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Gravediggers Arrival (Attn:MoN)

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N'Daye made a face at the back of the Aes Sedai, which rode her great mare ahead of her. The Warder seemed to disappear and re-appear at his convenience. How N'Daye longed for that kind of freedom. Although she had detested her aunt and uncle in Illian, she had been free. Did that mean anything? No, likely not.


Helayne Sedai had been nice to her, and that was fine, she supposed. But she had been quite restrictive. She always had to do what the woman said, whether it seemed rational to her or not. Most of the things were quite normal; however, she did not like waking before dawn and traveling much during the day. Her gray eyes seemed to be extremely sensitive to light. Or maybe, it was the fact that she had not been away much during the day in the last eight years of her life.


Shrugging and longing for freedom, N'Daye swiped a strand of chin length, greasy, bron hair from her line of sight. It was night, thank the Light, and the full moon shone brightly in the sky.


Not having paid much attention to the whole journey, N'Daye seemed doubly suprised when large gleaming towers and long expansive bridges came into sight. "That do be the Island of Tar Valon, right Aes Sedai?" The Illianer girls' luminescent arm stretched out to point before her.


The Aes Sedai turned over her shoulder and nodded, her eyes sparkling in the moonlight. "That's it, N'Daye. A new life begins for you there."


Rolling her eyes and sitting back uncomfortably in her saddle, N'Daye was quite sick of all the jabber about her "new life". Fortune prick me for a fool if I do be believing the rantings of this woman! She cursed the Aes Sedai silently.


The towers that seemed to reach on endlessly up into the sky practically mirrored the luminescence of the moon. The stars in the night sky seemed to dance around the tallest of towers, as they did with the moon. Large gray eyes opened even wider as she noticed the other buildings and architecture of Tar Valon. Everything was so reminiscent of the ocean. Buildings seemed to flow into one another. There was no word she could use to describe it. Tar Valon was simply amazing.


As the three of them entered the grounds of the White Tower, N'Daye attempted to hold her awe within herself. She didn't want to act a fool.


"N'Daye, I will introduce you to one of my Sisters, and there our paths will part. Hopefully, not forever. Light save you make it through your training here." That was that. Helayne Sedai moved off into a small crowd of people, her Warder following her, and nothing else was said. That be it? Shaking her head, N'Daye bit the inside of her cheek and frowned. Wasn't her life always like this? Did all the people she let herself come to know have to desert her like this?


Deciding she would rather leave than have to put up with anything else, N'Daye wiped her hands on her dirty breeches and turned to leave.


The main entrance to the White Tower seemed quite busy, and to be honest with herself, she had not been quite sure which way the three of them had come in. It was not incredibly late, probably just after some people ate dinner. Feeling alive in the moonlight, N'Daye stepped forward and tapped on the shoulder of a woman standing before her.


"Um...excuse me..." The woman turned, and N'Daye felt incredibly ridiculous. Although the woman before her could have been about her height, it did not mean that they were anywhere close in age. A red shawl draped across her shoulders. Obviously, another Aes Sedai.


Sucking up her integrity in a deep breath, N'Daye summoned all of the confidence she could. "Aes Sedai? I did just be wondering which way I should be taking to be getting out of here."



N'Daye Kishar

New to the Tower



OOC: Alright, Lily, if you'd like to post?  ;D


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Ooc: Yay :)


Helayne Sedai, of the Gray Ajah, strode into the kitchen and sat down. She was tired, cold and could feel even more fatigue from her companion through their bond. He had refused to let her cleanse his weariness, and the Gray Sister was all about giving choices to her Warder. In the some ways, it was still his body. Smiling at him fondly, she was glad to be back home, to soak up heat and feel safe again. It was much more enjoyable than the ride back from Illian. Remembering the stench of the perfumed quarters made her grateful for a whiff of northern air, even if the kitchen smelt like woodfire and . . .


The familiar smell made Helayne Sedai's smile wider, despite her general exhaustion.


"Saline! Are you wearing a fragrance this evening?"


The younger Sister she addressed was not surprised. One could sense such intruders, Helayne Sedai observed, even if the ability could be masked. People were simply more aware in the night-time. "It's soapy water with a kiss of lime, Helayne Sedai. I hate cleaning."


"Not penance, I imagine? Anyway I wouldn't have cleaned wearing my shawl. On second thought, I wouldn't have cleaned at all. Why can't your maid do it?"


"I like my privacy."


"Aw. That's a crying shame." Helayne Sedai's expression became even harder to read. Saline didn't try and guess whether or not there was authenticity and genuine care in those words whenever Helayne Sedai made her face like that.


"Yeah it happens to be Helayne Sedai, what's going on, I thought you went out on the round-up? And I know that face of yours, it hasn't changed after all that travelling, so don't you even try to pull one on me. I can see the evil rabbits whirling behind your eyes," said Saline sternly.


"Check it out, Saline. Our talent at 2 o' clock, fresh and lively. Name's N'Daye. How . . . interesting."


Saline peered to her left.


"Asshkt, that's 10 o' clock! No wonder you're always late." Hissed Helayne Sedai.


Saline didn't look the other direction. Instead she stood up and was protesting. "Aw, no, come on Helayne Sedai. I've got another cake to frost in less than five minutes."


"Well congratulations! And I've got a bath to draw. We all have a predetermined amount of time, sweetie. Now go on over to help that child before she wanders off. And stop using your cooking like that — it's shameful."


"Thank you very much for the cake, Saline Sedai. We appreciate it." Added Helayne Sedai's Warder with the utmost tact. In his hands were two slices of her carrot cake wrapped in a silk handkerchief.


~*. . .*~


"Sweet," Saline muttered as she looked around. It was all brightness and glitter in the moonlight, a blinding backdrop to the dimness of the kitchen. As usual, the gates to the Tower were crowded and to be honest could not remember Helayne Sedai's charge's name. The red shawl was like donning a target on her back, and shifting it about her slim shoulders didn't help her mood. Being one of the youngest Sisters meant one had to deal with unfinished business like this rather than glazing the last touches on a delicious, moist bundtcake. Mmmm.


A polite tap disturbed the privacy of her thoughts. Twirling around, Saline looked once at the creature and thought immediately, and she hadn't done so for ages, of her deceased mother. Saline Wastrel's mother had been a gentle touch with a soft little voice, fair hair and such a pale, thin face. Had Mistress Wastrel seen the apparition before Saline she would have immediately taken scissors to the hair, dirt-crusted and lanking with the rain, sweat, grease, charcoal, and maybe even lice. As for her fingernails? They were gray, like the young woman's eyes. "Lands, what happened to you?" Saline gaped, "I'd have burnt the sheets if you stayed over."


"Are you . . . N., by any chance?"


"What was that? N'Daye? Ah, I'm sorry N'Daye. I didn't see you under all that dust."


N'Daye, or what she could see of the novice-to-be, did not look thrilled at the prospect of remaining in the Tower. At this point in the exchange Saline had come closer and clutched at the young woman's arm firmly. "You're the one I'm told to look for. I'm told a lot of things these days, N'Daye. I'm told to bring you the the Mistress of Novices' office. I'm told not to use food as an excuse to be lazy. And I'm told that the Wheel spins as the Wheel Wills. Everything else has its pattern, predetermined to grow. Including you. It's who we are. I can't change it." Can I?


In any case it was sort of funny, as the pair of them walked to the Mistress of Novices' office, that one smelt like cleaning supplies and the other of the rankest . . .


Saline stared at N'Daye intently, and her grip tightened as she wondered what sort of impression that would make. "Come on up," she said, tugging the newcomer a different direction, up staircases and through an arched tunnel with checkered floors "let's freshen up a bit."


"Don't get me wrong. We will hit up the Mistress of Novices' office to get you enrolled into the novice books, but first . . ." Saline held out some rosehip oil and a towel. "These are gifts from a peddler named Dilora. She was a good friend. But I figure you may need them more than I do."


The girl returned Saline's stare as though perplexed what they were used for.


Saline explained, "being clean is good for the mind. It puts things in perspective. You can get a sense of your place in the order of things . . . a sense of who you really are and what is most important. This is my perspective. I am an Aes Sedai. I serve all. And even though my sisters and I have been regarded as the equals of kings and queens I do not get to have my life how I want most of the time, although I suspect everybody got that. But this is who I am. So wash up. I may have a spare dress for you somewhere around. You're of similiar height as me."


"Where in Illian were you from N'Daye? I used to work there in a bakery." Saline closed the door but spoke at it as she listened for any responses or sounds of splashing from within, "I know, I haven't got the dialect. But my best friends was an Illianer. And I miss her. Got any family where you're from, N'Daye? Did they force you to come here? Don't be taken in by the gleemen. It's not so bad in the Tower. You get a nice education; learn how not to kill yourself; and if you're lucky make some friends."


Let the indoctrination process begin.

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Blood and ashes, woman! N’Daye’s eyebrows came together to form a crease in the center of her forehead as the woman she was following continued to talk. The Illianer girl had no idea how someone could find so many words to fit into each breath. She do go on and on. Does there be no end to it? Shaking her head in disbelief, N’Daye followed, dumbfounded.


"Come on up," The Aes Sedai pulled on the dirty coat sleeve that N’Daye had worn for…well, she wasn’t quite sure how many days it had been. "let's freshen up a bit."


“Uh…” Was all she had time to get out, before the woman started talking again. Freshen up? What do she...? Before she knew it she had a draught of oil in her hand and a small towel. N'Daye let herself be pulled along while she studied the little bottle of oil, wondering what in the Light she was supposed to do with it. The Illainer girl had bathed before, but not with a tiny bottle of oil and a towel that could have passed as a shred of a curtain.


It wasn't until the two of them stopped walking that N'Daye realized that the Aes Sedai had brought them to her rooms. The long halls and inhabitants of the White Tower seemed to have blurred by them in a whirl, as she was being persuaded to bathe with a tiny bloody bottle of oil.


Shaking her head in confusion, N'Daye tried to fix her gray eyes on the woman's ageless face to at least tell her that she had no idea what in the bloody Light she was going on about. Holding up the bottle, her brows furrowed, and she pointed to the little glass thing in disbelief.


Finally, she stopped talking, and looked back at the dirty newcomer with an expectant look in her eyes. Do she be waiting for something? Wait... N'Daye slammed the heel of her palm into her forehead as if to knock some sense into her, and she tried to replay what the Aes Sedai had said.


"Perfumed Quarter..." she mumbled. "I did...be living there. No, no family." N'Daye ground her teeth as she said the last. "I do no be interested in gleemen, no any friends either. Friends just be making things more difficult."


Absentmindedly, N'Daye brought the tiny bottle to her nose, and gave it a sniff. The smell of roses wafted towards her, and she was suprised that the smell did not have that cheap scent to it. The one she had been used to smelling around her aunt. Wrinkling her nose, she looked down and realized that there was a different fabric in her hands, along with the little towel. A dress!


Jumping suddenly, the Illainer dropped the soft fabric and backed away. Both of her hands raised into the air before her and her eyes grew as wide as saucers, and she said, "Oh, no. I can no wear this!" The little draught of oil sloshed and threatened to leak through the seal that held the contents safely within.


Her head may have fallen off if it hadn't been stuck on to her body so tightly, as she continued to shake her head in disbelief. Pointing at the tiny towel, she said, "And what in the name of the Creator do I be doing with this?"



N'Daye Kishar

One day, a novice  :P




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"You withhold the love."

"How can I withhold that which I do not have?"


The sunshine was bright in the room; the incense rose in clouds; the girl looked round strangely before dropping the dress, a perfectly fine novice dress, and was shaking the towel.


"Oh, easy. It's just to scrub off the soap and water. You'll get another towel for drying." She was troubled and did not attempt to conceal it. Helayne Sedai should have taken care of N'Daye better. Particularly since the girl had no family. Orphan'd, is it? Saline spoke with evident annoyance, but without hurry or raise in her voice. She looked as though she had some special fixed determination.


"Look here, N'Daye" she began resolutely, "I like mud and dirt the same as any other girl. As far as I'm concerned, you may all go away and leave me in privacy, but from what I see, it's clear to me you are in want of a bath. I don't want to know when's the last time you had one. Wouldn't be surprised if you never had a hot bath. And please don't think I've come to order you around. I don't want to give orders, hang it! Nor am I here to take care of you. If you start to cry, I dare say I shouldn't stay to listen, I should go away cursing. I have only come to take you to the Mistress of Novices, to be enrolled since Helayne Sedai has tested you already. The Mistress of Novices is a very important figure for you throughout your training and beyond so we going to try and make a good first impression. First time I met her I got into a fight with two novices and one accepted and I took way longer than my peers to be raised? Coincidence? Perhaps. There is something in the air however, which is very unpleasant. Talk has been it's from the gates, and I admit I've been disposed to that opinion myself, judging from your smells, and from your repugnance to hot baths. I understand that you're scared and this is strange to you. Yes the water is hot not like river water. Get into it, quick and without your old cloths thanks very much. Your first task at the Tower is to figure it out. Try not to cock up."


Saline pressed her hand and went out. Her gesture seemed to have bewildered the girl. N'Daye's thin clothing had been caked with diamond hard grime, some of which dusted onto Saline's hands. As she studied her now crusty palms Saline gave a parting shot, "if you won't wear that dress until you're enrolled as a novice I have others, more fancy ones!"

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