Regardless of whether you adjourn to the great hall for some food with the greater population of Tashiri warriors, you retreat the the private dining hall in your dormitory wing, or you retire to your bed, the night passes smoothly and you begin to feel the tension of constantly feeling under threat ease from tired and sore muscles. Eventually you all make your way to your bed, the hallway in your Qalm's quarters quiet save for the rumbling snore of the dwarves and the peaceful calm of home. Sleep takes you almost as soon as your head hits the pillow, the days events leaving you with barely the energy to kick off your boots or step out of soiled clothing.
You sleep, whether you dream or not is up to you, but you sleep until you wake, nothing or no one disturbing the rest of warriors recovering from battle. Go through your morning ritual, some of those things that define you as a character and exhibit your personality. For the first time in what feels like an eternity no one is demanding anything from you, or rushing you from place to place as they did when you were apprentices. For many of you this is the first free time you have had, that has been completely your own, for many years. What do you do with it?
Whatever you get up to in the morning, a degree of commotion catches your attention around the lunch hour, and as you go to investigate what is going on. You find a gaggle of servants rushing in and out of your Qalm's dining hall and looking inside you see that they have set a feast, a massive lunch fit for a king. Nesrin sits and the table, already tucking in, the massive man's appetite truly comparable to his size. You enjoy the next couple of hours sharing this meal, set for you in honor of your victory, with each other. You mourn the loss of your comrades and celebrate the success you have had as a Qalm.
The next several days are a whirlwind of training and instruction, starting with each of you sparring with Nesrin. He has told you that despite the fact that he watched you all fight against the Vicery, he wants to get a good idea for your strengths and weaknesses. You stand around the ring, cheering your companions on, as one by one they all fall to Nesrin in the ring. Despite the fact that he bests each of you, there are victories celebrated by each combatant, and none celebrate more than your Hetat. He praises where praise is due, Zacarish and Robb, he compliments you each on your swordsmanship as he nurses several bruises and small cuts dealt to him by your practice blades. Adam, your ferocity and speed brings a whoop of excitement from the burly giant, and despite the fact that the bout ends with you on your ass in the middle of the training ring, your Hetat's grin of pride causes any disappointment to melt away. Aalrik, he complements you on the unique way you brought some of your powers to bear in the bout, using you as an example to the others, urging them to think outside of the box. Isira, like Adam, Nesrin is amazed at your speed, your natural affinity for moving several times faster than a normal person can, he places a heavy hand on your shoulder, saying that he had to tax his own windwalking abilities almost to their max to keep up with you. Sven and Daruk, it is during your duels that the Hetat smiles most, pitting earth born skill against earthborn skill. The training yard trembles and shakes as you work to best him. He laughs out loud, pleased that he was gifted with two warriors so skilled in the area of fury craft in which he himself started. Daruk he also is intrigued at the way that you use your different skills so well in tandem with the other. Eldur your controlled careful use of your fireskills and the speed and accuracy of your spear work impresses your Hetat, his head nodding in approval as he uses his own powers to extinguish a smoldering hem of his training pants as he helps you to your feet. All in all Nesrin impresses you with the respect that he shows you all.
It is not all praise and laughter though, he balances that praise with excellent advice. Correcting form and grips, pointing out weaknesses in your stances and defenses, as well as matter of factly describing ways to gain more control over your own abilities. After the three days that you all spend dueling him individually you all find that you can mark areas where you have improved even over a short time. The man is a natural leader, who inspires confidence and has earned your respect several times over.
The day after individual sparring ends, you all find yourselves in one of the large fields that dot the landscape of Deidre. Each morning for the last everal weeks, the Qalm left the confines of the Temple, borne by air carriage to the ouskirts of the fortress country. Nesrin has told you that he is going to teach you all to fight as a team and that is exactly what he goes about doing. One of his favorite tactics is to place the metal and earth walkers in the center, back to back, using the the wind, water, and fire walkers to push enemies into the meat grinder that the earth and metal walkers become. They fire walkers can clear the flanks, having wide berth to use their abilities without needing to worry about collateral damage. Over this time you really start to learn about each other, how you fight, and how you use your abilities. Nesrin tests you garnering help from another Earth Master, a stoic man by the name of Talebat Natua, these masters of the discipline send wave after wave of combat drones, made from earth and clay, at the Qalm, testing their mettle and how they work as a group. Each day left you battered and bruised, but filled with confidence in the warriors at your side.
In your down time you find joy and comfort in the warriors that you have been bonded to. Your shared meals, shared training time, and shared down time have been times that have taught you much of each other. Through the ever present presence of your Qalm mates through the bond and through the bond of shared combat and loss the group of incredibly different people have started to become the family of warriors that a Tashiri Qalm is supposed to be.
[I give you all free reign to talk about whatever you wish to talk about. Describe your experiences, Come up with snippets of conversation, between your characters, get with each other via PM or MSN and decide how you all interact with one another. This particular update is one that is to be used to grow your character, enhance the feel of their personality, to really interact with the other players on a level that is far deeper than just the throws and chaos of combat.]
On the morning of the 22nd day since you returned from the Vicery hive, you all awake to find that small notes have been slid under each of your doors. You do not recognize the handwriting, but it is signed at the bottom by Nesrin. Each not bears instructions to report to a master for additional Fury training. Over the course of the last several weeks, Nesrin has inquired of each of you as to where you want your abilities to progress to and taking those things into account, he has made the necessary arrangements for Masters in your disciplines to continue your training.
Your instructions are to report to Master Enariel Y'nan. This is a name that you have heard before and you know that Master Y'nan is a renowned Windwalker among the Tashiri. Throughout the early days of your training as an apprentice you heard tales of the elusive Master, things that brought his standing to the height of a legend, a true master of the sky. Nesrin's tight scrawl on the note provides directions to Master Y'nan's chambers, in the top tallest tower on the west side of the Talissariat, and wasting no time you make your way there. Knocking on the door, a melodic tenor voice tells you to enter. As you do, you are awestruck at the layout of the room. The entire ceiling and the exterior wall are translucent, his chambers protected from the elements by a shimmering shield of hardened air. Despite the fact that you would think it to be freezing so high up, the conditions in the room are beautiful, the backdrop framed by a view that takes your breath away. The sound of someone clearing their throat tears your eyes away from the scene in front of you and you turn to see a high elf, his features radiant in the morning sunlight. He wears the ivory garb of the Tashiri, but about his waist is a gold trimmed black sash instead of the ruby red or even the purple of a Hetat. His dark auburn hair is held out of his face by a circlet of silver, the only other visible adornment a silver bracelet on his left wrist. He smiles, obviously excited to have you and simply says, gesturing to the wide open sky outside his large room, "Welcome Adam. I have heard that you wish to learn to fly."
Your instructions are to report to Hedrin Hammerfist. You smile as you read this because you are fairly familiar with the stalwart Dwarven smith having worked beside him in the forges of the Talissariat nn several occasions. There are directions contained in the note from Nesrin, leading you to Hammerfist's forge, but you barely glance at them, your feet already carrying you out into the halls and eventually down several levels to smithies located near the bottom of the Talissariat. Entering the forge you are surprised to hear the clank of armored feet behind you. Turning you see Daruk walking down the hall behind you. You have come to like Daruk over the last several weeks. Despite the fact that he tends to keep to himself more than his Mountain cousin Sven, he shares a fiery temper and has a keen blade. Before you are able to ask Daruk what he is doing here, seeing as he is a fire and earth walker, a loud gruff voice rings out of the forge, over the clanking of a hammer on an anvil. "Are you going to get in here or not you two? This work isn't going to do itself now is it." Entering the forge you see Hammerfist, stripped from the waist up save for a heavy leather apron, sweat glistening off of muscles that have seen nearly a century and a half behind a blacksmith's hammer. His dark black mane of hair and bushy beard held back from the flames by several glittering silver rings along the length of each. His ivory shirt hangs from a peg by the door and just peeking out from behind his leather apron is the green sash that marks him an instructor. The hiss of steam erupts into the room as he plunges a piece of metal into a pail of vinegar water, its pungent steam adding to the aroma of the room. Wordlessly he juts his hammer in the direction of tools. Any questions you may have about the training you are supposed to be receiving are answered with a raised eyebrow and a gesture to the forge. Laughing you collect your tools and get to work.
Your instructions are to report to a Hedrin Hammerfist. The name is not familiar to you, but it screams Dwarven heritage. The prospect of your training being under a Dwarf is something that fills you with excitement. It has been some time since you have been at the forge, but as with all of your race, you do possess some rudimentary skill. The fact that you will be working under not only a skilled metal walker, but a Dwarven one gets you moving down the halls, following the directions contained within Nesrin's note. You find yourself walking down a hallway, the scent and heat of the forges ahead already reaching your senses, but you are surprised to find that Zacarish is entering the forge just ahead of you. Over the last weeks you have come to see the Dark Elf warrior in a new light. He is a fervent fighter, possessing the same fiery spirit that you do, relishing in the chaotic twist and fervor of battle. He looks at you quizzically, but before you are able to answer a loud gruff voice rings out of the forge, over the clanking of a hammer on an anvil. "Are you going to get in here or not you two? This work isn't going to do itself now is it." Entering the forge you see Hammerfist, stripped from the waist up save for a heavy leather apron, sweat glistening off of muscles that have seen nearly a century and a half behind a blacksmith's hammer. His dark black mane of hair and bushy beard held back from the flames by several glittering silver rings along the length of each. His ivory shirt hangs from a peg by the door and just peeking out from behind his leather apron is the green sash that marks him an instructor. The hiss of steam erupts into the room as he plunges a piece of metal into a pail of vinegar water, its pungent steam adding to the aroma of the room. Wordlessly he juts his hammer in the direction of tools. Any questions you may have about the training you are supposed to be receiving are answered with a raised eyebrow and a gesture to the forge. Shaking your head with a small smile at the the welcome you have received you collect your tools and get to work.
Your instructions are to report to Jarruk Getmin, whose quarters are located in one of the four weather observatories located at the cardinal points of the Talissariat. This is an area of the Temple that you have never been to and honestly you had no idea that the Talissariat had weather observatories. It is quite a distance from your quarters to the Western Observatory, but your walk is one that provides you great enjoyment as it takes you through one of the botanical gardens fastidiously maintained by the Wood Walkers of the Tashiri Order. Walking through these areas that buslte with activity and life lifts your spirits. You took the loss of Djinn and Belak the hardest and it has been more of a struggle for you to deal with the emptiness that still hides in the recesses of your heart. As you approach the door that you have been lead to by Nesrin's directions you knock, several times but hear no answer. Pressing your ear to the door you hear what sounds like thunder and rain, which confuses you slightly as you distinctly remember the skies being clear when you left your room. Pushing the door open slightly, you see that the room beyond is a large laboratory, a long table full of strange insturments dominating the center of the room. The room's only occupant is a rather strange looking man. He is a portly fellow with a balding pate, his silver-white hair sticking out from the sides of his head in unruly tufts, the green sash of the instructor around the waist of his ivory pants. He has a pair of gold rimmed spectacles perched on the end of his nose that quiver as he stares into a large glass globe sitting on the table in front of him. It is what is inside the globe that fascinates you. A miniature thunderstorm, black clouds, rain, and lightning, swirls within the confining glass. The man, who must be Getmin, takes up a pen with ink stained fingers, jotting down a few notes on a pad of paper, and doesn't seem to notice you until you get his attention. Your voice startles him so much that he jumps, spectacles sliding down the end of his nose to dangle from the chain that keeps them around his neck. As he looks at you he will smile, "Glad you made it." He will point to the glass, "What I will be teaching you is the first step on the road to being able to control that." He will giggle, "Marvelous isn't it." What are your first impressions of the man? Do you say anything in return?
Your are told to report to Mistress Alana Frendel. The name is familiar to you, knowing that she oversees the Infirmary in the temple. You have seen her from afar several times in your various visits there over the years, but you have never spoken to her or seen her up close. You find yourself slightly nervous at the prospect of attempting to learn a new fury discipline. The workings of metal, the forge, and the sword all came very naturally to you, but the discipline of water has always seemed so fluid, Despite your nerves you are excited by the challenge and with one of the strongest Water Walkers of the Tashiri to teach you, you feel that you can't help but succeed. You are surprised that instead of being called to the Infirmary to meet your new instructor, you are direced by Nesin's note to one of the gardens in the Talissariat that you know to hold a large pond. As you enter the garden you see Mistress Frendel, kneeling by the side of the pond, a single finger touching its surface, but over a hundred small tendrils of water arching hear and there providing the life giving substance to beds of flowers and creeping vines. Her beauty startles you, her flowing straw colored hair catching the light in a way that makes it seem to shine, her pale skin glistening in the rays of the sun that filter in through the large windows. Instead of the pants and shirt typical to most Tashiri, she wears a flowing gown of the same fabric, around her waist a sash of deep ebony trimmed in gold, marking her station as a Tashiri Master. As you begin to approach, she will stand and face you, her face ageless, a sign of her calling as a Water Walker, her expression stern. "What would bring one such as you, someone born to heat and metal and war, to learn from me?" How do you respond?
You are instructed to report to the aboretum, the great forrest of trees that ring the edges of the floating island that houses the Talissariat, to learn from a Woodelf known only as the Gladekeeper. You have heard tell of this mysterious Tashiri throughout the course of your life, but you and the other children always thought him some sort of myth. That Nesrin has arranged for you to not only meet him, a living legend, a Master Wood Walker, speaks to not only Nesrin's standing in the order but the regard in which he holds you. You are told to leave the Talissariat through the Eastern gate and as you do the sunrising over the great forrest takes your breath away with its regal beauty, the forrest alight with the first rays of the sun. You were given no real instruction as to how you were to find the Gladekeeper, save to make your way through the forrest toward the eastern edge of the island. You start out at an easy jog, moving through the trees and after about twenty minutes you are joined by your wolf-brothers, Hurel and Ickbit, the great wolves materializing out of the trees to run at your side, lopsided grins showing their formidable fangs, but everything about their body language expressing joy to be able to hunt with you again. About an hour or so before mid-day, you stop to take a rest. You are deep in the forrest, the great canopy above nearly blotting out the sky completely, your surroundings bathed in the greenish light of the rays of the sun shining through the dense foliage. Hurel and Ickbit suddenly raise their heads, ears and muzzles pointing in the same direction, to the north. At first you think that the newcomer that suddenly joins you had stepped out from behind a great oak, appearing so suddenly and quietly that it takes even you by surprise, but astonished, you realize that he stepped out of the tree itself. The Gladekeeper, for his could be no one else, is a woodelf of surprising height, you would think that he would rival Nesrin in that regard, his deep brown hair tied back in a single plait, grey touching his temples speaking to his great age even for an elf. He wears the ivory pants of the Tashiri, but his jerkin seems to be of a different cloth entirely, a pale green color, that blends into the forrest behind him, around his waist is an ebony sash trimmed in gold. "Welcome back to the realm of Einherjar, Aalrik son of Broughere. I am the one they call the Gladekeeper," he intones regally, his expression serious.... before you looks down at you with a wide smile," but you young one, may call me Nevar. Come, let us walk, rid yourself of the last of the sands of the wastes. My home will be ours until our business is complete." With that he will turn and walk off into the woods leaving you to catch up.
You are told to report to your old master Mirran Alar. The thought of being under his tutelage again filling you with joy and purpose. As you walk down the halls of the Talissariat you reflect on your life with the Tashiri and the events of the last several weeks. Being a part of a Qalm, a battle group, is what you had always asipred to. How is Eldur feeling about the last several weeks of training and getting to really know his Qalm mates? Your thoughts dissipate as you arrive in front of Alar's chambers. You reflect on the fact that in all the time you have known him, you have never been in, or even been near to his quarters. Knockin on the door you are told to enter, Alar's strong voice ringing out from the rear part of the large rooms. Just inside the chamber, lit by several braziers and torches, you find a large room with a large circle, approximately 15 feet across, containing a complicated spiral of interlocking circles inside it. From a back room Alar will step out, his closecut black hair, streaked liberally with silver, but his muscles and stature seem completely undiminished by age. He wears the ivory of the tashiri, though as you are used to, the sleeves of the shirt have been removed, leaving his upper arms bear, around his waist an emerald sash marking him an instructor. He grasps your hand warmly, noticing your fascination with the intricate circles in that dominate the room he will walk over, "Ah yes, this will be the first tool in learning the control necessary for the new disciplines you wish to master. Come we will walk the steps of the Kallimatar together."
You are surprised to find that when you unfold your letter that it says for you to meet Nesrin in the dining hall. As you enter the room, you will find him seated at the table, a large breakfast sat in front of him, another plate laid out for you, you assume it is yours from the way he nods at it and points to the chair in front of it. Sitting down, you tuck in, the meal passed in comradery, him sharing tales of times long gone by, as he asks you questions of your home and childhood. You are once again surprised how personably your leader is, enjoying his company nearly as much as the Dwarf Daruk who you have become rather close to over the last several weeks. Finally the meal is finished and the large man levers himself up out of his chair. You have noticed the rest of the Qalm leaving at intervals, presumably to go for their additional training, and Nesrin seems to notice the question of what you are supposed to be doing lingering on your lips. "Well, lets be off, I can't teach you anything sitting in the dining hall." With a smile he walks down the hallway, clearly expecting you to follow.
Sol(Angel of Blood):
As you unfold the letter in you are keen to find that you have been directed to none other than Hetat Aleanatin. You are slightly ashamed to admit that since your Qalm's return you have thought very little of the other Qalm's that were sent to assault the Vicery hive alongside your own, but the stoic elf's name on the piece of paper in front of you brings back the fact that his entire Qalm was lost in the assault. The sharp memory of their funeral services weeks ago once again fresh in your mind and it is with a heavy heart that you traverse the corridors of the Talisariat, following the directions Nesrin provided. An uncomfortable grief falls over you as you stand outside the door that leads into a dorimtory very similar to your own, save for the fact that a pall of sadness hangs over this one. Entering you find that the halls are deserted, the silence almost deafening, broken only by the tread of your own feet on the stone floor. You wonder why Aleanatin has elected to remain in these depressing quarters, but before you can muse on the matter further Aleanatin steps through the doorway that leads to the training hall for this dorm. The elf stands, taller than you, but wirey in comparison to your stocky frame, his face an emotionless mask. "It is good to see you again Sol. I have been told by Nesrin that you wish to expand your skills. I do not normally instruct, but the Radan feels that it would be good for me to become involved in something other than quiet contemplation." The last statement betrays a slight hint of irration and a glimmer of the sadness that roils behind his gleaming eyes. "Come," He says turning into the training hall, "We shall begin straight away."
[Angel of Blood- Respond to the ALL sections as well as your individual update. As I have said with the others you do not need to cover anything past following Aleanatin into the training hall and whatever your impressions may be of him. We will deal with that next update. Glad to see you back and get with me if you have any questions.]
[Alrighy folks, for this update you are going to get to know your new teachers. If you have any questions ask them of the NPCs at the ends of your posts and I will answer them from the instructors perspective. I have decided not to waste a bunch of time with actually going through the training step by step over several updates, so dont worry about that. The next update will progress about 5-6 months into the future, where we will start out again with you having mastered the skills you decided to learn. If you have any questions at all don't hesitate to get with me.]