Jump to content

DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

To Be Worthy (Kabria's Testing)


Eqwina
 Share

Recommended Posts

  • Moderator

There were only so many times that she could run through the weaves before her head began to ache and she couldn’t see straight. It was not safe to push so hard, but Kabria knew no other way to test herself, lacking other friends to perform the distraction.

 

Forcing herself to stand straight with her eyes on the white walls Kabria began again. She made it through weave 67 before her legs turned to jelly and her eyes blurred too much for her to see. Stumbling to her bed she collapsed, rocking gently as she massaged her temples. That would have to be the last attempt for the night, only once had she been able to complete all 100 weaves and when she was done she had sat down where she stood. No failure or moment of weakness would be allowed once the night really came.

 

Undressing slowly Kabria extinguished her lamps by hand, to sore to even consider reaching for the source. As soon as her head hit the pillow her eyes slid closed and she fell into a dreamless sleep.

 

Too often she lay awake at night worrying about passing her test for the shawl, or about not making a fool of herself in front of Perivar, even about being rejected by her Ajah choice; though Loraine Sedai had sufficed to settle most of those fears. Perhaps she could speak with her again? It would be nice to have a woman to talk to about her problems; not that Arath wasn’t a good friend, but he could never understand what she was going through.

 

Kabria awoke stiff the next morning; it appeared she had not moved a muscle since passing out the night before. Flexing her joints she tried to massage the cramps from her legs. Still, she moved slowly until she was sure of her head. As expected, a dull ache pounded behind her eyes, but reaching for Saidar no long felt like being skinned alive.

Kabria’s tender head continued to pound through breakfast, her novice lessons, and through lunch. With her daily activities done she retired to her rooms early, even forgetting a date she’d made with Perivar.

 

This time her dreams were fitful and when she awoke to a pounding on her door Kabria let out a yelp; convinced that the Trolloc’s had come to drag her back to their cookpot. Running a hasty hand through her hair she tried to brush the wrinkles from her dress as she walked the few steps to the door. Staring up the Mistress of Novices Kabria swallowed audibly. Had she found out about the dagger? Or worse Perivar? With flushed cheeks, that she hoped the older woman took for anger Kabria curtsied. Trying to keep the guilt from her eyes she looked up into that ageless face.

 

“Good..” Glancing past the Aes Sedai she saw that evening had fallen. “..Evening Aes Sedai.” Holding her gaze steady she tried not to think about what discovery would mean.

 

Instead of scolding her or passing orders of an appointment with a slipper she only motioned Kabria to follow after giving her rumpled appearance a disappointed stare.

 

As she walked a measure pace behind Kabria tired to wipe the sleep from her eyes and silently wished there’d been time to brush her teeth. She was so wrapped up in her appearance she almost forgot to be afraid for what was to come.

 

As she was led deeper into the bedrock beneath the Tower panic began to seep in. What if she failed? Perivar loved her passion for fighting the Shadow, but could he love her even after she’d failed? Kabria clenched her hands tight together and tried not to think of the implications of failure. She tried to reassure herself that even if she was not Aes Sedai she would still be Kabria Delondre, female channeler and fighter of the Shadow. Over and over she said those words, trying to will her fear to subside.

 

As they stepped into the lowest level of the Tower dread sank into her bones. Tonight could be her last night in Tower. Would they even allow her to stay that long?

The bright lights of the round domed room slapped Kabria in the face and she dropped her hands, hoping that she was keeping the fear masked behind her eyes. She wanted to gawk at the oval ring in the center of the room. It was nearly a pace tall, but no thicker than her wrist and it seemed to flicker with all the colors under the sun. But knowing what any sign of childishness would mean she locked her eyes forward, trying to tune out the woman who would try and make her fail.

 

“Attend!” The Mistress of Novices voice echoed through the room and Kabria stood a little straighter and exhaled the breath she’d been holding. Form here out ceremony would rule.

 

“You come in ignorance, Kabria Delondre, How would you depart?”

 

Drawing all the courage she had gained from her life in the Tower tight around her Kabria spoke in a clear voice.

“ In knowledge of myself” She had thought long about what those words meant. All Aes Sedai she’d known had been wise. Was that something gained in this night or did she still have years left to learn?

 

“For what reason have you been summoned here?”

 

“To be tried” If tonight were anything like what she’d experienced during the test for Accepted, Kabria knew she would be pushed to her limits and beyond.

 

“For what reason should you be tried?”

 

“So that I may learn if I am worthy” She had to be! She just had to!

 

“For what reason would you be found worthy?”

 

No hesitation was allowed so Kabria spoke the words, sealing herself to her fate.

“ To wear the shawl.”

 

With hands that trembled slightly she undid the buttons and let her Accetped’s dress fall to the floor; instantly the cold pebbled her skin but a sheen of sweat beaded on her forehead. Dropping her shift and stockings Kabria stood in the room, unashamed of her nakedness, but suddenly aware of every tattoo. It was strange the images that fear brought to mind. 

 

From here out the ceremony was finished, and her fear boiled at the unknown.

 

“Therefore I will instruct you, you will see this sign upon the ground”

 

In front of the Mistress of Novices appeared a six pointed star written in fire and Kabria flinched slightly as she felt another sister embrace Saidar and gently touch the back of her head. What were they doing?

“Remember what must be remembered” The Sister intoned before ending her touch. The Mistress continued on as if she’d noticed nothing.

 

“When you see that sign you will go it immediately, at a steady pace, neither hurrying no hanging back, and only then may you embrace the Power. The weaving required must begin immediately and you may not leave that sign until it is complete.”

 

Again she felt a touch to the back of her head and the same words were whispered softly.

“Remember what must be remembered”

 

“When the weave is complete you will see that sign again, marking the way you must go. Again at a steady pace, without hesitation.”

 

The voice echoed again and Kabria longed to turn her head to see what was being done. But even that would be enough to send her away.

“Remember what must be remembered”

 

“100 times you will weave, in the order you’ve been given and in perfect composure.”

 

This time she expected the touch, and embraced the small familiarity in the chamber of unknown.

 

The world around her seemed to dim and Kabria shivered as a weave was settled on her. Whatever came from here, Kabria vowed to be proud of how far she’d come. The air in the opening of the ring turned to a sheet of milky white and gathered the light from the room.No one instructed her on what was to come next; the steps from here were ingrained in her bones. Nether hurrying nor lagging she stepped into the white light and let herself be engulfed by her future.

 

There was no breeze in the dark room. In front of her Kabria saw the door that led from her rooms below deck. Looking back she saw the wood walls that were so familiar to her in her youth. Only the need for complete composure kept her from running her hands over the wood to see if it was real. Looking forward again she saw a bed against the wall and on it lay green voluminous pants and a silk shirt that would gape to her stomach. How had that been put there?  Walking slowly to the clothes she only paused a moment to stare before putting them on. The rough wood planks of the deck felt familiar beneath her bare feet, but at the same time she knew it had been many years since she been there. Pulling the shirt over her head she reached for the green sash and saw that both the bed and its contents were gone. Surely things could not just disappear from thin air? Dismissing her shock she looked towards the door only to see a gaping hole where it had been, and a the clear blue of the ocean extending out past the lower deck. With a small smile she padded towards the door and in her third step it was all gone, replaced by the dank walls of a dungeon and the smell of rotting flesh.

 

Through a door that materialized to the left a man entered with a burnished breastplate and a gleaming white cloak carrying red hot pinchers in his hand. Just two steps behind him was the star. Her feet urged her to run, but willpower allowed her to make a steady pace around the man; keeping him in her sights at all times. As her bare feet stepped into the star she embraced Saidar and began the required weave. It wasn’t until the wall of air sprang around him that Kabria realized she passed the first test. Next to the fire where more tools of torture laid was another star guiding her on her way.

 

With only the knowledge that she must continue Kabria walked a steady pace and was once again back in her old rooms, surrounded by the smells of salt water and the cured wood that had been used to make the ship.

 

Twice more the fought Whitecloaks and each time their pokers and needles came closer to her skin. Panic rose with every star, but so did her confidence.

 

Blackness surrounded her and the icy cold of snow soaked into her skins. In the distance she could see the golden glow of a city aflame. Somehow she knew that it was a city in Kandor, her homeland. Unclothed and shivering in the cold Kabria searched for the star, her eyes stinging from the ice. To the North she saw movement in the trees and only had a moment to gather her courage as two Trollocs burst from the woods. Just a pace in front of their twisted forms, behind a fallen branch was the star. Wanting to rush to cover herself from the cold and from their guttural growls, it took what was left of her strength to keep a measured pace. Once on the star she wove Air, Fire and Water in the required weave before laying waste to the goat faced Trollocs with a weave of Air and Fire. The glow of their deaths burned so hot Kabria almost raised her arms to hide from the blaze. Masking her slip by squaring her back she walked calming to the next star; forcing her eyes to take in the destruction she’d wrought.

 

There was no breeze in the dark room. In front of her Kabria saw the door that lead from her rooms below deck. Looking back she saw the wood walls that were so familiar to her in her youth. Only the need for complete composure kept her from running her hands over the wood to see if it was real. Looking forward again she saw a bed against the wall and on it lay green voluminous pants and a silk shirt that would gape to her stomach. How had that been put there?  Walking slowly to the clothes she only paused a moment to stare before putting them on. The rough wood planks of the deck felt familiar beneath her feet, but at the same time she knew it had been many years since she been. Pulling the shirt over her head she reached for the green sash and saw that both the bed and its contents were gone. Surely things could not just disappear from thin air? Dismissing her shock she looked towards the door only to see a gaping hole where it had been, and a the clear blue of the ocean extending out past the deck. With a small smile she padded towards the door and in her third step it was all gone..

 

Over and over she relived that dream and each time her perfect world fell away. Facing her with horrors and decisions she’d never thought to face. Somewhere along the way she’d lost count of how many weaves she’d completed, but with another star in front of her Kabria was enlightened with the knowledge that it was her last.

 

The weave was worse than useless, but not easy to complete after the strain of 99 others. Stepping out onto the decks of a ship Kabria looked around, unclothed and unconcerned. To her left, outlined by the beautiful blues of the sea was Perivar, with his sword strapped to his back and his braids jingling in the wind. This was her test? This was the horror she would face? A flicker of movement caught her eye and she saw a man that could only be her father standing just to the right with daggers in his eyes when he looked at Perivar. “Daddy?” Taking a few steps, calmly, Kabria wanted to reach for him, to know his embrace, but after those few steps she held strong. The star had appeared again and another step would put her between them. From the death in their eyes she was unsure if in the middle was where she wanted to be. Trying to split her attention Kabria walked calmly to the star. She did not falter when her father drew his blade, and demanded blood for his daughters honor, she did not stumble or shed a tear as she saw her fathers head roll across the deck and saw Perivar’s face twisted in a sickly grin.  In a state completely devoid of emotion Kabria finished the last weave. Images of her father and the hate that burned in Perivar’s eyes faded as she stumbled back into the domed room.

 

The bright lights from the stand lamps burned her eyes and she blinked as she limped to a halt. The memories of all the horrors she’d seen came crashing down, and her knees shook with the effort of holding her weight. How had they known about Perivar? And her father? Who? Her eyes tried to adjust to the lights so that she could see the faces of the woman who’d controlled her torture.

 

“It is done” and voice intoned and it was only then that Kabria realized she passed. “Let no one ever speak of what has passed here. It is for us to share in silence with she who has experienced it. It is done.”

 

Again hands clapped and Kabria was finally able to see the faces that surrounded her. Among them were every woman who had ever taught her and even Loraine Sedai. Perhaps she had been responsible for the last?

 

“Kabria Delondre, you will spend tonight in prayer and contemplation of the burdens you will take up on the morrow, when you done the shawl of an Aes Sedai. It is done.”

 

He knees choose that moment to weaken and only the presence of the Sisters around her, kept Kabria on her feet.  A steadying hand came from Loraine and Kabria attempted a smile. “You mean it is over? I passed?” The kindly green nodded and Kabria exhaled letting her knees sag, leaning on the sister.

 

After accepting healing for her many hurts Kabria made the long walk back to the Accepted Quarters alone. She wanted to run, renewed by the prospect that in a few hours she would be a sister of the Green, but she maintained a steady pace until she fell on to the hard bed in her room. Burying her face in her pillow, in a total loss of decorum, she screamed. Once she’d calmed enough Kabria went and sat at her writing, pulling out three sheets of paper. Out of all the people that had helped her through her journey, these three deserved thanks above all other.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...