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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Introduction to Saidar: Lesson Two


Amadine
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Arriving in the small classroom Amadine was surprised to see that one Novice had arrived before her today. She smiled at the girl in white and said, “Good morning! Eager to begin?”

 

The Novice returned the smile and nodded her head. Amadine placed her notes on the desk in the front of the room provided for those teaching classes and took up a piece of chalk and began writing on the board that was positioned on the front wall of the classroom. As she wrote, the rest of her novice class began arriving and taking their seats behind her. When she was done she stood back and dusted her hands off.

 

Turning back to face the group of Novices seated before her Amadine smiled broadly as she addressed them, “Good morning girls. Welcome to your second Introduction to Saidar class.”

 

With those few words there was a rustling throughout the room as each of the Novices drew herself up straight, eyes bright and eager. Amadine just knew they were hoping to open the lesson by embracing Saidar, she did feel just a little bad that she was about to disappoint them, but if she allowed them to channel this early in the morning she would never regain their attention for the theory part of their lesson.

 

“First of all this morning, can anyone tell me what this list of names has to do with?” She indicated the list of names she had written up on the board. As Amadine watched the Novices frowned as they read through the list. “This list is the list of White Tower initiates who have burned themselves out.”

 

A quiet gasp ran around the room as Amadine allowed that statement to sink in. The warnings she had given the Novices in their first class were becoming more real. And Ama wondered just how many of them had tried to embrace Saidar in the week since their first lesson. Almost every one of them she imagined.

 

“They burned the ability to embrace Saidar right out of themselves. In most cases they drew too deeply on the One Power, or they tried to walk alone, channelling without supervision, trying to advance too quickly.”

 

“Maighen Trehoid,” Amadine said, as she pointed to the name on the board, “was a Novice here in the Tower when I first arrived.” She looked at each of the Novices before her in turn before she continued, “She had completed her initial Saidar training and thought she knew better than the Aes Sedai who had taught her. She attempted to draw on Saidar on her own, in her room, in the Novice Quarters.  She drew far too much Saidar, so much that she was unable to control it; she was unable to let it go. An Accepted who was passing by heard Maighen’s scream and then found her unconscious on the floor in her room. Catha Sedai of the Yellow Ajah was unable to Heal her, nor to awaken her. And a week later when Maighen finally awoke, she could no longer channel, she could not even sense Saidar. She left the Tower and went back to her Mother in Whitebridge.”

 

"The rest of today’s lesson is about control.  Not only of yourself, but also of Saidar. For an Aes Sedai, control will be a vital part of everything you do.  As the One Power becomes a larger part of your life, it is essential that you learn control how to it.  The most widely used technique for controlling the Source is called ‘Pushing and Pulling’. The objective is to embrace and hold the Source, but hold it as far away from you as you can without releasing it. This discipline will help you to back off from the Source before you reach a level you cannot control. This will also help you when it comes time to learn linking in your Accepted studies."

 

"I want you all to close your eyes and imagine you are the rosebud. Feel the warmth of the sun on the petals, feel it fill you and just hold yourself there." As Amadine watched the glow of Saidar sprang up around each of the Novices, to begin with it flickered, and then solidified as each girl held firm to the Source. “Now imagine that a cloud is passing between you and then sun, and as it does push the Source away from you, maintain you contact with Saidar but feel how it is distant. Now as the cloud moves away, pull Saidar back to you fully and feel the warmth again. Now remember this is a gradual movement, if you pull the One Power back to yourself too quickly it will hurt.”

 

As Ama watched the Novices the glow around each of them slowly diminished and then glowed brightly again as they ‘pushed’ and ‘pulled’ Saidar. She quietly walked around the room, murmuring encouragement and cautioning where it was needed. The Novices were advancing their channelling skills nicely, and so far she had seen nothing other than one Novice who thought she was of a higher standing than any of the other white-clad girls. That one would bear watching.

 

As fatigue became to overcome the Novices, as evidenced by their slumping shoulders Amadine returned to the front of the classroom and addressed those seated before you. “You have done well today. I shall see you again next week, do not forget your essays. Class dismissed.”

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Rubbing her hands on the nearest dish rag, Allisia grimaced as she looked at the abundance of grease she had just wiped off her hands. Scrubbing pots was always miserable, but when the cooks decided the meals of the day would call for more grease than per norm, Allisia just about wanted to crawl into a hole in some remote corner and die. It was deemed that this punishment would help her build more of a backbone, she was told by an Aes Sedai that she would never make her way to the Shawl weak-willed, let alone to the Great Serpent Ring. Being filthy and out of order happened to be her greatest pet peeve, and thus far in her stay she had learned that things being out of her control were common place, to say the least.  Straightening herself and looking to the Mistress of the kitchen with pleading eyes, she sighed in relief as the woman nodded to her; she was dismissed. Gathering her skirts, she hurried to her room, passing through the hallways crowded with women, either of the Tower or simply in need of an Aes Sedai's help. Every now and then, a man would be caught in the eddies of chatting ladies of all different sizes and shapes, though it was uncommon for a man to seek the help of a woman; most especially the help of an Aes Sedai.

 

Opening her door to her room, she raced to discard her now sullied dress. She did not exactly have a great selection of dresses, but she had found ways to not appear too ostentatious in her garb whilst still keeping within the bounds of the tower. Choosing her most baggy Novice dress, she slipped it over her head and hurriedly dampened down her waves with her hands. Taking a simple white cloth belt, she tied it at her waist, making a fashionably different silhouette than the norm, leaving folds of the loose dress spilling over the belt, akin to a man's shirt tucked in to his trousers. She smiled with approval as she looked down at herself before she  turned to her nightstand, lifting her hand mirror and a wide-toothed, ivory comb, fussing with her red waves until she deemed them presentable. Sweeping at her immaculately pristine skirts, she turned on her heel and was out the door just as quickly as she had come in.

 

Making her way to the small classroom she had gone to merely a day before, she was relieved to see she was not late and in fact early; in fact the first one in the classroom. With slightly wide eyes she looked around the classroom in anticipation and it was not long before the auburn haired Accepted, Amadine, strode casually into the room.

 

"Good morning! Eager to begin?" Amadine asked and Allisia acquiesced with a smile and a brief nod before she went and took her seat.

 

Slowly but surely, a steady trickle of white-garbed Novices made their way into the classroom, each one finding her seat here and there, occasionally one would find a friend and sit in close proximity with her companion. Allisia found herself rather alone, she had not made any friends quite yet in the Tower, but she was new, it was to be expected. A small buzz permeated throughout the room as more and more girls showed up, chatting quietly with one another and eventually filling each and every seat. At that Amadine turned around from the chalkboard which held a list of names, names Allisia vaguely recalled from other classes.  

 

She knew the list of names had something to do with the Power, perhaps she would be allowed to touch Saidar again and already this early? The intoxicating pull of Saidar had beat within her thoughts, never far away from her person - that light just over the edge of her shoulder. Since she had first touched it, she knew what it meant to be truly alive and she found herself wanting that feeling more and more often, but only through sheer force of will did she restrain herself.

 

Her anticipation quickly changed to dread, however, when Amadine explained the names and their significance. Each and every woman listed had drawn too much of the One Power and had stilled herself, unable to ever touch the Source ever again and sent back home. Amadine segued the lesson into one of control and told them of 'Pushing and Pulling' the Source.

 

The Accepted then began to speak in a gentle, hypnotic voice, guiding the girls through the process of opening themselves up to Saidar. Allisia breathed in every word Amadine murmured and felt herself as a rosebud at the top of a spindly rose tree. She felt the warmth permeate through her body as the light of Saidar washed over her, at first slowly and then filling her to the brim.

 

"Now imagine that a cloud is passing between you and the sun, and as it does push the Source away from you, maintain your contact with Saidar but feel how it is distant. Now as the cloud moves away, pull Saidar back to you fully and feel the warmth again. Now remember this is a gradual movement; if you pull the One Power back to yourself too quickly it will hurt."

 

Allisia followed her every word, and could almost see the clouds in her mind drifting in between her and Saidar. It was a difficult thing to do, allow Saidar to drift away from her - oh how she wanted its warmth - but she would not allow herself to lose control.  It seemed almost natural to her, the pushing and pulling, always she did it carefully and gently and always Saidar would return. She had quickly learned in her first lesson in the Power that trying to control Saidar was the surest way to lose it. For what seemed like hours, this pushing and pulling went on, and with every unseen movement, Allisia felt her energy being drained.

 

Allisia found her shoulders to be slumped even more than was typical and her eyelids drooped drearily. Looking up she found Amadine was already in the front of the classroom and gave the classroom a kind dismissal. Standing slowly, Allisia's knees wobbled uncertainly, but she kept on. It was a difficult life she had come to lead with a constant uncertainty concerning her ability to keep up with being as tired as she always seemed to be, but she knew she must press on. She had come far and she would not turn back, not now and not ever.

 

It seemed those appointments scrubbing pots had been working after all.

 

(( I'm sorry this is as late as it is, I've been somewhat busy, but I hope it's an adequate job! ))

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Milandra muttered to herself as she paused outside the classroom to tuck back an escaped wisp of hair.  Some snotty little thing had stopped her en route to point out that her dress wasn’t pristinely white enough, and she was rather annoyed.  "I did the best I could," she grumbled, smoothing the slightly dingy fabric over her hips, "It’s not like I have any practical experience in laundering clothing!"

 

Shaking herself, Milla joined those filing into the classroom.  Amadine was already standing and writing something on the board; it looked to be a list of names.  "Any idea who these people are?" she whispered to the next girl over as she slid into a desk, only to be met with a shrug.  Milla herself shrugged in reply just as Amadine called the class to attention.  "I wonder what we’ll be learning today," the young woman though to herself as she organized her writing materials.  Her eyes flicked across the board curiously, wondering how it related.

 

Amadine asked if anyone knew what the list related to.  Unsurprisingly, nobody did, though a few meek voices speculated.  "This list," the Accepted said while gesturing towards the board, "is the list of White Tower initiates who have burned themselves out."

 

Milla felt the color draining from her face; it could have been a palette match for her dress.  "So many!" she exclaimed to nobody in particular before taking hold of herself.  Amadine was taking advantage of the disquiet to ram home the point, of course; she even had an experience of her own to regale them with.  It all made Milla feel cold and vulnerable, and all the more so because some of the other girls had talked her into practicing with them!  She definitely did not want to be a name on that list, only existing to scare future Novices!

 

Before she could scare herself into running away and never channeling again, Amadine abruptly changed the subject.  She spoke of control, and of pushing and pulling.  It made some initial sense, and even more once put into practice.  Milla became the rosebud again; the warmth of Saidar caressed and comforted her from out of sight.  She wanted it all, this warmth; how had she made it this long without the Power?  So it was… difficult… to manage the cloud analogy.  As Milla attempted to push Saidar back, her connection to Saidar fled.  Or she pushed so gingerly that she might as well have not pushed at all; it took many tries to achieve modest success.  Thankfully, Amadine was able to give a demonstration to her individually, as well as provide comfort, both of which helped breed a tiny bit of confidence.

 

All too soon, class was over.  Milandra trudged out of the classroom wearily; practicing with Saidar was exhausting, and more blasted dishes were waiting...

Edited by Raeyn
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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...

It cheered Bennu a great deal that she'd managed to be in the earliest group to get to class this day; as a result, she'd managed to get a desk at the front of the room right in front of the Accepted this time. Pia Sedai wasn't going to get a bad report on her attendance today! As she set up her paper and quills, she saw the instructor turn back to the board and start to write on the board. Instinctively she started following along on her own paper, even if they weren't being asked to write them down. Always best to take notes on anything written down.

 

But what could they be? The novice frowned as the list got longer and longer.

 

Tilting her head slightly, she studied the names being placed on the board. Ah, a history class, she thought after a minute. No doubt a list of famous Aes Sedai we should emulate. She raised her hand when the Accepted asked for identification of what all the names had in common.

However, she was wrong. Oh, so very wrong. Well, the emulation part anyway. Her pin slipped from her hand as she stared at the board.

 

By the Light, that many? Bennu's gut roiled, and she clenched her jaw, fighting the wave of nausea that suddenly rolled through her. She found herself unable to meet the Accepted's gaze as Amadine told her grim personal tale. That could have been her – she wasn't about to confess that she had tried to embrace saidar while alone in her room a few nights before. She'd not been successful, but what if she'd managed to do it, and something had gone wrong?

 

She could have been on the next boat back to Tear and a boring existence in her family library. The novice gulped, her hastily eaten breakfast feeling like a stone in her belly.

 

I wonder if I can find a book somewhere in the library during the next study period about it? the Tairen thought, tapping her quill thoughtfully against her paper leaving a row of ink dots across the top of it. There was no doubt a record of all of the cases somewhere; maybe getting permission to study it would....

 

But...wait.[/i] Her pen stilled. She said those were novices. That isn't necessarily everyone who've done this. What about Accepted? Or... Aes Sedai? Bennu's gaze flicked back up to the Accepted at the front of the room, then back to the row of dots on her page.

 

Not that they'd ever tell them about that last one. The Tairen shook her head to clear it, and focused on the day's lesson again.

 

The day's channeling lesson was more difficult than the last. It'd been hard enough trying to embrace the Source, but now she had to push and pull that sensation. How under the Light did you move something that you couldn't really touch anyway? Bennu was sweating by the end of class; her grip on saidar was still not the best, and the earlier stories of burning out made her even more tentative in her opening to the source than she had been before. That resulted in her losing it completely and having to start over multiple times on the exercise. She managed to perform the task once, but the dark-haired novice knew she'd have to find an Accepted to practice with several times before the next class.

 

With a heavy heart, she gathered her things as class was dismissed. It was going to be a very long week...

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OOC: Again, catching up. ;)

 

IC:

 

After finding out she came from a baker's family, the Accepted who assigned chore duties had placed Elin in a group whose primary chore was the early morning baking. So, before the sun was even contemplating rising over the horizon, Elin had found herself in the kitchens deep in the Tower. This morning, she had been tasked with preparing enough biscuits and rolls for the novices and accepted. It hadn't been easy, but Elin's years in the bakery stood by her. The Head of the kitchen even complimented Elin on how flakey her biscuits were. It had been a lovely, and familiar, way to start the morning.

 

Now, she found herself back in a classroom, knowing that she would be asked to channel again. This might be the time that Amadine noticed something odd about her. It might be the time that something showed. In the week since her last lesson, she had learned so much. Learning the History of the known world from a Brown sister had been a highlight of Elin's week. Sitting there, listening as the Brown started with the Age of Legends. In her eyes, and increasingly in Elin's, that time really had been a golden age. The Children of the Light were always soft when it came to the Age of Legends. They preached that the world should return to how it was under the High King's reign, when a non-channeler ruled fairly and justly across the world. This Brown sister described the Age of Legends as being like Hawkwing's Empire, but better. The Children, apparently, spurned that era simply because of the high profile of channelers in that time. The lesson had begun as a discussion on the Age of Legends, but between Elin and the other novices questions, and the Brown sister's natural tendency to drifting conversations, by the end of the lesson they were discussing what role channelers have played in societies since the Breaking.

 

It would crush Elin to be taken away now that she had just been introduced to this world of knowledge, knowledge uncensored by the will of the Children.

 

Hearing about the women who had burned themselves out snapped Elin's mind back to the class she was currently sitting in. Hearing about their various misfortunes and arrogance brought a part of the previous lecture home. Channeling unsupervised could be deadly. Nile channeling for her was the epitome of unsupervised channeling.

 

When Amadine explained the pushing and pulling exercise, Elin sighed. Shyla Sedai had tried to explain this concept to her, to walk her through it, but it had been beyond the combined efforts of Elin and Nile. Today, they would succeed. If the Aes Sedai and Accepted weren't going to throw Elin out, and insisted on her learning to control Nile, then control they would.

 

With a nod to her brother, Elin breathed deeply, and she felt Nile and the warmth grow close. Then she breathed out, and pushed Nile and the power away, and it slipped too far, leaving her cold and empty. Shocked, she almost cried out, but then Nile and the power were back. It didn't matter to her anymore how she could sense him and the power through him. She had to learn to control them. Another deep breath in and out, and another failure.

 

Imagining clouds, suns, and flowers did nothing for her, and after her eighth failure, Elin was cross. Just because she was trying to control him, Nile was causing her to fail. Much like he had when they were both alive. With another deep sigh, she set all of that aside, and drew him close into her, feeling the warmth of her missing twin and the power. Then she breathed a long, slow out breath, pushing the anger and the power away, but she stopped a hair's breadth from losing it, and pulled them back.

 

In and out, warm and cool. The power and her brother flowed with her like the waters in a river, filling then exiting an eddy.

 

That was when she realized how tired she was. Luckily, Amadine called an end to the class and sent all the girls on to lunch and the chores that inevitable followed their meal. This afternoon, Elin was assigned to fetch and carry for her Brown History instructor, which was a chore she did not find entirely unpleasant.

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  • 1 month later...

"Well, well," Rydia smiled blithely and selected the first name from the list they had been assigned to write on "what have we got here? Hullo, Ana Irigaray! What happened to you?"

 

Cheerfully laying aside the other books for later, the trapper's daughter methodically filed through the archives for whatever research she expected to take a multitudes of notes on Ms. Irigaray. However, what she had garnered was very little. The big Novice Book which she somehow mustered the courage to ask Pia Sedai showed that, upon Irigaray's entry to the Tower, she had identified herself as Ghealdean. A fellow co-patriate, ooooh! I wonder if Irigaray, too, had found the warmth in Tar Valon very satisfying. Rydia certainly enjoyed being able to sleep in more than at home, when she would have to wake up periodically to keep the coal hot. The roommate log told Rydia that Irigaray had been assigned to paired up with a Saldaean who later became a Sitter in the Hall for the Blues. There were loads of historical references on what Irigaray's roommate had done. But once Rydia sifted through the backlogs there was only the sketchiest of information about Irigaray. Finally, there was the account of Irigaray's roommate finding Irigaray unconscious in their room. Regrettably, when Irigaray woke in the infirmary her ability to channel was gone. Having no reason to stay in the Tower, Irigaray was sent away by the Aes Sedai, and the Blues Eyes and Ears who had kept tabs on all the women who left the Tower reported that she had taken her life five years later, despite her seemingly happy marriage, leaving behind a bereft husband and son.

 

Her roommate Tilly, who hailed from a seamstress background, would have said something about not enough material to make a dress, but Rydia did not see her lack of information as a failure. Rather, it accentuates how abrupt the ending of Ana Irigaray's career as an initiate in the Tower had been. It was more a thread that had been snipped short ahead of its frays. Or a trap that had sprung on nothing, but in the process was bent beyond repair.

 

Leaving aside the essay for now, Rydia reflected how she felt during her lesson with Amadine earlier.

 

It would be very easy for her to give in to the temptation of opening up to Saidar, or so it seemed to Rydia when she and the other novices had practiced pulling more and more of the Source around them into their bodies. There was a sense of comfort Rydia loved about the serenity of floating on warm water, being carried away to wherever the tide took her. And it had been so hot she could not breathe for the bliss.

 

But then the dark clouds settled in. It was incredibly painful to experience. The rain broke up the currents, interrupted their flow. It had blocked the sun, and the water upon which she floated began to become turbulent. It started pushing her about as she resisted, and struggled to stay afloat, to be on the surface and near the sun. Even as Rydia was pushing Saidar back she yearned for the intensity of the heat that had warmed her before. It was vexing to deny herself the pleasure, of that release against the tensions around her. But that struggle for control had to be giving up her pleasure right? Was it for her own good or for the Aes Sedai's convenience? Couldn't it be both?

 

Flinching from the memory of that exercise, of purposefully cutting herself off from Saidar, she agreed with her instructor Amadine that, for now, the situation would not become pathological unless Rydia's longing for Saidar passed beyond the point of reason and she defied the Aes Sedai will. Although Rydia was fond of her house, she did not want to be kicked out of the tower until she learnt control. A little more time, and warmth, would not hurt. Would it?

 

In the meantime it was almost time for lights out and Rydia had no intention of being caught by the Mistress of Novices in the corridors after hours. She sighed. Tomorrow there would be more homework. Hopefully it wouldn't put such a damper on her mood again.

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  • 2 months later...

Leala's arm worked in circular motions, finishing the dusting in an unused classroom. This was the third one she had finished this morning. In the middle of the first one, she had had to cover her mouth with a clean rag to breathe in cleaner air. She had opened a window to help the dust clear out as well. She coughed into the rag after she closed the window in this last room. Her eyes had been watering since she began this chore and knew that after her second class in Saidar, she would have to continue in this arduous task. Stepping out of the room and back into the hall, she dropped the rag from her face and breathed in fresh air again. She had breathed in too deeply, though, and caused herself to cough once again. She returned the rags to a hook in the supply closet for use again after her lesson. She cleared her throat out of necessity and wiped her eyes clean before departing to her lesson. Luckily, her chore was within close proximity to the classroom where Accepted Amadine was giving her lesson. She was perhaps the second Novice in the classroom due to the nature of her duties. She took her seat close to the front again and waited.

 

The noble's daughter listened for a moment to the chatter around her. The other Novices seemed to be complaining about their chores and how the White Tower was nothing like what they had expected. When the conversations carried on, she felt that they were holding something back. She had been taught to listen to what others were not saying more than what they were saying.She wondered if perhaps some of her colleagues did not what to admit that they had tried to embrace Saidar unsupervised after Amadine had said repeatedly that this was unacceptable. She, of course, followed the rules placed before her and had held back from that temptation. The group's attention was brought back to the front of the room when their instructor began the lesson with a cautionary tale of Novices like themselves who had burned themselves out and were now incapable of even embracing Saidar. She wondered if any of her classmates around her would add themselves to this list while she was enrolled as a Novice.

 

Light, what if I try to embrace Saidar while I'm asleep and burn myself out?! she thought to herself. Her chest had grown tight from that thought. No, she knew that she was more disciplined than that. She was determined to follow all rules and regulations. She would make the White Tower proud whether she was a Novice or Aes Sedai. She would not submit to pressure from her peers, nor the pressures of her own wants. This journey was much more important to her than a reputation as a friendly Novice. This list and the accompanying story were certainly strong reminders to her. They were not, however, as strong as the reminders that she had when she thought of her brother gloating as the Lord of House Gymorraine while she was a White Tower reject and his new subject of humiliation. Her attention returned to the lesson after a moment of thinking of her situation. Now Amadine wanted them to follow a slightly more complicated set of instructions.

 

Closing her eyes, her mind returned to the gorgeous red rose that she had conjured a week before in the previous lesson. Life flowed in its color and life was offered from the warm rays of the sun once more. With the opening of these petals, she reached out a took her hold on Saidar. She listened as the Accepted continued now with a cloud passing over, blocking out the power-giving warmth to a degree. The jubilation of Saidar slipped away, but she still held on to it delicately, this time. She repeated this pattern, holding on to the power that set her apart from normal girls. She felt so much pleasure, even when she pulled away from Saidar, there was so much potential and so much she wanted to do with it, but she continued to follow instructions and let go when the Accepted instructed the class to do so again. She thought of her actions just then. After the first couple of "pushes" and "pulls", she scarcely needed the image of the rose bud any more. She was finding a place in her mind that she could manipulate without added help to find her potential. It brought back flashes of the testing she had received just over a year ago involving the glistening blue stone presented to her. She must have concentrated so hard that she hadn't felt this amazing feeling. She was glad now that she was able to tap into this power and feel what the Wheel was weaving for her.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Thump-thump, thump-thump, thump-thump...

 

Auriane found the rhythm she created beating the dusty curtains in one of the libraries somewhat soothing. A Brown teaching one of her history lessons earlier in the week had unfortunately noticed that Riana had not been taking notes, and had taken it upon herself to see that Auriane be as eloquent a writer as any woman who had ever sat on the Amyrlin Seat, and had started her dreadful practice by making her list such women repeatedly. She claimed she'd be learning two lessons at once, that way.

 

Ball-a-da-re Ar-and-ail-le, Don-i-el-la Al-i-e-vin, I-gaine Lu-in, Ze-ran-da Ty-rim, Ra-bayn Ma-rush-ta, A-li-ane Sen-i-can, Be-ryl Marle, Ser-eille Ba-gand...

 

She chanted the names she was set to remember to the rhythm of her thumping, with the occasional hacking cough when dust clouds danced before her. She thinks I'm a blank canvas, an uneducated labourer she can turn into a history book... I'll prove I can do it and then go home to my farm, that'll teach her! Riana visualised the names written down as she beat the curtains, seeing the letters form in her mind--

 

A bell rang, and Auriane realised that she would need to be at her class very soon: she was sure to be late. She gasped, and hurtled out of the library, leaving a cleaning woman with whom she was working shouting at her back, as she sped through the corridors, dodging other Novices and servants (the libraries were rarely frequented by too many Aes Sedai: Browns had personal collections in their apartments and others were not so interested). She danced down stairs, skimming her hands across the banisters, and came to the floor where her lesson was. Hurriedly curtsying to Aes Sedai she passed, and bumping a few other younger girls, she swung into the room, gasping. The lesson was about to begin. "I'm sorry I'm late," she breathed, and slipped into a free seat near the back of the room.

 

The woman leading the class started writing on the board at the front of the room, and Auriane squinted at it, brushing hair out of her face. May...jen tree?

 

“Maighen Trehoid,” the woman said, “was a Novice here in the Tower when I first arrived.”

 

Almost, thought Auriane, I'm improving. After being warned (again) of the dangers of learning to use saidar, the Novices were allowed to try a technique for themselves. Riana found it difficult, of course, but persevered, and was becoming used to it when the Accepted in charge dismissed the class. Hurrying out of the classroom, Riana prepared herself for another tiring run.

 

It was time for her reading lesson with the Brown, and she must not be late.

Edited by Myrenna
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  • 3 weeks later...

As Aliena slid into her desk chair, she noticed that she was one of the last to slip into the room. Accepted Amadine was just finishing up writing a long list of names upon the board. Ali quickly tuned out and began to stare out the window again. She could just barely make out the trees in the distance, and she ached to run barefoot over a nice green patch of grass. She needed to feel the sun shining down on her skin, and to smell the beautiful flowers around her. Channeling Saidar would allow her that feeling again, but of course, there were rules...

 

A gasp across the room brought Ali back to the real world, and she began processing to try and remember what she hadn't really heard. Something about burning herself out. Oh lovely, the Accepted was scaring the children again. “They burned the ability to embrace Saidar right out of themselves. In most cases they drew too deeply on the One Power, or they tried to walk alone, channelling without supervision, trying to advance too quickly.” Oh goodie, this was going to be about horror stories. She wanted to channel again, not hear warnings about channeling. Why teach them to do something they weren't allowed to do? Ach, these Aes Sedai and Accepted were so weird.

 

“Maighen Trehoid was a Novice here in the Tower when I first arrived. She had completed her initial Saidar training and thought she knew better than the Aes Sedai who had taught her. She attempted to draw on Saidar on her own, in her room, in the Novice Quarters. She drew far too much Saidar, so much that she was unable to control it; she was unable to let it go. An Accepted who was passing by heard Maighen’s scream and then found her unconscious on the floor in her room. Catha Sedai of the Yellow Ajah was unable to Heal her, nor to awaken her. And a week later when Maighen finally awoke, she could no longer channel, she could not even sense Saidar. She left the Tower and went back to her Mother in Whitebridge.”

 

That made even Ali shudder a little bit. There was no way she would ever go back to her mother. No way she was going to leave this tower and give up the power. She wasn't stupid enough to push her luck. The Wheel had turned fortunately for her in that she got to come here, and she was taking no chances at being sent away.

 

"The rest of today’s lesson is about control. Not only of yourself, but also of Saidar. For an Aes Sedai, control will be a vital part of everything you do. As the One Power becomes a larger part of your life, it is essential that you learn control how to it. The most widely used technique for controlling the Source is called ‘Pushing and Pulling’. The objective is to embrace and hold the Source, but hold it as far away from you as you can without releasing it. This discipline will help you to back off from the Source before you reach a level you cannot control. This will also help you when it comes time to learn linking in your Accepted studies."

 

"I want you all to close your eyes and imagine you are the rosebud. Feel the warmth of the sun on the petals, feel it fill you and just hold yourself there." As Amadine watched the glow of Saidar sprang up around each of the Novices, to begin with it flickered, and then solidified as each girl held firm to the Source. “Now imagine that a cloud is passing between you and then sun, and as it does push the Source away from you, maintain you contact with Saidar but feel how it is distant. Now as the cloud moves away, pull Saidar back to you fully and feel the warmth again. Now remember this is a gradual movement, if you pull the One Power back to yourself too quickly it will hurt.”

 

Aliena, who thought the rosebud idea was still a stupid one, breathed calmly in and out before closing her eyes. She rested her arms across the top of her desk, and tried to ignore the sounds of rustling about the room and mumurs of girls talking to themselves. She cleared her head, and thought only of a rosebud. She imagined it, curled up tight, and then, opening up slowly. She suddenly felt the light of Saidar as the power became hers, and she almost lost it at the sudden change in her feelings. Grasping onto it for a few moments, she took a few deep breaths in and out.

 

Licking her lips slightly, Ali concentrated on the way that the sunlight reflected on the petals. She felt the warmth and the brightness, and then attempted to tone it down. It was a sharp twist, and she almost lost the power, and then jerked back to hold onto it, and she felt the air knocked out of her. Loosing hold completely, she had to grip onto her desk for a moment, before trying again. She would have to slow it down a whole lot more if she was going to get pushing and pulling.

 

Closing her eyes again, she grasped the power. It was becoming easier and easier each time to fill herself with Saidar, and she then tried to let some of it out. For half a second, it felt as though the life was draining out of her, an then it happened... it was slowly glowing dimmer, and then becoming brighter. Back and forth. She tried to let it out as much as possible, and almost lost it, before pulling in more and more, until it almost scared her. She let it back out and held it at a normal place, and tried to open her eyes. Everything looked clearer, and the sky outside was a bluer blue. She picked up her pen, and began to draw as she held the power, and she almost dropped her pen in shock. Even that seemed clearer... her pen strokes more defined. It was just too amazing.

 

“You have done well today. I shall see you again next week, do not forget your essays. Class dismissed.”

 

Ali slid from her chair after letting go of the power, and rushed out of the class room, dieing to hold the power again. Perhaps she should go ask the Yellow Sisters if they would watch her holding the power while she sketched some of the flowers for them, or even if the Brown sisters would watch while she copied over images. It was too great of an experience to resist.

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