Session August 7th, 2012 Chat Log
After the excitement over the letter ends, Nevren finally returns to her compatriots.
“Well,” Amarla says, “now you know what’s happened in Tar Valon. What about you? What news do you bring, sister?”
Nevren shakes her head. “None of it good. Al’Cair’Rahienallen has fallen to the Shadow. I witnessed the destruction myself.”
The Aes Sedai surrounding Nevren nod solemnly at that, but Nevren continues as if she didn’t notice. “And we witnessed activity on the Erinin as we traveled near Coremanda, on both sides of the river. Josine Feldramon led the attack in Almoren, though I don’t know who is attacking Coremanda. It appears both armies are heading south. Jennshain may be the next to fall, and perhaps cities in Eharon and Essenia after that.”
The Aes Sedai say nothing in response, though you can almost hear them thinking. The Blue sister speaks after a few seconds. “The Amyrlin Seat will want an account of your experiences, Nevren. We’ve heard rumors and a few ships have arrived confirming what you’ve seen, but we’ve had no Aes Sedai eyewitnesses so far. I must ask…what of the sisters helping defend Almoren’s borders on the Betharn Line? Do you know if any escaped the destruction there?”
Nevren shakes her head. “I don’t know, Jisain. If any survived, it may take time for them to find their way out of the tangled mess in Almoren. I hope so. I really do.”
Jisain nods her head again. “Well, as I said, you should head to the Tower. I’m sure the Amyrlin will want to know what you’ve seen.”
Nevren nods her head. “I intend to report to her this very hour. If you’ll excuse me and my friends, we’ll be heading that way now.”
The Aes Sedai all nod ascent and allow all of you to enter the carriages for the ride to the White Tower. They quickly head back to the docks to keep an eye on things there.
You load up in the carriages, save for Terith and Kael, who run behind the carriages as they make their way down the long road to the White Tower. Nevren shares a carriage with Telandria, Sochaia, and Tasalaya, with two of you sitting to a side. Ni’tareus, Alreghar, Christoff, and Sandulf share the other carriage.
Tar Valon is absolutely breathtaking. Like Al’Cair’Rahienallen, this is an Ogier built city. The buildings of the city look as if they were grown out of the earth. Each building is an individual work of art all its own, formed of white stone to match the large white spire that stands in the heart of the city, casting its shadow over a good portion of Tar Valon, dominating the view. This city seems to be made up of many towers, all of them lesser in size than the White Tower itself, but still very large themselves. Stone bridges extend from various places on these smaller towers, connecting each one in a web that spans across the entire city. Tar Valon is a marvelous city. You can only hope the Shadow doesn’t find some way to destroy the beauty here as they did in Al’Cair’Rahienallen.
Kael admires the Ogier stonework as he runs.
Nevren stares out the window on her side, observing the city as you travel. You can see The Shadow giving a half hearted attempt at an attack, sending balls of fire into the sky sporadically, but each one is countered with a weave of Saidar, causing the ball to prematurely explode long before it ever reaches the walls of the city. Somewhere out there, you have a feeling the Shadow is gnashing its teeth to get inside the walls, but Tar Valon is about as secure as any city in the world can be right now. It is surrounded by tall, shining walls made of white marble, and Aes Sedai, linked to novices and accepted, patrol the walls, along with warders and soldiers of Tar Valon’s Tower Guard, ensuring that even if the dreadlord launches an assault down one of the six bridges that span the Erinin on either side, they won’t make it far. Nevren, still staring out the window, speaks after a few minutes of silence while your carriages trundle forward.
Telandria Aisalyn: It seems so long ago since I’ve felt at home and safe in an odd way with all that has been happening around us
Tasalaya Rosalynn: it does feel nice to finally be back home
Nevren Quista Sedai: Yes, it does.
Nevren Quista Sedai says this without turning away from her window.
Nevren Quista Sedai: We’ll be meeting with the Amyrlin Seat right off. She will want to know all that we’ve seen and experienced, and they particularly need to know about that seal you carry, Telandria. Afterwards…
Nevren Quista Sedai turns her head to look at Sochaia, then Telandria.
Telandria Aisalyn: Of course..
Sochaia Doisech nods
Telandria Aisalyn: But I feel the worse has yet to be seen sighs
Nevren Quista Sedai: Afterwards…be prepared to be raised. I doubt the Amyrlin will wait long, if she acts on my recommendations. Telandria has already proven herself Aes Sedai, and she’ll be raised immediately I suspect. But Sochaia…we have hurdles to leap with you. You’ve proven yourself capable as well, but the fact is you weren’t trained here, and there are women in the Tower that resent…wilders. In addition, it will be highly unorthodox what I will be proposing to Rashima. I think she will agree. The woman has a good head on her shoulders. In all of the years since the founding of the White Tower, she’s been one of the finest ever to wear the stole, and good thing too. We need a woman like her leading the Tower now more than ever.
Tasalaya Rosalynn: yes, but here we will have the resourses we need
Nevren Quista Sedai raises her finger to make this next point
Nevren Quista Sedai: That doesn’t mean she won’t shoot my proposal down out of sheer impropriety though. In the next few days you will either wear the shawl of an Aes Sedai, or you will wear novice white. Be prepared to accept whichever comes and accept it with grace and humility, no matter what the Amyrlin’s decision is. Agreed?
Sochaia Doisech looks at Nevren.
Sochaia Doisech: Yes, Nevren Sedai.
Nevren Quista Sedai nods
Telandria Aisalyn: And above all do not let them see what you feel. To be Aes Sedai is to represent the tower and not our girlish emotions.
The carriages trundle down the main street of Tar Valon, growing closer by the minute to the imposing figure that is the White Tower.
Telandria Aisalyn: If you do this I think you will do well here Sochaia
Tasalaya Rosalynn: there it is
Nevren Quista Sedai: True enough. But we’ve spoken of Aes Sedai serenity and what it means to display calm at all times. I’m sure Sochaia will conduct herself accordingly.
Sochaia Doisech nods.
Tasalaya Rosalynn points
Nevren Quista Sedai: Yes, home. It really is good to be back.
Telandria Aisalyn: Yes.. home
Nevren Quista Sedai: We need to think of where to house everyone. Kael and Terith will be welcomed at the Ogier House. The warders and warder trainees will be welcome in the warder barracks. But Sandulf…what do we do with him?
Sochaia Doisech: Would he be permitted amongst the warders?
Nevren Quista Sedai: He is neither Ogier, nor warder, and he isn’t Tower Guard. Ordinary men aren’t allowed in the White Tower.
DragonSypher (Kael): toss him in with the wolves. lol
Sochaia Doisech: He is no ordinary man.
Telandria Aisalyn: I’m sure one of his talents may prefer to stay at one of the inns close to the tower on our recomendation. We can send a representative with him to make sure he is settled in comfortably for now until we can speak with the Amyrlin
Tasalaya Rosalynn: I vote he stays outside… I don’t trust him anyway. Just something about him bothers me, and its more than the fact hes a man.
Nevren Quista Sedai: No, he wouldn’t. There are women in the Tower that believe…rightfully so, in some cases…that no man is safe unless he is bonded. They would revolt if they learned an unbonded man, or one who hasn’t sworn an oath to protect our fair city were allowed to walk freely.
Nevren Quista Sedai nods at Telandria
Nevren Quista Sedai: I was thinking that exact same thing. The Ivory Guardian is a fine inn. Expensive, but he won’t mind so long as the Tower is paying for it. I’ll send him there.
Telandria Aisalyn: Tasalaya what man do you trust smirks as she gets out of the carriage
Tasalaya Rosalynn: That is very true…
Nevren Quista Sedai: As for you, Tasalaya, he isn’t a male channeler, if that’s what you’re implying. His yellow eyes are odd, true, but that doesn’t make him a channeler. And Tasalaya’s attitude is just what I was referring too. There are other women that might feel the same way.
The carriages circle around the large walls that separate the White Tower grounds from the rest of the city. Wrought iron gates grant passage, after the carriages are checked by the Tower Guard. The soldiers there wear the tabards of Tar Valon, white flames emblazoned on yellow tunics. They carry swords, crossbows, or pikes. One of the men, obviously an officer of some sort given the blue coat and knots of rank hanging from underarm to neckline, bows formally when the carriage carrying the Aes Sedai enters.
The White Tower grounds are beautiful. Even more beautiful than the city outside. Lush gardens grow all about the grounds, and carefully manicured grass covers everything else. Marble statues rise up above the flora and fauna in the gardens, memorials built to recognize the achievements of some of the more famous women to come from the White Tower. Elaborate stone worked fountains spray water from marble sculptures of spitting fish, or behind sculptures of playing children. Trees grow everywhere in orderly rows. And Aes Sedai walk the grounds in pairs, sometimes with a warder or two in tow. Here and there Accepted wander the grounds as well, wearing white dresses with seven stripes of color at the hems of their dress representing the seven Ajahs within the tower. And more often than the others, novices scurry about performing chores right next to White Tower servants wearing the Flame of Tar Valon on their livery.
Your carriages pull up to the massive spire known as the White Tower. The base of it is a long rectangle, carved and decorated in elaborate detail by the Ogier stonemasons that built it nearly a thousand years ago. A collonaded roof covered in red shingles extends from the front of the base of the Tower. Rows of tiered, marble stairs lead up to the entrance, which are two huge, white painted doors bearing the white flame of Tar Valon emblazoned on them. Above you, extending from the second floor of the white tower base is a balcony that wraps around the base from one side to the other. Balustrades carved in elaborate Ogier designs span the entirety of the balcony. Flags bearing the sigil of Tar Valon…a white flame set against a backdrop of a multitude of swirling colors once again representing the Ajahs….flap lazily in the wind atop the roof.
The White Tower itself is so tall…It must be fifty stories high if it’s one. The large rent on the side of it where one of the dreadlord’s balls of fire struck the tower several weeks ago is even larger than you imagined, this close up. Scorch marks mar the outer side of it, though most of those have been scrubbed clean by now. Standing atop tall scaffolding that spans from the ground levels up to the twenty second floor, you can see men at work repairing the damage caused by the blast. You see no Ogier working up there, though you do see several of them gathered around tables placed in the gardens where they can plan and give direction to their human laborers. A mass of large, white stone blocks is collected in neat stacks spread out about the work area. Most of the laborers are working hard right now, though it must be close to quitting time. It is late afternoon by this point.
In one section of the manicured lawn, you see a multitude of tents set up near where the Ogier are working. It looks like this is where the workers are staying while they repair the White Tower. Further back, on the northern side of the tower grounds, you can see a multitude of white Ogier constructed buildings. That is where the tower guard and the servants that work in the White Tower stay, when they aren’t on duty. There are stables spread out across the tower grounds, and on the west side of the White Tower, several more large Ogier constructed buildings stand. This is where the men training to become warders, along with the warders themselves stay. At least if the warder isn’t staying with his Aes Sedai in her rooms, that is. In between two of these buildings there is a large circular patch of dirt where the warders and warder trainees spar and train. It appears there is a class going on right now. Several Accepted and full Aes Sedai stand around in small groups watching the men train.
The carriages stop and you get out at the steps to the White Tower. Nevren gathers everyone in, then speaks once you’re all there.
Telandria Aisalyn: glances toward the training warders
Nevren Quista Sedai: Telandria, SOchaia, Tasalaya, and myself will be meeting with the Amyrlin Seat as soon as it can be arranged. I doubt we will have need for the rest of you, but if we do…it’s important we know where to find you.
Nevren Quista Sedai: Master Machera…I think it might be best if you stay at an inn outside the tower grounds. Do you see those two towers extending just outside the tower grounds?
Nevren points to the west, and you see two large towers extending far above the rest of the buildings outside the Tower grounds. These towers look like they may reach as high as the twentieth floor or so on the White Tower. They are still very tall, but not nearly as tall as the White Tower itself. Stone bridges extend from both towers, connecting them to yet other towers further away, and about every fourth floor you see an island of sorts, wider than the bridges, spanning both bridges.
sochaia (Sochaia Doisech): yes! Alex is watching Beastmaster!
Lanndon: Bah, “spanning both bridges” should read “spanning both towers”. Messed up.
Sandulf Machera looks in the direction pointed
Nevren Quista Sedai: That is the Ivory Guardian. It’s an inn, just down the street outside of the grounds. It is expensive, but the White Tower will pay. I’ll have the driver here check you inn and set everything up.
Sandulf Machera with a neutral look nods
Nevren Quista Sedai: I hope you don’t take offense, but you aren’t a warder, or a guardsman. And the fact is, your eyes make some people uneasy. For ordinary folk this means they’ll leave the room when you enter. For Aes Sedai, it is an opportunity for study….or gentling. Do you understand?
Nevren Quista Sedai looks at Sandulf with a very slight pleading look, hoping he does understand.
Sandulf Machera smiles his usual smile, which to those who know him is nice, but to Tasalaya Rosalynn probably looks like he is bearing his teeth
Sandulf Machera reaches back and swiftly takes of the cloak and folds it
Sandulf Machera: you probably want this back also.
Nevren Quista Sedai: Oh Light…yes, we’ll need that back. Thank you.
All about you, the White Tower bustles with activity. No one seems to be paying any of you any mind though.
Nevren Quista Sedai: Thank you Sandulf. I’ll have the driver return to me with your room number so that we may reach you if we need you.
Telandria Aisalyn: Please make yourself at home, your stay at the Inn will be provided by the Tower of course for all you have done.
Nevren Quista Sedai: Indeed.
Nevren Quista Sedai nods at Telandria’s words.
sochaia (Sochaia Doisech): crap! i forgot there were naked boobies in Beastmaster. horrible mom!
Sandulf Machera thinks to himself that he would rather have the cloak
Nevren Quista Sedai: Master Terith….Master Kael…as you probably know, your people are always welcome in the White Tower. We even have quarters sized for Ogier near the warder barracks. Make yourself at home there. Someone there will check you in and assign you a room, free of charge, of course.
Terith nods to Nevren
Kael nods. “Thank you Aes Sedai.”
Nevren Quista Sedai: Thank you, Kael. Go rest.
Sandulf Machera: thank you Nevren Sedai, ladies have a good day.
Nevren Quista Sedai: As for the warders, Christoff, you are free to report back to Master Jafar. Ni’tareus…you should stay at the warder barracks as well until Sochaia is properly raised. When…and if…she’s raised, she can choose whether to make room for you in her personal quarters or leave you in the warder barracks.
Sandulf Machera nods to them as he gets back in the carriage to leave
Sochaia Doisech: We’ll see you soon, I’m sure.
Nevren Quista Sedai nods to Sandulf.
Telandria Aisalyn pulls one of the novices running around and gives her instructions to head over to the Inn and make arrangements for the cost to be paid by the tower.
Tasalaya Rosalynn nods
Kael nods again and departs in search of an armorer and weaponsmith to tend to his armor and weapons before going to get a bath.
Telandria (Telandria Aisalyn): I don’t think they inn master will just take Sandulf for his word :P
Nevren Quista Sedai: That will be taken care of by the driver, Telandria. I’ll have him handle it. Novices aren’t allowed to leave the Tower grounds, remember?
Lanndon: Nah, I already planned to have Nevren handle it for him.
l1wolf-WoT (Sandulf Machera): sure he will … and she said the carriage driver would take care of it I thought
Lanndon: Yeah, the carriage driver has it under control.
Telandria (Telandria Aisalyn): see what I miss when I’m looking at something else
l1wolf-WoT (Sandulf Machera): yep type to slow I was going to remark about the novice to but didn’t get it out fast enough
Lanndon: Boobs distract me too. Understandable.
sochaia (Sochaia Doisech): LOL
Nevren gives instructions to the carriage driver, then dismisses everyone. With that, she turns toward the massive double doors that lead inside of the White Tower.
Sochaia, Telandria, and Tasalaya
DragonSypher (Kael): Well I guess Kael is going to get his equipment taken care of and then a bath and then relax in his rooms.
sochaia (Sochaia Doisech): Kael’s getting his codpiece buffed. Gross.
DragonSypher (Kael): well, it has to be done, Stacey
DragonSypher (Kael): lol
sochaia (Sochaia Doisech): LOL
Telandria (Telandria Aisalyn): thats something I probably don’t wanna know
Lanndon: Yeah we’ll get to that in just a few. I have a few more things for you to do before you buff your codpiece or the rest of your body for that matter.
sochaia (Sochaia Doisech): Rule 34, huh? even Oigers have porn.
You enter the White Tower, following Nevren’s lead. The main entrance foyer is grandly decorated and beautiful. For Tasalaya and Telandria, you’ve seen this before, but for Sochaia, it is perhaps the most beautiful place you’ve ever visited. Elaborate paintings don every wall, and tapestries depicting Aes Sedai in action hang from the balcony. Several more tapestries hang from the domed roof of this room. The dome is trimmed in deep brown stained wood and is elaborately carved all the way to its pinnacle. A grand staircase lines either side of an upper balcony, extending downward in a semi-circle on either side. Everything in here is made of marble, from the white marble floor to the stairs, and even the polished columns that support the upper balcony. Two main hallways branch off to either side of you, and another extends directly in front of you, leading under the balcony to areas beyond. There are fine Essenian and Aelgarian rugs covering the floors of the hallways, and curtains line the large stained glass windows of the outer walls. The White Tower is as breathtaking to behold inside as it is outside.
DragonSypher (Kael): LOL
sochaia (Sochaia Doisech): ogiers. damn typo
DragonSypher (Kael): ogier porn would be like watching gorrillas go at it or something. nasty.
Nevren checks in with an Accepted near one of the waiting rooms. She dispatches the girl with all haste, asking for an audience with the Amyrlin Seat. The Accepted, a girl Telandria recognizes from her own time as an Accepted in the White Tower, called Nessa al’Greir, curtsies to Nevren, but shakes her head.
Sochaia Doisech looks around, torn between exclaiming at the beauty and maintaining the so-called Aes Sedai dignity.
“My apologies, Nevren Sedai, but the Amyrlin is in meeting with the Hall at the moment. I am sure she will see you when her meeting is finished, if you prefer to wait in her study?”
Nevren looks thoughtful for a moment before speaking. “That is just as well then. Go inform the Keeper that I wish to speak with the Amyrlin and the Hall and my news is both urgent and requires immediate action by both parties. Well? What are you waiting for girl? Go.”
The Accepted stares at Nevren for a moment, obviously unsure of how to present an objection to a full sister. Finally she just spits it out. “My apologies, Nevren Sedai, but the meeting in the Hall is sealed to the flame. Surely you understand that a mere Accepted cannot interrupt…”
“Then tell one of the warders you’ll undoubtedly find outside the door and let them risk interrupting the meeting. Do as you’re told, girl!” Nevren snaps.
The Accepted squeaks and then curtsies quickly before heading out the door.
You wait about ten minutes, sitting in the waiting room along with several petitioners seeking an audience with the Amyrlin. Nevren sits patiently in one of the chairs, accepting a glass of mulled wine when it is offered to her by a tower servant. The same servant offers drinks to each of you, and you take them.
Finally the Accepted returns along with the Keeper of the Chronicles, Callah Besharn. The Keeper wears her stole, colored green like the Ajah she was raised from. She is a starkly beautiful woman, with long black locks of hair that grow in waves down to the middle of her back.
“Nevren Quista returns to us, I see. The Accepted, she speaks truth, yes? What is the urgency of this meeting you have called, Nevren?” she says in a cool, smoky voice. Apparently the status of her station hasn’t made the woman forget her Green ways. She walks seductively, even though only Alreghar is here to appreciate it. The man stands behind Nevren with his arms folded across his chest, paying the woman no more mind than he would a stone.
Nevren maintains a flat expression. “The urgency of this meeting will be discussed with the Hall, Keeper. And not a moment before.” She says in a cold voice. This isn’t the Nevren any of you have come to know. Though her tone is decidedly neutral, frost practically emanates from her lips as she speaks, in your opinion. Nevren obviously doesn’t like the Keeper.
The Keeper either doesn’t notice Nevren’s neutral tone, or she ignores it. “Oh? And I am to interrupt a meeting of the Hall, one that is sealed to the flame, yes? All because you say I should? You stand above yourself, Nevren Quista.”
Nevren’s eyes tighten, but she relents, still speaking with a far too neutral tone. “My news involves the fall of Al’Cair’Rahienallen and more. Beyond that, you will just have to learn it as the Hall of the Tower and the Amyrlin Seat do. Now, will you let me in so that I may share my news?”
The Keeper eyes Telandria and Sochaia, and smiles at Tasalaya in a friendly manner. The two of you have been friends since you were both Accepted years ago, although it wasn’t always that way. She dislikes wilders, and bullied you mercilessly when you first arrived at the White Tower. It wasn’t until you stood up for yourself and used the One Power to dump a bucket of filthy mop water on her bed just before bedtime that she finally began backing off. After a few more incidents of a similar nature where both of you did incredibly mean things to each other, there came a grudging respect, and then a blossoming friendship once you were both raised to full Aes Sedai.
Telandria, you know Callah Besharn somewhat. She was one of those you spoke with about your Ajah choices before leaving the Tower over two months ago. She helped convince you that the Green Ajah was the one that suited you best. She smiles at you, but quickly turns eyes to Sochaia. “And who is this one, Nevren? A wilder you found rifling through garbage in some dark alleyway, no doubt. A lost puppy to be coddled and protected? To grow fat on the generosity of the White Tower, yes?”
Nevren continues to give the woman a flat expression. “You’ll watch what you say about that one, Besharn. I won’t have you insulting her.”
It’s the Keeper’s turn to give a flat expression, coupled with a small smirk, as she turns to face Nevren. “You’ll watch what you say to ME, Brown. Not only am I the Keeper, but I am stronger than you in the One Power. You should be deferring to me on both accounts.”
“I give deference to women that have earned my respect, regardless of their power or their position in the White Tower. You included.”
“We’ll see about that.” the Keeper says. She turns, walking away. As she does so, she speaks over her shoulder at Nevren. “Come on then, pigeon. I hope the news you carry truly is of value. Mother, she will not be pleased with you if you interrupt her meeting with the Hall for nothing more than stories we’ve already heard told from twenty different mouths.”
Nevren rises from her chair, placing her glass of wine on one of the end tables. All of you do the same, then follow the Keeper out of the reception room and down the hallway that extends under the grand staircase and balcony. From there, you turn right at a four way intersection and head east down another elaborately decorated hall.
sochaia (Sochaia Doisech): i think that one might be a bit of a bitch.
DragonSypher (Kael): afk for a min
You stop in front of two large, gilded doors, where the Keeper uses her staff to tap on the door three times, as is tradition. The doors to the Hall of the Tower, which is both the name of the place where the Hall convenes and the name of the group of women assembled within it, are opened by a woman wearing a yellow shawl. The Keeper leads you inside, where multiple women are already in deep discussion. She stops just inside the great doors, and motions for the rest of you to wait until the discussion is over.
“…is on the verge of collapse. Aelgar, Safer, and Eharon also request Aes Sedai assistance defending their own borders. We must send aid. Do any of you forget the lesson learned by Tetsuan’s inaction when Manetheren fell?” A white haired woman wearing a blue shawl is saying. Some of the women nod at her words, but others shake their heads.
Tasalaya – Tetsuan was the last Amyrlin raised from the Red Ajah. Her name is a blight on the proud traditions of your Ajah, in that when Manetheren…the great nation that had stood so valiantly against the Shadow during the early days of the Trolloc Wars and had recorded more victories than any other…needed Aes Sedai assistance, Tetsuan pulled the Sisters home and sent not a single one to aid Manetheren during her final days. All out of a rumored rivalry, hatred, or perhaps jealousy, that existed between Tetsuan and the Queen of Manetheren, Eldrene, who was herself an Aes Sedai. Manetheren was destroyed as a result, and Tetsuan was deposed as Amyrlin shortly thereafter. She spent the rest of her years as a scullery maid in the White Tower, performing menial tasks in front of her fellow Aes Sedai, an object lesson in humility and honor, things Tetsuan knew nothing of during her reign. You cringe at her name when you hear it spoken. The Red Sitters within the Hall of the Tower react very much like you do, some grimacing, others staring at the floor, pretending the woman’s name was never spoken.
“We do no forget the deeds of Tetsuan Margosia, Demena Sadari.” A woman wearing a white shawl says in a thick Eharonian accent. “But the fact is we must protect ourselves first, then reason out a way to send aid to the other nations. An army do be outside our own city walls, in case you did no notice.”
“That is exactly what the Shadow is counting on, Isain. They want us to box ourselves up in here, recall all of our sisters from the rest of the world, to hide in the White Tower and protect our home while the rest of the world burns. To do so frees the other dreadlords up to attack the other nations with impunity and with no worry of Aes Sedai interference.” A woman in a green shawl says. “We are too strong for Vandred’s legions to take this place, even at a third of our current numbers. One Aes Sedai, supported by her warders and the Tower Guard, is worth a thousand trollocs on the battlefield. And besides, they must cross running water if they want to bypass the natural chokepoints our bridges create when they want to attack the Shining Walls. We can dispatch sisters to the other nations, or redirect those already in the field, and help stop the Shadow’s push. To do otherwise would be to selfishly let the rest of the world die while we stand idly by, safe on our island.”
sochaia (Sochaia Doisech): hellyeah.
A tall woman, with long, dark hair pulled together in a loose bun at the back of her head, wearing a deep green silk dress with a high neck and the Amyrlin’s striped, multicolored stole around her neck, watches not far from the chair also referred to as the Amyrlin Seat. She stares at the sisters while they speak, listening to every side of the Sitters debate. She finally stops pacing and puts her hands behind her back to look around the room. She stands with her head raised, neck firm, standing confident and proud. This is Rashima Kerenmosa, the Amyrlin Seat.
“And what do we do about the…other…threat?” She says, looking all around the hall with a quirk to her eyebrow. “Do we pull ourselves up into our island home and wait for THAT one to play itself out?”
Several women begin muttering between themselves here. You’re confused….what “other” threat is there? What could be as threatening as the Shadow’s armies standing at your gates?
A Red Sitter stands from her place on the tiered level above the raised dais in the center of the room. “Your pardon, Mother, but we have already dispatched sisters to deal with that one. Reports indicate he is gathering followers from among those that believe the Dragon must surely have been reborn by now, during this, the most desperate of any time since the Breaking of the World. Men flock to his banner, sure that this is the beginning of Tarmon Gaidon and that this Yurian fellow must be the Dragon Reborn. He can channel, reports indicate, but until he fulfils the Prophecies, we must assume he is a False Dragon. So you see, we did not feel we had time to consult with the Hall or the Amyrlin before dispatching women to capture him. They set sail for Aren Mador this morning. Six Red sisters only, Mother. We will await word from the Hall and the Amyrlin before acting further in dealing with him.”
Rashima nods as more of the women around the room begin whispering amongst themselves, discussing this man calling himself The Dragon and what his coming now of all times may mean. Rashima quiets the room by raising her voice. “Six sisters is sufficient for now. We will develop a new plan for dealing with this man in the coming days. A False Dragon is a threat, but not as serious as the one we find on our doorsteps. For that, I think we’ve debated enough on this point. Once again, we are at war. As there is never a treaty with the Shadow declaring an end to hostilities as there might be between two civilized nations, there is no need to vote for an official declaration of war.” She says.
“As Amyrlin, I have final authority in times of war. I will start sending sisters back out into the world to help stop the trolloc invasions into the other nations of the Compact. The White Tower needs to present a unified front to these nations, so that they can look to us with confidence in our strength and leadership during this trying time. I will summon the leaders of the standing nations to Tar Valon for a formal meeting on how we will deal with this latest threat from the Shadow and we will work toward pushing the dreadlords and their shadowspawn back to the Blight once and for all. And we will do it out there…beyond the Shining Walls, where our abilites are most needed. I won’t hear anymore argument on the subject. Callah, begin writing the orders as soon as this meeting adjourns. I want sisters from every Ajah leaving by boat or the Ways as early as tomorrow, heading out to bolster the borders of every free standing nation. We will keep enough sisters here in Tar Valon to ensure that the dreadlord Vandred cannot breach our walls, but no more than is necessary. If we have too, you and I will patrol those walls ourselves to make up for the lack of numbers.”
Callah walks across the open floor, up onto the raised dais bearing the White Flame of Tar Valon. “It will be done, Mother. Before you call an end to this meeting however, Nevren Quista, she has returned from Almoren and wishes to address the Hall about a matter of importance.” After a few seconds of quiet discussion, with Rashima staring at your party, she finally nods and calls out.
The Amyrlin stares at your party for a moment, then nods her head. “Very well. You have the floor, sister.”
Nevren moves forward, stepping up onto the raised dais. Callah steps beyond the dais, to the raised platform where Rashima and the Amyrlin Seat stand. She takes her place behind the Amyrlin, staff standing stiffly erect. The Sitters watch Nevren approach intently, sure that the news she brings really is urgent. No one would dare interrupt a meeting of the Hall when it had been sealed to the flame unless their news was truly dire.
“Thank you Mother…Sitters.” She says with a curtsy for all after she reaches the center of the dais. “I do indeed bring urgent news, Mother. First, the dreadlord Drue Raighan is dead. She died at my hands, with the help of these two women here.” She gestures behind her to where Telandria and Sochaia stand.
If the women of the Hall weren’t so formal, you would swear they would be cheering right now. Instead, most of the women nod appreciatively at news that one of the darkfriends that betrayed the White Tower is dead. Some of them begin whispering amongst themselves. Drue Raighan was an evil woman, and her death is a relief to every Aes Sedai. She was a stain on their good name.
Nevren continues. “I wish the rest of my news were as good, but that is not to be. Sixteen nights ago, on the same night Drue Raighan drew her final breath, Al’Cair’Rahienallen was sacked. I witnessed the destruction of the city and only narrowly escaped it myself, along with my companions.”
Rashima nods sadly, obviously already informed of the destruction of Almoren’s capital. “We’ve received scattered reports that it fell. Most by pigeon, but a few refugees have managed to make their way upriver just before your arrival. Your news only confirms what they reported. Tragic news indeed. What else?”
“Well Mother, the Shadow hasn’t stopped with Al’Cair’Rahienallen. We witnessed burning and the occasional battle on our way up river to Tar Valon. We also witnessed what I believe to be troop movements heading south. I believe the Shadow’s army is marching on Essenia and the capital of Coremanda. I think we’re seeing a new beginning to the Trolloc Wars, and this one may be the worst one yet. I haven’t seen or heard of trolloc movements this big since the Trolloc Wars began.”
DragonSypher (Kael): back
“Nor have I.” Rashima says flatly. “We’re aware of all of that though, Nevren. Reports indicate shadowspawn are pouring out of Shadow controlled territory in droves, into every nation, save Essenia, and that one is preparing to receive the Feldramon woman’s armies once they finish Almoren off once and for all. When I asked what else, I meant the big news. Something we haven’t already learned of by way of pigeon. You wouldn’t have interrupted a meeting of the Hall if you didn’t have something that can’t be confirmed on the lips of every deckhand or refugee between Tear and Tar Valon. Speak, woman.”
Nevren nods at the Amyrlin, then turns to Telandria. “Show her what Telva Chaslin gave to you, child. And tell her the story of it. Leave nothing out. The Tinker, the assassination attempts, the attack on Sandomere’s Vale…all of it. And give her the letter that was written for her as well.”
Telandria Aisalyn: If I may..
Rashima Kerenmosa nods to Telandria, granting her permission to approach the dais and address the Hall.
Telandria Aisalyn pulls out the seal and places it before the hall
Telandria Aisalyn: This is what brings us to you with such urgency
As soon as Telandria removes the seal, a collective gasp fills the Hall. The women of the Hall of the Tower are shocked at seeing it.
Rashima rises from where she had taken her seat once more and approaches the dais, staring at the seal.
Rashima Kerenmosa: Where…where did you find this?
Telandria Aisalyn begins to tell the story from the first attack after leaving the Tower up until they arrived back at the Tower
Telandria Aisalyn and stresses the loss of Narna Sedai
Rashima Kerenmosa listens to Telandria tell the tale.
Telandria Aisalyn hands the letter that came with the seal to Rashima
The Amyrlin listens carefully to the tale, then takes the letter and reads it. The Hall is completely silent as she does, no doubt digesting the story they just heard as well as giving the Amyrlin time to read something that may be of importance.
Rashima finishes reading the letter from Telva Chaslin, by now sitting in the Amyrlin Seat. She looks at your group for a moment, and frowns at Sochaia when she sees her. “Is there anything else you need to reveal or discuss, Nevren? I have a feeling there is more.”
Nevren looks back at your party, then speaks. “If it pleases you Mother, may we speak with you in private? The rest of what I have to say to you isn’t important to the women of the Hall and might better be shared in your study.”
Rashima nods, then rises from her chair. She raises her voice once again, for all of the Hall to hear. “Then I proclaim this session of the Hall of the Tower closed, and I remind everyone once again that what was said here is sealed to the Flame. We will convene again tomorrow at the usual time. Good evening to you all.”
The Sitters begin to rise and wait until Rashima and her Keeper have left the Hall of the Tower before they break up into knots to speak in small groups according to Ajah. Nevren follows the Amyrlin out of the Hall, and the three of you follow her.
You and Terith grab your belongings from the luggage carrier on the back of the carriage and head towards the three story building Nevren pointed out to you. Nevren escorts Telandria, Sochaia, and Tasalaya as they walk up the long steps to the White Tower’s entrance. Terith watches them as he walks at your side.
“I shouldn’t have been so…rough with the Sochaia woman. She means well, I know, but humans anger me with their hasty and all too often sunny dispositions while the world around them burns. Still…I will have to apologize.” Terith says.
Sochaia Doisech glances at Terith and gives a small smile.
At that point, Ni’tareus catches up with you, with Christoff right behind him, both carrying their belongings over their shoulders. “Master Terith, can I have a moment with you?” Ni’tareus asks, looking up at Terith.
Terith nods, then steps off to the side to speak with the small warder. The two speak quietly for a moment, then Ni’tareus becomes animated and you can see anger in his expression. Terith appears to grow angry for a moment as well, but finally he just nods. And then the two separate, with Ni’tareus once again calm and walking toward the warder’s barracks, and Terith returning to you.
Kael nods. “Humans often act in haste.”
Terith eyes Kael
Terith: I wouldn’t disagree, but I too have been called hasty by our own kind. On more than one occasion.
Kael chuckles. “Indeed, brother. We are hasty Ogier.”
Terith: Perhaps I should give them some slack. It’s not as though I have never been irrational or hasty.
Kael: If the Elders were here they would have words for us both.
Terith: I hope you aren’t as hasty as I am. Come on. Let’s go see this Ogier house.
Terith: Speaking of which…
Terith trails off as you see other Ogier wandering the work area.
You pass a multitude of brown and white tents laid out around the work area at the base of the White Tower. There are humans in here, most of them off duty and lounging about the camp lazily. They watch you pass without a word, apparently used to seeing Ogier. To your right, an elderly Ogier male passes slowly through the camp, discussing things with much smaller humans at his sides. Probably the repairs on the White Tower. As you understood it, the Ogier are here to direct the repairs, not complete them themselves. The humans nod at the elder’s instructions and ask questions as they pass you. The elder nods at you and Terith as he hobbles by and he smiles. “Youngsters.” He says in a booming, elderly rasp as you pass, nodding to the both of you.
Kael grins. “Yes, it is time we took our rest. And perhaps we can see the Grove here.”
Terith: I’ve heard it’s quite good. That sounds like a fine idea.
Kael nods to the Elder.
Terith stops as the elder passes, then he speaks.
Terith: You are Inoa, son of Kariga, son of Aman, are you not?
The old ogier stops and turns, elderly ears suddenly twitching slightly. His human escorts stop their questioning and watch the exchange between the two. This elder…Inoa, if Terith is correct in his guess…has a short, neatly trimmed white beard, with a matching crest of short white hair on the top of his head and long white eyebrows that hang down to his jaw line. The elderly Ogier suddenly smiles even more broadly when he recognizes Terith.
Elder Inoa: Ah! Terith, son of Kadan, son of Aydeel! I almost didn’t recognize you, lad!
He hobbles forward toward Terith, extending his hand.
Elder Inoa: It is good to see you, boy.
For an Ogier, his voice is still booming, yet you can sense great age in his voice, in the way it cracks and doesn’t quite carry the volume it once may have. His face is heavily creased with wrinkles and his eyelids droop slightly. His ears don’t quite twitch with the same vigor they may once have either. This Ogier is definitely very old. Perhaps four hundred years or more.
Terith takes his hand and shakes it gently. “Elder Inoa. It has been many years. You look hale…” He lies. “What are you doing here? Last I heard you had retired and were living out your days in a modest home back in Stedding Yontiang.”
Elder Inoa looks confused for a moment. “Oh? Oh! Yes. Well, you see….the White Tower has been struck by something and it put this rather large hole in the side of it, and…um…well, Aes Sedai traveled the Ways to summon the stonemasons for repairs. I…um…well, none of the youngsters are available, what with the wars come again. So I’m here to oversee the work of these humans. Make sure they do it properly, the way an Ogier would.”
Terith gives the humans at Inoa’s side a stare through his lone eye. “Human hands weren’t meant to work stone, Elder Inoa. Even you can’t perform miracles.” Terith’s disdain for human skill with stoneworking is very evident.
The humans at Elder Inoa’s side don’t seem to notice the insult, or they don’t seem to care. They stare at you and Terith with expressionless faces, patiently waiting for the conversation to end so that they can get back to work. Elder Inoa laughs though. “Oh they do try to learn though, son. And they follow my instructions…um…well enough, I suppose. I could use a hand though. As I recall, Kadan taught you something of his skill with working stone. Perhaps you would like to….um…join us? Myself and the others are…eh…too old to make the climb up the scaffolds there. But a young, spry lad such as yourself should have no trouble making the journey. What do you say? I could use your help…and your friend’s help as well, if he knows anything of working stone. Oh! Where are my manners? I am Inoa, son of Kariga, son of Aman. I don’t think we’ve met, brother.” Elder Inoa extends his hand to Kael.
Kael shakes Inoa’s hand. "Greetings Elder Inoa. I am Kael, son of Ashal, son of Borth’n. "
Elder Inoa gives Kael a feeblehanded shake
He looks at Terith as he does so.
Elder Inoa: This is one acorn that grew very big, eh, Terith?
Elder Inoa looks back at Kael
Elder Inoa: How did you get so big, son?
Terith smirks at the elder’s comment.
Kael grins. “I suppose it was the will of the Wheel. I have put my size and strength to good use as a Sentinal.”
Telandria (Telandria Aisalyn): by eatting baby shadowspawn
DragonSypher (Kael): LOL
Elder Inoa: Good. Good boy. The world needs more of your kind out there. Why…if I were four hundred years younger…
One of the humans clears his throat. “Begging your pardon, Elder, but we really do need your expertise…”
“What? Oh…mmm…yes. My apologies Master Tinowa. Give me a moment, please.” Elder Inoa turns to face the two of you once again. “Think on it, will you? We could use an Ogier’s eyes up on those scaffolds. Mine aren’t as sharp as they…um…once were. Hard to see what these fellows are up to that far away. Even if you don’t know much about working stone, I could still use your eyes. But I’ve kept you both too long. Go to the Ogier House and get yourself fed and settled in. I’ll be back there soon and we’ll get caught up, young Terith. And I’d like to get to know this one better as well, uh?”
Terith nods to the elder. “We’ll see you at the Ogier House then, elder.” He turns his single eye on the humans and gives a menacing glare at them before continuing. “Be easy with him, you hasty louts. I won’t have you running him into the ground with your need to work fast. He needs his rest.”
Two of the men look up at you and Terith. One of them actually looks frightened and nods. The other gives Terith a flat stare before leading the elderly Ogier away.
You resume traveling over to the Ogier House, and enter. You give your names to a White Tower servant who is acting as registrar, then are shown to your rooms. Expansive rooms with balconies on the third floor. Your beds are big enough to hold even Kael’s unusually large frame, and the mattresses and pillows are soft. Overall, you would rate staying here on the Tower Grounds better than any inn you could find, and free of charge at that. The Aes Sedai do take care of their Ogier guests.
After you get your things unpacked and relax for a few minutes, you meet up with Terith once again and head down to the dining hall where other Tower servants serve you a steaming plate of food. During that time you encounter several other Ogier, all of them elderly and just as weak or infirm as elder Inoa. You don’t know any of them, but Terith does. It appears that most of these Ogier are from Stedding Yontiang, where Terith was originally from. They are friendly enough with you and you feel comfortable in their presence. It is good to be around your own kind once again.
Kael: Now this is a well deserved respite.
Telandria (Telandria Aisalyn): go for it Kael.. free spa day on the Tower!
DragonSypher (Kael): wooo hooo!
The carriage you traveled with the others to the White Tower in drops you off at The Dancing Badger, which is apparently an inn set up inside of two very tall towers, one slightly taller by several floors than the other. These towers aren’t nearly as tall or wide as the White Tower, of course, but they are sufficiently large enough that you could see where they could put rooms for rent inside. The Dancing Badger’s grounds span enough land to cover the base of both towers, and this is indeed a rich inn, meant only for the finest, most discriminating tastes. The outer grounds are landscaped and clean, with a two story barn that doubles as a stables, and two other out buildings that probably serve as storage facilities and perhaps servants quarters.
The driver of the carriage does as he’s instructed and leads you inside to register you as a guest, staying at the expense of the White Tower. The innkeeper and his wife both eye you up and down when you enter, along with several nobles sitting in a lounge not far from the registration counter, but once the driver tells the innkeeper you are a guest of the White Tower, he and his wife both ease up and smile at you. Apparently White Tower coin is very welcome here, but more importantly, anyone staying as a guest of the White Tower must be someone important, and their demeanor quickly changes to reflect this.
The driver has your things unloaded and a concierge sees you to your room on the 18th floor. It is a long walk up a set of stairs that circles upwards just inside the outer walls of the first tower. You reach your room, one of three built into the heart of the tower on this floor, and head inside to rest and relax.
Telandria (Telandria Aisalyn): kiss assers
sochaia (Sochaia Doisech): afk
Lanndon: You would be too if the people that ruled Houston could turn you into a pile of ash just by thinking about it ;)
Your room contains a large bed, a reading desk, fireplace, armoire, and a privy. There is also a bookcase placed near the desk and fireplace, and it is filled with books on various subjects. The room isn’t overly large, but it will do. It’s clean and the bed looks like it is far more comfortable than the bed you had on The Swift these last sixteen days.
Telandria (Telandria Aisalyn): they’d be scared of me
Elder Inoa: Right. :|
You toss the concierge a silver as he finishes settling you into your room. He tells you that meals are served on the islands that stretch between the towers of level four, eight, twelve, and sixteen. Apparently each one of those levels is a kitchen and a dining hall, though during the warmer months of the year most meals are taken outside on the island so that guests may enjoy the stunning view of Tar Valon from up high. This peaks your curiosity, mostly because you want to get a good look at the Shadow’s armies and where they are encamped than anything else. You expect you may spend a good deal of time out on those “islands” until you leave Tar Valon, if for no other reason than you don’t trust the Shadow or what they can do.
The concierge leaves you to yourself and you unpack.
Sochaia, Telandria, and Tasalaya
sochaia (Sochaia Doisech): back
Fifteen minutes after you leave the Hall of the Tower, you find yourselves fifty one stories up, near the very top of the White Tower, in the Amyrlin’s Study. A fire burns in a large stone hearth. The paneled walls are beige, with wooden laterals and trim made of wood in a deeper shade of brown decorating the spaces in between. The doors that lead to a balcony outside overlooking the southern end of Tar Valon are closed, but curtains on the doors are pulled back to reveal sunlight that is quickly fading to twilight as night begins to fall. The Amyrlin takes a seat behind her desk and Nevren sits down in one of the chairs in front of it. Two Accepted bring in more chairs so that the rest of you can be seated, then they excuse themselves with a curtsy for the Amyrlin. The Keeper of the Chronicles closes the Amyrlin’s door behind them and takes her place standing behind the Amyrlin and to her side.
“So, before we get into this business you wished to speak of privately, may I say just how wonderful it is to have you back, Nevren. Your strength and wisdom is much needed in the Tower right now.” The Amyrlin says. You can tell Nevren and the Amyrlin have been friends for quite some time, as there is no animosity or frost between them like there was between Nevren and the Keeper. You can sense the respect the Amyrlin has for Nevren, unlike the Keeper.
Telandria (Telandria Aisalyn): good thing Draelins not arround,. the tower would be paying for missing items from that room :P
“Thank you, Mother. It is good to be home again.” Nevren says simply, with a gracious nod of her head at the compliment.
“I hope after this business is concluded that you will stay awhile, so that we can get caught up. I think you have quite a story to share with me about what you’ve seen these last few months. I would like it very much if we could have dinner together tonight.” the Amyrlin says.
DragonSypher (Kael): well….yeah! I would even try my hand at some of those angreal and terangreal
“That would please me as well, Mother.” Nevren answers.
“Good. Now, what business are we discussing exactly? Something private, that doesn’t require the attention of the Hall of the Tower?”
Nevren nods, then looks to Telandria and Sochaia, where both of you are sitting. “First, Mother, is the issue of these two women seated before you. One you may remember. Telandria is an Accepted of the White Tower, and a woman you dispatched as part of this plan you have to see the most promising students get real world experience under the tutelage of a mentor Aes Sedai before they are raised to the Shawl. It pains me to tell you that her mentor, Narna Evanter, was killed.”
DragonSypher (Kael): and likely end up turning myself into a frog because I was messing with stuff I shouldnt be messing with
Rashima Kerenmosa nods her head sadly.
Rashima Kerenmosa: Telandria mentioned as much. Narna was a good woman, and as fine a healer as any in the Yellow Ajah. I’m sure we lost more than one sister in Kinslayer’s Dagger. We’ll get to that later though. Continue.
Nevren nods. “Telandria was separated from Narna for several days before meeting me in Mora’s Eye. In that time, I understand she held a small group of refugees from the destruction of the Betharn Line together and led them to the safety of Mora’s Eye. I’ll spare you the details, but suffice it to say that the Shadow has been on our heels since leaving Mora’s Eye, and you already know why. They wanted that seal Telandria carried. The girl…no, the woman…saw the seal safely away from Mora’s Eye and through great danger to bring it here, back to you, the Watcher of the Seals. She lost her warder in the process.”
DragonSypher (Kael): its a good thing draelin died before getting to Tar Valon. He would have been either bonded, imprisoned, or executed…or all three.
Telandria Aisalyn looks down in sadness
Rashima Kerenmosa stares earnestly at Telandria
sochaia (Sochaia Doisech): lol. poor drae.
sochaia (Sochaia Doisech): died just to avoif being my warder.
sochaia (Sochaia Doisech): *avoid
Rashima Kerenmosa: I am sorry to hear that, child. I was torn over this very issue before deciding that an emotionally wrecked apprentice was still preferable to a dead one when I made the decision to allow Accepted to bond warders. I know the pain you are suffering from all too well, having lost many warders in my time. I hope you know it will pass in time, if it hasn’t already.
Telandria Aisalyn: The pattern weaves as the patter wills but he did not die in vain for the seal was brought back safely
Rashima Kerenmosa: An honorable death.
Nevren shifts her gaze to Sochaia. “This one is a Wilder that I found during my stay in Mora’s Eye. She was apparently a merchant of some sort, having traveled to the village looking to make some coin off the army stationed there, but I sensed her ability right away. She tried to deny it at first, but eventually she relented and acknowledged that she could channel and had been doing so for years. I immediately corralled her, thinking to send her on to Tar Valon for training as an initiate to the White Tower. But that was not to be.”
DragonSypher (Kael): wel, he wouldnt have made a very good warder. He would have sooner run from a fight than die to protect his aes sedai.
Telandria (Telandria Aisalyn): all he woulld have been was a life line for an aes sedai :P
“With the Shadow advancing on Mora’s Eye, I was asked to escort a group of refugees…mostly women, children, and the elderly…away from Mora’s Eye to the safety of Al’Cair’Rahienallen. Telandria and her friends joined myself, Alreghar, and Sochaia in traveling away from Mora’s Eye just before it was attacked.”
DragonSypher (Kael): an HP pool sitting in the back shooting arrows.
Nevren takes a sip of her wine here. “As with Telandria, I will spare you the details, but let it be known that this woman called Sochaia conducted herself with the maturity, wisdom, compassion, and leadership already found in those we call Aes Sedai. When Sandomere’s Vale was assaulted…because we were there with that seal, mind…she and a young man named Draelin rallied the villagers to defend themselves. Since that time the young man Draelin was killed, but Sochaia persevered and made it here, to Tar Valon. She is a quick learner and I believe her advanced age gives her great wisdom in the decisions she makes. She is as ready to be raised to Aes Sedai as any Accepted already wearing the banded dress, Mother, and I think you should do so.”
sochaia (Sochaia Doisech): lol. what else are men good for?
Telandria (Telandria Aisalyn): a hp pool sitting back waiting to loot bodies more like it :P
The Keeper, Callah Besharn, has been silent up until this point, standing stoically behind the Amyrlin, but now she snorts. “A wilder? With not a single day wearing Novice white in the White Tower, and you ask that she be raised immediately to the Shawl? You really do have nerve, Nevren Quista.”
DragonSypher (Kael): True. and HP pool and looter. lol
The Amyrlin raises a hand and Callah goes silent. Rashima stares at Sochaia intently. “The Keeper is right, Nevren. She hasn’t even spent a day as a Novice. She hasn’t had a day of training, no matter how skilled she is with the One Power. What you are asking is improper.”
Nevren doesn’t bother to look at the Keeper. “She has received training, Mother. Almost from the day I found her, I have been teaching her. I have taught her the traditions of the White Tower, our customs, history, and what is expected of us as Aes Sedai, and I have trained her in the use of the One Power, despite her already having extensive understanding and knowledge of how the One Power works. Yes, she is a wilder, but she has also survived where most women in her place would not. One in four wilders don’t survive initial contact with the One Power without proper training, and of those that do, even fewer survive once they begin playing with weaves they don’t yet understand. That Sochaia here has survived, under the most difficult of circumstances, should be a testament to her strength and ability with the One Power. The rest of what she needs to know is minor. Perhaps the biggest lesson she could stand to learn deals with restraint. She is sometimes too eager to turn her power on a foe when diplomacy may work better, depending on the situation. But that can be taught, and I think she will learn it quickly, if what I know of her continues. She is ready to be Aes Sedai. And besides….she is Ta’veren. This is why I wished to speak with you privately, Mother.” Nevren says that last part with a look toward the Keeper. For her part, Callah looks unconvinced.
Rashima is sitting back in her chair, one arm raised on the arm of her chair, where she has been rubbing her fingers together slowly as she listened to Nevren. “Ta’veren? How do you know? What signs have you seen?” She looks curious.
Nevren looks to Telandria. “Telandria here has the ability to see Ta’veren. She cannot tell if she herself is Ta’veren, but she can see others, and she gathered those that are Ta’veren around her, during her ordeal between the time of her disconnect from Narna and meeting me in Mora’s Eye. Two of those were men, one her warder, the other a simple warrior but good at what he did. They have both since been killed. Three remain. Telandria is Ta’veren, I believe. The things she has done are just as extraordinary as those I’ve seen the others do.”
Rashima Kerenmosa: Is this true, child?
Rashima Kerenmosa looks at Telandria
Telandria Aisalyn: It is true. I sense something with her as with a few others mother
Rashima Kerenmosa stares at Telandria for a moment, considering, then looks at Sochaia.
Telandria Aisalyn: Although at the time I did not know what it meant, I knew it was important to bring them here
Rashima Kerenmosa continues to stare at Telandria, thinking. Finally, she turns her attention to Tasalaya.
Rashima Kerenmosa: And you, Tasalaya? Are you Ta’veren as well? Can you tell, Telandria?
Telandria Aisalyn: No she does not have what the others have
Callah Besharn: The ability to see Ta’veren isn’t unheard of, Mother.
Rashima Kerenmosa nods at Callah, then to Telandria.
Rashima Kerenmosa: Well, that complicates things, doesn’t it? I doubt the Pattern cares much for Aes Sedai tradition, else it would have woven one of our own number out to be Ta’veren, instead of these women.
Rashima Kerenmosa seems to be studying Sochaia, but occasionally looks to Telandria while she thinks.
Rashima Kerenmosa finally shrugs herself out of her thoughs.
Telandria Aisalyn: If I may, I do however agree with Nevren Sedai. Sochaia has come a long way in her training from when I first met her. I agree there are things she will need to learn but in times like this I feel we must explore even the most improper protocol. With no disrespect
Rashima Kerenmosa: Despite that, I still can’t raise her to full Aes Sedai without having her spend at least some time in the White Tower. Our sisters would revolt if that tradition were ignored, and I have already broken tradition by allowing Accepted to leave the Tower in the first place.
Rashima Kerenmosa: I’ll take that into consideration, Telandria.
Nevren adjusts her seat, feeling a bit uncomfortable. “And force a Ta’veren….someone chosen by the Pattern of the Age itself to help correct the imbalances in the Wheel…to spend the next ten years of her life locked up here in the White Tower? Do you think the Pattern will allow such a thing, Mother?” Nevren stares at Rashima earnestly, confident she has made a very valid point. Even Callah seems to agree with her, as she nods slightly at that last part. Nevren continues. “You are the Amyrlin Seat, and this is a special time, Mother. The White Tower needs EVERY woman that can channel now more than any time before. We need Sochaia here. She is strong, and capable, I assure you. Write her name into the Novice book tonight. Test her for Accepted tomorrow, and test her for the Shawl the evening after that. If she passes these two tests, no one can doubt her ability or right to wear the Shawl. At that point, she has done as much as any other woman that calls herself Aes Sedai.”
Rashima is nodding, thinking. “It is true, if she passes those two tests, she will have proven her strength, courage, and understanding of the One Power. But what if she doesn’t pass, Nevren? Have you considered that? You obviously think highly of this woman. If she fails either test…she dies. Not at our hand. She will be killed by the tests themselves. Are you willing to risk her life here?”
Nevren looks at Sochaia, then nods. “Even if she weren’t Ta’veren, I would have faith she will pass the test, Mother. But the fact is, she IS Ta’veren. The Pattern simply won’t let her fail here. The Wheel weaves as the Wheel wills. Sochaia will survive, and she will go on to do great things in the White Tower’s name.”
Rashima Kerenmosa stares at Sochaia once again.
Telandria Aisalyn: I think in the days that have past for us she has been more than willing to risk her life to help the Tower so I believe she will pass.
Rashima Kerenmosa: And you? Do you understand the dangers? Has Nevren made them perfectly clear to you? If you fail either test, you may very well die, or simply never return again. Do you think you are ready to face that, knowing what may happen?
Nevren Quista Sedai nods at Telandria’s words.
Sochaia Doisech: With all that Nevren Sedai has taught me, I believe I am ready.
The Amyrlin simply looks between Telandria and Sochaia, awaiting the answer.
The Amyrlin stares at Sochaia a bit longer, relaxed in her chair, one finger tip tapping her lips. Finally she nods. “Very well. Even if she weren’t Ta’veren, the White Tower needs every woman that can channel even a drop of Saidar right now. Sochaia, you’ll be tested for Accepted in the morning. If you pass…and you still wish to become Aes Sedai…we’ll give you a day to recover, then you’ll be tested for the Shawl. Telandria, you will be tested tomorrow, and WHEN you pass, you’ll spend the next 24 hours in solitary contemplation of what it means to be Aes Sedai, as is custom. Sochaia, if you pass both tests you will do the same.”
Telandria Aisalyn nods
Sochaia Doisech: Thank you.
Nevren Quista Sedai exhales softly, obviously feeling a great weight lifted.
Telandria (Telandria Aisalyn): you know solitary just doesn’t work for me.. now I can comtemplate much better watching the warders
Rashima Kerenmosa nods to Sochaia, but is interrupted by Callah.
Callah Besharn: You will address her as Mother, girl.
Nevren Quista Sedai eyes Callah, but nods to Sochaia finally.
Sochaia Doisech: My apologies, Mother. I am unskilled in some areas of manners.
sochaia (Sochaia Doisech): I even sometimes eat with my elbows on the table.
Nevren Quista Sedai: Small matters of ettiquette, Mother. She will learn this in time.
Rashima Kerenmosa nods to Nevren.
Rashima Kerenmosa: Now…Where is this third Ta’veren, Nevren? I assume the third is a male? I would like to meet him.
Nevren adjusts in her chair, once again uncomfortable. “As to that one, Mother…I am not sure you will like what you find. He is quiet, and a bit intimidating, if I may be honest, and not a very social fellow. I decided that it would be best if he stayed outside tower grounds, for his own protection. You see, I am afraid many of the women in the White Tower will…not take kindly to his presence. He has yellow eyes, and Tasalaya herself already suspected him of being a male channeler. If I were to bring him near other Reds…or any Aes Sedai for that matter….I fear other women will react the same way.”
The Amyrlin’s brows draw down. “Is he a channeler? Surely not…” She asks in a quiet tone.
“No, Mother. But as I said, he has a presence about him…something wild about the way he carries himself. And his eyes are not a natural color. Human beings do not have yellow eyes. Despite all that we try to pretend we’re not, Aes Sedai are still capable of being every bit as irrational and distrusting as ordinary folk. I know many of our sisters would treat him right, but there are always those that are a bit….over zealous in their duties.” Nevren says.
Rashima considers this, now tapping a finger on her desk. “Fair enough. Keep him away. I suppose it is enough that I’ve met two of the three Ta’veren walking the world now. The next question is…what do we do with them? What is their purpose? And how do I put them in the best position to succeed?”
Nevren cocks her head. “It occurs to me, Mother, that the Pattern will use them as it sees fit. The best approach to dealing with Ta’veren is to let them go where they feel pulled.”
Rashima nods. “And is it not possible that they were put here for…this?” She says as she lifts the seal you brought out of Mora’s Eye. “To protect it? Tell me, girls….what do you feel right now? What do you feel is your next move?”
Both of you look at each other….feeling nothing. If the Pattern is pulling you in any specific direction, you can’t tell.
Telandria Aisalyn: To protect the seals and in doing to find any others
Telandria Aisalyn: Fate has brought us to this one and I feel that it will lead us to any others that may be around.
Rashima Kerenmosa: Oh? Do you feel yourself pulled to gather the seals then?
Telandria Aisalyn: It is hard to say if it is the seals that pull me but there is something out there that needs our attention
Telandria Aisalyn: This I do feel, mother.
Rashima Kerenmosa considers this, steepling her fingers while she thinks.
Sochaia Doisech: I feel it less strongly than Telandria, but her words ring true to me.
Telandria Aisalyn: As much as it weights my heart to leave Tar Valon after just arriving but I feel we were not meant to stay
Sochaia Doisech: Now that I feel quite strongly. Mother.
Rashima Kerenmosa: I see. Well for now, none of that matters. Let’s see the two of you raised, and should you both pass your tests and become full Aes Sedai, I’ll figure out what to do with you next. For now, I think the best course of action at this point is to take no action at all. I want the two of you to take rooms ino the Accepted quarters tonight. When you are raised to full Aes Sedai, we’ll move you to your own rooms in the floor of the Ajah of your choice. Have you both considered your choices yet?
Telandria Aisalyn smiles at Callah
Telandria Aisalyn: I have, Mother.
Rashima Kerenmosa nods at Telandria.
Rashima Kerenmosa: Good. You as well, Sochaia?
Sochaia Doisech: Mother, I believe I favor the Green.
Rashima Kerenmosa begins to smile, but quickly suppresses it.
Callah Besharn does smile. Openly.
Sochaia Doisech: If it pleases you, that is.
Rashima Kerenmosa: Good. I think this matter is resolved, Nevren. Girls, you are excused. Tasalaya, you are welcome to stay and dine with Nevren and I if you like.
Tasalaya Rosalynn looks down sacrasticly thinking, “could these two try and kiss up to them anymore???”
Callah Besharn: Your Ajah choice is your own, child. But there is always room for more in the Green.
Tasalaya Rosalynn: I would thank you Mother
Rashima Kerenmosa nods and rises from her chair, extending her ring hand so that both of you may kiss it as you leave.
Telandria Aisalyn bows to kiss her ring
Sochaia Doisech awkwardly bows as well, exhibiting nowhere near the grace of Telandria.
Telandria Aisalyn: Come Sochaia I shall show you to the accepted quaters
You are both excused. For everyone, you may now do as you please. Tell me what you want to do. Tomorrow I move on to Telandria and Sochaia’s raisings.
Sochaia Doisech follows Telandria.
Tasalaya Rosalynn: If you will excuse me for a moment, Mother, I would like to go clean up before we dine.
Telandria leads Sochaia around the White Tower to show her where everything is. They spend a couple of hours doing this, before settling in to their rooms. As “Last” rings…the name given to the last dinner bell that rings…both of you head to the kitchens to get something to eat before retiring for the night.
Rashima Kerenmosa: Certainly, Daughter. We’ll have dinner served here in an hour.
Nevren Quista Sedai rises and nods to Tasalaya.
Tasalaya Rosalynn: thank you Mother
Nevren Quista Sedai: She is right. I should clean up as well.
Tasalaya Rosalynn nods to Nevren
Rashima Kerenmosa nods and rises for both of you to kiss her ring. You do so, then depart.