vneef_healer: (dynast)
[personal profile] vneef_healer
A day for a student in the House of Bells starts at an unspeakably early hour. Sunrise? Hah! Sleeping in till sunrise would be positively SLOTHFUL.

Alia and Fajah have done their morning exercises, bathed, dressed in suitable clothes and eaten breakfast, and the sun has still not made it over the horizon. (Alia suspects there will be more potent stimulants in use among her peers than tea if this keeps up.)

Their amah, Iris, herds the female students through the courtyard and toward their first class in the eerie gray light of pre-dawn. As they near the classroom, the first year girls mix with the first year boys. Iris stays, as does her male counterpart, watching over the lined up students. Their presence is a bit puzzling, surely they don't expect students of THIS age to get into much trouble in so short a span of time?

Date: 2012-05-25 12:03 pm (UTC)
infinitest: (Default)
From: [personal profile] infinitest
Better safe than sorry, and besides they have experience.

The students are all wearing their uniforms, traditional kimonos, robes, simple gi sets, carrying writing cases. The more fortunate ones show off their good looks and noble bearings, others try to hide their awkwardness and insecurities.

Both chaperons bow deeply to a new arrival: a man in blue and gold shogunate-style robes, with matching haircut and a carefully trimmed goatee. The newcomer returns the bowing to the chaperons, and watches the students with a severe gaze.

"This is the Illustrious Ledaal Caros Nesen." Says Iris. "He is your First Year teacher."

The more socially-skilled students take the cue easily and bow deep to their teacher.

Date: 2012-05-25 12:36 pm (UTC)
infinitest: (Default)
From: [personal profile] infinitest
Fajah can pick the cue fast enough...

Nesen returns the greeting with barely more than a nod, and paces down the lineup of young Exalted, all the way down and back up, before speaking.

"Many of you are right now thinking you are too good to be lined up here this early in the morning." A few students jump at the sharp tone. "Some of you are blithely wondering why I'm called Illustrious, smug in self-assurance that you are gifted and special and better than anyone." Some other students frown.

"I am Ledaal Caros Nesen. General Ledaal Caros Nesen. I am a graduate of the House of Bells, like you all aspire to be. Or at least I hope that's your aspiration and you're not here just squandering your families' jade."

"I served a hundred and twenty-five tours of duty with the Imperial Legions, and have been an instructor for the past thirty-nine years. You are my fortieth class of first-years, and I will tell you what I told every single one of my past students." He makes a pause to raise the tension.

Date: 2012-05-25 12:49 pm (UTC)
infinitest: (Default)
From: [personal profile] infinitest
"You are a waste. A waste of my time and effort, a waste of jade, books, space, food and water, a waste of effort, worry and concern." Good guess. "One in every five of you will slink out of here in failure and shame, in defeat and scorn, before the end of the year."

"Because you don't have what it takes to serve the Legions." He lets the words sink, while gazing to the sky. "It's my duty to weed out the Fifth Useless, so the instructors of the next years will not waste their time and effort on people who shame the Dragon's Blood." He looks back to the students.

Date: 2012-05-25 01:21 pm (UTC)
infinitest: (Default)
From: [personal profile] infinitest
"So, in the past few weeks and months, when you find yourselves wondering if I'm trying to make you fail, you already have your answer." Nesen runs his gaze up and down the lined students. "Better making you fail here, than letting you fail out in the field."

"You." He snaps at a random student. "Bandit camp, well-armed, 300 strong. How you assault it with a wing of troops?" The young man gapes and stammers, and the instructor waves dismissively. "Anyone?"

"Skirmisher diversion, sir." Pipes up a female voice, sounding nervous. "Light infantry stages attack to draw out the enemy, cavalry flanks, archers cut retreat covered by heavy infantry."

The instructor gives Fajah a quick nod. "It seems someone bothered reading strategy. You might even someday not die shamefully because you could not make a snap decision." Right, that is as close to praise as he's likely to get.

"Everybody inside." The instructor gestures to the classroom. "The lesson for today will be Troop Organization and The Structure of the Imperial Legions."

Date: 2012-05-27 05:22 am (UTC)
infinitest: (Default)
From: [personal profile] infinitest
After the general overview, their instructor focuses on the actual basic unit of the Legion... the Talon. Individual Fangs are simply accountable numbers send in specific assignments, Scales of troops are duty rooster rotation unities... the smallest practical garrison of forces starts at the Talon level.

"Two Scales of Light Infantry, one Scale of Heavy Infantry, one Scale of Archers, one Scale of Cavalry, plus around fifty Auxiliaries. By the end of the year you will know how to use such troops to the best results."

"Or rather, four of each five of you will."

Date: 2012-05-29 12:09 pm (UTC)
infinitest: (Default)
From: [personal profile] infinitest
Who will make it and who will fail, remains to be seen.

But a lot of determination helps.

The class runs all the way to mid-day time, when they are dismissed for lunch; students file out orderly out of the classroom, and Fajah hangs back waiting for her... friend?

Date: 2012-05-29 12:24 pm (UTC)
infinitest: (Default)
From: [personal profile] infinitest
The girl shakes head. "I was lucky... skirmishes and ambushes is how most war is done in the South. I'm sure I'll look really stupid when we start learning about whole armies."

It's a nice warm day, with little wind. Outside the chaperons are waiting to guide the students to the Meal Room.

Date: 2012-05-29 02:32 pm (UTC)
infinitest: (Default)
From: [personal profile] infinitest
Fajah will give the eggs a wide berth... and after some pondering decide for the carp.

At least she has good table manners and can use the chopsticks correctly. "I..." She lowers her tone, so nobody but Alia will hear. "...people didn't realize this is a school of war? Half those people seem to think they would learn to parade in a shiny uniform and nothing else."

Date: 2012-05-30 08:16 am (UTC)
infinitest: (Default)
From: [personal profile] infinitest
Fajah opens her mouth to mention she did see such a thing happening, but closes it again: no sense starting an argument with her roommate, right?

She eats, quietly, while other students complain about... everything.

Date: 2012-06-05 11:52 am (UTC)
infinitest: (Default)
From: [personal profile] infinitest
"I saw it happen." She says quietly. "Dragon-blooded sitting back and writing orders, while mortals get things done."

"People who reap the rewards without having done any work."

Date: 2012-06-05 12:02 pm (UTC)
infinitest: (Default)
From: [personal profile] infinitest
Fajah nods, and will finish her meal in silence.

She does show great appreciation for the spicy tea and cookies served among other types of dessert.

Date: 2012-06-12 02:29 pm (UTC)
infinitest: (Default)
From: [personal profile] infinitest
"Not mine either. I'm good with spear and shield." Fajah is not really eager for the trouncing she's likely to receive later on.

At least they can help care for each other's bruises, right?

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