It's Not Always Sunnier [Attn: Ravak Darrow]

Hama Valon, the city around the Grey Tower.
Welcome to Hama Valon!

The aptly named 'mountain guard' is the city that has grown up at the gates of the Grey Tower at the western edge of the Two Rivers. Like all cities, there are quiet quarters with pleasant inns, such as Elman's Creek, which used to be the nearest village when the Tower was young, but was absorbed as the new city grew; its Band of Brothers Inn is still a favorite relaxation spot for many of the Tower's denizens. And again, like all cities the world over, there are less pleasant places--narrow, nameless streets that house hells and other houses of ill repute. Most of the city falls somewhere in between, with hawkers crying their wares in the streets, respectable shopkeepers ready to serve you, and petty cutpurses happy to follow you.

Novices, Soldiers, and drin'far'ji must be accompanied by a chaperon when outside Tower walls or they risk being picked up as runaways and duly punished.
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It's Not Always Sunnier [Attn: Ravak Darrow]

Postby Bella » Tue Sep 12, 2017 4:17 pm

Haeden Ives Gaidin was...normally...a very even-tempered, level-headed man. He was no longer young, and had worked through many of the issues that had plagued his adolescence; the fury and sorrow that surrounded him in the wake of his parents' passing. He had grown up, and moved onto a life of duty and dedication.

Every now and then, though, there were shadows. They would wrap around his mind for a while.

This was one such night. It was what led him to a tavern in Hama Valon, and the steady stream of ale he had coming to him over the course of the evening.

"Another," he demanded. His word was somewhat slurred even to his own ears, but he was too far gone to care.

The bartender came over and looked him over. "I think maybe you've had enough, sir--"

"Another!" Haeden said, his voice much louder as he smacked his palm against the bar-top.

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Re: It's Not Always Sunnier [Attn: Ravak Darrow]

Postby Craig » Fri Sep 15, 2017 4:39 pm

Ravak t'Sha'hal Darrow
After having been attacked on several prior occasions within the drinking establishments of Hama Valon, Ravak now took a more cautionary approach to his evenings outside of the Tower. For one, he didn't frequent the Band of Brothers. He'd never liked it, even though it was the local haunt of many a Tower dweller, but recent history had made it less palatable. Instead he found one near the warehouses, made out like it was the interior of a ship's hull. Rigging hung around the rafters, and if Rav had a nose for smelling, he would have noticed the fishy aroma long before entering its doors.

"Another!" came a calamitous shout from the bar. Several heads turned, including Ravak's. Even with his back onto the rest of the building, Ravak could recognise one of his own. Gaidin had a look, even when they weren't looked at you. The barkeep also had a look, one that had been forceful before the shout. Now it was fifty-fifty things were about to get violent, and Ravak didn't want to see what happened when civilians got into a fight with a Gaidin.

Ravak stood, partially assisted by the table. He had enjoyed two or three pints, but one of his faults was a low tolerance. He bobbed and weaved through the bar's floor, not really hearing the shanty that had everyone up dancing and hollering. Placing a hand on a stool for balance, Rav stepped in beside his brother-in-arms and rested his other hand on the man's shoulder. "Evening."
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Re: It's Not Always Sunnier [Attn: Ravak Darrow]

Postby Bella » Sun Sep 17, 2017 3:43 pm

Haeden's situational awareness was not gone, because no matter how drunk he might get, he was always Gaidin. The drink did, however, tend to make the process of turning "awareness" into "interpretation" was a little muddier with the liquor. He knew someone was coming up to the bar, but he didn't look and the hand on his shoulder startled him.

In a moment, he was on his feet--with the stool kicked over and his hands up defensively.

The tall Gaidin's heart beat a little harder in his chest with the alcohol-view surprise, but then his green eyes narrowed as he looked at the face of the person who had just greeted him. He grunted, clearing his throat, and moved to pick the stool back up. He looked around at everyone staring at them. "Get back about yer own flamin' business," he slurred slightly.

Righting the stool, he sat back down and tried to figure out if he was annoyed or apathetic about who was here. "Yeh gonna tell my mother 'bout this?" he asked dully, wrapping his hand around his ale mug.

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Re: It's Not Always Sunnier [Attn: Ravak Darrow]

Postby Craig » Mon Sep 18, 2017 2:50 am

Ravak
Being told to get lost only served to embolden Ravak, not that he had planned to shirk away. He leant on the bar with his left forearm, the cloth of his shirt turning dark as it absorbed some spilt liquid. It also helped with his balance, and meant that Haeden was getting a full dose of the Master of Arms' attention.

He had been about to speak when Haeden mentioned his mother. That gave Rav pause. When it came to the intricacies of family, he knew he was less than steady ground to preach from. Growing up, he'd only had to deal with one familial crisis. Now Rav felt like he'd invoked a number by marrying Mia, not that he'd ever damn well apologise for that.

The Shienaran scratched his beard with the back of his thumb. "Does your mother need to know?" Ravak asked. "You don't need her permission to drink, do you?"

The barman had edged down to the other end of the bar when the interruption gave him the opportunity. He glanced towards the two of them, and Rav got his attention. "Two more," he said. Whether it was because he recognised who was asking, or if he was just looking to avoid another shouting match, the man bobbed a nod and complied.

Rav hoisted himself onto the stool adjacent to Haeden. "Well, you're stuck with me now, now that I've bought you-- oh mother of mercy..." The soggy sleeve was now made apparent once he removed it from the bar top. He shook the limb twice in a vain effort to get rid of the absorbed liquids, then placed his arm back down on the bar in defeat.
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Re: It's Not Always Sunnier [Attn: Ravak Darrow]

Postby Bella » Wed Sep 20, 2017 11:02 am

Haeden grunted as he took the new drink set down before him. It might have been a 'thank you' or maybe something else, even the blond Gaidin wasn't sure. And he didn't know if he would have been thanking Ravak or the bartender, who was now perfectly happy to make an escape from this particular customer.

He took a long pull from the mug and then glanced sidelong at the Master of Arms who was waging battle with the lack of cleanliness in this establishment.

"No, I don't need her permission," he grumbled, ignoring the little war. There was no hope for that. Ravak was on the losing side. "But as she is so happy to frequently remind me, a mother never stops being a mother." He grunted again, and took another sip. "Even when she was dead, I was seeing her in my dreams." This last part was half--or more--to himself, slightly disconcerted.

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Re: It's Not Always Sunnier [Attn: Ravak Darrow]

Postby Craig » Sat Sep 23, 2017 4:39 pm

Ravak
Whenever someone mentioned dreams, it drew Ravak's attention. He had studied plenty about dreams and Tel'aran'rhiod when they were working on the silver arch for the Test of Honour. Most of it hadn't stuck, but bits did. And of course there's also the time I went to the Aiel Waste for a year because of someone's dreams. Hard to forget that when he'd gotten a daughter out of that decision.

What he landed on was "we all have dreams." Rav knew he was trying to deny what he himself believed, but he preferred not to get into that topic if it was at all avoidable. Knowing that Miahala had died and yet was somehow alive again wasn't the same as actively facing the fact. Truth be told, Ravak had previously held reservations about this miracle reincarnation. If not for the fact he'd got to know Mia better, she would be on his list of potential Darkfriends for that one fact alone.

"It's hard to stop parenting," Ravak continued, looking over the bar instead towards Haeden. The man was geared up for confrontation but Rav had no desire to feed into that. "The Grey Tower looks after both of my girls, yet I still want to intervene at every opportunity. I'm not convinced that'll stop even if they become Aes Sedai." He chuckled. "Although maybe if I'm lucky, Kaira will chose the Oaths. Then I don't have to worry about lies any more." The Shienaran did his best to read Haeden's body language from the corner of his eye. His words didn't seem to be having an effect. "Maybe you'll better understand if you chose to become a father."
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Re: It's Not Always Sunnier [Attn: Ravak Darrow]

Postby Bella » Sat Sep 23, 2017 4:48 pm

Despite how he appeared to all outward signs, Haeden was actually listening... Were the words making all those hard edges sand down from where they had appeared over the course of his drinking? No. But, at the least, he wasn't really the totally belligerent arse that he might have been seeming to be from the outside.

Mothers and fathers, fathers and mothers. Daughters and sons and sisters and brothers... Family.

Family was the most important thing in existence to Miahala. Haeden knew that, and he believed it. His mother had not chosen to die, and when she came back, she came back to family. First to Saldaea, and then to him and his sister. She was a mother. Fathers, though... He listened to what Ravak said and didn't disbelieve, yet fathers did not seem to care as much as mothers.

His didn't, so it was hard to imagine how others did.

It was Ravak's last comment that made Haeden turn back to him and snort in derision. "Why in the name of the Creator would I want to do that to a child?" he said hoarsely, his voice rasping in a way that reminded him of his father, and he hated it.

How many years would that man's memory assuage him?

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Re: It's Not Always Sunnier [Attn: Ravak Darrow]

Postby Craig » Thu Oct 05, 2017 3:51 pm

Ravak
It had seemed a natural thing to say, but Ravak found himself stumped when Haeden had challenged him. Why be a father indeed? Of course, it was easy to think of a thousand reasons why having children was wonderful. It was beautiful to see your child's face alight with wonder as they saw new things for the first time. It was intoxicating and delirious to become washed up in their excitement during festivals and namedays. Even watching them sleep in their crib, marvelled by how they had come into existence was enough of a justification to be a parent.

When he looked at Haeden, Ravak wondered if the same sort of thoughts would go through the Hama Valoner's mind when presented with these realities. Rav didn't know the man well enough to judge, and there were definitely bad parents in the world. Not that Rav was labelling Haeden with that either. Merely an observation on life.

"I didn't mean any offense." He'd come here to stop a fight, not start one. Especially not with someone who was important to Miahala. It was funny he was more concerned about Mia's feelings than Haeden's in this moment. "All I mean is, you just have to let your mother worry over you. Because she's going to, no matter what you do."

All of this was straying from the real point. Something had brought Haeden here, and Rav had to uncover it. I'm not playing chaperone every night you want to get drunk 'just in case' you opt to throw a punch.

"Do you want to tell me what this is really about? A man drinking alone is only keeping company with his troubles."
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Re: It's Not Always Sunnier [Attn: Ravak Darrow]

Postby Bella » Fri Oct 06, 2017 4:14 pm

"Oh, but troubles are such good company," Haeden retorted, turning back to stare into his mug. "They are always up for spending time with you, and they will never leave before you're ready for them to. They are always there, and always happy to to be there. Your troubles will never...abandon...you..."

He trailed off with a frown, draining the rest of his ale so quickly that he didn't even know if it had taste anymore. It could have been dishwater, and he would not have noticed.

The Gaidin slammed the mug back on the bartop, but for once, didn't holler for anymore. "I failed, Ravak. That's what happened. I failed." The sight of Liaran staggering down the road leading away from Tar Valon flashed through his mind. Of course, it was more than that, but that was considerable at the moment.

"I was supposed to protect someone, and I failed them." His voice went from obstinate to almost vacant now. "I swore I would not speak of its details to anyone, and I will never be so drunk as to break a vow, but...I failed someone dreadfully. I am not fit to be Gaidin. I am not fit to be mother's son."

However, I am fit to be my father's son.

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Re: It's Not Always Sunnier [Attn: Ravak Darrow]

Postby Craig » Wed Oct 11, 2017 4:50 pm

Ravak
Now Rav was properly concerned, and not about Haeden launching into a bout of unjustified violence. Every Gaidin, unbonded or otherwise, were proud in their role as a protector of channellers. The words that slurred their way forth from Haeden's mouth was in direct opposition to that pride. It was dangerous to think you had failed as a Gaidin, when the Yards did so much to install that singular aim into the core of your being.

No longer the Gaidin Captain, Ravak didn't have a first-hand account of what transpired with the unbonded Gaidin. Fortunately, his long-term friendship with a Yellow sister had yielded the fact that Haeden had escorted someone recently, and they returned worse for wear. But they did return. If he actually lost an Aes Sedai or an Asha'man, that would be one thing. This was another.

A face flashed through his mind; a dead woman's face. Ravak couldn't say whether those emerald eyes were judging him, watching him, or merely reflecting their own sadness.

Rav took another drink from his mug. "You got them back home though, didn't you? That's enough reason not to be too hard on yourself."
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