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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

The White Tower & The World (Open)


Lavinya
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Lesson 1: Aes Sedai in the past:

 

 

It was a red shawl that greeted the novices in silence as they filed in, and it was silence that dominated the classroom as the novices took their seats. Looking at the sheaf of paper before her, she matched faces to names with her hard sapphire eyes until she saw that everyone had arrived. Standing from her seat, she made her way to the nearest window, an ominous clink sounding through the classroom every time she stepped with her left leg though why remained a mystery as her skirt skimmed the floor as she walked. Stopping before the window, the Aes Sedai looked out the window for a moment, her raven hair flowing in a single braid down to her waist.

 

Turning from the window, the Aes Sedai made her way to front of the class, stopping in front of her desk before turning to the class. “In the future, anyone who is attending this class shall be here on time or shall explain themselves to the Mistress of Novices. While you shall find that some of your teachers may be lenient, I am not one of these teachers. I am Saya Sedai of the Red Ajah, and I shall be your teacher until I am satisfied that you all possess the required knowledge to continue on from this class.”

 

“Today we shall be carrying out a brief overview of Aes Sedai from the time of the Age of Legends to present day. I suggest that you use this opportunity to grab the quills before you and make use of the parchment.” Pausing for a moment to allow the students to dip their quills in the inkwells before them, Saya began the lecture.

 

“The Aes Sedai of the Age of Legends existed as a guild that was spread throughout all the lands. Testing of people, while not mandatory, was encouraged and nearly everyone in the world was tested. While the Aes Sedai were part of what was essentially a guild, nearly all Aes Sedai had some other form of occupation, in anything from law and government to farming and education. Aes Sedai were requested to perform specific works, but otherwise lived quite peaceful and secure lives in a world that fully accepted them and the powers they wielded.”

 

“The Age of Legends was brought to an end when Lews Therin Telamon, the Dragon, sealed the Dark One away and in the same act began what was known as ‘the breaking of the world’. Before the Dark One had been sealed away, males could wield the one power safely side by side with women, and some of the greatest works of the Age of Legends were wrought by men and women working as one. However, when the Dragon sealed the Dark One away, the Dark One in turn managed to foul the male half of the source, the Dark One’s taint corrupting saidin.”

 

“Those who were with the Dragon when the Dark One was sealed away were struck mad immediately including the Dragon, and all other men soon followed suit. It was during this time, the time of madness, that the world was broken as the male channelers, driven insane by the taint, wrought destruction wherever they walked. It was during this time that the female Aes Sedai banded together to hunt the men down and still them, to end the madness.”

 

“While the female Aes Sedai succeeded in ending the Breaking, the actions of the male Aes Sedai had managed to destroy the good reputation the Aes Sedai had enjoyed previously. Banding together, the Aes Sedai settled here in Tar Valon, the White Tower was built. No longer were the Aes Sedai spread evenly through the world, as the Aes Sedai had made so many sacrifices during the Breaking that their numbers were perhaps at two to three thousand.”

 

“During this time, ten great nations rose and with the help of the White Tower forged the compact creating a peace that last for nearly eight hundred years. When the Trolloc Wars broke the peace, it was the White Tower who provided the ten nations with the support of Channelers to fight the Dreadlords that served the Dark One, men and women who were sworn to the Dark One and possessed the ability to channel.”

 

“Despite the valour of many over a period of three hundred and fifty years, the ten nations were broken, the White Tower alone surviving intact as the hordes were driven back over the Mountains of Dhoom. Many nations rose up during this time, and it wasn’t until Artur Hawkwing that they were united. Aes Sedai served as governors and officials in Hawkwing’s empire until, convinced by some including his chief counsellor Jalwin Moerad that the Aes Sedai were gaining too much power and were seeking to overthrow him, had all Aes Sedai dismissed and declared war upon the White Tower.”

 

“A good number of people recognised the accusations that Hawkwing had been convinced with to be the result of envy, and supported the White Tower by helping Tar Valon withstand the siege until Hawkwing’s death in Free Year nine hundred and ninety four. Despite this, that a ruler as well loved as Artur Hawkwing had turned against the White Tower served only to destroy the reputation of Aes Sedai further. During the War of One Hundred years.”

 

“Many of the current nations were forged during this time, as were several groups that are known throughout the land. The most obvious being the Children of the Light, who originally acted as preachers but soon took up the sword to fight any they felt were darkfriends. Because the Children blame all channelers for the breaking rather than just the male, and therefore regard all channelers as darkfriends, those that they would put to the sword include everyone in this room. Despite the clear flaws in their reasoning, that reasoning is widely accepted in Amadicia and to a lesser extent in some of the other southern lands, the Children’s teachings doing little good for the reputation of the Aes Sedai.”

 

“That concludes my lecture for now, but you are not finished. There has been time allotted for you tomorrow morning to spend in the library. There shall be an Accepted there who shall ensure you have arrived there. This time will be spent gaining a little more knowledge about Aes Sedai in the past, focusing on whichever moment in history you feel most comfortable with.”

 

”You shall have one hour of time for this study, at which point you shall all be taken by the Accepted to one of the study rooms where you will have time to discuss what you have learnt and the Accepted shall help you to understand what it was like for Aes Sedai at the time a little better. By the end of your time with the Accepted, you must have submitted written work explaining what you believe was the greatest contributing factor to the fall in respect for the Aes Sedai. There is no set amount that must be written, however, I am aware of the abilities of each and every one of you, and should you perform one whit below them you will regret having wasted my time with substandard work.”

 

“We next meet in four days, where we shall discuss the White Tower and its relationship with the rest of the world in the present time. You may leave.”

 

OOC:(Choose one of the things mentioned above, discuss it and other issues with the other students or the MoN in the Library, discussing what you think was most important in destroying the reputation of Aes Sedai in the world. Each lesson is supposed to get at least two posts from your part, so one should be commenting other people's work or asking questions and answering questions asked from you and the other pondering the given topic. Also, note that since this class is meant to have occurred roughly 924, as opposed to the current year 999, some events haven’t occurred, like the Whitecloak and Aiel wars).

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

Pia stood silently by the sole window in the small study room, gazing silently at the gardens beyond. A tiny smile played about her lips as she awaited the novices that were scheduled to study after their class. She imagined the girls would be most surprised to find the mistress of novices awaiting them, rather than Accepted Ilen. Unfortunately Ilen had an appointment with some grimy pots, punishment for breaking curfew, and Pia had relished the opportunity to get to know some of the new initiates better.

 

The hum of conversation drew Pia's attention, turning from the window in time to see the shocked faces of the novices as they filed in, hastily dropping curtseys and looking awfully uncomfortable. A downfall of her position; most novices believed her presence meant trouble, regardless of whether she had just dried their tears in a motherly fashion.

 

Pia smiled brightly, waving the girls to sit at the desks she had arranged in a circle, after seating herself. "Accepted Ilen is unable to join you today, so I have taken her place." Pia tried to appear friendly. After all, she was the closest thing to a mother that these girls would find for some years now. "I thought it the perfect opportunity to get to know you better, and help you in your study." Pia clasped her hands delicately on the desk before her, her dark eyes surveying the younglings before her. They were mere children now, but one day, they may be the future of the Aes Sedai. She would do all in her power to prepare them for it.

 

"I am aware that today you learnt about the history of the Aes Sedai." Pia turned her gaze to the girl on her right. "Tell me, why do you believe the reputation of the Aes Sedai was so tarnished in the eye of the world?" The girl looked somewhat hesitant. "There are no right or wrong answers. I want you girls to think, to learn, to draw your own conclusions. Discuss it with one another, debate the point." She smiled and waved for the novice to speak.

 

 

Pia Tovisen, Mistress of Novices

 

OOC: Like it said above, you need to post twice for this lesson. Post once about your opinion on why Aes Sedai are thought of so ill, and your second in response to someone else. Feel free to debate, or agree, to fight...whatever takes your fancy. Let's try and have some fun :D

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Salandrian cleared her throat. She could feel her face flushing like a fire. All the novices were staring at her! Compose yourself woman! Salandrian told herself. Just like she said, there are no right or wrong answers. She took a deep breath.

 

"Well... I think that Hawkwing's actions...um... tarnished the Aes Sedai's reputation the most. He was so popular, everyone must have been hanging onto his every word! And so when he declared the Aes Sedai as traitors and backstabbers, nearly everyone believed him."

 

Salandrian took a breath as she waited for another novice to respond.

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Denae was still a little rankled from the class with Saya Sedai, after the little speech on lateness. She hadn't been deliberately late, she had been asked to assist a Brown carry some books from the library to her chambers, and as it was had been forced to run most of the way back. Something told her Saya wouldn't particularly care why she was late, even if it wasn't her fault.

 

It was with these thoughts in her head that she entered the study room, coming to an abrupt halt upon seeing who stood by the window. Light, the Mistress of Novices? But I wasn't that late!Denae's dark eyes were wide as the woman turned, fear causing her heart to pound. She'd always found the Aes Sedai to be a kindly woman, but then again she'd never been sent to her for punishment before. The whispers she had heard told her that Pia Tovisen was not a woman to be trifled with, her punishments as hard as she was kind.

 

Relieved to no bounds that Pia was merely here to instruct them, Denae slid into a chair beside her room mate Sidonie. The girl was...interesting, and while Denae often quietly thought the girl was as dim witted as her blonde hair was shiny, she had found no real reason to dislike her. It probably helped that Denae never said a word out of turn, polite to the end.

 

Denae set her notes on the desk, reading over them quietly as another novice she had not met began to speak. Denae nodded silently, it was a very valid point. Why was it suddenly so silent? Denae lifted wide eyes, to find Pia staring at her pointedly. "Do you agree with this, child?"Denae cleared her throat. Much as she preferred to stay silent, she had been asked a question.

 

"I think that it is a valid point, but I believe the issue stems back further, that Artur Hawkwing merely confirmed the ill reputation." They were still looking at her, and Denae continued reluctantly. "I believe that ever since the breaking, the Aes Sedai have lost the respect of many people. Not that they didn't save the day as it were, but because people fear. They were afraid of the male channelers, the ones who caused the breaking. How were they to know if the women were any different? For all they knew, the women too could turn mad at any moment and kill them all. People fear what they do not know, and the general populace to not know the One Power, do not know exactly what it is to be an Aes Sedai." Denae fell silent, blushing slightly under the gaze of all the girls. She made a small helpless gesture and hoped to the light that someone else would speak up and save her.

 

 

Denae

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Syrien slipped to a corner seat away from the other women. She had no feelings of kindredship with these light dazzled fools. The fact that she was a “white cloak” and a wilder had dissuaded the novices from being overly friendly, which suited Syrien just fine.

 

As a brown headed novice gave her opinion about the Breaking, a wild thought popped into her head. When the woman finished her statement, Syrien spoke up. “Mmmm, I agree. However I also think that the Aes Sedai haven’t tried to convince the people different. The White Tower like the nations fearful respect. Why discuss the Aes Sedai reputation when we'll never try to change it?” Her question floated in the silent room.

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Badriayh sat in a relaxed posture at her desk allowing the others to go on about what they thought of Aes Sedai. She shifted her eyes between the girls as each took her turn to speak about what she believed. The young Murandian had no intention of participating whatsoever, though she did take the occasional note down, so it was not until a novice piped up the following speech that she spoke:

 

Mmmm, I agree. However I also think that the Aes Sedai haven’t tried to convince the people different. The White Tower like the nations fearful respect. Why discuss the Aes Sedai reputation when we'll never try to change it?

 

Daring, thought Badriyah blandly. She yawned lazily and was about to stretch like a cat rising after a deep nap and planning to sleep a little more when she noticed the Mistress of Novices looking at her expectantly in the awkward silence. So she was to give her opinion was she? Oh well, since you force me. She thought with a slight wicked excitement building up within her at being able to express her sour feelings on the matter.

 

“Change.” said Badriyah with a ponderous air. She waited to make sure she had the others’ attention then continued with purpose, “Change is not in our hands. We are mere novices and were it that we were Aes Sedai would it really be any different? You may know about what you think is right, you may apply it to your own everyday life, but you cannot force others to. Everyone has freewill; at least no Aes Sedai is ever compelled. And what one person can do is so miniscule to the whole world that it might as well be classed insignificant, no matter how powerful the person is. Not all lands are ruled by Aes Sedai, anyway, and in many nations Aes Sedai are actually loathed. They are not as powerful as is made out to be or as seems to us here in the White Tower. Not only that, but Aes Sedai are restricted to a set of rules that they themselves put into place, they have set their own limits to what they can do to alter present situations worldwide.” Badriyah looked the novice who had spoken about change in the eye, saying in measured, calm tones, “Do as you please and enjoy yourself. Do not think too much about others. One person cannot improve the world alone: join the rest of us.”

 

The young killer was not about to expand on that last bit, let them make of it as they will, she thought dismissively. It could have meant several things and if questioned she would simply state that the connotation in her words were meant to encourage passiveness, rather than aggression, the latter of which had been her intentional meaning.

 

OOC: Please tell me if there's anything I need to change :)

 

 

Badriyah

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"One person cannot improve the world alone: join the rest of us.”

 

Syrien raised an eyebrow at the whiteclad girl. Funny how those words stuck out for the rest. Could they know she served the Dark Wonderful Lord? No, surely not, the mere child was a light blinded pest who would never know true power.

 

"I never said I wanted to change the world. I merely think this is a waste of time."

 

 

OOC: :twisted:

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"I never said I wanted to change the world. I merely think this is a waste of time."

 

How pessemistic! These other nitwits of novices couldn't have been more depressing. Salandrian had to say something. Gridning her teeth, she looked at the novice who had just spoken and said:

 

"How do you know you cannot change the world? Think of all the people who would be dead if the Yellow Aes Sedai had not saved them. Think of all the wars that would have been started if the Grey Ajah had not negotiated peace. Think of all the men who would have gone mad and killed the-Creator-knows how many, if the Red Ajah had not gentled them." Feeling very aware of every eye on her, Salandrian sat down.

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Badriyah was suspicious of the novice she replied to, who now had an eyebrow raised at her. She thoroughly ignored the comment the other made by studying her nails and feigning disinterest, but now and then she flashed her eyes about discreetly to make sure all was as it should be. She did notice, however, that the first novice to express an opinion, something regarding Artur Hawkwing’s negative reaction to Aes Sedai, appeared to be fuming. Is she going to reprimand us then? Badriyah wondered idly, not caring enough about the matter.

 

“ How do you know you cannot change the world?” started the girl passionately, “Think of all the people who would be dead if the Yellow Aes Sedai had not saved them. Think of all the wars that would have been started if the Grey Ajah had not negotiated peace. Think of all the men who would have gone mad and killed the-Creator-knows how many, if the Red Ajah had not gentled them.”

 

At the end of this speech Badriyah glanced over at the Mistress of Novices who nodded approvingly at her classmate. I must be wary of this one. She would do anything for an Aes Sedai. She might as well have kissed the hem of Pia’s skirt as given that speech! I must indeed keep a close eye on her, and be as careful around her as one in my position would be around a Whitecloak.

 

Badriyah tactfully delved in the silence a little more before abruptly bursting into a lame applause, “Well done! I believe your speech has served its true purpose!” she said slyly, watching the girl and casting her eyes inconspicuously once over to the Mistress of Novices, to give the girl the idea of the hidden meaning in her words. The others seemed a little startled at the young Murandian’s sudden outburst of clapping, which pleased her. Perhaps the novice who had stated that “this was a waste of time” would understand. She gave her pessimistic classmate who seemed to share her views about Aes Sedai a very small, very wicked smile.

 

 

Badriyah

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This was so incredibly boring! Having to sit through some history lesson about Aes Sedai that were long dead and people she was supposed to know about but didn't even have a clue about. Who in the light was Artur Hawking anyways?? She had just given a light harmuph as she rested her chin against her wrist and gazed boringly at a speck on the wall over the Mistress of Novice's shoulder.

 

But to become an Aes Sedai she would have to sit through this, though she was still angry that she was just a Novice. How was she to know that she actually had to go through years of training before she was able to be an Aes Sedai...and not just that but they were forced to were these hideous dresses, not like the rich splendor she had seen in Aramina Sedai's room that had made her so accepting of becoming an Aes Sedai.

 

But of course she was still forced to sit in the library with the rest of the novices after having studied all day, all day! to no real end. And now she was just confused sitting listening to the arguements going on around her. She glanced over at the notes sitting in front of Denae, her quiet but intelligent roommate. She looked up and twisted her lips once again. If only the girl would change her hair just so she could totally change her look so she didn't look so...bookish. But Sidonie did like her, she was nice and didn't get in Sidonie's way. Her main problem in getting along with other girls had always been that she always had to be at the head of the group and Denae seemed to want to follow happily.

 

“Well done! I believe your speech has served its true purpose!” Sidonie looked back with a look of shock. How could that girl be so callouse? The little chit didn't have to be so snotty about this whole thing, and she seemed as smug as a cat that had stolen some milk from the counter. Sidonie sniffed dismissively and turned her nose up.

 

The Mistress of Novices turned her gaze breifly to her and Sidonie spoke up immediately. She was sure that she knew exactly why the world hated Aes Sedai, it was just like why all the village girls had hated her they were jealous. "I think it's really obvious why the rest of the world hates Aes Sedai, and it's not because of some Hawking guy from hundreds of years ago."

 

"I think it's of course obvious that the rest of the world is just jealous of Aes Sedai. They can't begin to do the things we do so who could blame them for being jelaous. I mean, what woman wouldn't hate someone who can afford to wear silks all the time and look like they are twenty when they are actually two hundered!" Sidonie shook her head, it was obvious after all, why anyone else hadn't pointed it out already was beyond her. "But it's not our fault for being this way so maybe everyone else should just learn to deal with it and stop with their snotty little attitudes." The last Sidonie said with her nose up in the air and her eyes glaring daggers at whoever this girl was that seemed so intent on getting on the bad side of everyone around her.

 

 

Sidonie

None too bright ;)

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Denae thought her room mate was severely lacking in intelligence. She liked her well enough, finding her extraordinarily pretty, and she knew she was a very strong person, but had always assumed she was rather, well, stupid. But after her little speech in the study room, she was almost convinced of it. Almost.

 

One learned a lot when they were silent, something Denae swore by, so she had remained quiet as the other girls spoke, listening to their opinions and keeping her own to herself, as she usually did. She was not the kind of person who enjoyed creating waves. So many of the other novices were feisty girls, but Sidonie certainly took the grand prize.

 

Denae had boggled as the pretty blonde had spoken. Light, the way she spoke, it was as though she didn't even know who Artur Hawkwing was! Jealous? Did she honestly believe that was why so many people feared and respected the Aes Sedai? Jealousy?? It would have been awfully humorous if she didn't have to share a room with the girl. And Sidonie was awfully good at creating trouble with the other novices, and even her share of Accepted. No doubt it was going to spring up now, and in front of the Mistress of Novices, no less.

 

"I sincerely doubt that jealousy is the sole reason the Aes Sedai have such a tarnished reputation," Denae began, her voice almost a whisper as she spoke without first being addressed, something she rarely did, if ever. "But I must admit I wouldn't be surprised to hear that there are women and also likely men that envy the gift of the One Power." Denae fell silent once more and gave her room mate a small shy smile as she lowered her head to look at her notes, trying to hide how terrified she was of speaking so. It wasn't a completely foolish argument, just extremely unlikely. Perhaps Denae could help Sidonie with some of her studies, she did seem to struggle with many of them. It was the type of thing a friend did for their room mate, wasn't it? Denae doubted she had completely stemmed the beginning of an argument, but at least Sidonie would know Denae didn't think she was a complete fool.

 

 

Denae

Smitten :D

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  • 3 weeks later...

Finally a girl who wasn't a complete nimrod! Some of these so-called Novices seemed to believe half of the lies that surrounded the Aes Sedai. The Novice who spoke so rudely to Salandrian seemd to be exchanging some kind of sign with another pessemistic Novice. Hmmm... That didn't seem right. But Salandrian shook her head, and tried to dismiss the conclusions her mind was jumping too.

 

"Couldn't we simply look at letters and such writen about Aes Sedai since after the Breaking and try and find the earliest one? That would tell us from where and when this ill feeling came." Noticing that some girls were groaning, rolling there eyes, sighing, she quickly added, "It was only a thought, though."

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Very often it was ignorance that made people the most happy, and for Sidonie it was closer to every time. She looked at her timid roomate as she talked and just smiled, missing the critique of her arguement to only see the part that supported it, smiling brightly at the shy one that Denae passed her way. She reached out and gave the girl's hand a friendly squeeze in thanks for the support and turned back towards the class.

 

That was one of the things that she liked so much about Denae, she knew that she was smarter than Sidonie, but that was never above them. Denae would never flaunt that fact, and would even help Sidonie when she needed. She was a very good friend.

 

But Sidonie was among those groaning at the prospect of having to fo through old and dusty letters for hours to try and find an answer to this rather pointless question. "What would that help? It's not like letters can tell you anything, I mean they're just a bunch of words you're not actually like talking to the person after all." Sidonie sighed and rested her chin on her hand. Why couldn't they just leave and do something a little bit enjoyable.

 

 

Sidonie

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Pia remained quiet as the girls discussed amongst themselves the topic at hand. It was evident that some of the girls were wiser than others, though Pia kept her opinions to herself. The topic of the White Tower's reputation was a complex and prickly one at best, she hardly expected the girls to completely grasp the subject and pinpoint the exact causes, but they were all showing understanding. She was more interested in learning how they worked as individuals.

 

Soon enough Pia reminded the girls of her presence with her voice. "You have all presented some interesting and valid points. I believe you should be well equipped to complete your essays now." In a short while the only sounds in the room were those of studiousness; rustling paper and scratching quills, as the girls completed their set task, Pia watching silently from her chair. Some were clearly more comfortable with the writing than others, but whether it was skill that was lacking or the attention span she had yet to determine.

 

"Your time here is now at an end. If you have not completed your work, you must do so in your own time. You are dismissed." Pia stood to bid the novices farewell, nodding slightly to the curtseys as the girls took their leave, her eyes lingering on one particularly sulky blonde as she whisked by. Perhaps she would assign the study session to someone else tomorrow. A slight smile curved her lips as she swept from the empty room.

 

OOC:Nice job girls, and no I'm not going to make you actually write the essay! :)

 

 

 

Lesson 2: Aes Sedai and the World:

 

 

It was a neutral face that greeted the novices as they filed into the room, watching them as they quickly took their seats. Standing, Saya walked to the window and waited as the last couple made a dash to their seats. From the window, she spoke without turning as she looked outside. “It is good to see that you have all arrived on time today, if hurriedly. I have read through the papers I that were submitted and overall they were adequate.”

 

Turning to the class, Saya regarded the class with a stern face. “Today you shall be learning about Aes Sedai in the present world, and the White Tower’s relationships to other nations. Now would be an opportune time to help yourselves to the quills infront of you if you have not already done so.”

 

Walking to the front of the class, the only noise apart from the rustling movements of people preparing themselves to write being the solid clink that seemed to follow Saya wherever she walked. Turning to the class, she began the new lecture. “In response to the loss of reputation that was discussed in our last class, several things were attempted in order to stem the anti-Aes Sedai sentiment. Most notable perhaps was the three oaths.”

 

“The three oaths were introduced gradually over time depending on the events. The three oaths as you should already be aware are; To speak no word that is not true, To make no weapon with which one man may kill another, and Never to use the One Power as a weapon except against Shadowspawn, or in the last extreme defense of her own life or that of her Warder or another Aes Sedai.”

 

“The second of these oaths was the first one adopted, in answer to the breaking after the destruction wrought by the male channelers in order to assure people. The rod that was used to bind oaths was not used, as the word of an Aes Sedai was still highly respected during this time. It wasn’t until after the Trolloc Wars that the other two oaths and the rod to bind the oaths were adopted. Despite the efforts of the Aes Sedai, the fact that Tar Valon had survived and in fact increased in influence and power where the ten nations had been shattered led the envy and suspicion of the people to force the Aes Sedai to adopt the new measures.”

 

“Between our history and such efforts to mollify the people’s fears of Aes Sedai, of which I am certain that a number of you grew up with, our position and image in the current world has been shaped. We shall begin with Tar Valon, our home and city-state within its own right. While the Aes Sedai certainly helped found Tar Valon, the founding was also with the aid of many other people and even Ogier who shaped the Tower we stand in now. Aes Sedai have defended Tar Valon and preserved her from catastrophe again and again, from the Trolloc Wars to Artur Hawkwing’s armies and even the Aiel. As the people see us as we walk the streets, and know we keep Tar Valon safe, we are trusted and respected here in a way that few can boast.”

 

“These few are the nations that form the Borderlands; Saldea, Kandor, Arafel and Shienar. From the inception of the White Tower, the Aes Sedai have always aided the Borderlands in keeping back the creatures of the Dark One. This has been a duty that has been kept for nearly three thousand years now, and has led to a tradition of respect and friendship between the White Tower and the current nations of the Borderlands, who will receive any Aes Sedai warmly and with respect.”

 

“Arad Doman, bordering the nation of Saldea, is a nation who’s culture naturally affords a great deal of respect for women, most of the merchant class in Arad Doman actually being comprised of women rather than men. In addition to which, a number of the Aes Sedai come from this merchant class, including both Telcia, Muirenn and Karana Sedai, all of whom have served as Sitters in their time. With such connections between Arad Doman and the White Tower, the Aes Sedai command a good deal of respect in Arad Doman and are welcome.”

 

“Cairhien, the closest nation to our borders while treating Aes Sedai and the White Tower with respect view the White Tower with suspicion. The nature of the politics in Cairhien is such that any movement by Aes Sedai in the nation is often viewed as support for one group or faction from the White Tower, and therefore against another group. Even an Aes Sedai passing through and speaking to none shall raise questions, and therefore leading to a great deal of suspicion of Aes Sedai, even though we are still treated with respect there.”

 

“Andor is perhaps the nation most friendly to the White Tower of any nation south of Kinslayer’s Dagger. The good will enjoyed by the Aes Sedai in Andor is due to the foundings of Andor. When Artur Hawkwing died, his general in charge of the siege of Tar Valon, Souran Maravaile, continued the siege. His lover, Ishara, the daughter of the provincial governor of Andor, convinced him to lift the siege. This engendered a friendship between Ishara and the new Amyrlin, Deane Aryman, and Ishara also pledged her first daughter to be trained in the White Tower and to always have an Aes Sedai advisor. To this day, the tradition is maintained and all Aes Sedai are welcome in the court and elsewhere in Andor.”

 

“Tarabon, home of the Illuminators is a place of mixed feelings in regards to Aes Sedai. While the nobles, including both King and Panarch, welcome the Aes Sedai because we are seen as the opponents of their neighbour Amadicia, those not of noble birth tend to view the Aes Sedai with suspicion and while any Aes Sedai passing through shall be treated respectfully, the opinion of Aes Sedai is not particularly high in Tarabon.”

 

“Ghealdan is a quiet nation, resting between Amadicia, Altara and Garen’s wall that acts as a barrier between it and Andor. Like Tarabon, Aes Sedai are welcomed by the nobility but distrusted by the commoners. This is a general mistrust, and even hate in some areas that comes from our history during the trolloc wars. It is something to bear in mind when looking at the suspicion and mistrust of Aes Sedai in the southern nations today.”

 

“The three great southern nations; Aelgar, Eharon and Essenia had created a block against the Shadow’s forces, defences so strong that the shadow could not attack one nation without opening itself to counter-attack from the other two. One of the Shadow’s most infamous generals and dreadlords, Todaran Felar, led his forces to the borders of Eharon, goading the forces of the Light to attack. Seeing an opportunity to destroy one of the Shadow’s leaders in the War, Aelgar and Essenia committed forces to assist Eharon’s army as it marched on Todaran’s forces.”

 

“The battle raged for nine days, and by the time it was done Todaran and his army was annihilated. Unfortunately, the battle had been a ruse, a chance to lure forces from Aelgar and Essenia which weakened them, leaving them underpowered against the onslaught of the twin armies that broke the borders of the two countries, leading to the collapse of the southern front. Because the army had been lead by Aes Sedai, the leaders of the nations blamed the Aes Sedai for what happened. Later, after the trolloc wars were finally ended, the peoples of the south developed a great resentment of the White Tower, who had actually increased in power and influence by the end of the war where the nations furthest away from the Blight had been shattered. It was a feeling shared to a lesser extent in other countries, at the time, and came to form the base of the hatred that exists today, even if other things are attributed to it.”

 

“This is important to keep in mind when dealing with Tear. Such was the anger over what was conceived a betrayal by the Aes Sedai that all channelling in Moreina and later Tear was banned. Any girl discovered with the ability to channel is instantly sent to the White Tower and is discouraged, along with any other Aes Sedai, from entering Tear’s lands. The sole exception to this being the siege of Tear by Guaire Amalasan, when Aes Sedai were welcomed into the Stone itself.”

 

“Despite the hatred, the White Tower’s reputation has been repaired somewhat in Mayene, Illian and Altara. Mayene because the White Tower has managed to help it preserve its independence from Tear through many negotiations and the First of Mayene always keeps an Aes Sedai advisor at their side. Likewise, in Illian the assistance of the Aes Sedai has averted several wars between Illian and Tear and gained some measure of respect from the people. Lastly, Altara’s nobility has always attempted to maintain good relations with the Aes Sedai, even if the people are not quite so friendly, due to the constant threat from Amadicia.”

 

“Amadicia, famed home of the Children of the Light. I have already mentioned the reasoning of the Children of the Light before so I shall not go through it again, what I will add is this. Amadicia, despite having a King, is ruled by the Children who are led by their Lord Captain Commander. The Children of the Light are openly hostile towards the Aes Sedai and will kill us on sight, and have been known to send assassins after us when we are in foreign lands. The Children are rabid in their hatred and cannot be reasoned with, and should be avoided at all costs. While their homeland is in Amadicia, they travel throughout the lands, and any Aes Sedai should be wary when they see a white cloak.”

 

Watching the girls scribble the last of their notes down, Saya found herself wishing for a glass of water, that had taken longer than expected to get through. Still, better than a Brown who would have sidetracked down some ancient bit of lore until the point of the class was forgotten. “Once again you shall have to write a piece. This time you are to write about how Aes Sedai are viewed in your homeland. What you write is to be less about what I have said, and more from your own personal experiences. Tomorrow after lunch, you are to meet in the library with the Aes Sedai who shall take you to a study room. You are to pair off with one another, and you must pair off with a person from a different country. You are to discuss the differences between the way Aes Sedai are viewed in your countries. Then you are to submit the piece you have written to the Aes Sedai who shall pass them along to me. We shall be meeting in a week’s time one hour before dinner, do not be late…. You may go.”

 

Watching the last of them file out, Saya couldn’t help but wonder at some of the things she would read. Despite her years and experience with southerners, as a Saldean and now Aes Sedai she could not truly understand southern ignorance of what the Aes Sedai had done for them. One only had to look at how the Aes Sedai hunted down the False Dragons in the southern countries before they destroyed all about them to realise that the Aes Sedai sacrificed for others, rather than took. Still, ignorance was what she was here to remedy, or so she told herself as she watched the last novice leave with notes in hand.

 

 

--------------------------

 

 

It was another gray shawl that greeted the girls this day, but the woman wearing it was as different from her ajah sister as day and night. Fiery red curls tumbled about her shoulders, and her expression was as smooth as her coppery Domani skin as the girls filed in. She was short, shorter than most, but the way she held herself demanded authority. And Lavinya was not the type of woman who flinched at enforcing it.

 

"My name is Lavinya Sedai, and the Mistress of Novices asked me to reside over your session today." Dark eyes roved over the novices in their pristine white, lingering on each in turn. She wasn't entirely sure why Pia Sedai had selected her to work with the girls, but it was not her place to question. Her eyes lingered on a rather defiant face for a moment before moving on. [i[ There is trouble in that one...[/i]

 

"You all know what you are to do, and you may begin with your discussions. You." Lavinya pointed to a girl at random. "Tell us your name, and about your homeland." Settling into an uncomfortable wooden chair, Lavinya waited and listened.

 

 

Lavinya Morganen

Aes Sedai of the Gray Ajah

 

OOC:(Write a piece about how Aes Sedai were viewed in your homeland, drawing from the above and your character’s personal experience, anything from the simple sayings ‘the truth an Aes Sedai speaks is not always what you hear’ from unfriendly countries to the honourable way Aes Sedai are treated in friendly countries such as the borderlands and Tar Valon itself. Meet up with the Aes Sedai and then discuss the differences between the two countries with another person in the class or Lavinya if there is no one else. Again two posts are required for this lesson, 1 where you tell of your homeland's view and another where you ask question from the others or comment their work.)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Salandrian listened to the Aes Sedai, taking quick notes, but mostly she was payed attention to the stern woman. Though she had not had private tutoring, she had learned a little about the culture of other nations, but she had her own biases about them too. As the Aes Sedai talked about Illian, she heard an obviously Tairen girl making vexed noises, which Salandrian herself had barely kept in. And when the teacher was talking about Amadicia, there was an open sneer, which earned a harsh look from the Aes Sedai.

 

But when the Aes Sedai mentioned Altara as a whole, Salandrian clicked her tongue before she realized what she had done. Trying to cover up by russling papers, she turned bright red and looked down, ashamed when the Aes Sedai gave her an icy look. The rest of the lesson continued mostly univentfully, with some groans when the teacher announced the homework. She wrote it down and walked out of the class, noticing the haughty look the teacher gave her. Aes Sedai, don't forget, do they? Salandrian asked herself.

 

----

 

The Aes Sedai who was to teach them seemed to demand authority with her very presense. Not the type of woman to make a careless mistake around, Salandrian reminded herself, after thinking about what had happened last lesson.

 

"My name is Lavinya Sedai, and the Mistress of Novices asked me to reside over your session today. You all know what you are to do, and you may begin with your discussions. You." Lavinya Sedai pointed right to a Salandrian. "Tell us your name, and about your homeland."

 

"My name is..." she gulped under Lavinya Sedai's stare, "My name is Salandrian Faerhind of Ebou Dar. And I don't know about the rest of Altara, but in Ebou Dar, Aes Sedai are mistrusted by most common folk. In the Rahad, their are few who would even look at an Aes Sedai, much less speak to one. And I have noticed that Wise Women, who are are Healers or Wisdoms, avoid Aes Sedai at all costs. Once, when helping one out, the Wise Woman and I walked for an hour out of her way to avoid an Aes Sedai."

 

Salandrian took a breath and realized all that she had told the class. Back home, she normally would have been on the verge of tears. But it seemed like these discussions during her classes had made her less afraid to talk infront of others.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Badriyah rose from her bed, donned a clean novice dress, washed in the basin and made little effort to straighten her sleep-disheveled hair before exiting her room and making her way down the corridors to the large chamber where the second lecture of the White Tower and the World course would be held. The young novice slammed her book down on a desk and took her seat. As Saya began speaking, Badriyah ripped out a page of morbid poetry and stuffed it down the front of her shift before carelessly dipping her quill in an inkpot and splattering ink on the blank page before her. She took few notes that day, expecting to be able to remember the less important points accurately enough.

 

Murandy was not mentioned at all during the whole lesson! What in Shayol Ghul was she to write about?! She knew nothing of what the land thought of Aes Sedai, except that they had been considered a nuisance among her circle as they were not famous for being merciful to any assassins they caught. “The Light burn them! The Light burn them all!” growled Badriyah under her breath, watching her instructor hatefully as the class ended.

 

-----

 

 

The Aes Sedai who greeted them in the library was not the same Aes Sedai who had sat with them the day before. This was one Lavinya of the Gray Ajah, who gave Badriyah a stern look as the young novice dared to meet the Aes Sedai’s gaze defiantly. The Murandian criminal was tempted to offer the other woman a smile but managed to sustain herself. As the novice who had irritated Badriyah previously spoke up attention was diverted from the superior at the table.

 

My name is Salandrian Faerhind of Ebou Dar. And I don't know about the rest of Altara, but in Ebou Dar, Aes Sedai are mistrusted by most common folk. In the Rahad, their are few who would even look at an Aes Sedai, much less speak to one. And I have noticed that Wise Women, who are are Healers or Wisdoms, avoid Aes Sedai at all costs. Once, when helping one out, the Wise Woman and I walked for an hour out of her way to avoid an Aes Sedai.

 

“Craven Altarans,” muttered Badriyah to the shocked and angered stares of other girls at the table. Lavinya turned a disapproving gaze to the silver–eyed novice who spoke up mildly as though she had not just voiced a quite prejudice insult, “I am Badriyah, raised for the most part in the capital city in Murandy, the city of Lugard. I didn’t mingle much with the ordinary folk but I believe that we Murandians share a deep enough dislike of Aes Sedai, at least those I kept company with did, and with good reason. Aes Sedai are infamous meddlers who accomplish far less than many believe they do,” and with that she turned a cold stare at Salandrian, daring the other girl to challenge her opinion. From what Badriyah had assessed of the Altaran the day before the girl idolized the work of Aes Sedai, unlike herself and the only other novice who seemed to share her views at the table.

 

 

OOC: hope it’s alright! :)

 

 

Badriyah

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...Aes Sedai are infamous meddlers who accomplish far less than many believe they do." The girl Badriyah turned her head and gave Salandrian a cold stare. What a know-nothing! The Murandian's comments infuriated her. Such ignorance!

 

She took a deep breath before she spoke. "Have you read any histories of any nation?! Aes Sedai have done much more than make fireballs appear and Heal the sick. They have lead the world through the darkness, and stood up to corrupt leaders. If you have not already, read something about the Trolloc Wars and then see how you feel about Aes Sedai!" Her face was bright red now, and her hands were shaking. Through her shift she could see her heart beating very fast. "I'm sorry, Aes Sedai," she bowed her head to Lavinya Sedai.

 

She felt like curling up in a ball and never coming out.

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