Do you Know How to Control your Senses? ((Open Class))

Stifling a yawn, Rendra made her way through the quiet Fortress.  Even in places such as this where evil never rested, the agents of such did have a need of sleep.  So, outside of an unlucky few dragged from their repose on the behest of their superiors, most garnered what rest that they might.

That wasn’t to say that Rendra was cross at having to be awake, but quite the opposite.  She had been keyed up since receiving the missive to attend the lady M’bela.  And while she didn’t know the exact nature of this class, she was definitely eager to find out.  Would it be something with Saidar, or perhaps another class extolling their master?  While she had learned so much, Rendra had the impression it was only the tip of the iceberg.  At least she’d have all the time she could ever want for that and more, if her masters spoke truly…

She thought then of the One Power as she continued to winder her way to her destination.  It made her chuckle to recall her against her ability she had been when she’d arrived at the Fortress, and how far she’d come in accepting what she was.  Not like the Tar Valon witches, no.  No indeed, the denizens of the Fortress were clearly superior.

Pulling herself out of her reverie, she cracked the Library door open and entered the room; time to find out what the evening would hold.

05 March 2009 (12:10am)

Rendra winced as the wall of flame sprung into being around the room.  After a moment, however, she realized that she felt no heat from it, and that nothing was catching on fire.  ”What is… wait a moment,” she thought, attempting to keep herself quite still just in case it was real fire, and she just couldn’t feel the heat for some reason.

“Good!” the Mae’shadar called out, and started throwing small objects towards the class.

Catching the small sparkling stone that was tossed at her, Rendra eyed it curiously.  It was a deep blue, and it almost seemed as if it had a light of its own.  As the teacher explained that it was an angreal, her eyes widened a bit.  She’d heard talk of these objects of power before, but this was her first time getting to use one.  Even if she had to give it back, it was exciting to have a chance to learn how to use one.   ”I’ve heard it told that angreal can make you a lot stronger; I guess I’ll find out how much stronger if what I was told about using one of these holds true!”

Her attention turned back to M’bela as the more experienced woman explained how to make the illusions.  The threads were carefully weaved alongside her explanation, and soon the image of a bird appeared before her; before the male channeler, a mouse appeared in the air.  A few more examples followed the first one, and then all were instructed to practice.

Nodding to herself, she eyed the rock… erm…. angreal in her hand.  Someone had told her that the trick was to open herself to Saidar through the angreal.  It took her a few tries, but with some prodding, Rendra found herself filled with more of the One Power than she ever had before.  It made her feel a bit giddy, as if life were even brighter and shinier than normal when she was filled with the One Power.  Of course, there was still the task at hand…

Envisioning a cat, she wove Spirit and strands of other elements to try and shape what was in her mind.  What came out, however, was kind of spiky and not at all cat-like.  Biting her bottom lip, she mused to herself, “Maybe I’m not holding the image right, or perhaps I’m using too much Earth…” Dropping the flows, she weaved anew, trying different combinations as she felt suited the image in her head.

While she had the size right, her mental image of what she was supposed to be weaving faltered as she thought of different cats that had been running around the various parts of Tanchico that she had been in.  While she tried to hold the simplest sort of image in her head – a generic black cat of an average slender size, it took several tries before what she was able to even get something that approximated what she had in mind.  Around this time, M’bela had made it around to her.  The older woman weaved almost lazily, easily rendering what Rendra had in mind.  Watching what was woven carefully, Rendra mentally noted how much of which elements were used to show the illusion of what she had in mind, ”Too much earth indeed… too much of all the elements, perhaps.”

Under the Mae’shadar’s watchful eye, Rendra carefully laid the flows while concentrating on the image in her mind.  It was easier after having some guidance, and after a few more tries, she was able to generate the illusion of a cat standing by.  Her lips quirked into a smile, and she continued to practice the weave.

Of course, Rebecca’s sad little attempts at oneupmanship were ignored; Rendra was too excited at her relative successes with this weaving.  A poignant image popped into her mind, and she tried her luck and presenting an image of the rose that once had graced her tiny bit of personal space in her parent’s home.  While it wasn’t spot-on perfect, a trace of sadness crossed her face before the image could fade away.  And while her mind was still on the sadder times, she tried for a simple image – a loaf of bread.  Of course, that was basically just a lump of brown, and she couldn’t suppress the giggle that escaped before she let the image go.

10 March 2009 (1:07am GMT)

Observing M’bela’s weaving most carefully (where she could), Rendra was most pleased to not be the ‘assistant’ in this class’ demonstration.  Oh sure, the two that were selected received healing, but that was beside the point!

When it came to pairing up to practice, she studiously ignored Miss Snottypants Rebecca and turned to another girl next to her.  Her face lit up briefly, and she inquired, “Hello, didn’t we pair off in the last weapons class?”  The girl smiled hesitantly before nodding.  Nodding in reply, Rendra responded, “Well, as we didn’t manage to kill each other with blades, let us trust each other again to not kill each other with the One Power, shall we?”  Her pouty lips quirked into a smirk, and she almost thought for a moment that she saw the other girl smile too.

Taking a calculated risk, the Taraboner let the other girl go first.  It took a bit before she got the hang of the sleeping weave, and after a rude awakening from falling on the floor, Rendra was relatively pleased to find herself upright and heavy-lidded, “I’ll have to remember to get her to lean against a wall, even if making her fall over would be sweet too.” she mused briefly before gesturing her partner to the wall.  She laid the weave gingerly on the other woman, who stifled a tiny yawn, but didn’t seem to be particularly incapacitated.  Still, it was better to be a tad too light in her weaving in this case, and as she carefully strengthened the flows, she was very pleased to achieve the right result.

She started to wonder if she could use such a weave on herself to aid in getting to sleep, but then remembered a basic lesson – one couldn’t weave upon oneself.  Still, she could see the value in such a weave – if someone was asleep or drowsy, they would be distracted, and therefore be an easier target to prey upon.  And, of course, should one be lacking an actual weapon on hand, there were always weapons of the One Power to use…

Stifling a tiny yawn, Rendra nodded to the other girl, “I guess we should try to weave these blades, then?”  Her partner murmured assent, and stifled a yawn of her own.  Chuckling softly, she turned her attention to the weaves she remembered M’bela doing.  The ice blade formed easily, and she marveled at the beauty and utility of such a relatively simple weave.

She then tried to emulate the fire blade the Mae’shadar had woven, but found that she wasn’t strong enough without using the small angreal she had been issued.  Even then, it was difficult, and she was most grateful to move on to trying other combinations.  She found that making a blade of ice was very simple and easy, angreal or otherwise, but that making one of the very air itself was the simplest of all.  Satisfied, she covered her mouth and stifled yet another yawn.

29 March 2009 (2:36am BST)

Once in the room she’d been assigned, Rendra looked at her subject.  It was an old woman, bent and withered.  Her iron-gray hair was in a bun, and she was eying the young Adept warily.

The Taraboner smirked, and opened herself to Saidar.  Binding the serving woman with flows of Air, Rendra said nothing for a long moment before speaking, “You have some important information for me, and I think that you should consider giving it up.”  The old woman sniggered; it was obvious that she didn’t think much of Rendra or her current situation.  “Silence!” Rendra proclaimed, extending her existing weave to gag the prisoner.

“What kind of pranks have some of the students here gotten up to for a servant to be so blasé about being bound with the One Power?” she mused as she paced the small cell, “Perhaps she’s mad or something.  Or perhaps she’s a repeat offender, and knows that I cannot kill her for this.” Glowering, she continued to pace and think.

Over the next few hours, Rendra tried several different ways to get her prisoner to talk.  She bound the woman’s ears and tried the illusion of fire, complete with little weaves of the element dashing at her toes.  The ear blocking, of course, was so she didn’t have to deal with getting laughed at for not getting the sound right; it was easier to not attempt the illusion of sounds yet.  She attempted weaving images of Trollocs and other such monstrous creatures, but as her ‘skill’ with such was so new that the effect was really laughable… at least, as best as someone can laugh around a gag of Air.

As she despaired of ever breaking her subject, Rendra recalled something that had been said, “…severe damage that may threaten their life is not allowed…”

Nodding slowly to herself, she slightly constricted the weave of Air wrapped around the serving woman.  The subject looked at her steadily, but the young Adept could see a bit of doubt creeping into her eyes.  Smiling, she wove another flow of Air and whapped the woman across the back with it.  Not waiting for the initial reaction to die down, she thwapped the second weave against the back of the woman’s legs.  She kept this up, slightly constricting the first weave here, increasing the size of the second weave there.  It wasn’t too long before she released the bit gagging the woman’s mouth, and not much longer past that before she was able to retrieve the desired bit of knowledge.

Rendra unbound the woman, and shut the door behind her.  She was extremely tired, but relieved to be done with this task.  She wasn’t sure what she felt for her subject – it wasn’t pity, but more annoyance that she couldn’t threaten her with anything worse.  Still, judging by the reactions, perhaps if she was a repeat offender, none of the other students who had worked her over in the past had thought to go for the physical.  She wasn’t terribly happy that she’d resorted to that, but didn’t want to lose to… that sad little thing.   ”Still,” she reflected tiredly, ”I could stand to learn more about interrogation… I’m sure that not everyone would fold to a beating…”

SCRAB? CRABS? O_o (Basic Training)

Dodging a determined runner, Lydia walked up to the woman standing nearby.  “Are you Evelyn, ma’am?  I was given this note and was told to give it to you.  I think I’m supposed to be training under you today?”

Wiping her brow, she watched the guy running around in circles around herself and Evelyn.   He looked like he’d been at his task for some time, and she couldn’t help but wonder if she was going to get a taste of the same.  She wasn’t a huge fan of running, but she knew that there was a lot of tasking things she was going to have to do to prove her worth to the Children.

CotL Philosophy class – To be or not to be…. what a boring question :P

Lydia was enraptured as Ezekiel gave his lecture.  Her time in the Fortress of the Light thus far had been a whirlwind of physical training, chores, and so forth; this was her first chance to put her new-found writing skills to use.

And for what a glorious reason to use these skills!  Never in her wildest dreams could she have imagined such a discourse offered so casually to the average Child; even though she was learning new things all the time, she still considered philosophy to be a pursuit for intellectuals.

Peace.  Faith.  Aid.  Duty.  Honor.  Obedience.  How to define them?  And yet, she had to try.  Writing in large, careful letters, Lydia hoped that spelling wouldn’t be held against her:

Peace: When there is no war or warring.  It is a time of harmony and understanding between people.  To me, this is the ideal state of being, and something to strive for at all costs.

Faith: Belief in something higher than yourself, whether it be an organization such as the Children of the Light, or what they stand for – the Light.  To me, this is something that we should share and instill in others, that they might find greater joy of the Creator in the Light.

Aid: In the simplest of terms, help or assistance.  To me, this is what the Children of the Light do for others who are less fortunate, whether it be protecting them from Darkfriends, or whatever is needed.

Duty: An obligation, or a job to do.  To me, my duty is to serve the Light and protect the people of the world from Darkfriends, and to be the best Child I am able to be.

Honor: Honor is doing what is right and proper.  For me, it is an honor to be a Child of the Light, and to be entrusted with the sacred duty of protecting the sanctity of the Light.

Obedience: At the core, this is simply means obeying the rules laid before a person.  Obedience is very important in an organization, and it’s mete and proper to follow the rules so that an organization’s business might be carried on in a prompt and efficient manner.

Shaking out her arm, Lydia frowned at what she had written, and hoped that it would suffice.

Meeting the Family (Shadowspawn Class)

Smoothing a dark blue gown over her hips, Rendra walked sedately through the Fortress towards…. somewhere.  She knew that there was yet another class to attend that day, but she was as-of-yet unfamiliar with the entire layout of this immense structure that was her current ‘home’.

After what seemed an Age, she noticed a stream of people she recognized from her other classes heading in what seemed the right direction, and she joined them.  To her surprise, there were two cloaked forms flanking the open door.  The young Taraboner stiffened momentarily as she felt a shield cut her off from Saidar… but she knew better than to ask questions in this place.  The ‘lessons’ here were just as harsh, if not harsher, than those she’d grown up with.

Sighing inwardly, she shuffled in with the rest of the students, and found herself a corner to hole up in and observe from.


18 January 2009 (1:04am GMT)

“Good afternoon, class.”

Rendra gasped in surprise as the woman who had been standing there when she came into the room turned around.  Woman… but not… where were her eyes?!

“My name is Calaun Ontrix Seyr… And I am a Myrddraal.”

Biting back a gasp, the Taraboner was suddenly very glad for the corner she had placed herself in; the walls were giving something to brace against rather than falling flat on her face.  For all her time at the Fortress, she hadn’t had to come face-to-face with any of the Shadowspawn creatures, and for the life of her, she couldn’t figure whose idea of a joke it was to plop the lot of them in a room with one!

Of course, that was before this Calaun actually even looked at her.  When that eyeless gaze brushed her, Rendra could feel her spine trying to climb out of her skin and through the wall, and that gasp from earlier did manage to escape.  For all she had faced in the streets growing up, she was suddenly very sure that there was nothing quite as fearsome as this strange creature before her.  Tightening her hands into fists, she bit her lip and promised to herself that this too she would learn to not fear; she was tough, and she couldn’t let anything cause her fear, not anymore… for Aldric.

11 February 2009 (5:33pm)

Rendra narrowed her eyes as the creature continued carrying on and ranting.  Granted, her spine felt like it had been dunked in the coldest parts of the ocean whenever that angry eyeless glare crossed over here, but that was beside the point.  Who was this mere creature to talk down at her future leaders; did she want to be remembered poorly in future battles, where life and death lay in the hands of those above her?

”Still,” she thought to herself as the creature raged on, ”Other people here claim they can ride through shadows from one place to the next, and,” Rendra’s thoughts cut off suddenly as Calaun slammed her hands down on the table, making it issue a decidedly creaky-crunchy sound, “… … … And maybe this Myrdraal has a point, and the lot of us are silly cows…”

Gulping down air, she forced her hands to unclench.  Anger and fear mixed and streaked with each other in her as the Myrdraal glared around the room, and it was all she could do to keep her hands from her daggers, ”Did I already forget the promise I made to myself not moments ago? I WILL NOT FEAR! I cannot, I must go on to punish those who would harm those I cared about.  I must be stronger than… than this creature, than everyone!”

Forcing herself to step away from the wall, she took a deep breath and attempted to address the creature hotly.  What came out, however, was a squeaked, “I under… under..stand… you… ma’am.”  Gulping, she hung her head and glowered; she would master her fear.

10 March 2009 (1:22am GMT)

Taking a deep breath, Rendra forced herself to meet the gaze of the Eyeless once again.  She was still shaking a bit, but it was something she could accept.  After all, everything improved with practice, supposedly, and this was her first time doing this.  “I have no further questions at this time,” she made herself say as smoothly as possible.

She was further gladdened when the creature turned away from them all to go towards the door.  Oh sure, they were off to look at more creatures, but at least she’d not have to look this Myrdraal in the eye again quite yet – twice in as many minutes was more than enough for now!

Taking a deep breath, Rendra willed her feet to move forward… after the Myrdraal.  Towards whatever pit of monsters they were going to go play in, monsters that some day they would have to all command.  Even faced with it now, it was still so hard for her to believe the road of her life had taken her to such an insane point.

15 March 2009 (7:33pm GMT)

Following along, she felt her legs regain some strength as she wound her way down through the Fortress behind the creature, rather than directly in its gaze.

In time, they reached the open cells.  Rendra almost gasped as she felt someone channel Saidar behind her; a globe of light sprang to life, revealing some beasts within.  Beasts for lack of a better word, but surely they had a name?  She had heard of many sorts in her time here – Trollocs and Draghkar, Darkhounds and so forth.  The beasts didn’t look like dogs of any shape, though, so Rendra dismissed them as that which she could see before her.

She was definitely curious as to why these creatures were caged before her.  Sure, they were probably dangerous, but then, what wasn’t dangerous in the Blight?  ”Perhaps if I do the smart thing and stay very quiet and still, I shall find out what’s going on here.  I mean, beyond what in the Great Lord’s name these things are!”

Prepare for Pain–Basic Swordsmanship for Dreadies

”Trousers,” Rendra hrmphed to herself as she headed towards the room she’d been directed to for the class, “Why do they feel so.. indecent?!”

She had been very happy to hear that they were going to let some of the Adepts and Acolytes train in weapons, and had jumped at the chance to learn something about it. After all, she had hoped to become an Assassin initially before they realized she could channel and shoved her in with this lot. Even if the young Acolyte had come to terms with being able to channel, she took it to heart that one shouldn’t depend on that ability… ”Even if it means feeling a little indecent,” she continued to grump to herself as she approached the room the class was to be taking place in.

A couple of other Acolytes had lined themselves up along one wall outside the room, so she wandered over and joined them. A few were conversing quietly with each other, but as Rendra had thusfar managed to not get to know anyone that well in and amongst those training in the Fortress, she contented herself to wait. Which wasn’t terribly long; a voice shortly called out and bade them to enter.

As she stepped through the doorway, her eyes widened slightly; she didn’t know what was really different. There was nothing special about the room she could see; windows looking out into the strange sky of the Blight near Thanka’dar, which was always a bit disconcerting.

As she lined up where the instructor had pointed, she spent a moment looking at the man who was to teach them the sword – a plain man trying to look fierce; he didn’t strike her as anything in particular. Nor had Rendra seen him around the Fortress before, but that could mean anything; the Fortress wasn’t exactly a small place, so it shouldn’t surprise her if there was someone she’d not met yet leading one of her classes.

He spoke again, pointing at someone on the other end of the line, “My name is Sevrud Randra, and I will be teaching you how to not kill yourself with those blades you hold in your hands. First order of business, I want you to all hold out your dominant hand and tell me your names. Starting with you.” When it was her turn, she held out her right hand and announced her name, “Rendra Harella, sir.”


19 June 2008

Rendra patted her pinned back braids and listened to their mysterious instructor, or sir, as he deigned to not share his name. ”A bit rude that, but then, people here are a bit odd,” she thought to herself as the man started explaining that they would be using practice lathes instead of bare steel. ”Probably wise that, though; some of these people look as if they’ve never even picked up a dagger to cut their own meat!”

Their instructor showed them a few moves, and Rendra nodded along; she vaguely comprehended the point he was trying to make, but had a feeling it would make more sense once she got into it. The strange man noticed the nodding, stopped, and turned to the group and instructed them to pair off with the person next to them, gesturing for those who were confused. Nodding again, Rendra turned to her assigned partner.

A bit taller than her, and a bit slimmer, the other woman looked like a bit like the Domani tramps that passed for merchants she’d seen in the streets around Tanchico, “A short Domani, perhaps.. kind of pale too, but she could just be ill?” The young Taraboner had no real idea; she’d not really taken notice of any of the other Adepts around the Quarters – they were just other people, and as long as they kept their distance, she was generally content.

Rendra gestured towards the lathes, and started walking towards them. As he other woman followed to pick one out, Rendra introduced herself, “I’m Rendra.. you are?”

“Rebecca,” the taller woman offered as she took a lathe, and said no more.

Nodding, Rendra did her best to emulate the parry stance the teacher had shown, making sure her right hand was the hand closer to the ‘blade’. Holding it before her, she experimentally moved her lathe to a block position, noting how her arms (and especially her elbows!) moved as she slanted her practice blade one way or the other. She noted Rebecca doing the same, and spoke, “Did you want to try a spar, then?”


14 July 2008

She stood there, posed and waiting for a response. The taller woman, Rebecca, appeared to be staring off at the distance. Raising an eyebrow, Rendra opened her mouth to speak again, but fell silent, “Maybe I should just pummel this hussy if she’s going to be inattentive,” she thought to herself, gripping the practice lathe more tightly.

Her mind made up, Rendra’s muscles tensed as she struck. To her surprise, Rebecca came out of her seeming stupor enough to parry the blow. Eyes narrowing, Rendra struck again… only to be parried again. As focused as she was on trying to strike the other woman, she didn’t notice the half-Domani girl’s change in stance, and yelped as Rebecca’s lathes swished towards her. Shifting backwards, Rendra managed to only just miss getting whapped as she got her lathe up in time to block.


28 July 2008

Glaring at the taller woman, Rendra’s stance was probably beyond sub-par as she did her best to keep from getting hit. “What is the matter with this insane woman?!” she thought, wincing as another blow landed.

Neither of them were that good, obviously; they were just learning, but this Rebecca character seemed like she was seriously out to kill the poor Taraboner woman. Rendra’s own swings were becoming more erratic to match the taller woman’s strikes, and her arms becoming leaden from being forced to continue through motions her body was unfamiliar with.

Her eyes widened slightly as Rebecca continued to press her; the other woman’s face was contorted in a grimace of concentration that the shorter woman was unaware of matching. Her breath was coming in laboured gasps as she strove for reach, to actually hit the other woman. Oh, she managed a few strikes, though not as many as the taller woman.

Rendra growled; a shriek escaped between her teeth as she attempted to advance on the other woman… someone needed a good braining, and it wasn’t going to be this Taraboner that got one!

Put yer Dukes up, Hussy!


August 12, 2008

Growling, Rendra has most happy to drop her weapon and grapple with the slightly taller weapon.  For all the Taraboner wanted to learn the sword, she was already most familiar with pounding someone to a pulp bare-fisted!

So intent she was on trying to rip the other woman to shreds (and obviously, vice versa), it was an extreme shock when someone’s practice blade slammed into her back, causing her to shove Rebecca into yet another trainee.  In short order, they were all on the floor; the severity of the bruising and pain started to become evident to all in the class as they stopped moving and turned their attention back to the instructor.

He had fetched his sword, this sir, and sat cross-legged in front of them.  It seemed that the pummeling wasn’t enough, and now the masochist expected the lot of them to shift around practicing drawing and re-sheathing their swords!  And to demonstrate it back to him!

Moving stiffly along with his demonstration, Rendra could understand what this sir person meant; if you couldn’t get your blade out in time, you might as well ask to be cut down in a sword fight.  So she followed along assiduously, and did her best to demonstrate what she’d learned… stiffly, true, but at least she was making the effort.

Even so, it was a great relief to be dismissed; she had a date with a hot bath and a nap.

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…”