Jump to content

DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY
Kara_J

Carina's Redemption?

Recommended Posts

OOC: Continued from here

 

Raslyn nodded at the child's determination and hoped that it would see her through. Too many started off determined only to wane and fall by the wayside. She eyed the young novice in front of her and frowned.

 

The girl was staring into space and looked positively stricken. Oh light, what has happened now. She's not suddenly embraced the Source, so that can't be it. Raslyn ran through the conversation she'd had with the child and couldn't see anything there that would elicit such a reaction. So that left the child's past.

 

"Child?" Raslyn spoke sharply. "Carina!" She repeated her name several times, but to no avail. Eventually she got up and approached the girl, who still staring into space, her breathing becoming laboured.

 

Taking Carina's shoulders she gave the girl a shake "Carina! What's the matter girl?" Raslyn spoke firmly, wondering whether to slap the girl out of her hysterics.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Carina didn't hear her mentor's increasingly worried calls and continued to stare ahead, seeing only that letter. That blasted letter, covering those horrid things she'd done to get to the Tower. How will I ever redeem myself? she wailed silently in her head. I must redeem myself before the last embrace! I must! But how? Raslyn started shaking her violently, her nails boring into her flesh. Slowely Carina's mind registered the sharp pains shooting from her arm where the sister was holding her and she looked at Raslyn with absentminded eyes. Her mind started registering where she was again and who she was with. She blinked her eyes a few times, licking her lips that had gone cork dry and opened her mouth to speak at the command of the sister.

 

"It..." she gulped and coughed, trying to clear her throat. "Forgive me, Aes Sedai". She could not share this with the sister. It was her burden to bear, hers alone! But how to avoid telling while not lying to her mentor? Carina racked her brain trying to find a clear and suitable answer that would not breach her honor to bear the guilt of her actions. She didn't realise her eyes were begging the Red for help, as they looked up in that knowing face behind which a shrewd and utterly skillfull mind was nested.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Is there something you want to tell me, Child?" Raslyn asked with a hint of concern in her voice. She stepped back a little to study the young novice. Her voice had said one thing but her eyes had said something completely different. Something was bothering this youngster to the point of insensibility.

 

Something that must be addressed, or she'll not survive long in the Tower. We all have secrets, but some need to be told. Now, how to get her to reveal anything...

 

"It seems you have started one of the tests I mentioned, Carina." Raslyn said after not receiving more than a blank shaking of the head in return to her question. "Some tests are ones you have to do on your own, others you have to have help. As your mentor I'm here to help." Her voice remained smooth and calm, soothing whilst she studied the girl for reactions.

 

Wait, was there something in the way she said 'Forgive me, Aes Sedai'? Something more than asking for forgiveness for her inattention? Deciding to find out she changed the subject.

 

She waved a hand airily as she sat back down. "Never mind what happened earlier, there's nothing to forgive." She said, putting a slight emphasis on 'forgive' to see if there was a reaction. "Now, tell me more about yourself, where you grew up and how you travelled here?" Was there a flicker at that last sentence?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Carina winced as Raslyn spoke the word 'forgive', though she valiantly tried to maintain her posture. She desperately tried to force her mind to step back from that one topic that had her so fully engulfed. To reach that level of detachement that would allow her to obey the sister's command and questions on a more general level, answering with basic information. Not lying, yet not breaching any wall of security that would increase her shame even further and lay bare her dishonour.

 

"Yes, Aes Sedai, as you command." She spoke softly. "I was born in Baerlon and raised by two adoptive parents as my own had died when I turned five. I'm afraid I don't know much about my birth parents, but my adoptive ones have given me a good childhood. They were warm, caring people and I wanted for nothing. Our lives were simple, yet rich in ways coins can not buy, if you understand my meaning." She looked up at the Red and upon receiving an understanding nod continued, growing more relaxed as her story laid a tentative cover over her raw emotions. "When i became ten I was sent to a Malkieren Lord and Lady, where I was to be educated in the manners of the Malkieren nobles." Carina hesitated then, as the order never to speak of the duty of the Lord Proga'Rhan to her father had never been lifted and so, to her mind, she was still bound by it. She decided to just pass over that part and skip to the moment they met the Blue Sister that had sent her off to Tar Valon. "The Sister tested me and the next morning I was sent to Tar Valon to, what I later learned, become a novice. I was accompanied by the Sister's manservant, as you may recall Raslyn Sedai, who died protecting me along the way. My horse and everything else was stolen, and only luck or the Light's blessing made it that I was hidden from our attackers that day and so I survived. The Sister's orders were clear, Aes Sedai. I was to go to Tar Valon at all costs and deliver the letter she gave me to the Mistress of Novices. Her manservant had died to give me that chance, so I couldn't turn back then!" Carina cast her eyes up at the Red Sister, daring her to berate her for being so foolish as to go on alone, as young as she was. Raslyn's eyes bore into the girl's and it was only a few seconds before the child gulped and cast her eyes back down, shocked at her own odacity. What on earth are you doing?! Talking to a Sister like that! You should report to the Mistress of Novices for that without being told to do so! Carina had become quite used to her own mind being her most fervent critique, and she readily accepted the berating of her conscious as justified. You just did not talk to an Aes Sedai in such a manner. Ever. And yet, the girl also still felt the fire of rebellion burning, as her honor would not be quenched that easily.

 

Raslyn remained quiet, observing the child in front of her, never changing her experession, never taking her eyes off her. Carina rushed on with the last part of her story, "After I burried the manservant, I made my way to Tar Valon on foot, which is why I took so long to deliver the Sister's note and," She stopped then, blinking at almost disclosing her shame. Raslyn's eyes bore deeper into hers. "And why I looked so ragged when I arrived. I hope Larindhra Sedai didn't take too much offense at that."

 

Forgetting the awkwardness of a comfy chair, Carina now slumped fully back into her seat, letting the soft cushions of the chair mold themselves around her. Her head was down and she didn't notice her mentor's face or reaction. All she could think was Thank the Light! I didn't breach my honor.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Raslyn stayed silent whilst Carina told her story, observing the manner of the child sat before her, taking a mental note of her expressions, her gestures - however subtle, and the tone of voice. There was something that the child omitted from her story. Raslyn could tell by the way she rushed the latter part of the story and the way she literally sagged after she'd finished.

 

Musingly, she tapped her lips with a finger.

 

"I'm sure the Mistress of Novices has seen children worse off than yourself arriving at the Tower child." Raslyn smiled reassuringly. "You are a very determined girl, that is for certain. Most others would have turned back as soon as they were attacked, regardless of what had happened to their companions. Even some men have had less backbone than what you have exhibited, child."

 

Raslyn paused for a moment before deciding to venture an idea that had formed as Carina was speaking. "Yes, many men have had less backbone and much less honour that you have shown, Carina. The letter must have been important for you to venture onwards, alone, to the White Tower. I wonder, did you know what was in it?"  with that she sat back and prepared to study the reaction it invoked.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Carina sat in the chair, now fully wrapped up in her dark thoughts about that note of shame and what it represented that her natural guard was done. As Raslyn's voice washed over her and the words 'The letter must have been important for you' entered her ears, she was too late in realising and whispered, not quite soft enough, "that's not the one that's filling me with shame". She also didn't realise her head had started nodding at the Red's mention of dishonorable men, though she fully missed the compliment at her address. Even her subconcious wouldn't allow her to take pride in her accomplishments on that long treck to the Tower.

 

The girl lifted her head, still unaware of just how much she had given away, and replied with a shaking voice, "yes Aes Sedai, there are quite a lot of dishonorable men out there indeed. As to your question why I didn't turn back. In the Borderlands when a Sister commands, you obey. It never occurred to me to turn back. And besides... how could I dishonor my savior's sacrifice by not completing the mission? He gave up his life to see me and that letter reach the Tower. I have no idea what was in it, Raslyn Sedai. Only that it must have been super dang important for him to go to such lengths to see it reach it's destination. I couldn't abandon the mission. That's never been an option."

 

Her mouth twitched and she pressed her lips firmly together, though couldn't stop an expression of disgust to flare up on her face as she recalled the horrors she faced on the road. Then the shame was back. The note safely tucked in the pocket of her second novice dress in her room stood tall and proud before her inner eye. "I have to find a way to redeem myself" she thought, unaware she had whispered the words out loud. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Raslyn's eyebrows rose a notch. So there was another letter? One that filled her with shame? That was interesting. Remaining impassive, Raslyn let the girl continue, noting all she could of her tone, demeanour and posture. Carina's last whispered words puzzled her though. Redeem herself? Why in the Light would she need to redeem herself? What can be in that letter? It's obviously something mortifying enough to elicit the reactions Carina was showing.

 

"Child, you do realise that you can't keep carrying your shame and mortification around with you here, in the Tower, specially if you wish to make Aes Sedai. It is all well and good if you have something to drive you forward, but I think what you carry - willingly carry - around will you will just hinder your progress." Raslyn paused to see how her statement was being received.

 

"Unless you can find a way to leave your past behind and concentrate on your future, not to mention forgive yourself for whatever has you beating yourself up, you'll fail as surely as if you'd given up back on the road. Do you understand me, child?"

 

She paused once more awaiting a response from her charge.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Carina flinched at the implication of what Raslyn explained to her and nodded slowely to let the sister know she did indeed understand. She wouldn't be able to reach the state necessary to become Aes Sedai untill she dealt with this and moved on. Yet she couldn't deal with it alone untill she became Aes Sedai. Her mind didn't even venture to the option of not becoming Aes Sedai. By now, her vow to her savior had extended into becoming Aes Sedai whatever the cost, as his sacrifice was not solely aimed at getting her to the Tower. It was to see her be entered in the Book of Novices and start her training towards sisterhood. She hang her head, realising that she had a choice between two honors, knowing that she'd have to give one up to keep the other. There was no real choice in this. For to turn her back on her training was no option at all.

 

Her decision settled and with it her resolve grew and it was a totally different face looking up at the Red this time. A face that was calm, accepting, determined and resolved. There was only one road to take.

 

"I understand, Aes Sedai. While my honor demands me to carry this shame in solitude, I can not hold to it and succeed in my studies. Which defeats my ability to take care of it alone." She took another deep breath and her eyes met the sister full on, almost daring her to judge her harshly. Almost. Then, the story poored out of her.

 

"Along the road towards Tar Valon I encountered many dangers. Not all of them beasts or of natural origin. There were woefully dishonorable men crossing my path. With all my money and possessions stolen, I had only the kindness of strangers to rely on for food and clothing. A kindness that is sorely missing in a lot of places, im sorry to say. Though not as rare that it destroyed my faith in people's ability to do the right thing. Still, many days went by at times in which I had nothing to eat, my clothes were torn and ripped several times and the sight of a girl alone in the dark seemed a temptation some men couldn't resist. Only at the mercy of the Light was I able to get away each time untill finally..." Carina swallowed then, taking a second to gather her courage, "untill finally I.... I, the Light save me, I stole clothes from a farmer's family that were hanging on the lines in their yard." She blinked several times to push back the tears forming in her eyes, her hands wringing each other so hard the knuckles were a shere white. "I scratched the name and location of the family on a wooden plank I found in the woods. So I could repay them later on and submit myself to their judgement for my crime. Later I managed to get some paper and a pen and I copied the information to paper. My note of shame. There are five names on that. Five times I stole on my way to the Tower. I stole men's clothes to disguise myself from preying men, who paid no attention to a lowely, pauper boy."

 

Carina had looked Raslyn in the eye the whole time, but now her head bowed and she ended in a whisper. "I don't know how to repay my debt to those I stole from as I'm not allowed out of Tar Valon untill I am raised to the Shawl, and that can take years."

 

She fell silent then. Relieved to have shared this burden and feeling guilty for feeling relieved at the same time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Raslyn's eyebrows rose in spite of herself as Carina divulged her secret. Now she understood why Carina had reacted the way she had during their conversation. It obviously meant a lot to the girl and, if Raslyn was right, Carina wouldn't let the matter drop that easily. That would mean that her attention would never be fully on becoming Aes Sedai and that would truly be a tragedy. She could make a good Aes Sedai if she concentrated on her training.

 

Raslyn steepled her fingers as she thought before speaking.

 

"Carina, this obviously means a lot to you. You do realise that if you hadn't have stolen from those you would not be here now, on the path to being Aes Sedai." She paused, watching Carina and then realised that mere words would not absolve Carina of the debt she felt she needed to repay. Trying another tack, Raslyn went on.

 

"What I propose is this, and it is entirely up to you if you accept my offer. You will give me the names and addresses of the people you stole from, along with a list of the items you purloined and I will, personally, pay them all back. You then can repay me by doing your best to become Aes Sedai." Raslyn stopped again, trying to gauge how this was being received.

 

"As I said, it's your choice. What do you say?"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

She looked at the Sister, her features a perfect image of Aes Sedai serenity without even realising it, and thought about the proposal. 'This may be the only way for me to redeem myself or at least to repay those families in a somewhat timely fashion' she thought. Coming to a decision, Carina nodded her head slowly and rose from her seat, having to squirm a bit considering she'd been slumped all the way back in the comfort chair, and offered Raslyn a curtsey.

 

"That seems like an acceptable arrangement, Aes Sedai. I have all the information on the list I kept, so with your permissions I will go and fetch it for you" She waited for the Sister's nod and headed off towards her room in the novice halls. As soon as she was clear out of the room she launched into a sprint, not stopping for anyone or anything until she reached her cell. She got the note out of her closet and took a few deep breaths before racing back to Raslyn. In front of the door she stopped, took a few moments to catch her breath and fix her dress and hair properly (the Red wasn't about to excuse a ragged appearance, for whatever reason) and calmly knocked on the door. As she was told to enter, Carina dropped into another curtsey and offered the letter in the same motion. "that is my list of shame, Raslyn Sedai. All the information you need is on it."

 

Taking another deep breath, the girl stood up at her full length, head straight, shoulders back, right hand over her heart, eyes looking straight at her mentor. "Under the Light and by my hope of salvation and rebirth, I vow that I shall dedicate my time, my thoughts and all that I have in the pursuit towards becoming Aes Sedai. Whatever is in my power to prevent me from failing in my goal shall be done. This I vow to you, Raslyn Aes Sedai, mentor and holder of my shame." Carina curtsied so low her head touched her knee. "By the will of the Wheel and the grace of the Creator it shall be done".

 

Carina came out of her curtsey and her face was all lit up. A huge weight had just been lifted off her shoulder and she would never, from that day on, look upon any Red again with fear or prejudice. Her gratitude towards her mentor clearly visible on her face she stood and waited for Raslyn to resume her lead in the conversation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

×
×
  • Create New...