Sail Away With Me (attn: Bella)

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

Post by Alianora » March 24th, 2023, 10:26 pm

Liaran din Chelai Morning Star Ives, Aes Sedai
At the Traveling grounds, Liaran forced herself to stand reasonably still instead of pacing back and forth. To be honest, she wasn't entirely sure how she'd managed to arrive before Haeden, and was finding it difficult to wait patiently for him though the bond told her he wasn't far away. She turned to face the direction he would be coming from, allowing her mind to drift to her memories of their wedding, which had taken place only a few days ago. It had been as small and quiet as they had both wished for it to be; even the somewhat surprising attendance of her parents had not bothered her. They had been cool and distant towards the rest of the guests, which Liaran had known they would be, but had been civil enough to Haeden. That had been a great relief to her, but she had not been at all disappointed when her parents were the first to leave.

Looking down, she smiled to herself, resolving to put her difficult relationship with her parents out of her mind. Their opinion of Haeden, or herself, was not important; all that mattered was that they were married now, that she could call Haeden her husband. Liaran lifted her head again just in time to see him approaching. The bright smile she wore as soon as she saw him was hardly appropriate for an Aes Sedai, but right then Liaran did not care.

Unable to stand still any longer, she hurried towards him, an action that was far easier in her pants and blouse than in the riding dresses she usually wore when they were leaving the Tower. There wasn't a dress to be found in the little she had packed, because she was taking Haeden, her husband, to see the ships where she had been born. They would have this small amount of time together as husband and wife instead of Aes Sedai and Warder, and Liaran meant to treasure every moment of it. She beamed up at Haeden once she reached him, unwilling to hide her joy and excitement. "Are you ready to go?" she asked.

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

Post by Bella » March 31st, 2023, 5:26 pm

It did take his wife's unbridled enthusiasm to make Haeden Ives a happy man, but it sure went a long way to bolster the emotions he was already feeling.

There was a part of him that still almost didn't believe they'd had a wedding just a few days ago and were now husband and wife. For the longest time, he'd been certain that he wouldn't marry. For some time, he wasn't even sure he'd find an Aes Sedai. There had just been so few people that he had connected with in that way.

It made Liaran something of a miracle to him, and he wasn't afraid to show it. He had even, unexpectedly, been able to meet her parents. It wasn't a rousing endorsement, but everyone had been civil. That was as much as he would've asked for. A part of him had felt a little melancholy, at times, that Liaran would never meet his father...but then again, he had his own issues there still.

"Of course," he answered her with a warm smile as he reached her.

Today, he was wearing his usual daily wear but no fancloak. He still wore his sword, of course, because even if they were happily traveling as "just" husband and wife, this husband-that-happened-to-also-be-a-warder would be ready to protect her just in case something untoward happened. He would not be caught unaware. Ever again, he'd think.

He took her hand, because he wanted to and they were about to leave. "I'm looking forward to it," he said sincerely, even if there was a smidge of uncertainty about going to do something he'd never done before. But it was her history, her heritage, and he trusted her to advise him well.

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

Post by Alianora » April 2nd, 2023, 10:03 pm

Liaran Sedai
Liaran left her hand in Haeden's as they walked back towards the Traveling grounds, only letting go when they reached a safe location from which she could Travel. Embracing saidar, the Aes Sedai channeled, and a line of silver appeared to hang in the air before them. It opened into a forested area a short walk from the docks of the city of Illian, where she had arranged for their journey on a Sea Folk raker sailing to Saldaea. She stepped back, allowing Haeden through first, and followed him only once some time had passed with no warning from her Warder.

The Aes Sedai emerged from the gateway and took hold of her husband's hand again. "Before we go to the docks, let's stop here for a moment," Liaran requested, looking in the direction of one of the nearby trees. "There's something I'd like to show you first." She let go of both Haeden's hand and saidar, then moved towards the tree she'd just indicated to stand in its shade. Digging through her bag, Liaran pulled out and opened a small box, which contained the gold jewelry she still kept from a very different time in her life. The Aes Sedai threaded the earrings through the piercings in her ears, two in one and three in the other. She followed these with the nose ring and her honor chain before looking up at her husband, feeling slightly shy and vulnerable even though Haeden was closer to her than anyone else in the world.

"This is how my people denote rank," she explained. "When we get to our ship, everyone will be wearing earrings similar to mine; some will have more, others less. We will most likely see a few women of higher ranking wearing the honor chain, but men don't wear it." she continued, running a finger along the chain she wore as she spoke its name. Liaran paused there, allowing Haeden to speak if he wished, ask questions if he had them, and answered them as well as she could. When both were ready to move on, the Aes Sedai removed the jewelry and put the box away. It would stay in her bag for the rest of their journey; she was not a Windfinder, and had no desire to be perceived as one.

This close to the city, they could see the outlines of the roof tops, and Liaran imagined she could already smell the salt in the air even though she knew they weren't quite near enough to the ocean for that yet. As they walked, the Aes Sedai spoke again, wanting to make sure Haeden was aware of all the customs that so often startled the shorebound. "You'll also notice that nobody wears shoes on the deck, though you can if you want. Men rarely wear shirts, and once we are far enough from land, women don't wear them either. It is easier to handle lines and sails with less fabric to get in the way," she explained.

Once they reached the docks, Liaran stopped before one of the first ships they passed. "This isn't the ship we're taking," she said to Haeden, "but I was hoping you'd be able to see one of these. This is a darter, the smallest of our ships, sailed mostly between the islands and on short trips. I was born and raised on one just like this."

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Re: Sail Away With Me (attn: Bella)

Post by Bella » April 7th, 2023, 11:37 pm

Not that he had expected any trouble on the other side of the gateway, but he was always prepared for there to be nonetheless.

Fortunately, his expectations were upheld (or not, depending on how you looked at it) and there was no trouble. He looked back to the slash of silver in the fabric of reality, awaiting his wife. He smiled at her when she took his hand, although the expression turned curious when she asked that they stop there.

Not that he had any trouble with it, of course. He just wondered what was on her mind. It was only a few minutes of course before that question was answered. He watched intently as she pulled the jewelry out and put it on. Funny, though not surprising either, that they had been so close all this time and he'd never seen this before.

As she wore it, he traced the chain and her skin beneath it very lightly with his fingertips. Admiring. It looked good on her, natural, though he understood why she didn't wear it. Why she put it back after just a few minutes. He didn't have many questions at that point, though he was sure there'd be more later.

Once they were on the move again, he took it all in. When they stopped in front of the small (comparatively) ship, he took it all in. His lips rose on one side, smiling in a crooked way he did, "It's hard for me, growing up as I did, to imagine what it must have been like to grow up on something like this."

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Re: Sail Away With Me (attn: Bella)

Post by Alianora » April 16th, 2023, 10:08 pm

Liaran Sedai
Liaran turned, looking away from the ship and smiling up at her husband. "You may find it easier to imagine after this trip," she told him. Then she allowed the smile to disappear from her features as she moved a little closer to where Haeden was standing. In a quieter voice, she said, "But I want you to know that even if you can't, I will not mind. I don't expect you to perfectly understand every little detail of my entire life; it is more than enough for me that you wanted to travel with me despite how unfamiliar sailing is for you." The Aes Sedai gave him another smile before leading them away from the darter and towards the part of the dock which held the larger vessels.

She slowed her pace once they approached the few rakers that were docked at the other end of the harbor. Now that they were close, Liaran had to pause to read the name inscribed on each hull, looking for the one whose Sailmistress she had met with the day before yesterday. Upon locating it, the Aes Sedai moved to stand at Haeden's side. Liaran held out a hand, palm up, indicating the huge ship that was directly across from the pair of them.

"As I'm sure you already noticed," Liaran said, "this ship is a little larger than the one I just showed you. This is a raker, the largest of our ships. This one is called the West Wind, and we'll be traveling aboard him for our journey." The Aes Sedai moved slowly towards the gangway before them, wanting to make sure she didn't leave her Warder too far behind though she knew he could easily keep up with her. As soon as her feet touched the wood, she stopped to slip her sandals off. She carried the shoes in her hand once she continued on her way, speaking to her husband while she walked.

"I never rose high enough in the ranks to be considered as a Windfinder for a raker," Liaran admitted to him, "so I have rarely had reason to be aboard one. This will be almost as new to me as it is to you." She reached for Haeden's hand, giving it a quick squeeze if he allowed it before they drew closer to the deck. Once they reached it, the size of the ship, with three square sailed masts soaring high over her head, made Liaran feel small. Its crew scurried around, arranging ropes and sails as they prepared for its departure.

With a brief glance around her, Liaran withdrew to stand at the side of the gangway where neither she nor Haeden would be in the way. As she moved, she caught sight of two women in bright brocaded silk moving towards them. "Aes Sedai," the taller of the two greeted her upon reaching them, and Liaran inclined her head towards the other woman. "Sailmistress," she responded respectfully. "I would request the gift of passage, if it pleases the Light." It was a formality, since she'd already arranged this, but Liaran still wished to adhere to her people's customs.

When she looked up, eyes as dark as hers met Liaran's. "As it pleases the Light, the gift of passage will be made available to you," came the answer Liaran had known she would receive. "If you would, tell me your name again?"

The Aes Sedai kept her eyes locked on the Sailmistress's, speaking her name with pride. "Liaran din Chelai Morning Star Ives." As her people did not change their names with marriage, Liaran was not surprised by the look the woman gave her, the raised eyebrow and thinned lips conveying a disapproval that the Aes Sedai ignored. Her name might be unusual, but it was her own choice; a sign of their union...and a gift for her husband.

Once the moment of surprise passed, the Sailmistress spoke her own name, though she had turned her head to address Haeden since Liaran already knew it. "I am Norine din Azar White Wave, Sailmistress of the West Wind." Glancing at the other woman, she added, "And this is my Windfinder, Tayla din Samasa Red Sky. You would be the husband the Aes Sedai mentioned?"

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

Post by Bella » April 19th, 2023, 10:06 pm

Haeden couldn't help but be fascinated by everything around him, although he certainly didn't allow himself to look the part. All the fascination and curiosity was kept behind his usual stoic veneer, worn at all times except for interactions with his wife and family. His green eyes flickered quickly from point to point, taking everything in.

The vastness of the ship they actually boarded could threat to be a little overwhelming, but again, he was a man in control of himself.

He watched Liaran's interactions with the women that approached them. He would follow her lead...though the expression at his wife's name did not go without notice. Protectiveness rose first, then a thin thread of concern that lingered among the pride within him--the pride that she had chosen to take his name, and the concern that she was going contrary to her heritage in a way that might haunt her.

"You would be the husband the Aes Sedai mentioned?"

When their attention turned to him, he inclined his head in respect to each in turn--though never his eyes. He only deferred to his wife and Aes Sedai. "I am, Sailmistress, Windfinder," he confirmed. "Haeden Ives Gaidin." Once he said it, he hoped that he wasn't supposed to wait to be asked...but, too late now.

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Re: Sail Away With Me (attn: Bella)

Post by Alianora » April 23rd, 2023, 10:13 pm

Liaran Sedai
The Sailmistress nodded at Haeden, then spoke. "The welcome of my ship to you both, and the grace of the Light be with you until you leave his decks." The woman then turned back to Liaran, who had put her shoes in her bag and retrieved a small sack of coins from it, the amount sufficient to cover both her passage and Haeden's. If he objected, Liaran would just remind him of a certain horse who still dwelt in the Grey Tower's stable. After handing this to the Sailmistress, the Aes Sedai touched the fingers of her right hand to her lips. "It is agreed, under the Light," Liaran said, and both Sea Folk women repeated the words and the gesture.

Once that was settled, the Sailmistress excused herself, leaving Liaran and Haeden with her Windfinder. "If it pleases you, I will show you to your cabin," she suggested, and Liaran followed her to the narrow ladder leading below deck. Tayla climbed down first, and Liaran went after her, moving with ease despite her many years living on land. She waited in the small space below for Haeden, certain her husband's Warder-trained grace would make the climb easy enough for him.

They were then led to a door near the end of the hall, which the Windfinder opened onto a single room. "We'll be sailing shortly, and you both are welcome above deck whenever you choose," she told them before departing. Liaran walked into the room and sat down on the one bed the room held, not bothering to hide a smile at the sight of it. When Haeden entered, she looked at him, wondering what he thought of her people so far. "Do you want to stay down here for a while, or would you rather go back to the upper deck?" she asked, wanting to let him decide what he'd be more comfortable doing. "We'll have to stay out of the way, but that won't be hard to do."

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Re: Sail Away With Me (attn: Bella)

Post by Bella » May 4th, 2023, 7:22 pm

Haeden was very good at listening. As a child, he had been a rambunctious creature, but the trauma of his early adolescence leaning into the training he underwent to become a Gaidin had made him very skilled at being part of the background and simply observing. He had every intention to do as much of that as he could now, because he wanted to learn.

He watched and waiting patiently as they finished their business, then he followed below deck. Although he wasn't skilled with ships, he'd climbed enough ladders. The only thing that was discomfiting was it all felt a bit more...narrow than he was used to, at his size, but he fit and he managed, following her to the room.

When Liaran sat on the bed and smiled, he couldn't help but stand and look at her for a moment, returning the expression more freely since they were alone. He took care of their things and then sat down beside her, wrapping one long arm around her shoulders and pulling her close enough so he could kiss the top of her head.

Her question, though, had him torn. He was very tempted to just stay in their room and never leave...but he also wanted to know the lay of the land (figuratively speaking) better as well so he could relax.

"I think I'd like to go back up, here shortly," he said, "and just get to understand better." He then looked at his feet where he still wore his shoes. "I know you said it was my choice, but really, advise me on if I should better go barefoot up there as well or not. Would it make it easier?" Having lived around horses most of his life, one did not go without shoes. This was, perhaps, one of the most foreign parts of the trip so far for him.

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Re: Sail Away With Me (attn: Bella)

Post by Alianora » May 13th, 2023, 1:48 am

Liaran Sedai
Liaran leaned against her husband, looking up at Haeden when he spoke to her. She reached out to hold his free hand before responding. "You should do whatever makes you feel more comfortable," she told him. "I find it much easier not to wear shoes on the deck, but that is how I was raised, even how I learned to walk." The Aes Sedai took a moment to give her husband a small smile and a gentle squeeze of the hand she held. "You were raised differently, and there is nothing wrong with that," she reminded him.

"Try to remember, if it helps, that both you and I are only passengers here." Liaran said. "Nobody expects you to start behaving like one of the crew. This ship has certainly carried shorebound passengers before, and everyone aboard him should be familiar with how we live. They will respect you as long as you respect their ways." The dark eyes flashed as she added, "And if they don't, and I'm not there with you...you can always tell me and I will handle it." The sharp tone to her voice strongly implied that she wouldn't be especially polite to the offender if her intervention was needed. Letting go of Haeden's hand, Liaran sat up straighter on the bed, giving Haeden space to do as he wished with his shoes.

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

Post by Bella » May 20th, 2023, 7:12 pm

Her sharp tone might have caught someone else off-guard, but with him, he smiled. As one whose entire existence was devoted to protecting others, it offered a moment of sweetness to him to have someone else be protective of him...at least, someone who wasn't his mother or sister. He was used to it from them. That was different.

However, back to the topic at hand.

Haeden looked at his boots, considering for a moment. "I suppose my next question is whether you think it would be easier to get used to walking on a moving ship with or without the shoes, or if it makes no difference," he said thoughtfully.

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