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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Leala's Arrival


Leala Sedai
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Leala felt almost foolish as she rode through Tar Valon with an Aes Sedai and her Gaidin. It wasn’t the Aes Sedai and Warder that bothered her sensibilities, no. It was the two young guards that flanked her. Her mother insisted that she be guarded on the way to the White Tower. She had tried to explain that from what she had read, the Aes Sedai and her Warder would be able to protect her from harm, but her mother was rather stubborn and never quite trusted what her daughter read in books. The young noble’s daughter had been waiting for this day for a year. The Aes Sedai that escorted her now had tested her a year before and found that she could channel. The young girl wasn’t exactly sure how that all worked, but she knew that that would change very soon.

 

Memories of trips to Tar Valon with her father crept into her mind as she observed the city. It was grander than Caemlyn and had a different sort of energy that she liked. The Aes Sedai stopped with her Warder in front of a bridge that led to the Tower. She turned to the three behind her and addressed Leala’s guards. ”Gentlemen, from this point on, your charge will be in the hands of the White Tower.” Her trained eyes shifted to Leala, saying that she would have to dispatch them back to her home. Leala turned her horse as well, to address the two men. “Tal, Jack, thank you for your services. Give mother my regards and may the Light guide you back home safely,” she said in a calm, even tone. Her guards saluted and bowed to her while still mounted. They gave their own parting pleasantries and left the small party.

 

Turning back to her escort, she waited for further instructions. The Blue Sister didn’t give so much as a nod before guiding her steed in the direction of the Tower again. When they arrived at the magnificent structure, servants came to take their horses to the stables. The Warder parted ways with the Aes Sedai who then guided Leala into the White Tower. As Leala’s gray eyes scanned the faces of the people who walked its halls and the décor that encrusted the place, she began to feel more and more like she was where she belonged. She took note of the girls and young women, sometimes even older women, in white belted dresses and dresses that resembled those, but with colored bands at their hems. After the silent tour, the Aes Sedai stopped in front of a door that was decorated much like the rest of the Tower. ”This is the office of Valeri Sedai. She is the Mistress of Novices. Speak with her and she will see that all your needs as a Novice are taken care of.” Leala nodded politely and thanked her escort before she walked away. Leala had kept her composure this whole time, keeping her head held high and her back straight, as she behave at home. But now, with a whole new life ahead of her, she hesitated to knock on the door, but it didn’t last long. She knocked a few times, soft enough so that it was not a loud noise, but loud enough to be heard.

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Stalking back to her desk Valeri put away the report that caused her anger to rise. She calmed herself and reheated her tea with a small weave of fire. Just at the moment there was a knock on the door to her study.

 

"Come."

 

The door opened to reveal a young woman, Andoran at a guess, standing in the door way. "Come in Child, take a seat. How may i be of service to you today?"

 

Valeri Kinaea

Mistress of Traditional Novices

 

 

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Leala busied herself in the small moment while she waited for the Aes Sedai behind the door to answer. She brushed her hands over her long skirt that was a soft gray like her eyes. The bodice matched the skirt, but the floral designs were in her family's colors, a soft gold and a deep blue. She didn't have much time to worry over any wrinkles in her dress because the door opened itself, revealing the Mistress of Novices. She raised her head and stood up straight again, following the Aes Sedai's orders and walking into the office. Her office seemed a bit more drab compared to the rest of the halls, but she didn't pause to consider why. following her instructions, she came into the office. Before she took her seat, she curtsied and said, "Good Day, Aes Sedai." Sitting down, she still kept her composure, even though, inside she was growing rather nervous. "My name is Leala Gymorraine. I was tested a year ago by an Aes Sedai of the Blue Ajah, and she has told me that I have the capability to learn to channel the One Power. I would like to enroll as a Novice in hopes of becoming an Aes Sedai." As it was when she was speaking with other nobles outside her own family, her voice was cool and even. She wanted Valeri Sedai to know that she was serious about her enrollment. This venture into the White Tower was certainly more appealing than being used as a political tool for the betterment of her House back in Caemlyn. She knew that the Wheel had more in store for her than that.

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"Good day Aes Sedai"

The slender girl curtsied deeply then seated herself, arranging the soft folds of her dress about her knees. Andoran in style, Valeri recognised the colours of House Gymorraine subtly woven into the bodice in hues of blue and gold. A noble child then. The child's golden curls were elaborately arranged, caught back from her face by something that Valeri could not see. The girl's pale face was composed, and she appeared to be assessing Valeri and her study with her grey eyes.

 

"My name is Leala Gymorraine. I was tested a year ago by an Aes Sedai of the Blue Ajah, and she has told me that I have the capability to learn to channel the One Power. I would like to enroll as a Novice in hopes of becoming an Aes Sedai."

 

Valeri nodded, tested a year ago. Valeri was sure that the time frame meant the child only just old enough to be accepted into the Tower, or why would the Blue Sister have waited a full year to bring the child to the Tower. True the child held a composure of one well beyond her own age, but her youthful features betrayed the truth of the matter.

 

Valeri rose her from comfortable chair behind her desk and moved to the sideboard under the window. Glancing out she could see an Accepted teaching a class of Novices in the garden below. Valeri made a fresh pot of tea, her favourite Saldaean blend, and carried it and and a pair of fine Sea Folk porcelain cups back to the desk. She seated herself and proceeded to pour tea for each of them. Tea always helped to relax new initiates Valeri had found during her long years as the Mistress of Novices.

 

"Welcome Leala," Valeri began, "I am Valeri Sedai. I am the Mistress of Novices here in the White Tower. I am directly responsible for all the Novices and Accepted within the Tower. Now, let's begin." Valeri smiled, "Have you any questions about the White Tower that i can answer before we get to the business of inducting you for your stay."

 

Valeri lifted her teacup and sipped, savouring the taste while she waited for the child to begin speaking.

 

Valeri Kinaea

Mistress of Traditional Novices

 

 

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Truth be told, Leala had many questions about the White Tower. She had read all books and records of the place that were available in the Palace in Caemlyn. However, there were only two slender books, and very sparse records. The records sometimes told of an Aes Sedai of the Gray Ajah visiting the Palace, and other times there may have been a Blue. She remembered very a vaguely a time when a Green was a guest as well. But she did not know what these colors meant, and there were several more to be seen in the Tower itself. "Actually, if I may, I was wonder what the Ajahs meant in their colors. I've studied what I had available on the White Tower in the past year after my testing, and there was scarcely anything available."

 

She hoped that she wasn't being too forward in asking about the Ajahs and their missions at this point, but this had been a question that had been swelling and growing inside her since she began her small investigation. Her elder brother, Tobias, would belittle her studying at times, but their mother would step in and remind him that if Leala ever did become an Aes Sedai, he would certainly regret his words. She would never be so childish as to hold a grudge for that long, but it did stop his antics for a short time. The thought of her brother's grinning face if she were ever sent home sent a feeling of resolve into her mind. She would not be his political tool. She would contribute to the world around her with her unique talents and skills.

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"Actually, if I may, I was wonder what the Ajahs meant in their colors. I've studied what I had available on the White Tower in the past year after my testing, and there was scarcely anything available."

 

Valeri suppressed a smile, the lass was keen, which was lovely to see. "Ahhh," she replied, "The Ajahs. In the Tower we have seven Ajahs, The Red, Blue, Green, Brown, Yellow, White and Grey. Each Ajah focuses of different areas, for example, the Grey Ajah are negotiators, the White Ajah focus on logic and the Brown on knowledge. These are just some examples, i'll not go into them all and there deeper meaning right now as your classes will go into great detail about each of the Ajahs and their missions."

 

"It is good to see that you are keen child, your inquisative nature will serve you well during you training. Now shall we see about your stay then?"

 

Setting her teacup back its saucer Valeri reached down and using both hands lifted the large aged leather-bound Novice Book from its drawer. "This is the Novice Book child, within it's pages is contained the names of all Tower initiates from the last two thousand years."

 

Valeri turned the pages until she came to the most recent entries, each finalised with her own signature. "Now child, can you tell me your full name, place of birth and age." Valeri lifted her pen and loaded it with ink, then waited for the girl to answer.

 

Valeri Kinaea

Mistress of Traditional Novices

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Leala nodded along, taking in what the Mistress of Novices had to say about the Ajahs. She then explained that she would be informed about the Ajahs more in details during her classes, which she understood. Valeri Sedai must have been very busy. She had seen many women in white dresses. Soon she would be added to that number as well. From what she had heard of the Ajahs, she liked the ideas of the Brown and White. But she would have more than enough time to consider this. She wasn't even officially a Novice after all. She smiled when Valeri Sedai approved of her "keen"-ness. Leala enjoyed pursuing the sources of her curiosity. She watched as the Aes Sedai produced an immense leather-bound book. She almost expected a cloud of dust to breathe out of the tome when it landed on her desk. As Valeri Sedai explained the purpose of the Book of Novices, Leala's mind wandered to the stories behind these Novices. How many had been raised to the shawl? How many was she possibly related to? How many of them would she meet? Her attention quickly returned to the Aes Sedai addressing her. She had asked for her full name, where she had been born, and her age.

 

"Of course," she said with a nod. "My full name is Leala Amaryss Gymorraine." She paused to let the Mistress of Novices copy down her name into the pages of the book. "I was born in Caemlyn, in the Palace." She wasn't sure if she needed thebit about the Palace, but she figured the more information she gave, the more accurate what she gave would be. "And I am fourteen years of age," she said, completing the information that had been requested of her.

 

The Aes Sedai that had escorted her to the Tower had told her of the arduous tasks of a Novice and the duties she would be expected to perform. At first, she was worried about those, but she grew to accept them. They must have been put in place for a reason. She would be a part of something much, much bigger than House Gymorraine. She would do her chores and tasks and whatever else was expected of her with pride.

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"Of course, my full name is Leala Amaryss Gymorraine."

 

Valeri began to add the child's details in the prescribed columns of the Novice Book, Leala continued to speak,

 

"I was born in Caemlyn, in the Palace. And I am fourteen years of age."

 

Valeri completed the entry with her own signature, she set her pen back into its small stand then sanded the entry carefully to remove any excess ink. Valeri looked up at the blond lass solemnly and spoke the words that bound her to the Tower tighter than she had ever been bound in her life before this day, "Welcome to Tar Valon, Leala Gymorraine. Welcome to the White Tower, Novice Leala."

 

A small smile escaped the lass seated before Valeri before she quickly suppressed it. Oh yes, the child would do well, Valeri was sure of it. Valeri rose from behind her desk and went to the large ornate wardrobe in the corner of the room. From within it she pull a pair of dresses, shifts, slippers, a belt and a pouch, all in pristine Novice White.

 

She went back to where the child sat and set the bundle in her lap, topped with a wooden token engraved with Valeri's own name. "This is the prescribed attire of a Novice, child. Your own things will be stored for you against the day you are raised to Aes Sedai or otherwise leave the Tower. These here will see you through the next few days, when you have time take the token to the Tower seamstresses and they will measure you and sew a set of Novice whites to fit you."

 

"Soon, i shall summon someone to show you to your new room and help you learn your way around the Tower. Before i do that, do you have any further questions of me?"

 

Valeri Kinaea

Mistress of Traditional Novices

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"Welcome to Tar Valon, Leala Gymorraine. Welcome to the White Tower, Novice Leala."

 

A feeling of pride swelled in the new Novice's chest when she was given her new title. The most she could hope for in her own home was the title of a noble's wife, with little power. The title of "Novice" granted her access to the greatest structure in the world. She was now part of the White Tower. With her skills in the Great Game, she would conduct Daes Dae'mar with Aes Sedai when the time came. With her talents in the One Power, she would find strength in herself that she had not known until a year ago. She knew that she was at the very bottom of the Aes Sedai hierarchy, but she was so happy to have found a place where she would be useful, needed. She was sure that the Tower had need of Novices.

 

Leala watched Valeri complete her entry and go to a cabinet and retrieve a few items. The young girl leaned to try and see what she was doing. Her hair slipped over her shoulder a bit, distracting her. Her hair, when not controlled, would invade her vision and throw off her thoughts for a moment. By the time she had tamed her golden locks once more,Valeri Sedai had returned with a bundle of clothes and a few accessories, all in white. On top of the bundle was a wooden token that had the Aes Sedai's full name, Valeri Kinaea, carved into it. Looking up, she listened to what the Mistress of Novices had to say.

 

"This is the prescribed attire of a Novice, child. Your own things will be stored for you against the day you are raised to Aes Sedai or otherwise leave the Tower. These here will see you through the next few days, when you have time take the token to the Tower seamstresses and they will measure you and sew a set of Novice whites to fit you."

 

The now titled Novice Leala ran her hands over the bundle. She wondered how they would fit on her. Looking through the items, she found two white dresses, shifts, a belt, and a pouch, all of them white. Like the Tower. If the dresses were too large around her hips, the belt would certainly be needed. Her mind flitted to the statement about her own possessions being held until the day that she was raised tot he shawl. When Valeri Sedai continued, she told her that she would soon be escorted to her room and posed the opportunity for more questions.

 

"Just one more, Aes Sedai. You see, if my hair is not tied back with this cord," she began, indicating the simple silver cord that wrapped around the crown of her head, holding her intricate, yet unwieldy hair back. "It almost immediately springs into my face, interfering with my sight. Will this be held for me as well? If so, I'll need a replacement." She assumed that if there was need for a replacement, it would be white. She had no complaint against that.

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"Just one more, Aes Sedai. You see, if my hair is not tied back with this cord. It almost immediately springs into my face, interfering with my sight. Will this be held for me as well? If so, I'll need a replacement."

 

Valeri reached down into her desk drawer and pulled out a roll of white ribbon, measuring off a couple of yards she cut it with her belt knife and wound it around her hand before passing the small bundle to Leala. "This may not work as well as the cord you have there child, but speak with the seamstresses - they should have some cord that will serve you well."

 

As Leala was giving thanks for the offered ribbon Valeri lifted her small brass bell, it had been a gift from her mother years before she had come the White Tower herself. She rang then bell, it tinkled quietly, but the weaves placed on the bell would allow the closest Novice or Accepted to Valeri's study to hear the bell toll in her ear.

 

Valeri set the bell down and poured a fresh cup of tea, she offered the newest Novice but she declined. Within minutes a small knock at the door came, "Come." Valeri said clearly to be heard through the stout wooden door.

 

The door opened inwards and revealed another newish Novice, Crysta. The Arafellin curtsied, "You summoned me Valeri Sedai?"

 

"Goodday to you Crysta." Valeri smiled, "This is Leala Gymorraine. She's from Caemlyn and has just been added to the Novice Book. Can you please show her to the Novice Quarters, and then a tour of the White Tower perhaps?"

 

Crysta curtsied her acceptance of the instructions then asked Leala if she would like help with her bundle. Leala rose then thanked Valeri in a practised curtsy of her own. As the pair of Novices left Valeri pushed the door gently closed with a weave of air then settled back down into her chair.

 

Valeri Kinaea

Mistress of Traditional Novices

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