Eye Color: Grey
Hair Color: Black
Place of Origin: Shienar
A young man of slightly taller than average height and atheletic build. Well toned shoulders top a lithe frame, while not heavily muscled his body has been well honed by the trials in his life thusfar. His skin is tanned, a deeper hue usually seen by farmers and those who spend the entirety of their day working outdoors. His hands show a history that matches his skintone; rough, calloused and marked with scars from years of work in the fields and more from the sword and dagger that hang on his belt. Two tendrils of his long, raven black hair hang straight; from the sides of his face, framing the soft features of a simple man while the rest is held back with a small length of braided leather to fall down to nearly his lower back. From between the trailing remnants of hair beside his face a pair of steel grey eyes, the color of a winters storm building on the horizon, peer out at the world. His stride is sure, but not the arrogant swagger of nobility as he passes by, his soft and quiet footfalls carrying him along with the ease of a wolf searching its range for food.
Torean was born in a small village that no one bothered giving a name to on the western plains of Shienar just on the foot of the Niamh passes, to a very loving mother, Kyrie and a hard working father, Draen. The first few years of his life passed as do all, learning to crawl, and to walk, then to speak, and being impressed upon by the care given to him by his parents. Around his fifth nameday, Torean's father was the victim of an accident in the fields near their home that left him crippled from a tree that was felled wrong. That one incident may have been the point where everything went wrong, or right for the small boy. His father became depressed, and despite his mother's most reassuring and supportive nurturing, crawled into a jug of brandy and never came out. The loving man that was before grew more and more callous and short tempered, and by the time Torean had seen seven winters, both he and his mother lived in fear of the man. In the mornings, his mother would take Torean out into the fields with her, trying to impress upon the small child the worth of a day's work and the pride of accomplishment, two things that became deeply ingrained in him. He would spend his time not in the fields playing with the other children who lived nearby, making believe that they were holding off a trolloc raid with stick-swords and their slings. He would frequently follow the others to their homes, and regret the affection their fathers gave them, though he enjoyed the things the men taught them. Then, as night came, he would make a slow and painful journey home to face what was wating for him there. Some nights being better than others, and on the good ones he would be lucky to end up sleeping off the tears of pain that he eventually made himself swear to never let show again.
Bel Tine, the year of his tenth name day was another of those pivotal moments in his life. Coming home after spending the day with his friends competing in the contests with sling and bow in the village he was greeted with his mother's sobs of sorrow and fear as his father raged about the house, throwing anything he could get his hands on toward the cowering woman. Torean tried to be brave, and save the woman who'd loved him since before he came into the Pattern again, and stepped in front of her to tell his father to stop hurting her, just in time to catch a hurled clay mug square in the forehead.. He awoke later, clutched tight in her arms. Her nose was bloodied and broken, and more blood flowed from a cut above her swollen eye nearly as freely as the tears that she could no longer hold back. Torean reached for her hand, seeking more comfort, and trying in the way of all small children to get their mother to stop crying, and found her hand still clutching the large kitchen knife with the grip of Death's hand and still sticky with the blood that covered the blade and her hand. Confused, and shocked, Torean turned to see the body of his father, arms clutched beneath him trying in death to stem the flow of lifeblood that had already poured from him.
In the days after their neighbors came forward, some with contempt, others with silent approval of the woman's actions in defense of herself and her Torean, but all with a quiet sense of pity for the years that had passed before. The following months flowed by and saw those same neighbors helping his mother set affairs right and provide for herself better than Torean could remember. It was then that Torean met a man he'd never known lived nearby. An old man who introduced himself as Calrea that caught Torean sneaking around the forest behind the old man's house, looking for quiet as he'd grown somewhat withdrawn following Bel Tine. Torean expected to be punished on the spot when Calrea happened upon him, and started to flee, only to be stopped by the touch of steel across his throat as the old man inquired as to what Torean was doing on his land. Even though frightened, Torean was impressed with the speed and grace the man had drawn the sword and laid it across his neck with, and answered his questions honestly, deciding to prove his friends teasing wrong and keep his head firmly where the Creator had seen fit to place it.
Calrea listened then nodded slowly and sheathed the blade, just as gracefully and smoothly as it had been drawn and Torean found himself wondering where the man had learned to handle it so, and did ask when his thoughts were interrupted by Calrea asking him what he was gawking at. Whether it was the fact that Torean no longer had a father or the boredom of an old man, Calrea told the tale of his days in the Borderguard and his forceable retirement after being lamed up by a trolloc's spear, then asked in a gruff tone if Torean knew anything about steel and woodland lore. Shaking his head, Torean said he had never been taught more than how to use a knife to skin and butcher, and knew little more of the forests than the plants that were good to eat. That night found Torean walking home with company, and he saw his mother smile for the first time in a long while as Calrea came through the door after him. After a long discussion between the two adults, Kyrie gave her consent to the offer made. Calrea would take on the duties of teaching Torean what he knew of the blade, and of hunting and woodland lore. After which, she gave him stern but loving instruction to pay attention and not waste the elder's time, then smacked him across the back of the head for sneaking about where he should not have been. A little ashamed, but happier still, Torean thanked the old man and asked when he could begin. Calrea, with the grin still on his face at the smack simply said that he would come for Torean when he was ready and left with a small smile to his mother that to this day still confuses Torean if brought up. (He did not, and still does not know that Calrea is his grandsire, Kyrie's father).
Months came, and moths went. Time passes as it will, and Torean's eleventh nameday came. He'd never expected any gifts on that day, for so long accepting just waking up as enough of a gift in a world that had just a bit less fear in it, but he did receive one. Calrea showed up and told both Torean and Kyrie that he was ready to begin teaching the boy. With a quiet and solemn air, he handed Torean a rough wool blanket that had been wrapped around something and tied. Somehow his voice lowered, and the words he spoke burned into Torean's memory for all time, "I give this to you on the day of your birth into a new world, to learn and to do. Today, look upon the world anew and know that it will never be the same as you are newborn to steel." Unwrapping the blanket, Torean had to choke back a shocked gasp as he for the first time held the gently curving scabbard, his eyes widened at the sight of the short steel quillons that his mother later joked fit his eyes too well, and he marveled at the simple beauty of the grip, wrapped in woven black leather, a pair of twisted steel wires wrapped about it for grip, and the plain pommel. When he finished gawking, Calrea handed him the belt, baldric and hanger, all a tooled black leather with steel rings that matched the scabbard, and told him that the next day, his instruction would begin.
In the following year, Torean showed himself to be an apt pupil, pushing himself to correct fault where he found it or it was pointed out. Perhaps it was his need for approval and attention from a father figure, or the work ethic that his mother had worked to impress upon him, but Torean pushed himself and worked and trained under Calrea's watchful eye, and he learned his lessons well. The most important of thse Torean felt, and still feels, is that while the sword is there, it should not be your first path, it should never be drawn unless necessary, and once drawn not replaced until all need of it has vanished. As important as what he began to learn with steel, were the lessons in woodland lore and hunting. Torean showed himself to be fairly good at these from the beginning, in part due to his practice and playing with the other children in the village, and because of his size. Not overly large, and unburdened with heavy muscle, Torean had little difficulty slipping through the trees quietly and swiftly as he followed Calrea on their lessons. As time went on, so did his instruction, and as he grew, they became more involved. Around his fourth year, Calrea handed Torean a long dagger and began teaching how to use it as well, both alone and in his other hand with the sword. At first, Torean struggled a little and lost some blood for his efforts, but eventually he grew more confident and focused on his lessons more and more until he became competent with both.
The year of Torean's sixteenth nameday came, and his Calrea's lessons came to an end. Torean did not think he'd learned all that the old man had to teach, and indeed had not, but how he wished that the Mother's embrace had not found the man. He had to admit that he was fond of him, and will miss his lessons for more than the instruction. With his teacher gone, Torean resolved that he would finish what he had begun, and continued practicing what he'd been taught every day for the last five years. Somehow finding comfort and peace when he wrapped wrapped his hands around the sword, and practiced the motions and skills that Calrea had showed him, and imagining he could hear the old man's grumbling on the wind when he would go hunting in the forests. Later that year, strangers arrived in the village. A small wagon train came through from Fal Moran carrying a few women so regal and resplendant in their finery that Torean couldn't help stare when they rode through the market. When he managed to take his eyes off of the wagons, he noticed one of the men walking beside it and knew who, rather what, they were. The Warder walked through the open path as if he were hunting, his stride swift and near silent and the bow, two swords and dagger he wore all seemed to Torean as if they were more than weapons. Somehow, the way the man wore them made them belong, as if they were not steel and wood, but flesh that would be a part of him as soon as they were needed. And Torean thought the man could discourage need of them easily, after he got a look at his face, the eyes hard and searching intently for the barest hint of a threat. That night, as he worked his body through his routines, a thought kept nibbling at the edge of his thoughts. It pestered at him, and when he'd finished, he gave it voice and asked his mother what she would think of his continuing his instruction at the White Tower, with any luck to eventually become a Warder. As her eyes swelled with pride, Kyria put on her sternest mother's face and began to explain to him that he was all she had left in the world, and that Tar Valon was so far away, and large to boot, knowing full well that her son had been withdrawn and private after what she was forced to do. The discussion began then, and Torean won her approval when he said, "I have begun something Mother, and it is unfinished. There, I would be able to. If I don't, then I've learned nothing from you, or Calrea... have I?"
Later that year, as the wagons were preparing to leave the village, Kyria stood at the side of one, looking up at her son with tear rimmed eyes, pride and sorrow fighting within her heart for her son and herself. She handed him a small basket, and fretted over him as any mother would, telling him that it was food for on the journey. Torean accepted it, and then bent down to give his mother one last hug, but was instead met with another bundle wrapped in a blanket, "When you arrive," she told him, "Find somewhere safe for this. I don't expect you to understand now, but you'll know when to open it." then gave her son one last look before turning and walking back home, not wanting to see her son leave.
Torean smiled softly as his mother walked away, understanding but wishing he could have lived with himself on another course, but ultimately trusting in the path he'd chosen. One last look at the woman who'd saved and shaped his life, then he wiped the tear that he swore he'd never shed again from his cheek as the wagonmaster urged the horses into motion and his life turned to follow a new path on the journey he'd chosen.