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A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

The Day of Depuration(Attn: Sira and Elyssa) repost


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ooc: This story (as I want to refer to this as a story... not just a thread because of it's importance) is continued from: http://dmpsw.com/dr/viewtopic.php?t=827 The Use/Power/Operation and DRPSW History of the familar Ter'Angreal in this scene (the Arches of Tar Valon) have been approved by the White Tower Division staff. This information will be made available in the Main Timeline after it's discovery (winter 999) for other characters to make use of. A Hall of the Tower RP may follow this one concerning the events here in. We hope you enjoy the original concept of what we think the Arches "really" are as well as a look into the enduring psyche of two of the DRPSW's well-loved characters. Questions may be directed to the WT staff or myself at: telcia@gmail.com

 

Without further adieu, enjoy the show!

 

Quote:

depu•ration (noun) From the verb "depurate" meaning: To cleanse or purify or become cleansed or purified.

 

 

Ic:

 

The sun had not risen yet… and Telcia’s head had not fallen. Looking over the notes before her she contemplated what had been the source of all her stress over the course of a lifetime… one moment in time… one vision, the one thing which had forced every major decision in the course of her life from who she loved… to what Ajah she chose.

 

Reviewing all that might be different in her life if not for the ‘foul thing,’ as she referred to it often, she could imagine a different woman in the mirror looking back at her. She could see a Brown Sister who might have been. She could see a woman bonded to the man she loved, one who would not abandon her and her children to be killed by Shadowspawn. One who wouldn’t have manifested the ability to channel and shamed her further among her sisters even to the point of losing all hope of being respected ever again.

 

All that she had managed to avoid was becoming Amyrlin Seat with the choice of what to do about the Dragon Reborn… that and being Stilled and little consolation that was after all the death that had marked her cowards path, though she’d never let anyone know that was what she thought of it. Why, burn her if she never wanted to admit it to herself. In too many ways, the Shadow had won in her heart… and Sirayn was right, how could she give solace or help to anyone when she had so little for herself?

 

Sirayn, her mentee… the woman she first helped to the shawl. The child, not of her own womb, she’d first and best loved. Sirayn who suffered so much now, and perhaps because of her mentor’s own inability to place her on the right road in those fundamental years of learning…

 

A long slender digit ran across and around the picture of the Three Arches Ter’Angreal of Tar Valon in the book once more. Like a lover’s caress as she considered the object of her nearly two hundred year hatred; two hundred years of study and obsession, two hundred years that she prayed wouldn’t have been for nothing.

 

Closing the book and putting on her shawl for the first time in a very long time, she admired the sight of herself in the mirror. Honey/Wheat hair with hits of silver starting to appear in it’s thick locks, all bound loosely into a bun at the base of her skull and held in a golden snood. Her simple white dress of Andoran cut reminded her, vaguely, of the dresses she wore for so many years as a novice and accepted but that no longer troubled her as it once did. No one could mistake her for a young Sister any more… she was getting old and sadly that badge of honor didn’t bring her comfort either.

 

Slipping quietly down the hallway she tried desperately not to wake anyone. She couldn’t bear for her Sisters to know where she was going at this early hour when it was still dark. Surely they’d wonder at her sanity even more than they ever had before. Truthfully, if she hadn’t become so desperate, she might wonder too.

 

In the main antechamber she stood on the large flame of Tar Valon on the floor tiles and paused only a moment, out of respect, and then continued quietly down the corridors of the Blue Ajah to the door she should have been avoiding like the plague since taking on Vera, her mentee, as a personal assistant.

 

But this was about Vera as much as it was about her and Sirayn… this was about them all. This was about the War against the Shadow where it lay most insidious and MUST be defeated.

 

The soul.

 

Knocking softly, she waited as calmly as possible for Elyssa of the Blue Ajah to answer.

_________________

Telcia Sedai

Red Sister ~ Guardian of Humanity

Proud Mentor of Aoife

Proud Advisor of Vera

 

"Dispelling Elaida's Image of Red Idiocy, One Post at a Time." -DM Reds (CLICK HERE)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elyssa was in a dark chamber, it was cold and she had only her shift for protection. She had no idea how she had gotten to this chamber but had a feeling she was in for a harsh awakening. As she walked down the long marble floor toward the only door she could see the sense got stronger. Something was coming for her and it was going to take her places she never even dreamed of. Just as she reached the end of that floor and had her hand on the knob she was awakened by a knock on her door.

 

Startled she sat up in her bed and robbed the sleep out of her eyes. She slipped into her slippers and put a light blue robe on over her nightshift. Fixing her now shoulder length hair so it didn’t look suck a mess she headed to see who was at her door this early in the morning. She stopped for a short moment at the door to Dafydd’s room to make sure he hadn’t been disturbed. She knew he was wide awake listening for any signs of danger she could feel him in the back of her head.

 

Reaching the door she slowly moved her hand to the knob that feeling that something was about to change her life coming back threefold. Was that really just a dream or had she sensed what was to come in her future. As she opened the door she could not hide the shock and disgust on her face. Why would a Red sister be at her door in the middle of the night?

 

“Hello Telcia Sedai, I cannot say that I am pleased to see you more like shocked if anything.†Ely was not trying to be rude but in her shock she could not think straight. “Please come in and have some tea I am sure it is important if you are here at such a late hour.â€

 

 

 

 

 

 

*** done in chat ***

 

Telcia enters. “Forgive the lateness of our meeting Sister. It is, I’m afraid, all too necessary… and do not trouble yourself with the tea. My guess is either you’ll appreciate my having come to you and we’ll be on our way shortly… or I’ll be explaining myself to my Ajah Head and Mother before dawn’s first light.†Telcia hesitates before continuing.

 

“I need your assistance for two reasons… one because of your known talent and perhaps it’s ability to help you understand more clearly what I’m wanting to attempt and secondly… because if successful, the revolutionary discovery we’ll have made may just be what saves someone we both care a great deal for.â€

 

Ely listened to Telcia as she spoke. She had been right that her life was going to drastically change. She was going to have to see the First Selector over this and she knew it. But the opportunity was just too good to pass up. "Please tell me more of what you have planed and I will think on the matter"

 

Telcia was wishing she’d accepted that tea now. This was no small explanation. Or perhaps it was… “This has to do, in part, with Vera and securing a future for her. This is part of the reason for this secrecy… for choosing your presence in this experiment as opposed to someone from the Brown Ajah who has worked with me for nearly two lifetimes on this theory or even a Yellow.â€

 

“What if I told you that I may have discovered the true purpose of one of our most well-known Ter’Angreal… and… I had a way to help those with troubled minds through their psychosis? And … that all that was left to do after all these years of research and study was to test the theory. Would you be interested in being part of the team that broke that ground both for your own reasons and to help Vera, if successful?â€

 

Ely looked to Telcia in shock and then in amazement. Which Ter Angreal could she be talking about. Ely could only think of two and that was the Oath rod and the Arches that are used to test the novices. Ely's mouth went dry at the mention of her mentees name. She walked over and heated some water for tea and again offered some to Telcia.

 

"Please explain further I am interested in what you are saying and yes I would like to be a part of it but I need more information before I will agree to work with a red on this."

 

Telcia bit back a scolding of the woman. She was her elder by nearly a lifetime and one-half and significantly more talented with the One power yet… no… pride was the tool of the Dark One. She would not allow it to stop her now. She could not, for Vera… for Sira and herself… and the Light.

 

Nodding to the tea, Telcia reluctantly sat down. “The story begins a long time ago when I did not yet know of my Foretelling Talent… when I was tested for the ring and banded dress. I did not know then what my life would be but as I entered the Ter’Angreal something happened.â€

 

Telcia’s face smoothed. “I was nearly lost in the Arches… and what I saw there left me committed to the study of them both for the troubling things I saw and for my fear that they were unstable and unsafe for anyone to use.â€

 

“For two hundred years I have sat on every Accepted raising that I was allowed to. It became standard I would go for the Reds as our Ajah Head knew of my commitment to the protection of our young girls and the strength I have with spirit threads.â€

 

“My study partner became Eriya Sedai of the Browns… Kit, as some call her. The woman is a genius when it comes to Ter’Angreal. Well… the long and the short is that we came to realize the effects the Talented mind has inside them vs. those who are not. AND, those who are already mentally unstable verses those who are strong.â€

 

“As time progressed and we watched more and more raisings, seeing the scars emotionally and mentally it left… we wondered if perhaps we hadn’t been doing things a bit backward. That perhaps the mind is controlling the arch and NOT the threads of the sisters. Perhaps the silver exit appears when the mind is no longer strong enough to bare what it sees. AND if this is true… it stands to reason that the function in the Age of Legends for such a device would have to have been healing… a sound theory as spirit is the primary force for healing and that Spirit is the energy that powers the Ter’Angreal.†Telcia leaned back letting Elyssa take it all in.

 

Ely sat in silence. She didin't know what to say to all of this. It did seem reasonable that the person in the arches was actually the one controlling them and not the people outside of them "And how to you propose that we study this theory further?"

 

Telcia took her tea and sipped it. "I think... Sister, that you're already quite aware of what the next step in Ter'Angreal study would be.†Telcia leveled her eyes calmly at the Blue who was still waiting for the obvious to be spoken.

 

“Once research and study is exhausted the next step is logically... testing."

_________________

Telcia Sedai

Red Sister ~ Guardian of Humanity

Proud Mentor of Aoife

Proud Advisor of Vera

 

"Dispelling Elaida's Image of Red Idiocy, One Post at a Time." -DM Reds (CLICK HERE)

 

 

 

 

 

OOC: Sorry this took so long I just got busy I'll do better promise.

 

 

IC: . "I think... Sister, that you're already quite aware of what the next step in Ter'Angreal study would be.†Ely knew what was going to be said next she only wanted to hear it to make sure she was not mistaken. “Once research and study is exhausted the next step is logically... testing." Ely let out a little gasp. She was being asked to help with something that could cause a great controversy with her and her ajah. Just because of a talent she had for knowing Ter Angreal. She was supposed to help test a theory a Red sister was bringing to her.

 

“Why should I help you with all of this Telcia?†Ely kept her voice level and her eyes on the sister sitting in front of her. “You are asking me to help you a Red to test a theory you have no proof to be true.†Ely didn’t want to sound rude but it was the only way to get the whole truth from her and not a twisting of the truth. She knew very well how to twist the truth so that it was not a lie but not the whole truth.

_________________

Elyssa Lliet~Blue sister Bonded to Dafydd Gaidin

Mateo Ashden~Tower Guard

Pencari Angin~Windfinder

 

 

 

 

 

 

Telcia leveled her gaze at the blue, speaking calmly but with a hint of passion that surely the blue was only use to hearing out of her own sisters. Truly, it seemed, that Telcia was as passionate about this subject as the subject of gentling Men. "One... because I took you for a smarter woman than one who saw only the color of a shawl when the RIGHT thing needed to be done... if we keep letting children misuse this device to be raised when that's NOT what it's designed for we're endangering them needlessly. Eventually another girl is going to die in those arches, as they sometimes do, and if we haven't done what we could to know all we could... that blood is on our hands as much as anyone else's. We CAN NOT in good conscience as Servants of All let this go uninvestigated."

 

"Two... it's your chance to get in on the ground floor of something that could put your name and Ajah into the history books of the Tower for years to come, if such things appeal to you. If nothing else, if I'm wrong, you can be the Blue who went along to save my sorry hide and said, "I told you so" the whole way. If pride is your vice Sister, I don't care how you feed it... but realize this doesn't end poorly for you no matter how it ends for me."

 

"And Lastly... and most importantly, if this thing works the way I suspect it might, then this is the one tool we have to help heal that girl... the one you've given your word to guide and protect. I'm offering you the chance to help do just what you've sworn to... can you in good faith to your purpose here or as someone she trusts to help and protect her, NOT try to find a way? The yellows are at a loss... Elyssa," She says frankly, leaning in more intimately towards the blue, dropping her voice to a near whisper.

 

"... they gave the girl to me to try and help her in the way of healing because no weave can undo what's been done now. They entrusted her to me... because I know something of her wounds personally. I'm telling you... I swear to you... I mean the girl no harm and only the best. I swear upon my oaths and shawl that I do believe this could heal the girl and others but when misused it's a dangerous weapon that can and will kill again. Now please..." She closed her eyes, inhaled and composed herself completely, sitting up straight as she did.

 

"... please, for the love of the Light... can we just cut with the Ajah politics for one night to help protect the future of the Tower and to heal the warriors who have greatest need of it, so that we can be ready to face our true enemy when the time comes... The Shadow? There'll be enough time for us to bicker symantics later... I assure you this is no easy thing for me to be doing either, but there is a greater good to be done and we should be focusing on that... don't you agree?"

 

(oc: back from my LOA. Yay! Sorry to make you wait!)

_________________

Telcia Sedai

Red Sister ~ Guardian of Humanity

Proud Mentor of Aoife

Proud Advisor of Vera

 

"Dispelling Elaida's Image of Red Idiocy, One Post at a Time." -DM Reds (CLICK HERE)

 

 

 

 

 

 

OOC: Sorry Sorry Sorry I won't let it get this long between posts again just been really busy lately.

 

IC: Ely listened to the red sister speak and at hearing about her mentee her ears perked up. She hated to cause any problems in her ajah but she had promised to guide and protect Vera as best she could. This was a chance for her to use her talents to help someone in need.

 

" Alright I will stop with the ajah politics and I will help you in your quest. Tell me what is needed of me and when we are to begin and I will do my best to help you"

 

OOC: Again sorry and sorry it's so short just wanted to get things started.

_________________

Elyssa Lliet~Blue sister Bonded to Dafydd Gaidin

Mateo Ashden~Tower Guard

Pencari Angin~Windfinder

 

 

 

 

ooc: Ditto. *hugs* Let's get Sira in here and get to the fun stuff!

 

ic:

 

“One person can operate the Ter’Angreal.†She says the words solemnly as she rises from her chair. “I’ve seen how it can be done. I… and another… will help you activate it and then you will keep the flows going. While we enter you will be observing… documenting what you see later for reference even if we don’t make it out. There is a full set of documentation on nearly two lifetimes of research in my chambers… should the unlikely occur. It should be given over to the Browns to be put into the library or used by individuals with your talent for further research and refinement. I wouldn’t be taking this chance if I wasn’t convinced of the evidence. I think you’ll find that even if I fail in my task this morning that the documentation is quite shocking.â€

 

“We should go wake Sirayn now. She’ll be joining me. I’ll be escorting her through the arches. My theory is that two are meant to enter, as that is the size for which it seems built… one guide to ensure safety and one patient.†She walks to the door and takes hold of the handle. Turning it she enters the hallway, not giving Elyssa much of a chance to reply to her statement… knowing now the Blue will keep her word, unable to break it unless she herself were, the Light forbid it, Black Ajah.

 

Down the Blue Hall, into the antechamber again… looking all directions in paranoia, and then quickly rushing down the Green Hall, her skirt swishing softly as she moves. Down several doors to Sirayn’s room, a brief pause, and Telcia knocks softly waiting for a response.

_________________

Telcia Sedai

Red Sister ~ Guardian of Humanity

Proud Mentor of Aoife

Proud Advisor of Vera

 

"Dispelling Elaida's Image of Red Idiocy, One Post at a Time." -DM Reds (CLICK HERE)

 

 

 

 

 

Elyssa followed Telcia out of her quarters and down the halls of the Blue Ajah. Both of them looked around hoping not to be seen. Elyssa didn't even want to know what would happen if she was caught helping a Red but knew that she had to do this for Vera's sake. They made it out of the halls and into the Green's halls without being noticed. Telcia stopped at a door that she could only assume was Sirayn Sedai's rooms. Telcia knocked and waited for a reply. Elyssa still couldn't believe she had agreed to this but what else could she have done. It needed to be done to help her save her mentee and other girls who were going to be put through these arches and she had to put grudges aside and do what must be done.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The nights played hard games these days. Every time she dreamed herself back into places she had thought herself long freed from; dark dungeons trapped beneath the ground, mazes made from fear, strangers whispering promises she would burn rather than see fulfilled. Months had passed and only covered over the scars she kept inside. In the bitter light of day perhaps she could feign being all right, as smooth and cold on the outside as sheet ice, and maybe it had even taught her a lesson … never to trust, never to falter … taught her a subtler, slower way of scheming. Only at night did the past claim her again. So she worked late into the timeless hours when all was black and only a candle burned to keep her company, turned all her concentration to the formidable task of making herself a proper Ajah Head, striving to perfect in a month everything she should have had years to learn.

 

Once she had worn herself out and depleted whatever black imagination gave her such a difficult time she put out her candle, a last lonely light in the dark, and retired to bed. For a long time she lay awake and pensive; thinking over her strange, awkward meeting with Telcia Sedai many hours ago; puzzling over each exchange and subtle sign. She had given a good account of herself, or so she liked to think, shown herself not as a defenceless child any longer but an ice cold and skilled player in her own right … or maybe she had been fooling herself all along and her Domani mentor had only been laughing at her behind all those pretty words. It seemed eminently possible. How could she trust anyone when she knew perfectly well how much corruption and black schemes lay beneath the Tower’s smooth surface? She had been a fool to place her faith in an unknown Red Sitter all those years ago; but she was older and harder now and she knew better.

 

Eventually she lapsed into a troubled sleep. Morning came like a gaoler whose key released her from dreams … or so she thought; when a swift tap at her door stirred her from restlessness. The interruption came at a rather disturbing point. She woke in the dark and twisted about by sheets, panicked, clutched for saidar and made light. The familiar surroundings of her sleeping quarters, a chamber so private nobody had been permitted to enter it since the loss of her last bond, calmed her somewhat. Hardly the first glimmerings of pale light slid in between heavy curtains to paint a faint line across her covers; frowning she asked herself who would trouble her so early in the morning; only for her memories to supply the answer coloured in tones of regret. Telcia had warned her last evening that they would meet again, if some hours from now, according to her words … Meet her in the Ogier Grove indeed. Did the woman have no concept of business hours? Or, indeed, of the Ogier Grove?

 

Sleepy and rattled she took her time about dressing, slipped into an elegant, dark gown; as always so conservative in cut that a proper Domani woman would likely have looked at her and despaired. Part of her snarled throughout the whole business like a bear with a sore head at being woken so early. She did not care for startlement, cared even less for being caught sleeping and defenceless, cared less still for the uncomfortable knowledge that she was keeping her guests waiting. It wanted her to hurry and she was damned if she was going to rush about like a bat in a box and present anything less than a cool, composed front. Swiftly she pinned back her hair, pulled on slippers and cut herself a last glance in the mirror: if it could have done it would doubtless have shaken its head even as she did so at her stern reflection.

 

It seemed the Red Ajah had much still to teach its sisters about not snatching people out of bed before dawn. Still irritated she did her best to compose herself as she crossed her empty quarters, lighting candles as she did so to cast the place in a soft and wavering light, and by the time she reached the door had smoothed out her features into perfect serenity. She cracked open the door. Telcia Sedai stood outside, as stunningly beautiful and flawless as ever, accompanied by someone with whom she was not acquainted: a slim, red-haired someone with a heart-shaped mark upon her fair cheek: a woman she recognised as … and this raised her dark brows a fraction … no less than a Blue Sitter. Young though she might be by comparison Elyssa Lliet represented a whole world of trouble to her companion and vice versa.

 

Her wrath dissipated in a matter of moments. Dear Light, what had possessed the two women to be seen in company together? Had they no sense of propriety? She was a neutral observer and even she could see that this was a huge breach of tradition. Burn her if she knew what the two sisters were thinking and what excuses they planned to present to their respective Ajah Heads when they were caught. Both had put themselves in line for a lecture, if not worse … and Telcia Sedai could scarce afford worse given the disgrace she had heaped upon herself with her marriage and children. Briefly she amused herself imagining the particular shade of red both their Ajah Heads would turn if they could see the sight she had laid eyes upon just now. Oh, temptation.

 

This little interlude had improved her mood a hundred times. Feeling infinitely more in control, a most reassuring feeling for her, now that they had both served themselves up to her on a plate, Sirayn greeted both with a courteous smile keeping her disbelief and brimming laughter behind iron hard composure. “A Red Sister and a Blue Sister walk into the halls of the Green Ajah … Sounds like the start of a joke, doesn’t it?†Noted, her cool smile said, noted very well. “Greetings, ladies. This is an uncommon hour to be visiting; I am most fortunate to be graced with your presence before dawn. Do come in. I would have prepared some tea for you, but for some reason I had missed the note letting me know that our meeting plans had been altered … Nevertheless, an Aes Sedai is never short of tea in a crisis.â€

 

Smoothly she let both sisters enter her quarters, shut the door, raising a brief ward against eavesdropping with a careless gesture as she did so. Technically speaking Elyssa Sedai would be expecting to have the upper hand here, she did hold Sitter rank after all and had no way of knowing that she was currently in company with the Battle Ajah’s leader, but she was less than half their respective ages and a little pushing of some boundaries might be let pass. Not to mention both women now had a serious interest in keeping on her good side in case she decided to let a few word slip to other Sitters … Sitters, to make a point, who might be less amused than she was to find a Blue & a Red in company on her doorstep before dawn. It was scarcely worth the bother for her mentor, considering how utterly Telcia had ruined her previously glittering career through her own voluntary actions, but there was one Blue Sitter who ought to be feeling very fearful about now. “Tea, anyone? Might I inquire as to what brings you to my door, Telcia Sedai? And in such … illustrious,†just the faintest shading of emphasis there, “company?â€

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"I see your wit has not faded with time but only become as sharp as a blade Sister." Telcia managed softly as they quickly entered the chambers.

 

Truthfully she hadn't expected how ill at ease she'd be walking with a blue down these halls. The woman was just that ... a woman, no different than those back in the village in Andor, yet years of training could not be forgotten in a night. Not for her, and most certainly not for the two she was about to involve in one of the most risky affairs the Tower had ever known.

 

"While I would like for us to watch the sun rise in the east over some nice mint and June-berry with a hint of those Cairhienen spices you use to be so fond of..." She managed only the barest hint of a smile, "I fear that our work presses us for time desperately... if we are to finish before we are discovered and interrupted."

 

Her eyes fall to Elyssa and then back to Sirayn. "Our preparations will take us to the basements, and Elyssa here... in the absence of Kit who has previously worked with me on this project, who also noted as an expert in Ter'Angrel, has agreed to assist us."

 

"Of course nothing comes for free in this world and she is doing this on the condition that she may not only represent the Blue Ajah in the glory of our results... but that she may claim she tried to stop us and protect us from our selves if this, fools gambit of ours, goes wrong." Telcia folded her hands in front of her.

 

"However, I am certain of my and Kit's studies and I am reasonably confident of the results we shall discover at the end of our ... testing." She steps closer to Sirayn.

 

"As you have agreed to prepare yourself with me..." Telcia let the pregnant pause hang just long enough for something of an energy to be felt in the air and then, "...the hour waits for no woman, Sirayn."

 

She was certain the Green would know exactly which basement they would visit now. There could be no doubts.

 

Telcia adjusted herself to either walk out or handle the barrage of questions that might come. Her old Mentee might handle this either way and she meant to try to seem expectant of either response. Whatever the case, this would most certainly be noted in every history book from now until the next Age!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Had it been anyone else who made that light remark about her wit and the sharpness thereof Sirayn might have dismissed it as truthful and thus only her due; the speaker being who she was, the Red Ajah’s disgraced favourite, an incorrigible schemer and accustomed to the trappings of power, instead the few words stirred her instincts to warning; laden as they were with the possibility of threat. Outwardly she had little to fear from these two, the one a stripling child new raised to the Hall, the other once possessed of a first class political will and now clearly addled by some fool’s idea of love, but nevertheless she did not care for their combination much. Ought she to be worried? She couldn’t imagine why … but her intuition clamoured danger.

 

Galling though it was to admit it, whatever message lay beneath that casual reference to sun and Cairhien and spices escaped her entirely. Her interest in Cairhienin politics was an open secret, the name she carried these days conveyed that much, though few had made any connection between her and the unfortunate Ranch affair … at least few had dared to say so openly … and perhaps the seemingly careless mention held some other significance. Sometimes she wished people would talk straight instead of scheming and double dealing. At other times she remembered that a quick tongue and quicker wits were about the only advantage she could lay claim to in this dark field. Only time would show what, if anything, the Red Sister had intended there.

 

Discovered and interrupted? The grey eyes narrowed a fraction as she contemplated the two sinners before her, looking remarkably unmoved by their presence together, as though their very association did not prove their guilt. She remembered clearly what had happened last night, it was only a few hours ago after all, and none of it had included dubiously motivated Blue Sitters or ter’angreal or the imminent risk of discovery. Nor did the supposed glory of their results ring any bells … although she certainly recognised Elyssa Sedai’s conditions as the squirming of a rat trying to get herself out of an upcoming trap. Not exactly the Blue Ajah’s finest. Testing indeed. None of this made any sense.

 

The hour waited for no woman. Even the words triggered some intense and wordless feeling, set fear to stirring, excitement and thrill and wariness in a heady mix much like the reckless years of her youth. No doubt quite intentional; few women could remember those climactic events while keeping their inner calm. And this was all starting to make a bleak kind of logic … if one assumed that Telcia Sedai had been lying like a weasel last night in order to trick her into something; but then it would take an extraordinarily dense woman to turn around some hours later and expect her to have forgotten everything. It was, as always, rather dangerous to assume one’s opponent was stupid.

 

But what could be gained from changing tack so abruptly and so obviously? She couldn’t imagine that Telcia thought the lack of a few hours’ preparation would affect her in any way, assuming the Red Sister wished her some harm, which seemed like a fair assumption to make. “Sister, I admit, my memory is not what it once was,†Sirayn played along with a benevolent smile, masking her own thoughts that her memory had actually improved since her days of childhood idiocy, “but I distinctly recall that last night we had intended to meet in the Ogier Grove some … one or two hours from now, if I calculate correctly … in order to, what was your phrase, train parts of you harder than you’d ever been worked since before your raising. Did I hear ‘getting into top condition’ when you actually said ‘engage in dubious and career-threatening activities with Blue Sitters’? An easy mistake to make, I know.†Her dark brows lifted in polite query.

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  • 3 weeks later...

"Truly you are a jewel..." She says softly with only a hint of bemusement.

 

"Truthfully, I found myself in a moment of odd urgency and it was at the ogier grove I had intended to tell you all about this plan... but, I just decided that it would be wise to move under the cover of darkness and not delay. Out of character for a sister of my age perhaps, but the truth is rarely pretty or simple."

 

"And besides, did I not hear you correctly in the gardens about a disregard for some things and the importance of others?" She arches an eyebrow. "For the Tower, Sira, this is most vital. The girls who use this... those who could be cured by it... they are our future and our fight depends upon their strength. I needn't lecture you on those things, I know, so I will not waste your and our time doing so."

 

"We are going to the arches down stairs. If I am wrong we will fail to have anything at all happen when we activate them and step inside and no one looks the fool but me for having thought I could have re-discovered something so many have spent lifetimes before me trying to understand."

 

"However," She steps closer to her old mentee, hope and passion burning in her blue eyes, "If I and my research partner are correct however... when we step inside, we'll find ourselves being the first Aes Sedai to use the Arches correctly since the Age of Legends and the results will leave us with one of the greatest tools in our struggle since the healing weave was first spun!"

 

"Now... you can't tell me that the possibility of that isn't worth taking a little time to walk down stairs with a red and blue in the dead of night to see? That you can't say that the risk of even harm to yourself isn't worth finding a tool that could help heal the minds of countless sisters and spare the minds and possibly lives of dozens of girls awaiting their raisings, who would otherwise use this Ter'Angreal incorrectly."

 

"A short walk... a test... either of a theory or self, neither cost you more than we all swore to pay in the defense of those in this Tower and the Light. And if I'm correct, just if, then that may be exactly what is on the line."

 

ooc: sorry for the delay ladies.

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ooc: Sorry about the wait! Got a bit caught up with school & all sorts. :?

 

It seemed highly unlikely that her mentor considered her a jewel of any sort, if she were to discard a fool’s desire to convince herself that Telcia Sedai thought well of her, and she rather prided herself on not softening blows of these nature. Silent consideration led her to conclude that there was plenty of room for creativity on that statement; unless she was being likened to an inanimate object, it was a metaphor and thus not governed by the First Oath at all, so any positive connotation was entirely a figment of her imagination … and that was far too much time and effort put into working out such a simple phrase. She still suspected she was being mocked somehow. Perhaps all these casual remarks that she puzzled over so much were merely to demonstrate how predictable her suspicion was.

 

Urgency indeed. She misliked the way events had moved on without her knowledge or involvement; probably this was some way to push her to the side somehow, to illustrate that no matter how highly she thought of herself, the beautiful and brilliant Telcia Sedai was always going to be better. Possibly she was overstating the case a bit, after all Telcia had given no overt sign that she meant to be a menace save one or two offhand remarks yesterday, but given the other woman’s apparent persistence in trying to make herself a political player once more -- a thought which rather horrified her, a male channeller husband and two children, good Light -- it seemed only prudent to assume that anyone eager to involve themselves in the Great Game was a threat.

 

Her dark brows drew together just a fraction at what sounded like a madcap request from a woman doubtless addled by the loss of her husband and children. She had little knowledge of ter’angreal, her interests lay in the theatre of war, and having famously been at daggers drawn with the Brown Ajah for so long hers was by no means the first name to be spoken when research was at hand. Nor was she best known for her sympathy and warmth toward novices, who on the whole were an ill-disciplined lot, weak of will and scarcely worthy of notice. Others found the question of the next generation fascinating, no doubt, but she devoted her time to other causes: causes like blood and black iron, sieges, the trafficking of steel, the subtler currents of politics requiring her own attention, and of course … the Order of the Rose.

 

Given that small difference in their priorities it did not take much intuition to surmise that a certain Telcia Dyfelle was far more interested in the plight of children than she was. Once upon a time she had been deeply upset by the Arches, to be true, but since then she had seen so many horrors that dwarfed anything that had happened back then. That ter’angreal had shown her many of her greatest fears … rejection, loss and loneliness, bitter enough to damage a fragile child, if sufficiently prone to instability … but nothing compared to what she had seen with her own eyes. A brief burst of images: mud and blood and chaos at Dumai’s Wells, their dark hunt to Tear, the red print of a hand on her clean white wall: no, she had little sympathy for the work of mere nightmares.

 

Too many examples to list here and certainly more than she planned to ever confess to anyone. Too many losses. She was no longer the child who, desperate after a number of assaults on her life and livelihood, had clutched for some kind of mother to protect her. Now it was her job to do the protecting, to be the iron hand, a dictator perhaps but nevertheless symbolising the one institution that had guarded the world since its darkest days. Her old mentor still held some sway over her, that was true, but perhaps less than the Red Sister liked to think; perhaps less than would be convenient for her, doubtless complex and dazzlingly skilled, plans. It was certainly not for her docile and compliant temperament that she had been selected, that was for certain, but for something else …

 

Truly this seemed a simple enough task if these words were to be trusted. All they needed to do was, under the watchful eyes of this Blue Sitter who apparently was so reckless with her reputation, test out this ter’angreal in whatever way Telcia had in mind … although doubtless there would be more danger and complication in it than that, she had accepted harder missions with hardly a qualm, and thus the task itself did not daunt her. But she required a little more than that before she devoted her valuable time and intelligence to an unknown course. She wanted to know what and how and, most of all, why.

 

Something waited here for her comprehension if she could just isolate it. There was a different undertone to her mentor’s words waiting for somebody to pick it out; discarding for a moment the old Battle Ajah impulse to prickle even at the suggestion that she might back out to save her own hide, she had faced far worse odds than merely the unknown, reason and logic was what was needed here; something of sufficient interest, and sufficient importance, to warrant her inclusion here. Telcia spoke of whatever bizarre and wonderful discovery she had made as the greatest tool in our struggle ... no way for the one-time Sitter to know it, but she was in such dire need of weaponry, and if this tool might somehow interfere with the natural working of people’s minds …

 

Forget little children, the ill and the weak of will. She had better concerns. Near a year ago she had been trusted with the blackest secret of all, and doubtless it was a sign of these bitter times that she no longer gave a moment’s fear to that dread name, but it was the Black Ajah that occupied her thoughts just now. A tool that could, if employed in the proper secrecy, become priceless to her: only think of all the ways it could be turned to a better use! If there was anything she desperately needed, far more than anything else she could name, it was something to address the balance between herself and the Black Ajah. They had everything: numbers, strength, skill, secrecy: it was a miracle any of the hunters had survived, divided and powerless though they were, and surely some kind of miracle was the only way she would accomplish this goal.

 

A rather icy smile was beginning to play about the corners of her mouth. She had never smiled easily, not to mean it, and it was rarely a good sign. “As always, Telcia Sedai, your proposals are of great interest to me.†Perhaps better not to add that the Sitter child appeared to be some kind of makeweight and the newest novice would have sufficed just as well to summon help should the situation require it. Her opinion of the Blue Ajah had gone through the floor after they had developed a disturbing habit of falling apart crying and pitiful in front of her. Light, had they no pride? Had somebody put something in the water? “I should be most glad to assist you.†Up to a point. If either of these two women, or indeed anyone else, got between her and a possible weapon against the Black Ajah somebody was going to regret it. It seemed injudicious to comment on this. “Lead on.â€

 

Sirayn Damodred

Head of the Green Ajah

Hunter in the Shadows

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