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Intro to Saidar: Lesson One


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The seven colored band on her sleeve still made Elin smile whenever she saw it. After years of wearing pure white, those bright colors were a pleasure each day. Today, she was teaching novices their first lesson with the One Power, and she hoped it would be as wondrous for them as it had been for her. Well, she hoped none of them had as much difficulty finding the source for themselves as she had; she wouldn’t wish a block on any woman.


As the novices filed into the room, Elin took note of each on her list. Once all the girls were present, and the bell for class to begin had rung, Elin stood in front of the class, embraced the source, and wove a small knot of air that caused a mid-sized thunder clap to fill the room.


“That, girls, is one of the least of the things you will learn to do in your time here in the White Tower. The purpose of this class is to teach you about the basic rules of the One Power, specifically the female half of it, saidar. Each of you should be taking your own notes, and you will have work to be done in the Library.” She looked sternly at the novices, hoping to instill in them a sense of how serious this class was to their future. "Before I say anything else, I must warn you. No matter what you learn in this class, you must only channel the One Power when under the supervision of an Accepted or an Aes Sedai. This rule is for your safety, and if it is broken you will find yourself on the unpleasant end of Valeri Sedai’s ire. If that happens, you will regret it all the way to your bones.”


“The True Source, which is often called the One Power, is divided into two halves, as I implied earlier; a male half, saidin, and a female half, saidar. They are two halves of a whole, and together they drive the Wheel of Time and all of Creation. Even though saidin is tainted by the Dark One’s touch, it is not inherently evil; neither is saidar inherently good. They are tools for channelers to use.”


Pausing, Elin watched as the girls wrote their notes. So earnest, so dedicated. She very much enjoyed the passion young women brought to the Tower.


“Because saidin is tainted, it is unsafe to be channeled. The men born with the Spark of channeling, those who cannot help themselves and will channel the Power, are fated to go mad. They will hear voices. They will make irrational decisions. They will kill. They will destroy. If they are not caught and Gentled, the taint will affect their bodies, causing them to rot from within.” The chill of her words filled the room, and even Elin shivered at the thought of rotting within her own body.


“Fortunately for the world, saidar was not tainted and is safe to be used. Since the Time of Madness, only women have been able to channel safely, and so only women have become Aes Sedai, Servants of All.”


“Now, for a practical application, I want each of you to close your eyes. Sit in your chair, but distance yourself from everything around you. Imagine you are a rosebud, tightly closed up in green leaves. Then, feel the warmth of the sun heating you from the outside; allow your leaves and petals to unfurl and soak in the warmth.” She paused, as the Power filled her. “If you do it properly, you will be filled with the One Power. Keep trying until you feel the Power fill you.”


Releasing the Power herself, Elin walked among the girls, feeling their potential strength and their efforts to let the Power fill them. Once each girl had held the Power for at least a count of thirty, Elin called them back to attention.


OOC: For your replies please talk about how you feel about the One Power and how the rosebud exercise works for you. If your novice has any questions, feel free to ask them and Elin will answer. After a few days I’ll reply to finish the lesson. The second lesson will be posted Tuesday.

Edited by Phelix
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Fianna entered the classroom with a fair amount of trepidation. Mainly from the fact that she'd never been in school before in her life. Oh, she could read fairly well, but the Tuatha'an girl hadn't ever needed to write all that much. So she hoped that this wouldn't require much writing, and that she could rely on her memory for this course. She smoothed her skirts as she sat a desk amongst the students at the back of the room.


The novice rested her cheek on her left fist and listened avidly to the the Accepted's lecture. She seemed rather enthusiastic about the subject, which helped Fianna to pay attention. She only jotted down a few notes here and there, particularly about the taint on saidin.


And then the actual practice began. Picturing a rosebud was simple enough. Closing her eyes, she thought of the lovely wild rosebushes the caravan had discovered last summer while journeying through Arad Doman. Her mother had been ill during that stretch of time, and had cheered up immensely when she'd brought back an armful of the delicately scented blooms. She imagined cupping one of the blossoms still in bud as she sat in a nice sunny spot near the family's campsite. The sun beat down, and Fianna relaxed under the still-remembered warm rays. Slowly, she imagined the petals of the rose responding to the warmth, peeling back and away one by one to reveal the flower in full.


And felt...nothing. For a moment she opened her eyes in dismay, and found Elin nodding at her, encouraging her to try again.


So she did, not exactly sure what she was supposed to feel.


Around the fourth attempt Fianna did feel something for the briefest moment. It was as if she'd inhaled the freshest mountainside air. Clarity and crispness was flooding every pore of her being, and she opened her eyes again – this time in surprise. So this was the One Power!


But then as faded away as she lost control, and she had to fumble for it again. Must..hold that longer...

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Nanna strode into the classroom feeling, as she always did, a bit out of place. Once again, she was the only "old woman" in the class. She chose a chair and sat, grumbling a bit to herself at the tightness of her white Novice's dress. It felt like the seamstress had made the thing a size too small! Another late night letting the bloody thing out, no doubt. If the woman would let her make her own dresses, there wouldn't be a problem, but for some reason Novices weren't supposed to do that!


She was jerked out of her reverie by what seemed like a thunderclap in the middle of the room. She jerked upright and looked around. When had Elin come in? She started to rise to tell Elin to sit before the Aes Sedai or Accepted who had made that noise came in and saw that she had arrived late for the class, only to realize that Elin's dress now had seven bands. When had Elin become one of the Accepted? She quickly turned her rising motion into a fidgeting one.


Not only had Elin been raised to Accepted, but she had apparently also managed to take an interest in making speeches about the One Power. Most of what the girl said Nanna had heard before from other Novices talking about their lessons, so she had some idea of what was coming. Finally, she was going to learn to touch the True Source! About time, too. Here she was, just learning to touch the Power and Elin was already an Accepted. She would master this, and then she would catch up to Elin. Light, if Elin was this far ahead of her, what about that other girl, Bennu?


She was so shaken by the thought that she almost missed Elin's directions. Those directions made her smile, though. A rosebud, was she? More like a sunflower, and a large one at that. Still, Elin had said a rosebud, so a rosebud she would be.


Nana tried four times to touch the One Power, failing each time. She gave a soft grunt of frustration as she tried again, to no avail. She could do it, she knew she could! Every Aes Sedai that had tested her had told her as much! So why couldn't she now, when she was being asked to? Doggedly, she gave a deep, noisy sigh, and tried again. This time though, she used the image of a sunflower. She was the sunflower bud, her yellow petals protected by the thick green flesh surrounding her. Then, the sun, it's warmth baking it's way through the green, rousing her to wakefulness. Slowly, she bloomed, and the sun was there. It was all around her, within her, surrounding her with warmth and power. She gave a pleased smile and, before she even knew what she was doing, reached out for more. Just as suddenly as it had come to her, it was gone. Her pleased smile went just as quickly, returning to her customary frown.

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This was the probably the thirtieth time Kate had been through this lesson. The 30th time of trying to embrace Saidar and start her journey to channeling. It had been a difficult time, several months on her own and then finally she spent a month on the farm which put Kate into her right mind - she sought out the help of someone. The Yellow she worked with helped her greatly and now it was time to try to embrace Saidar and move on with this class.


Kate wasn't sure if she was going to be able to do it with out her mentor. But she knew she could do it, she just had to keep her mind on task. Channeling for Kate was not automatic. Everything that had been instilled in her at birth had been contrary to everything she was suppose to do now. Kate wondered if her mother had purposefully done so. She doubted it had been on purpose, her mother only knew the affects of the one power, not so much the mechanics. She only protected Aes Sedai, she never cared enough to learn what they were doing, and Kate was sure that was one reason why her mother hated the One Power in the end.


Kate listened as typical for the class, but she didn't take any notes, notes were going to help her after 30 tries. She really hoped this one would pass her.


It was time to try and Kate wasn't sure how long she sat there clearing her mind, but she saw the glow of Saidar pop up around each girl as they attained the One Power in their minds. Kate sighed and closed her eyes. She pushed every thought but the rose bud out of her mind. The flame tried to burn through as it always did, Kate pushed it away, she embraced the rose, tried to feel the sun shine on it and keep it warm. That warmth pushed the cold of the void away. Kate wasn't sure if this was better or if the hardness and crispness of the void was better, but the warmth of Saidar once she had it was wonderful. Kate knew she had finally grasped the source on her own. She thanked the Great Lord for helping her find the right teacher. She was not ready to begin to follow in his path for her.

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Everything looks the bloody same! Miahna grumbled as she rounded a corner somewhat out of breath. While she hadn’t exactly run from the kitchens, she hadn’t exactly walked either. It definitely hadn’t been her finest Aes Sedai imitation. And it’s not as if I can ask just anyone for directions… her thoughts trailed off as she spotted the classroom. Straightening her dress, Miahna walked calmly across the hall and stepped inside. She resisted the urge to wipe her hand across her forehead in relief as the bell rang and the woman wearing a banded dress at the front of the room began speaking. She had made it on time.


Miahna had expected an obvious difference in color - surrounded by the bright white of each novice’s dress the colors on the Accepted hem fairly glittered. However, there was an obvious difference in confidence as well. Though she couldn’t have been more than a few years older than Miahna, if that, the Accepted looked over the class with a poise not unlike Corine Sedai.


Sound boomed into the room. The crisp thunderclap jolted the novices out of idle chatter and they all faced forward as the Accepted began to speak. Mimi opened up the notebook she had been given and began to take notes. While it may have been commonplace for many of the novices in the room, she was still getting used to the idea of this One Power and that she could learn to use it. Channeling, the Mistress of Novices had called it.


It was a rare treat, though from what she had heard this morning it wouldn’t be rare for long, to sit in a class. She had been a good student before, but once her brothers had left and her parents had checked out, she hadn’t had time for anything except taking care of her family. The family that she had left behind…Can’t think about that right now. she thought, shaking her head. At the front of the room, the Accepted shivered slightly as she spoke about the male half of the One Power and how it affected men this day and age. Miahna and the other novices followed suit, shuddering in their chairs. She felt sorry for those men and their families. The very idea that her brothers would have to go through something like that made Miahna nauseous.


In comparison, Saidar sounded wonderful. Closing her eyes as instructed, Miahna drew some deep breaths and tried to focus. The idea that she was a rosebud sounded ridiculous, but obviously this Accepted could channel on demand, so maybe there was something to it. The sounds of the room eventually dropped off as more and more novices became intent on reaching the Source. She felt contentedness. She let the feeling flow over her and attempted to picture exactly what Elin had described.


After five failed tries, Miahna set her jaw. She could do this. She would do this. This time, she put more detail into it. The leaves grew tiny veins in their leaves, the outside damp with morning dew. Clouds overhead parted as sun shined down on her in her rosebud form. She imagined her brothers and sisters next to her, and her needing to show them how to unfurl themselves for the sun. And there it was! For a split second Mimi felt awe. It felt like nothing else she had ever felt. Like warmth straight from the Creator filled her.


Just as instantly it was gone. She let out a sigh at the almost painful absence of that wondrous feeling. When she opened her eyes Elin was smiling encouragingly at her. Mimi curved her lip up in a half smile at her success. Even if it had only been for a brief second, it had happened! Closing her eyes again Miahna repeated her steps.


This time it only took three tries.

Edited by keyholder21
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Elin watched with a pleased expression as each of the girls touched the source, held it tightly within themselves, and invariably lost it. Yes, she even included Nanna in the category of "girl." While they had been novices together for a short season, now Elin was Accepted and Nanna was still a Novice. The two ranks were not allowed to be bridged with friendships. If Nanna was able to become an Accepted while Elin still wore the seven color banded hems, then they could be friends again, or once they both attained the shawl. Despite the gulf between them, Elin felt a deep warmth settle into her heart when she saw the older woman's smile at succeeding. Nanna's face was made for smiles, even if it hadn't had much practice in using them.


Once they had all held the source successfully, Elin called them back to Attention. "Girls, you have all now held the source, felt its warmth and light inside you. You must now remember my warning about not channeling without supervision. Doing so can be very dangerous. Right now, you can hold the source, feel it filling you, but you are untrained in doing anything with it and do not yet have the control to be trained. That is why our next lesson will be on controlling the flow of the Power. Channeling without control has lead to accidents and deaths in the past."


Pausing, Elin thought about her next words very carefully, unsure if it was the right time to share them. "The Tower does not find every girl who can channel or even those who can learn, but many of those girls born with the Spark are left where they are to cope on their own. Three of every four girls born with the spark dies because she cannot learn to control the Power on her own. Those girls go from embracing the source to wielding it, and they do not learn to control how much they use, or how they use it, and they often draw too much, burning themselves out or killing themselves. Others do not learn that control, and instead their body takes in too much of the Power, in uncontrolled times and amounts, and they cannot stand it. They succumb to a wasting illness, a fever, that no medicine or weave of the One Power can Heal."


"If you do not learn control, the One Power could easily kill you." She paused, hoping that made an impact on the listening girls. "When an Accepted or an Aes Sedai is present, they can observe your use of the Power, can help you know when to pull back or when you've not yet reached your limit. If needs be, they can either cut you off from the Power or distract you so you lose it on your own. Accepted and Aes Sedai have the experience to know when such actions are necessary, and that my girls, is why you must only channel with either an Accepted or an Aes Sedai supervising your work."


"You all did well today, girls. I look forward to our next class, and I hope you all are able to enjoy the sun outside during your free hour today."


OOC: Lovely posts everyone... Seeing as you've all replied, I'll get lesson two up ASAP. :wink: It's right here!

Edited by Phelix
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OOC: I've asked Amadine if Gera should wait for another Accepted to teach the intro class, but have her permission to have my Salidar Novice take the intro class from my traditional Accepted. Oy... switching thought processes is going to be a bit of a pain....




Gera arrived punctually on time. The meals they called "breakfast" still barely sat well with her. Back in Cairhien she had always started the day with tea, toast, and an egg. A light meal to help her begin the day, alert and ready for whatever business needed caring for. Here, they served heavy oatmeal, rolls, cow's milk, and fruit compote. It might be an appropriate meal for a growing girl, but Gera had stopped growing more than forty years prior.


The lesson on the Power was a basic lesson that any woman involved in the circles Gera lived in would know. Of course the One Power was a tool. Of course saidin was tainted and saidar was safe. Rather than paying too much attention to the lecture, Gera began taking notes on her classmates. She noted their appearance, their likely countries of origin, and any habits that stood out. One girl chewed on her braid when she was nervous. That one could be of use, later.


Elin, the Accepted leading their "class" was from either Northern Altara or Amadicia, based on her accent and general appearance. She seemed to fixate on the idea of male channelers. It could be, Gera thought, that she is one of those who thinks she can Heal the taint.


When it came time to actually do something, Gera was pleased. She had her first impressions of the classmates and their instructor. Now it was time to begin the process of becoming an Aes Sedai.


Rosebud. Rosebud. As she thought the words, trying to force herself into the mental shape, for just a moment, it felt like she was enclosed in a crystal ball... which came crashing down. Shaking her head, she reformed the image of the plant... its leaves, its thorns... sharp, hidden thorns... and the luscious red petals currently hidden by the leaves. When the image was fixed, she pulled open the leaves, letting the sun warm them until the petals unfurled. She had it! The warmth filled her, and for the first time in recent memory, it wasn't the warmth of defeating a challenging foe... or the warmth of knowing she had out maneuvered multiple challengers... but it was an entirely pleasant warmth.


She lost it suddenly, but for the rest of the lesson tried to regain it.

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