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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

You really do learn a lot from studying...


Lih-Lyh
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I hate studying. I hate studying. I hate studying. I ha- Zaire sat in the library, reading a book on the elements. She thought she should start studying more. She was never really one for studying but she knew it had to be done. She propped her head on her fist as she read through the mile wide book. Well, she thought it was big enough to be considered a mile wide. Some Aes Sedai probably would say it was a children's book compared to most in the Tower Library. Well, she wasn't about to mess around with those ones. Every once in a while she'd look up and look around at who else was in her section of the library. Plus, it helped with her attention. If she just kept reading and reading she would either fall asleep or totally zone out and only remember what she read after the first ten or so minutes. She went back to reading again. Fire and Earth are more popular in male channelers, bla bla bla, I know this already, she thought as she skipped over several paragraphs. Then she saw it. Her eyes were averted from the book for a split second, but as soon as they went back to reading, her whole head shot up towards the bookshelves off to her right. She saw a book underneath the shelf. That was not like the Brown sisters to forget a book to underneath the shelf. Well, even if someone just dropped it...no, how would it have been neatly stuffed under there? She closed her book and stood up, slowly walking over to where she saw it. She knelt down and stuck her hand underneath the bookshe-"OW!" "Sshhhh!" Those twits'll get it from me someday. She got a splinter. How in the world did I get a splinter? Aren't these shelves kept? She stuck her hand underneath again and pulled out the book.

 

A smile slowly crept about her face. This was no book that belonged to the Tower Library. Or any public library for that matter. Oh no, this belonged to someone's private library. She giggled at that. She opened the pale blue book to read the name on the inside cover. There was no name. She looked on the back cover and saw a scribbled name but couldn't read it. She flipped through some of the pages and stopped almost immediately when she came to something so scandalous, she dropped the diary. Her eyes popped open and, scooping up the book, she ran over to where she knew her friends were sitting. The reason she didn't sit with them was because she knew she'd get distracted if she did. She slowed down and started walking when she saw three Brown sisters. She turned the corner and slowly walked up to their table. She threw the book down on top of Salandrian's book and crossed her arms. When Salandrian looked up, she saw a very mischievous looking Zaire Sharimaei.

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The juxtoposition of the Queen's private letters and her public appearance clearly show her disdain for... Oh PHAW! This was getting no where. Reading about the 12th Queen of Andor's relationship with Tear, while not the most facsinating of subjects still needed to be done. But she could not take this anymore. Salandrian put her book down and slowly rubbed her temples, trying to message away the slight headache she had. In five minutes she would try reading again, but now was not the time. She began to take slow, deep breathes in and out, focusing on her breath. In through your nose, out through your mouth," Salandrian repeated over and over to herself in her head. ...In...and out...ahhh...In... and out....In...and- "AH!" Salandrian covered her mouth as if to catch the scream that had escaped her lips after a book slammed on the table.

 

"SHH!!" Zaire Sharimaei put her finger to her lips. She smiled mischieviously, never a good sign with Zaire.

 

"What is it, Zaire? What have you found that was worth making me scream?"

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"What is it, Zaire? What have you found that was worth making me scream?"

 

Zaire laughed, quietly of course. She sat down across from Salandrian and closed her book for her, moving it away and putting the diary in front of her. "This, my friend, is a diary." She said as she opened it up for Salandrian. She flipped to the back cover and pointed to the name. "What does that say? Because unless we can read that name, this diary doesn't mean as much to us as it could." She let a smirk dance across her face. Oh yes. If they had that name, so much more could come from this little bound book than what could if they didn't know who had written this very interesting information. Salandrian seemed to struggle over the scribbled writing.

 

"Oh please be able to read it. You know how important that name is Salandrian."

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"Oh please be able to read it. You know how important that name is Salandrian."

 

"Well, of course I do!" Salandrian scoffed at Zaire slightly sarcastically. "My aunt in Ebou Dar had the most horrible hand writing, so I should be able to read this. But it's old." She frowned, and thought about where she could best read it. The library was growing darker because of the oncoming night. "Zaire, go and fetch a candle. Maybe we can read it better in the light." While she waited for Zaire to return, she skwinted trying to make out the name writen in faded ink. Faded ink! That was it! The ink had faded, and now only the score left by the plume was left. Obviously!

 

When Zaire returned, she smiled apoligetically for making her go and fetch a candle, then told her of her discovery. "If we go to the kitchens, we can use juice from a lemon to turn the ink white, which is easier to see. And then we can read the name. Although I doubt the Mistress of Kitchens is just going to let us walk in and take a lemon. I really don't want to get caught..."

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I really don't want to get caught..."

 

Zaire smirked mischieviously. "Oh please! Us? Get caught!" She barked out an obviously fake laugh. "But you're right. We need a plan. Zaire pursed her lips to the side of her mouth. "We should distract her somehow. And while she's talking to one of us, the other will sneak in and get a lemon. Perhaps we can even distract more than just her so that no one sees us take it. They might accuse us of theivery! That would be the day..." Zaire sighed. "Okay...since I was never very that sneaky and agile, you can be the one to steal the lemon. If that's alright with you. I mean I guess I could do it if you couldn't. Well, anyways! I'll ask the Mistress of the Kitchens if I could have a schedule of the weekly chores, and then while she's in her office, I'll start talking to Deyna and then you go in okay?"

 

Oh Light! Zaire what are you thinking? You can't go getting in trouble!You don't pull pranks. That was your life at home. On your mother..tehe. Stop this nonsense before you two start down the wrong path!

 

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Salandrian listened to Zaire's plan and nodded. "That should work, but you must keep her stalled if I have not returned. Agreed?" When Zaire nodded her head, Salandrian grinned. "Let's go!"

 

As they walked briskly through the halls, her heart was racing, and not from the walking. Every look the Aes Sedai and Accepted gave Salandrian filled her with dread. They seemed to know what she and Zaire were up to. But it was all in her head, she kept telling herself. It's one bloody lemon! No one will notice it has dissapeared!

 

The two novices reached the kitchen just as several novices were leaving, obviously having just washed dishes. "Now is the perfect time, Zaire!" Salandrian whispered "I hope it is a good sign!" Zaire went into the kitchens and asked the Mistress of Kitchens a question. The huge woman huffed and disappeared from the doorway. Zaire moved her finger, indicating it was now Salandrian's turn.

 

She slipped in behind Zaire and walked stealthily toward the pantry, which was past the washing tub. An old maid was sitting on a chair ouside the pantry, her legs outstretched, blocking the door way. Salandrian tip-toed closer and closer, then... BAM!... she landed on the floor. She let out a slight squeak. Some idiotic novice had forgotten to dry the floor around the washing tub! Feeling her face turn bright red, she quickly got up and was surprised that the old maid was still sleeping soundly. Cursing the dimwitted novice, she stepped carefully across the old woman's legs and into the dark pantry.

 

Though the light was dim, she could still find the lemons. She picked the smallest one, so that even if the Mistress of Kitchens new she was missing one, it would not cause her much distress. Stepping over the maid, and being careful not to slip on any water, she walked over to the door, holding the lemon in the hand furthest from the Mistress of Kitchens.

 

"Where did you come from?" She asked harshly.

 

"I was merely finishing up my chores, ma'am. But now I'm late for a meeting with Eqwina Sedai. I must go now." The huge woman looked stunned that someone dismissed her so easily. Salandrian grabbed Zaire's wrist and walked briskly out the door. Once they were out of the Mistress of Kitchen's sight, they ran.

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Zaire's heart raced. That was close. Thank the Light Salandrian can think of stuff quickly like that. I'll have to work on that, Zaire thought as they ran back to the library. They slowed down as they neared so that one of the more gitty Brown Sisters didn't tell them to go all the way back and walk to the library. They were real protective of their sanctuary like that. They walked back to their table, giggling quietly about what had just happened. "I can't believe you said that to the Mistress of the Kitchens! Did you see the look on her face!?" Zaire sang quietly to Salandrian. They sat down and took out the diary and opened it up to the back cover where the engraved name was. Zaire took the lemon and started to squeeze it in her palm.

 

"What are you doing?" Salandrian asked. "I'm getting the juices flowing so that when we poke it we can get enough of it to drip out." Salandrian gave her a confused look. "My mother made me learn to cook with our chef back home. I hated it." Zaire chuckled. She stuck her quill into the lemon and handed it to Salandrian to squeeze over the name. She waited with Salandrian to discover to whom this diary belonged.

 

She squinted at the name. "Can you read it?"

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Zaire handed Salandrian the lemon and she began squeezing it over the diary. There was a little sizzle, and then the lemon juice settled.

 

"Can you read it?" asked Zaire anxiously.

 

"I think it says... Taja-Taya maybe- Gill. Who is Taja Gill?" She looked up to Zaire, who was staring, and her jaw had dropped. Salandrian covered her mouth. "Oh...oh...no...it's not...it couldn't be... could it?" Salandrian felt as if someone had just punched her in the stomach. They had just found the diary of Taya Gille, Aes Sedai...

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"Oohh no..no...we have to put it back! What if she goes back looking for it?" They found Taya Gille's diary? She was a Novice legend. Actually, she had no idea why she was a legend. "Salandrian we have to put it back. If we're caught with this we could be...we could...I don't know how bad we would get in trouble but we would get in so much trouble!" Salandrian argued with her about reading it and then putting it back. Zaire sighed and decided that she wanted to read it before they knew it belonged to her, and putting that aside, who else would it have belonged to, if not an Aes Sedai? Or maybe she put it there before she became Aes Sedai.

 

"Okay...but let's get out of here or we'll never know when a Sister is over our shoulder."

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"Okay...but let's get out of here or we'll never know when a Sister is over our shoulder." Salandrian nodded forcefully, picked up the diary and walked out. Zaire followed at her heels.

 

"Zaire," Salandrian whispered, "What do you think we'll find in here? This has to be very old, I think, because Taya Sedai has greying hair. It could be over two hundred years old! What do you think of that, Zaire?" She turned to look at her fellow Novice and panicked for a moment, before she looked back saw her adjusting her shift. She continued walking when... WHAM!... she flew back on her bottom and groaned. Light, that was painful. She staggered back up, seeing stars. She rubbed her forhead. "I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry!" Salandrian kept repeating over again. Then she realized that she was missing the diary!

 

~ Zaire & Salandrian ~

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The young man was impossible, incapable of even the slightest amount of civility or dignity. Faerthines' sulking after Beth had avoided him at the ball had quickly grown to outright resentment and he was now going out of his way to make it known to her. The boy had brought it on himself and she had told him as much when their paths had crossed later that week, but he stubbornly refused to let go of the slight. Instead, he sulked more. She had never known someone to be so greviously, insufferably, self-centered. The Light knew she had more pressing matters to attend to. Firmly putting thoughts of the buffoon out of her mind, she focused on the matter at hand.

 

Isra Sedai had left instructions for Beth to meet her outside of the Library at precisely three bells past noon, but so far her mentor was a no show. Though Beth had only been wearing Novice white for a little over a month, she knew this was most unlike the stern White. Rather than being relieved at the thought of having the next hour to sit and do absolutely nothing, Beth found herself anything but relaxed. Had she gotten the hour wrong? Was she actually late? Or was she early? Had Isra come, waited, and left in a fume? Beth had done everything in her power to arrive on time, but she could not honestly say whether she was a minute late or not...

 

She took to wandering the halls nearest to the library, seeking Isra Sedai with a nauseating mix of desperation and apprehension. A few moments into her panicked search, it suddenly dawned on her that her mentor may be waiting in the Library for her. In a rush that she realized was quickly becoming a part of her everyday life, she turned and headed for the library... and ran smack into a similarly rushing girl.

 

"Ouch!" she exclaimed, putting a hand to her head. The book that had just bounced off of her head now rested in her lap. Dazed, it took her a moment to process what had happened. The other girl was apologizing profusely, quickly joined by her friend. "It's quite alright," she said, dismissing their earnest insistence that it was their fault. "It was as much my fault as yours, which is to say it is not anyone's fault at all. It was merely an accident. Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got..."

 

At that moment, Isra Sedai sauntered by, greeting Beth a neutral, “Hello, Bethelynne,” before walking past. Puzzlement and panic gripped her for a moment before she pulled herself to her feet and followed after.

 

“Beg pardon, Aes Sedai,” she said as she was a step behind, “but I thought you had instructed me to meet you—“

 

“Here, three bells, tomorrow.” Isra regarded Beth with a smug smile before dismissing her kindly, but casually. Confused and embarrassed, she stood for a moment watching Isra walk away. Then, to deepen her embarrassment, she realized she was still holding the book in her hands. Turning to see the two Novices sheepishly waiting for her, she blushed deeply and offered an apology of her own. “I believe this belongs to you…”

 

~ Bethelynne ~

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The girl that Salandrian had run into tried to dismiss Salandrian's apologies by blaming it as an accident, which she knew it was, but being Ebou Dari though, she could be almost too polite and apoligetic. It was not unheard of in Ebou Dar for apologies to flow back and forth for over an hour. But thankfully the Novice had stopped her from reverting back to her Ebou Dari ways.

 

Salandrian looked up when the girl had stopped speaking and saw a White Aes Sedai saunter by. If her heart was beating quickly before, it was now racing. What are we going to do? I'm sure she know! But the White sister ignored Salandrian and Zaire, and instead said a few odd words to the girl. When the Aes Sedai had left, Salandrian and Zaire looked sheepishly at the girl. “I believe this belongs to you…” The girl tried to hand it over to her.

 

"Actually, it belongs to Taya Gille Sedai," Salandrian said without thinking, then covered her mouth in shock. Flaming, sheep-brained, loudmouth girl! Can't you keep your bloody mouth shut? "Come with us and we'll explain. Please?"

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Taya Gille? Who in the Light was she? The way the dark-haired girl--Ebou Dari?--had said the name, definitely indicated some obvious significance, but whatever it was it was lost on Bethelynne. She raised her eyebrows in question and received only earnest grins in reply. "Uh... Sure. I suppose I do have a moment to spare for... Well, I have a moment, yes." Her reply only added to the strange excitement that shone in the girls' eyes. Something was definitely amiss. Best to proceed with caution.

 

"Where are we going, exactly? I have a lecture with Zeveria in an hour's time. It would not bode well with her if I were to arrive late."

 

~ Bethylenne ~

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Zaire looked around before whispering intensly, "We're going to my room to read this. We couldn't possibly read it out in the open library, of course!" Zaire wasn't sure if they could entirely trust this girl. Zaire hadn't seen her before so she must have been a new Novice. But then again there were so many girls at the White Tower, you could be there for a hundred years and still not know someone. Okay, well that was a bit exaggerated, but really... "So follow us." They started walking towards the Novice quarters, diary clutched tight in Salandrian's hand. Zaire suddenly stopped after several seconds of walking and turned on the girl behind her. "And if we find out that you so much as peeped a word to anyone about anything pertaining to this...You'll find you'd rather be visiting the Mistress of Novices everday, for an hour switching, for the rest of your life." The other Novice stared at Zaire with wide eyes and a very taken back expression. Zaire noticed Salandrian with her mouth open a bit out of the corner of her eye. She soon shut it though and gave the girl the same threatening gaze until the girl seemed ready to reply.

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Salandrian had never seen this side of Zaire. She had always known her to be quite and caring, yet she had always had sense of humor, so maybe Zaire was pretending to be strict. The girl- was Bethelynne her name?- looked horrified though. Salandrian felt the need to do something. Zaire could not threaten people into corners her whole life. Nodding her head to Zaire, Salandrian pulled the girl aside.

 

"Sorry about that one." She tried to make her smile as sympathetic as possible. "I never did catch your name. What is it? Mine's Salandrian Faerhind." Praying to the Light that this girl would not break down or scream, she patiently waited for an answer.

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Zaire looked at Salandrian incredulously. "No need for that," she said absent-mindedly, waving her hand at the girls. "I didn't mean it. Well, I did, but you have no need to worry unless you plan on turning us in. We don't want that to happen now do we? Besides, we don't know what we could find in that diary." She started walking towards her room and stopped when the two novices took their times to follow. "LET'S GO!" Ugh. Zaire hated when people were silly. When people made her mad by acting mule-brained and ignorant...she got mad. She wished she got along more with people in general. Most of the time she just didn't care because of lack of energy to argue. But now, she was excited. She wanted to read that diary and Light! Why were they walking like ghosts!? She kept up her pace and hoped they would pick it up as well. She was on the brink of running, and good thing because when she turned the corner, she ran into someone as Salandrian did, minus the falling on the ground. And even better thing because this was an Accepted that Zaire ran into. Ohh no...

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Rules must have changed for initiates from the “no running” decree of her novitiate; she learned that corners were particularly perilous when defiant initiates roam the halls. A diminutive woman not built for collisions, the Taraboner sputtered and staggered one, two steps before bracing the apparition that transpired, shaking her curls at the pasty pale figure floating above hers. Rory? Though that one was Saline’s student, in turn she had taught the Accepted many things from the school of hard knocks, and the Taraboner latched on, relentless. Ah, no, no way the errant Novice was going to writhe out of that grip, not even with her swindling tricks. Struggling to restore that state of uprightness, she had a go at skewering the Illianer verbally. But where were the ropey muscles of a bar dancer? Realising that the hurt was unfeigned, and tension was no clever façade as her vision recovered, and she released the other, flushing. Light preserve her, but she was beginning to see the Illianer everywhere.

 

Banishing Rory from her mind, she stared flatly at the young woman. Dismay loud on her countenance, the Novice quivered in immaculate whites. Head lowered, contrite, a pretty lass; yet the furtive hand, tightened knuckles (how like a ghost!) brushed through her mind as suspicious, drawing her attention to a procured item . Their happy meeting drew a pair who rounded the corner, whispering. Confidante, roommates clearly from their intimacy; grunting, she recognised the Altaran, a Novice who had not only helped out with Rossa’s Soup Kitchen project but also took a class on Saidin that Saline was in; and from Salandrian, she paused, remembering the familiar faces she had seen here or there, but never been acquainted with.

 

"Salandrian, what is going on?"

 

With surprising perspicuity, Salandrian started to explain, perhaps apologise. Saline hadn’t the faintest idea, for she was not listening. Her Great Serpent twinkled as she struck with unexpected violence, confiscating the book the girl hid. One of Vera Sedai's tunes started ringing in her head as she flipped through its pages, humming.

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When Zaire had run into another woman, Salandrian knew that it had just gotten worse. Not only was the woman an Accepted, but it was also Saline, the Accepted with whom she had made meals for the poor. And Saline had also been in a class on Saidin. Bloody ashes! Of all the Accepted, why her? Oh Light... Saline's look was full of suspicion with little room for any understanding.

 

"Salandrian, what is going on?"

 

She stumbled over her words, making a half apology, half explanation as to how the three of them ended up with the book, and why they were traveling too fast to notice her the Accepted. On and on she went, growing more confident, and gaining spped until she looked up and saw that Saline was not even paying attention to her. She continued talking while she had a perfectly brilliant and nasty idea.

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Salandrian & Zaire & Bethylenne & Saline

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While Salandrian stumbled over her words and took forever to start making sense, Zaire stared at the Accepted. The bloody woman was reading the diary! She almost laughed at how Salandrian was so worried about explaining herself while the Accepted wasn't even listening! Finally, when Salandrian noticed and stopped talking, Zaire looked over to her with an incredible expression, flicking her eyes towards the Accepted, making sure she was still reading. Then Salandrian had such a look of mischief that Zaire didn't feel comfortable standing next to her. Keeping her eyes on the Accepted, she pinched Salandrian's arm. When she let out a short yelp, Zaire waited for the Accepted to look up but instead...she was still reading! Bloody Light! The thought of Zaire's mother hearing her language right now crossed her mind and disipated just as quickly when she remembered her mother gave up on her courtly manners.

 

When Zaire looked over to Salandrian, she was giving Zaire such a look that she looked away quickly and hoped that, when they were alone, she wouldn't get a swift kick in the seat for pinching her.

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Salandrian thought that her plan was ruined when she had been pinched by Zaire, and she yelped. What a goat-head! Why in the name of the Light would she...Oh... I understand! But now Salandrian knew that her plot would work after all when she realized that Saline had not even looked up the slightest at the yelp. She looked over at Zaire with surprising furiosity, making her fellow Novice quickly look away. What has gotten into, girl? But it was now or never to get Saline.

 

Saline's looks were becoming more and more concerned with each page that she skimmed over. They had to strike now. Salandrian walked up next to Saline, and using her foot, kicked the back of her knee and she buckled under. Salandrian took the diary from her and knocked her over the head, hoping she would be knocked out. The Accepted cried out, but Salandrian tore the hem off of her own skirt and stuffed it in the Taraboners mouth. "Please be quiet. We must read that diary and find out what it's about. And I don't want you meddling in our affairs. Join us, or leave us alone!"

 

"Zaire," she whispered "Help me lift her up. No wait. You!" She pointed at the other Novice - Bethelynne was it? "You help me. And Zaire, you get the diary. We'll go into the lower levels." Bethelynne and Salandrian guided Saline to her feet and pushed her toward a heavy oaken door which lead to the cellars. They stumbled through the dim hallways, and tried to open every door, to no avail. They were all locked. They reached the end of the hallway and almost did not try to open the door, when Salandrian tripped and fell onto a door which opened in-ward. She fainted.

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Zaire ran through the possibilities in her head. Salandrian kicking her bottom. Salandrian pulling her hair. And the worse, Salandrian punching her square in the nose. She wasn't exactly sure if the other Novice would do that to her, and she definitely didn't want a black eye. She realized she could probably hold Salandrian down if she tried, being that she used to wrestle with her brothers, and looked up to show Salandrian that she really wasn't scared. But she watched in horror as her friend snuck around the Accepted and KICKED HER LEG! "Salandrian!" But it was too late. She had hit the Acccepted over the head with the diary and gagged her with a part of her dress. Oh bloody Light!

 

When Salandrian asked Bethelynne to help carry the Accepted, Zaire grabbed the diary off the ground as Salandrian commanded. The walked through the hall to a door that led into the cellars. Zaire always hoped she never had to go down there. They went through, trying to open every door but they were all locked. Finally, at the end of the hallway, Zaire went to open the door but Salandrian tripped, knocking Zaire on her bottom and hitting the door. Zaire watched in shock as Salandrian lay lifeless on the floor. Bethelynne, who was still trying to hold the waking Accepted, looked at Salandrian, then looked at Zaire, looked back at Salandrian, and dropped the Accepted on her head, knocking her out again. Bethelynne tried to run away, but before she could step over the Accepted, Zaire was on her knees grabbing the girl's dress.

 

"Where do you think you're going!? Get back here and hold the woman!" She added a growl at the end to scare the Novice back, then turned to Salandrian. She grabbed the girl by the collar and started to slap her face. "Salandrian! Wake up! Get up you twit! SALANDRIAN!" She shook the girl and slapped her face until she woke up. Zaire let go of her and sat back, catching her breath.

 

"What are we doing?" she asked as Salandrian started to rub her head.

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"Salandrian! Wake up! Get up you twit! SALANDRIAN!" She was coming around when someone slapped her. She jolted up, frowning and rubbing her cheek. "Ow! That hurt!" Apparently Zaire had slapped her. "What are we doing?" Zaire asked, hurridly.

 

"Well, we've got to hide in here. We've made too much ruckus in the halls for anyone to not have noticed. Oh Light! What have I done?!" Hot tears were forming under her eyes. This was not the Salandrian Faerhind her mother or aunt would have wanted. Knocking out an Accepted of the White Tower and dragging a helpless Novice with her? What was she doing? She sobbed and sobbed, tears running down her cheeks. "What was I thinking? This is not the kind of woman I want to become." She saw Saline awaking in the hallway. "Oh, Saline! I am so sorry. Take me to the Mistress of Novices now! I don't know what came over- hic!- me..." Her hiccuping and sobbing caused her to fall onto the dirty floor, rolling around and putting her head in Zaire lap, getting her shift wet with tears.

 

OoC: Lily, do what you will with me. Bethelynne- sorry to NSW you! Feel free to add you PoV.

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Zaire stared at Salandrian's crying self and didn't know what to do with her. She was getting her dress all wet, which she supposed didn't matter to her that much, but the fact that Salandrian just snapped and started crying confused Zaire to death. She wasn't sure if she should go along with her or snap her out of it and slap her again. Instead, she laid her hands on Salandrian's head and started to play with her hair, hushing her with soft tones and 'It's okays'. She looked at Bethelynne and felt sorry too for dragging her into this, but she supposed it was for their best, even though now they had an Accepted on their tails as well.

 

While Salandrian calmed down a bit, Zaire ran it through her head one more time. She had been studying...she found a diary and showed it to Salandrian who then got excited and decided they should read it in private. On the way they picked up Bethelynne who Zaire threatened so that they would not get in trouble. After Salandrian running into and picking up the Novice, Zaire ran into an Accepted who was hit by Salandrian and dragged downstairs into the cellar by them, where they were now. Salandrian should have been nervous about what would happen to them but she shouldn't have broken down like she did. Zaire just didn't know if she should allow this from Salandrian or not. She seemed a strong girl. Why should she break down? Is she putting on a show to get some sympathy from the Accepted? Or had she truly cracked? Zaire wanted to pull her hair out from all of this thinking.

 

"OW!"

 

"Sorry," Zaire said plainly when she pulled Salandrian's hair instead. Ugh! Come on Salandrian can you please just tell me why you're crying!? I hate thinking hard! She sighed and rubbed her head. How did they come from studying to wreaking havoc? Zaire knew how to do it but she never thought she'd do it now. After she had studied a bit at the tower and formed a good relationship with her mentor, who now believed she would be a good Novice.

 

Zaire pushed Salandrian out of her lap and stood up. She looked up at her, asking why with her face. "No!" she said firmly, pointing her finger at Salandrian. Looking around to the other Novice and the now awake Accepted she continued, "I'm not getting into trouble for this! Most of it was your fault anyway, Salandrian," she added looking over her shoulder. "Bethelynne, I'm sorry for threatening you, but you really can't tell anyone about this. If you do, I have ideas that I am not afraid to use. As for you," she said switching her gaze to the Accepted," I don't know who you are, but seeing as you're above me, I can't do much or you'd probably have my hide. However, you can't tell anyone about this either or we'll all get in trouble. That's right! The Mistress of Novices will not take it that you couldn't stop us. Novices can't channel unless instructed, and neither of us can do much more than form a ball of light, so seeing as you can channel, she won't see you lightly for not stopping us. And seeing as your fault was reading the diary when your focus should have been on us, she'll be even more upset." She took a deep breath and turned to her friend. "And as for you! You are not one to break down and cry! Not only that, but Aes Sedai are able to remain cool and serene at all times. That was not a pleasant showing from you, falling over crying and pleading with an Accepted about punishing you. I'm ashamed of you Salandrian."

 

She ignored whatever looks they all gave her. She couldn't believe she was doing this. She walked over to the fallen diary and picked it up, holding it as if it were any ordinary book. "Now I am going to find a place to read this in peace. If you all would like to join me, then so be it! I know none of you would hand yourselves into the Mistress of Novices now."

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Zaire & Salandrian -- Kidnappers!

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OOC: Light, I’d have three Novices in wet shifts at this rate!

 

Taya, whoever she was, must have possessed a temper like a fisher-bird with a bone in its throat, if the sheer amount of grudges in her narrative held true. In simple straightforward fashion it dispatched many names, some of whom she recognised vaguely from Tower lore. If it was indeed more than a work of fiction, it had immense historical value as a primary source; from the timeline the narrative told of an initiate who was not afraid to challenge anybody in her way. Eyes lingering, caressing the forbidden pages, clinging dearly to the cover, burned with a fever many a Brown contracted, taking on that obsession as her tunnel vision reality took its leave.

 

Too dangerous; I am not to cause any –

 

Pain. This was pain, lancing, piercing into her flesh. This, the searing agony at being caught unaware as Salandrian crippled Saline’s calf, snapping the Accepted forward with her momentum. This, the book catching her in the back of the head, the swimmy dimness as fledgling thoughts flew and senses became haywire. Dread to the stomach at a familiar ripping sound, then the cotton wadding, scratching in the Taraboner mouth, soaking up the last moisture, and mouth dry, she would have wallowed in somebody else’s past for Light knows how long, except... This, the gag reflex as her eyes popped, and the pressure on her arm as they wiped down the hall with the Accepted dress, and her annoyance to have to do the washing before total numbness overtook her.

 

Twin jumping rabbits and one trapdoor later, Saline found herself admiring the shapely chin on the olive coloured girl who held her down. It was well cut in the smoothness of wax, and there, in its curves her attention administered itself, as she fell slack against the one who constrained her, feigning submission. Three against one, resisting those odds was futile, unless she was able to get her hands free and channel. Why she tried to warn Salandrian as the Novice slipped she did not know, nor could she fathom why she wanted to stop the other Novice from slapping the unconscious Altaran, when after all it was Salandrian whose rash actions had led to Saline’s abduction, and her struggles earned another knock on the head for herself; bemused and mortified, an odd mingling as she dropped again.

 

When she came to a great clamour of yelling and crying greeted her. Disorientated by the squall, Saline believed she was still with the Caravan talking to customers in Caemlyn then gleamed it was only an Andoran accent that pervaded her consciousness. Aware that she was unrestrained she sat up, and then had cause to nurse her throbbing head for taking that liberty.

 

A natural woman, Salandrian groveled and pleaded, clutching at the other, who was crooning and brushing at the Altaran’s hair coiled in her lap. Eliciting an exclamation, the Andoran quickly apologized for pulling the other’s hair before lecturing. Vainly, Saline tried wrapping her head around what the Andoran was going on about. Blaming Salandrian for abducting the Accepted, yes that sounded good. Telling the other Novice, Bethelynne to keep quiet, that too was good, indeed, she approved of silence most thoroughly.

 

Soft words for soft faces, Vera Sedai had always said. The Gray would have soothed the Novices, no doubt, with careful smiles and her unexpected fount -- resilience. Flinty, sharp green gems bore into her – had she thought they were brown in the corridor? – as the tirade addressed her. Set in a face paled to accentuate the browned speckles on her checks, though physically a contrast, the Andoran reminded her of a roommate she had from Baerlon, Aeveryn, as their mannerisms were similar, absurdly so. Saline sighed, feeling a moment of self-derision at the Andoran’s chastisement.

 

Grace turned out kind to Saline in producing who she was to-day, owing largely to training with her fellow initiates, she learned how to tell mood from a change in nuance, or the unconscious gripping of skirts. But she did not need lessons in Daes Daemar in this vexing situation, even a blind woman could have heard the fury in the Andoran’s words as she went on. Her condition worsened drastically as the Andoran pounded her threats at Saline, whose mind struggled to unbend from its fetal position. :)

 

It was the most outrageous proposal she heard. In her days a Novice would not dare breathe a threat concerning an Accepted.  The Andoran’s unbridled spirit made Saline feel sick and weary in comparison. Speaking low, she admitted, “I’ve just about had it with turning my head to look aside. Your proposition is definitely not accepted, as it is against my principles. ” She had expected better from the Novices. And it would be wrong to call the Andoran freckles, as an elder she should be proper.

 

And the proper action to take would be to report the rule-breakers to the Mistress of Novices. However much trouble she could get into for not supervising the Novices, they would have it harder. If she sought the Mistress of Novices, the Novices would be in Pia Sedai’s bad books. A self-appointed advocate of duty, she did not see what else she should be doing other than to report the three. Except, except if Pia Sedai knew about the book, she would not let Saline read it either.

 

Well, stuff that.

 

Holding up the piece of Novice dress that served as her gag, she steadied herself, talking into the stunned vortex around the Novice who had just threatened an Accepted. Something about Salandrian’s tear sodden appearance softened Saline. Reaching into her collar for the handkerchief that served her countless times, she wanted to comfort the girl. Let her cry. She’ll only feel more upset if you try to staunch it, not that you’d be able to. Nowt wrong with tears and feelings, but she checked herself.

 

Hoi, you in the white dresses, do you know what wearing them means? What makes you suppose you have earned being Novices? Sure you can learn to channel, all Novices could, but only the best become Aes Sedai. Your Mentors, the other Sisters, they only have to teach you so you are able to control Saidar coming and going before kicking you out, willing or no. I hope you have some place to stay, and take up a craft if you intend on sullying your dresses like this. To be an Aes Sedai you must be dependable, and responsible.

 

She shuddered as if she had been running. Foolish, she was often, but rarely cruel. Mentor of three, and having talked to a few more such Novices, not to mention the drudgeries as a Novice not so long ago, through the years she had adopted a more relaxed outlook where enforcement was concerned, and upon confronting such a lapse long since tempered her words lest they affect others in unfavourable ways. Everybody made mistakes after all. Incredulous at the vehemence of her response, she ploughed on.

 

I do not want to know who your Mentors are,” she said, all the while thinking about Salandrian’s Eqwina Sedai. No doubt Salandrian would not have liked this to get back to her Mentor, but what would the Yellow Sister have thought? At Eqwina’s Raising party, Estel Liones Sedai had gotten intoxicated to the point where she smashed the bottle of brandy she finished into the hapless cranium of a trainee. Suppressing stray mirth, she gathered her thoughts back to the present, announcing sparingly. “Fault is an empty coin; I am not here to break you.”

 

Words served as an anchor for her to fasten her thoughts, and she sorted them slowly as she turned slightly, her gaze taking in the sight of the downtrodden Salandrian before it flickered up to the Andoran’s troubled countenance.

 

I am not a good person. If I were, I’d report you to the Mistress of Novices, but because I do not want this book confiscated, I will not unless I am forced to.” Swerving because it was not the hour for a confessional, she laid the hand out, in all honesty. She considered snatching the book away again, only she would channel as she ranked them, and lord that over their heads as she was sure the Novices would not report her. Well, she was less sure what Freckles would have done as she seemed rather intent on securing the book for a read-through, and though Saline would not be able to keep the book, the Novices would not be able to keep the book either if the Mistress of Novices got involved. What a situation, one that needed to be bludgeoned into its place before it metastasized further.

 

Putting up her best persuasive voice, she continued. “And you will give me the book, lass – and I shall tell you why, if you behave. Aes Sedai are not be-all end-all, and they certainly are not dropped off by storks. Novices cannot channel without permission, however Accepted can. Now you can make your life perfectly miserable, or you can let me restore this to its author. It is a private discourse during her development that does not want for Novices to read. Who knows, perhaps after you read this you’d progress to blackmailing a Sister as well?” Angered by what transpired, she took off her Serpent and stuck the ring into her pouch stubbornly. “I will read it before I return it. Ya, I’m self-indulgent like that. Humour me.”

 

Folded, in stand-offish fashion that declared she had little to do with the group, moist blue-green eyes shone from the corner. Composed, introverted Novices had very strong opinions when it suited them to interact with others, thought Saline as she raised her voice a few increments.

 

You there, Beth-Girl, do you have anything to add?

 

They owed her now, and only work could set them free. An idea struck her. “Although I will not report you, I also will not permit you to read the book, unless you prove yourselves. In order to study its contents, you must be steadfast. It will teach you how to live true, and proud. Too many times has a Novice been unable to devote herself to knowledge she learned, and used it improperly.” Duty? Hang it! Inspired, she threw back her head, laughing, almost crying with the prospect as she outlined, “To-morrow is a free day, so you will be able to go out into the City,” the Aes Sedai she had in mind would certainly take advantage of it. “There are two people I would like you to prank, and if you do so successfully, brava! If you get caught you would most assuredly get punished by either, or both. Either way, we are even.”

 

Ironically, as she waited she recalled her first few weeks spent as an Accepted. It was to weed out those who had slipped by the Novice training. Would she really let the young women get blamed for her idea? If they were caught, she would take the punishment in their stead, she decided. Accepted, good ones anyway, had done so in the past. Remembering how a fellow Taraboner Lillian had stuck up for two Novices, Syara and herself then, to Aramina Sedai when the Accepted launched herself from the catapult, Saline knew that she could not afford to disappoint those she respected. Suddenly what Salandrian shed tears for entered her mind. Was she who she’d like to be? It was a question that frequented her thoughts often, and she would have to say, no she feared not. But hang it! She would change, as she must, but she would always be the same foolish person at the same time, if about other things.

 

My name is Saline, by and by.” 

 

~~

Depend not on your own judgments for it will be faulty, but learn through the wise words of others.

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It was Zaire's scolding that finally broke Salandrian's crying. Harsh as her words were, Zaire's message was the truth. If Salandrian wanted to be an Aes Sedai, then she would have to learn to remain serene and calm in the face of unimaginable odds. Today, girl, the Mistress of Novices may seem strict and intimidating, but imagine negotiating peace between Tarabon and Arad Doman, or battling Trollocs and Eyeless! Light protect me! Newly emboldened, Salandrian wiped her tears and sat up straighter, determined to fix this situation. Reassuring herself, she opened her mouth to talk and was interrupted by Saline.

 

The Accepted's speech on being a Novice meant brought Salandrian back down to earth a little. She was still a Novice after all, and had to prove her responsibility and dependability. She was hardly more esteemed than the servants. Salandrian prepared for the worst, and nearly began crying again. A sharp look from Zaire promptly brought her back from the brink. And she repeated these words over and over in her head: I will not cry. I will not cry.

 

“I do not want to know who your Mentors are,” Saline said and paused for a moment, as if thinking about the past. “Fault is an empty coin; I am not here to break you.” Salandrian could not help but smile at the irony in that. It had taken no one but her own guilty self to brake Salandrian. Oh, how fragile I am. May the Creator shelter me in the palm of his hand. What Saline said next made Salandrian's jaw drop.

 

“I am not a good person. If I were, I’d report you to the Mistress of Novices, but because I do not want this book confiscated, I will not unless I am forced to.” Salandrian could do nothing more than stare, jaw nearly to the floor. They would not go to the Mistress of Novices?! Surely Saline was making a fool of them. But it was not so. She would not be punished! At least, not in a normal way. Dread filled her stomach momentarily as she thought of what Saline might do to them. The Accepted continued telling them their ultimatum.

 

The Novices would hand the book over and they would not be punished- by conventional means- and Saline would get to read the book. Eventually, if the three Novices proved themselves, they would get to read the book. The book was theirs by right; they had found it after all, had they not? But Saline's offer to go free was too agreeable to pass up. It also seemed too good to be true. Was there a catch?

 

“Tomorrow is a free day, so you will be able to go out into the City,” Saline explained, “There are two people I would like you to prank, and if you do so successfully, brava! If you get caught you would most assuredly get punished by either, or both. Either way, we are even.” Salandrian's hopes dropped further. As if kidnapping an Accepted wasn't enough, the Novices would have to prank to more people. By themselves. The alternative seemed much worse though. She stood up and walked over to Saline, extending her hand.

 

"Saline, I do not like it, but I accept your offer. It seems better than the alternative." She shuddered as she imagined Pia Sedai with a paddle, and Salandrian standing helplessly. "I do not know about the other girls, but I will do what you ask, Accepted."

_________________

 

Zaire cooled down a bit after Saline's speech but was just as fired up again when she said she was going to take away the diary. Burn her! If I wasn't only a Novice, the things I'd like to do to her.. She shook away her thoughts. Shut up you're being silly.

 

After Salandrian accepted the offer, Zaire was a bit taken aback that she was the first to. She looked between Salandrian and Saline questioningly, then weighed the consequences. Saline had a point. She wasn't sure if Beth or Salandrian had caught up on it, but Saline talked about Aes Sedai who should have never became Accepted, and even Accepted who should never have become Accepted. Zaire knew she wasn't the purest soul, but she didn't like liars and cheaters-Well, those who did it as if their life depended on it. To bring what is deserved to those who have done wrong could be worth some paddles to the bottom, if they were caught. She trusted that Salandrian could be sneaky, even is Zaire never believed she herself could.

 

"I'll do it. But I'm doing it because I agree that immoral people deserve what they brought to others with what they've done." Well then...

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Her precious in hand, she kept grinning as one by one the girls agreed to her terms. Oh, it was going to be so much fun. Saline could imagine the delicious faces of the Gray and the Blue Sisters she had in mind, and how much trouble the Novices were going to get into. Perhaps even a trip to the farm. That'll show them to kidnap then threaten an Accepted. Besides, it'll keep the three out of her curls as she studied the diary. Hah, she was going to have to lock her door to-night... And carry her staff again.

_________________

 

Salandrian & Zaire & Saline

 

OOC: The actual pranking is to be done on another thread.

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