It’s Just Not my Day!

A gentle rain was falling on Tar Valon.

Of course, the wind itself wasn’t so gentle, so the rain was getting rudely dashed against the windows.

“Bloody noise,” Raeyn grumbled to herself as the glass rattled in its casements. The Brown Sister sighed and laid the book she had been trying to read on the side table before leaning back in her long chair and lacing her fingers together over her stomach.

“Is a woman not permitted a few hours of peace, quiet, and solitude these days?” she muttered, letting her attention focus briefly upon a raindrop being blown across the window. Shaking her head, Raeyn levered herself out of the chair, smoothing her dark copper silk gown down as she stood. Picking up a hand mirror, she patted a few loose strands into place, only just remembering to put the mirror down before heading out the door.

The thick walls of the Tower muffled the howling wind, and the bare corridors of the Brown Quarters over the Library always brought Raeyn a sense of calm… and a mental reminder that she should spend more tine in her chambers within the Tower. “I am a Sitter again, and that does mean I have to deal with the other Ajahs… again… bloody Ajah won’t let me retire until I’m three days in the grave.” She shook the thought from her head, took a deep breath, and entered the Library proper.

The Library was always a comforting sight for the Brown Sister, and one that spelled ‘home’ for her better than any other place. She started to let her mind relax and organize her thoughts, when suddenly someone tapped her on the arm.

“Yes?” Raeyn said icily as she turned around to see who had interrupted her thoughts.


08 June 2008

Raeyn did her best not to glare at the Yellow, bloody annoying as their lot were. And why should she want to know anything about memory?! Seemed more a thing for a White Sister than a Yellow, but then, Yellows were notorious for being convinced they could heal anything with the One Power…

The muffled thunder, dimly heard within the Library, quite suited Raeyn’s mood as she attempted to moderate her tone to some semblance of politeness, “Memory… that would be in the Eighth Depository with the other philosophies and healing books.” Her voice sharpened as she spoke; the bloody chit should’ve known where the few healing books were, at least! “If you would follow me, please?”

The Brown Sister managed to refrain from stomping, but only just as she led the Yellow Sister through the winding maze of books. Of course, she managed to spot both the Librarians helping other visitors as she wended deeper in, “Just my bloody lucky day, this is,” she grumped to herself, dodging around a cart awaiting someone to put its contents back on the shelves, “But hopefully I can point her at the right thing and get back to.. oh blood and bloody ashes, what WAS I going to do down here?!”

In shorter time than one would think, the two Sisters had quick-stepped into the bowels of the Library. Raeyn stalked to a set of shelves and tapped them, “This is probably what you would be looking for, then?” She waited for the other Sister to walk over slowly to join her, and watched as the Yellow started peering at the titles. “This is what you were wanting then, Nynaeve?” The other Sister nodded absently, and Raeyn smiled malevolently at her back. “If that will be all…” she trailed off, turned around, and started walking away.


09 June 2008

Raeyn had to refrain from glaring hard enough to bore a hole through the bloody flipskirt Yellow Sister. “Does the bloody giggle box on the trollop come with an off button?!” the Brown Sister grumbled mentally as she slowly proceeded towards the table where Nynaeve had started spreading out books.

“Still, one has to wonder if she’s actually just that annoying and stupid, or if she’s actually being very clever… I think I’ll stick to the latter opinion for the moment.” she mused as she sat down and look one of the volumes the other Sister had laid out.

Abruptly, Nyneave shut a book with a loud thud, startling Raeyn from what she was reading over, “This seems hopeless,” the Yellow Sister complained, frowning at the volumes on the table.

Raeyn surpressed a sigh and a smirk – even as much knowledge as books had, one couldn’t find everything in them. She looked at the despondent woman before her, “This paricular volume seems to contain some interesting theory on how the mind works,” she said softly, pushing the book across the table, “Have you put any thought onto adapting existing healing weaves to do the job? It’s not my forte, but I guess I can help.”

After all, Raeyn is a Brown, and what Brown could resist studying something a little more?!


19 July 2008

Raeyn’s eyes widened as tears started to pour from the other Sister’s face, “I need to forget,” the other woman whispered miserably as she squeezed her eyes shut, ”Before I lose myself.”

Looking around quickly, she leaned over and hissed, “Get ahold of yourself, woman!”  Concern warred with disgust of this public display of emotion, and she let herself go so far as to reach over and place her hand on the Yellow’s arm.  Squeezing gently, she held the other woman’s red-rimmed gaze and continued on in a gentler tone, “I… don’t know what you’re looking to forget, and I’m not sure that you’ll find answers in these books…”  The Brown Sister paused to scan the area again; after verifying they were still alone, she continued, “Have you considered asking amongst your Sisters in your Ajah?  Surely there has been one that has researched matters of… that sort.”

Her lips curled into a brief sneer; everyone had their share of problems in life… but what could make this woman want to find a way to alter her own mind?

Intro to Saidar

Rendra glowered. And pouted. And glowered a bit more.

She’d been doing a fair amount of glowering and glaring since she found out that she could channel. ”I never asked for this,” Rendra pouted silently, glaring at the girls talking to each other around her, ”I don’t want to be a witch, I just wanted to learn to kill…”

Her train of thought died off as she noticed everyone moving towards a woman leaning against a nearby tree. Rendra slowly followed along, dragging her feet every step of the short trek. The woman introduced herself as Liadin, and proceeded to babble about stations and service – boring stuff that didn’t really mean anything to a hawker’s daughter… though this Liadin woman did have a fearsome glare she turned on all her students to drive her blah blah words home.

Before her thoughts could drift back to useless pouting, Liadin gestured to them to sit down, “Since we already know that you can channel, we can skip that part of the training and move right onto the actual work.” The older woman joined them on the ground and continued, “I want you to close your eyes. Now, leaving your eyes closed, I want you to picture a rosebud in your mind. Nothing else, just the rosebud. Imagine every detail, everything about it, picture it as if you were looking at it right here, right now.” Closing her eyes, Rendra snorted softly to herself, “I’m no bloody rose… except maybe to… no, can’t think about Aldric, I can’t!”

And yet somehow, her thoughts drifting to the dread Aldric relit a small fire in her heart, “If I have to learn to be a with for now, I will… for him… I don’t have to like it though.”

Picture the rosebud…

She let her mind remember a rose that Aldric and her brother had stolen and given her a year or two back – it was red, tightly curled, and very fragrant.

”Imagine every detail, everything about it, picture it as if you were looking at it right here, right now. “

In her mind, she could always remember her treasure in that rosebud. She had put it on the window ledge in a glass of water, and looked at it every day, studying the texture of the petals, the veins in the leaves…

”Imagine sunlight shining upon the rose, warming it, giving life, inviting it to open up.”

Rendra could remember how nice it was to spend the few spare moments she had while at home curled up in the warm rays of the sunlight, watching her flower. She herself could envision it, out here in the great outdoors with the sunshine on her shoulder. But all too soon, it had withered and died.. like all good things. Her mind flashed to when she had found the first fallen petal, and the sense of warmth she had felt creeping up on her dropped away with the mental image.

”Allow the rosebud to open at its own pace. Do not try to rush it, just let it happen. Don’t worry if you do not succeed the first time, the second time, the fifth time, or even the tenth time. This will become easier with time.

She sighed, and started again. And again. And again until she was able to feel a dribble of the Power suffuse her being. In her shock, she immediately lost control, but it was a start.


It had been a tiring week, and Rendra had a feeling that exhaustion would be the watchword for some time.

She still felt unclean at learning that she was to be a bloody witch, and this warred with her delight in the Power – everything seemed sharper, clearer… more alive, even! She was starting to understand the attraction of this channeling, but still…

It was yet another day in their training, and they once again were seated before Liadin in the shade of the same tree. In spite of herself, Rendra listened attentively to the older woman’s lecture about the Power. “The witches I’ve heard tales of made it all seem easier than this!” she thought emphatically.

Almost abruptly-seeming, Liadin channeled. She demonstrated the Five Powers individually, to which Rendra and her classmates joined in with on the second demonstration. The young Taraboner had a fairly easy time with Spirit, Air, and Water; these elements came very easily to her. She found channeling Earth and Fire… not necessarily difficult, but not exactly easy either. Both elements did come when she channeled them, but very weakly in comparision to the other three. Rendra understood why – men had an easier time with Earth and Fire than women did, but that fact still annoyed her slightly.

Liadin game them time to practice feeling each element out before suddenly channeling two elements entwined, and then rapidly channeling two more elements entwined. “This is what I want you to use as practice until next week, make spirals, make them in different combinations, and as you go stronger practice making more at once. Getting comfortable with drawing on the different elements, as well this would learn you which elements you find yourself stronger and weaker in.”

Rendra nodded, and let herself wander off a bit from the main group. She found it easier to practice without the other girls distracting her, though her own thoughts did a fair enough job of that. As she opened herself up to Saidar, she let her thoughts drift, “Perhaps when they’re done forcing me to learn how to use the Power, they’ll let me train as an assassin like I wanted to. I’m sure they will!” Her grip on Saidar slipped, and she grumbled an oath. Opening herself up again, she found that Air and Spirit came easiest, so she twisted threads of those elements twine around each other. Satisfied with that initial effort, she tried another combination, and another… and another.

As the week progressed, she found that her initial opinion on things held – Spirit was easiest, and Air and Water almost as simple. Fire and Earth were still harder, but they came all the same – just not as strongly. By the end of the week, she found that her strongest combinations were ones that contained Spirit, Air and Water, though she could muster Fire and Earth to a very mild degree with any of them. It was easier to do two or three strands at a time, but she had a feeling that it would be easier to do more complex weavings with more practice.

And by the end of that week, Rendra felt almost at peace with having to learn what she was learning.


Rendra continued to keep herself apart from her classmates over the course of the week. She wasn’t feeling terribly socialable, and preferred to work on tapping Saidar. The young woman still had her reservations with learning this witchcraft, but it was too fascinating for her to stop.

And so it was a slightly cheerful Taraboner that demonstrated her ‘skill’ with the Power when she reported in to Liandin for her final lesson. Her spirals seemed to be getting easier to make, and a touch stronger, but she wasn’t really too sure about it either. “For all I bloody know, I could be hallucinating this whole bloody thing! But let’s hope not…” Rendra thought to herself as she sat down under the tree to watch the next phase of instruction.

“Very well, let’s continue by learning to do something constructive; a simple weave of each element,” Liandin spoke, and pulled out a candle. She demonstrated lighting it with Fire and putting it out with Air, and then moved on to show how to make a mudpile, and a weave she called a Keeping, and then instructed everyone to try their hand at the weaves.

Rendra opened herself to the Power; it was quicker than when she started learning to channel a few weeks before, but not as quick as what their instructor could do. Weaving fire, she poked the flow at the candle. Nada. Frowning, she tried to envision the little sphere that Liadin had channeled around the wick. As her mind shaped it, a little sphere of Fire formed around the wick, and took to light. With a smile, Rendra shaped a weave of Air like she had of Fire around the wick, and watched the tell-tale trickle of smoke signify that her efforts were succesful.

Next, she tried her luck at making a mudpile. “This should be easier, since it’s sort of like doing the elemental blades!” Rendra thought to herself as she weaved a little bit of Earth and Water at the ground. Sure enough, a patch of mud started glistening at her. “Neat! she thought to herself before wrinkling her nose a tiny, “Gross, but neat… why would I need to know how to make mud with the Power? Odd…”

The final task was weaving a Keeping. Taking a flower from the pile, Rendra smiled and thought about the rose analogy that had helped her find her way to Saidar in the first place. The young Taraboner wasn’t too sure about this weave, and watched some of the other girls try their hands at it first. It seemed that everyone was having trouble trying to weave all the elements at once, but after a couple of tries they were getting it. Sighing softly, Rendra reached out for Saidar again and focused on the flower.

It took a couple of tries, which goes without saying. Rendra found herself having difficulty getting five flows to go at the same time, especially considering that the flow of Spirit was bigger than the other ones. Still, she was pretty sure she had managed it after a few tries, and Liadin confirmed her success.

After they all did their weaves, Liadin brought them back around her and gave a final speech before dismissing everyone, “All these things are useful at moments that you in time won’t come to think of using them less for if you lost the ability find how much you come to rely on them, which is another lesson to not forget how to rely on yourself without saidar. So please keep your flowers as a reminder. Class dismissed.”

Rendra smiled slightly as she rose from the ground, twirling the flower between her fingers. As she walked away, she thought to herself, “Perhaps I won’t let myself fully rely on Saidar; that would make me a witch, after all, but I think I can see where it might be of use, finally…”

New Shield for the Flame

Standing outside the Tower Gates, Mariasha stared off into the streets – it was always nice to watch people from all lands mingling. North or West, East or South, all came to Tar Valon on business, and it made for a nice distraction… one doesn’t expect to lose their Sister, but though it had been some time since Taeadra Sedai had vanished from the Tower and from her mind, she still found herself awash with sadness and an urge for revenge.. but on what? No, not worth thinking about, not on such a nice morning with such a nice meal…

She sighed to herself and adjusted one of the daggers poking herself in the side, when an Accepted and a young man came dashing up to the gate. “Light!”, she thought to herself in wry amusement, “That girl looks like she’s been rolling in the mud… I wonder if she even has permission to be out, as oddly as she is acting… though that could be for the boy with her.” Mari watched them talk for a moment, but before she could consider stepping out of her corner on the side of the gates, the Accepted had already dashed through, leaving a confused young man staring out after her.

Shrugging to herself, Mariasha walked up behind the young man, a bemused smile on her face. “I’m guessing you’re either very new to this town, or either very foolish – it’s not a good idea to be seen talking to women who are training in the White Tower. If that sort of thing gets back to the Mistress of Novices, she’s as likely to track you down for a few licks as she is to give them to that girlchild as well.”

The young man jumped in surprise, so intent he was in staring through the gate at the other woman’s fleeing figure. “Sorry to scare you,” she chuckled, “I just don’t like seeing people make fools of themselves… what brings you out this way?”


Mariasha’s smile turned into a wide grin as the flustered young man before her spoke, “My name is Toromin Doanshar. I’ve studied the Aes Sedai and learned about their place in the world. I believe we would be much worse off without them, but I know there are people… and non-people… trying to hurt them.” Where was I going with this again? Now I can’t remember the rest… well, nothing for it, then. “I’ve come to Tar Valon to become a Warder, to protect the Aes Sedai from their enemies, and the enemies of the Light.”.

She stretched her arms over her head for a moment before crossing them against her chest, “So then, new to town, and just a random encounter on the way here, it was.” She tapped her lip and eyed the young man mock-sternly, “I’ll say my initial word of warning should be sufficient for now – careful when it comes to the girls in training in the Tower… but I won’t report that little kiss I saw to either the Mistress of Novices or the Mistress of Trainees.” The relief on his face was palpable, though his eyes widened a fraction at mention of a yet another person who might have a switch with his name on it for a simple kiss!

Mariasha continued, “Now, if you want, I can take you to Thera, the Mistress of Trainees, and she can get you set up for the evening… though I’d recommend getting the blushing in line.” She flashed a wicked smile, “I’m sure the girl was pretty, but Thera is pretty good at sniffing out reasons to take a switch to those in her care! She is a firm believer in rules, and keeping people in line.” She winked, and bit down a giggle. “Really,” Mariasha thought to herself, “I’m getting a bit too old to giggle at every little thing!!”


“Thank you, ma’am.” He cut short the realization that she hadn’t given her name yet. Perhaps that’s the way things were here. “It would be my honor to see the Mistress of Trainees.”, young Toromin said, looking quite formal.

Mariasha suppressed another grin – had she ever been this formal with the Tower Gaurds and Warders when she was in training? “T’would by my honor, young Toromin, to lead you to Thera.” She gave a half-bow and gestured for him to follow.

“I probably should introduce myself,” she started, maneuvering around a handful of petitioners heading away from the Tower, “My name is Mariasha, Mariasha Gaidin to you if anyone is looking.” She nodded to another passing Warder before continuing, “and you might have noticed, if you weren’t staring too hard at your friend the Accepted that I too am a woman.” She smiled to take any possible sting out of the teasing, “Although there are more men than women training here, there are quite a few of us female sorts who chose this path for our lives. My teacher was a woman, and probably one of the toughest Warders there ever was around these parts. Not to say that she was especially strong, but she knew what she was about.” Her right hand slid momentarily to caress the scabbard hanging on that side, unaware of the sadness that clouded her face.

All too soon they were in front of Thera’s door. Mariasha knocked and turned to Toro while waiting for Thera to answer, “If you have any questions or need someone to vent at – training is hard, and sometimes we all need someone to talk to, feel free to come pester me, okay? And don’t worry – everything should be fine.” She winked, and the door opened. Mariasha saluted Thera, fist to heart, and gestured towards Toromin, “Hey Thera, you’ve got some fresh meat. Gentle on him, I think he’s had an odd day.”