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Nightingale's Complaint - Attn: Cara


Shaneevae

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The nightingale's complaint,

it dies upon her heart......Shelley

 

 

Studying the ter’angreal stretched out across the length of her desk, Shaneevae ran through the facts she already knew.  A thick braid of leather composed the bulk of the belt.  Ten strands intricately woven together and at each end the threads unraveled each ending in a metallic arrow.  The composition of the arrows was unknown to her or anyone else of this Age, but she assumed that every two of them represented or enacted one of the five elements of the One Power.  It’s exterior plainly a belt to hang low on the hips. It never drew much attention and no one would ever mistake it for a Power wrought item, which was exactly how she preferred it.  It wouldn’t do to have other sisters coveting her trinket.

 

Her only complaint with The Nightingale was its failure to be accurate in the Blight.  Rather off putting to think yourself safe one minute and the next to be ducking the swing of a trolloc’s blade.  She had come to depend upon the simple item years ago since never having bonded it acted as a warder of sorts.  Of course, it wasn’t as handsome and not nearly as good at keeping her company, but it also didn’t take up space in her mind.

 

Her thoughts retreated to the person that had caused her to pull the ter’angreal from its honored spot in her small clothes drawer……Cara.  Shaneevae had been informed upon her raising to First Chair that the ability to make ter’angreal had manifested itself the young Brown, but she had yet to speak to her of it.  The time had come.

 

Shaneevae pulled a piece of parchment fromm her desk drawer.  Dipping the quill into the bottle of ink, she quickly scrawled an invitation out to Cara.

 

Cara Sedai,

 

Please join me for tea this afternoon in my quarters.  Bring only yourself for only you are needed.  There is a matter I would like to discuss with you at some length.

 

Shaneevae

 

Letting silver wax drip onto the folded parchment, she pressed her personal seal,the Lionheart into it and waited for it to dry.  Sticking her head out the door, she caught a passing novice and sent her along with the message.

 

Shaneevae

 

First Chair

 

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The knock on the door to her quarters caught Cara by surprise and quickly she and Liitha disentangled themselves from each other and Liitha disappeared into her room. Although they called it “Liitha’s” room that was more out of fun than anything else as Liitha spent far more time with Cara in her room and neither of them would have it any other way.

 

Smoothing a wayward strand of her ash blonde hair behind her ear, Cara reached for the long silk dressing gown her mother had bought as a present for her and slipped her arms into the sleeves, hastily tying the belt around her slim waist. Moving over to the door she quickly unlocked it and was surprised to be given a parchment, she thanked the novice who smiled and curtsied before leaving, no doubt to continue with her duties.

 

Shutting the door, Cara ran a fingernail under the wax of the seal and then read the note. “Oh blood and bloody ashes, how did she find out about that.”

 

Hearing Cara swear Liitha emerged from her room and smiled at her lover. “I take it that there is something in there that you do not like or arte you just practicing in case you have to become a dock worker?”

 

Waving the parchment in Liitha’s general direction Cara explained what was written in it.

 

“I do not understand why it would upset you so my love, it is not like your talent is anything to be ashamed of.” Liitha slipped her arms around Cara’s waste and pressed her lips to her neck, sending a slight shudder through her. “And while you are having your cup of tea with Shaneevae it will give me the opportunity to go and check on how my trainees are progressing knowing that you are not going to run off and get yourself in trouble” Liitha paused for a moment before adding, “as usual when I am not around.”

 

The indignant look on Cara’s face caused Liitha to double up with laughter and she was still chuckling when she left their rooms a short time later. In the meantime Cara quickly dressed, a pair of breeches with a loose white shirt tucked into them. She tied her hair back at the nape of her neck with a brooch and then slipped on her favourite pair of low-heeled boots. They had seen better days but were so comfortable that she did not care if they looked a little shabby.

 

A couple of hours later, Cara made her way to Shaneevae’s quarters and knocked on the door. Sighing she opened the door, when bidden to do so and made way into Shan’s quarters. The two Aes Sedai knew each other slightly, and although Cara did not have friends in the Tower, she thought there was something about this woman that could lead to them becoming friends. She hoped so seeing as Shaneevae was the leader of the Brown Ajah, or First Chair to give her full title, not a fact that was known outside of the Ajah.

 

Once the pleasantries had been exchanged and Shan had poured for both of them, Cara asked he what it was that Shan needed her help with.

 

Cara Ramsey

 

I wasn’t born with enough middle fingers

 

Bonded to Liitha

 

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Ash blonde hair tied at the nape of her neck and regardless of the young Aes Sedai’s burgeoning ageless face, a stranger would be hard pressed to title her so.  While there were many sisters that wore breeches few carried it as naturally as Cara.  There was simplicity to the woman that Shaneevae found refreshing and one she hoped she herself exuded. Embellishments were frivolous and in her opinion a waste of time. It also distracted from one’s beauty, but that was not to be voiced otherwise her own frivolous side would show.

 

Sipping at her tea, she wondered just how to broach the subject with the other woman.  Talent was a misnomer of sorts. While exciting to the Brown Sister studying it and not personally affected by it, more often than not it was a burden to the Sister baring the Talent itself. There was the matter of learning how to control said Talent and often it was a dangerous discovery and Cara’s Talent was no different. Ter’angreals were not something to play around with.  They were dangerous and unpredictable and could snatch the life of the Talent holder away in less than a breath or worse yet, burn the ability from her with no chance of ever tasting the sweetness of Saidar again. It was a dire and serious matter.

 

Taking another sip, she sat the cup down and took a deep breath, “Cara, I only just learned of your Talent recently and to be honest I don’t understand how it works.  Is it just something you feel intuitively or do you see how something should be made in your mind’s eye?  Are you able to determine the safety of the piece?”

 

Shaneevae laughed, embarrassed by her eagerness and stream of steady questions.  “I’m sorry.  It must be irritating to have to answer the same questions over and over again, please be tolerant of my natural curiosity.”

 

Pushing her wavy brown hair, behind her ears she leaned in conspiratorially, “To be honest, I have very little interest in things concerning the One Power, so I’m generally ignorant of such items except for…….one.

 

Shaneevae el'Edware

 

First Chair

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Tolerance, now there was something Cara was not usually good at, as she had often been reminded during her years as a novice and then as an accepted. It was not that she was an arrogant person, or one who thought she knew it all, far from it actually. But Cara hated probing, personnel questions, questions that could lead to areas that would reveal secrets that could place a person feet on a path they would never have known about never mind thought to walk  For instance a question about her parents not answered correctly could lead to other questions, and her parents were not a subject matter that could stand up to over close scrutiny, not to any depth anyway.

 

“It first came about when Eldrenne Sedai asked me to help her out with her studies.” Cara did not know if Shan knew who Eldrenne was, or what had happened to her, but for now she would not elucidate. “Well as she went deeper into her studies it became apparent to both of us that I had the same talent that had manifested itself in her. Although I only recorded the first experiments that she did, we later on worked together and both of us had some success although at first it was slow going and there were many frustrations.”

 

Not only frustrations, Cara could never remember a time when she had gone without sleep for so long, nor missed so many meals. The work had been hard and gruelling and all encompassing, so much so that when Tania caught sight of her one day she had commented on Cara’s weight loss and insisted she have something to eat there and then. Well not exactly there as they were in a corridor but Tania had virtually dragged Cara back to her rooms and made her sit down while she cooked for her.

 

“As to how it works?” Cara took a sip of her tea, just enough to wet her lips. “It is like unravelling a knot to be honest. I am not sure how else to explain it, and Eldrenne’ way was unlike mine. I do not know if that means it is different for whoever has this ability or not.” Exasperation tinged Cara’s voice even now after all this time had passed. So much knowledge was lost from those in the past so much that had not been recorded, taken for granted or had been destroyed for one reason or another. Cara could have screamed out loud on many occasions when they had come across a problem that they knew had been taken for granted many centuries ago.

 

“I still have all my original notes from that time with Eldrenne, and there are copies of them in the Library. I am not sure what use they would be to you, or anyone else to be honest, but I am more than happy to go and get them and have you read them if you would like me to?”

 

Cara Ramsey

 

I wasn’t born with enough middle fingers

 

Bonded to Liitha

 

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I am more than happy to go and get them and have you read them if you would like me to?

 

Shaneevae shook her head vehemently, “Oh good Light, no.  No. Really while I love knowledge I ran out of room in this noggin’ of mine quite some time ago and now I have to be very careful as to what I put in there as the space is limited you see.”

 

Silence arched between them, a look of expectancy on Cara’s face as if to say, “Then what is it you want lady?” Taking a deep breath, Shaneevae pushed herself away from her desk and crossed the room to a small ornate chest sitting on the floor by the largest bookshelf.  She cleared off the stacks of parchment piled high atop it and released the ward that protected it.  Not only had she warded it with the Saidar, she’d also protected it the old fashioned way.  Pulling a key from between her breasts, she unlocked the small trunk and opened it carefully.

 

There among the red velvet lay the Nightingale.  Unassuming, simple leather work, no one would ever assume it to be a Power wrought item.  It was one of the reasons she was so fond of it. It was much like her in that respect. Removing it from its resting place she carried it back across the room and laid the length of it across her desk for Cara’s inspection.  Running her hands lovingly across the braided leather, she asked, “What do you make of it, Cara?”

 

Shaneevae el'Edware

 

First Chair

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  • 5 weeks later...

It took Cara so long to respond to Shaneevae that she must have thought Cara had been struck dumb, or lost her senses, whatever it was that she though Shaneevae had the good graces not to show it. Eventually Cara handed the leather strap back to Shaneevae, reluctantly but still did not proffer a reply, her mind spinning through various thoughts .She did not fully understand how her talent worked, it was something that had only woken recently and so she was still finding her feet with it, so to speak. Eventually Cara broke the silence. “It is a strange thing Shaneevae, I do not know what this does, but I do know that I could replicate it.”

 

Cara looked up and saw a questioning expression on Shaneevae’s face. “I am not boasting Sister, I speak only the truth here. Somehow it is as if I can puzzle out how to make items such as this just by looking at them, even though I do not know what they are for.”

 

Again Cara fell silent, her eyes taking on an unfocused look before suddenly brightening. “Do you know what it is for, how did it come to be in your possession? Have you had it long?” Cara hated asking questions, she thought the more she asked the more it made her sound like a typical member of the Brown Ajah. It was not that she minded that, nor how inquisitive she was, she just did not like being a “stereotype” or being thought of in that way. She did, however, have one final question. “Have you ever used this?” It was a question she could not avoid asking of Shaneevae and she hoped that the flood of questions did not make her sound like someone who wanted to poke their nose into the business of others.

 

Cara Ramsey

 

I wasn’t born with enough middle fingers

 

Bonded to Liitha

 

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