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An Unlikely Red: Viviane & The Three Arches Revisited (Attn: MoN!!!)

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Viviane pushed the potato hash around on her plate with an air of dejection. Oh, she maintained the serenity expected of an Accepted, especially one that had spent ten years wearing the banded dress; but that didn’t mean she couldn’t explore her emotions privately. It was lucky for her that none of the Sisters could hear her thoughts, otherwise, she might be treated like a Novice again…


Five, that was how many girls had been tested for the Shawl in the past three months, and all five of them had been raised to the Accepted after Viviane and had obviously spent less time wearing the banded dress. It was unfair, to say the least. Viviane was leaps and bounds ahead of those girls in terms of her studies and her mastery over her own abilities. Why she had personally helped all five of those girls with their work before earning the ring! What were these Sisters thinking!?


Viviane had grown used to the idea of never attaining the Shawl. She knew the Hundred Weaves, practiced them every single day… There was no question at all that she could pass whatever test the Aes Sedai had cooked up, but still, she was made to wait.


Perhaps the Sisters thought that Viviane had done such a good job at mentoring Novices that they would keep her in this bloody white and banded dress forever! A punishment for her family and their ‘minor transgressions’ against the Tower from generations ago…


Viviane let out a sigh despite herself. She knew none of that was true. Why she had never even heard any of the Sisters bring up her family’s history more than once or twice and that was always as an afterthought. It was clear that the Accylon women had made it a bigger deal than it was. Most of the Sisters didn’t even recall the incident. Even Viv forgot it most of the time… Twenty years in the Tower had done much to reconfigure her brain, at least that’s how the Browns put it.


Finally giving up on the plate, Viv admitted to herself that she had little appetite for dinner tonight. She may very well regret that later, but she still had a few chores to do before it was bedtime. If she was really that hungry, she’d bribe one of the servants for a day old crusty roll or a bit of cheese; and then pray that they did not rat her out later.


Viviane dutifully cleaned up her meal, rising from the benches, when her eyes finally left the table and fell upon a woman entering the dining area. Her breath caught in her throat, the tray almost crashing to the ground.


It was the Mistress of Novices and she was wearing her Shawl…


Oh, Light! Can it be…!? Viviane thought flustered as she schooled her face to remain the perfect picture of serenity. The Mistress of Novices was indeed moving in Viviane’s direction, all eyes in the room turned to stare openly at the woman. Viviane’s right hand shook slightly before she caught the twitch.

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                Valeri Sedai, Mistress of Novices, came to a stop in front of Viviane’s table. She wore her shawl and looked the very picture of the quintessential Aes Sedai. Her face was blank as stone and her eyes barely seemed to touch Viviane. All voices in the room quieted and every pair of eyes fixed themselves on the Mistress of Novices.


                In a loud, commanding voice, Valeri announced to the young, red-headed girl, “Viviane Accylon. You are summoned to be tested for the shawl of an Aes Sedai. The Light keep you whole and see you safe.”


                Viviane had heard similar words before when she was tested for the ring. The breath caught in her throat, but she knew better than to say anything. The young Accepted gave a curtsy to the Mistress of Novices before being lead out of the Dining Hall. Every eye followed her out the door and as soon as the pair had passed over the threshold, the Dining Hall broke into a flurry of hushed whispers. The entire Tower would know of Viviane’s test before she had even begun it… Although it seemed the test had already started.


                On they went through the Tower; servants, Novices, and Accepted all darting out of the way as the two-woman procession crossed their paths. Aes Sedai could be seen going about their day, some giving Viviane a knowing look. She kept her eyes forward, focused directly on Valeri Sedai’s back, refusing to acknowledge anyone. This was her night and she was determined to see everything go smoothly.


                Light! It has finally happened! Mother will just be beside herself when she hears! Oh, I wonder what it will be? The Arches again I should think… But what now? More dream dimensions? What will the hundred weaves do? Viviane thought to herself, her mind a twitter with all the possibilities.


                Much as before, Viviane found herself in the bowels of the Tower, standing before that familiar double door; tall as a fortress and twice as wide. Valeri Sedai channeled the doors open and wasted no time in entering the silent chamber. Stand-lamps laid along the circumference of the room, the bone-white walls magnifying the lamps’ blazing fires. It was almost blinding.


                Viviane followed the Mistress of Novices obediently into the Chamber. The strange ringed Ter’angreal sat before them, glittering in various colors of the rainbow.


                Valeri intoned the single word, “Attend,” and seven Aes Sedai, one from each Ajah, came to stand in a ring around Viviane and the Mistress of Novices. Each one was wearing their shawl. Viviane couldn’t help but notice that Jagen Sedai had come for the Reds and Lillian Sedai had come for the Whites. A chill ran down Viviane’s back, but she did not let it show. Calmness flowed out from every pore of her body.


                In that same commanding voice, Valeri called out, “You come in ignorance, Viviane Accylon. How would you depart?”


                Viviane answered in a firm tone, “In knowledge of myself.”


                “For what reason have you been summoned here?”


                “To be tried.”


                “For what reason should you be tried?”


                “So that I may learn whether I am worthy.”


                “For what would you be found worthy?”


                “To wear the shawl,” Viviane answered.


                Viviane immediately began to remove her Accepted’s dress, stockings, shoes, everything, until she was as naked as her nameday. This was the part she had hated, but it was only Sisters here; no peeping eye would be allowed down here and if they were found, they would be dealt with severely. No. Viviane had nothing at all to worry about.


                Going on as Viviane disrobed, Valeri intoned, “Therefore I will instruct you. You will see this sign upon the ground.” The Mistress of Novices channeled and used a finger to draw a six-pointed star in the air before Viviane.




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  • 2 weeks later...

Jagen's dark blue eyes went to Viviane as she stepped into the chamber. The young woman who was here to become one of them--truly one of the sisterhood of Aes Sedai--was a bright and thoughtful student, one of her best. But this test could not be personal. The Red was here to push Viviane to her limits, not to give her a soft push in the right direction.


Jagen turned back toward the oval ring, taking in a rhythmic breath. It was shining bright, ready for Viviane to enter. Jagen concentrated. She would not be doing the first few tests, but she was ready with scenarios for the potential Aes Sedai. Unlike the testing for Accepted, where the tree arches ter'angreal made the scenario, it would be the Aes Sedai who molded what she would experience. For this, it was important to know not just what a particular woman might fear, but experiences that would make anyone hesitate, or fear, or drive.


(OOC: I'm sorry this is a bit short, I wasn't sure how far I should go with it, but I am ready to do some testing! I figured you could do your own first test or so.)

Edited by Jagen Sedai
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  • 10 months later...

                Viviane felt a jolt of surprise as a Weave touched at the back of her scalp. She betrayed nothing, however. The slightest gasp or widening of eyes would be enough for the Sisters to declare failure on Viviane’s part.


                Calm, remain calm, Viviane thought.


                “Remember what must be remembered,” A voice said softly behind Viviane, presumably the same Sister that was touching her with the Weave.


                “When you see that sign,” The Mistress of Novices pointed to the star and went on, “You will go to it immediately, at a steady pace, neither hurrying nor hanging back, and only then may you embrace the Power. The Weaving required must begin immediately, and you may not leave that sign until it is completed.”


                “Remember what must be remembered,” The voice called again.


                Viviane’s eyes never left the star that hung in the air, it’s shape burned into her mind. She was not sure what would be on the other side of the Arches or how this star would manifest, but by the Light she had to be sure she would recognize it. Was that what the gentle Weaving was for? To help her remember? It was impossible to tell without seeing the thing.


                “When the weave is complete, you will see that sign again, marking the way you must go, again at a steady pace, without hesitation.”


                “Remember what must be remembered.”


                “One hundred times will you weave, in the order you have been given and in perfect composure.”


                “Remember what must be remembered.”


                The Weave at the back of her head began to settle. It almost felt like the Weave for Healing… Surely that is not what they were doing to her? Viviane had no need of it. A silly notion.


                Every Sister in the room moved away and formed a circle around the Three Arches, kneeling gracefully upon the tiled floor. The Mistress of Novices stayed planted in place, although her time for speaking was at an end. The Sisters around the ring embraced the Source in unison and began Channeling into the Arches.


                Colors flashed and whirled as the Arches began to drink in the One Power. The Sisters were weaving a complex tapestry of Threads. Viviane found herself wondering how long after gaining the Shawl would she have to wait before learning this Weave. If another initiate was raised tomorrow, would Viviane be allowed to attend the ceremony as these Sisters tended to her own? Or would she have to wait to establish herself? Oh, she should not have been letting her mind wander so, but it certainly helped to distract her from any potential nervousness or doubt that might be brewing.


                Viviane felt the hawkish stare of the Mistress of Novices. The woman was watching for any break in propriety. The Testing had begun as soon as she had left her rooms in the Accepted's quarters. Banishing all silly thoughts from her mind, Viviane focused on her calming exercises. She was the flower opening to the Sun. She was the river contained by the bank. She was the tree dancing with the wind. She was…


                A sheet of solid white energy suddenly filled the opening of the arched Ter’angreal. The light in the room seemed to dim as Viviane willed her feet to move, marching steadily and calmly to the Arches, passing through the sheet of white and into the hard part of her testing.


                There was no turning back now. For better or worse.

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                What had she been about to do? Viviane came to a stop and looked around. She wasn’t even entirely sure where she was. It was indoors, a corridor, that was for certain. Gleaming marble tiles lined the ground on which she stood and roughhewn stone rose up on the sides, stretching high into the air. She gazed up, but saw no end to the stone walls; they simply faded into darkness. There were no windows and no tapestries. Only marble and stone.


                This wasn’t the Tower. Perhaps the palace in Camelyn? That did not seem right either. The walls were impossibly high and the architecture was off; not that she knew much about architecture. If only a servant or a guard or someone would come along, this matter would be solved.


                A light breeze danced along her legs, causing gooseflesh to rise. Light! Where had her clothing gone!? She was as naked as her name-day! That would never do. She was not ashamed of her bare flesh, but there was the principle of the thing. What if she really was in the Tower? What if a Sister or- worse- the Amrylin Seat herself showed up? To find an initiate in such a state… Viviane shuddered to think of the penance she would have to take from the Mistress of Novices. She needed a dress.


                Where was she to find one?


                There was nothing for it but to start walking. Viviane picked a direction at random and began moving at a steady pace, her face a smooth mask of serenity. As she traveled along the hallway, Viviane heard a rustling behind her.


                Calm, remain calm, Viviane reminded herself internally.


                Ever so carefully, Viviane turned on her heel and saw… nothing. She was alone. Where had that noise come from? Odd. She turned back and started her procession once more down the hall.  The rustling began again almost instantly. Viviane paused and turned again. Nothing. She ignored it again and went on. This repeated a handful of times as she walked and every time there was nothing to see and no one to question.


                It felt like hours had passed by the time she had come to a large circular room, 6 doorways lined the perimeter, each leading into another corridor similar to the one that she had just traveled through. An intricate 6-pointed star was worked into the floor of the room, arranged with blue and red tiles.


                Yes, that’s why I am here. To find the star, Viviane thought to herself.


                Without falter, Viviane made her way to the center of the star on the floor and embraced the Source. She began to weave Air. At that moment, the rustling began again… and it seemed to be coming from multiple sources.


                Viviane’s face remained smooth, although a thundercloud began forming in her mind. She was not imagining the noise. Was this some sort of prank? Were there ruffians about, stalking her? Perhaps the residents of this massive structure? Tension warped the air, but she kept on weaving.




                The weave was finished. A solid blue coin materialized in the air above Viviane, dropping into her outstretched palm.


                The rustling had drawn in tight to Viviane. So close that she almost thought-


                A cold, hard hand closed on Viviane’s right shoulder.


                Gently pushing away, Viviane stepped forward and turned around. 5 Myrddraal stood less than a pace from her. Without thought, Viviane wove Air and altered the weave just so. She swung it around, slashing at the Myrddraal. The weave in question was meant to mimic a whip, but she had added her own touch, transforming it into something more akin to a scourge. Indeed, she was able to hit a few of the Myrddraal in one blow.


                The doorway furthest away started to pour forth an intense white light. Viviane calmly moved in that direction, steeling herself to the fact that the 5 eyeless were blocking her path.


                Clawed, skeletal hands reached out for Viviane. As she struck 2 of the Myrddraal, the other 3 moved in to close the gap. She hit the other 3 and the previous 2 moved in, mimicking their partners. Sweat beaded along her brow, but still she remained serene. Back and forth they went in this dance.


                Viviane barely moved a pace towards the door in all that time. The eyeless would not budge despite her efforts.


                This is getting me nowhere, Viviane thought to herself, Fire? No. Too uncontrollable. I’m not very good with Fire… Perhaps…? Yes. I think that will do. It may be a gamble, but there’s nothing for it.


                Viviane tied off her weave, still working the scourge, keeping the eyeless occupied.


                Threads of Water and Air were pulled from the atmosphere, Viviane started working them out smoothly. She spread the weave across the room and when she was satisfied, Viviane spun out a thread of Fire and touched it to the weave. A wet fog began to manifest. Thick clouds roiled about, gathering around the Myrddraal.


                Although half of the room was now obscured, Viviane could still see the light pouring from the doorway in the fog. Without so much as a quickening, Viviane made her way to the edge of the room and into the fog. She dragged her hand along the wall, using it as a means to keep a distance between herself and the eyeless. If things went awry, she still had her whip.


                The rustling began again as the 5 Myrddraal let out a terrible cacophony of shrieks. Still, Viviane kept her steady pace. Time seemed to slow, the light from the doorway seemingly paces and paces away.


                A hand brushed against Viviane’s shoulder and her left arm shot up, the scourge of Air flailing and striking the unseen horror.


                Another hand shot out.


                And then another.


                The doorway was just within reach.


                Sharp, jagged claws dug into Viviane’s naked flesh. Tearing deep gashes into her back. She felt the warm wetness rising up from her wounds, pouring forth onto the nails of her attackers. Still. She remained resolute.


                One more step and-


                Viviane was through the doorway.

Edited by Oddpositions
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                Viviane found herself in a very familiar basement. It was warm and smelled of hot beeswax and lavender. The stone floor was cool beneath her bare feet. Wasting no time, she strode forward onto the red carpet and picked up one of the many dresses that lined the walls. It was a deep shade of blue with yellow and pink embroidered chrysanthemums. Light, but it had been too long since she had worn a dress as fine as this one.


                It was her mother’s shop she had entered, of course, and just finished with the 1st weave. She had to keep going. Where Viviane had been before here, she did not know, but somehow that felt right. The only way to go was forward. Absently, she noted that the back of her dress had felt wet and sticky. Ah well, she would check it after she found Mother.


                The 5th step creaked, as it always did, on her way up from the basement. The door at the top of the steps was wide open, spilling yellow light into the stairwell. She came up into the main sitting room, located at the back of the shop. A fire was roaring, candles were lit everywhere, and it smelled as if there was a stew in the pot. Viviane saw neither her Mother nor her Grandmother. She moved on.


                Walking steadily.


                Head held high.


                Face calm.


                Viviane made her way through the sitting room and into the main shop itself. Long tables crowded the back half, each lined with a dozen or so paper patterns and mock dresses quickly stitched together with cheap linen and muslin. Half-finished gowns were pinned to battered dress forms all throughout the shop, only a handful of finished products displayed in the windows. Fond memories of childhood came flooding back to her.


                Mother had been happy then. Grandmother had been spry enough to help around the shop still. The business had still been steady. Food was always on the table. Despair had not touched them yet. A simpler time.


                Viviane pushed the thoughts away, letting them float along the river of her mind. Just as soon as they were formed, they dissipated. Her mind was calm. She was calm.


                No candles were lit in this half of the building, Viviane noted as she continued her procession through the shopfront. In fact, it had been all but silent in the home, although now she was starting to hear shouts and jeers coming from the other side of the windows and the front door. Violent crimson light suddenly spilled into the shop as a large group of people made their way past.


                The door opened smoothly for Viviane. She stepped out onto the street and realized that she had not grabbed slippers on her way out, the cobbled streets feeling icy upon the balls of her feet. Viviane looked up after the group that had just passed and spotted a pair of silk slippers next to the steps leading down from the shop door. She slipped them on and tailed after- what appeared to be- an angry mob.


                Pitchforks, torches, forge hammers, shouting, the lot.


                What had gotten them so worked up? They were not planning on overthrowing the Queen of Andor… were they? Where was the city guard? Surely this rabble had attracted attention.


                Indeed, more people were pouring out of the buildings that the mob passed, adding to the thriving tumult that was surging through the streets of the New City. No guards were in sight, only angry, enraged faces of the common man. None looked at Viviane, even as they made their way out of their shops and houses and unfortunate alleyways. It was almost as if she were invisible. There was nothing else to do but to keep silent, watch, and continue on.


                Eventually, the angry sea of Andorans emptied out onto one of the larger public squares in the New City. The masses parted to the left and the right upon entering the square, leaving a large open path from the opening to the center. The people formed a sort of ring around the center, hoisting their torches and their weapons. They jeered and screamed and swore oaths, all directing their ire to the center of the square.


                At the center, a tall wooden pole was erected upon a square stage. At the bottom of the pole was Mother and Grandmother, fasted to the thing with impossible lengths of rope. Bales of hay had been unstrapped and piled up at their feet. Viviane’s heart sank.


                I am the river, contained by the bank, Viviane thought.


                She made her way down the open path, walking directly towards her family.


                I am the rose, opening to the Sun, Viviane thought.


                A man, dressed in white, a sun emblazoned across his chest, walked out from the crowd. He held a torch aloft and wore a sickening smile.


                I am the leaf, carried away by the wind, Viviane thought.


                He lowered his torch to the kindling at the feet of her Mother and her Grandmother.


                I am the flame, dancing upon the wick, Viviane thought.


                Her foot touched a bit of raised stone and she gazed down to the ground. Another star was worked into the ground, although this time it had been made with red stones. The thing rose a fingers width from the rest of the stones and Viviane walked onto it, opening herself to Saidar.


                Viviane looked up to find herself at the foot of the stage. All five threads of the Power were spun out before her and she began to work them without missing a beat. A complex tapestry sprung into place as instinct took hold.


                The kindling erupted into flames and the deranged Whitecloak began to bellow out laughter. The entire crowd of people surrounding her cried out in ecstasy, beginning to push in, close the gap that they had left around the stage. Viviane divided her flows, pulling out as many threads of Water as she could muster.


                The Sisters had said that one must use Fire if one is to extinguish a fire. Viviane was incredibly weak in that power; so, she had to find more literal methods. More than one Sister had warned her against this course of action in the past, but it could not be helped.


                Viviane put the finishing touch upon the Second Weave, and when it did nothing but melt away, she knew that she had done it properly. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw a large gateway standing behind some people in the crowd. A 6 pointed star sat atop the gateway and white light spilled forth, none of the mob noticed. Viviane finished working her threads of Water.


                As if from nowhere, a large sphere of water appeared above the pole that held her family. The floating liquid fell without ceremony, crashing down upon the fire that had grown, the thing that had threatened to consume her Mother and her Grandmother. Clumps of flaming kindling shot out from the square as the force of the water came crashing down, shooting the things out into the crowd. One almost caught Viviane square in the face, yet she glided to the left and wove again. Another quick thread of Air and the ropes that bound her family fell to the ground, severed cleanly.


                “I love you both,” Viviane announced loudly as she calmly made her way to the gateway, working her way through the crowd. None of them seemed to see her or notice that she was gently guiding them out of her path.


                Viviane stepped through the next gateway.

Edited by Oddpositions
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  • 2 weeks later...

                Viviane stepped through the doorway. 99 weaves she had preformed and she had all of the bruises, cuts, and welts to prove it. Where she had acquired these injuries, she did not know.


                It did not matter.


                Nothing mattered if she could not find the last star.


                Tar Valon rose ahead of her. That gleaming, perfect silhouette cast an imposing image as it rose high into the heavens; the sky a violent shade of crimson as the Sun sunk just behind the Tower. The air was choked with smoke and the stench of putrid blood. Viviane would have normally felt the sick rising in her throat at the smell of such things, but she was just so tired. Her body protested with every step taken. She could not remember a day where she had been more tired than this one. Surely she had endured worse as a Novice? Those days seemed to stretch into infinity… Would she even be able to embrace the Source for the final weave or would the exhaustion take her?


                Snow crunched as Viviane began her stately walk forward. A harsh wind carried over the countryside, reminding her that she was naked. Normally that would have bothered her, but for some reason, she didn’t even give it a second thought. Gooseflesh rose across every inch of her, but Viviane shrugged it off. The exhaustion was much worse than any dip in temperature.


                Screams rose in the distance. Bodies were strewn half-hazardly everywhere she looked. Blood leaked out upon the snow and ashes were caked upon the vitae; it served to make a ghastly painting of death upon the landscape. Fallen soldiers reached out to Viviane as she walked, crying out for help, for Healing, even for death. As much as it pained her, she had to ignore these men. Even if she could offer help, most seemed to be too far gone to even consider expending the energy.


                No. She had to keep moving.


                “Viv?” A voice called out from her left.


                Impossible, Viviane thought to herself.


                “Silence, wetlander!” Another voice called out.


                “VIV!” That first voice screamed again.


                That is just your imagination, Viv. Father has been dead for over twenty years. He died at the Battle of the Shinning… Viviane’s thoughts stopped at that concept. It was absurd to even consider the possibility.


                “Viv, why are you walking away!? This Aielman will-“


                “Must I cut out your tongue!? Do not speak!” The second voice roared over the first.


                “That is my daughter, you savage! You will not keep me from-“


                “I said SILENCE!”


                Screams and moans swelled throughout the atmosphere.


                Viviane kept walking.


                The cries of fallen warriors seemed to follow Viviane to the gates of Tar Valon. She ignored them all. Despite her sensibilities, it appeared that she had traveled back in time to 978 NE… How? She had been just a babe at the time… There was no weave known that could push an individual through time. Was this all a dream? Were the 100 weaves just an illusion? A fallacy to convey her own power? She knew that was not the reality of the situation, but still… There was that nagging feeling that all was not right in this reality.


                Despite it all, Viviane knew that she was witnessing the Battle of the Shining Walls. Father had perished in this very battle, and it seemed that she was hearing his death throes. Why? Perhaps all of this was a side effect of a newly surfacing Talent that she possessed. Maybe this was all a dream. Or perhaps she really was traveling through time, given the gift to change fates?


                Viviane doubted all of that.


                Somehow she knew that her father was supposed to be here. If it was not Father, it would have been Mother… She couldn’t say how she knew, but it was there nonetheless. Accylon blood needed to be spilled on this day, and there was no requisite. Father was the sacrificial lamb. Due to sheer coincidence… Perhaps it might have been Mother if she had been stronger in the Power… Perhaps…


                Viviane came to a stop over a six-pointed star; it was worked into the ground with red and yellow tiles. She embraced the Source and wove the 100th weave without thought.


                A shower of multi-colored flecks erupted into the air, spraying down upon Viviane and the bodies surrounding her. Another 6-pointed star seemed to manifest above the gates to Tar Valon just a few paces from Viviane’s right. She limped towards the star without thought, pushing her way to the end of her journey. She stepped through the gateway and-

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                Viviane all but collapsed when she staggered through that gateway and into the round domed room of the Testing. Everything came rushing back to her in a blurry daze. All of the horrors she had endured, all the sorrows and woes she would have to live with. Viviane had been faced with the deaths of her very family. Had the Aes Sedai concocted the scenarios for the test?


                It was all so… cruel.


                The Mistress of Novices came forward, stepping up to Viviane. Without warning, she clapped her hands loudly and spoke in a loud voice.


                “It is done. Let no one ever speak of what has passed here. It is for us to share in silence with she who experienced it. It is done.”


                She clapped again.


                “Viviane Accylon, you will spend tonight in prayer and contemplation of the burdens you will take on the morrow when you don the shawl of an Aes Sedai. It is done.”


                The Mistress of Novices clapped her hands a third time and then spun on her heel. She walked serenely from the room, disappearing into the cavernous hallways of the basement levels. As if on cue, the other sisters rushed over to Viviane and began to fuss over her.


                A brown sister, Viviane could not remember her name, offered Healing. Viviane accepted gleefully.


                Light. I’ve done it. I’ve passed! Was all she could think as she was Healed, and then led back up to her room in the Accepted’s quarters.


                I will be Aes Sedai.

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