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A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Aes Sedai and manners: Esther's Arrival (Att MoN and Mentor)


Elgee
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Esther was not a talkative person, but the beauty of Tar Valon robbed her of any speech she might have had, while the sight of the White Tower completely took her breath away.

 

She hoped she would get a better chance to look at it later, as Serena Sedai seemed in great hurry, rushing through the streets and Tower Grounds with barely a pause for others to make way for her.

 

Once at the Tower stables, she only slowed long enough to give her Warder some instructions Esther could not hear, then glided at a quick pace into the Tower itself, admonishing her to keep up.  Esther was stunned when Manric, Serena’s Warder, gave her a gruff hug goodbye.  Blushing slightly, she managed a curtsy and a hasty word of thanks before trotting after Serena, who led the way through the maze of passages and ramp ways, for which Esther was very grateful, as they seemed designed to get one lost.  She was also getting very tired and red-faced from the unusual activity, a look she was sure did not enhance her already rather plain face.

 

Eventually they came to a plain wooden door, at which point Serena told her to “Report for Novice training here, child” then hurried away without a backward glance.

 

Rather at a loss, Esther stood there for a few moments, then knocked on the door and waited for permission to enter.  She tried to smooth her face, but she could not help feeling that Serena Sedai needed some lessons in manners!

 

A low voice calling from within prompted Esther to give her dress a final tug before entering.  The ageless face behind the desk left her in no doubt of whom this woman was, although she had no idea of her name.  Esther curtsied precisely, then waited with folded hands for permission to speak; Serena had been very clear on that point – do not speak to Aes Sedai unless spoken to.

 

After a few moments, the Aes Sedai started to frown, then curtly asked her name and business. Slightly confused, Esther raised an eyebrow, but answered civilly enough.

 

“My name is Esther Tremaine, Aes Sedai; Serena Sedai told me to report to this office to enrol as a Novice.  Forgive me for not speaking first, but she told me I must never address an Aes Sedai without permission?”  She could not help putting a hint of question into that statement. Honestly, how was one to know what to do, if the Aes Sedai could not even agree on it?

 

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Larindhra was not in the best of moods.  She was certain sure there was a mouse in her office somewhere, eating at the mounds of books and papers filed away all over.  She could hunt it down with the Power, but another one would just take its place the next day, for sure.  Novices and their pranks! No – the best route would be to get a cat; there were enough prowling around the Tower, attracted as they were to women who could channel, so finding one would be easy enough.  Come to think of it, animals were very good for putting young girls at ease, and anything that soothed the hysterics of excitable young girls would be a good thing, in her books.

 

Her musings were interrupted by a rather firm knock on the door, followed by a young woman entering with a firm stride once bidden to do so, a very precise and crisp curtsy, and then … nothing. Waiting for the girl to speak, Larindhra looked her up and down.  A rather plain girl, with mousy hair that desperately needed a descent cut and some conditioning, though it was neat enough, a round little figure, a roundish face, a plump little mouth with a surprisingly firm cast to it.  All packaged in a dress that was even less flattering than Novice whites, something Larindhra would have found hard to believe were she not seeing the evidence before her eyes.  Still the girl stood, hands folded neatly in front of her, staring straight ahead.

 

“Well, girl? Who are you and what is your business with me?” Larindhra barked, tiring of this game, whatever it might be.  She had a hard time keeping her face straight once she heard the answer, especially with the tone it was delivered in.  Had that been a hint of censure?  She should have been offended, but the child WAS right … and … so far from the hysterical excited aspirant she had just had in her mind that it was all she could do not to laugh.

 

Clearing her throat, she gestured to the chair in front of her desk. “Sit down, Esther. I presume Serena tested you, but I would like to do it myself too.” Larindhra had a feeling it would be best to make sure of everything, with this one, so she picked up the blue gem lying on a corner of her desk with a thread of Air and dangled it midway between them.  Feeding a thin thread of Spirit into it, she instructed Esther to clear her mind and concentrate on only the gem. It took an unusually long time before the gem eventually flashed, but the resonance was surprisingly strong.

 

“Well, that clears up that, so let us move on.  Tell me a bit about yourself, Esther.”

 

Larindhra Reyne

Mistress of Novices

 

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The Mistress of Novices intimidated Esther, hard as she tried not to allow herself to feel that way.  There was something intense in her regard, as if she could see right into Esther’s mind and heart. She had spent a good few days in Serena’s company, but after the initial testing the Aes Sedai had almost ignored her.  Esther wasn’t used to being the focus of someone’s attention to this extent, and she had to fight the urge to squirm. The test came as a welcome relief, even though she had done it before.

 

Esther tried to clear her mind and stared at the gem for what seemed like hours, for all the good it seemed to do; she didn’t feel anything happening, but eventually something flashed in the beautiful gem.  That seemed to satisfy the Aes Sedai, though, and Esther felt a small sigh of relief escape her chest.  Strangely, even though she’d been determined to come to the White Tower, to become one of these fabled women, this was the first time it actually seemed real to her.

 

“There isn’t much to tell, Larindhra Sedai.”  Esther disliked talking about herself, being a naturally reticent person, but she knew she would have to do many things from now on that were difficult, so she squared her shoulders and ploughed on.

 

“I grew up on a farm that belonged to my mother’s family. When I was 15, the farm was … sold, and we moved to the nearby town, New Braem. My mother made sure I had a decent education; well, as much as possible anyway.  I’m afraid there was no opportunity to learn the Old Tongue.”

 

A touch of anxiety crept into her voice.  “Serena Sedai said that would not be a problem? I will study very hard, Larindhra Sedai – at whatever I need to learn.”  She WOULD become Aes Sedai – whatever it took.

 

Esther Tremaine

Novice

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Larindhra was adept at reading between the lines, and oft more was gleaned from what was NOT said, than from what was. Esther was a peculiar mixture of confidence and low self-esteem.  The first had to be fostered and guided; the second had to be very carefully built up. 

 

Searching through the novices clothes in the small store-room, Larindhra pondered on who to assign as the child’s Mentor, and who to room her with.  The matter or the roommate was easy, in a way; there was only one candidate at the moment: Kiyissalle.  A suitable Mentor was a more difficult matter.

 

Eventually she found a set she thought would fit Esther, and handed them to the girl. “Let’s get you settled into your room, then you can wash up and try these on. The seamstresses will adjust them for you, if need be.  Come, child.”  Leading her there herself would give her some more time to think about the matter.

 

With Esther in tow, Larindhra set off towards the novice quarters, red skirts swishing.  She thought of several Aes Sedai, but discarded them all as not quite right for this child.  They had almost reached their destination when she spotted an Accepted gliding along towards them in a very good imitation of Aes Sedai grace.

 

Hmmmm … now what about her? Larindhra thought to herself as Melianna made a perfect curtsy. She might make Esther more feel more comfortable than an Aes Sedai, and would probably be less likely to take extreme offence at the child’s somewhat … disapproving manner.

 

“A moment of your time, Melianna.  I want you to meet Esther Tremaine, our newest Novice.  Esther, this is Melianna Hollmen, an Accepted.”  Larindhra nodded to herself, decision made. “Melianna, I would like you to Mentor Esther.  I’m sure you know what that entails, but come to me should you have any questions.  In the mean time you can see that she settles in with Kiyisalle and explain all the rules to her.”

 

With a final nod to the two girls, Larindhra strode off, pleased with the fortuitous meeting.

 

Larindhra Reyne

Mistress of Novices

 

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"Hmmm, ter'angreal. I want one. They are so exciting. So intriguing."

 

Melianna was daydreaming as she wandered down the cold Hallways. There were colorful tapestries on the stone walls, but she didn't really pay them any attention. Either she had seen them before, or just just didn't care. Too much to daydream about. Like ter'angreal! She turned a corner, on her way back to her rooms, when she saw Larindhra walking with a young girl with white dresses across her arms. A new novice, most likely. Nothing important, really. She was in daydream mode, and her mind told her to curtsy, so she did, still daydreaming, and was doing to walk on by. Until she heard....

 

“A moment of your time, Melianna.  I want you to meet Esther Tremaine, our newest Novice.  Esther, this is Melianna Hollmen, an Accepted. Melianna, I would like you to Mentor Esther.  I’m sure you know what that entails, but come to me should you have any questions.  In the mean time you can see that she settles in with Kiyisalle and explain all the rules to her.”

 

Melianna stood and blinked for a couple seconds. She hadn't been expecting that. Yes, she had been told that Accepted were often used for mentors and that she should be ready for it at any time. She had even been drilled on what to do, but she never really expected it to really happen. She quickly reviewed her responsibilities. Acting as a friend, perhaps some channeling lessons, trying to keep her out of big trouble, and show her around. That seemed the basics.

 

"Yes, Larindhra Sedai." The Mistress of Novices nodded to them and walked back to her office. Meli studied the girl up and down and around. Andoran by descent, probably a farmer by her garb. Strange mix of confidence and humility emitted from her. Ter'angreal. No no no, not now. She smiled at the girl and took her hand in her own tattooed dark hand. "Come along. I'll show you to your room. I'll explain on the way. Kiyisalle's room is a ways from here." She ended going back the way she came as she introduced herself a bit better and began to explain the rules to her. "As Larindhra SWeedai said, my name is Melianna, but feel free to call me Meli. Everyone but the Aes Sedai do. So, at the White Tower, there are a few rules that you need ot remember for your own safety. First, jump whenever the Aes Sedai say toad. Well, maybe not literally, but they are to be obeyed. Failure to do so earns you a potentially painful visit to the Mistress of Novices. Second, no channeling without an Aes Sedai or Accepted there and permission to do so." She stopped and stroked her chin a moment. "Except for Teresa. Never listen to a word she says. Thirdly, follow curfew. It's for the best. Lastly.....well, that was about Teresa, but I already coveered her, didn't I."

 

Melianna stopped in front a a door at the bottom of a staircase. A very generic door, so be blunt. All the dorrs looked like this in the Novice quarters. How she knew this was the right one, she hadn't the foggiest, but this is the place. "Here we are!" She opened the dor wide to let Esther see inside. Nothing here but an unmade bed and a novice dress laying in a heap on the floor. Kiyissalle was not here, but it was late and she would be back soon. "Hmm, looks like your roommate isn't here, but I doubt she will be long. I'll stay here until she returns. Any questions while we wait?" She would have to deal with Kiyissalle's messiness as well. Yes. Ter'angreal. No! Not now!

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Esther took the neat pile of clothes from Larindhra, hoisted her satchel over her shoulder and followed the Aes Sedai down the corridor and a few spiralling ramps until they met a dark-skinned woman in a banded dress. Remembering her instructions, Esther dropped a curtsy, which the woman seemed to ignore.  As a matter of fact, the woman seemed totally distracted, as if lost in her own world.  Clearly being addressed by Larindhra startled her from some daydream. Esther disapproved.

 

One eyebrow rose as Larindhra explained that this strangely tattooed woman, Melianna, would be her Mentor, but as usual that was the only expression she allowed herself to show.  She almost lost her control when Melianna … Meli … took her hand; Esther did not like to be touched, but she thought it would be rude to snatch her hand away, so she offered a small smile in return.

 

“Thank you, Accepted Meli.” Curtsying again provided the opportunity to gracefully break the physical contact, after which Esther followed the woman whilst listening carefully to the few rules Meli explained, if in a rather disjointed fashion.  Eventually they reached what would prove to be her room for the next few years at least.

 

One look inside made Esther’s mouth tighten; she didn’t mind that it was small and hardly furnished, as it was still larger than she’d had at home, but she had been dreading having to share it with someone.  The fact that her roommate seemed to be … untidy, did not bode well.

 

She let her eyes wander over the 2 beds, the few loose stools, the rickety tables, and the few cheap mats on the floor (which was thankfully cleanly scrubbed, she noticed) before depositing her meagre possessions on the made bed.  She presumed the unmade one belonged to her roommate, as did the dress on the floor.

 

“Should we seat ourselves, Accepted?” she inquired politely, waiting for permission before sinking down on the bed.  She was exhausted after the long journey from Andor, but it seemed Meli wanted to visit, so she wracked her weary brain for some questions.

 

“Larindhra Sedai mentioned classes – what sort of things will I be learning? Are there any other rules I should know about?”

 

Esther Tremaine

Novice

 

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“Larindhra Sedai mentioned classes – what sort of things will I be learning? Are there any other rules I should know about?” Esther asked as they each sat on a bed.

 

Esther sure was the inquizitive sort! A very nice seeming girl, as well! "Well, classes cover a wide area. One of the first things they teach you is how to read and write, if you don't know already. You will also learn how to channel, of course. You will learn history and how to Speak the Old Tongue, which is an aweful class. There are a few others that change from time to time. Shadowspawn, geography, customs, law, and a whole smattering of other fun things. Once you get to the rank of Accepted, you get to choose what you study. As for other rules..."

 

Melianna tapped her finger against her lips in thought. Ter'angreal. Stop it! More rules? There has to be more.

 

"Do not speak to an Aes Sedai unless spoken to. No venturing off to the Warder's Yard. Keep your room tidy and your clothes clean. Wear no jewelry. Wear only white. Ummm, I can't think of anything else right now. I hope that helps!" She said cheerfully. She smiled warmly at the girl. Ter'angreal. Stop it!

 

Melianna Hollmen

Distractable and Naive Accepted

 

OOC: You can reply to Meli, and then finish with the dorr openeing. Tay can join in then! ;D

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Esther sat with her hands folded, listening intently to the lessons and rules Meli mentioned.  Serena Sedai seemed to have covered the rules well enough, and none of them seemed particularly onerous.  What would I be wanting in the Warder’s yard anyway, she thought with a tiny frown, but shrugged the matter off.  The classes were of much more interest to her, so she paid particularly close attention to that.  Not that Meli was very forthcoming; the Accepted seemed like a nice woman, but rather … vague.

 

A very nice woman.  Esther smiled and resisted the urge to pat Meli on the knee when the woman finished her recital; she seemed like a child who was proud with her performance!  Hmmmm … maybe if she prompted her a bit, like one would a shy but good student? Esther had been quite good at that, at the village school her mother had sent her to; she had outstripped the other students there very quickly, and had spent most of her time helping the younger ones.

 

Venturing another smile, Esther decided to try that tactic. “You have been very helpful, Meli. I know how to read and write, and I’ve had some schooling in history and politics.  If you wouldn’t mind elaborating a bit? For instance: why is the Old Tongue an awful class? I’m quite looking forward to that, actually.”

 

The door opened before Meli could reply, and a tiny little girl … no, she was small, but a young woman, not a girl … and a stunningly beautiful one at that, entered hesitantly.

 

 

Esther Tremaine

Novice

 

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Kiyi moved hesitantly into the room, not quite sure what to expect and found two women, seated on the beds opposite each other. A cursory glance told her that one of them, a pretty woman running to plumpness, was a Novice like herself. The other, who displayed an air of vagueness, wore one of the banded dresses that marked her as an Accepted and sat amongst the rumpled sheets of Kiyi's own bed. She flinched on noticing that.

 

Recalling the rules that Nynaeve Sedai had recited, Kiyi said nothing, folding her hands at her waist after closing the door and dropping a curtsy, waiting for the Accepted to speak first. She felt her throat close over again at being faced with two complete strangers and didn't think she could speak anyway if her life depended on it. It was difficult enough to simply keep breathing past the restriction and she felt the blood drain from her face for the second time that day.

 

"Ah, you must be Kiyissalle. My name is Melianna and this is your roommate, Esther," the Accepted pronounced rather distractedly before looking at her expectantly. Knowing she would have to respond, Kiyi coughed discreetly, one hand flying to her throat and then swallowed, trying to ease the pressure on her aching throat muscles.

 

"A pleasure to meet you both," she finally murmured softly, cringing at the sound of her voice as it rasped in her ears. Trying for a friendly smile she moved her gaze to the other Novice, "Hello Esther, I apologise for the mess. I'm afraid I only arrived a few hours ago and just had time for a quick nap before I had to see Larindrha Sedai. I thought I was late so I left rather hastily. I'm not normally untidy."

 

Kiyi stopped, clamping her lips shut, knowing her sudden loquaciousness was down to nerves.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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She was back quick! She must have been right behind them! "Ah, you must be Kiyissalle. My name is Melianna and this is your roommate, Esther," Kyisalle looked nervous. Odd. She had never seen anyone nervous in the Tower before. Scared, certianly, but never nervous. Kiyi introduced herself to Esther and explained the mess. She was new? Meli had been sure that Kiyi had been around for a while. One day always seemed the same as the next to her, so she wasn't surprised at her miscalculation. "Back to your questions, Esther. The Old Tongue is an aweful class because nothing makes sense and the teacher is intolerant of slow learners. If not for my best interests, I would not be in that class." That trailed off into some barely intelligable mutterings about manuscripts. Meli snapped back to reality with a start. "I can't really be more specific about the others. As a novice, things are rather general. And I'm not sure about specifics as an Accepted. I have never gone that way in my studies.  Sorry." She rose from the bed and walked over to Kiyi. She whispered in her ear. "About the mess. Normally, I would send you to Larindhra for this, but since you are so new, I'll let you off the hook. Just make sure you keep things tidy in the future." She winked at the small girl and smiled. She moved toward the door, stopped in the doorway, and turned briefly. "I must be going. Enjoy yourselves and don't be afraid to ask me any other questions. Good night." She was gone. Ter'angreal.Yes.

 

Melianna Hollmen

Proffesional Daydreamer

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Esther tried to listen to Meli while also taking in everything about her new roommate.  Roommate … just the word made her throat want to close up. She hated the thought of having to share a room with anyone at all, yet she could be spending a good ten years doing just that with this … delicate looking creature. Would they get along? Esther didn’t get on with most people, pretty girls least of all.  They usually looked down their noses at her, great gawky creature that she was, and she didn’t much care for them.

 

Kiyissalle seemed very shy, though, which wasn’t something she associated with that type of girl.  She’d expected a melodious voice, judging by Kiyissalle’s looks, so the raspy sound that emerged from that pretty mouth came as a shock.  Luckily Esther was used to keeping her thoughts to herself so barely a flicker registered on her face.

 

Her eyes whipped back to Meli when the Accepted started to mutter about the Old Tongue classes and … something about manuscripts? Then she left abruptly.  Exchanging confused glances with Kiyissalle, Esther wondered what that was all about.  Esther jumped up to curtsy to Meli, but the woman had already swept out of the room, leaving her alone with her new roommate.

 

An awkward silence filled the room, leaving Esther casting around for something to converse about.  She had never been any good at small talk, or putting people at their ease, usually leaving that to other people, but she was not getting any help so eventually cleared her throat and ventured a very lame  “Good evening … Kiyisalle. Uhm … don’t worry about the … mess.”  Esther looked around at the room, then at her own small pile of belongings. 

 

“We can put our things away now, and maybe go to supper after that? I think that was the dinner bell that just went.”

 

Esther Tremaine

Novice

 

 

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More than a little bemused by the Accepted's words and mannerisms, Kiyi dipped yet another hasty curtsy to Melianna as she hastened out of the room, exchanging confused glances with Esther at the same time.

 

Once the woman had gone, the silence stretched uncomfortably. Kiyi was unwilling to be the one to break it having, in her opinion, done more than enough talking for one day. Esther appeared to be as ill at ease as she was herself and just about as thrilled to find she had a room mate.

 

Well, we'll just have to make the best of it. It's not as if they're going to ask us what we prefer! she thought, deciding to make an effort as Esther spoke into the quiet of the room.

 

“Good evening … Kiyissalle. Uhm … don’t worry about the … mess. We can put our things away now, and maybe go to supper after that? I think that was the dinner bell that just went.”

 

"Indeed so Esther, that sounds like a sensible plan and please, call me Kiyi," she responded politely with a warm smile, her social training taking over in such an awkward situation. "I'm not terribly hungry to be truthful, mostly tired. We had a very long journey to get here. Have you travelled far from home yourself?"

 

Kiyi moved delicately to her side of the room, hastily straightening the bed sheets and shaking out the dress she'd left on the floor before folding it neatly on the chair in the corner. It was so tempting to just collapse. Sleep was beckoning strongly now.

 

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Esther could see that although Kiyi was trying her best to make small talk, the girl was close to falling asleep on her feet. As Kiyi straightened her side of the room, Esther took the opportunity to pack away her belongings.  She shot surreptitious glances at her roommate, wondering whether her strange sounding voice was due to tiredness, or if there was some more permanent problem.  Well, either way didn’t matter to her, but she thought it best not to make mention of it, in case it was a sensitive point.

 

Her clothes all packed away and her tummy grumbling from not having eaten since early morning, Esther decided to find her way to the novice dining hall. Strangely, she would have liked some company, but clearly Kiyi wasn’t going to be able to stand up much longer so Esther murmured a few words to her before slipping out the door.

 

She got lost a few times trying to find her way, and eventually had to ask an Accepted, but soon she heard whispers and giggles so she knew she was nearing her goal.  It seemed as if hundreds of pairs of eyes swivelled towards her as she entered, and followed her all the way to the kitchen, then again when she came out with a tray of food.  Esther felt a blush suffusing her face; she hated being looked at!  Choosing an empty table, she ate her meal as fast as she could then carried her tray back to the kitchen.  She hesitated there a moment, but finally approached one of the friendlier seeming kitchen staff, dropping a curtsy to the round faced woman.

 

“Pardon me, mistress, but my roommate was too tired to come down.  May I take some fruit and perhaps a roll for her?”

 

“Och but of course, deary!”  For some reason the woman chucked her under the chin with a gentle laugh when she handed Esther a cloth-wrapped bundle, making her blush slightly again.  She dropped another curtsy then gathered her courage to walk through the lounge again; she felt their eyes on her back all the way to the doors.

 

It was easier to find her way back to the novice quarters this time, making only a few wrong turns.  Slipping quietly into her room, Esther was not surprised to see a shadowy figure seemingly fast asleep in the one bed, and only a single candle burning next to her own bed.  She deposited the cloth bundle gently on the little table next to Kiyi’s bed, undressed and slipped into her own.  The darkness seemed absolute once she blew out the candle.

 

Esther Tremaine

Novice

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Kiyi woke suddenly and blinked her eyes a few times in the pale light of dawn. The first thing she noticed was that the window was in the wrong place, the second that her bed wasn't as comfortable as usual. Events of the previous day flooded her mind then and she pushed herself upright, glancing over at the sleeping form of her roommate.

 

I've slept right through!! I must have been more tired than I thought.

 

She felt a little guilty at leaving Esther to fend for herself yesterday evening but she couldn't have taken another step if her life had depended on it. Swinging her feet to the cold tiles on the floor, Kiyi stood and moved to the small basin in the corner. Stripping hastily, she completed her ablutions in record time and dressed in her Novice whites once more. As she dragged her comb through her unruly curls and began to pin her hair up, her eyes lit on the food beside her bed. A small smile curved her mouth and she glanced at Esther once more feeling pleased that the girl had taken time to think of her.

 

A small rumble told of her appetite returning and, satisfied with her appearance, she straightened her bed covers and sat down to eat the fruit and the roll with a great deal of gratitude. Idly she wondered what would be for breakfast and what today would hold, a little excited at the thought of her first full day in the Tower. A faint mumbling told her that Esther was waking and she turned to smile warmly at the girl.

 

"Good morning Esther. My thanks for the food you brought. It looks to be a lovely day. I think we're quite early so perhaps we could be first down to see what is for breakfast?" she queried hopefully.

 

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Esther woke with a strange quivering in her belly, a feeling unusual enough that she lay there puzzling over it instead of opening her eyes.  She hated mornings, as a rule, since the day that followed invariably snuffed out the faint hopes of her dreams.  This morning was different, though; something inside her was growing instead of shrinking. 

 

Why would today be different from any other soul quenching one? The crunch of teeth on apple disturbed her musings, the smell of breadroll nudged at her to rise. Rolling over, she was disconcerted by the appearance of a wall where no wall should be. With a small exclamation she rolled onto her other side, the unfamiliar textures and smells eventually impinging on her senses.  She was not home.

 

The friendly voice which greeted her brought Esther fully awake; it also brought the realization why today was totally different from any previous day in her life.  Her eyes flew open, taking in the small but tidy room until finally settling on the girl seated opposite her.

 

“Good morning, Kiyi.” Her answering smile was hesitant, yet filled with shy hope. “I hope the food was to your satisfaction – one of the kitchen staff wrapped it for me. I’ll be as quick as possible – I would definitely prefer to eat early.”  Esther rose and straitened her bed, her bare feet curling up from the contact of the cold tiles. She rushed through her ablutions, though taking the time to hang her shift neatly on its peg before pulling a clean one and her new white dress over her head. As usual she gave up trying to tame her unruly hair after a few licks with the comb, simply tying it with a white ribbon.

 

The novice quarters were still dark and quiet as they made their way down to the dining hall, Esther leading the way. Occasionally she glanced at her companion, but the art of small talk still eluded her.  They were halfway through their breakfast before she hit upon a subject.

 

“I don’t think I got round to answering your question last night: I’m from a small village in Andor, though I mostly grew up on a farm.” She glanced at Kiyi.  “I think I’ve heard an accent like yours before – are you from Cairhien?”

 

Esther Tremaine

Novice

 

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Kiyi felt slightly more relaxed after her sleep, not to mention after the rather more friendly exchange this morning with Esther. The silence as they walked didn't bother her, content as she was to watch where they were going despite the dark making it hard to see initially.

 

She smiled delightedly at Esther, however, when the girl correctly guessed her home. "Oh yes, indeed, I am Cairhienin! How clever of you Esther. Not from the city itself though. A very small town nearby called Tremonsien. It wasn't very exciting," she paused, her smile fading a little. "Quite a rural backwater. But it was home and I shall miss it. I've never been to Andor."

 

Esther pushed open doors to a large room filled with long tables and chairs and Kiyi took in every small detail of this new place. Only a very few others were in the dining room, one or two Sisters among them and all were engrossed in their morning repasts. She was glad that Esther had been here before and followed along behind her as they went to collect their own food.

 

"I wonder what will be in store for us today. Did you like your mentor?"

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The reality of being in the famed White Tower was finally dawning on Esther as she sat at one of the long tables with Kiyi, eating her breakfast.  The sound of cutlery on plate echoed slightly through the empty hall, bouncing of the stone walls.  She lowered her voice so as not to attract attention, a thing she avoided.

 

“I also hail from a small town, so we have something in common, at least.” She offered a small smile, gradually starting to relax with her companion.  For such a pretty girl, Kiyi seemed quite friendly and down to earth.  She hopped a bit from subject to subject, but that could be down to an active mind, rather than being a scatter brain.  Esther hoped that was the case.

 

“I don’t know quite what to make of Meli … “Esther did not want to be rude, especially not about someone who was in a position above her, so she decided to address Kiyi’s other question instead.  “From what I could find out last night, we will be scrubbing pots and floors for the next few days.” At that moment, the friendly woman she’d spoken to the previous night stuck her head out the kitchen, looked around until she spotted the pair of them, then nodded towards the kitchen. “In fact, I think that’s our cue to start,” Esther said with a wry smile, as she started to gather plates and cutlery and headed towards the start of her new life.

 

Esther Tremaine

Novice

 

Continued HERE

 

OOC: Tay, if you want to do another post here after me, you can put the link in and I'll remove it from my post later  :D

 

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