Silliness and Light (Open RP)

Mariasha sang to herself as she wandered down the streets of Tar Valon.  The town was its normal hubbub of noise and activity, for which she was grateful.  She didn’t consider herself that great a singer, but being in such a fine mood, she couldn’t help herself.  It was a gorgeous day, and she was very pleased to be free of duties.  It hadn’t taken her that long to figure out what she wanted to do with such a lovely day, and that was to spend it outdoors.

But before she could implement her devious and glorious plan, she had several stops in mind, which was why she found herself singing her fool head off and wandering around town. ”First things first,” she thought to herself, ”I’m going to need a basket.” This proved to be no problem, as she was aware of a basket-weaver who sold her goods in the open market east of the Tower.  ”I can probably get everything I need for this little trip at the open market,” she thought cheerfully as she approached her destination.

Nodding to herself, she stopped before entering the row of stalls.  Musing aloud, she began listing what she needed, “A basket, a bit of linen, some things to eat…”

23 February 2009 (10:17pm)

Satisfied with her list, Mariasha entered the market proper.  Her first task, she had decided, was to find a suitable basket.  Strolling up the aisle, she noted other stalls to hit up on her way back down.  But even if she didn’t need to do any shopping, she couldn’t help but love this sort of thing.  There was a certain… energy, a certain showmanship to these bazaars, and she loved hearing people call out their wares in over-the-top creative ways.

Perking up, she spotted a woman selling baskets.  After some haggling, Mari was striding away to hit up a cloth stand she had seen on passing, only to be distracted by a bit of discordant yelling coming from a nearby stall, “You thief!  Don’t try to steal my goods right under my nose!  I tell you the prices, either you pay or you leave!”

Mariasha blinked in surprise, pushed her basket up her arm, and strode forward to the source of the shouting.  “I’m sorry, Sir. I didn’t meant to…”  the boy said while the shopkeep carried on.  “Excuse me, sir,” Mariasha interjected, hooking a thumb at the boy, “Was he actually stealing anything?”  Casually resting her free hand on the hilt of a dagger, she raised her eyebrows questioningly.  “N-n-noo, ma’am,” the shopkeep stuttered out, “H-h-he was just trying to make me sell him things for prices that I’d not even sell things to my aged grandmother for, I promise!”  Snorting derisively, she leaned across the stall counter and got right into the shopkeep’s face, “If that is going to be your attitude, I will inform my friends amongst the Warders, Tower Guards, and Aes Sedai that you have a lack of compassion for those that are in worst straights than yourself, and to not give you their custom.  Good day, sir.”  Ignoring his spluttering, she grabbed the newcomer’s arm, “Come on, kid.”

Pulling him a few stalls down, she looked down very slightly into his pale green eyes, “Are you okay, kid?  You’re not actually trying to steal anything, I hope?”  She smiled warmly; no reason to scare the kid… unless he actually was stealing something.

24 February 2009 (12:30am GMT)

Chuckling softly, Mariasha dipped her head in greeting, “Hello Llewelyn, I’m Mariasha, Mariasha Valnar.  My Aes Sedai is Taeadra of the White Ajah, but past that, I don’t know that many Aes Sedai.”  She grinned merrily, and nodded to her basket, “Myself, I was planning to have a little picnic.  I’m just here picking up… well, everything for it, really.  I was heading to that fabric stand over there,” she gestured off to her right, “to pick up some linen next before deciding what foodstuffs to get.”

Raising an eyebrow, she gestured to Llewelyn to follow her, “As for trouble… well, I take it you’re not used to city traders yet, then?  Even here in Tar Valon, they’ll try to gut you for every penny they can.  You’ll get used to it in time; he probably just sensed that you’ve not had much experience with his sort.  And,” she laughed again, shifting the basket to the other arm, “I’ve probably scared the poor bloke enough that he’ll be very generous to his customers for the rest of the day.”

Stopping at the stand she’d eyeballed earlier, she handed Llewelyn the basket, “You’re welcome to join me for my picnic, if you wish.  I’m sure that you probably have it in your head to explore the town, but that can come a bit later.  You’re going to have a lot of acclimatizing to do, after all, so better to play it safe until Thera has you all sorted out, I would say.”  She winked, and started eying the linen samples on the table.

25 February 2009 (4:45pm GMT)

Raising an eyebrow, Mari walked over to the fallen guy and offered her arm, “Here there, let’s get you up.  Ever think about watching where you’re going?”  He eyes twinkled merrily to match the smile playing across her lips before she turned her attention to her new little friend, who was just scampering back, “Here, don’t drop it again, you might really lose it to some thief next time.”

“I take it by your blush, Llewelyn, that you feel you might have done something wrong.  Well…”  she laughed in earnest then, “Considering that this isn’t a training or a battle situation, I guess I’m going to have to let you live.”  She winked turning her attention to the guy she had helped up, “You look familiar… do I know you from around the Yards?  Either way, it seems you’re as in good a place as any to get patched up, at least once we decide what linen suits our various purposes best.”  She eyed his wounds in bemusement, wondering if she should continue to offer her arm, or if that might offend the poor injured fellow.

28 February 2009 (4:14pm)

Chuckling to herself as Llewelyn doctored over Visar, Mariasha thought, “This kid is going to make something of himself.  That is, if he doesn’t step on all his teachers’ toes with his enthusiasm.  After all, have to be a good follower to be a good leader…”

She was drawn out of her reverie when Llewelyn addressed her yet again, “This’ll hold a while, he might as well be another guest for your picnic. That way, we’ll be sure to drop him by the infirmary when we get back to the Tower. What would you say?”

Nodding, she smoothed the just-purchased linen down into the basket before handing it back to the Saldaean boy, “Food is generally a good thing to have after an injury.  Plus, if you decide to have a relapse, grass, mud, and rivers tend to be a tad more forgiving than pavement.”  She winked, and waving her hand, led her party onward.

With two males in tow, the basket was quickly overladen with meat and mead.  All sorts of excellent nibbles had made their way in, and Mari was most definitely looking even more forward to this little outing.  She hadn’t expected to pick up company, not really, but on such a nice a day is this, might as well share the good times!

It was only a short walk to the river on this side of town, and in no time, they were being let out onto the bank from a small pedestrian gate.  “Thanks Tad, don’t work too hard!” she laughed, striding through with her companions in tow.

The grass was dry beneath a clear sky, as the Warder had hoped it would be, “Good thing too – didn’t get enough cloth to sit on or anything as extravagant as that!” Still, she spread out a portion of linen and began to unload some of the goodies onto it.  “I don’t know about you two, but I’m hungry.”  She smiled, and gestured towards the food, “Shall we dig in?  I mean, after all, there is quite a bit here, and it shouldn’t go to waste.”

05 March 2009 (9:48pm GMT)

Eying the sun, Mari sprawled out on her stomach and watched the byplay between the trainees.  It had been some years since she had been amongst their number, and it was amusing to watch their byplay.  Had she herself been that nervous about getting into trouble when she was amongst their number?  It was hard for her to remember; the passing of years had colored everything rosy.

So it didn’t come to much surprise that the children were quickly reminded of a need to return back to the Yards.  Granted, the boy who had jumped into the river, Elyan, was probably freezing by now… tapping her lip, she shook out the linen they had used as a groundsheet and stood, “Here… Elyan, was it?  You might want something a little drier than your own skin.”  She winked, and stood up with the proffered ‘garment’.

“As for the rest of you… I’m sad to hear you’re going already.  Myself, I’m going to enjoy the rest of the day… maybe I’ll drill a bit, or maybe I’ll go fishing.  I’ve not decided yet; all I know is that it’s a lovely day, and I’m determined to spend as much of it outside.”

08 March 2009 (12:15am GMT)
“If I had to stake a guess, I’m guessing that young man leading the two-person parade back to the Yard is soon to be raised to the Guard, yes?”  Mariasha laughed, and peered around for a suitable branch.  Exclaiming in delight, she spotted a likely one nearby, and picked it up for inspection.  Nodding in satisfaction, she sat back down and fished a small case out of her belt pouch, “You can tell, you see, with those about to get raised.  They get all pomp and dignity at thinking about not being a trainee anymore and all the honor and duty that supposedly come with it… but really, it just means training the same and having to stand watches besides.”

Gesturing Elyan and Edana over with her branch, she then took out her dagger and whittled a notch into the top.  Nodding in satisfaction, she opened her small case to reveal a few hooks and a couple of meters of line, “Edana, do you have any experience fishing, or are you going to need pointers like wet boy here?”

09 March 2009 (8:17pm)

As she finished securing the line to the stick, Mariasha carefully tied the hook onto the end of the string.  “That’s about all there is to preparing a rod, Elyan.  If you find yourself a good stick, I’ll let you borrow a hook so you can try your hand as well.”

Eying her handiwork, her attention was diverted when Llewelyn suddenly spoke up, “That was a clever idea, Mariasha Gaidin. If we fish enough, maybe we’ll be able to feed the whole Yards with our catches tonight!”  She laughed, “I sincerely doubt that we could feed all of the Yards, but at least we might manage to catch enough of something or another to snack on here in a bit.”  Shooting a smile at the returning Elyan, she took the proffered stick and inspected it, “That should work just fine; help yourself to the hooks and line.”

And then Llewelyn threw her a curveball, “Mariasha Gaidin, if I may, I would like to know how you met your Aes Sedai. I mean, what kind of thoughts and relationship can make a Warder and an Aes Sedai bond together?”

Laughing and groaning at the same time, she laid down her line and turned to the young trainee before addressing him, “Oh Light, now that’s a tale.  Suffices to say that beer makes the heart grow fonder, and in mine and Taeadra’s case, it provided an immediate connection.”  She shook her head before continuing, “And what I mean by that is that we happened to meet at an inn while out drinking with friends, and it was just an immediate liking of each other.  We both knew that it was right, drunk or not, and agreed to bond the very next day.  Of course, the very next day we were both very hung over… care to guess what happened?”  Her eyes sparkled with amusement before she continued, “Well, as you might have heard, women who bond each other tend to reflect each other a lot more strongly than a male/female bond.  Take two hangovers and multiply them mentally… let’s just say some very unhappy Novice had some very nasty cleaning up to do later that day.”

Standing abruptly, Mariasha gestured towards the river, “Shall we try our luck, then?”  She wanted to distract them before they asked any more questions – for all that herself and Taeadra were back on the right track again, there were still many things she wasn’t comfortable talking about with their relationship.

10 March 2009 (9:49pm)

Accepting a worm, Mari threaded it expertly into her hook.  She had already taken off her shoes and rolled her pants up a bit, and her feet dangled in the chill water as she cast her line out a bit in front of her.  The submerged grass on the downward sloping riverbank tickled at her feet, and she smiled – this was relaxation!

She turned her attention back to Llewelyn, who looked pensive, “Is something wrong, Llewelyn?”  Mariasha had an idea what was worming into his mind, but then?  Initiates had to lose their innocent ideas about bonding and servitude at some point, and she didn’t feel bad about bruising notions.  After all, it might make him think about what he was getting into more than she herself had.

And if it saved her the pain that her Aes Sedai brought her, that Thera’s Aes Sedai brought her, then all the better.  While none could deny her affection and concern for her Sister, it was definitely far from the ideal relationship a young girl fresh to Tar Valon had in her mind.

Hey Now, Wait a Minute…

Several weeks had passed since her Aes Sedai’s return, and Mariasha had been enjoying having her Sister back at her side.  And yet, still, there had been an edge of unease that still persisted.  She couldn’t understand it, but then, the edge of shock from the sudden return hadn’t worn off quite yet…

Uneasy as she was about things, she tried asking other Warders around the Yard for advice.  She knew this was akin to talking about a spouse to a friend in a manner that most wouldn’t, but she was so lost.  Some small part of her remaining innocence wanted to believe that they could pretend that all was well, and that she’d not been run out on.  But as she talked to more of her brethren in the Yards, the more her mind wanted to question this action Taeadra had taken.

Mari had asked no questions of Taeadra, not yet; part of her was desperately trying to pretend all was like old times.  In some ways, it was truly as if Taeadra had never left.  They had fallen into their normal daily routine almost seamlessly… and coupled with the fact that Mari herself had been pretty much drunk the entire time Tae was gone made it easier to pretend that no time had passed.

But as time had rolled by, the constant knot of Taeadra’s feelings in Mari’s head started to infect her as well.  The other woman was full of wariness and anger, and it was all that the Warder could do to cheerfully ignore a headful of such.  She redoubled her efforts in the Yard, and fell asleep easily in a satisfied exhaustion.  Still, as time was passing, there seemed to be a switch between the two.  For whatever reason, some degree of contentedness was growing in Taeadra’s head, while the suspicion and anger started growing in Mariasha’s.  Why had the other woman left her for so long?  Had she done something wrong?  Was it the Creator’s way of punishing her for… “No, no, mustn’t think about that, no..”

Finally, the Warder could take it no more.

It came to a head over the course of a normal meal.  The pair was dining in Taeadra’s chambers, as they often did, and making polite conversation about the day’s events.  Perhaps it was how hard she was pushing herself.  Perhaps it was the denials she kept making in her head, but something snapped.  Or perhaps it was Taeadra’s grumblings about the penance her Ajah had handed down for her absence…

“My fellow Whites are… cross.. with me for going away for as long as I did,” Taeadra commented, reaching for another slice of bread, “I guess that it’s universally felt that even though I had important business, the Ajah’s own business at that, that I should be punished for it.”  The White Sister reached for the butter and hummed softly to herself as she applied it lavishly to the bread.

“Perhaps they thought you were dead, Tae,” Mariasha spoke quietly, “Perhaps they were worried, as I was, that something horrible had happened.”  Her voice began to raise; a hint of anger began to creep in, “Maybe some of them were drinking themselves to death from worry, trying to deny that anything could’ve happened.  After all, if someone cares, they’ll let everyone know they’re doing alright, wouldn’t they?!”

At this point, Mari was quivering with rage and had stood unbeknownst to herself.  As she glared down at her Sister, her fists clenched unconsciously.  The sitting woman’s mouth had formed a small ‘o’ in surprise at the sudden verbal assault, and taking a deep breath, Mari made herself sit back down.  Fishing a whetstone from her belt pouch, she whipped out one of her daggers and began sharpening it nonchalantly.  “Perhaps, Taeadra, it’s time to tell me what was so important that you had to leave me here thinking you were dead for so long.  I think it’s time for you to tell all.”


04 January (2:36am GMT)

Quirking an eyebrow, Mari raised her eyes from the whetstone in her hands.  “So then, you mean to tell me that wandering off on an extended adventure was more important than those that care about you?  More important than your duties in the Tower to your Sisters?!”  She snorted, slamming the whetstone down on the table. “I know that you always try to put the best face on things, Taeadra, but word has it around the Yards that your Sisters of the White are out to punish you severely for your ‘important business’.  I’m guessing that if it was so important, they’d not be that ticked about it, would they?”

Standing up, Mari began to pace along her side of the table; she occasionally shot a dark glance at the woman she had considered her closest friend.  That burned – had, not was.  Or was she?  It was all so hard to think about. Had her parents…


Choking back a growl, she stopped dead in her tracks, “No, it’s nothing like that, nothing like that at all,” the Warder muttered to herself.  Her right hand drifted down to her dagger and gripped it unconsciously, “I wasn’t sworn to protect them, they didn’t think I could… DON’T THINK ABOUT IT!”

Coming back to the here and now with a start, she jumped once she realized she’d been shouting.  Shaking with an unidentifiable emotion, she spoke slowly to the air, “I… I.. am… I’m going.. to.. yeah… I’m going to go now.”

Doing her best to pretend Taeadra wasn’t there, she gathered up her things and departed as quickly as dignity would permit her.  This was all too much for Mariasha, and the young Warder was unaware that she had started running once clear of the White quarters.  She didn’t know where she was going, but knew she had to get away.  “You can’t run from your thoughts though,” her mind whispered at her, spurring her to try even harder to escape from it all.

The sun hung low in the sky as she exited the Tower at a dead run.  She was blind to the curious glances from the people she passed, and as she made her way past the Warders Yard and down the eastern road, her mind made itself up about her destination.  Content in this, she allowed focusing on not running anyone down take over her mind as she continued her mad dash towards the river.


Mariasha’s steps slowed as she neared the bank, and she began to pace quickly alongside the river to cool herself down from her short run.  It was no secret that she found the riverside calming, not that she expected anyone to follow her out here, not really.  Still, the run had been pleasantly exhausting, and as she slumped down to sit on the grass lining the riverbank, she let the flow of the water soothe and distract her mind from the turmoil she did not want to deal with.

23 February 2009 (2:27am GMT)

As the sun glinted off of the river as it set off into the distance, Mariasha pushed herself off the grass and sighed. Her thoughts had run themselves in circles to no avail, and the serenity that the river usually brought her couldn’t even begin to make a dent on her internal turmoil.

She slowly made her way back to the Barracks, flipping a dagger absent-mindedly as she went. The Andoran woman had found that it did a good job of changing peoples’ minds about bothering a woman alone… not that she really wanted to be alone, not with these thoughts. But still, whom could she talk to? Taeadra would have been the person she talked to everything about, but where did things stand now? Sighing, she entered the Barracks and made her way to her room.

Mariasha’s sleep was troubled. That is to say, the few times she managed to nod off, she found herself immediately jerking back awake from stray and painful thoughts. Her Aes Sedai, her parents… All of this mixed ‘round in her mind, making an impolite mess.

So when she ‘woke’ up the next morning, she found herself nodding and red-eyed. She wasn’t sure how many times she had randomly started crying, but she prayed to the Creator as she dressed for her efforts in the Yard that she wouldn’t start again. Of course, her resolve only lasted until she got outside and ran into Thera…

01 March 2009 (8:55pm GMT)
“A-ale?” Mariasha stammered, “N-n-no, no ale.  I had been trying t-to stop drinking and t-trying to get my head back together… for…”

She burst into fresh tears before he could stop herself.  Fishing her handkerchief from her pocket, she mopped herself up with a sigh.  “I’m a wreck, Thera,” Mari started, taking a moment to tuck her hankie up her sleeve, “Just a total wreck.  Light, I’m not really sure if I’m in good enough shape to be out and about right now; I’ve just…”  She shook her head slightly, “There’s a lot on my mind.”

Mari smiled weakly at her old friend.  As it were, she wasn’t sure she could unjumble all the pain and hurt in her head… but she knew she had to try.  She had seen what ignoring emotions could do to people, and she didn’t want that.  Oh sure, it had to be done in the heat of battle, but one couldn’t live in the Void and stay human.

04 March 2009 (1:24am GMT)

Flopping into the cushy chair, Mariasha gratefully accepted the glass of water. “Thank you,” she murmured, drinking deeply before lowering the mug to clasp with both hands.

“Do you want to tell me what’s wrong, Mari?  What caused your… tears?” Thera inquired politely.  The Andoran woman couldn’t help but laugh a bit, even if it meant that Thera was looking at her if she’d gone mad.

“Well, you remember how a few weeks ago my Aes Sedai showed up out of the blue?  Light, like anyone can forget that, what with me screaming about ghosts and falling off of walls and things.”  She took another sip of water, and continued, “Anyways, the shock of it was just all too much for me, and I tried to convince myself that everything would be like normal again now that she was back, and that I could overlook her absence.  Her considerable absence…”

Mari trailed off, staring at her hands as they cupped the mug for a long moment.  “We were having dinner last night, and I just kind of snapped,” she spoke in a low voice, almost as if talking to herself, “I just completely blew up on her and demanded an explanation.  To make matters worse, Taeadra came up with the most cockamamie story I think I’ve ever heard in my life.  Claiming she was off on important business, but if it was so important, why didn’t she take me with her to protect her, Thera?  Why didn’t she?”

Her eyes shone with tears waiting to be shed again as her hands trembled on the mug in her lap.

09 March 2009 (11:32pm GMT)

Mari pushed a few stray strands of hair out of her face as she sighed in response to Thera’s question.  “I don’t know if some of them bother to form any bonds with anyone at all.  Taeadra is reputed to be in fairly hot water with her Ajah over her little… adventure, and I’m sure that me having a nervous breakdown probably isn’t doing her a world of good either.  I mean… it’s in our very souls to care for our Sisters – the bond makes sure of that.”

Turning her attention to that part of her mind that was Taeadra, she could tell that the White Sister was still sleeping.  It was much like her not being there – no sense of emotions came through the bond, yet Mariasha could tell that she was there.  She tapped her cheek in thought before casting her eyes back to her fellow Warder, “I… I don’t know Thera, I just sort of snapped.  You’ll probably laugh at this, but I just had a moment where I realized I felt what my parents probably felt when I just up and vanished.”  She herself chuckled mirthlessly at this before continuing on, “But unlike my ‘fortune’ at getting Taeadra back, I… I’ve never bothered to contact my parents in the years since I’ve left Caemlyn.  I… I don’t know if they’re alive or dead, and they… they don’t know and…”

Another sob ripped out of her before she could stop herself, and she growled at herself slightly, “Light Thera, I’m so bloody tired… it’s just been running around and around in my head all night, and I don’t even know how to sort it out yet.  Even a promise made in one’s cups is a promise that should be kept, and when we decided to bond those years ago, I was thrilled to have someone to take care of, to hopefully trust in.  I just… I just don’t know how to lay the line.  I think I need to, though – how can I do my job if she wanders off?  It would be just like an Aes Sedai to betray their Warder by wandering off to die, right?”

She helped herself to another gulp of water, and put the freshly emptied cup to the side, “Anyways Thera… any thoughts?  I just… I just want things to get back to normal, the way it should be.”

31 March 2009 (12:04am BST)

Pushing herself out of her chair, Mari impulsively hugged Thera.  Squeezing gently, she managed to stumble back from where the other woman was seated without falling over as she rose from her half-crouch.  “Thanks Thera, you’ve given me a lot of food for thought, even if it’s perhaps not the taste I want in my mouth.”  She chuckled softly, shaking her head, “Taeadra is a very headstrong woman, and I guess I’m just going to have to learn how to be more stubborn than she is… perhaps I can find a mule to teach me.”

Sighing, she headed for the door, “Thanks again,” Mariasha started, opening the door, “I’m going to… go… something.”  She stepped through and shut the door behind her, and started out across the Yards.

She’d not gotten more than a hundred paces towards the Tower when her steps slowed, and then stopped.  The young Warder’s thoughts were much like honey – torpid and squishy.  Still, it suddenly dawned on her that she probably looked a right fright.  “I should go clean myself up before going to talk to Taeadra,” she told herself firmly, turning back towards the barracks, “She won’t take me seriously if I look a mess, and I have to come from a position of strength, not of weakness.  Plus, if I make her wait longer, it might make her easier to work with… yes…”

Upon arriving in her chamber, she closed the door behind herself and sat down on the bed.  She had only gotten as far as removing a single boot, and tugging at the next, before she found herself flat-out asleep on the bed.

After having a much-needed rest, Mariasha’s body still felt leaden, and her mind quite asleep.  Stifling a yawn, she levered herself up.  She eyed her still-booted foot ruefully, and proceeded to finish the job she had started before passing out on herself.  A bath would do her mind wonders.

The sun hung low in the sky before her as the Andoran made her way back towards the White Tower proper.  She was as pristine as she could be – her hair was brushed and pulled back, her boots were shined, and her clothing was spotless between.  She was still unsure in her heart if this would be good for her friendship with her Sister… but protecting the woman she was bound to was the most important thing.

I’m coming home……

Another sleepless night full of bad dreams.

Anything to escape the bad dreams. Even rising long before the sun itself rose.

And yet, that’s what Mariasha herself did. Of course, this came on top of her normally strenuous routine of training and drinking, so the young Andoran woman was left feeling flimsy, almost insubstantial.

Still, she stumbled through her morning ablutions and found herself outside before the raising sun felt the need to make an appearance. Some of the trainees were already hard at work under the eye of brighter-eyed instructors than herself; she preferred to run afternoon courses when Thera managed to corner her into teaching.

Climbing up to her accustomed spot on the fence, she settled into a brown study of the trainees. Pretty much everyone around the Yards knew it was her habit to spend some time watching the newer people train while she woke up enough to go grab a bite to eat, and especially considering the hour, knew better than to disturb her; she’d made it clear to many unwary folk that she was not a morning person.

So it came as something of a surprise when someone crossed through the sparse population of the Yard and came right at her… someone looking very familiar! Rubbing sleep out of eyes, Mari blinked, expecting the person coming towards her to vanish; her Aes Sedai had been gone for years, she had to be dead.

Which left her one conclusion – it had to be her Aes Sedai’s spirit come back to haunt her! Attempting to stand and warn those around her of the spirit, exhaustion and shock overcame her, and she fainted dead away, falling off the fence.

When she came to, Mariasha found herself in an unfamiliar room. Groaning softly, she could felt even weaker and more tired than she had before waking the first time that day. Suddenly, a face leaned over her; it was Taeadra’s spirit again!

With a gasp, she waved her arms feebly to try and drive the spirit out of her line of sight, and was very surprised to meet flesh. Blinking, she felt a small jolt of shock and pain in her head, “In… my.. head.. WHAT?!”

She fainted again.


20 August 2008

As she came back to consciousness again, Mari continued to lay on the bed with her eyes closed, ”Okay Mari,”, she thought to herself as she attempted to take stock of the day, ”You’ve seen a wraith, fallen off a wall.. oh Light..”

Hesitantly opening her eyes again, Mari realized pretending she might still be out was in vain, considering that which had returned to her head. Still, even with that in mind, it seemed that perhaps Taeadra hadn’t quite realized that her Warder had come to. “Perhaps she’s as unused to having the bond back in place as me,” she though wryly as she tried to sit up, ”Or perhaps she’s preoccupied to the point she’s not noticed I’ve awoken.”..

Trying to push up feebly, she slowly wobbled her head towards Taeadra, “How… are… you… here?!” the weary red-headed woman attempted to demand. She managed to wobble a weak arm up towards Taeadra’s slightly startled face, though she had to wonder if the effort was worth it.

The part of her that was Taeadra went very still as the White Sister brought over two mugs of tea, “Sit and drink first. Slowly now.” Tae instructed firmly, as was the older woman’s nature. Shooting her Sister a mild glare, Mari weakly wrestled herself closer to upright, and as if putting her hand on the mug was a signal, was absurdly grateful to have something on hand to whet her even more parched-feeling throat with.

In spit of not trying to gulp it down, it was almost as fast as blinking; Mariasha pushed the mug back towards the woman sitting at her side to request a refill. Taeadra wordlessly put her mug down and attended to refilling Mari’s; the bond was still very still, as if the Aes Sedai were trying to hide something.

Sighing softly, Mari decided to take a belated moment to figure out where they were. It had seemed ages since she’d been here in her Sister’s rooms, but there was a sense of familiarity under the faint sheen of dust, “I guess the servants only bothered to poke their heads in here every few weeks or so,” she mused to herself, trying to think on anything but the strange events of the day. Not.. that she could really avoid them, with Taeadra’s return, and the growing thead of anxiety creeping in through the bond as the other woman returned with another mug of tea.

Murmuring gratitude, Mari blew on the tea briefly to cool it. She plunged her head through the wisps of steam and took a very healthy gulp of the fresh glass. Placing it back on the table with extreme care, she turned her attention back to Taeadra, “There… is a lot I could be asking right now…” she started, fighting down the urge to smile as the thread of anxiety expanded, along with a wave of concern, “But I don’t think that I’m going to be in any shape for this until I’ve had a meal or three… I take it I’ve been Healed?” Tae nodded assent, though it wasn’t as if she needed to.

Mariasha nodded back, and braced her flimsy arms against the mattress. Alarm raced into the bond as Taeadra gently pushed her back down, “I’ll go fetch you something. You’re not ready to be out of this bed yet, so stay here until I get back.” Command rolled naturally off of her Sister’s tongue, and Mari could only bend her head in agreement for the time being.


25 August 2008

As Taeadra exited the room, Mari let herself collapse back onto the bed.  “Riiight, show how sorted out you are… try standing, brilliant,” Mariasha muttered to herself, squeezing her eyes shut.  She couldn’t remember a time she had felt so weak before, and part of her knew this wasn’t really the time to actually be in the weaker position!

Taking a deep breath, she inched herself backwards against the headboard, and feebly turned over.  Grabbing onto the side of the headboard, she carefully levered herself back up into a sitting position; she leaned against the headboard with her legs dangling off the bed.  Gulping air, she grumbled to herself and had a bit more tea.

As she leaned against the headboard sipping her tea, the young Warder let her frustration and annoyance melt away.  In truth, she was still in too much of a state of shock to register it all, and found it much easier to focus on her weakened physical state.  She had heard from some of the other Warders who had been on campaign with their Sisters that Healing did tend to make a person weaker, but that they were able to draw on the added strength the bond provided to continue on… so why couldn’t she?

Granted, Taeadra had been gone for so long… longer than the time before she left when the bond was still new.  As it were, Taeadra’s presence was… almost uncomfortable in her head after all this time… had it been as such before?

She was musing on this when she felt Taeadra pausing nearby.  Putting the tea down, Mari leaned away from the headboard; she felt it was important to at least look as if she weren’t as feeble as she felt, ”Even if all Taeadra has to do is pay attention to what’s in her head,” she thought wryly as the door opened.

“I am sure you have many questions, but I would suggest you eat your fill and gain some strength back,” Taeadra announced firmly as she carried the tray over.  The White Sister flashed a stern glance at the younger Andoran woman as she placed the tray on the side table, and Mari scootched herself back against the headboard as she reached for the cutlery.

Taeadra had brought up a mountain of food, it seemed, but the famishment that followed Healing drove Mariasha through it all in short order.  Squinting at the empty plates, she turned her attention to the White Sister.  “Ask what you will, I will answer what I can,”  Taeadra spoke, gesturing towards the woman sitting on the bed beside her.  Opening her mouth, Mari started to speak… but was stopped when a yawn escaped.

“I… think…,” she started, punctuation each word with another yawn, “I think that I should maybe go back to sleep.  We can try this again tomorrow.. mmkay?”  Mari smiled at the touch of shock that rolled through the bond, but as she let herself slid back flat against the bed, her thoughts died off and sleep rolled over her almost instantly.


04 September 2008

To sleep, perchance to dream…

To dream, perchance, but perhaps not to remember; at least, no memories from the latest sleep remained in the young Warder’s mind as she stirred towards consciousness.  The bone-weariness and weakness of the prior day appeared to have sloughed off in the night, and Mariasha felt more rested than she had in some time.

In her mind, she could almost pretend that the last 2 years or so of solitude were all a dream; she could feel Taeadra standing off to the side deep in thought, and smell breakfast from the nearby table.  ”She spends as much time as a Brown in studious thought, but hides it better,” Mari thought fondly as she easily sat up and swung her legs around to hang off the side of the bed.

She stood and stretched; the motion felt wonderful after having slept for a day!  Her dear Sister still stood in deep thought staring at a painting above the mantle, muttering to herself.  The Andoran woman couldn’t help but smile as she sauntered up to join Taeadra, accidentally brushing the other woman’s shoulder as she did so.

For all Tae’s outward reaction, the bond jumped briefly, “I trust you slept well.  I have had one of the servants bring breakfast… I assume you are still hungry?”  Taeadra gestured behind her shoulder, her gaze still intent on the painting.  With a widening of her smile into an outright grin, Mari casually bowed before heading over to the food.

And Light, she was still hungry!  Slathering butter and jam generously on some of the toast,  Mari called out, “Why don’t you come join me for some breakfast, then, and tell me about this painting that you’re so intently staring at.  I’m guessing that it’s something important to you, and I’ve never thought to ask about it before.”


15 September 2008 (6:15pm BST)

Mari poured up some tea for both herself and Taeadra as the other woman settled into the chair across the table.  The White Sister nodded distractedly as she began setting up some breakfast for herself.

Presently, Taeadra spoke, and spoke at length.  Mariasha was sort of aware of what tests an initiate of the Tower went through, but obviously not the details thereof.  Still, it perplexed her to have Taeadra open up like this.  This was a woman who lived fully in control of herself and her surroundings, and it was almost frightening to feel the little pulses of fear that went along with her recollection of events.

Fear of the Dark One and his destruction though was something that anyone in the Yards would empathize with.  She knew that her Aes Sedai opposed the Dark One fervently, so why was she so surprised by the fear?

Shaking her head, Mari speared another piece of ham onto her plate.  Chewing thoughtfully for a moment, she swallowed and looked across the table.  Taeadra had turned her attention to a piece of bread, and was buttering it with a studied fury; did she feel as if she’d said too much?  “That sounds pretty… harrowing, Tae.  I wouldn’t want to pit myself against such a test.. and yet, this is something expected of all of your Sisters, isn’t it?”  The pain in Taeadra’s suddenly upturned eyes was answer enough, and Mari shook her head yet again, “But then, your lot carry the weight of the world on your shoulders.  But cheer up – you have some support in your Gaidin, right?”  A merry twinkle flashed in Mariasha’s eyes, and she poured another round of tea.


15 September 2008 (9:14pm BST)

“Why is Taeadra so antsy?  Why can’t she just be happy that things are back to normal?” Mari mused to herself, suffering a quick pang of irritation before joy smothered it again.  It was truly hard to be upset about things at the exact moment, but Tae had seemed somewhat subdued and on edge since returning.  Mari had initially attributed it to her Sister’s concern over her Warder’s well-being, but now the young Andoran woman didn’t know what to make of it at all!

“Tell me of lighter things Mariasha, anything.”  Tae smiled across the table, seeming somewhat at ease for the first time since her return.  Grinning back, Mari started to tell about some of the new arrivals to the Yards, and their amusing mess-ups during training, their misconceptions, and how it all rolled into a big ball of undignified fun for the more senior Tower Guards and Warders to chuckle at in remembrance.  And speaking of remembering…

“I dare say, Tae, that I probably should report back to the Yards.  I’m sure that Thera is wondering what became of me, and I should probably let the trainees I was going to help yesterday know what became of me so they don’t think I ran out on them a-purpose.”  Flashing a grin, she patted Taeadra’s hand before standing,  “I’m sure we can get back to our catching up over dinner.”  She bowed formally, “Until then, Aes Sedai.”  A smile flashed across her lips again, and Mariasha was out the door.

(retro)The Life of Women in the Yards

A cheery fire danced on the hearth at Salty Eye Lodge, where Mariasha had settled in for the afternoon to enjoy a bit of lunch. The Lodge, in spite of its rough-sounding name, was a well-appointed inn that catered to ship’s officers, and was located near enough the waterfront for those staying upstairs to have a nice view of the river and the harbor without being close enough to smell it.

“And they do serve a mighty tasty fish stew!”, the young Warder thought to herself as she called a girl over to order another bowl. She didn’t eat out that often, maybe once a week as a treat, but there were days when she felt the need for something that wasn’t barracks food.

Today, of course, had been one of those days. A few hours spent falling off of logs for balance training in icy wind had convinced her pretty quickly that a warm inn and a warm meal would be a welcome change of pace from the daily grind. “Of course,” she thought to herself in wry bemusement, “That doesn’t change the fact I’ve got other things to do today in that vein!”

Shaking her head, she waited patiently for her second bowl of stew, and turned her gaze to the flames twirling around the thick logs in the hearth. Which, of course, was interrupted by a human whirlwind named Thera coming in the door. Mariasha stood up and called out, “Thera! Come join me… erm.. what’s wrong?”

Mariasha Valnar
Bemused and Sore Warder


14 April (cont’d)

Mari blinked at Thera’s tirade and let out a soft whistle. The other woman was grumbling into the table now; her whole body spoke of wanting to stab something. Raising her hand, she waved over one of the serving girls, “A round of stout ale, if you would?” The girl murmured an acknowledgment and departed, and Thera raised her head a few inches off of the table.

“I figured you could use a stiff drink,” Mariasha smiled apologetically, “But… y’know… might relax you a bit and keep you from stabbing someone.” The other woman grumbled something incoherent, but sat up the rest of the way.

Eying her near-empty bowl, Mari pushed it aside and leaned closer to Thera. “Condescending men, you say?” she smiled softly, and dropped her eyes to the table. Mari considered for a minute, and spoke again, “Have I ever told you why I came to be a Warder?” Thera eyed her quizzically. “It’s not the normal reason, I assure you.” Thera grunted non-commitally before speaking, “Umm… why then?”

Mariasha leaned back in her chair and stared at the ceiling, “My father was trying to marry me off in spite of what I wanted for myself in life, so I ran away from home and ended up here… how’s that for condescending?” She laughed, dropping her eyes back to Thera and letting a wry smile play across her lips, “But that’s in the past, and I’m my own woman now,” she sneezed suddenly and grumbled, “Even if I’m probably coming down with a cold from falling into the blood river.”

At that moment, the serving girl returned with the beer. Mari fumbled a few coppers onto the table and grabbed one of the mugs. Taking a healthy swig, Mariasha grinned again, “Besides, our problems aren’t so bad that a pint or two can’t sort them out!”


May 4th (cont’d)

Mariasha smiled as Thera pulled out her dice cup, “Nothing like a drink and a bit of a gamble to pass the time,” she thought to herself as she pulled out a couple of coppers and placed them on the table. Stacking them neatly, she nodded to Thera, who replied, “I always liked a girl who could gamble.”

”Is she flirting with me?!” Mari thought with some incredulity as the other woman tossed a copper onto the tabled and passed over the dice cup. Matching the bet, Mari eyed the cup and picked it up. As she began to shake it, Thera spoke again, “So, tell me Mari, now that you’ve escaped your condescending man, how do you like life at the White Tower?”

Tossing the dice onto the table, Mari groaned to herself, ”A three and a two; this isn’t off to the best start.. especially if she’s going to be flirting with me too!” She handed the cup back across to Thera and replied to the other woman’s question, “I quite like it here at the Tower. Things aren’t nearly as hard as I had envisioned, but not a cakewalk either… lots of training, but we all know that!”

She paused to push another copper onto the center of the table as Thera rolled again – a six and a four. ”Blood and bloody ashes, someone’s luck is in today, and it’s not mine!” Mari thought to herself as she scooped the dice into the cup and rattled it. “As for my father… I guess you could say that it felt like a betrayal of sorts.”

Another poor roll – a one and a three. Mari pushed forward yet another copper, and handed the cup back to Thera. Taking a healthy chug from her ale, she continued, “I was an only child, you see, so I had childishly hoped to take over the smithy from my father. He let me help him out, you know – sweeping up, pumping the bellows, and so on. Sometimes he’d let me make little things, that is, if my mother was away visiting her sisters or something!”

Mari made yet another poor roll of the dice and commented, ”I swear Thera, you’ve got all the luck tonight! But you know what they say about luck in gambling and luck in love, right?” The Andoran woman winked, and drained her ale. She gestured across the inn for more, and continued, “Anyways, I don’t even know whose ‘brilliant’ idea trying to marry me off was, and I obviously didn’t stick around to find out – marriage just isn’t for me!”

Her next mug of ale arrived, and Mariasha eyed it thoughtfully, “How many of these have I had now?”


14 July 2008

“What do you say Mari, care to raise a few eyebrows?” Thera stood up and held out her hand.

Mari blinked hazily into her cups, “Blood and bloody ashes, she really is flirting with me… what under the Light…” Biting her lip, she looked up at the other woman, “While the company has been more than fine, and I do like a bit of a dance, I have to say that my interests lie elsewhere.”

She stood up, pushing herself upright against the table, “I’m… sorry.. if you thought otherwise.” Mari watched as Thera’s hand drifted down to her side again, and clapped her hands across her mouth as a hiccup attempted to escape.


28 July 2008

Mari blinked fuzzily at Thera, “Woman keeps moving around too much,” she muttered under her breath, “Let’s find the bottom of the mug instead!”  Happy with her choices, she proceeded to throw back the rest of her drink.

When she put the mug down, there was suddenly another person at the table.  Leaning over carefully, Mari blinked, “Wh.. where’d you come from… C-cy?”  She hiccuped and giggled, “Anyways, now that you’re here, mind buying another round?  My drink seems to have vanished again.”

“Have a seat, we were just discussion our days of training, Unless of course you are feeling up to a dance?” Thera winked and smiled still feeling a bit fuzzy from the ale.   Mari giggled a bit; what had Thera said about dancing earlier?  No, no, it wasn’t important..

“Trainee again, you said?”  Mari asked while innocently trying to filch Thera’s  full-seeming drink.  Thera whapped her hand, and the Andoran woman giggled again, “To be a trainee again… no, nope.. didn’t make as much as a trainee!”  She grinned and lobbed a sloppy wink across the table as the barwench brought over another round, and Mari let herself sample a bit – just to make sure it tasted good.  Satisfied, she unsteadily raised her head back up and grinned, “Though making more now, it doesn’t seem to last as long!”  Another hiccup, and she leaned back in her chair… and fell over.

Snorting a laugh, she unsteadily set the chair back up, glared at the seat, and lowered herself back into it with all the dignity a drunk can have.

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.”

Sing with me…”Getting to know you” ATTN: Maria

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…

Taeadra Sedai

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…..

Taeadra Sedai

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… 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?”
Mariasha asked.

“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!