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No Longer My Own (Terra's Dreadlord Test and Oaths)


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No, no, that looks horrible. I don’t look anything like Rendra. Terra stood in front of her mirror practicing using the Mask of Mirrors. Everyone said she picked up on it very quickly, but she wasn’t very good at duplicating people yet. They always look wrong in her eyes, but as they say, you are your own worst critic. Her door opened and she turned to see who it was. A very tall dread lady stood in her door looking very menacing. She couldn’t remember her name, but she certainly remembered her. Her height along with dazzling green eyes and fiery red hair made her look very much like an Aiel savage, though she was really Saldean. “Adept Terra Cyrene, you have been called to take the test for dread lady. You are not to hold the Source or speak until we reach the testing grounds. Follow me.”


Terra silently let go of the Source, turning her back into plain old Terra and followed the tall woman.  Even if she hadn’t been told not to speak, she wouldn’t have. The woman was bloody frightening! She was led down many flights of stairs until they came to two tall doors. Behind them…the Council room. She took a deep breathe before entering.


The room had one light, illuminating a circle on the floor. Two women and two men stood evenly spaced around the edges and beyond the circle, she could make out the outlines of chairs with men and women sitting on them. The Mae’Shadars.  “Terra Cyrene!” One voice boomed, “You have been deemed worthy to take the test for Dreadlady. Step into the circle and prepare yourself. These four are to be your opponents.” She meekly stepped into the circle and had barely taken hold of saidar when attacks came from all sides. Blades of air, bursts of ice, fireballs, and earth projectiles from the four corners. She had no choice but to just shield herself with all her might. Using all five elements, she put all her might into that single shield. It held, but she was stuck now. She had no way to attack back without being killed. She had to think fast.


She decided that she would have to use them against each other. Using air, she catapulted  some of the earthen projectiles going by at one of the dreadladies.  She wasn’t sure what happened to it after that. She was too busy deflecting fireballs away. Dozens of tiny, little fireballs. A surprising attempt from a man, knowing the skill needed to pull that off.  She ducked to dodge a blade of air and then jumped to avoid fire running across the ground.


An idea struck her. Confusion. In a momentary pause, Terra wove several Illusions, all copies of herself. She ran  around and made her copies do the same. She couldn’t have them knowing which was real.  And it seemed to work. They were attacking the illusions as well as herself, but then she only had one to deal with. Well, at least the men were attacking the illusions. The women of course could see her flows and the glow of saidar around her, but she could see their weaves as well. Much easier. She launched fiery darts at the one while blocking the club of air the other woman had made. Cantrips popped up behind her and cut up her legs. They figured out the real one. Curses!


“Stop” the voice boomed and everyone let go of the Source. “Return to your room. In the morning, you go to Shayol Ghul and swear the Oaths to the Great Lord.”  Terra’s jaw dropped. She passed? How…? She didn’t know what to say. She just turned around and went back the way she came, speechless. She was a Dreadlady? She was going to Shayol Ghul to swear her Oaths before the Great Lord of the Dark? Surreal…




Terra woke up exhausted. The Healing last night had taken it’s toll on her body. Funny, she couldn’t even remember getting most of her injuries, but there were a lot of them. She donned her best silks, a purple so dark it was nearly black, then curled her hair so they gently rolled down her back. She did her make-up to match her dress, then left for the Travelling Room. The Saldean woman was there, waiting for her. She opened the Gateway and the most disturbing smells wafted through, burning her nostrils. It was like…burning flesh, sweat, and death.  “It will do you good to not channel or even hold the Source while you are here. The Great Lord does not approve of it and you just may lose your life.” Terra nodded and let the woman lead her through. They climbed up the mountain and went in one of the many caverns that dotted the mountainside. “I will wait out here. Enter in.” Terra gulped and made her way through the opening. Funny how the opening looked to tall, but all the stalactites just barely cleared her head, and she wasn’t very tall!

At the end of the tunnel, she found herself in the middle of a cavern, but it had no ceiling. It was just…orange sky…a stormy orange sky. Freighting, really.




Aahhhhh, it’s in my head. It didn’t hurt, really, but it was shocking. A pressure of sorts. The Great Lord was here.




“Everything, Great Lord. My entire life and all that goes with it!” she cried out.




“Yes, Great Lord. I swear. I will be yours forever!”




“Yes, Great Lord. As you say.” she spoke as the pressure in her mind subsided. She got up and went back out the cavern. She was the Great Lord’s now. Forever.


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