Vladamir Gaidin, Captain of Fal Sion and Warder of the White Tower
Suravye Ninto Manshima Taishite
Vladamir is the second son of the Lord of Fal Sion, a Fortress Keep along Shienar’s border with the Blight.
They held off many raids throughout their history. When he was 16 years old, the niece and nephew of the King arrived. In company was their daughter, Lady Graciela Togita, aged 14, who was there to meet the two sons of the Lord of the Keep. Whichever of the brothers she was deemed to be most compatible with would become her betrothed. It was an immense honor for Fal Sion, let alone for the Armendariz Household, and they were welcomed with open arms. Xavier, aged 18, was the oldest of the two. He was cool-headed, respectful and honorable, but it was Vladamir whose studious nature she was most comfortable with, and it was him that she chose though he never would know it. The announcement was to be shared at a ceremonial dinner, but a raid befell the Keep. Alarms sounded and all rushed away in defense.
A Sister of the Green Ajah had accompanied the royal family. Her efforts saved the Keep, and she was honored the following day. When the young lord Vladamir presented himself, she stiffened alarmingly. The Aes Sedai had only ever bestowed one other Foretelling in her life, and what she declared would become her second. The young man that stood before her was destined to save the life of an Aes Sedai whose fate it was to save thousands. The prophecy was impossible to interpret except that he felt compelled to become a warder. It was his decision, but the guilt of many lives was on his conscious if he did not walk the road south.
Vladamir was not even 17 when he was taken in by the trainers at the White Tower. His shame was kept quiet. He felt as if he abandoned his life, brother and family at the border, but neither could he live with the guilt of not living up to the foretelling. He didn’t even know if he was suppose to be a warder for an Aes Sedai, but he knew that if he did not try, he would never be able to live with the shame. He severed all ties to Shienar as a trainee in Tar Valon. He shaved the long hair that identified his culture and dropped any claim to nobility. Only his formality remained evidence of his upbringing. He wrote no letters home.
Lady Graciela wed his older brother after she came of age. They went on to have two children, Misaki, a girl, whose name means Blossom in the Old Tongue, and then Kenta, a boy, whose name means Strong in the Old Tongue.
He was eventually bonded to a fierce and formal wolf-sister of the Green Ajah, Caia’li Sedai. Their relationship was one of close friendship but always remained professional and formal. They met in the world of dreams. The wolf-sister Green found a floundering dreamer who knew not how to navigate tel’aran’rhiod. It was her that taught him some of its ways, but she was strict, and she made him swear to never enter the dreamworld until he could control the impulses there. Many years passed before he felt his promise was upheld.
He was honored beyond belief to be considered worthy of serving a Green sister. Pride held his head high at her side, and he felt the hand of destiny when they journeyed to the borderlands. However, his service was relatively short lived as she was soon appointed a Sitter of the Ajah. Vladamir found himself anchored to Tar Valon with his Aes Sedai, far from the cry of battle that his pride said he should defend. Resentment in himself grew, but he suppressed the growing doubt as long possible. He never shared these feelings with another soul.
As Vladamir grew restless in the White Tower, he began to wander the world of dreams more and more. He’d become a staple of the training grounds, mentored many and was a familiar face in the library, where reading poetry and philosophy gave him something to do. But it was a man named Edwin Natin that really began to open his eyes, figuratively speaking. They met in the Dreamworld.
He has yet to discover that Edwin was the dreadlord Arikan in disguise, manipulating and subtly compelling Vladamir into doing his bidding in the waking world. The restlessness in the warder came to a sharper edge, and his behavior was oddly stiff, even for his reputation.
It was when Caia’li finally sensed the growing difference in her warder that she had his mind delved for contamination. Asha’man Kentrillo, whose skill with healing was widely known, performed the deed. Vladamir heeled himself to the probe, but it was not without extreme caution. Arikan’s influence dug deep.
“This man. Did you recognize him? Could you describe him?” Kent knew of a few frequenters of the Dream, but more importantly knew several faces of Asha’man and Dreadlords capable of Compulsion. Yet, if this was Compulsion, Vladamir would not likely know of his own manipulation. Unless the attacker was interrupted, or unskilled. Perhaps his Aes Sedai had felt the effects through the bond. “What makes you think he used saidin on him?” he asked Caia’li, all but ignoring the man less than an arm’s length in front of him.
Whether or not Kent meant for him to answer, Vladamir interrupted the conversation taking place without him. He did not wait for the Sitter’s permission. “I did not recognize him.”
Caia’li stepped forward and laid her hand upon Kentrillo’s upper arm, close enough that her dexterity with the Power could not hope to defend herself should the man turn on her with weapon, body or saidin. She kept her gaze on her Warder, as open for him to read as the bond made her. ”Please, Vladamir.” Her hand fell from the other man, but she remained defenceless in his reach. Every action the injured man took reinforced her suspicions and raised her demand that he be released immediately, but she did not wish to restrain him against his will.
“He is not himself,” Kent spoke quietly into the Sitter’s ear beside him, as if in agreement to her earlier claims. “I may be forced to disarm him.”
Eyes hardening with the imagination of conspiracy, he flicked between their faces, undifferentiating their whispers even at this distance. “I am right here!”from Business with Lianora
Vladamir is distinctly Shienaran, both in appearance and in weapons. He carries one sword crossed on his back, hilt appearing over one shoulder. On the rare occasion as Caia’li leaves the shining walls, he carries a short sword and dagger at the waist. Armor is primarily leather and mail, although there is rarely need for it these days. His scalp is shaved over the ears, and a long top knot hangs from above. Vladamir’s honor is renown around the training yards, and he has a penchant for standing up for any woman of the Tower no matter who they are.
Vladamir’s tension was palpable. He was always on edge, but Lythia was so accustomed to his behavior, she hadn’t really noticed it until the gleeman’s taunts. She didn’t think he laughed a day in his life, or if he did, it wasn’t in her company. Nor did she think he shared the company of anyone besides his chaste bondmate. He kept quarters in the warder’s wings. Everyone knew where to find Vladamir when he was needed. If he wasn’t in Caia’li’s shadow, then he was training. Always training, though for what Lythia couldn’t fathom. Sharing even more intimate company was absolutely never a consideration for the Shienaran. He’d come to the Tower the same year Lythia became a novice, and they were practically the same age, or so she guessed. He’d been a breath past puberty and facial hair and muscle came later. He was a boy when he arrived and never again left. The warder was probably still a virgin. Light, let Caia’li take some pity on the poor man.
Which was likely to explain the stone-cold tension locking his jaw for Zahir’s innuendo.Lythia Sedai, The Gilded Gleeman
“You were punched in the face and tripped over your own feet, gleeman. You’re lucky to be alive. That’s hardly impressive,” Vladamir said, tone flat, arms crossed.