Fanfic:Introduction to Archery (Eliza 1st and 2nd point)
| This is a piece of fanfiction. |
Only the original author(s) or Librarian(s) should make content changes to this page.
Choosing a Bow...
Eliza pulled the snug breeches up over the soft curve of her hips. They were a soft light brown with vines covered with pretty blue blossoms stitched down the sides. They fit her like a second skin. She was relieved that breeches were not foriegn to her after the years of dresses she was made to wear. She laced up a loose snowy white shirt, and pulled on a coat of exactly the same shade of her breeches. The embroidery was down the lapels for the coat.
After a long discussion with Norin she decided that learning a weapon skill was a logical maneuver. She never really picked up anything of than her dagger, and she had never used the thing. She either fought or talked someone in a frenzy to the point that they were defeating themselves. Norin had made very good points. She was more impressed when they went to bed. She smiled. She could not believe that she was Bonded, and married a day after being raised to the shawl.
They had both sat down the morning after to make a list of all potential weapons that she could learn. She was still laughing about some of the choices they had written down. She was more likely to be wounded by her own hand than master the sword or Axe. She was quick, but daggers seemed silly to her: close combat was not something she wanted to be in at all. She thought a quarter staff was nothing, but a long stick. That seemed too awkward to her. She was on the ground laughing with tears in her eye's when Norin put his personal favorite the Ashandarei. A long stick with a long sharp blade at the end: she could be killed. When she looked at the word bow it made her stop, and think.
The bow could be used from a distance providing her time to think before reacting. It also allowed her a chance to channel if she was able. It was light weight depending on the bow. It was also a quicker fire once one was trained. She did not speak this out loud because Norin would have laughed himself into tears. It was more lady like than the other choices.
She did some asking around. It took really only one afternoon before she found an instructor. She would be surrounded by all sorts for the lesson. She was given a few raised brows when she was asking around. She put on her thoughtful look that she learned around the Browns muttering things about velocity, and trajectory, and she received an eye roll so she could move on without explaining.
She left her apartments with the distant look in her eye's. She was getting stares from every Brown that past her. She wanted to be prompt for her lesson. She had made that a habit while a novice, and Accepted. A habit that would not change now that she was a Sister.
She settled in with the others there to learn. This was just the introductory part to explain to them what would be taught, and how the lessons would progress. When they were asked to chose a bow she stood before the choices.
The long bow was a massive beast. She would be able to string that as fast as she could a tree. She was strong, but she did not think that she would even be able to draw the long bow. Her choice had to be the composite bow. It had it's bonuses , and its limits. It was a more logical choice for her. She grabbed one that was polished, and light. She gathered the other equipment. A book was handed to her. She signed her name. This might turn out to be something she was interested in after all.
It Feels Right...
Eliza gathered with the rest of them when she was sure she had picked the bow she was comfortable with. There were quite a few that had picked the Long bow. She shook her head. Shooting with tree limbs.
They were told about how to care for the bows. She thought that in the middle of a fight stringing a bow was going to be difficult. She made a mental note to herself to have her own bow made so that she could practice outside the lesson; better yet have Norin order it. That way she knew he would buy the finest bow for her.
She watched the process to string the bow. She tilted her head. She was glad she wore breeches. She would have to figure out a lady like way to straddle the weapon. She pulled the string tight. She missed the first few tries. She gave the bloody thing a glared. That the string slid on, and she lifted it up to examine the weapon.
It felt right in her hands. She ran her hand across the smooth polished surface. She was delighted at the light graceful way it fit her. She gently draw the string half drawn testing the pull. She warmed up the bow the way she was told. She held it up as if to use it. She was surprised at how she felt. She had never been interested in fighting. She wanted to shoot the thing today, but it would have to wait. She unstrung the bow, and repeated the stringing process. When she turned in the bow, she was going to go straight to Norin. She wanted her own.
Spring was on the edge of coming into being. The winter had been harsh here in the mountains. It was cool, not chilled when they gathered at the firing range. She held the bow she had chosen to work with. She smiled. She had read through a pile of books. Norin was given explicit instructions on the bow she wanted, the type of arrows, and the very personalized equipment she needed.
Eliza blinked when the lesson began. Be aware of her surroundings? Eliza was a thief before she came to the Grey Tower; half her life really. Her surroundings before coming here meant life or death.
There were sixteen student, her included. Four were female, twelve males were in attendance. There were three more females that came yesterday that were not there today. Only her and another could channel Saidar. There were two dedicated with the males of the group. If she had to write it down she could list what they were wearing, what they looked like, and even where they were from. Eliza had always had a startling memory. She was not going to point that out, but she thought that she knew her surroundings rather well.
She thought it made sense due to the fact an archer had to think fast. It was not like they were swinging weapons at the foe. One had to make the mark. Then use their surroundings. Then strike. This was exciting, and her only question was when do they shoot.
Listening to the Weapon...
Eliza was wear a similar outfit as she had the day before this time in a shadow of blue. The snug breeches hugging her hips, and the well fitted coat emphasized other attributes. She brushed her ebony hair till it shined. She had her next lesson on archery this morning.
She had spent the evening the day before researching everything she could find on the subject. Norin had also brought a practice bow for her to work with until hers was made. She worked on stringing, and then restringing. When she learned how to fire the weapon she was planning on practicing on her own outside the lesson. It was all so exciting.
The light cool breeze ruffled her hair while she walked to the firing range. She kept in mind what they were told about taking in their surroundings. Wind played a factor in shooting a bow. She gathered her weapon, arrows, and her leather bracer. A few students with her walked out to the edge of the range. She lined up with the rest of them waiting for the lesson to begin.
The lesson started promptly starting with how to stand. She mimicked the stance. She held the bow out like her instructors. The bow felt natural in her hand. Eliza did not draw an arrow, but she did test out the draw of the string. She was careful not to over draw the weapon. She did what she was told to do, and listening to her weapon. She let her self feel its give. They were told not to worry about aiming just to feel the weapon out, and test its capabilities.
When she stepped forward she took the stance. She pulled an arrow from her quiver. She notched it, and drew it back. She let it fly. It over flew the target. She drew another this time she felt a little more control with her draw. The arrow pointed toward the target. This time the arrow stabbed the earth in front of the target. She let herself get lost listening to what her weapon was saying. Each arrow the followed the last made it near the target, but when she reached for one more, and felt nothing she still had not hit the bloody thing.
Eliza stayed hours after the lesson had ended. She wanted to feel this out. She was competitive, but this was a new feeling for her, and she wanted to master it.
Guiding the Path...
Eliza was finished replacing her arrows into her quiver. They were told it was time to begin to learn to aim. Eliza watched intently. She had not felt this passionate about something since learning to read, and later seeking the shawl. She lifted her bow the way they were being shown. She left the arrow out of the equation. The last thing she wanted to do was accidentally fire one.
When it was their turn Eliza took her time. They had been told not to hold the draw for a long time. What she did instead was draw a few times just to see how her aim would work. She was a thief, and she had many years of hand to eye practice. She also kept in mind the rules of the arrow once it was loosed. She was ready.
She lifted the bow. Her draw was smooth. Her eye's were quick finding the target. She had it lined in her vision, and she let the arrow fly. She blinked when the arrow hit the target. It did not strike the center, but she was not aiming for that. She was aiming for the target. She lifted the bow, and the second arrow flew. It struck just to the left of the target. She used half of her quiver just to aim for the target. She hit the target five times out of twelve.
She was going to use the other half of her quiver to actually aim for the red circle in the center of the target. She threw everything into that there was only her, and the red target. The first hit to the left. She adjusted her stance a touch to the right. She drew another arrow. Her and the target The second hit just above the red center inches away. She finished off her quiver. Twice she almost embraced Saidar. In the end she frowned at the target. Twice an arrow struck the red center.
She was going to practice from sunrise to sunset. They were to meet the following week. She dropped off her weapon. She hoped the bow Norin ordered was ready soon, but she could always use the weapon in the armory.
This certifies that Eliza Caan has completed the first half of the Intro to Archery class and has earned 1 point in Bow.
The week that followed her last lesson with the bow was a busy one. Eliza spent every moment she could afford at the range. She gathered books on the weapon, and the uses of it. Those went with her, and she compiled detailed notes in a small journal. She worked like a Brown. She tested controled, and non-controled tests. She put theories into action, and recorded results. She had even forgot to show up for a lesson in the Old Tongue altogether. She beame familure with techniques that had been arround for hundreds of years. One technique was imagining a flame. Every emotion feeling was fed to the flame until there was nothing, but a void. She had practiced it, but it was only a week she had.
Today they were not trying to hit targets. They were to practice firing rapidly. Eliza had tried it with the week she had been given; most of the time was used for hitting the object she wanted. She losened the strap on her quiver dropping it to her waist. She stabbed half of her quiver into the ground in front of her. Half the arrows would be drawn from her waist. She imagined the flame, and tried to push everything into it. She gave up after Saidar floated to close to her.
She snatched up the first arrow, and fired. She snatched the next. They were told not to aim, but she tried to focus her shots. When the arrows were all pulled from the ground she started pulling from her waist. The waist was slower, but more accurate.
Calibrate the Angle...
When she arrived for the next lesson Eliza noticed they were being lined up further from the targets. She smiled. Distance shooting was something she had been working on for the last week. Being a Brown, she loved things that challenged her to look at the figures. Distance could be written down on paper, and calculated. Angles could be adjusted. Velocity could be judged. It was all intriguing. Norin had added his help too: being married to a Brown was a just reward.
She lined up with the rest. She pulled a small leather bound book from her leather shoulder bag. She gauged the distance between her, and the targets. She flipped a few pages finding the distance. After tucking the journal behind her belt she drew her first arrow judging the wind, and distance one last time.
She lifted the bow firing. She loosed five times. She could see just enough to know she did indeed hit the target. She would have to wait for the rest of them. She chose to watch the others until she could check her target
Everyone seemed to be progressing at different rates. Some looked like it was the first time they had ever picked up a bow. One tall fellow with dark hair that had an Andoran accent looked like he had been using the long bow for years. There was also a top-knotted Shienaran that was quite good. She saw the last arrow fired. She waited just a breath for them to be released to look at the shots.
She resisted the urge to run out on the urge. She was Aes Sedai did not run like fools unless in extreme; that was negotiable thought, Aes Sedai hurried in their own way.
She looked at the target. Her calculations were sound. She had hit the target four of the five shots. She was writing her notes in her journal. She blink a few long moments later when she realized she was sitting cross legged on the ground in front of the target.
Eliza was slightly disapointed they would not be firing. There was something that came out of it. She could use the rest of the afternoon for practice. She could also go take a look at the obstacle course.
The Final Test...
Eliza was walking slowly to her appointed last archery lesson. This was an important lesson. They were being tested on what they had learned over the course of the last two weeks. It was important to her because she had worked hard for her progress. She had even talked a few Gaidar for a little extra help with the weapon. It was nice to have something more than just written words to entice her. She almost felt like her old self before she came to the Grey Tower.
She was in snug brown breeches with no embroidery. Her coat had a few blue blossoms down the lapels, and around the collar. She pulled her black hair back in a thick tail. She did not want it getting in her eyes. She lined up with the others. She stood confident in what she had learned over the time that was allotted.
She was tenth in line. She ran over everything she had learned. The notes she had taken from all the books flashed behind her eyes. She took a deep breath, and tried to calm her thoughts. There was nothing but her, and the targets. The arrows were an extension of her. It was the same when she wielded Saidar. A thought then there was an action. The Brown in her began to calculate everything into numbers for her to react to. She was ready.
She strung her bow. It was not as fast as her instructor, but she did it with more ease now. She loosened the strap to her quiver pulling it down to her waist. She could fire faster that way. She was two away from the starting point.
She cleared her mind. The calibrations would come upon need. For this she need her mind blank. She could laugh at how learning a weapon was much like learning to embrace, and wield Saidar. One away.
Time was of no importance until she was given permission to start. She drew her bow a few times to loosen up the weapon. She stretched her fingers flexing them until they were loose. She was next.
She felt her surroundings. Her and the targets./i] She heard her call to begin. She leaped forward her eyes on the first tower. She had an arrow drawn as she stopped. The dummy flew to the left. She followed with her bow letting her aim run past it, and let it fly. The first drifted past it harmlessly. She drew a second arrow. The dummy slid to the right. She let it fly. The arrow stuck the center of the target. She quickly pulled her third arrow, and without a thought she loosed it. The arrow stuck just below the last.
She ran to the next tower. The woman at the top did not wait for her to draw. The dummy was coming downward at a slat. She drew, letting it fly without thought. It struck the center. She drew another, and struck the target again. The dummy slammed into the pole in front of her before she draw another. She could not think of it now she had to run to the next part.
This was her favorite part other than the distance shots. The distance shots were also for a different reasons. She had eyes that were as quick as her hands. Once the mark was made a thief took. Once a target was presented she reacted like a thief; she shot. She drew an arrow pulling it to her cheek. The first target shot up. The arrow hit true. The second caught her eye to the left. The arrow was loosed like her lightning when she channeled. One shot up behind in the center, and she tagged that one before the next flew up. She hit four of five. She jogged to the next obstacle.
She stopped. It was at the distance part. The calculations were just behind her eye's when she drew the first arrow. She tilted the bow sharply for the furthest bail. The arrow arched in the air. She drew the next when the arrow hit the target. She adjusted the tilt of her bow, and fired. The arrow hit the target again. She kept drawing adjusting before letting her arrows fly. The last test allowed her thief to come out, this was pure Brown thought that landed all five arrows. She ran to the next tower.
She climbed the stairs. She notched an arrow. Her foot hit the first peddle. The ball flew high, and she missed it. The second she missed by a great margin. The third she followed. The arrow pierced it. She missed the rest. That was something she would have to work on in the near future. She crossed the line, and she made a few mental notes of what to work on soon.
Nelien Giadar (psc)
Nelien watched the Brown sister complete the course, and was surprised at the skill that the Aes Sedai showed. True, she wasn't a prefect shot, but it was pleasantly surprising to see that even a scholar could be taught. Eliza Sedai had been a good student so far, and unlike some of the fully raised people who took the class, she did not believe herself above the exercises that the students were running through.
And that was what she appreciated most about the sister - the haughty ones were always the hardest to deal with, and they fell the hardest when it was explained that they would not be receiving any different treatment because of a shawl or a cord.
The lithe Aes Sedai stepped down from the final task, and Nelien greeted her with a nod. "Well done, sister. You've improved since first coming to the class." Although the praise wasn't much, it was all that the Brown was going to get from her. She turned on her heel and strode away, going off to grade other students who were completing the course.
Nelien Gaidar (PSC)
This certifies that Eliza Caan Sedai has completed and passed the second part of Introduction to Archery, and has earned a second point in the bow. Great job. :)