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Oh the Possibilities! --Kathleen's Arches (Attn: MoN)


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Kathleen dragged herself through the corridors after another long day. She should have been used to it by now but somehow she never seemed rested in the mornings and by night it was all she could to not fall asleep on her way to room. When she turned the corner to the hall with her room she almost didn't notice the Mistress of Novices standing by her door. What does she want? It wasn't meant as a rude thought it was more surprise than anything else. Kathleen had never seen Pia Sedai at her door so late before, actually she had never seen her by her door before any time of the day. Kathleen just wanted to sleep but seeing the Mistress of Novices is at your door has a funny way of perking you up. Before she knew it she was being turned around and was walking back through the halls she had just came from. Kathleen was led into the lower part of the Tower that she had never seen before.


Pia Sedai stopped in front of a door and when Kathleen had composed herself the two entered the room to find a domed chamber where a ter'angreal made of three rounded silver arches stood. Each arch was just tall enough to walk under and they were sitting on a thick silver ring with their ends touching each other. There were three Aes Sedai in formal shawls sitting where the Arches met and a fourth Aes Sedai, also with her shawl, standing off to the side beside a table with three silver chalices. Kathleen had been so tired that the thought had never crossed her mind on her late night walk through the Tower but she smiled as she realized the time had come.


Pia Sedai turned to Kathleen, placed a hand on the girl's shoulder and said, "There are two things that no woman hears until she enters this room. Once you begin, you must continue to the end. Refuse to go on, no matter your potential and you will be very kindly put out of the Tower with enough silver to support you a year, and you will never be allowed back. Second. To seek, to strive, is to know danger. You will know danger here. Some women have entered and never come out. When the ter'angreal was allowed to grow quiet, they – were – not – there. And they were never seen again. If you will survive, you must be steadfast. Faltering leads to a failure." Pia paused to let all that she said sink in and when she felt enough time had passed she continued. "This is your last chance, child. You may turn back now and you will have only mark against you. Twice more will you be allowed to come here and only at the third refusal will you be put out of the Tower. It is no shame to refuse. Many cannot do it their first time here. Now you may speak."


Kathleen heard the warnings and her first thought was to turn away. She was tired but mostly it was the fear of hearing about those who entered and did not return. I am not ready for this! What happens in there that people don't come back? She said I could say no and prepare myself more for this. But how do you prepare for something that you have no information on or access to information. Oh, Kathleen look at you! Scared about walking through a door, really? This Tower has made you into nothing more than a fool-headed worrier. The real Kathleen would have as much faith in her as these Aes Sedai must for giving her the opportunity. You have let yourself become so skidish and unsure of yourself, now straighten your back, you are still your father's daughter and he would skin you alive to see the mouse you've become! With that Kathleen straightened her posture, looked Pia Sedai in the eye and said "I am ready."


With the words out of her mouth, the Brown Sister who was standing beside the table spoke.


"Whom do you bring with you, Sister?"


Pia answered, "One who comes as a candidate for Acceptance, Sister."


The Brown Sister continued to question and Pia continued to answer.


"Is she ready?"


"She is ready to leave behind what she was, and, passing through her fears, gain Acceptance."


"Does she know her fears?"


"She has never faced them, but now is willing."


"Then let her face what she fears."


When the dialog ended Pia turned to Kathleen and told her to remove her dress and stockings. As Kathleen removed her clothes she began to blush. She hadn't shown this much skin to anyone since she was a babe in the bath and even then it was only to her mother. She folded her clothes neatly in a pile and then Pai Sedai led her to the first Arch. As Kathleen approached it the space in the Arch began to glow and she heard Pia softly say, "The first time is for what was. The way back will come but once. Be steadfast."



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As Kathleen stepped through the other side she was pleased see that clothes had returned. She was not wearing her Novice dress but her old yellow sun-dress that she used to wear around her house. She looked into the street and it all looked the same. Her neighbours were out in their yards hanging laundry to dry and the children were chasing each other through the street. No one seemed surprised to see her but they all called cheerily to her as she walked past. Home,she thought,home at last!Then her fear came rushing in, what would her father do when he saw her? Would her brothers rush to greet her or would they turn away?


Slowly she walked by the front door of the shop where her father and brothers were working. Her father looked up and smiled at her. "Hey there little sprout, did you bring us some pie?" Kathleen smiled, her father wasn't mad at her! It was almost as if he didn't even know she had gone. She ran over and threw her arms around him and the tears streamed down her face "Oh, Father!" she cried, "I was so scared you would be angry with me!" "Why would I be angry with you, little sprout? Just because you took a little longer to get back from the market and forgot our pie is no reason for me to be angry! Are you alright, I don't remember the last time I saw you cry like that...But you know what sad girls need to cheer them up?" He turned to Kathleen's brother's and said "You guys close up the shop, I'm taking this teary eyed mess for a stroll!"


Kathleen couldn't remember the last time her father had closed the shop early or the last time they went to their 'secret stone valley'. She smiled up at her father as they started on their walk and Kathleen felt so happy and for the first time in while she felt she was right where she was supposed to be. Just as they got to the end of the road where they would turn to go off to her favorite place Kathleen vaugely heard from somewhere deep in her mind,the way back will come but once. Be steadfast.Kathleen stopped and looked around for where the words had come from and as she saw her father in front of her she looked to her left and there was a glow coming from behind a tree. Her father reached his hand out to her and called "Little sprout, what's holding you up, don't you want to spend the day with me? You're not scared of the old path are you?" Kathleen wanted to run to him, to play with him like she had as a child, but she heard the words again, the way back will come but once. Be steadfast.Something was pulling at her to go to the light but she wanted to hug her father one more time. Somehow she knew that she didn't have time and she cried as she ran for the glowing Arch. "I love you Father, I'm so sorry!" 

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As Kathleen stepped through the Arch back into the chamber in the Tower basement she let out a great sob and jumped when the Brown Sister took one of the chalices from the table and poured it over Kathleen's head. Somehow in her shock Kathleen managed to hear the woman say "You are washed clean of what sin you may have done and of those done against you. You are washed clean of what crime you may have committed, and of those committed against you. You come to us washed clean and pure, in heart and soul."


"Father..." Kathleen began softly. "There there child," Pia said as he wrapped an arm around the girl and lead her to the next arch, "It's ok, you're father is fine, there are still two Arches to do." Pia made sure Kathleen was ready and standing in front of the second Arch she said, "The second arch is for what is. The way will come but once. Be steadfast."


When Kathleen opened her eyes she nearly screamed as she looked upon the stranger lying next to her on the blanket in the grass. With a start she tried to pull herself away but the man had an arm around her. She realized she was in a back corner of one of the Tower gardens and when she looked back up at the man he was smiling at her. "Are you ok, dear?" he asked, "I know you are probably nervous about what will come of this, but if no one finds out no one can punish us." Kathleen didn't have a clue what had happened or who this man was. She felt a strange feeling deep inside her that she had never felt before. Before she had a chance to find out what was going on the man wrapped his arms around her tighter and in the embrace Kathleen's memory was filled with wonderful times with this man.


She had become very close to him in her time as Accepted. She had to do a lot of sneaking around to see him as often as she did but she always managed to. Someday he would be her warder. She was so happy to be in his arms, she felt as though she could stay there forever!  The bush in front of the two began to rustle and an Aes Sedai came through and stopped in front of the pair. "What is the meaning of this? Child, what are you doing with this boy hiding behind the bushes? No, don't answer that question just yet, you can answer it when you get to the proper authority! How dare you...I thought you knew better than this!" The Aes Sedai hauled Kathleen up by the arm. "Don't think you can get away with this either boy, you're coming too, and I would say my goodbyes to each other now if I were you two. I doubt you'll see each other again for a long, long while...if you ever see each other again!"


All Kathleen could think about was getting free from the Aes Sedai and running to her warder, she really thought of him as her warder even though the bond wasn't set. The more she squirmed to get out the tighter the woman held on. As the grip got tighter Kathleen's arm began to ache and the man shouted at the Aes Sedai to let Kathleen go. The Aes Sedai smiled and said "If you hadn't taken advantage of the girl she wouldn't be in this situation. If Kathleen gets kicked out of the Tower or beaten until she's bleeding it will be all you're fault. And I wouldn't be surprised if your punishment wouldn't be to watch them whip her!" At that the man threw himself with all he had into the woman. "Fool!" the Aes Sedai yelled in surprise as she released Kathleen and fell backwards. "You will pay doubly for that!" The woman wove threads of air around the man. "Surely an attack on an Aes Sedai and whatever you were doing with that Accepted will be enough to set your death in motion!"


Kathleen was surprised that no one else had heard the commotion or had come out. They were further from the Tower than she thought they had been. As Kathleen tried to find a way to save the man she was swept up in the air as well. Then she hear the words from deep inside her again,the way will come but once. Be steadfast.She looked behind the Aes Sedai who was carrying her and saw the Arch open up. She didn't know what it was, but the words came again and she felt the need to run to it.


Kathleen started to panic she knew she had to get to the Arch and she knew she didn't have much time, but she couldn't move! She tried to twist and turn, but she was held so tightly by the bounds of air that she couldn't move. Just then she heard a voice softly say, "What on earth are you doing? Put those two down right now!" "Yes, Mother," came the reply, "but they need to be punished, and I would suggest the girl being removed from the Tower, and the boy deserves far worse." As she was responding the Aes Sedia released the two and as soon as Kathleen could she bolted for the Arch.


"Stop, Child!" called the Amyrilin, but the light was fading and even though part of her wanted to obey and part of her wanted to stay to help save the man she did not really know, she dove through the Arch and fell face first onto the floor of the Tower chamber she had left from.

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Pia Sedia picked the girl up off the floor and the second chalice of water was dumped over her. Kathleen didn't even notice it this time and she was still in so much shock she just couldn't speak. The Brown Sister said "You are washed clean of false pride. You are washed clean of false ambition. You come to us washed clean, in heart and soul." but Kathleen just stared at her. Pia noticed the look on Kathleen's face and told her that she could leave now if she wanted to but reminded her of the consequences. She put her hand on Kathleen's shoulder and said "you have only one more left, you are strong, I know you can do this." Kathleen nodded and the two moved on to the third Arch. When Kathleen was facing the Arch Pia Sedai said "the third time is for what will be. Be steadfast for the way back will come but once."


When Kathleen stepped through the glow of the Arch she found herself wearing a very lavish dress, the kind she never imagined herself wearing. Her hair was put up in a very detailed updo with crystals of blue and green through out. She looked down at her right hand and saw the Great Serpent ring on her pointer finger. She was sitting in a large chair with white velvet cushions in a large room with a cosy fire going. She didn't recognize the place but it felt like a palace. As she started to explore the room she saw reports on a desk with many different titles but before she could read them a young girl entered the room and said "Kathleen Sedai, I am sorry to bother you at this hour, but the King has requested I retrieve you." "The King? Why would the King want me?" Kathleen asked.


"Pardon me, Aes Sedai, but are you feeling alright? You are the King's advisor, I assume he would like some advice. I am just a serving girl, he doesn't tell me more than what to fetch and this time it was you." "Of course," Kathleen sighed, "I'm sorry child, I am just tired." "That is understandable, you haven't been getting as much sleep as a person should lately, I don't know how you do it!" "How I do what I do is for me to worry about, child, not you." Kathleen replied. Light, how do I do what I do?


As Kathleen wrapped a shawl around her arms and followed the girl through the halls she  began to think about all the things she had been doing as the Advisor to the King.  When she had first arrived the King had no organization and he had so many things going on. Kathleen loved the challenge of getting everything organized and pulled together. It was a real honour for her to have the position in the first place. Of course she was far from the Tower, but she was still doing the work of the Tower. And what better work was there than being out in the world and having a hand in making it a better place. She had never felt so proud or useful in her life. She was making important decisions and changing the world.


As she walked through the hall she heard be steadfast for the way back will come but once.When she got to the room where the King was waiting for her she was about to enter when she faintly heard it again in the back of her mind. The door across the hall began to shimmer and a white glow filled the frame. The girl knocked on the door to the King's waiting room and the King called for Kathleen to enter. Kathleen stared at the glowing door, turned to enter the King's lavish room and he bowed his head to her. A king bowed his head to her, this was the life! The glowing frame called to her, but so did the King and Kathleen did not want to leave. The king needs me and I want to help him.Reluctantly Kathleen turned from the King and stepped through the dimming frame. She stepped out of the Arch into the Tower basement with her head held high and was very surprised at what she saw.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Pia waited with the same still anxiousness she felt at every one of these tests. There had been a time when she could not bear to even think of those silvery arches, so much so that she refused her first two tests. It had become a great source of fear, having lost her own sister to it's unknown depths. It had happened three times in her considerable lifetime. Three out of hundreds was not so bad, but Pia held a silent fear behind her serene features until each girl reappeared from their third arch. Hoping for the best, but always on some level expecting the worst - nothing.


The giant knot of tension eased as Kathleen stumbled from the third arch, whole yet shaken. The Amyrlin met the new accepted as custom dictated, pouring clear water from the chalice over her bent head and reciting the ancient words. Pia stepped forward as the Amyrlin turned to fetch the silver ring from the table for the child's finger. Pia had make Kathleen a promise, and now she would keep it. "Mother, if you please," she said with soft respect, interrupting the ceremony. "She would have this ring, I think." Opening the box she held and had kept over the years, she smiled at Kathleen as she offered it to the Amyrlin to place on her finger. The woman in the striped stole flickered a look over Pia briefly but made no comment, removing the ring and finishing the ceremony.



Pia Tovisen,

Mistress of Novices



(OOC Just a quick post so you can finish the ceremony in yours without too much interruption, but if you want to continue talking to Pia afterwards or whatever that's fine by me! :))

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Kathleen had seen the Amyrlin on occasion in her time as a Novice but this was the first time the Amyrlin had been this close to her and shown that she knew who Kathleen was. It was certainly the first time she spoke anything of importance directly to Kathleen and just not just in an assembly of the Tower.


When the Amyrlin turned to get the ring and Pia Sedai had stepped forward and broken ceremony Kathleen could sense the concern from the onlookers and Kathleen noticed the look the Amyrlin directed at the Mistress of Novices, but Kathleen's eyes lit up and shouldn't hold back a grin. She had remembered. It seemed so long ago, and truly it had been over a decade since Kathleen had entered the Tower in rags of a fine dress and tears down her cheeks to return the ring of a lost Aes Sedai. She didn't know what to expect that day. She had thought her journey was over when she walked into the Tower but it was only just beginning. She had returned her grandmother's ring, been tested and told by Pia Sedai that on the day she was raised to Accepted Pia would see that Kathleen could have that same ring back. Kathleen had almost forgotten what had taken her to the Tower many times and she was almost sure that Pia Sedai would have forgotten by now too, but when Kathleen saw the old wooden box she carried for two years in an old sack she filled with so much joy that she couldn't hold back the tears.


She was still beaming at Pia Sedai when she heard the Amyrlin say, “You are sealed to us, now. Welcome, daughter,” Kathleen looked at the Amyrlin as she took the Great Serpent ring from Pia Sedia and slipped it onto the third finger of Kathleen's left hand. “Welcome, Daughter” The Amyrlin said and then kissed one of Kathleen's cheeks and then the other cheek. “Welcome.”


When the ceremony was over Kathleen looked around to see if Pia Sedai was still there. She had pulled herself together, as a good Accepted should, and saw the Mistress of Novices standing by the door. Kathleen hurried over and threw her arms around Pia Sedai. She knew it wasn't the proper way for an Accepted to act in the presence of Aes Sedai, but she really didn't care if it was proper or not, in that moment all that mattered was that the woman who Kathleen had looked up for over a decade kept a promise she made that anyone else surely would have forgotten about. She needed to say thank you and to let her know how much it meant to her.


When the quick hug ended Kathleen took a step back and stood up into proper posture and said, "Thank you, Pia Sedia. It means the world to me and more to have this ring. It is the little bit of my family I can take with me. It will hold me true to my roots, but show me all that I can be, all that I will be! This ring symbolizes all that the Great Serpent ring symbolizes for all of us, but this was my grandmother's ring and because of that it symbolizes a great deal more to me. I cannot thank you enough for the gift you gave me tonight. I know that an Aes Sedai cannot lie, but I know that they can forget. I knew you're intentions were true when you said you would be here to give this to me now, but I wasn't sure you would remember. A lot has happened since that night. There are not words enough to thank you properly." Kathleen turned her ring around her finger and smiled.

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