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Petition & Blessings (attn: Red Ajah)


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Saline’s entire body was framed by a rectangle of light. It came from a large window, and she sat on its cooled ledge, staring into the falling snow. She had drawn her feet up, knees almost to her chin, and her arms wrapped around in an embrace of herself. A spacious chamber for sitting, but she would have traded it and all the congratulations in the world for the cramped Accepted quarters she called her room, hers and Rory’s. It was Rory she wanted, nestled in her arms. Honesty and trust gave them the freedom to grow, yet when the Taraboner felt lonely, freedom became abstract and the longing more real. One day, she would go and fly her kite. Like her friends, gazing upon the kite would be far, separated by distance and time, but there was always a string tugging at your hands, mouth and heart. Without these strings, she would fall apart.


Sometimes a serving woman assigned to her would come in and ask the Aes Sedai if she could be of assistance. Saline waved her away, politely but firmly. As it was the chamber was neat, there was no need for it to be tidied when she trained herself to leave no trace except what she wanted the others to see. There were her embroideries in one corner, and a kettle puffing contently in the other, and the woman had noted the single cup placed in the middle, untouched by dust. Saline was already dressed, a robe sensibly soft and comfortable. One noticeable detail of her simple attire, and it was noticed despite its simplicity, had been the color. Royal blue against the honey of her hair, its effect was like a summer sky. On the back of the chair hung the red shawl she had taken, despite misgivings, an embodiment of her ambitions.


Her woman had brought a coverlet from the bedchamber earlier. Saline pulled the blanket closer, and sighed. Its folds smelt of apples, or was it her imagination? Her eyelids turned traitor, and she slept.


Saline awoke, much refreshed. A look at the mantelpiece made her shoulders shake. What use was having two clocks, one in each room, if she could not keep time with either? Ringlets clung and touched her head like an angry cloud. Due to haste she had forgotten to bring along a shawl, but she shivered not. Vera had told her the trick of ignoring the cold, and it was but a trick after all, one that came naturally if she focused. And she focused. In the corridor, nary a sound could be heard excepting Saline’s blue rustle. Stone, softened by the sheepskin rugs and tapestries, seemed to have dampened her spirits, as well as muffled sounds from the Red Quarters. Passing by one particular door, she remembered how beauteously Jagen had been smiling the night before, and flushed with the shame of past unkind thoughts. What had been trivial to her as a young girl was inconvenient to Saline. Even in memories, the pride of youth proved stiff. Endure the ceremony, and she would make everything up to the Red after they bond as Sisters.


Regrettable that she could not amend her behaviour sooner, as the ceremony stood in her way. What her aspiration was came as no great surprise to any of her tutors. Every Aes Sedai who had petitioned to the Ajah would be accepted, since the Sisters always guided the Accepted to their rightful places, there was no reason why the show would go wrong. Most likely she would be stripped to show the Reds her womanly status, scrutinized, and then dismissed until she could serve. A civil gesture.


After a polite knock she entered the chamber. Saline had intended on calling the matron, whoever it was, Sister, but when the door was opened her countenance and plan changed. Studying the woman who had first introduced her to Saidar, Saline took a deep breath. “Good morning, Mentor.” It took very much to nod at the other instead of curtseying, although what was suitable in a child of twenty ill suited a woman of seventy.


Light, Perine looked resplendent in red.


Saline Wastrel



OOC: About time.  ;) Any Reds who want to join in, please do.

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  • 3 weeks later...


The dawn approached and the first light of the sun lit the window of the chamber Perine had arrived at many hours before. She had found that sleep was no more required of her. Sure she did spend a few hours each night in her bed, but most often it was to ponder on the world than actually close her eyes to the world. She was a Sitter for her Ajah and she had no intention of failing because she had deemed to need to sleep. And this day, she had a task she was proud to undertake. Not as a Sitter, but as a Mentor and friend. Saline would come to petition to the Red Ajah. The mere thought gave out a grin to her face.


Though Perine, nor any other Sister of the Red could really have doubted the choice of Ajah for Saline, yesterday had still proved to be frightful. Saline was her mentee, and her first ever mentee to follow in her own footsteps into the Red Ajah. She found a trace of tears of joy in her eyes and immediately schooled her emotions to keep away. There would be time for tears and laughter but that time was not now. She turned as she heard the soft echo of footsteps in the corridor. The youngest Sister Elise arrived and nodded faintly to Perine. This was her first time witnessing a ceremony such as this, at least one when she herself was not the candidate. “Have some tea, Elise.” Perine said motioning to the pot by the wall. She had made it for herself, but had not been in the mood for the sweet taste in brought. Instead Perine kept her eyes on the window and absently smoothed her red satin dress she was clad in and adjusted the shawl on her shoulders. She seldom wore the shawl anymore. Just at ceremonies or inside the Hall. Everyone in the Tower knew with only a glance that she was a Red Sister. She always wore her red garments. A faint sound was heard from the corridor again and both Sister turned to the door waiting for todays candidate to enter. And as the door opened and Saline entered, Perine fought to keep from hugging the girl immediately. “Good morning, Mentor.” she heard Saline speak. The girl looked like she had not been expecting Perine behind the door.


“Come in Saline.” Perine said and motioned Saline inside. The room was empty save for a few cushioned chairs and a table. This was the room all new Red Sisters saw before being taken down into the Chamber where the real ceremony would take place. Perine had asked to be the one to take her mentee forth along with the newest Sister. After today Saline would take Elise’s place in this ceremony and would keep on doing the part of the newest Sister until another Accepted declared to the Red. Saline was no longer a Child and now having sworn the Oaths, she was even less like one. When Perine nodded to Elise and the woman dashed to the back of the room. She pushed away a tapestry that hung there, revealing a hidden door. Elise was the first to go down the winding staircase and Saline followed behind the other. Perine was the last to descend. She fixed the tapestry back in its place and shut the door firmly behind her.


Perine saw Elise open one last door and a light illuminated the staircase and the huge Chamber that awaited them. Perine once again shut the door and walked into the midst of other Red Sisters that had been waiting there. She would step up again soon, but not just yet. She saw Muirenn standing firm apart from the crowd. Elise guided Saline to her. Elises voice was clear and crisp when she spoke the words she had memorized by heart. "This child, Saline, who has sworn the Three Oaths to the White Tower, wishes to petition for admittance to the Red Ajah. Will any present here speak for this child?"

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  • 3 weeks later...

Jagen had her gaze thoughtfully on Muirenn when the door opened. She wondered what the Highest was thinking every time a new Sister came through that door. She also wondered what she had thought of Jagen herself. Her gaze shifted over to Saline and Perine as they stepped through the threshold, recalling her own ceremony. Jagen had been passionate for years on joining the Reds and their cause. She could not stand the thought of men having the Power to channel, especially those who could--who would--cause harm to others. Being a Red was not for anyone who was weak in heart or mind and Jagen had showed she was certainly neither. She had been more than ready, standing tall, that day she walked the same path Saline now did. She showed them she was prepared to take on the world.


Would Saline, she prayed, do the same? Jagen's thoughts were not quite on the girl herself so much as the Red Ajah as a whole. She had learned quickly not to hold grudges against sisters of her Ajah because their Sisterhood was the most important thing they had. They were all sisters, closer than those of blood. They had the task to keep the world safe more than any other Aes Sedai in the Tower.


Perine being older than Jagen of course, in age and sisterhood, the Taraboner inclined her head politely, holding her shawl at the ends with her hands. She was a high-necked tight dress of her country's native cut, white with heavy red lace and the decor of lovely little roses. She turned her gaze to Saline--and semi-distainfully noted the blue dress--and gave her the barest of nods, her blue gaze hard. Be prepared, do well, Saline. I will not welcome you if you are not ready.

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