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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY
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Christine

Naive New Novice

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They had been riding for weeks; Aliena was sure of it. Every morning, the Aes Sedai awoke her before the Sun was even up, and they rode all day until the Sun was gone. At first, everything had been beautiful. They saw farms along the road, and beautiful trees. Then, as soon as they reached Braem Wood, the trip stopped being fun. The Aes Sedai never wanted to answer any questions whatsoever, even anything about herself. The woman just road in silence and ignored Aliena if she ever spoke. They never saw anyone else as they rode through the Forest, and without any way to sketch what she saw while on horseback, Aliena just had to dream. Dream of her future... dream of the Aes Sedai... dream of the Tower...

 

Tar Valon... I am to be Aes Sedai... It still didn't feel very real to Aliena. She had just been hoping to see the sites of Caemlyn, and now she was on her way to the grandest city imaginable. She had remembered where she had heard the word before. It had been in a book, talking about the Ogier buildings. While she had seen the great walls in Caemlyn, she knew that the greatest building of the Ogier were those of Tar Valon... The White Tower. And here I am, going to study in this great building, in the greatest city...

 

After almost two weeks, she could see Dragonmount... That was something she had not read about in any of the books she had found. After asking the Aes Sedai enough time, she filled Aliena in. Apparantly, the Dragon Lews Therin Telamon had channeled too much of the One Power, which resulted in his death and the growing of the mountain. It was always smoking, and no one had fully climbed it. It was also what resulted in the creation of the island of Tar Valon. It amazed Aliena to see such a large mountain before it. Apparantly, the shadow also just barely reached the gates of Tar Valon. She could certainly get used to seeing that outside of a window. Her fingers ached to sketch it, but she rode on.

 

Within just 5 more days, and after two and a half weeks of travel, she could finally see the gates of Tar Valon... and it was nothing she could have ever imagined. The beautiful tower, the white gates, and the huge bridges... She was in awe. Everything she saw, she needed to draw, so she could never forget. It was amazing, and she would be living in the middle of it. I am going to be a part of this... As they slowly reached the tower, Aliena couldn't even ask questions about what they saw. She just wanted to take it all in.

 

Eventually, they reached the tower, and the Aes Sedai told her to grab her things. They left their horses with some stable boys, and she followed the woman quickly into the tower. They walked quickly through halls filled with girls in white dresses and graceful Aes Sedai. Aliena kept looking at all the women walking by, struggling to keep up with the Aes Sedai that was leading her through the towers. So this was the White Tower? It was even more beautiful from the inside than out, but who were the girls in white dresses? Some had a beautiful hem, while others were all white. Were they the servants, or were they just the youngest girls? Aliena knew she would not look very lovely in white, and hoped she would not have to wear that dress as well.

 

As they came to the door of an office, the Aes Sedai knocked, and came in when they were welcomed in. Stepping inside, Aliena was greeted with another beautiful ageless face. The original Aes Sedai said, "Sister Valeri, this is Aliena. I found her in Caemlyn, and she was tested. I leave her now in your hands. Aliena, this is Valeri Sedai, the Mistress of Novices." And with that, the Aes Sedai left her. She didn't even know the Aes Sedai's name. She was such an odd woman, but had always provided her with endless information. Perhaps she would see her again... Turning back to the Mistress of Novices, Aliena smiled. Light, I hope she doesn't notice how dirty I am.

 

Aliena looked down at her dress, which had been such a pretty delicate pink before they left Caemlyn. It had been a gift from her father on her last birthday, with pretty pink slippers and a beautiful hair ribbon to match. Now, everything was covered in dirt. Her slippers look like they had always been a greyish brown,and were completely caked with dirt. The dress was an awkward grey color, minus the back, which had always been covered with her cloak. That must be interesting, having my dress two completely different colors. Even her hands were dirty, and she wished she had even just a little water to clean them. Her face was dirty too. The road had not been kind to her along their travels... but surely she couldn't be the only one that arrived dirty.

 

The Mistress of Novices, on the other hand, looked like a picture of grace and elegance. She had a tight bun that looked to not have a hair out of place. Her eyes were the brightest blue, making Aliena jealous. She had always longed to have blue eyes. She found it to be absolutely stunning with the dark hair, and Valeri Sedai was proof that her jealous was well placed. She had the Ageless skin, which was smooth and fair. Perhaps when I am an Aes Sedai, I shall look that elegant.

 

The Aes Sedai beckoned for her to take a seat in the chairs, and she did so, smiling. "Valeri Sedai, hello!" She tried to seem cheerful, but felt more like a fool. Oh lovely, she was already making a fool out of herself, and she had just arrived.

 

 

 

OOC: Edited due to the fact I can't remember to close my Italic tags... or apparently enter the color tags...

Edited by Christine

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Valeri smiled as she watched a class of Novices being taken through their paces working with Water and Air out in the garden by an experienced Accepted. She sipped her tea as a knock sounded on her door. "Come" she said as she returned and seated herself behing the large ornate timber desk.

 

The door opened to reveal a travelworn lass and a recently returned Aes Sedai. The Sister spoke, "Sister Valeri, this is Aliena. I found her in Caemlyn, and she was tested. I leave her now in your hands. Aliena, this is Valeri Sedai, the Mistress of Novices." With that the Sister turned and left.

 

Valeri suppressed a groan, wondering how the child had been treated on the trip to the White Tower. She beckoned the child in and to take a seat, before Valeri could speak the girl did, "Valeri Sedai, hello!"

 

Valeri smiled, "Hello there child. Aliena is it?" the lass nodded, "Take a seat, let me pour you some tea, you look tired Aliena."

 

Valeri pushed the teacup over to Aliena then lifted her own cup, before taking a sip she asked, "What brings you to the White Tower Aliena?"

 

Valeri Kinaea

Mistress of Traditional Novices

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The Mistress of Novices gave Aliena a very warm smile, and she felt immediately welcomed. You could tell so much about a person by their smile. If they showed any sort of teeth and were not visibly excited about something, it was an empty gesture. Any smile that induced dimples was truly heartfelt. The secret of smiles, however, was the eyes. All smiles reached the eyes if they were true. And Valeri Sedai had very warm eyes. This place won't be so bad at all if she is in charge.

 

"Hello there child. Aliena is it?" Aliena smiled again and nodded. She could smell tea about the room, and the idea of a hot cup of tea seemed completely divine. She had rarely even had a fire along their trip, as the Aes Sedai had chosen to simply read and eat dried crackers than worry about anything else. What a dull woman she was indeed... Almost as though Valeri Sedai had read her mind, the woman was offering her a cup of tea. "Take a seat, let me pour you some tea; you look tired Aliena." Almost unable to contain herself, she was reaching towards it. The cup was so warm in her hands, she shivered for a moment, before savoring her first sip. It was absolutely perfect... not too hot and not too cold. Life here will be easy.

 

"What brings you to the White Tower Aliena?" Aliena almost didn't hear the question as she savored her tea. Taking another quick sip, she forced herself to remove the cup from her lips, knowing that she should show respect and answer promptly. “Thank you so much for the tea, Valeri Sedai; it is simply divine!” Forgetting for a moment that she had been asked a question, she took another sip, then realized what a dolt she must appear. Answer when spoken to, you fool! “I was hoping to learn. The Aes Sedai that brought me here, she found me in Caemlyn, and I asked to come with her. She tested me and, well, here I am!” Having a half giggle to herself, she took another sip, and saw that the Aes Sedai was still looking at her. I guess I should tell her more...

 

“To expand upon that, I am from Carysford, in Andor. My family...” I wonder if I will ever see them again... “We went to Caemlyn on a visit, and I was curious and went out to explore at night. I got a little lost, you see, and the Aes Sedai... well she found me! I had never heard of an Aes Sedai before, so she told me that you were Servants of All and that you channeled the One Power, and I wanted to go with her, to learn.” Remembering that the Aes Sedai had questioned her about knowing what an Aes Sedai was, she backed up a little bit. “I guess I should mention, my family didn't like us to know much about the outside world. What little I knew I found in books that I... errr... borrowed from visitors to our town. And what I overheard.”

 

“Anyways, she, the Aes Sedai, had me stare into a crystal and then it lit up! She told me that I could learn to channel, so she brought me here! I want to learn, and I want to know how to channel! When do I begin?”

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“Anyways, she, the Aes Sedai, had me stare into a crystal and then it lit up! She told me that I could learn to channel, so she brought me here! I want to learn, and I want to know how to channel! When do I begin?”

 

So, the child had been successfully tested, that was something at least. Valeri smiled at the lass, she was eager to learn, and to begin. It always went easier on the girls when they were as keen as Aliena.

 

"You want to join the White Tower as a Novice then Aliena?" the girl nodded emphatically, "It will be hard work. You must study for years as a Novice and years more as an Accepted before you can gain the shawl of an Aes Sedai." the child nodded again, this time a little uncertainly.

 

"Do you want to ask me any questions before we add your name to the Novice Book? Once we do add your name you will be tied to the White Tower indefinitely."

 

Valeri Sedai

Mistress of Traditional Novices

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Valeri Sedai smiled again, and Aliena once again felt the warmth in her eyes. "You want to join the White Tower as a Novice then Aliena?" Aliena smiled and nodded, excited to begin her new life. "It will be hard work. You must study for years as a Novice and years more as an Accepted before you can gain the shawl of an Aes Sedai." Aliena nodded again, knowing that the hard years would be worth it, when the words then dawned on her. Years? What did years mean? If it took a year or two, the woman would have said a year or two. Or even five, the woman would have specified. How long could it take? And years alone, just to reach Accepted, only to have more years to work towards Aes Sedai?

 

Aliena began to think back about all the girls she had seen. There were women as old as her mother at least that had been wearing the white dresses. She had yet to see an Aes Sedai that, while looking ageless, didn't look to be at least nearing 30. And that was most likely because of the ageless grace they all had. Aliena had known it would take a few years to reach this goal but... years?

 

"Do you want to ask me any questions before we add your name to the Novice Book? Once we do add your name you will be tied to the White Tower indefinitely." Aliena paused for a moment. Was she willing to give up years of her life just to study here? She only had one life to live. Could she spend the next 20 of it, studying and working hard? She glanced around the room, seeing the books. Could she even go home and give up books? Could she give up her new found freedom?

 

“No, Aes Sedai. I am ready to begin my studies.”

 

 

OOC: Sorry it was so short.... but it seemed to say all that it needed to!

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“No, Aes Sedai. I am ready to begin my studies.”

Valeri smiled at the child seated before her, so self assured, yet nervous at the same time. Valeri reached dow to the bottom drawer of her desk, carefully she lifted the large leather bound book and set it on the desk top before her. She opened the book and leafed through ancient warded pages to find the most recent entries. Taking up her pen, she loaded it with ink from the crystal inkwell and paused before looking back up at Aliena.

"Now child, can you tell me your full name, place of birth and your age." As Aliena spoke Valeri neatly filled in the relevant details in the Novice Book. She finished the entry with her own signature and set the pen back in its stand. Smiling at Aliena she spoke the words that would sealed Aliena to the Tower forever, "Welcome to Tar Valon Aliena Halinor. Welcome to the White Tower Novice Aliena."

 

Rising from her deak Valeri went to the large ornate wardrobe in the corner of her study, though it matched her other furniture exactly, a wardrobe still appeared slightly out of place in an office. From within the wordrobe Valeri pulled a pair of dresses, several shifts, stockings, slippers, a belt and a pouch - all in pristine white fabric. She place the snowy pile into Aliena's lap before taking her seat again.

 

"These will see you through your first days in the White Tower Aliena. A Novice must only wear white, so when you have the time take this token," Valeri slid the little wooden token with her own name engraved in it across the table, "Take this token to the Tower seamstresses and they will measure and sew you dresses to fit properly."

 

Valeri lifted the small bell on her desk and gave it a slight ring, it was not loud, but it would sound in the ear of the closest Novice or Accepted to her study, summoning them to her. "Now child, if you have any questions for me, now is the time to ask them, soon someone will arrive to escort you to your room and show you around the White Tower."

 

Valeri Kinaea

Mistress of Traditional Novices

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Aliena swallowed hard as she watched the Mistress of Novices pull a large leather bound book out. It looked to be near to ancient, and she watched as the woman flipped to a page. Sitting on the edge of her seat, Ali knew that this was the moment she signed her soul to the tower. She was sure that she wanted to do this. There was no going back at this point. "Now child, can you tell me your full name, place of birth and your age." Ali nodded, and began to answer the questions. Within no time, she was in the book, and Ali felt a shiver go over her as Valeri Sedai smiled at her. "Welcome to Tar Valon Aliena Halinor. Welcome to the White Tower Novice Aliena."

 

Sitting back in her chair, Aliena smiled to herself. Not even a month ago, she had simply been the Innkeeper's daughter that was never allowed out. Now, she was a Novice of the White Tower. She watched Valeri Sedai go into the random wardrobe in the office, and looked at the pile of white dresses and shifts. So, this was the start of her future. All white. She took the token given to her by the Mistress, and nodded, raising from her chair.

 

"Now child, if you have any questions for me, now is the time to ask them, soon someone will arrive to escort you to your room and show you around the White Tower." Ali shook her head no, and heard a knock at the door. Well, it was about time she began the next stage in her life!

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Leala made her way down the hall ways of the White Tower. She felt very secure in her new home. Really, she had been there for over a decade, but she still considered it her new home because she had still lived with her family in Caemlyn for fourteen years. Truly, the Tower was where she belonged. The family she had made since coming here were much more accepting over her than her true family. She was on her way to deliver a stack of papers to the clerks of the Tower. A Gray had spotted her on her way out and had seemed to remember just before she left that she needed to turn the papers in, but of course, Aes Sedai had to maintain their dignity at all times and after the interaction had been finished, Leala almost felt as if it had been her fault even though she knew it was not. Other Accepteds would probably have struggled to maintain their composure, but Leala was accustomed to masking her intentions and emotions.

 

As she passed by Valeri Sedai's office, she felt the Aes Sedai within embrace the One Power and heard a tinging of a bell. Looking around, she realized that she was the closest one to the door and answered the call. Opening the door, knocking on the door, she heard Valeri Sedai allow her entrance. She opened the door and saw the Mistress of Traditional Novices sitting across from a girl. She had a look of wonder on her face and in her lap was a set of white clothes. She was a new initiate, then. "Would you like me to escort a new Novice to her room, Valeri Sedai?" she asked, knowing that this was what was expected of her. She would have to deliver the papers afterwards, then. This was not a problem, but it was another chore she would have to consider in her schedule.

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The knock at the door came soon after Valeri set the bell back on her desk. "Come" she said.

 

The door pushed open to reveal Leala, "Good morning Leala" Valeri smiled at the blond Accepted.

 

Leala took in the girl sitting in the chair before Valeri's desk and immediately spoke, "Would you like me to escort a new Novice to her room, Valeri Sedai?"

 

"Yes please Leala. This is Aliena. Please show her to a room in the Novice Quarters and take her on a tour of the Tower." Valeri replied. Aliena stood and attempted a curtsey while holding her bundle of Novice whites.

 

The girls left and Valeri pushed the door closed with a soft flow of air and sat back in her chair.

 

Valeri Kinaea

Mistress of Traditional Novices

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Valeri Sedai was putting a bell back onto her desk, and Ali wondered why she hadn't heard it. How had someone come so quickly and the woman hadn't even called for anyone? "Come," said Valeri Sedai simply, and Aliena turned around to see who was coming in. It was another girl, in a white dress, only hers had a beautiful rainbow hem. I wonder how I can get one of those. "Good morning Leala." Leala... she had beautiful blond hair that made Ali envious.

 

"Would you like me to escort a new Novice to her room, Valeri Sedai?" Her room? Of course. Ali had forgotten that she would have to stay somewhere. Wait, her room? She was to have HER own room? She had always shared with her sisters. Was she to have actual privacy for once? Well, this tower was certainly full of wonderful surprises!

 

"Yes please Leala. This is Aliena. Please show her to a room in the Novice Quarters and take her on a tour of the Tower." Rising from her chair, Aliena did a half curtsy, still holding the stack of white in her one hand. Almost as if in a daze, she turned and followed Leala out of the office door. Forgetting to shut the door, she turned back, and saw that it closed... on its own? No, the Mistress of Novices had to of closed it. There was no other option. But the woman had still been at her desk...

 

Leala was moving along at a rapid speed, and Ali had to take a few quick steps to keep up with her. Suddenly, what had seemed an empty hall before was filled with girls in white dresses, some with the pretty hem, and others without. Trying to keep up, not drop anything, and follow the correct white dress, Ali tried to take it all in. Noticing the hem again, she asked, "What a beautiful hem. How did you get it? Will I get to have one as well?"

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Leala nodded and let the girl out of the office before the turned and closed the door behind her. It had been so long ago that she was a new Novice herself. She wondered what this girl was thinking. Leala had known in a deep part of her soul that she was meant to be in the White Tower rather than with her family. She had been to Tar Valon before coming to the Tower as well, so she had probably been more desensitized to the experience than a lot of other girls. Setting off, she decided to start outside and show the girl the Library, the Gardens, and the Warders' Yard first before going into the Tower itself. She was about to walk to the main exit to begin the tour when the girl spoke up, asking about her "pretty hem" on her dress. It brought a ghost of a smile to her lips.

 

"This is the dress of an Accepted," she explained, walking toward the door. "After training for a few years, usually around ten, the Mistress of Novices will call you to be tested. When you pass, you will wear the dress with the hem and the Great Serpent ring." She showed the girl the third finger on her left hand, indicating the ring of the snake biting its own tail.

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"This is the dress of an Accepted. After training for a few years, usually around ten, the Mistress of Novices will call you to be tested. When you pass, you will wear the dress with the hem and the Great Serpent ring." Aliena looked at the ring on Leala's left hand and saw the snake biting it's own tail. Such a pretty ring! "Many may not know this before coming here, but the Great Serpent can be seen on the ancient symbol for Aes Sedai that was used before the Breaking of the World." So she would get to have a colorful hem and a real piece of her own jewelry in a few years, when she became accepted... Wait what? Ten years?

 

Trying to not let her distress show, Ali returned to smiling and followed Leala quickly and quietly. They passed through a large room with millions of shelves and Ali wanted to stop there and get lost. She attempted to make a mental note as to where this place was so that she could return again later. From there, they headed through a garden and by a yard fully of dirty boys swinging wooden bats at each other. The garden was pretty and smelled lovely, but with the boys fighting beside it, the atmosphere of relaxation was ruined.

 

They eventually made it back into the Tower and she saw more girls with dresses of all White, some with a hem and some without. Aliena tried to smile to everyone that walked by, but they were rushing far too much to give her any attention. Trying to strike up conversation again with Leala, she asked about this breaking. "So a breaking? What is a breaking of the world? Like the forming of a new river or something?"

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