01 August 2002 (10:36am)
On the way to Tar Valon, not much was said. Taeadra was horrible at conversation and tended to stay quiet rather than say something stupid as she had been known to in the past. Arriving at the inn, Tae lead Mariasha in. She greeted the owner, who was a favorite of the Aes Sedai who frequented his inn. The man knew how to keep his distance and let those who came have their privacy.
“Mariasha, tell me a bit about yourself…” Tae inquired as they waited for their drinks…
01 August 2002 (10:44am)
Mariasha, tell me a bit about yourself…” Tae inquired as they waited for their drinks.
Mariasha smiled, “Well, like most of the new initiates of the White Tower and the Warders, I came cause I didn’t want to be at home anymore. My mother was trying to marry me off to some merchant’s son, and I knew that I was destined for more than house and home, the occasional town holiday or dance…” she shook her head, then continued, “Father was a blacksmith, and since he had no sons, only me, I was allowed to hang out in the shop with him, and I learned how to make little trinkets, nothing more really. I always loved watching him make weapons,” she paused as the waiter brought them both pewter mugs of drink, “Thank you, goodman… now, where was I?” Taeadra prompted her, “Watching your father make weapons?” Mariasha grinned around the mug, “Thank you! Yes, I would watch father make things for merchant’s gaurds, and occasionally even one of the Queen’s Gaurds! We were not the best smithy in the City, but we worked hard… Now.. I know, I’m skipping around. Back to the point.. ” Mariasha paused again to wet her throat, “So, Mother wanted me to marry, I didn’t want to… so I took some daggers from the smithy and fled. After awhile, I made my way to Tar Valon here, and did some odd jobs for a bit… Finally decided to get my nerves up one day and come find out about becoming a Warder… and here I am today.” She took another long swig, then gestured towards Taeadra with the mug, “And you, Aes Sedai? What fortune of life brought you to the Tower?”
01 August 2002 (11:18am)
Tae listened with interest as she sipped on her spiced wine. She could completely understand why Mariasha left her home, Tae knew that had she stayed with her parents she would have been married off also, and that would have been awful!
“And you, Aes Sedai? What fortune of life brought you to the Tower?”
“Frist, please call me Taeadra…I know that it’s ‘proper’ to call me Aes Sedai…but for now, let’s forget all about that. I don’t know that you would call my coming to the Tower a ‘fortune of life’. But then, perhaps it was.” Shaking her head, trying to forget all the hateful things her mother had said, Tae went on, “I was found in Baerlon around my seventeenth nameday by two Aes Sedai and brought back to the Tower to be tested. I went willingly, unlike many of the Novices I trained with. My family had tried to pressure me into staying with them to run the family inn, but I had always dreamed of Tar Valon. Though I never imagined I would actually be Aes Sedai one day. You see, my family and I were never close…I was always different from them. I couldn’t wait to be out of their house…out of their lives. I suppose I was destined for this part of my life.” Taking a large gulp of her wine, Tae went on, “I’ve been at the Tower for nearly 30 years now and it has become my life, the only one I know.”
Tae looked into her glass and saw that her spiced wine was nearly gone. Gesturing for the waiter Tae ordered another round for the both of them and went on. “Although I must say that being at the Tower was a much different experience than I would have ever imagined….it’s definitely not all the glamour I thought it would be.” A smile, the first real smile Tae had given in years, appeared on her lips…..
01 August 2002 (11:59am)
“Different? How so, Taeadra? I know that novices and even Accepted tend to get into their share of trouble, but still… I guess it came seem glamourous… just like becoming a Warder… you hear about how elite and talented they all are, and something in a person just makes them want to be one.” Mariasha abruptly giggled, “I know that when I was a young girl I dreamt of becoming an Aes Sedai at times, like all girls do. Who wouldn’t want power at their fingertips? Still, I think that I made the best decision for myself… I can’t wait until I am picked to protect and serve… but considering that I’ve only been a Tower Gaurd for a short time, and that I’m female, most of the Accepted soon to be raised look right past me… I think a lot still carry dreams of finding a handsome Warder, marrying him, and having grand adventures. I know that this isn’t always the case though.” She paused and drained the rest of her wine… it was starting to get warm. Waving to the waiter, she ordered another round. Taking off her cloak, she continued, “Getting a little warm in here, yes? But yes, not all adventures. The Warder that trained me, Matalina Gaidin, is bonded to some Brown sister….. Ryan.. Raeyn? something like that… you know her?” Taeadra nodded, and explained for a bit. Mariasha nodded, the wine warming and fuzzing her, bringing up her level of camraderie, “Wow! I never knew that such a straight-laced seeming Brown Sitter could have gotten into so much trouble! I really thought that all Mat would ever get to do is haul books and such.” Laughing, she sat back and continued to work on her wine.
01 August 2002 (12:33pm)
“Getting a little warm in here, yes? But yes, not all adventures. The Warder that trained me, Matalina Gaidin, is bonded to some Brown sister….. Ryan.. Raeyn? something like that… you know her?” Taeadra nodded, and explained for a bit.
“Oh yes, I know of Raeyn Sedai. We were novices together…even roommates. You would not believe some of the things we did back then. Why we even once dyed all of the Accepted’s hair bright red, to this day I hope none of them discover that it was us!”
“Wow! I never knew that such a straight-laced seeming Brown Sitter could have gotten into so much trouble! I really thought that all Mat would ever get to do is haul books and such.” Laughing, she sat back and continued to work on her wine.
“Oh no,” Taeadra replied, “Matalina will be in for more than just book carrying. Though I have been away from the Tower for quite a while now and it seems that Raeyn has settled quite a bit…but then with her new position it is required of her to be more..shall we say, mellow? But I know that deep down she will always be the same Raeyn to me.” Taeadra took the last swallow of her second glass and without even thinking ordered more. The room was definetly becoming warmer as Mariasha had said, but Tae was enjoying herself so much that she barely noticed. It had been a long time since she had been able to let loose like this.
“I cannot believe that the Accepted’s today are passing by on you just because you are a woman. Fools they are! Married to a Warder! HA! They should all remember that they are married to the Tower first and only. I myself would bond a woman…..as I know that the Warder’s would not let someone advance if they did not have what it takes to do their duty.”
Their drinks arrived and this time Tae did not sip..she simply gulped it all down and asked for another before the waiter left. As she looked at the woman across the table from her, an idea began to form in her head. Tae had always intended to bond a Warder, but until now, had not really felt like she had met anyone she could. But something about Mariasha, something Tae could not put her finger on, appealed to her. Perhaps it was the strength of character Tae could feel in her…or perhaps it was just the fact that Mariasha wasn’t like most she met who seemed to squirm around Aes Sedai………..
01 August 2002 (12:48pm)
Mariasha’s ears perked up, “Really now, you would want a female Warder? I would say that you have more sense than most, but then at the same time, wonder about you. These, ” she punctuated her pause by pulling out her daggers and stabbing them into the tabletop, “are my weapons of choice, and beyond that, I have moderate ability with a quarterstaff. If I were to be picked by anyone, they would have to know this, that I am not some sword-swinging hero, and would prefer that a situation where we needed to fight never occured.” She smiled rogishly, “but if the need arose, I would defend with honor and life… what more could a person want?”
Supressing a sudden giggle, Mariasha summoned over the slightly-annoyed waiter again, “Another round, please, and some food as well… I think I smell some mutton back there.”
01 August 2002 (2:17pm)
“Another round, please, and some food as well… I think I smell some mutton back there.”
Tae tried to compose herself..though it was getting more difficult with each drink, and ordered some food also. Having been so enthralled with the conversation, she had just realized that she was hungry, famished as a matter of fact.
As they waited for their food, Tae sipped more wine and looked at the daggers protruding from the table and smiled slightly at the looks of some of the other patrons. “You may wonder about me, but while you do there is one thing you should know…sword-swinging heros were never my forte. I am White Ajah…and have very little patience for those who only wish to see their names in history books. Loyalty, honesty, and companionship…those are the traits that I would look for. Someone who would, as you say, defend with honor and life…this is what a Warder should be..this is what you were trained for.”
Their food arrived and both woman ate as if they had been starved for ages…most likely due to the amount of wine they had comsumed. Being a little bolder than she normally was, Tae decided to ask Mariasha a question, “So, now I have told you what I require in a Warder, tell me what you are looking for in an Aes Sedai.”
Tae’s eyes sparkled at the look on Mariasha’s face…it was obvious she wasn’t expecting to be asked that. But as the night wore on, Taeadra was becoming more and more impressed with the woman sitting across from her…perhaps…………..
01 August 2002 (3:34pm)
“What am I looking for in an Aes Sedai, Taeadra? I never expected for anyone to actually give me that option.” She smiled at the other woman, “Basically, a good companion. No matter who I bonded, that would be my foremost desire. I know that I’d prefer a White, like you, or maybe a Brown sister.. someone that I can talk to, and perhaps someone to help me learn the idiosyncrasies of this world… I’m still young and impetous, and I can’t claim to know that much of anything… ” Mariasha started doodling on the table from a puddle of spilt wine, then suddenly looked up at Taeadra, “I think that perhaps, we are overlooking the fact that we contain a mutual interest here.. that, or we’re too silly to mention it. What do you think?”
03 August 2002 (10:46pm)
“I think that perhaps, we are overlooking the fact that we contain a mutual interest here.. that, or we’re too silly to mention it. What do you think?”
“I think you’re right…about both!” Taeadra laughed, “so, now I think it’s time to mention it. Mariasha, would you like to be bonded to me? I can promise much talk and companionship, and I think that we would be perfect.” Tae swigged the rest of her glass, knowing that tomorrow she would feel each one, and waited for Mariasha to respond.
04 August 2002 (1:59pm)
Smiling up from the rim of her glass, Mariasha spoke, “I think that it is a good idea… I think that I would enjoy protecting you.. and my first act would be to get us back to the Tower before we both fall over.
Standing up and steadying herself on the edge of the table, Mariasha held out a hand to aid Taeadra up.
04 August 2002 (2:25pm)
Tae took Mariasha’s hand, then arm, to steady herself as they made their way toward the door. As they walked through the streets of Tar Valon, the two woman continued to learn more about each other…their conversation did not end until they had reached the White Tower.
“Mariasha, meet me tomorrow in the Tower gardens…..I’m not much for the large bonding ceremonies that many of the Sisters have and there we may find quiet.”
They said goodnight to each other, and Tae made her way to her room in the White Quarters where she fell on her bed hoping that tomorrow her head would not feel like she feared it would!