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Growth - attn Syara

Winter Mist

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The sun shone down like a blessing; dappled light shone through the small, ornamental trees and cast dancing shadows on the verdant green grass where Rossa sat, thinking. She sat looking at the neat rows of plants that her and a few other novices had planted as part of a chore for Vera Sedai, shortly after her arrival at the White Tower. The sun-warmed air smelled of grass and blooms, and the stillness was a refreshing change of the corridors Rossa had been determined to take a short while to calm her mind. She had to think! As was so often the case, Accepted worked from the first rays of light to the last bell at night and sometimes beyond with attempts to cram in extra study. If there were no means of relaxation, more tempers would be frayed, and nerves would be in pieces. No one could say an Aes Sedai was calm and serene if they did not have little breakout times to themselves. And so Rossa studied the contents of her belt pouch in the privacy of the well-maintained garden.


She had helped to make this; her hands had turned the soil, her hands had plucked weeds from the beds to make way for new and beautiful growth. Before Rossa had come to the Tower, she would have turned her nose up at getting her hands dirty unless there was some political or beneficial motivation behind it. The fire had changed that ideal, as it had changed her. Having something to nurture, to grow and protect was the very thing that kept her going some days. Damaged politically, House Venye was unlikely to recover in the short term and it would take a long time before she would be able to defend her honour and that of her family’s name with any conviction. So she toiled and nurtured and developed, and had changed to the point that vengeance was still at the forefront of her mind but it was gradually being replaced by something. Common sense. People she had to look after would need educating, feeding and governing, and she could not do that with a selfish desire in her head. She had to think of the people. First of all, she had to think of the White Tower and imprinting its reputation and honour onto herself so she could exude the principles of the Aes Sedai. Helping people was now the goal now, even if she had to get her hands dirty.


You could not grow wheat or corn without turning the soil. You could not grow trees for fruit, or vines for grapes, or any other number of daily necessities people took for granted without getting involved oneself. The One Power made it easier … maybe she should look into getting some additional training in Earth weaves to enrich her understanding of ploughing methods. If that could be made easier…


If she had the time to do it, Rossa vowed to. Just as she was studying different methods of food preservation so people would not go hungry, Rossa wanted to make sure that it was as easy as possible for people to grow their own food, and to support themselves. Happy people meant they appreciated their ruler, and the line being admired and revered to reflect the glory she meant to restore to the name of House Venye. If not by her, then by a distant relative ruling as High Seat in her name, and maybe the house could get an Aes Sedai advisor to boot… Such daydreams. Rossa had to pass the test for the shawl first. She sighed, and felt the sweet air move a little.


I’ve changed so much.

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  • 4 weeks later...
Guest Kaile

Some days are made for work, good honest study and toil. Other days are made for reflection, and more importantly, relaxation. Take this day, a prime example of a day just screaming to be wasted on midday naps and good books. Of course, this was the White Tower, days like that were ignored, and anyway who dared do otherwise was sure of a stare or ten.


Of course Syara had long ago decided that the order of nature was to be put ahead of the White Towers concepts. Rest was a necessary part of life, work was too, but a proper balance had to be achieved. Being at the White Tower, she had learnt to take her rest in places that the older and rather strict inhabitants never visited.


So here she was, in her favourite spot. Herself, dear Saline, another Novice and her mentor had spent a whole day turning a ruined corner of the Ogier gardens into what in her humble opinion was now the nicest place in the whole of the White Tower. She had seated herself as usual, under the gnarled apple tree which had been here since long before a few young girls decided to play creator. She had made sure they kept it, an ancient reminder of the wildness of nature. It contrasted sharply with the ordered plants and well shaped trees around it. An oasis of chaos in the midst of so much order.


Syara had discovered in herself a love for poetry. And it was here under the apple tree that she spent much of her free time, making rhyme and stanza fit together. Needless to say, the tree had been the object of her first work. Sadly, today Syara found herself bereft of the words and reason to put pen to paper. So she had stoppered the ink and pushed her papers to the side, deciding to enjoy the garden instead of frustrate herself with badly formed lines and horrible, contrived rhymes.


What was this? Another girl approached, the banded dress foretold an Accepted. Which boded badly for Syara, no Accepted came here, therefore the girl was here for Syara. Trying to sink into the trunk of the monstrous apple tree Syara was perplexed to see the Accepted plant herself in the grass a few meters away, so caught up in her world that she had completely missed Syara. The woman seemed familiar, in fact......yes, she was the other novice who had helped make this garden. Made sense, no other Accepted would come to this far off corner to relax. Matter of fact, no one else came here at all, which was why Syara like it. The Accepted, Rossa if she remembered correctly looked to be up in the land of the clouds, and Syara would let her stay there.


Thinking back to that day spent weeding and planting, Syara smiled, the White Tower had not changed her too much. A new life, new friends and new direction. But she was still Syara, still loud mouthed and opinionated. Still loved having fun, and still didn't care a whit about what people thought of her. Admittedly, she was a bit more cautious about how she presented herself to those who held the power to punish her. But so far it hadn't really helped, not at all.


What to do with the Accepted? She had as much right as Syara to be here. And she really wasn't getting much done with her poetry. May as well talk to her, having Accepted as friends can only be a good thing. Getting up from spot under the tree and the cool shade, Syara ambled over to the banded dress and dropped heavily beside her. The garden was not a place for small steps and good manners. Not too Syara's thinking anyway.


"Do you remember me Rossa?"



The Impolite One

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That voice … it brought back memories of the earliest days. Shortly after arrival she had tended this garden, made it better and improved it from the comparative scrap of wasteland it had been. It reminded her of the heartache and anguish she had suffered on her arrival: the grief and loss of her family and the enforced start of a new life. As much as Rossa tried to be like the Aes Sedai and not seem to let things get to her, she could not help but feel a bit melancholy. It was most unlike her usual pragmatic self, and she had to stop feeling this way. I’m just having a bad day…


She turned to see Syara Peron, one of the novices she had cleared and planted this garden with all those years ago, sit down alongside her. The girl still wore novice whites and really shouldn’t have addressed Rossa as she had done, but Rossa was not really in the mood to call someone up for it. She let it go.


“Do you remember me Rossa?”


How could she forget? One of the first faces she had encountered at the White Tower, and then again at the chore of setting up this garden of tranquillity only to have seen her around for other classes and such. Syara was a familiar face to Rossa, a memory of earlier days, just like Saline, the Taraboner novice. It was rare to see the girls separated, now that Rossa recollected. She had been the other novice that had helped sculpt this place, and now it was her own private sanctuary. Somewhere she could go, like now, when her thoughts were too much of a tumult to bear. It helped, even if only a little.


“I remember you well, Syara.” Rossa paused, letting the silence wash over them both for a little while and taking strength from the peace. “Tell me, do you think you’ve changed since you came to the White Tower, Syara? I’ve been contemplating on it since I arrived here today and I’m not sure I am the same person as when I arrived.”

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