Warders

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General Overview

Warders are more formally known as Gaidin, which means "Brother to Battles" in the Old Tongue. Trained Warders may be in general service to the White Tower, or bonded to a particular Aes Sedai. The bonding is a ritual of the One Power, and confers certain benefits on both Warder and Aes Sedai. Most of the Ajahs allow their members to bond one Warder at a time. Members of the Green can bond to multiple Warders, and the Reds refuse to bond any Warders at all. The custom is that the Warder must agree to the bonding, but technically it's possible to bond someone involuntarily.

Obtaining the Cloak

Before a young man obtains the right to wear the color shifting cloak of a warder, he must undergo a series of trials to test his ability to concentrate and his weapons prowess. Unlike the test to become a Sworn, the Warder test is a bit more involved and detailed, requiring strength, stamina and quick last minute judgement decisions. Those that pass the test raise to the ranks of Warderhood.

In this test, the Sworn is not given the option to refuse. He is judged by a group of peers before he is able to undertake his ordeal. Should they agree that he is ready he will be allowed to go through the ordeal. If not, he will be sent back to the Sworn ranks for more training and disciplining. To be deemed worthy of the test, the student must demonstrate keen leadership skills, an understanding of giving and taking orders, and an ability to follow rules.

The Sworn is taken to a private location out in the woods, and then run through a gauntlet. Anything can happen during the course of the ordeal, allowing the Gaidin a chance to test the young man's ability to think quickly, make life saving decisions, and to keep his own skin from being skewered. If at any time he refuses to do a task, no matter how difficult, no matter how trivial or dangerous, he fails the test. There are no second chances.

When a student fails, they are given enough silver to last a year if spent frugally and any personal affects they brought with them or obtained during the course of their training. Students who fail must return any weapons, uniforms, or armor that they were given by the White Tower.

If the Sworn follows all instructions and completes all the assigned tasks of the test, the Warders are then asked if they consider him worthy enough to join the brotherhood of the Tower. If all are in agreement, the student gains the right to wear the color shifting cloak and bear the title of Gaidin. If not, he may be called to task again to prove his worthiness and asked to perform other feats. This may be done three times. If upon the final time all Warders are not satisfied, the student is put out of the Tower as though he failed the test.

Taking the Oaths

There are two sets of oaths that a Gaidin may take within the course of his tenure at the White Tower. The first set of oaths is of his loyalty to the Tower. Every Gaidin, once he completes his training, must pledge his life and service to the Tower. The Tower does not train Gaidin for the mere sake of doing so. The second set of oaths is to his Aes Sedai when he bonds. The oaths to his Aes Sedai supercede those made to the Tower; however a Gaidin is expected to remain true and loyal to the organization that trained him.

The First Set of Oaths Are (to the Tower)

Once a Sworn is accepted into the brotherhood, he is expected to oath his loyalty to the White Tower. This is done in a short ceremony hosted by the Amyrlin Seat. What follows is the Oaths that Gaidin must speak:

By the Light and my hope and salvation of rebirth, I swear to serve the White  
Tower loyally, upholding its laws and traditions. I swear to loyally follow the 
Amyrlin Seat, as rightful ruler of the White Tower, and the Hall of Servants, 
or her designates, to uphold justice and to fight the Shadow, or may the 
Creator's face turn from me forever and darkness consume my soul.

There is usually a small ceremony after the testing where the Gaidin can swear his new oaths of allegiance to the Amyrlin Seat and the White Tower. The ceremony is held publicly, allowing all members of the Tower to congratulate the new Gaidin on their recent accomplishments. This is also where they receive their color shifting cloak as a sign of their hard work and acceptance. A party is then held in honor of those who've achieved this new rank, where friends, family, and other members of Tower society may attend.

The Second Set of Oaths Are (before Bonding)

If a warder accepts a request to be bonded, he typically draws his sword and kneels before the Aes Sedai, resting the sword in his hands, bare against his knees, stating the following:

By my mother's name, I will draw as you say 'draw' and sheathe as you say  
'sheathe'. By my mother's name, I will come as you say 'come' and go as you say 
'go'.

Once the oath is stated, the warder kisses his sword and then the Aes Sedai typically bonds the man using weaves of spirit. This is done in private, away from the prying eyes of other channeling students. Novices and Accepted may not bond before they've achieved the shawl.

Choosing an Aes Sedai

Choosing an Aes Sedai to bond to is one of the most important things in a Warder's life, assuming that he wishes to be bonded. It is not a decision that is made lightly. Just like an Aes Sedai, a warder must determine what goals and causes that he wishes to serve, in hopes of better serving the woman who he will be sharing most of his time and life with.

The best way to see if an Aes Sedai suits him, he should spend some time with her, getting to know her. He should ask questions, determine her goals, and the things she wishes to accomplish. If he finds that they share the same interests, then the Aes Sedai might be potentially someone he wishes to bond to.

The Warder never asks the Aes Sedai for a bond. It is always the other way around. So, its in his best interests to be seen and heard by the particular person he wishes to serve. In all cases, except for the Green, an Aes Sedai may only bond to a single person, unless she releases the bond or he is somehow killed. This is as much an important decision for the Gaidin as it is for the Aes Sedai. She will be looking at the many different traits a person possesses.

The White Tower gives preferences of bonding to Aes Sedai and Gaidin, however Aes Sedai may bond outside of the Tower, depending on the circumstances and who they wish to bond.

Just as the decision is important ICly, it is also important OOCly. You want to make sure that your online times match that of your IC partner's and that you both are compatible within RP. If times don't match or you find that you don't like each other's RP styles after a few scenes, it only serves to frustrate you or the person you're trying to RP with.

The recommendation in attempting to find a bond is to wait things out a few weeks, get to know the potential character and player through several RP'd scenes, create scenarios which put the two characters together to see their reactions, and then based on that information decide whether or not the two would work well together. If everything works out, then feel free to run the @bond code, and seal the deal.

Heirarchy

Just like with Aes Sedai, Warders have their own sort of heirarchy to define the pecking order between themselves. There are few positions that Warders can seek for themselves, though those that are available are quite often well sought after.

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