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A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Secrets of the Wise Ones ~ Renata ~ Channeling


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Most people walked past the old Wise One without really seeing her. She had become a fixture, seated in what looked like a very uncomfortable position atop the rock outcropping in the center of the Hold. As unmoving as the stone beneath her she watched the comings and goings with sharp eyes though no one noticed. Near mid-day as the sun pounded down on the desert a young boy hesitantly approached her with a skin of water which she accepted with a regal nod. Glancing back at his companions the boy, Chinara thought him to be no more than eight or nine years, shuffled his feet and cleared his throat.

 

“Would you tell us a tale of Shara, Wise One?â€

 

Chinara snorted, “I will tell you this, boy. There are no tales of Shara for its people are a secretive sort.†As she continued several other boys joined them, most crouching down in the sand to listen with wonder of a land surrounded by a high wall that no Aiel had ever managed to breach…..and live to tell of it. She told them of the trade centers which were the only part of Shara Aiel were allowed to glimpse and of the slave pens where undesirables and interlopers were sold. She had moved on to descriptions of the riches to be had in Shara when a young woman walking across the Hold caught her eye.

 

“Boy, run and fetch that Apprentice for me, hop to now.â€

 

Complying quickly the lad returned with Renata and Chinara motioned for the Apprentice to help her down. The crowd of boys moaned in dismay but a sharp look from Chinara sent them all scrambling.

 

With a sigh the Wise One leaned against her staff, “You will come to my roof at first light, child. We will begin the most important lesson of your Apprenticeship then.â€

 

Allisa

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Renata had been enjoying her free day. All the Wise Ones had left her be and she did not mind at all. She had managed to steal a few moments to speak with her old friends. All who know carried the Spear. Renata had neglected her friendship with them. Hating that they could continue on their life dream when she had been forced to give up hers.

 

The training she had already gone through had made her see that becoming a Wise One would not be all that terrible. She would get to do many things others only dreamt of. Renata pushed her past and future dreams away as she made her way back to the Apprentice tents. She should not neglect her studies if she even thought to make it through the training.

 

She had almost reached the tents when a young boy stopped her and almost dragged her to the old Wise One waiting. Renata had not had much dealings with Chinara. And had been glad for it. The old Woman scared her.

 

“You will come to my roof at first light, child. We will begin the most important lesson of your Apprenticeship then.†Chinara told her after she had helped the woman down from the rock. "Yes, Wise One." Renata quickly muttered an obedient reply and was off to the tents. Her hands almost trembling when she reached it.

 

She slept badly that night. The knowledge of what the next day would come was too vivid in her mind. Channeling. The Wise One Chinara would be teaching her the secrets of the One Power. Renata shivered. She had not thought it possible that she would be even taught this. She had not thought herself capable. But she had heard from other Apprentices that Chinara was an expert in Channeling and would most likely be teaching it forward.

 

The sun had not even given it's first peak when Renata was outside in the chill desert air. She hurried no matter to Chinara's roof, where the Wise One already waited for her.

 

~Renata~

 

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The cold mornings were hard on Chinara’s aging bones but one would not have known it from either her expression or her posture. When the gaishain escorted her newest student into the roof the old woman was sitting near a window, watching the sun begin its slow crawl across the sky.

 

Motioning to Renata to seat herself on a nearby cushion Chinara nodded to the gaishain who closed the reed shutters, casting the room in dim shadow and left. As her eyes adjusted to the dark Renata glanced around apprehensively when suddenly a lantern between the two women flared to life on its own.

 

“Your first lesson as my student, Renata, will be to observe more closely.†The Wise One chuckled at her charge’s expression, “I want you to look at me very closely. Is there not something unusual about me?â€

 

It took several moments but Chinara nodded when Renata gasped, “Yes, you can see the glow around me now can’t you? If you had been looking you would have seen it from the moment you entered the room. Now I will tell you things only a Wise One knows. There are those among the Aiel who like the Aes Sedai of the wetlands can channel. I see you have suspected as much, most Aiel do though they never speak of it. What you may not suspect Renata, is that you are one of those women.â€

 

Without waiting to let this news sink in Chinara went on, “If you do not learn to first submit and then control this power it can destroy you. Today you will begin. Clear your mind of all things. Sweep it as clear as the sands after the storm. Let go your resentment, your disappointment. Release yourself to the Power, let it flow over you. A woman must be a tree that bends in the wind. Bend, Renata or you will surely break.â€

 

The Wise One spent the next several hours with Renata until at last the girl managed to touch the Source for the first time.

 

Seeing the joy on Reyala’s face after so many hours of sullen determination lightened Chinara’s heart, though of course she let nothing in her expression show. Instead she frowned severely and reached out one bony hand to tap the Apprentice sharply on the forehead.

 

“Now use your head, girl. The reason the people only suspect that Wise Ones can channel is due to the fact that we rarely, if ever, do. Let loose the Source. Now.†Chinara waited until her student had done as she was told. “The next time I tell you release it more quickly. The Power is seductive, addictive. You will never touch the Power of Saidar unless granted permission from a Wise One to do so. Any bending or breaking of these rules will be dealt with more harshly than you can imagine.†Chinara leaned forward and peered into Renata’s eyes, “Unless of course you’d like being shipped off to the White Tower? Forced to wear white like a gaishain and dance attendance on Aes Sedai? No? That is only a part of the reason we keep our powers secret, child, but it is certainly the most important reason.â€

 

Adjusting her shawl the old Wise One nodded, “Now, embrace the Source once more and simply hold it.†Once Renata had accomplished this the Wise One then directed her to let it slip away once more. This process was repeated for the rest of the day, at times Chinara directing Reyala to release more slowly or so swiftly it felt nearly as sharp as being shielded. “At the beginning of each lesson you will do this. Your control must be absolute and you must train yourself to let the Source go, feeling no loss. Aes Sedai may cling to the Power like weak wetlanders do but none among the Aiel shall.â€

 

“Now you will reduce your contact to the Power to the barest trickle, allowing only the slightest bit to reach you.†Again and again she demanded Reyala demonstrate, until she was sure the young woman could do so at will.

 

Finally the Wise One called a halt, “You will sleep well this night, child. Make certain of it.â€

 

OOC: So there will be five posts and this is the first Touching Saidar for 1st time and a lecture on how the Aiel use the Power Have fun!

 

Allisa

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Renata did not at first understand the first task Chinara had given her. To observe the old woman. She kept her thoughts to herself. No matter how silly the task at hand be she was determined to go through with it. To acomplish the task given. So she stared. Her eyes blinked every now and then and Renata could have sworn she saw a light around the old Wise One, but kept her mouth silent. Only when the light was surely visible Renata gasped. The woman was completely surrounded by a glow. A glow that seemed to come from Chinara herself.

 

Chinara explained what the glow meant. Renata had not thought it possible. That there was many more Wise Ones who could Channel. But Renata had not thought that she herself could be taught this power. She had only thought that she would be explained the basics of what Saidar was. Not to be able to channel.

 

Renata closed her eyes. Sands after the storm. She thought to herself trying to empty her mind seeing a tree bend in her vision, bend and then break. Renata opened her eyes. She had almost felt the tree snap. Frustrated Renata bit her lip and closed her yes again. Focus. She saw the wind blow the sand in her head. She felt more relaxed but nothing seemed to happen. She sighed and glanced quickly at Chinara. The wise one was waiting patiently.

 

Renata tried again. Clear your mind. Focus. And the storm was there again, sweeping the grains of sand away until there was only bare rock left in her mind. Suddelny Renata could smell the Wise One in front of her. She could tell what the Gai'Shan were cooking outside. She opened her eyes in a joyoys wonder. If this was what it felt to channel, Renata did not understand why it was not spoken of.

 

When Chinara tapped her on the forehead with a large frown on her face, Renata almost dropped her hold on the Power. When Chinara told her to let go. Renata bit her lip, thinking of a way she could get more time. But finally gave up and let go. Her disobedience did not go unnoticed as Chinara commented on it immediately following it with a lecture.

 

The lesson continued with Renata holding the source and letting the power slip again. Slowly and then so rapidly it felt that it would tear her head away with it. Renata nodded at Chinara when she warned her of the control of the Power. She did not want to be a weakling wetlander. She continued, biting her lip so that the insides were bleeding constantly. Renata did not feel pain in her lips. She wanted to win. This was a challange against herself and she was determined not to lose.

 

Finally the first lesson was over. Renata had not even notice that the day had gone past so fast. She curtsied to the Wise One and hurried to her tent. She collapsed onto her bed immediately and fell into deep sleepless slumber. She had not slept so well in months.

 

~Renata~

 

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The next morning the old Wise One seemed more cranky than usual (if one could imagine such a thing). As soon as the Apprentice appeared under her roof she waved her back out again, grumbling under her breath. Curtly signaling the girl to follow she led Renata towards the sweat tents and without pause stripped to her skin and disappeared beneath the flap.

 

Renata followed and once her eyes had adjusted to the dimness was surprised to see they were not alone. Chinara sat opposite her, naked arms and legs even bonier than expected but still taut and muscular and next to her Alisis and two other Wise Ones Renata had not yet met. Sweat covered all the women but none reached for the brass staeras to swipe the dirt and perspiration from their bodies.

 

“Now, child, pay attention and open yourself to Saidar. Until you grow more adept you will be able to see my weaving more clearly if you hold the Power yourself.†Deftly with a skill borne of lifetimes Chinara wove five separate strands of Saidar into the air between the two women. Each shone to Renata’s eyes with a resonance that entranced. “These are the five elements. Fire and Earth.†As the older woman spoke each strand brightened, one by one. “Spirit and Air. And of course Water.†Both women stared at the strand of Power with reverence. Even in this it was the most important.

 

“Study each carefully. You should be able to identify them in a glance, which is often all you will get when a Wise One channels.†Chinara let all the strands but one fade away. “This is Fire and when properly combined with a strand of Earth like it becomes much more – watch.†Chinara sent the twisted strands into the rocks piled in the center of the tent and they immediately began to warm. “Now you try.â€

 

 

Alisis could not see the nimbus of light surrounding both but she knew they were channeling. It was Renata weaving Fire into the rocks that heated them to white hot. Occasionally another Apprentice, Jindi, would lean forward and with a dipper would scatter the precious drops of water across their surface.

 

The Wise Ones sighed in contentment as steam filled the tent and their lungs. All but one.

 

Chinara leaned across the rocks, her creased face flushed with both heat and displeasure, and poked Renata in the shoulder, “Concentrate, girl. Your weaving is weak. Your control laughable.†The Wise Ones eyes widened, “This is Fire and with it you can kill, others or yourself.†Leaning back she waved a hand, “Again. Do not let the water cool the rocks this time, keep them as hot as you can.â€

 

Alisis saw several of the Wise Ones glance covertly at one another. Already the air within the sweat tent was nearly unbearable, even for an Aiel. With a nod she released several who hurriedly finished their cleansing and ducked out of the tent. Chinara sent Alisis a wry look that the Head Wise One returned. Standing Alisis laid a hand on Jindi’s blonde head and with another nod sent the Apprentice running. Taking the girl’s place Alisis focused on the rocks, now cool and gray.

 

Slowly she began to sense a change in them, the warming as Renata wove strands of Fire into their centers. Soon they glowed red once more and then white. Alisis reached for the dipper and steam filled the air but the rocks remained white hot. As they watched one cracked open to reveal its super heated core. Chinara nodded with approval.

 

“Well done. Release.†Chinara waited while the light around Renata winked out. The Apprentice sagged a bit, her face running with perspiration. “Now watch carefully, Apprentice.†Carefully and slowly Chinara wove strands of Earth. A moment later the cracked rock was whole once more with not even a seam to show where it had split open. Alisis gasped as Chinara reached and picked up the rock, the older Wise One shot her an amused look. Renata had seen the flows of Water she had woven to cool the stone, but Alisis could not. Passing the stone to Renata she waited as the Apprentice turned it over and over in her hand before returning it to the pile. “With Earth you can mend or rent. Open yourself once more, Apprentice. Break the rock and then repair it once more.â€

 

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The next morning Chinara came to the Apprentice’s tents before the sky had even begun to lighten. Quietly she prodded Renata with her stick until the Apprentice roused and with bleary eyes followed the old woman out. The Hold was still tightly embraced in slumber but Renata noticed several sets of eyes marking their progress, Alisis’ among them. The others, sentries for the most part and weary gaishain roused from sleep to begin early morning chores, turned away. Chinara led Renata to a part of the Hold that inevitably inspired awe in anyone who was allowed to enter.

 

And only certain people were ~ among them the Wise Ones and the Clan Chief, the Leaders of each Society, the Roof Mistress and the senior gaishain of each roof. For the spring was a sacred place to the Aiel and the water it yielded more than a necessity. It was life itself.

 

Chinara nodded to the still alert Red Shields who surrounded the path to the spring and they parted respectfully before her. Closely guarded, the water sprang like magic from a rocky outcropping. Wood, rare in the Waste and nearly as dear as the water itself, had been used to construct a pavilion to protect the spring. Motioning to her charge the Wise One walked to the pavilion and sat, arranging her bony legs with care. Breathing deeply she nodded to Renata to do the same.

 

“Can you feel the difference in the air? The moisture of the spring hovers near and today’s lesson will be aided by it. Today I will teach you to control and manipulate the elements most dear to the Aiel. Water and Air. We must do this early, before the gaishain arrive to draw the daily allotments. Now, watch closely.†The nimbus of Power appeared around the graying head and Chinara slowly wove a thick strand of water letting it hover in the air between them. “Of all the elements Water is the most useful to us. With it we can nourish the body and soul. We use it in healing and in certain ceremonies only the Wise Ones know.†The flow dissipated and Chinara sighed, “It can be difficult to control for here in the Three Fold Land it is the least easily drawn from the world around you. But it is there, patience and strength, Renata. Do it now.â€

 

Though it took several attempts Renata finally managed to summon a weave, though not as large and vibrant as Chinara’s. The Wise One seemed pleased however. “Not many accomplish this the first day. Now make it stronger, bit by bit. Do not let your control slip. You must firmly grip each strand as you weave.†The shining element between them began to grow, larger and larger. Both women leaned forward unconsciously entranced. Suddenly the weave faltered, then faded a bit before regaining its brilliance a hundred fold. Renata gasped and the light around her winked out. A large dark spot appeared on the ground between the two women and the Apprentice stared at it in horror.

 

Wasting water was anathema to the Aiel and deeply shameful. As Renata’s face paled then darkened with disgrace Chinara leaned forward, laying a hand on her shoulder. “Watch.â€

 

Weaving slowly and carefully the Wise One gathered the Water from the ground until the sand was as dry as midday and then slowly picked the weave apart, letting the pieces float to nothingness. “This is no reason to waste water, you understand,†she warned Renata. “But do it again.†Eyes sparkling with humor Chinara let slip a rare smile, “But this time to it on purpose.â€

 

Later after she felt the Apprentice had practiced with Water enough she showed the Element Air once more and walked her through the same steps. Dawn was creeping over the horizon when she called a stop to their weaving. “You will wake yourself at the same hour tomorrow and we will meet here. Your control must be absolute.â€

 

OOC: So rp out several days practicing with the Elements. I have no particular weaves for you yet - this phase is about control and strength. Water and Air are strongest in women but lets suppose the Aiel awe of water has skewed their view a bit. Water seems hard to summon in the arid waste but this is up to you. Any ideas for weaves may earn you extra points toward punishment or chore threads! But remember they should be necessary and quick, the WO don’t channel unless they have to. Take your time and have fun - feel free to use Chinara however you wish

 

 

Allisa

 

 

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The lessons continued causing Renata to fall asleep the moment her head touched the pillow and wake only to Chinara's poking. The first day after learning she could channel, Chinara had taken Renata to the sweat-tents. It was only there when Renata found out that the Channeling was not as easy as the old wise One made it out to be. Or how easily she had made it seem.

 

She embraced the source with the sand storm in her mind to clear her mind of all thoughts. It was getting a whole lot easier every time she did it. The rock bared itself faster and more neatly, so not one grain of sand was left on top. Her first task had been to identify the weaves. Renata had not thought that channeling was something that could be seen by others. She had thought that it was an invisible force to everyone. She had been wrong, the different weaves looked so real that Renata was sure she could touch them, like strings flying through the air.

 

Fire was her first practise lesson. Heating the stones in the sweat tent. Chinara had shown her how to do so first, letting Renata watch closely before attempting the weave herself. When it was her turn, Renata lost control of Saidar and managed to drop the weave of fire long before any of the stones even warmed up. It took a lot of cotrol to keep the stones warm even though the cold water was tossed on them. But once she got the hang of the idea, the tent begun to warm up intensly and some of the Aiel in it left as the heat got too warm for them. Chinara managed to find something to correct on her task, even though Renata was sure she was doing a great job.

 

Mending the broken stones with Earth was an even harder task to take care of. Breaking it was not so difficult. Enought Fire channeled through the spines of the stone made it split with a loud crack. Mending the two pieces together was something completely different. It went beyond nature and logic for Renata and she had to ask Chinara to repeat how it was to be done. Once she had seen it could be done the second time, she attempted the weave herself. The stone looked nothing like the fully mended stone Chinara had accomplished, the crack was very visible still. chinara made Renata repeat the weave until the Wise One was satisfied.

 

Renata was exhausted when the Wise One decided that she had had enough practise with Saidar for the day. Reminding Renata that she was not to even think of channeling without Chinara present. Renata had not even thought to try this alone. Not only was she too tired, she feared the power too much to attempt something alone. Especially since she had just found out how to control some of it.

 

*****

The following morning Chinara poked the apprentice up to follow her and some other Wise Ones to the spring. Renata had not thought that she would be granted such a fine gift as to visit the water. Not before she was a full Wise One at least. But here she was at the Spring of Life, a place she had never thought to witness. The beuty of the amount of flowing water was overwhelming and Renata had to take a moment to let the sight sink in.

 

“Can you feel the difference in the air?" Chinara asked the apprentice and Renata was able to only nod and acknowledge the change she felt in the air around her. She could smell the moisture. Chinara continued and Renata fixed her gaze at the Wise One, making sure not to miss any of the important weaves the woman wanted to teach.

 

Water, was the first task and Rentata tried her best to manage to complete the thread. It took her a long time before Renata even managed to create the tiniest thread. She was so afraid to mess up something so fragile and important that she had trouble forcing her mind to gather the water. At her bet the weave was far from perfect. And far from the weave Chinara had just made. But it was Water and Renata could hardly breathe at the luxuryious weave she had made.

 

She continued on growing the weave in the air, staring at it in facination. The water hovering in the air looked so fresh and pure, Renata wanted to touch it, drink it. But suddenly the weave broke and the water fell to the floor. Renata, shocked at what happened, dropped her contorl on Saidar and stared in horror at the water wasted on the ground. She had dropped the water, she had wasted that which was most sacred to the Aiel.

 

Chinara told Renata to do it again, on purpose. Renata wanted to refuse. Tell the old Wise One that she had lost her mind. But after a while, when the woman had not told anything otherwise, Renata grasped Saidar again and attempted to do what the Wise One hd just done. It was difficult, but what made it difficult was not the weave, but the thoughts inside Renata. This waste seemed so unpurposeful and wrong.

 

So it was no suprise that Chinara decided that Renata needed more control with both Water and Air. So the next morning Renata found herself at the same site again and weaving water and air together. Moving the drops of water in the air around the pavillion. Chinara made sure to comment on anything that Renata did wrong or in a way that displeased the Wise One. Making sure Renata knew when she was wasting the Power in a simple weave that required only a trickle.

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Guest Allisa

A gaishain stepped quietly among the sleeping forms of the Apprentices bending to shake one or two gently and with a soft word wakening them more fully. Renata was the last she paused over laying a hand on the girls shoulder. Sleepy green eyes blinked up at the white draped figure before clearing into a question.

 

“Chinara summons several Apprentices to the Roof of Healing.†Without another word the gaishain turned and vanished through the door into the cold night.

 

The Apprentices glanced apprehensively at one another. None had been allowed to help within the Roof of Healing though many had run errands to and from or fetched this herbal or that for the Wise Ones. Swiftly they found their clothing and helping one another as best they could, soon presented themselves at the Roof.

 

The Roof of Healing was an immense adobe building set into the far eastern rock face wall of the Hold, well away from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Unlike most Aiel homes it had many entrances, some with ramps leading into the dark interior and its only guards were the worried kin of those being treated within. Tonight several Maidens shuffled uncertainly before the main entrance, eyes downcast. Renata frowned at them as she passed and one flashed a subtle sign that raised the Apprentice’s eyebrows to her hairline. Her step quickened and she crowded the girls ahead of her who hesitated in the doorway.

 

Pushing past them she nearly ran into Alisis whose expression made Renata want to run back to her blankets. She glared at Renata for a moment clutching blood stained bandages, her green eyes snapping. “Your former Sisters have danced unwisely this night and have paid the price for such foolishness. Come.†Handing her bloody burden to a waiting gaishain she turned and led the group into the Roof proper.

 

Inside most of the expansive room was open but many woven screens were stacked at intervals, a few even open and shielding the sleeping form within, some turning restlessly at the quiet commotion nearby. Many Wise Ones were gathered around four Maidens laying on pallets. Their cadinsor’s were torn and bloody, their eyes a bit wild as they stared at the ceiling high above, jaws clenched in pain. Renata could see the nimbus of Saidar around two Wise Ones, Chinara and Jarila. Alisis led the Apprentices to a pallet nearby and motioned them to sit.

 

“You have been brought to observe and perhaps lend a bit of strength should it be needed. Watch in silence.â€

 

The Maiden nearest turned her blonde head away but the Apprentices could see clearly where her cadinsor had been cut away to reveal the belly wound. Spears sliced as well as stabbed and her innards were in shreds. Blood trickled from the corner of her mouth and Alisis knelt near her head and wiped it away. Soaking a cloth in water she wiped the woman’s face as Chinara crouched so close Renata feared the ancient Wise One might tumble onto the wounded woman. And then she too was crouched low with the other Apprentices watching in awe as Chinara wove Spirit with the tiniest amount of Fire and Water. Slowly the intestines of the Maiden seemed to expand a bit. The Maiden gasped and Alisis shifted to hold her shoulders tight murmuring assurances. Chinara muttered something as well that sounded more like a curse. Strands of Spirit so thin Renata could barely see them appeared and wove themselves into the Maiden’s organs. Rents dissolved into healthy pulsating tissue and the flow of blood lessened. By the time Chinara straightened away and turned to the next Maiden the wound still gaped but it was obvious the most harmful injuries had been healed. With brisk efficiency Alisis accepted a glistening silver needle from a gaishain and as calmly as if she were mending a cadinsor sewed the stomach of the Maiden closed.

 

The Apprentice next to Renata leaned close and whispered, “Why don’t they just mend her wound with the Power?â€

 

Before Renata could do more than shrug Surien, a Wise One with graying blonde hair flowing in waves past her shoulders whirled. “Silence!†she hissed and the Apprentices cringed. As directed they did not speak again as they watched both the Power and poultices, Spirit and Herbs used to mend the broken arm of one Maiden and stop the profusely bleeding head wound of another. They hovered over the fourth Maiden for the longest - with both Wise Ones channeling. The muscles in the leg had been severed and a major artery as well. Though the woman was conscious her face showed none of the pain she must be feeling. The only expression she showed was when Jarila murmured softly to Chinara that they leg must be cut off, it was beyond repair. The Maiden paled considerably at that and turned beseeching eyes to the Wise One. With a grunt Chinara shook her head and laid a hand on the Maiden’s forehead. A moment later she slept, uncaring and unaware of what might lay ahead.

 

Hours later as the drained Apprentices stepped into the dazzling sun of mid afternoon they were a silent and sober group. Chinara had worked herself to exhaustion, at the last losing her hold on Saidar and she slept within the Roof of Healing near her last patient. Whose leg remained attached to her body. She might limp, Alisis had said, but with hard work it would be barely noticeable.

 

OOC: So could you rp the next day with the Apprentices coming to visit Chinara within the Roof of Healing (where she is no longer bed ridden but under the watchful eye of several Wise Ones - including Jarila) both of the channeling Wise One’s teach the girls to weave Spirit, the major component of healing. No specific weaves yet - just control. Also feel free to name the Maiden know her!

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Renata woke with a start when a gaishan in white entered her tent waking her and some other apprentices. Renata yawned and tried her best to keep her eyes open as she followed behind the others to the Roof of Healing. Renata was excited at the prospect of finally learning something with healing but the hour was early ans she had not slep well at all. So much to learn in such a little time. The Wise Ones expected perfction and Renata did not want to dissapoint them, too much at least.

 

When the roof neared Renata saw the group of Maidens gathered at the entrance. Renata frowned, she had wanted to avoind a confrontation like this for so long, and she had managed quite well. One of them, Lina an older Maiden she only knew by name flashed a sign at her. Renata's eyes opened wide and her eyebrows shot at her hairline. Misa was hurt. She pushed past the others and rushed inside, not caring about pushing the others.

 

Inside Alisis stood at the doorway and Renata managed just to stop herself before colliding to the other woman. The Wise One looked angry at her burting in like this. Renata bit her lip silently hoping the woman would not send her away. She did not, instead she directed all of them deeper inside the Roof. Four maidens lay on the pallets. Renata's eys darted straight to Misa. The woman in the last pallet. Renata shivered visibly.

 

Misa had been her closet friend when she had still danced the spears with the maidens. Misa had been like a sister to her and they had planned that they would be nearsisters some day. Renata swallowed. That was all before the Wise One's had given her future another path. There was nothing to change the past now. Renata was to be a Wise One and Misa would dance the spears. She was wounded in her leg. Renata could see that it was a majour wound but she seemed last on the list as first Chinara would take care of a more serious looking belly wound. Renata watched closely as Chinara wove Spirt with Fire and Water in a way that Renata knew she would not manage. She looked in horror as the wounds opened up, streching in the belly before the weave eased the belleding until there was only a tricke of blood left.

 

Alisis took over then and started needling the wound shut. “Why don’t they just mend her wound with the Power?†The apprentice next to Renata whispered but before Renata could even think of an answer Surien hissed silence at them. Renata kept her mouth shut as requested keeping a close watch on how the weaves were made.

 

Then it was turn to help Misa. Two Wise Ones were needed for this. Renata held her breath and fighting not to look at Misa in the eyes. She did not think she could manage the look of pain and horror in them. What Renata heard Jarila say next froze her to the bone. The leg be cut off. Chinara wove Misa to sleep after shaking her head. She could keep the leg. Renata sighed in relief, Misa might still be able to dance the spears. Maybe.

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The next day Renata and the othe rapprentices arrived back in the Roof of Healing. The exhaustion of yesterday had left Chinara to the bed, but she had managed to getup by now, though all the other Wise Ones seemed to keep a very watchful eye on the woman. She had strained herself too much. Renata had not thought that channeling once you have the understanding of the whole thing would be so exhausting. She had only thought that now when she was still learning she would be exhausted to the bone. Now that she saw the reality she wondered at her silly mind. An expert get tired of dancing the spears after a long time just as an inexperienced one will tire much earlier. Renata had never thought that channeling could be compared to a dance with the spear. But now that she had, she felt she understood the power more.

 

Their lesson that day was to practice with Spirit. They weren't given any specific weaves just yet. Only to have the control of the element. There was a lot of time to learn the weaves. Renata had soon understood that they would not be taught any weaves, none at all unless they mastered holding the specific element in itself. So time again, the girls grapped saidar, wove spirit, making it thicker, and then thinner and then dropping Saidar. Then the same routine took place again, and again. By the time the Wise Ones let the girls go Renata had exhauseted herself so that she wanted nothing but sleep. She was suprised to see that she managed a whole lot longer today. Smiling to herself Renata returned to the tents. She had not visited Misa, even though she had wanted to. She had fought within herself, but had decided that it was better for Misa's recovery and her studies if she did not go wondering after something that could have been.

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