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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Almost Home... Adaira Meet The World


TaeaDawn
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It was a leisurely pace that Aramina rode her horse through the countryside. A day outside of Tar Valon and she and her companion were both wrapped in silence, enjoying the world around them. Too often Aramina had to put aside personal pleasure for her goals and ideals. In this, she allowed herself both. Aramina had never been one to indulge herself, but she had spent more time dancing and laughing in barstools since she had been raised to the shawl then in any time in her life. She was playing the part of a travelling merchant and her cover had allowed her to do things she would never have allowed herself to do on her own. It had been refreshing, but at the same time, it confirmed in her mind and heart that she was doing what she needed to do. The Battle Ajah needed someone of her thinking, someone who looked at the world and saw not it's pleasures and pains, but it's strings and connections.

 

The girl beside her was more than a girl of course, but in the White Tower she would learn soon enough that she was just a child, no matter what the outside world saw her as. Light, she had studied years to become Aes Sedai and her sisters still saw her as little more than that. A responsible child, but child all the same. It was why most young Green Sisters often left the Tower. Experience. Something to prove to the others that they weren't so young anymore.

 

Aramina cared little for what her other Sisters thought of her in that respect. In time, they would learn that she wasn't someone to underestimate. It was the Captain General that mattered to her really. She was the one that Aramina hoped to learn the most from. The only other Sister who came close in Aramina's esteem was Jaydena Sedai who had taken her hand in hand and taught her the ways of the Ajah. It had been a rough time, but Jaydena had been kind, if tough, and Aramina knew she was a better person for it. And a better soldier.

 

She looked at her companion and smiled slightly. Adaira. A Domani girl she had picked up at her last stop. She had the spark, that something that meant she could learn to channel the Power. Aramina had snatched her neatly out of her home and had her bundled on a horse's back a few days later. Now, a days ride outside of Tar Valon, she wondered if the girl was truly ready for what was about to be thrown at her.

 

She rode her horse a little closer to the girl. "What do you think of the world so far, Adaira Tamrinin?" She asked as they continued on.

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It was truly a beautiful day. Adaira had been riding for many days now over the countryside with Aramina Sedai, and she still found it marvellous to see nature all around her. They had ridden through several cities as well, but it was the countryside which stuck to Adaira's mind. That was something she had never really seen, or paid attention to, but now now she was looking around her and marveling at the beauty of it all.

 

She had never ridden before this trip, but she had learned fast. She had had to, as they had no options but to ride. By now, she was over the most of saddle soreness, but she still remembered all too well those first days of their journay. It didn't help when Aramina Sedai had laughed and told her that ill behaving novices were punished with a hard soled slipper in order to 'build their character' as she called it, and it felt pretty much like the way she felt now. Adaira had never been an unruly child, but she decided to behave as well as she just could at the Tower. Even the thought of being punished by the Aes Sedai frightened her.

 

All things considered, the journey had gone well. They had stopped at various inns and in some them there had been even dancing and singing. She hadn't known the Aes Sedai danced until she had seen Aramina Sedai among the crowd laughing just as hard as anyone in the room. The next morning, though, she had looked just as orderly and even severe as always. Adaira still had hard time believing that she actually was on her way to the Tower and soon she would be studying to become an Aes Sedai. It had been hard, harder than anything she had ever done, to leave her family, but she thought it would be worth it. If she had stayed at home, sooner or later she would have eloped with some adventurer or done something just as inconsiderate out of frustration. It probably was better this way. But still.. She'd miss Michan, her little brother, and her mother of course.

 

"You'll write to me, Ada, won't you?" Her brother had said clinging to her arms. "And when I'm all grown up, and I'm traveling for mother all around the world, I'll come and visit you! Wouldn't that be nice? I want to see Tar Valon one day too!" Adaira had laughed and hugged Michan saying: "Of course it would be nice, and I'd love to see you come! But from what Aramina Sedai told me about my studies, by the time you're 'all grown up' I have hardly started my studies! I'll be glad if I'm even Accepted by then." Her brother had frowned and said: "Ada, then you must write long letters to me, and tell me when I can come to visit... No matter if I'm old enough to be a grandfather by then!"

 

They had all laughed at that, but Adaira wasn't sure how much there was reason for laughing. She really would miss her family, ad she wasn't sure just how long it would be until she could see them again... Maybe never.

 

Her brooding thoughts were interrupted by Aramina Sedai's voice. "What do you think of the world so far, Adaira Tamrinin?"

 

"I like it very much, Aramina Sedai" she said with a smile. "Of course I've always known there is the whole world outside Bandar Eban, but it seems so big when you're travling like this! The landscape is so different, there are birds and animals and plants I've never seen before... And now that I'm able to ride this horse more comfortably than in the beginning, I can spend more time looking around. I really loved the Borderland cities. They are so beautiful and built with such an elegance! Life is so different near the Blight... and no doubt it's even more different elsewhere."

 

She remembered how she had felt when they had first ridden to Maradon. While it was about the size of Bandar Eban, it was so different in shape and architecture. She was very excited about all this traveling, but at the same time a little afraid. What would life in Tar Valon be like? What would they think of her, what did they expect? While traveling with Aramina Sedai she had become convinced that if she only could, she would become an Aes Sedai one day. Aramina Sedai looked so formidable, so admirable a woman that Adaira wished she could some day be like her.

 

"Aramina Sedai, is Tar Valon really so beautiful a place like they tell in the stories?"

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"Aramina Sedai, is Tar Valon really so beautiful a place like they tell in the stories?"

 

Aramina smiled slightly at the girl. The world was a huge place and easy enough to get lost in when you didn't know your way. Aramina was hardly a child and she had researched the areas thoroughly before going out, but it was still a first time out into the world for her too. She wasn't about to let Adaira know that though. It would be interesting to see what the girl thought of her after a few weeks in the tower though. Aramina had played the part of a working merchant as they travelled, until they came close to the city itself. It was only then she had put her ring back on and fell back into her typical facade of emotional control. Along the way she had danced and laughed and enjoyed herself, knowing as she did so that she was making contacts and setting up eyes and ears for years to come. The girl's view of her behavior would be very interesting indeed.

 

"Tar Valon, I think is the most beautiful place in the world. The city, the Ogier Gardens, the Tower itself. And when you add into that the extensive libraries, the diverse cultures, everything about Tar Valon is beautiful to me."

 

She looked at the girl then, the soon-to-be Novice. "I hope you have joy in the sight of it also. It is a tough place sometimes, to make us hard in a world that demands it of us, but to most of us, it is home far more than the homelands we left behind. I would die defending my Sisters in battle perhaps even more quickly then I would my own flesh. These woman that you will meet, that you will learn with... you will hate some for their cruelty, and you will love some for their leniance, you will hide from some for their tempers, and find comfort in the arms of others. Whatever you find in these women though, you will always know that they are there, working for the good of the Tower and the World, just as you are. It is humbling to be among so many great people. But it is a hard life. I think you will do well in the White Tower, Adaira. Do you think you will find what you are looking for here?" She asked. "Adventure is not always known to a Sister, especially outside the Green Ajah" She said with another smile. "Some Sisters never leave the walls of the Tower. Do you seek adventure? Or do you seek something more?"

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From the way Aramina Sedai described Tar Valon, Adaira knew it must be a wonderful place, one of the miracles in the world for an Aes Sedai to describe it so. The Aes Sedai were such wonders themselves, and a city full of them! All the cultures and knowledge in one place... Adaira knew then that if Tar Valon was anything like she had heard in the stories and from the merchants, she would be very glad to spend the rest of her life in such a place. Well, maybe not the rest of her life, she still wanted to travel around, but she knew she would like living among all those opportunities for a curious mind. Would she do well at the Tower like Aramina Sedai said? She hoped so. Adaira knew she wasn't the headstrongest of all people, but she had her principles on which she was ready to held tight. She wouldn't mess up this miraculous chance she had got, and she would do anything to achieve her goals. Eventhough it didn't seem like it most of the time, Adaire knew she could be ambitious and work hard for the things she thought important, like this training at the White Tower. She very seldom said anything against people who were important to her (like her mother), but she could do that if she wanted. She just hoped she wouldn't ever have to because it made her feel so uncomfortable.

 

"Do you think you will find what you are looking for here? Adventure is not always known to a Sister, especially outside the Green Ajah. Some Sisters never leave the walls of the Tower. Do you seek adventure? Or do you seek something more?"

Adaira thought for a little while before answering. "Adventure is something I know nothing of, Aramina Sedai, unless you count this trip as one. My life at Bandar Eban wasn't very exciting even at its best, so in a way I'm glad to get away of it all. Battles and wars and such are not for me, I think, but I would like to travel more and see the world. There are so many marvelous places I couldn't even dream of, and I'd like to see some of those some day... But I guess I'll have to wait until I've finished my training at the Tower, won't I?" She kept a little pause before she continued with a frown. "But then, I'm also interested in seeking knowledge and learning new things, so I don't think life in the Tower will be too hard in that matter. It's just the rest of it I'm worried about. I'm curious about many things, but not very brave. I've never been very comfortable around new people and where I'm going now, I'll know nobody there. I just hope I'll be able to make a friend or two and that things don't get too hard... I know it won't be easy, but I wouldn't like to give up either, not when there's almost my whole life at stake. I really hope I'll do well."

 

OOC: Sorry for the delay, I've been busy with school and everything... I should be around more from now on, though! :D

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From the way Aramina Sedai described Tar Valon, Adaira knew it must be a wonderful place, one of the miracles in the world for an Aes Sedai to describe it so. The Aes Sedai were such wonders themselves, and a city full of them! All the cultures and knowledge in one place... Adaira knew then that if Tar Valon was anything like she had heard in the stories and from the merchants, she would be very glad to spend the rest of her life in such a place. Well, maybe not the rest of her life, she still wanted to travel around, but she knew she would like living among all those opportunities for a curious mind. Would she do well at the Tower like Aramina Sedai said? She hoped so. Adaira knew she wasn't the headstrongest of all people, but she had her principles on which she was ready to held tight. She wouldn't mess up this miraculous chance she had got, and she would do anything to achieve her goals. Eventhough it didn't seem like it most of the time, Adaire knew she could be ambitious and work hard for the things she thought important, like this training at the White Tower. She very seldom said anything against people who were important to her (like her mother), but she could do that if she wanted. She just hoped she wouldn't ever have to because it made her feel so uncomfortable.

 

"Do you think you will find what you are looking for here? Adventure is not always known to a Sister, especially outside the Green Ajah. Some Sisters never leave the walls of the Tower. Do you seek adventure? Or do you seek something more?"

Adaira thought for a little while before answering. "Adventure is something I know nothing of, Aramina Sedai, unless you count this trip as one. My life at Bandar Eban wasn't very exciting even at its best, so in a way I'm glad to get away of it all. Battles and wars and such are not for me, I think, but I would like to travel more and see the world. There are so many marvelous places I couldn't even dream of, and I'd like to see some of those some day... But I guess I'll have to wait until I've finished my training at the Tower, won't I?" She kept a little pause before she continued with a frown. "But then, I'm also interested in seeking knowledge and learning new things, so I don't think life in the Tower will be too hard in that matter. It's just the rest of it I'm worried about. I'm curious about many things, but not very brave. I've never been very comfortable around new people and where I'm going now, I'll know nobody there. I just hope I'll be able to make a friend or two and that things don't get too hard... I know it won't be easy, but I wouldn't like to give up either, not when there's almost my whole life at stake. I really hope I'll do well."

 

OOC: Sorry for the delay, I've been busy with school and everything... I should be around more from now on, though! :D

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"Adventure is something I know nothing of, Aramina Sedai, unless you count this trip as one. My life at Bandar Eban wasn't very exciting even at its best, so in a way I'm glad to get away of it all. Battles and wars and such are not for me, I think, but I would like to travel more and see the world. There are so many marvelous places I couldn't even dream of, and I'd like to see some of those some day... But I guess I'll have to wait until I've finished my training at the Tower, won't I? But then, I'm also interested in seeking knowledge and learning new things, so I don't think life in the Tower will be too hard in that matter. It's just the rest of it I'm worried about. I'm curious about many things, but not very brave. I've never been very comfortable around new people and where I'm going now, I'll know nobody there. I just hope I'll be able to make a friend or two and that things don't get too hard... I know it won't be easy, but I wouldn't like to give up either, not when there's almost my whole life at stake. I really hope I'll do well."

 

"Bravery is something most people think they understand and know little of. They think it means standing in the front line of a Battle without fear." Aramina looked at the young girl riding beside her. "Bravery, to me, is leaving the home you have always known far behind to become something different than you ever expected. Bravery is about overcoming your own personal obstacles and being able to move on."

 

As she talked they continued to ride closer to the city. "Tonight we will sleep in a small village. Tomorrow morning, we will be riding into Tar Valon an you will be entered into the books as a Novice. It is a brave thing you do, braver than perhaps you can realize. I look forward to seeing how you grow Adaira."

 

((No worries love! We're still here :P ))

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"Adventure is something I know nothing of, Aramina Sedai, unless you count this trip as one. My life at Bandar Eban wasn't very exciting even at its best, so in a way I'm glad to get away of it all. Battles and wars and such are not for me, I think, but I would like to travel more and see the world. There are so many marvelous places I couldn't even dream of, and I'd like to see some of those some day... But I guess I'll have to wait until I've finished my training at the Tower, won't I? But then, I'm also interested in seeking knowledge and learning new things, so I don't think life in the Tower will be too hard in that matter. It's just the rest of it I'm worried about. I'm curious about many things, but not very brave. I've never been very comfortable around new people and where I'm going now, I'll know nobody there. I just hope I'll be able to make a friend or two and that things don't get too hard... I know it won't be easy, but I wouldn't like to give up either, not when there's almost my whole life at stake. I really hope I'll do well."

 

"Bravery is something most people think they understand and know little of. They think it means standing in the front line of a Battle without fear." Aramina looked at the young girl riding beside her. "Bravery, to me, is leaving the home you have always known far behind to become something different than you ever expected. Bravery is about overcoming your own personal obstacles and being able to move on."

 

As she talked they continued to ride closer to the city. "Tonight we will sleep in a small village. Tomorrow morning, we will be riding into Tar Valon an you will be entered into the books as a Novice. It is a brave thing you do, braver than perhaps you can realize. I look forward to seeing how you grow Adaira."

 

((No worries love! We're still here :P ))

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They rode on in silence as Adaira was contemplating everything Aramina Sedai had said so far. Maybe it was a brave thing to leave her home, but she had never really even thought about not leaving. It had seemed a right thing to do from the beginning, so why worry about it? She didn't really know what to expect from her future in the Tower, except hard work studying and chores from what Aramina Sedai had told her. It should be interesting to see if it was close at all to what she had imagined. Well, tomorrow she would find out, and that was soon enough.

 

Dragonmount on their right cast a huge shadow over the land as the sun was going down already. Adaira could see the village where they would be spending the night, and she was glad. Eventhough they had been traveling for weeks, she wasn't quite used to riding yet and she was getting tired. Oh yes, it would be good to sleep in a good bed tonight.

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The night had passed pleasantly. Aramina and Adaira had taken rooms at an Inn and had eaten well. Musicians played lightly in the background, nothing rowdy enough to dance to, but entertaining nonetheless.

 

The morning was bright with clear skies for their day. It would be a pleasant trip for them and Aramina expected to be back in the Tower by lunchtime. Adaira sat in her saddle as Aramina waited patiently for her. The girl was better with a horse than she had been, but she still needed a little healing at night. Aramina wasn't about to be slowed down by a girl who had to take it easy because she was saddle sore. It had become less and less though and Aramina was proud of the way she had endured it all without complaint. It was a good sign for the time to come.

 

"Let's get home." She told Adaira as they began riding again.

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Back in the saddle, Adaira thought sighing as she climbed on her horse. The mare was a beautiful animal, and very calm besides. So far, the journey had gone well but she knew she'd be glad to not to be riding again. The sun was just coming up, as Aramina Sedai had wanted to be on road early so they would reach their destination very soon. It looked like a beautiful day. The last day of my freedom, Adaira thought ruefully, but smiled at the thought right after. No, not a prison, she wouldn't let it be that. This was what she had always wanted, to do something else, to see other places, and now she was doing just that. Even if it was going to be hard, she would remember her promise to herself and not give up.

 

They rode in silence for a good part of the morning and soon after, they were already able to see the shining walls of Tar Valon, and in the middle of it all the Tower itself. It was truly a magnificient sight, at least to Adaira who hadn't even seen anything besides her home city. The white walls glowed in the morning light, and the birds were flying all over the Alindrelle Erinin and the boats were sailing up and down the river. Soon they would reach the nearest village, Jualdhe, and cross the bridge to Tar Valon. The Tower must be HUGE to look so tall even this far away. I wonder, what does the world look like from the top of it? What does the Tower look like from inside? Well, soon enough she would find out.

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Aramina let the morning pass in silence as they rode on. The pace Aramina set began to pick up as they got closer to the White Tower. She had been away for a while now, seeing to her network of eyes and ears, developing her own people instead of having to rely on others. She missed the people that she had come to know, her sisters.

 

Aramina was not a warm person and since the death of her friend when she was still an Accepted, she had chosen not to let anyone else get close enough to see that part of her. Glimpses came out occassionally, but never for long and never often. Somehow though, she felt the call of her Sisters and the need to be around her new family.

 

They passed through villages and eventually made their way into the city itself. Aramina slowed her mount then, allowing Adaira the chance to gawk at the city. The light knew she'd see little enough of it until she reached Accepted. The Tower loomed into their view and Aramina allowed herself to feel the awe of it again. The pristine towers gave her a feeling, as they always did, of being part of something larger than herself.

 

She shook thoughts away and began moving again. "Come Adaira. Let us get you enrolled in the Tower." She said as they continued on. When they got the the Tower Aramina led the girl inside past the petitioners. "We need to take you to the Mistress of Novice now." She said as she pulled her hands free of her riding gloves. "You will do well here, I think. Remember to pay attention and listen well in your classes and don't get sent too often into the Mistress of Novice's office." Aramina said with a smile as they walked through the halls of the White Tower.

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The closer they got to the Tower, the bigger it looked. Anywhere she looked, Adaira could see the huge spire looming all over the palaces and storehouses of the city. There were people everywhere, from all countries and areas of land. Every once in a while she would catch a glimpse of Aes Sedai with their ageless looking faces, Warders trailing behind. All houses and balconies were beautifully decorated and and she could see bridges crossing the streets overhead. Behind the buildings there were trees, and at the end of one street there was a huge garden, Ogier Grove, or so Aramina Sedai had called it when Adaira'd asked.

"Come Adaira. Let us get you enrolled in the Tower."

 

When they finally reached the gates of the Tower, Adaira was so awed by everything she had seen that she didn't even notice it at first. Looking around, she finally saw what lay inside the Tower's walls. Women everywhere. Well, there were some men as well, but not even near as many as there were women. Besides, all the women walked their backs straight, with pride. You couldn't but notice them. Most of them wore some kind of white dresses, some wore a white dress with colorful stripes at the hem and they all seemed to be hurrying. The exception was the Aes Sedai, who walked past serenely discussing in small groups.

 

Inside the Tower Aramina Sedai walked determinately past curtseying novices and servants. "We need to take you to the Mistress of Novice now." she said and set a fast pace towards one of the corridors. "You will do well here, I think. Remember to pay attention and listen well in your classes and don't get sent too often into the Mistress of Novice's office." Adaira listened silently and followed her as quickly as she could.

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