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Intro to Saidar: Lesson Three


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Today’s lesson was going to be a particular trial for Elin. Women, in general, were weaker in Earth and Fire than men, but Elin was weaker than even the average woman in Earth. Her time in the Tower had taught her not to hide from her weaknesses, but to address them and surmount them. To that end, she felt it would be best to have the girls work with Earth and Fire on their first day actually channeling.


When the girls began to trickle into the classroom, Elin smiled, knowing that she had to show a confident face if she was to teach the novices well. She also left an empty folder sitting on the desk, wondering which of the girls would remember the previous assignment.


“Good morning girls, today will be almost entirely practical with very little lecturing. Please pay attention. I will pull a single thread of each of the elements, and I want you to tell me what color the thread appears to you. There is a standard answer, but sometimes individual channelers see the threads differently.”


Elin embraced the source and pulled a brown thread of Earth and held it between her outstretched hands, as each of the girls called out a color. Once they had answered, she channeled a thread of red Fire. After waiting for the girls again, she spun a single glowing green strand of Water. The next thread was blue Air, and that was followed by the last thread of silver Spirit.


“Good, you’ve all seen the five threads, and should be able to identify them again in the future.”


She went to the desk, and she reached into a drawer, from which she pulled a small basket of rocks. Taking one for herself, she passed the rest around the room to each of the novices. Holding hers in her hand, Elin pulled two threads of Earth and wove them into a simple spiral weave that she spun around the rock in her hand. As the weave caught onto the rock, it lifted off her palm, and the rough edges suddenly began to melt and run. The rock spun, rotating slowly in mid air, and after a few rotations, it was a perfect sphere.


“Girls, please take the rock you were given and use the Shaping Weave to make it into whichever shape you prefer.”


Elin watched as each girl embraced the Source and fumbled through the weave. Some made mistakes on their first few attempts, but they all eventually succeeded. Once each had reshaped their stone, Elin brought them back to attention.


From the desk, she gathered a pack of small candles and passed them out to the girls. There was a single candle sitting on the desk for Elin to demonstrate. Weaving a single thread of fire, she wrapped it around the candle wick and knotted it. As soon as the knot closed, a small flame burst into life and held steady on the wick.


“Now, first, the size of the thread you weave and the thickness of the knot you form determines the size of the flame you make. To quench a flame like this you must either snuff it using Air or Water, in a knot much like the original weave of Fire, or you could smother it with Earth, if you are particularly strong in Earth. One thing you must never do is draw the heat from the flame into yourself. If you were to do that, you would cause yourself great harm. I have seen girls who drew the heat in find themselves with blisters all over their bodies, one even caught herself on fire.”


While they thought about that, she snuffed her own candle using a knot of water. “You may now practice lighting and snuffing your candles.”


OOC: Please RP recognizing the different threads of the Power, then shaping your rock, and lighting your candle. Also, mention if you did the assignment or not, and if not I’ll send you to Valeri/Taline as appropriate... you shouldn’t need to actually RP your visit or punishment, but mention it in your reply to the next lesson. Though, if you want to RP a trip to the MoN, go for it. :biggrin: I’ll “end” the lesson and post the fourth class in a couple of days. ;)

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Kate tossed her paper on the desk with the others, it hadn't been particularly fun, but it was done, and she did learn about the Aes Sedai who had burned herself out. She found her seat and waited eagerly to move on to the next class. A first for everything and Kate wondered when they would actually get to channel something.


Today's lesson was on the five threads. Each thread having their own colors. Accepted Elin wove Earth first, for Kate it was a pale brown. The second was a bright red for Fire - green for water, blue for air and a silver for spirit. Kate knew the five elements from Nalia, but she'd never seen the colors before, it was amazing once you thought about it. How you could see something that wasn't really there. Kate stared in awe, she hoped they would get to touch the weaves.


Kate's hopes were fulfilled and then dashed with ease. First up was shaping a rock with the One Power. Kate tried to make the weaves, but it was difficult. First her excitement interfered with her embracing the source, she had to calm down before she was able to take control of Saidar. She sighed but was glad she'd managed to do it. The weaves didn't look particularly hard, but Kate the brown weaves kept slipping from her grasp, but she did manage to get it, she shaped the rock just like Elin did, into a sphere, it looked to be the easiest and Kate wasn't sure if she would be able to do much more.


The next was fire, and Kate hoped this one would go better than Earth. Kate easily grasped the source this time, her disappointment hadn't affected her ability, she was glad, maybe this would get easier as it went on. Kate tied a knot of fire, it was bright and strong and easily done. She smiled. Fire was easy. Then she remembered what she'd done in the Mistress of Novices Office when she first arrived. The garbage bin had caught fire, fire came easy to her if she could do it with out knowing how to do it. Kate tried to snuff out the candle with water, and then with air. Air was far easier than Water. The weaves were identical, but her grasp of air was better than water. Kate wondered what else they would learn and if she'd find something else she was good at - but Fire had many uses and she knew the Great Lord would be pleased with that.

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The morning had been rough for Gera. One of the maids who was reporting to her had been caught spending too much time looking at an Aes Sedai's desk. The poor girl had only been spanked and dressed down for getting above her station and being nosy... but she'd bawled all over Gera's shoulder. Light, she thought to herself, if one of my informants had behaved like that back in Cairhien, I'd have shipped her out of the city myself! Unfortunately, Gera no longer had that kind of authority within her web. Soon, though... soon she would earn the banded dress and the ring that came with it and then the shawl... then she would spread her web out across the nations.


Sighing, she remembered to turn in her essay. It had been interesting reading about the woman, a Kandori Aes Sedai who overdrew the Power while trying to defend a village from trollocs. She used the Power valiantly, but foolishly. The records are quite clear that she drew deeply, sending waves of fire at the shadowspawn hoping to frighten them off, and she tried to make the earth erupt at their feet. The records cannot show how strong that particular Aes Sedai was in the male elements, but the fact that she exhausted herself so quickly speaks for itself. Her final stroke was to draw in even more of the Power and cause an explosion. It leveled half of the village, but it did kill most of the trollocs, so in the balance, it could be counted as a victory. The lesson Gera took from that essay was to think about methods before taking action. Doing things in a showy manner often takes more effort than achieving the same goals with less extravagance.


When Elin began spinning the threads, Gera noticed a halo of light shine around the Accepted and smiled to herself. The books said that would happen, and now she would always know if a woman was channeling in her line of sight. The thread she pulled all matched the colors that felt natural to them, earthy brown, bright fiery red, sea green, sky blue and silver. It made sense to Gera.


Then they were each given a rock, and Gera stared at hers. It was a shiny black piece of obsidian, probably from the only local volcano, Dragonmount. Wrapping it in the weave of spiraling Earth, Gera thought of the shape she wanted it to take. As soon as the thought came into mind, the rock floating in the weave began to flow into the shape of a long, thin hairpin. The piece was modeled after a Cairhienin style, it had a hook on one end, and could be used to form longer hairstyles into a bun quickly. Gera had always worn her hair down, but this new lifestyle as a novice caused her to need to keep it up much more often than her former life of luxury.


Once the rock was transformed into a hairpin, Gera put it to good use, tucking her hair into a neat bun with the pin holding it tightly in place.


When Elin handed out the candles, Gera smiled. Finally, they were going to learn a useful weave. Reshaping a rock was interesting, but hardly practical... but lighting candles? That was something that could make daily life much easier.


Setting her candle in the middle of her desk, Gera wove a thin thread of bright red Fire and knotted it neatly on the wick, which suddenly burst into a cheery little flame. Feeling a wave of pure pride at succeeding so quickly, she knotted water around the same wick, quenching the flame. Then she tried it again, but with a thicker thread of fire. When she knotted it, the flame bloomed out like a tulip, and stayed that large, floating on the candlewick. The flame was actually larger than the candle it sat upon. Gera quenched it with another watery hiss.


Then an idea struck her, weaving the thickest thread of Fire she'd yet handled, she knotted it around the wick. As soon as the thread came together into the weave, it burst into a flame the size of Gera's head, completely consuming the candle, melting all of its wax in one puff. The suddenly liquid wax puddled on the desk, and then ran toward Gera's lap. Seeing where the molten wax was heading, Gera pushed back from her desk violently, clearing the path for the wax to puddle on the floor.


Blushing, she wove an equally thick knot of water to snuff her head-sized flame. It hissed into nothing with a puff of steam. She was aware of several sets of eyes on her, but she let them stare. Hopefully she wouldn't get in trouble for doing something that dangerous.

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This time Miahna arrived at the classroom with at least a few minutes to spare. More than that actually, she thought surveying the mostly empty classroom. Elin stood at the front of the room, a small smile on her face. On the desk in front of her lay an empty folder. I suppose that’s for our assignments. Pulling the paper out of her notebook, she looked it over one more time before slipping it into the folder. There hadn’t been much information about the novice she’d received, but she’d done her best. It was a good thing that Brown sister had been willing to help her. If she hadn’t, Miahna wouldn’t have known where to find the book, let alone where to find the information inside the book. She’d been a good student, but they hadn’t very many books to learn from – it had pretty much all been vocally or hands-on. That library had been very overwhelming. I’ll have to spend some more time there so I don’t have to bother a Sister every time.


The rest of her classmates filed in just as Mimi took her seat. The Accepted began the lesson by weaving a separate thread of each of the elements and asking the novices to shout out which color she saw. Feeling the most confident she had since arriving at the White Tower, Miahna embraced the Source on her first try and watched the light shimmer around each of the other novices as those girls joined her in the bliss of Saidar.


She watched with interest as Elin wove a strand of Earth. Though the majority of the other girls saw the strand as a variation of brown, for Mimi it was a brilliant green – the color of new grass. Fire was, of course, a pulsing red thread. Water was a deep blue – like the babbling brook outside her old home. Air was a bright, almost blinding white. Spirit was a rich gray, as if Elin had pulled down a thin strand from a storm cloud. Apparently all the elements looked different to her. She fiddled with her braid, wondering if that meant anything. She’d have to ask the Accepted at the end of class, as Elin was moving on.


A basket of rocks was passed around until each novice had one. Mimi was almost giddy as Elin instructed them to repeat the weave she had demonstrated. Finally channeling! Repeating the Accepted exactly, she watched with wonder as the jagged pointy rock lifted above her hand and melted until it was round and smooth. She placed it gently on the corner of her desk. If we don’t have to turn this in, I’m going to keep it forever, she ruminated to herself, as it is the first useful thing I’ve done with the One Power.


The ease with which the shaping weaves came to her spurred Miahna on to excitedly grab the candle that was passed out next. She watched as Elin channeled a thread of Fire around the wick of the candle and …tied it into a knot? I would have never thought it would be as simple as tying a shoe’s lacings.


Again as instructed, Mimi wove what the Accepted wove and to her delight her candle popped into flame. It was thrilling to do what you wanted! She snuffed it out with a blue Water thread and the candle gave a satisfying hiss. Relighting the candle, Mimi watched with delight as this time she snuffed it out with a white Air thread. A puff of light gray smoke wafted up toward the ceiling as she did so.

Edited by keyholder21
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With an apologetic look on her face, Fianna sidled into class among the last gaggle of nearly-late students and deposited her essay on the Accepted's desk. She made a point of sliding it as far underneath the stack as she could without calling too much attention to herself. She had finished her assignment, yes – but it was after hours of rewriting the report in an effort to make the document legible for anyone but her eyes. Elin was going to have a heck of a time trying to parse what the Tuatha'an had written about Halsase Mierai, an Accepted from nearly a century ago. Fianna herself had found it rather fascinating how the girl had drawn too much on the Power using a ter'angreal; according to the story, the small silver bell doubled the amount you could draw yet kept you from feeling the strain. If she'd known her limitations, her burning out would never have occurred.


The class began shortly after she slid into her desk, and for the next few minutes the novice lost herself in carefully observing Elin's handling of the elemental flows. She ached to get the chance to try handling those flows herself – and got her wish when they were each handed a rock and taught one of the first very simple Shaping spells.


Oh! It's like making pottery. Concentrating, she let it spin round in her hands. Don't fight the stone, sweet talk it into changing shapes. After a few moments, she produced a simple shallow cup that she set aside for her room. Idly, she wondered just how many times you could reshape rock with the Earth weave until it wouldn't take the shaping anymore and collapsed into rubble.


Fire, on the other hand, was a bit of a problem. Fianna disliked flames, but she sighed and carefully performed the weave. At first, the candle refused to light because she was being too tentative, but after redoubling her efforts she was rewarded with the tiniest spark that climbed up the wick. She deadened it with Air, then brought it back only to finish it off with a weave of Water.

Edited by Chikara
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Nanna wandered, more than walked, into the classroom. Her face was drawn, deep circles beneath her eyes emphasizing her haggard appearance. Her hair, normally pulled back into a tidy, if severe, bun, was in a state of disarray. Her clothing was similarly disheveled, her bone-white Novice dress was rumpled, as if she had slept in it. Her mouth was set in a grim line, and her hand clutched a small sheaf of papers. All in all, she looked more like a woman who had fought her way through a legion of Darkfriends than a Novice turning in an assignment.


It took her a moment to realize that she had reached her destination. She stood, blinking, for a moment, before stalking over to the table where the rest of the assignments lay stacked in a pile. With an almost defiant stare for Elin, she shoved the papers into the waiting folder. The woman couldn't have possibly expected her to have finished the bloody thing in the time allotted. Not that she particularly cared that Kera Nendrell, Novice, had burned herself out while experimenting with the One Power on her own. When she had read the reports on the girl's loss of ability, Nanna had half-wondered if Elin had given them all assignments based on their personalities. She certainly wasn't the type for that kind of half-brained foolishness!


Her delivery made, Nanna seated herself and set about attempting to tidy her hair. Elin started the lesson while she did so. She almost sighed in relief when the Accepted said that today's lesson was going to be more practical than the last two. Finally, they would be doing something rather than discussing the theories behind channeling. Just the thought of touching the One Power, let alone channeling it, made the older woman sit up straighter in her chair, thoughts of sleep forgotten for the moment.


She watched the threads being woven with interest. The green of Earth, the bright, almost pulsing red of Fire, the smokey gray of Air, the deep blue of Water, and the shining golden yellow of Spirit. Watching the other woman channeling almost made the sunflower form, and she had to consciously push the idea away to keep herself from channeling without permission.


Then rocks were handed out, and Nanna looked down at hers. It looked like one of the small river stones her sons had been so fond of. She had never understood why young boys always needed to have a handful of the things. Those and feathers. Nanna held the thing her hand and looked at it, trying to decide what she wanted to make. She first thought she might want to make a feather, but she probably didn't have the skill to make something so complex on her first time. To think otherwise would be foolish.


She eventually channeled the rock into a simple pyramid. It wasn't pretty, but it wasn't supposed to be. The channeling itself didn't seem to be particularly hard, but it wasn't very easy, either. She set the pyramid aside and concentrated the candle. Like the rock, it wasn't hard to light it, but it neither was it simple. Putting it out, however, was a different matter entirely. Water was like Fire and Earth, so she used the same amount of strength when she channeled Air to put it out. Instead of the expected puff of air, a small gust spattered melted wax onto the table in front of the woman. Deciding it was best to stop for now, Nanna pushed the candle over next to the rock. She picked at the rapidly drying wax as she waited for the lesson to end.

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