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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Time to Think (Open to Accepted)


Arath Faringal
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Stifling a yawn as she stepped into the room, Rochel shuffled her way toward the pleasant smelling side of the large dining hall in the White Tower.  She'd ended up skipping her evening meal the night before, and breakfast seemed like a wonderful idea. 

 

After loading up her tray with as much food as she could reasonably get away with, the Domani Accepted plopped herself down at the first open table she saw and set to work.  While making her way through a sweetroll, her thoughts returned to the studies she had been lost in the night before.

 

Ajah's ... why do they need to be so confusing? For perhaps the millionth time in the decade she's been at the Tower, she cursed the odd organization system that the Aes Sedai used.  Some of them make sense, but why bother with some of the other ajah's at all?

 

For her entire life, Rochel had had problems with accepting things that didn't make logical sense.  And even greater problems keeping her mouth shut when such things got in her way.  A great problem around the White Tower, where many things made no sense at all, and explanations were few and far between.  Understanding the ajah's was her latest pet peeve.  A problem made all the more frustrating by the fact that she was expected to join one of these organizations in the near future.

 

As she began to work on a large bowl of oatmeal, Rochel was distracted from her meal and her thoughts by another young woman in a banded dress standing alongside the table with her own tray.  "Would you mind some company?"

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Amadine woke up feeling ranvenous. She dressed quickly into her freshly washed Accepted dress and pull her ivory handled brush through her hair. She made her bed as usual and pulled on a pair of soft cotton slippers. She slipped out her door and began to make her way down to the dining halls.

 

It was early, early enough that there were few Novices or Accepted in the halls yet. Amadine could smell breakfast well before she made it to the dining hall. Her stomach was growling in protest, absently she gave it a rub as she entered the almost empty hall.

 

Amadine looked around as she made her way over to the tables with food laid out and the kitchen lasses scurrying around. She picked up a fresh plate and began to fill it. Fresh fruit, eggs and some oatmeal. From the large hot loaf of crusty bread she cut off a thick slice and spread it with butter, the butter glistened as it soaked into the bread. Ama's mouth watered.

 

Amadine turned from the table laden with food and fetched herself a pot of tea. Glancing around the room she saw Whendera and Phaedral sitting in one corner with their heads together. They were the eldest of the Accepted studying at the Tower; and had been Accepted for years. They held themselves apart from the younger girls, Phaedral had at least ten years on Amadine.

 

She turned her eyes to the other side of the room and spied another Accepted sitting alone. Amadine recognised her as Rochel, one of the few Domani girls within the Tower. Amadine had not spent much time with Rochel, as new to being Accepted as she was, but she made her way over to Rochel anyway. Reaching the edge of the table still holding her tray Amadine asked her "Would you mind some company?"

 

Rochel glanced up and smiled at Amadine, she nodded and hurriedly swallowed her mouthful of oatmeal. Amadine smiled back and took a seat at the table across from her. She bit into the slice of bread, now almost soaked through with butter and sighed happily. Once she had swallowed she took up a spoonful of oatmeal, she paused for a moment to say "So, what are you doing up so early Rochel?" and popped the spoonful into her mouth.

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Rochel was a little surprised to have company.  It was rather early, so most of the other girls wouldn't be down for another half an hour or so.  But company was welcome to have, especially after such a frustrating night of studies.

 

"I didn't get to eat last night, so I thought I'd get here early and beat the rush."  She grinned at Amadine, who judging by her own heavily loaded tray had similar problems.  "I had to copy notes for a Brown sister last night.  That's never a good thing, even with the best of them.  The sister I was scribing for kept falling asleep, but she'd manage to wake up every time I thought about leaving.  Then I had to finish some of my own studies on the different ajah's, and kind of forgot about eating altogether."  Tearing a large piece from her second sweet roll, Rochel let out a disgusted sigh.  "Ajah studies ... if there's anything I'd rather not do, it's spend hours on end comparing the qualities and values of the different ajah's.  I don't even understand why some of them exist, let alone try to understand what they hold dear." 

 

Loading her spoon with another mouthful of oatmeal, Rochel tried to steer the topic away from ever frustrating ajah's.  "Anyway, that's my excuse.  What brings you down here so early?  I don't remember seeing you in the Brown quarters last night."

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"Anyway, that's my excuse.  What brings you down here so early?  I don't remember seeing you in the Brown quarters last night."

 

"I couldn't sleep is all" Amadine replied, groaning inwardly at the recurring nightmares she had been having since being raised to Accepted.

 

"Ajah studies" Ama's mouth twisted, she had begun some minor Ajah studies, spending time in the library researching, the next step was to speak to some of the Aes Sedai. Not that Amadine could see the point in her studying Ajah's. She had been determined to be Yellow long before she had even reached the Tower. She had talked a little to some of the Yellow sisters and had expressed her interest in Healing, but she had yet to begin her lessons in the Healing Weaves. Finding a sister who had enough time to teach was proving to be difficult.

 

"I know a little about the Greens" Ama offered, "I attended an Afternoon Tea Party with Loraine Sedai and Rasheta Sedai while i was a Novice, and i have done a little research on the others, but it's Healing i want to do. Do you have any idea about which Ajah you will choose Rochel?"

 

Amadine poured her tea from the little teapot and pressed the warm cup to her top lip, the warmth was comforting. She took a sip then set the teacup back down and scooped up another spoonful of oatmeal.

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Regalia yawned as she entered the Dining Hall. She had tried knocking on Amadine's door so they could go to breakfast together, but to her surprise her best friend had already left for the morning. A quick scan of the Hall found Amadine seated next to an Accepted Regalia had not met yet. Regalia wrinkled her nose. She hoped for some familiar company, but still, it was good to meet new Accepted. This one seemed pretty comfortable in her own skin, which meant she probably had been Accepted longer than Regalia. Odd how they had never met. Then again, for the first few weeks of being Accepted, Regalia had pretty much clung to the only Accepted she was familiar with, Amadine. She sighed. It was time to be sociable. Waiting for her Novice friends to get Raised didn't seem to be working. None of them had been Raised for the last few weeks.

 

"Good morning Regalia." Regalia started out of her revelry at the sound of the familiar voice speaking to her.

 

"Good morning Brandessa!" Regalia chirpped at the kitchen attendant. "I'll have some of the usual. And a banana." Regalia bounced slightly on the balls of her feet, as her 'usual' was scooped onto a plate and placed on her tray. Bacon, hashbrowns and fried cow's tongue. And a soup made of radishes, chicken liver and preserved cuttlefish.

 

And a banana.

 

"Thank you!" Regalia gave Brandessa the full force of her bright smile, which made the girl blink in surprise.

 

Walking over to the table where Amadine was, Regalia pondered over her life as an Accepted. She had been taking so many lessons and meeting so many new faces. She wondered-

 

"Ray-ray!" Amadine's voice broke off her train of thought. And Regalia barely had the time to put down her tray when she was enveloped in a hug. 

 

"Err... hello!" Regalia said, somewhat uncertainly. Before sitting down beside her friend. "Hi! I'm Regalia Frantelle! And who would you be?" She smiled at the unknown Accepted.

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Rochel appeared to be lost in thought so Amadine continued easting her breakfast. The oatmeal today was good! One of the more experienced lasses must have been on breakfast duty today. She finished the oatmeal and then began on her still warm bread. With her fork she placed some of the egg on top and bit into it. After she finished her bread she poured another cup of tea from her little teapot and lifted it to her mouth and took a sip.

 

Ama heard a familiar voice in the dining room and glanced around to see Regalia filling her tray, overloading it - truth be told - as usual. Amadine smiled at her friend and turned to look back at Rochel, she hoped that Rochel wouldn't mind if Ray joined them.

 

She turned her head back to look at Regalia and Ray had clearly had the same thought and was heading this way. Regalia was wrapped in her own world again, oblivious to everyone around her. Not for the first time Ama wondered how Ray managed to walk around in that state without running into things, Ama giggled and as Ray set her tray on the table she jumped up and grabbed her friend in a quick hug. Amadine motioned to the empty chair beside her and Regalia sat down tentatively. "Err... hello! Hi! I'm Regalia Frantelle! And who would you be?"

 

Ama wrinkled her nose at Ray and laughed, "Ray, this is Rochel, she is Domani and Rochel, this is Regalia, she grew up here in the Tower."

 

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"Do you have any idea about which Ajah you will choose Rochel?"

 

Rochel groaned inwardly at the question.  It was an odd question to pose to someone who didn't even want to be Aes Sedai.  She had given it a lot of thought, despite her misgivings, but as of yet hadn't come up with any firm decision.  Just a lot of frustrations.

 

As she pondered her response, another girl in a banded dress approached the table.  She was a little surprised when Amadine jumped up and gave this 'Ray-ray' a big hug. 

 

"Err... hello! Hi! I'm Regalia Frantelle! And who would you be?"

 

"Ray, this is Rochel, she is Domani and Rochel, this is Regalia, she grew up here in the Tower."

 

Rochel vaguely recognized Regalia.  She had likely crossed paths with her coming out of the Mistress of Novices office.  By all reports, the girl made nearly as many trips there as Rochel did, though likely for different crimes entirely.

 

"Rochel Dion," she said simply, nodding her head in way of greeting.  "I was just discussing ajah studies with Amadine here.  Honestly, I don't know which ajah I will choose.  I know for sure that I won't choose the Brown or the White.  Or the Grey.  I don't really know enough about the Blue Ajah to decide either way about them yet.  Green, Red, and Yellow all seem like good choices.  Useful choices anyway, if one wants to have some positive influence in the world."

 

Scraping the last of her oatmeal from her bowl, Rochel turned toward Regalia.  "What about you?  What ajah are you looking toward joining, or have you had time to even think about it yet?"

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Regalia smiled at the question. Traditionally, most Accepted did not decide the Ajah they wished to aspire to until later in their course, but Regalia was pretty sure she had decided hers the moment she had exited the Arches. It had been many weeks ago, but memories were still fresh. The wounds still raw. And the pain still on the surface. She woke up occasionally in a cold sweat, and just knew it had been a re-run of her Arch adventures.

 

"Blue." Regalia said with a firm gaze at Rochel. "When I came to the White Tower I had no reason to be Aes Sedai other than needing a place to belong to or making sure my ability to channel would not endanger me. I've lived in the White Tower for so long, working in the ktichens and amongst the maids, that Aes Sedai no longer felt like an amazement to me.” So what changed? She had never really asked herself the question, but as she answered she knew to be true. “I first decide to be Blue when I attended the class by Fontaine Sedai on the Ajah itself. I want to be involved from the beginning. To be there when the Dragon defeats the Dark One. To do anything in my power to make sure we win the Final Battle. I want to be in the world involving myself in the right causes, to be painting the big picture and making sure each step of the way smoothens out. That is the only thing that keeps me going. My lessons. My trials. My tests. Nothing matters if I can be Blue.”

 

Regalia ended her thoughts with a nod. “Yes, Blue. I hope they will accept me though. I am looking forward to more classes on the Ajah, but sadly there seems to be a lack of them. Might just approach one of the Blue Sisters for a private class I guess. That is… if I manage to become an Aes Sedai.” She laughed. “Look at the woolhead I am. So excited to be Blue I forget I have yet to be Aes Sedai.” She sighed.

 

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Rochel arched an eyebrow as Regalia vehemently declared her wish to be blue.  It was a gesture she had witnessed often in her years here, and she had been perfecting it on the novices in her year as an Accepted.  It was a little odd that a new accepted already know her ajah.  It certainly happened, but mostly with healers aspiring to the Yellow.  An understandable desire in Rochel's eyes.  But the Blue?  Rochel had never really known what to think of that particular ajah.  Their whole purprose had always seemed so ... vague.  What exactly was 'involving with causes' supposed to mean?

 

"Yes.  Well, I must confess I know very little about the Blues.  I've never really been sure how to define them.  What their goal is."  Rochel shrugged.  "And like you say, classes discussing them are few and far between.  They do seem to be out of the Tower quite a lot, don't they?"  That was definitely a plus in her eyes.  Rochel planned to spend a LOT of time outside of Tar Valon as soon as she was able to. 

 

"Whatever ajah I pick needs to be useful.  And I mean useful in a way unique to the Aes Sedai.  I mean, why spend so long learning to use the One Power, and then turn around to become a librarian?  What advantage does that give you over any other person in the world, other than the longer lifespan?"  Rochel shook her head in mock exasperation.  "Honestly, I don't understand some of the ajah's at all."

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Regalia was in her 'Blue element'. Amadine loved the way her friend's face lit up when she talked of her desire to be blue. Whatever her failure had been within the Ter'angreal the night she has been raised had marked her, had painted her soul, and the colour it used was blue.

 

Ama knew her friend still suffered, she heard Ray scream at night occasionally, even now, weeks after the event. And Amadine understood. Her own raising only a week prior to Regalia's had left a deep scar on her soul. She was sure that Ray still heard her own screams in the night sometimes too.

 

"Yes.  Well, I must confess I know very little about the Blues.  I've never really been sure how to define them.  What their goal is. And like you say, classes discussing them are few and far between.  They do seem to be out of the Tower quite a lot, don't they? Whatever ajah I pick needs to be useful.  And I mean useful in a way unique to the Aes Sedai.  I mean, why spend so long learning to use the One Power, and then turn around to become a librarian?  What advantage does that give you over any other person in the world, other than the longer lifespan? Honestly, I don't understand some of the ajah's at all."

 

Amadine nodded as Rochel. Useful. She had known before she even arrived at the Tower that it was the Yellows she would join if she had the ability to channel and could become Aes Sedai. It was the Healing she yearned for, the ability to Heal. She dreamed of it, she had even lived it - in the Ter'angreal.

 

"I too, know my Ajah" Amadine began and Rochel looked at her, interested, "I will be Yellow. The whole reason i wanted to become Aes Sedai from the beginning was to Heal. I want to be able to save people, to cure their ills, that their lives may be fulfilled."

 

Amadine laughed, "That sounds so pompous! Truly, a Yellow sister Healed my Mistress back in Caemlyn, not only did she live, she was soon with child after being barren for twenty years. It's that joy i want to bring to people's lives."

 

"I guess we are lucky, in that we know what we want i mean." Amadine continued "I know a little of the Ajahs. Mostly what has been taught to me and what i have studied, which probably amounts to the same as what you know Rochel."

 

Amadine loaded her dirty dishes back onto her tray and collected the other girl's dishes as well and returned them to the designated table. She fetched out a large teapot and three cups. She placed a scoop of tea leaves and tepid water into the teapot, the she channelled the water hot in the pot so that the tea would brew. Carfully she loaded a fresh tray and made her way back to the table where Rochel and Regalia were still sitting. Placing the tray on the table Amadine took her seat and began to pour tea for each of the girls, and then for herself.

 

 

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Regalia swept her fingers through her hair. Ajah discussions were always so serious. After all, it was unheard of for Aes Sedai to change their affiliations, but she was sure there were bound to be those who regretted their decision. After years and years of doing the same thing over. She wondered if any Browns suddenly desired to be running around the world or Grays who decided mediation was a futile practice and should just mow down the stupid people who didn't agree with them. Was the considered Green? Perhaps. Regalia wasn't sure. If anything, she just wanted to be Blue. For now.

 

"I remember something Roewhinda Sedai said. Something about trying to understand another Aes Sedai's Ajah choice was like a builder trying to understand a poet or a dreamer trying to understand a realist." Regalia quoted. "I personally believe that each Aes Sedai has elements of all the Ajahs in her. I am sure my lessons on Healing won't be wasted. But I don't think of it as my vocation." Regalia had been relatively surprised at her own ability with Healing. Not great. Nowhere near Amadine's ability, but she had been close. "I think it has to do with having a goal or target to work with. Obviously, we all work towards the Final Battle. But how and why would differ from person to person.’

 

Regalia sipped her tea and sighed. It was good tea. Amadine had that ability with tea as well. Sometimes Regalia would knock on her friend’s room in the middle of the night and get her to make her tea. It helped her sleep better. And allowed her to steal a kiss or two before bed.

 

“I’m just wishing they’d teach more lessons soon. I’m tired of doing research.” Regalia sighed. Hours in the library did not improve her patience or temper, as Kapilosa Sedai had suggested. If anything, it just made her want to tear various tomes up. The older the better.

 

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Rochel nodded in agreement with Roewhinda Sedai's saying.  Understanding why any Aes Sedai did anything was difficult.  "I'm not so sure about that, every Aes Sedai having a little of every ajah in her.  I know if I'm raised, I'll have very, very little Grey in me.  I've never been known as the ... diplomatic one.  I know a handful of Aes Sedai who are pretty similar."  Indeed, some of the Sisters Rochel had had the misfortune of crossing had been less patient than a dog with a sore tooth.  Mostly reds and greens now that she thought of it ... perhaps she might do well in either of those ajahs?

 

Sipping on the tea that Amadine had prepared, Rochel continued.  "My biggest problem with my current ajah research is understanding the need for certain ajah's.  The Brown, the White, and the Grey in particular.  And to some extent, the Blue.  The other three ajah's all have a purpose and a function that makes them unique in the world.  Only they can do what they do.  Reds are uniquely qualified to hunt down male channelers.  Yellows and their healing are a huge benefit to the world.  The Green are also uniquely equipped for combating the forces of the Shadow.  But the others?  Anyone else in the world can do the same thing they do.  What makes an Aes Sedai more qualified to deal with negotiations than anyone else?  What makes an Aes Sedai more logical or philosophical than any other person out there?  Or a better librarian?" 

 

With a frustrated sigh, Rochel drained the last of her cup and eyed the pot.  The stuff was good, but did she really need another cup?  "Anyway, I'm having a hard time writing up a paper that doesn't let some of my frustrations through.  I just have a hard time being tactful.  Like I said, it's not one of my stronger points."

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Amadine sipped on her tea as she listened to both Regalia and Rochel speak about the Ajahs. As Accepted they were required to study each of the Ajahs "that they may make the right choice" Roewhinda Sedai had said during their last lesson.

 

As Ama finished her tea Rochel was still talking of the Ajahs, of the uses of them, What makes an Aes Sedai more qualified to deal with negotiations than anyone else?  What makes an Aes Sedai more logical or philosophical than any other person out there?  Or a better librarian?" 

 

Amadine looked up thoughtfully and replied "Well i suppose that there's nothing to stop someone from outside the Tower being a skilled negotiator, or more logical or a better librarian. But, with the opportunities that the Tower presents and the fact that they can channel, those who might have otherwise been limited by the lack of readily available information can excel within the Tower because of the information we hold here."

 

"I think what i am trying to say is with each Ajah having different goals, there is a place for everyone to feel at home." Amadine shrugged as she said the last, "Well that's how i think of it anyway." and she laughed lightly.

 

Picking up the teapot she channelled to reheat the tea and poured herself another. She held out the pot the Rochel and with a wry look pushed her empty cup forward for Ama to refill. Amadine really could make a lovely pot of tea. She had spent time as a Novice running errands and making making a pot of tea for the various Sister's she had been assigned to. Seeing Regalia's cup empty she refilled it as well.

 

"Anyway, I'm having a hard time writing up a paper that doesn't let some of my frustrations through.  I just have a hard time being tactful.  Like I said, it's not one of my stronger points." Rochel said with a frustrated sigh.

 

Ama reached across the table and patted her hand, "You will do well Rochel. I'm not sure there is any 'right' answers. Each Ajah represents something slightly different to each individual. The Light knows that Aes Sedai from the same Ajah don't always agree on a course of action or opinions."

 

Amadine giggled as she remembered one such arguement, "I was sent to the library a few weeks ago by Lokinde Sedai to fetch her some books. When i went into the library i could hear Serella and Frieth, two of the Brown librarians having a loud disagreement about whether some book was written before or after Manetheren fell. Luckily there was no one else in the Library and i knew where the books Lokinde needed were, so i left them to it."

 

Ama laughed again and lifted her cup back to her lips and took a sip.

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Rochel took another sip of the tea and leaned back in her chair.  "Well, there may not be a 'right' answer, but I'm pretty sure there are more than a few wrong one's.  Most of the time, when I ask why someone chose a particular ajah, I just get a vague sort of 'Oh, it felt like the right choice' answer.  Not exactly something helpful to me."

 

Looking down at her cup, Rochel thought for a moment about her problem. "I guess what gets me the most is trying to understand what motivates people to join certain ajahs.  Some of them are pretty obvious," she said nodding toward Amadine.  "The yellows are probably the easiest to decipher.  Generally speaking anyway.  I've seen a couple of yellows that act more like reds than anything else.  But what compels someone to spend their entire life, and a greatly extended life at that, in a dusty old library?  Or why does a woman decide to dedicate her life to the pursuit of logic and mathematics?  I can understand a need for it on occasion, but a full life dedication?  I wonder if anyone has ever considered switching ajah's?"

 

Taking another long sip, Rochel continued.  "If I could understand the motivations ... maybe I'm hoping to find something that sort of ties all the ajah's together?  Some common thread, other than the ability to channel Saidar, that binds them as one.  To figure out what it actually means to be Aes Sedai.  It always seems to me that the ajah is more important than the rest of the Tower in most sisters eyes.  It just seems so odd to me."  Shaking her head, Rochel laughed at herself a little.  "And now here I am, trying to reason out the White Tower like a White sister.  So then," she said, rounding on Regalia, "What motivates you to the Blue ajah?  You said something about the Dragon Reborn, but that seems a little odd to me. Wouldn't he naturally find himself in bigger need of the Green ajah, rather than the Blue?"

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Kasi had gotten up early and just sat in her room for quite awhile. Thoughts kept coming, one after the other, thoughts that she wanted to hide from but knew that she couldn't. So many things one on top of another that she was trying to make sense of. It didn't help that the ghost of her aunt seemed to follow her wherever she went. She believed whole heartedly in the purpose of the Tower, just as she had when she first walked in the front doors, but now she found herself wrestling with destiny and if there was such a thing.

 

Finally shaking herself to the present she realized that she had better go down and get some breakfast before one Aes Sedai or another grabbed her for the rest of the morning. She made her way through the hallways and down to the kitchens where she got a simple and quick breakfast, a couple rolls, a small bowl of porridge and a cup of tea.

 

Looking for a place to sit she found a small group of Accepted sitting together talking. She recognized Rochel, her previous roomate, but the others she hadn't had the pleasure of meeting yet. Wanting to be alone she almost went to an abandoned table, but that would make her have to think again and she was tired of thinking.

 

Walking over to the table she cleared her throat briefly, "Mind if I join you?"

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Regalia looked at the new arrival. Pretty.

 

"Sure. Have a seat. I'm Regalia. And this is Amadine and Rochel. And we're discussing about Ajahs. And what we think is the reason they exist." She turned back to Rochel. "I think ultimately the Dragon needs all Ajahs. I see the Greens being in the forefront, fighting beside the Dragon. However, that wouldn't work unless other events are in place. The Prophesies need to be fulfilled and things need to be kept on track. That would be what the Blues do. We paint the background, the scenery, making sure that the world moves towards Tar'mon Gai'don. If necessary, we will manipulate events so they move smoother. That's the vocation of the Blues." Regalia smiled. "I hear they have a pretty extensive Eyes and Ears network. Someday I hope I can have my own as well. That way, we keep track of all that is happening in the world, and if things aren't as they should, we will set off and work on them till the world is on track again."

 

"Like the Browns and Whites, we aren't going to be at the forefront. We work backstage, as they say, until events move as they should." Regalia scratched her nose. "Like you said, You have very little Gray in you. And I personally have no interest in being White. Which means we have our strengths and we know it well. This is further enhanced by joining the Ajahs. As Veirin Sedai said, each Ajah has its own little secrets as well. Joining the Brown, you learn how to gather knowledge. Or the Blues, where you get the support of a whole group of sisters and an extensive network of Eyes and Ears. Surely that would be better than having a mixed group of Sisters, each having different passions and ways of doing things. I’d imagine having like-minded people working with you on a common cause will further the course much faster than not. And that is why I imagine the Ajahs exist. And for me they all play a role. Brown research. Blues work in the world. Greens fight battles. Reds deal with male channelers. Grays mediate. Yellows heal. My only confusion is how the Whites contribute through bickering about logic. Lessons on logic always tend to make me sleepy. And I never understand how they help the Dragon.” She pouted prettily. “I suppose it helps in understanding the prophesies better or something.”

 

Regalia shrugged. “Sorry I seem to have rambled on. Someone else?”

 

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Kathleen woke up early again, not as early as she had been for the last few weeks but early just the same. Ever since she was raised to the ring she had been waking earlier. She thought it was just that she wasn't used to sleeping in her new bed, but she had hoped it wouldn't have lasted as long as it was. Luckily it finally was starting to lift. She still awoke before she heard the others stir and she spent a good bit of time making her bed just so and arranging the few things she had in her room that seemed out of place, even though she had straighted them before he had gone to bed, as she did every night. Light, but this place is making me odd! She thought as she turned her Great Serpent Ring straight on her finger. She looked around her little room and decided to head to the Dinning Hall.

 

She knew it was still early but the first few would be there already, as long as she wasn't the first one there she had no concerns and she was getting hungry. She walked in and saw a group of Accepteds sitting at the same table. She recognized one of them as Regalia but the others all looked new to her. As she went to get her breakfast tray she thought about joining the girls.

 

As her thoughts filled her head, one over the other fighting to get her to go talk to the girls, then to sit on her own, then reminding her not to look rude and nerves telling her not to talk to them, and then switching to telling her not to go on her own, Kathleen finally got fed up with herself. I have been wishy washy so long now it is ridiculous! These girls are just girls! I don't need to impress them, I don't need to be intimidated by them! Perhaps they have been friends longer, but at least they are friends! Who do I have that I can is my friend? Cassie? Well Cassie isn't here, and I've been too concerned with how people see me to let anyone get to know me. I am tired of weighing every step I take, it doesn't get me anywhere but trouble anyhow. It's not as though things go smoothly for me when I fuss they way I do, I have no friends and I've been here over 10 years! When I ask them if I can sit with them, what is the worst they can say, "no"? And then I am right where I am now only I wont have my own thoughts on the matter to fight with. With that it was settled and her breakfast tray was filled. Kathleen made her way over to the table of girls. "Hello, do you have room for one more?" Kathleen asked casually.

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Regalia looked up at the Accepted who had spoken. Kathleen. Regalia remember her as the girl who had made half the novices sick by putting laxatives in the salt shakers. It was odd how the girl was now Accepted. It looked like she had matured a little, and yet kept her girlish looks.

 

"Yes, Kathleen, we have room. And welcome you." Regalia moved a bit so the girl could sit beside her. It was hard thinking of her as a fellow Accepted, having seen her at her Novice worst. But still, they had attended lessons together a few times, and thus were not altogether unaquainted as Accepted. "Rochel here has started us discussing on Ajah choices and why we think each Ajah exists. I'm sure you must have much to contribute?" Regalia smiled. She wondered how much Kathleen had grown.

 

Perhaps it was time to think of her as a true fellow Accepted.

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Amadine smiled at Kasi as she sat down at the table. A friendly breakfast with Rochel had grown into quite a discussion. Ama enjoyed hearing her peers views on the Ajahs. She and Regalia had discussed their own choices of course, but to hear other views was refreshing.

 

Amadine tried not to roll her eyes and covered a snicker with her hand as Regalia eyed the newcomer with interest, she never could control her wandering, apprecative eye. "Morning Kasi, how did you sleep?"

 

She listened as Regalia shared her views on the Ajahs, and Amadine agreed. Each Ajah had it's role to play in Tarmon Gaidin. Ama was sure that the Whites would have an essential role also, she just didn't know what it was.

 

As Regalia finished speaking a timid looking girl in an Accepted dress came to stand at the end of the table. She looked as if she was worried about something. Amadine smiled broadly at her and she seemed to strike up some courage within herself and she spoke softly to them, "Hello, do you have room for one more?"

 

Ama smiled as Kathleen sat alongside Kasi across from her and she smiled again. "Good morning Kathleen, i don't believe we have met, i'm Amadine."

 

"So where were we?" Amadine said thoughtfully, "The Greens will do battle at Tarmon Gaidin, the Browns seek knowledge on the prophecies and histories to aid those who fight, the Blues spend time smoothing the way and gathering intelligence, the Yellows Heal, the Reds handle false dragons and men who can channel," she shivered involuntarily at the thought, "the Greys negotiate with the nations for support and then we have the logical Whites. I am sure there is a purpose they serve with an eye to Tarmon Gaidin, but perhaps we would need to aspire to the White to understand?"

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Kathleen relaxed as the girls welcomed her and she sat down where Regalia had made space. She much more relaxed now, more now that she thought she had ever been in the Tower, and much more her old self. She listened to the girls as they caught her up on the topic they were discussing and she absently arranged the things on her tray as they had shifted when she sat.

 

She had given some thought to all of the Ajahs but she hadn't really thought of where she would aspire. She was so interested in all of them that she couldn't think of choosing right now. She listened to the description of what the others thought each Ajahs greater purpose was in the Last Battle and was a little shocked that they all had been stumped on the Whites.

 

"I am sure there is a purpose they serve with an eye to Tarmon Gaidin, but perhaps we would need to aspire to the White to understand?" Amadine had posed about the Whites and Kathleen responded, "Perhaps their purpose is to try to find out why Tarmon Gaidin happens, if there is a way to stop it in theory, what it would be and whether it would be worth doing. Would the concequences of trying something new or drastic end up more devestating then just letting it happen and dealing with the result of what comes. Should we do some sort of precaution taking early and would happen if we do, and what could we even do?" She wasn't really sure of the truth to her statement, but when she had thought about the point of the Ajahs on her own this was all she came up with, and she thought it was a very good idea. She smiled slightly and took a bite of her roll while waiting for the other's thoughts.

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Kasi had held her tongue as the girls talked, but when they started wondering over the White Ajah's purpose for being she was shocked. Could these girls really have no idea what the White's did? It took her a couple minutes to get over the shock as they continued to show no clue what the purpose of the last Ajah was.

 

Gathering her courage she decided that they needed to be informed, "What would an Ajah completely dedicated to logic have to do with preparing for Tarmon Gaidin? Let's see. Well, their main purpose is to determine logically what should be done in a situation. They have spent their lives looking around their personal feelings and attitudes towards absolute truth. They study what was truly meant by what people said. They use logic to reason out why people did what they did, what their motivation was. Because they focus on logic doesn't mean that's the only thing they do is fight about what is more logical. Who else do you think would be a better guide for the other Ajahs than one who looks past personal feelings and experiences to what the next step should really be?"

 

Feeling everyone's eyes on her she stopped for a moment and looked down. "I've spent quite some time with some of the White's and that's just what I've seen. Their purpose is the pursuit of the logical next step in whatever the situation. Who better to guide than a whole group of women with just this in mind?" Awaiting a response she gave a quick glance up at the others around the table and then went back to quietly eating her breakfast. She could feel her cheeks the fire in her cheeks building.

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Rochel listened as the Kasi finally spoke up.  She remembered that Kasi aspired to the White, but didn't really remember her being so ... vehement about it.  Once again demonstrating her lack of tact, Rochel spoke up, pushing the issue a little further.

 

"But why is cold, calculating logic better for determining 'the next step'?  Why shouldn't emotion play some part in our decisions?  If pure logic was the best way to go, then 'logically', shouldn't most Amyrlin's be from the White?"

 

Rochel shook her head.  "I think the biggest problem with the Aes Sedai in general is detachment from the rest of the world.  Nobody knows anything about us, and we do nothing to dispel that ignorance.  Detaching ourselves even further by setting aside feelings and emotions only widens that gap."  Embracing Saidar, Rochel channeled a little ball of light into the air above the table.  "And how does this," she continued, "help in the pursuit of logic?  How is the One Power a useful tool to the White Ajah?"

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*EDIT* OOC: Sorry, that came out wrong, got interrupted mid typing... trying this again.

 

IC:

"Logic isn't always better, but looking at things logically might give you different results. I didn't say that emotions weren't included in their decisions, only that they learned to see past them. Logically you shouldn't have all Amyrlin's from any one Ajah. You can have two people in the same Ajah that are completely different. Not to mention that some people in one Ajah act like they should have been from another."

 

Rochel's little example with Saidar didn't phase her either. "As for how the One Power helps the pursuit of logic, it doesn't. But how does it hep the pursuit of knowledge? Or the ability to fight? If you look at the Sisters as people instead of just as Aes Sedai you get a different picture. They're all people who have the ability to use the One Power, not the other way around. They join an Ajah because they all share things in common. The Greens are all ready to fight Tarmon Gaidin. The Yellows all love healing people and making them feel better. The Browns love the pursuit of knowledge. The Grays love the role of peacekeepers. The Whites love knowlege. And the list goes on."

 

"As for what purpose the Whites will serve in Tarmon Gaidin, well, think about it. The world will be in chaos. Things will go upside down, inside out and backwards. Who do you think will be able to reason it through and come up with answers the quickest, a Green knee deep in battle or a White logically surveying what's happening and giving their opinion on the next logical step?"

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Kathleen was a little shocked at the way the discussion seemed to be turning fierce so quickly, but people with opinions could be hard to keep civil when they came across others with opposing opinions. She tried to see where the opposition was, all she saw was some who didn't know an answer and one who thought she did making a scene. Perhaps staying out of a group for so long was a good idea. But I do enjoy the discussion I just wish I had more to add. When Rochel channelled the ball of light Kathleen wanted to speak up about not having proper Aes Sedai supervision, but she decided to let it slide as everyone else seemed be. She couldn't see where the girls tension was coming from, but there was definitely tension. Perhaps it was something said before I arrived, she thought. She wished she could think of something say but she also didn't want poke her nose in and have it bitten, so she continued to eat her breakfast and listen to the discussion. She looked at the little left on her plate and tried to decide how to eat it strategically so she looked like she was just eating but also save enough for if she got put on the spot later.

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OOC:  The ability to fight?  Really?  :D

 

Rochel shook her head slightly as Kasi replied.  "I suppose that would depend on the decision to be made.  If it has something to do with the battle, I think I'd go with the Sister who dedicated her life to fighting Tarmon Gai'don.

 

"But you touched on the point I've been getting at this whole time.  The application of the One Power.  In essence, Saidar is useless in the White Ajah.  So why is there a need for that ajah among the Aes Sedai, when anyone else in the world could do the same thing?  I understand that some women actually enjoy the endless debate over mathematical laws and logic principles, but what is the point?  Why can't the White Ajah accept members from outside of the Tower?  How is it logical that the Ajah discriminate based on the ability to channel, when that ability is of no real use to the ajah anyway?"

 

With a frustrated sigh, Rochel slumped down into her chair and folded her arms.  "I'm not calling for the dismisal of the Ajah simply because I don't understand it, but I really fail to see the point.  I have the same problems with the Brown and Grey Ajahs.  I won't deny that they provide a useful benefit to the world," At least the Brown's do ... "but they don't supply a service that can only come from the Aes Sedai."

 

Spying an Aes Sedai entering the far end of the dining hall, Rochel quickly sat up straight in her chair, but the Sister passed by with no heed, intent on getting her own meal quickly.  "I don't know.  The Ajah's in general just confuse me, but some are worse than others.  Do you think we'll ever truly understand what goes on around here?"

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