickered up at her a few times and he was moved to ask about her background, to ask if she was indeed also of the Wandering People, but his inherit need to not intrude stopped from doing so.

Instead, he offered a faint smile. "My name is Dai." That seemed less intrusive.

Re: Busy Days [Attn: Alianora]

Posted: September 19th, 2022, 9:06 pm
by Alianora
Ekaitza, Novice
The young man moved slowly towards her, which helped to calm Ekaitza's nerves. He didn't seem to be any sort of threat to her, and so she was able to continue with the task she'd been set. Leaves crunched under her feet as the novice continued down the path, forcing her to stop, pause, and sweep the stray leaves into the bag the Soldier was holding. In addition to this, Ekaitza gathered any nearby piles she saw in addition to those she had made. This got her an approving nod from one of the supervising Accepted before the woman turned to a couple of other girls. The sharp voice she heard directed at the other novices made Ekaitza suspect that they were probably supposed to have been helping her collect the leaves.

The novice looked down at the man with the sack and was just opening her mouth to thank him for stepping in when he spoke instead. Closing her mouth, Ekaitza instead listened, then smiled. "I'm Ekaitza," she said, not stopping as she moved down the path ahead of them. "Thank you for helping me. Have you been here long?" He would have plenty of time to answer her if he chose, as most of the path they were working along remained covered in a blanket of red, orange and yellow.

Re: Busy Days [Attn: Alianora]

Posted: September 22nd, 2022, 5:36 pm
by Bella
Dai was glad when she seemed to relax a little and not fear him. He couldn't abide by the idea of anyone being afraid of him, though learning that he could channel had made him inordinately concerned that now everyone would fear him. He knew it was (mostly) irrational, particularly here at the Grey Tower where two-thirds of the population channeled...but still.

"It is a pleasure to meet you, Ekaitza," he said with a small bow of his head, his tone still even but also a little timid. "I have only been here a little under two weeks. There is still much to get used to." He smiled a little, ruefully, as he set down the sack to help with raking some new piles. "You?"

Re: Busy Days [Attn: Alianora]

Posted: September 25th, 2022, 6:54 pm
by Alianora
Ekaitza, Novice
Ekaitza didn't pause in her work, continuing to move slowly down the path and rake the leaves from it even as she answered. "I haven't been here very long either," she said. "I came here around three weeks ago, and it still seems very strange to me....nothing like anywhere else I've ever been." The novice looked down at the cleared area of the stone path beneath her feet, startled to see that the leaf piles she'd just made had already disappeared. She hadn't seen Dai move, but when she looked up again, Ekaitza found that they had been joined by a pair of novices who, it appeared, had finally decided to contribute to their assigned chore.

She left them to it and kept to her own task, noticing as she did that the man beside her had acquired a rake from someone and joined her in it. "Where are you from?" she asked him in an attempt to be friendly. Though the wagons had taken her band to many of the countries in the world, Ekaitza couldn't identify which one might have been Dai's home, perhaps because she'd had so little association with anyone outside of their group. She turned her head to look towards him, reaching up to pull a small red leaf from her hair, where it had landed. For a moment, Ekaitza stopped walking as she bent down to place it in one of the nearby sacks.

Re: Busy Days [Attn: Alianora]

Posted: September 28th, 2022, 11:59 pm
by Bella
Although elements of his past were unpleasant to try to recall, Dai Marjan had not come to this place with the litany of trauma that some had, thus talking about his history and upbringing did not bother him. He'd already learned the hard way that it was different for many of the others here.

"Well, I know I was born to a Tuatha'an band," he began, his voice casual if a little flat since his memory was so limited. "Something happened when I was very young, though, and I ended up in a small town in Andor. A family there took me in and raised me. I don't remember much of my life before that, though." He shrugged a little, setting the rake down and putting the sack out to collect more leaves.

Glancing up at Ekaitza, he couldn't help but mark her coloring and wonder. "You?" he asked politely, though genuinely curious.

Re: Busy Days [Attn: Alianora]

Posted: September 30th, 2022, 10:28 pm
by Alianora
Ekaitza, Novice
The answer to her question actually caused Ekaitza to stop raking as she looked at Dai in surprise. The novice stepped to the side of the path, then resumed what she was supposed to be doing, gathering more of the leaf piles that had been left there. "I'm also Tuatha'an," she said to him. "I was born and raised in the wagons and traveled with them all my life, until we came here." Now that she thought about it, the past few weeks of her life were probably the longest she'd ever spent dwelling in one place. It was an uneasy observation that made Ekaitza feel restless. "I am sorry about your family and your band," she added with sincerity.

That part of Dai's story was one Ekaitza had heard before sometimes, when her band met up with another on the road, but she'd never gotten used to it. She tried to distract herself by working faster at her chore, not difficult to do when they were faced with the sharp eyes of the Accepted supervising. Not knowing what else to say, the novice grew quiet, thinking to herself that in a way, she and Saralin had been lucky. They'd shared a peaceful, happy childhood, facing no threats to their safety until they were close to being grown women. She thought back to the sight of her cousin summoning fire from nothing, and it occurred to her that Saralin had been fortunate to have been able to defend herself. It was a disturbing thought that went against everything she'd ever been taught, but Ekaitza couldn't quite rid herself of it no matter how fast she tried to work.

Re: Busy Days [Attn: Alianora]

Posted: October 8th, 2022, 9:42 pm
by Bella
To be honest, Dai had suspected that she had the same heritage because of her build and coloring. There was a small bit of him that was pleased to guess accurately, but he now wasn't sure what to do with that knowledge. He also busied himself with the work for a small while before he spoke up again.

"I thank you for your words," he said, "although like I said, I don't remember much. I also have had no opportunity to meet others like myself. They did not come to or near the small village I grew up with. Do..." He hesitated, hiding his embarrassment by looking down at the bag he raked the leaves into. "Would you consider my presumptuous if I asked you to tell me about your upbringing sometime? I'd like to know more about the people I came from."

Re: Busy Days [Attn: Alianora]

Posted: October 13th, 2022, 10:24 pm
by Alianora
Ekaitza, Novice
Eventually, Ekaitza had to slow down the pace of her work. She was still moving, of course, raking the leaves into piles and depositing them in bags, but she stopped trying to hurry. Despite that, she kept her eyes on the path and her feet moving forward, even when Dai spoke to her. Turning towards the Soldier, Ekaitza gave him a small smile before directing her attention back towards her chore.

"No, I don't mind," she said politely. She didn't think of her childhood as having been any different than anyone else's; her people traveled constantly, and followed the Way of the Leaf, but to Ekaitza there had been nothing especially unusual about it. "What would you like to know?" She stopped to push a pile of leaves into a nearby bag before continuing on her way.

After a moment, Ekaitza added, "I'd be happy to tell you about my people...well, yours too, I suppose....but if you ever do come across a Tuatha'an band in the future, our fires are open to all who come in peace. They would welcome you." She looked around at the falling leaves and seemingly endless path before her, and sighed. Neither she nor the man beside her would likely be able to go anywhere outside the Tower for a very long time.