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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Ignorance is Bliss (Attn: Adaira Tamrinin))


TaeaDawn
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Ignorance was never bliss. In fact it was one of the few things she hated with a passion. In others, perhaps, she could forgive ignorance, but Aramina sur Dulciena, Sister of the Green Ajah, could not forgive ignorance in herself. In her childhood she had hated that her village lay too far away from Cairhein to hear the news quickly. As a Novice she had been faced with her all too ignorant dealings with the One Power. In her life as an Accepted, she had remembered the outside world again and had tried to learn everything she could. The problem was in finding someone that would relay any information to her. When she had reached the Shawl, in truth not just in name, it was one of the things she had set about to cure.

 

Ignorance was like most diseases. There was a cure if you were willing. A smile breached her lips as the thought crossed her mind. Take what you want and pay the price. That thought had taken her far from her home in the White Tower and brought her across the land into strange cities and customs. Unlike some of her counterparts in the White Tower, Aramina did not try to stand above those around her. She was learning about the customs of each land as she went, travelling as a merchant, and dressing as the customs dictated. She didn't have the ageless look of Aes Sedai yet so her face didn't give her away. She had visited many places in her tour, but in Arad Doman she had stayed the longest. The ways were so foreign to the Cairhein native that she had struggled with the customs almost as much as with the dress.

 

Aramina's ignorance of customs was being cured, but that was secondary. The true purpose in her journeys had been to set up a network of eyes and ears. She hoped one day they would rival even the Blue sisters for their legendary legions of informants in the world. It was lucky for her that the Green Ajah had a history of letting it's youngest sisters run off into the world to get some experience before coming back to face off with whatever the Tower needed. There had been little questioning as to why she wanted to be out in the world. In fact, Aramina was quite certain that the Captain General had understood exactly what she was doing without having been told, and that she approved. Sirayn Sedai would accept ignorance as an excuse as soon as Aramina would.

 

But her mental wanderings were getting her no where at the moment. She had been looking for a specific inn and had yet to find it. Directions given to her by 3 different people had all told her to go a different way and not a one was in the same direction. So far Aramina had gotten one innkeeper that she felt would send her news when it came, but you always needed more than one source. She was looking for a second source. She had a number of Innkeepers in her employ already from her travels. They learned news quickly and no one wondered why they were asking.

 

She was so caught up in what she was thinking that she almost missed it. Almost. That glimmer of something, that recognition of a similiar being close by. Aramina stopped and looked around, surveying her surroundings. She ran a hand across her flimsy green dress. Even if she was dressing in outlandish clothing, she had made sure her colors were still worn proud. That, at least, gave her some feeling of familiarity as she had looked at herself in the mirror. Her hair was still hanging in loose curls down her back, but she had forgone the elaborate braids that she normally wore and instead it was pulled back with a simple band to hold it. Few that knew her would recognize Aramina as she was.

 

She finally laid eyes on the problem. A young Domani woman across the street. She seemed quiet and almost shy in the way she carried her body. Her brown hair hung in hurls to her shoulders. Short for Domani, but no denying the coppery skin. And no denying the pull that Aramina felt towards her. She took a deep breath. There was a way to tell. She looked again at the girl and wondered, if she passed, what the White Tower would make her into. She sighed. Sometimes, she thought as she watched the girl for a moment longer, ignorance is bliss. She let a smile grace her face then and schooled her features to an expression of curiosity.

 

"Excuse me child. I was wondering if I could have a moment of your time. I'm trying to find an inn called the Wandering Ways. Could you direct me?" She asked politely.

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Adaira knew she should have seen her coming. Instead, she almost stumbled on the woman and scattered all the papers she had been carrying all over the street. Angry at herself, she knelt to pick them up and hoped none of them were too stained from all the mud or her mother would kill her... Those were VERY important papers, she knew. Oh well, there's nothing I can do, except pick them up as soon as I can, she thought and sighed. As she was coming to her feet again, she heard the woman say "Excuse me child. I was wondering if I could have a moment of your time. I'm trying to find an inn called the Wandering Ways. Could you direct me?" Child? She knew she was short, and for that most people thought her to be much younger than she actually was, but the woman before her wasn't that much taller than her. Only then she realized that the woman had asked for directions as well.

 

"Wandering Ways? Uhmm... It's almost right around the corner... Just turn left here and walk to the main street and the turn right, the inn should be right there. In fact, I guess I could come and show you the way... Wandering Ways is easy to miss if you don't know what you're looking for." I just hope mother won't be too mad at me if I'm late for dinner... And she turned to lead the way hoping the woman would follow her closely. Even on her homestreet accidents happened, cutpurses did their work and with all the people you could get lost very easily.

 

As they walked towards Wandering Ways, Adaira became sure the woman behind her wasn't a Domani nor had she ever lived in Arad Doman. Though she looked like one in her well cut green dress, her walk wasn't right... Oh, she walked very gracefully but she didn't slide her hips the way every Domani woman had learnt to do as soon as she was out of the little girl's robes. And her speech wasn't right either, it was clipped, too fast and a voice of a woman who was used to get what she wanted right then. Not the soft and enticing kind of voice the Domani used to make people think it had been their idea all the time. Maybe a Cairhienin? Her mother had taught her to recognize people from the other countries and there were always plenty of those around where they lived. Well, what else could you expect when most of the city's trade was focused in this part of it?

 

And then they were there, right next to Wandering Ways. "Here it is, Mistress. Wandering Ways, the inn you were looking for" she said smiling. Now, maybe if I run, I can make it home before dinner and mother will not say anything about my being late... But no, the woman still had something to say.

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Aramina watched the girl as she walked ahead of her. She hadn't missed the girl's reaction to being called a Child. She really had to watch that outside of the Tower. If she was wearing her ring and parading around as an Aes Sedai people would expect it, but of a merchant it was not proper. Well, she was here to learn of the world and some lessons were better learned through experience after all.

 

The inn wasn't far, as the girl had said. It was a nice inn, though nothing fancy. It was the type of place that Aramina had been searching for, the type where drinks ran crazy and tongues ran loose. A place that a well place informant would certainly pick up news that interested an Aes Sedai, secluded in the White Tower.

 

"Here it is, Mistress. Wandering Ways, the inn you were looking for"

 

The girl looked likely to bolt, but Aramina smiled at her. "One moment more please. I won't keep you long, I promise." She said, walking into the inn, fully expecting the girl to follow. Aramina was pleased when she did so. It took only a moment to get a room and to have her shown to them, pulling the young woman after her.

 

As she entered the room she warded it quickly against intrusion. "I'm sure you are wondering why I asked you up here." The girl nodded and before she could talk Aramina started again. "I have been in town on other business, but I couldn't help but notice something about you as I walked past you. I think we have something in common, you and I. I would like to test you to see if it's true. My name is Aramina sur Dulciena, Aes Sedai of the Green Ajah." She smiled again as she watched the shock show on her face. "And your name is?"

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"One moment more please. I won't keep you long, I promise."

 

Her mother would kill her, Adaira was sure of that. Frowning, she saw the woman walk into the inn, so she had no options but to follow. What did the woman want?

 

Inside, they got a room and Adaira took a seat at the end of the large bed in the middle of the room. As she turned to face the woman, she heard her say:

"I have been in town on other business, but I couldn't help but notice something about you as I walked past you. I think we have something in common, you and I. I would like to test you to see if it's true. My name is Aramina sur Dulciena, Aes Sedai of the Green Ajah."

 

An Aes Sedai? Well, that explained a lot... But what would an Aes Sedai want from her? She was nothing, and even less to the Aes Sedai. And she had said something about testing too...

 

"My name is Adaira Tamrinin, Aes Sedai... A test for what? Is there something wrong with me?"

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Aramina smiled slightly as her title hit home with the girl. The wheels turning in her head seemed confused and she waited for the girl's tongue to catch up.

 

"My name is Adaira Tamrinin, Aes Sedai... A test for what? Is there something wrong with me?"

 

"No," Aramina said kindly. "There is nothing wrong with you. In fact, I think there may be some greatness in you, if you are willing to attempt it."

 

"I think, Adaira Tamrinin, that you may be one of the few girls that are lucky enough to learn to wield the One Power. Are you willing to try?" There was a challenge in her voice, a note that dared her to turn away the chance.

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"I think, Adaira Tamrinin, that you may be one of the few girls that are lucky enough to learn to wield the One Power. Are you willing to try?"

 

Aramina Sedai looked at her like a hawk closing on its prey. Adaira had heard so many stories and rumours about Aes Sedai, some of them funny and some of them just very frightening, that she didn't know what to make of it. Some said the Aes Sedai were Dark One's witches and responsible for breaking the world while the others said they did marvelous things with the One Power and fought against Shadow even harder than any army in the Borderlands. And they knew things, everybody knew the Aes Sedai had more books and knowledge than all the other libraries combined.

 

And now... She might be able to become one of them. To learn to channel was something Adaira had never even dreamed of, not in her wildest dreams! So was she willing to try? She wasn't sure. It would mean leaving her family and the life she had here and moving to the Tower... On the other hand, she had always wanted something more and if this wasn't a chance to get that extraordinary life, then what was?

 

Well, I can always try, she thought and made her decision. "Yes, Aramina Sedai. I'd like to try."

She tried a little smile and wasn't sure if she succeeded or not. Her hands were trembling a bit, but she felt content. Light willing, she might have this chance to change her life for good, and if she failed, she'd know she had tried at least.

 

"So, what do I have to do?"

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"Yes, Aramina Sedai. I'd like to try. So, what do I have to do?"

 

A trembling smle had appeared for a moment and Aramina understood. The things they told stories about, they lies that were told about Aes Sedai were often horrifying. Of course, the lies were nothing compared to the truths that you came to know in the White Tower. The secrets held and the sacrafices you made. But the world needed them, the Light needed them. The Last Battle was coming and they had to be ready.

 

Aramina took a seat on the bed next to the girl and smiled encouragingly at her as she pulled a gem out of her pack. It was small, something she used to calm her mind and focus at night when she was away from the Tower. It helped her relax when she was surrounded by strangers. She took it out now and held her hand out, showing the small green stone.

 

"I want you to clear your mind of everything and focus on this stone." She said in a calm, clear voice. "Concentrate on this and nothing else."

 

The stone lay in her hand for a few moments and Aramina was getting ready to settle in for the long haul, when suddenly a light flashed in the center of the stone. Aramina closed her hand around the stone and smiled again. "It seems I was right." She said as she put the stone back. "You have the ability to learn to channel. I should be in town a few days longer. When my business is concluded here, you can accompany me back to the White Tower." She said.

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Adaira didn't know what to think, she just knew something great was happening. "It seems I was right.You have the ability to learn to channel." Those words had already changed her life completely from everything she had ever known before, she just didn't know yet how exactly. The whole thing was still something unreal, something she really didn't understand and believe in yet, as if she'd soon wake up from a pleasant but very weird dream. And if it really was true for some reason (and it had to be, the Aes Sedai never lied!), she really could learn to channel. To become one of them, one of those wonderful, powerful, proud women would be something unimaginable, and as fast as this all had happened she was now sure she wanted nothing more than to be able to channel one day.

 

"I should be in town a few days longer. When my business is concluded here, you can accompany me back to the White Tower." So she would have at least a few days with her family before she had to leave and she was grateful for the chance to say proper goodbyes to her family and friends. But then, that would also make it harder... to know she'd have to go in a few days and maybe never see them again. That also made her very sad. Oh well, no use in lingering in those thoughts as there's nothing I can do about it anyway... I can always write letters at least, and maybe I could even come to visit sometimes... That was something to worry about later, she knew. She should have been home long ago, and her mother would be very worried if she didn't show up soon. But she still had one more question before she could go.

 

"Aramina Sedai? What is it like, living at the Tower and becoming an Aes Sedai?"

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A smile crossed Aramina's lips then. Not a calculated smile to reach an end result, but one that spoke of home and warmth. "Being in the White tower? As a Novice, you understand, it is hard. You learn to do as you are told and you study hard. If you reach the ranks of the Accepted, you have more liberties, but you study even harder. And to be Aes Sedai, it is a great honor and achievment to walk the halls where so many great women have walked before me." She said. Her smile faded then and she looked at the girl.

 

"I will send word to you, in a few days time, to let you know when we will leave. You may tell your family what has happened here, but do not tell them where I am, or anyone else that I am here." As she spoke she turned to unpacking the bag she had brought up with her.

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Adair looked at the Aes Sedai as the smile brightened her face. She really loves the Tower, she thought. If it really was worth everything she would have to give up, and she would look as happy and proud as Aramina Sedai when she spoke of the Tower, Adaira was sure she didn't mind it that much. She would surely have many marvelous and exciting experiences while in Tar valon.

 

"Being in the White tower? As a Novice, you understand, it is hard. You learn to do as you are told and you study hard. If you reach the ranks of the Accepted, you have more liberties, but you study even harder. And to be Aes Sedai, it is a great honor and achievment to walk the halls where so many great women have walked before me."

 

She knew it would be hard. That was one thing her mother had never really understood, that learning was as demanding as any work, even more so because you needed so much concentration if you wanted studying to be effective.

 

"Of course I'll keep my silence, Aes Sedai. May I go now?" she asked anxiously. "My mother must be very worried about me by now, and with such a great news..." She dropped a little curtsey, and headed for the door. Her mother would never believe what had happened to her today...

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"Of course I'll keep my silence, Aes Sedai. May I go now? My mother must be very worried about me by now, and with such a great news..."

 

The girl dropped into a curtsy and practically ran for the door. She was excited, understandably so, but Aramina wondered if her family would be. The Tower was very good at destroying all bonds. For all her good intentions, Aramina rarely received word from her family. Her brother and sister were both married and had kids. Her brother had grandkids last she had heard. And if she showed up at their village no one would remember her and none would mistake her for their kin. A hard truth Aramina had learned long ago, her parentage was not as she had been raised to believe. The White Tower had helped destroy that lie as well.

 

She sighed as she walked out of the small room and back onto the street. She had to get her other things from the last inn and get settled here before she could make any real connection with the innkeeper. Her eyes and ears network was growing with each stop. Her other business as well. It was a wonderful thing, really, to be a young Aes Sedai. to be in the world, watching, seeing, listening with the skill of a fully training Battle Sister, but the face of a young woman. All too soon her face would reach it's agelessness and she would no longer be able to continue on these forays. She intended to take advantage of the time while she could.

 

For now, there was business to attend to, customs to learn and aclimate to, and unsuspecting Innkeepers to lure into her web.

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