Jump to content



May the Light have mercy on us all...


Recommended Posts

It was a fairly normal day for Jerinia. The sun was shining, the birds were singing... and she was thinking about which penance to do next. Despite her best intentions, she seemed to be racking them up faster than she could finish them, much to the annoyance -- she assumed -- of the Mistress of Novices. Just then, she heard a knock on the door, bringing her out of her thoughts and back into the present. She was about to answer when the door flung open, revealing the very same Mistress of Novices.


- "Come i-- AH! Larindhra Sedai! I finished that list you told me to... Now where did i put it..."


She leafed through a stack of paper strewn about the small desk, causing a number of them to fall on the floor. Mumbling to herself, she ignored what Larindhra was trying to tell her, assuming she wanted to tell her to hurry up. When she eventually held the piece of paper up, smiling triumphantly, the Aes Sedai didn't look impressed. More annoyed, actually.


- "...Like i said, girl, i did not come here for that today. Now, put that list down, and follow me."


She believed she heard a sigh when the Aes Sedai turned around, but she followed nonetheless, wondering what this could be about. Normally when she was about to recieve a penance, she was sent to the Mistress of Novices, not the other way around. Which meant... this had to be really, really bad.


- "Is this about when i lost count of the amount of sugar to put in Jalien Sedai's tea?"


"No, Child."


- "How about when i tripped, and knocked over Maldine Sedai's desk?"




- "Then... Is it for sneaking onto the Warder Yards at night?"




- "...Nevermind."


Larindhra Sedai threw up her hands before taking a deep breath, and opening the door to a domed room. Jerinia noticed they had come in a part of the Tower she normally wasn't allowed in, but before she could get a word in Larindhra spoke up, saying what she had intended to say in the first place, had Jerinia not kept interrupting her every five seconds.


"Two things that no woman hears until she enters this room. Once you begin, you must continue to the end. Refuse to go on, no matter your potential and you will be very kindly put out of the Tower with enough silver to support you a year, and you will never be allowed back. Second. To seek, to strive, is to know danger. You will know danger here. Some women have entered, and never come out. When the ter'angreal was allowed to grow quiet, they - were - not - there. And they were never seen again. If you will survive, you must be steadfast. Faltering leads to a failure."


Jerinia wanted to say something, but was interrupted by Larindhra's glare, almost daring her to interrupt her at this point. Judging by how she looked, it felt as if she was an inch short of weaving a gag of Air, but fortunately the Novice backed down long enough for Larindhra to finish the rest of her speech.


"This is your last chance, child. You may turn back now, and you will have only mark against you. Twice more will you be allowed to come here, and only at the third refusal will you be put out of the Tower. It is no shame to refuse. Many cannot do it their first time here. Now you may speak."


- "Umm.. so i need to walk under that piece of furniture over there three times, right, Larindhra Sedai? Sure, sounds simple enough."


Jerinia nodded to herself as Larindhra turned away again, apparently deciding against correcting her. She knew from her lessons what was going to happen now, but the ter'angreal itself took her by surprise. Though she didn't know what to expect from it, and the Accepted were kind of tight-lipped about it when she had asked them, it was apparently considered quite important to decide on whether or not Novices were going to be promoted. Though she was downplaying the risks, she hadn't heard of anyone she knew actualy disappearing in them, so it couldn't be that bad... could it?


"Whom do you bring with you, Sister"


"One who comes as a candidate for Acceptance, Sister."


"Is she ready?"


"She is ready to leave behind what she was, and, passing through her fears, gain Acceptance."


"Does she know her fears?"


"She has never faced them, but now is willing."


"Then let her face what she fears."


Much to her surprise, Larindhra then turned to her, asking her to undress. She really didn't now whether going in clothed or not actually mattered, but she had learned Aes Sedai were great ones for protocol and tradition, so she figured it couldn't be helped. After undressing, she looked around the room again, wondering what the soft white glow coming off of the first Arch was. It looked somewhat spooky. With a tap on the shoulder, she stepped through the glow.


"The first time is for what was. The way back will come but once. Be steadfast."



Jerinia looked around, surprised both at not being in the Tower anymore as well as recognising where she was. She was in her home in Jenaan again, back in Malkier, and judging by how old she looked it was around the days she left for the White Tower. Standing up, it confused her that everyone seemed to be running around a lot -- until her mother grabbed her arm.


- "Jerinia, we need to leave! They breached the North Gate!"


Blinking incredulously, a memory floated into her head about some large scale Trolloc invasion she had overheard her father talk about. He had gotten into an argument with her mother about leaving, but she would have none of it. A nagging feeling told her the memory wasn't real, that it hadn't gone the way she remembered it, but it was lost when her mother pulled her towards the stairway heading to the backdoor. However, from the corner of her eye she noticed a strange, glinting doorway that shone in the edge of the living room.


"The way back will come but once. Be steadfast."


She managed to pull herself free in the confusion on the streets, and run back into her house. It hurt having to leave her mother behind, but if stepping through one of those silvery glowing things caused all this crazyness, stepping through it again should counter it. If her mother shouted her name, it was lost in the crowd.


Just then, the front door burst open, revealing a Trolloc running into the living room at the same time she was. From where it was standing, it was blocking her way to the arch, towering over her as it raised its axe. A normal girl would have been frightened, frozen in place awaiting certain death, but she was no normal girl. She was a Borderlander, a Malkieri, and she had a purpose.


Using her momentum, she punted the Trolloc between the legs, causing a deafening roar of pain and pure rage to fill the room as it doubled over on the floor, dropping its axe in favor of clutching its injured pride. Jerinia jumped back to avoid getting caught under its falling body before running over it and almost literally diving into the portal as the Trolloc seemed to catch its breath again.




Whiteness enveloped everything.



Sprawling on the stone tiles, Jerinia tried to get up as fast as she could before realising something. Stone, not wood. As she tried to get her bearings, she was doused with cold water, which was probably what she needed most at that moment.


"You are washed clean of what sin you may have done and of those done against you. You are washed clean of what crime you may have committed, and of those committed against you. You come to us washed clean and pure, in heart and soul."


Shaking to get the coldness out of her skin -- though it helped the memory fade as well -- she shivered. That water was cold! Larindhra Sedai stood over her, offering her a hand up before leading her to the second Arch. Before getting up though, she smelled her leg, giving a relieved sigh to discover that the Trolloc's scent hadn't rubbed off on her. It hadn't been real after all.


"The second arch is for what is. The way will come but once. Be steadfast."


Taking a deep breath, she swallowed, hesitantly stepping into the glowing Arch.



She found herself on the White Tower grounds, wearing a thick hooded robe. She felt hot for some reason, and threw off the dark hood to get some fresh air, but as she looked around she noticed the still smouldering ruin of what once was the White Tower behind her. Shouts were heard now, coming from several sides of her.


"There she is!"


"Get her!"


"Don't let her escape!"


Now, regardless of how little she knew about what was going on, or had happened in this case, having several people with weapons drawn come running at you tends to make you not want to ask them. Taking the safe approach, she started running, darting around the corner of what had once been the Armory before slamming into someone. She didn't know the soot-smudged woman by face, though the striped shawl around her shoulders spoke volumes, as did the look on her face.


Before she knew it, she was wrapped in flows of Air, unable to move, and carried into one of the few places that remained intact. In there, things started to make their own distorted sense again.


"Jerinia Zaralyn, you are on trial for the crime of burning down the White Tower."


Jerinia's eyes went wide, almost losing her balance if it wasn't for the fact that she was still being held by saidar. SHE was responsable for that? But... how? No, nevermind, she didn't want to know, but the fact remained that she was likely going to be stuck there for a while. Where was that portal when you needed it...


The trial continued, letting her in on the details. She had apparently channeled near a ter'angreal that boosted Fire weaves. Her already high strength in Fire caused it to overload and explode, setting fire to most of the Tower. As she shouted she couldn't have known about that, she thought she saw Larindhra Sedai put her head in her hands, looking somewhat defeated. Eventually, the verdict was that she was to be Stilled. Still wrapped in Air, there was little she could do against being tossed in a makeshift cell, ironically in the Warder Trainee's Dorms.


The bonds that held her were released, but it didn't take a great mind to figure out she was shielded. Not that it would help against the combined power of most of the Tower should she try to make a run for it, but even so she didn't want to hurt anyone on purpose. Guards came to fetch her shortly afterwards, and she was being led through the Dorms to where the preparations had been completed.


From the corner of her eye, she noticed the silver glow again, and her heart skipped a beat. From what she could tell, her way out was in one of the other dorm rooms. Coughing politely, she stopped walking for a second, causing her guards to prepare to draw their swords. Blushing slightly -- she was going to tell a lie after all -- she pointed to the room she wanted to go to.


- "Umm... Can i go to the ladies' room please?"


The Warders looked at one another, and shrugged, figuring there was no harm in it. One of them went to inspect the room, not finding anything out of the ordinary, and she was allowed in. The Warders knew better than to leave a prisoner alone though, and wouldn't leave the room. Given that they couldn't see the portal, Jerinia picked up the chamberpot and walked over to the portal, casually stepping into it without sudden movements. She felt somewhat bad for the Warders escorting her, but she really didn't want to be stilled.


Once more, all she could see was white.



"You are washed clean of false pride. You are washed clean of false ambition. You come to us washed clean, in heart and soul."


Jerinia fell to her knees after seeing the domed room again, clutching her still pounding heart. Light, that was close. If they hadn't allowed her to go relieve herself, she'd have been trapped there, stilled and most likely executed as well. The cold water was welcoming in breaking her out of that negative train of thoughts, and she looked up to see the -- thankfully not angry -- face of the Mistress of Novices.


- "Light, that was scary! I thought i was going to die. Would have if i hadn't tricked those Warders."


After being helped up again, she wiped wet strands of hair out of her face, putting her hands on her knees to try to get her racing heart back down to healthy levels. After about a minute, she stood up again, giving Larindhra a nod signaling she was ready. She had come too far to back down now, even if it had still been an option at this point. One Arch between her and Accepted, one step closer to being an Aes Sedai.


"The third time is for what will be. Be steadfast for the way back will come but once."


She stepped forward, afraid of what was to come.



She found herself sitting behind a desk, a neat stack of papers next to her. Looking at her hand, she blinked as she noticed the ring of the Great Serpent on her finger, and took it off to examine it more closely. It certainly looked genuine enough, and she traced it with her finger, grinning as she made it roll over her desk. She was Aes Sedai. She was Aes Sedai!


A knock on the door, followed by a Novice entering the room caused her to look up, and a small tink of metal on stone told her her ring had just rolled off of the desk and onto the floor. Getting up, she retrieved it before sitting down again.


- "Yes, what is it?"


She resisted the urge to add 'Child' at the end.


"Jerinia Sedai, i do be sent here because i burnt the soup."


- "Umm... So what do you want me to do about it then?"


The girl looked surprised, wondering if she was being tricked somehow. Giving her a puzzled look before focusing her attentions on an undescribed floor tile again, she replied.


"But... You do be the Mistress of Novices, correct?"


Jerinia blinked from behind her desk. Now that the girl mentioned it, the room looked like Larindhra Sedai's back when she was still a Novice, she had just been too caught up in playing with her ring to notice. Figuring the girl was waiting for her to administer some kind of punishment, she racked her brain for a suitable one. To be honest, burning the soup was something she really couldn't be blamed for, and something like cleaning the stalls really wouldn't help her get better at it. Thus, she concluded, she just needed to practise more to get better.


- "Very well. You will go to the Mistress of the Kitchens and ask her to keep trying until you get it right."


The girl nodded hesitantly before making her way out. The door wasn't closed for long however, as the next Novice walked into the room. This time, it was about having spent too much time reading books she was supposed to fetch for an Aes Sedai, and having finished the task, oh, two days late. Jerinia nodded, and figured organising the library would be a good punishment. The day went on, until after a few hours an Aes Sedai came bursting into the room.


"Jerinia, that Novice you sent into the library didn't do a thing, she just spent all the time reading. What were you thinking, giving her that penance?"


She was about to reply, when the next person came in. From the large wooden ladle she carried, she figured it was the Mistress of the Kitchens, and judging by the look on her face she wasn't happy.


"Thanks to your idea of a punishment, we're short one week's supply of soup! How do you suggest i fix that?"


More and more people came in, forming what to her appeared as a lynch mob. She didn't know what to do, and they were all shouting at her at once. It's not like it was her fau-- Okay, well, technically it was her fault, but how could she know this was going to happen? Edging away into a corner of the room, the increasing number of people were starting to crowd the room, appearing like a wall trying to crush her.


Light, what she wouldn't have given for them telling her to go see the Mistress of Novices now. But she was the Mistress of Novices now, and they were all mad at her. What was she supposed to do? She scanned the room, but still no protal appeared. What was keeping the blasted thing, she needed to get out of there now! Steeling herself, she stepped into the crowd, making excuses as she truied to reach the door. Once slipped past them, she walked down the hallway until the sound of a door opening had her look back. People were walking out after her, trying to catch up. As she broke into a run, so did they, until they were running through the Tower at full sprint. From a corner of her eye, she spotted Larindhra Sedai as she ran past her.


- "I'm sorryyyyy!!!"


Had she looked closer, she would have recognised the striped stole on the woman's shoulders as she ran past, followed on her heels by the group. Every time she looked back, more people were chasing her, even Larindhra now. A flood of people chased her as she ran through the Halls, the Dorms, even the Yards, looking frantically for a way out. Then, finally, she spotted the portal again.


- "Oh you have GOT to be kidding me!"


Jumping on the edge of the bridge, she looked down, trying to guess how high up it was without actually looking down. Yet, the portal was waiting for her on one of the riverbanks. She hesitated, but the rapidly approaching mob caused her to involuntarily step back, losing her balance and cartwheel into the river Erinin below.


As she spluttered to catch her breath again -- Light, how i hate heights! -- she glared at the portal as if it was laughing at her. Looking much like a drowned kitten, she stumbled towards the portal, water dripping from her soaking wet clothes. As she walked through, she vowed not to get near ANY kind of ter'angreal for as long as she could help it.


Whiteness blanketed everything.



"You are washed clean of Jerinia Zaralyn of Jenaan. You are washed clean of all ties that bind you to the world. You come to us washed clean in heart and soul. You are Jerinia Zaralyn, Accepted of the White Tower."


She winced as she was hit by more cold water, a muscle in her cheek twitching at the all-too-real memory of diving off of the bridge a minute ago. She looked at Larindhra while taking deep, controlled breaths to calm herself down again. When she could speak, the words that came out of her mouth weren't quite the ones she had in mind, but that didn't make them less true.


- "I am SO glad i don't have your job..."


There was no anger in her words, just empathy and -- strangely enough -- a fair share of pity. She believed her experience of being the Mistress of Novices would still be fairly close to the real thing, and shuddered at the thought of Larindhra Sedai -- or anyone else, for that matter -- having to go through that ordeal. Though they probably wouldn't jump into the river Erinin.


"You are sealed to us, now. Welcome, daughter."


She looked up, wincing as she noticed the striped stole of the Amyrlin, but stomped down on that reaction by reminding herself that these were not the Arches. It would take a while before she could get rid of the memories though, it was hard to separate real from false so soon after having gone through all of that.


She felt someone hold her left hand, and blinked wonderingly as she noticed a Great Serpent ring on it. Before she could ask what was going on, she was then kissed on both cheeks by the Amyrlin in the final part of the ceremony, though the words were lost to her. She blamed the amount of water dunked on her herself.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Create New...