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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Daes Dae'mar Lesson #3


Phelix
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Sitting at her desk, Gera sipped at her water while the girls filed into the room. A few looked tired, perhaps from staying up late to finish the essay for this class. When it was time, she straightened at the desk, and waited a heartbeat while they realized she wanted their attention.

 

“Today, girls, I will not be lecturing. Instead, you will each get to describe how you would play in a given situation.”

 

A few of the girls looked panicked, while others looked intrigued.

 

“Please take notes on the situation. I will give you a few minutes to think and write out your solutions. I will check what you write against what you say in front of the class, to make sure you are not improving your response based on what the other girls say.”

 

Standing, Gera walked to the middle of the chalkboard and faced the class.

 

“You are an Aes Sedai of the Red Ajah who was invited to visit the home of the second most powerful family in Cairhien. Your invitation did not specify if you were invited to stay with the family or if you must find your own lodgings in the city. The invitation was made public knowledge via a leak in your host’s House.” Pausing, Gera looked at the girls who were all scratching away at their papers. “Now, in your response, please indicate how you will respond to the invitation. Will you find your own lodging or assume you are welcomed to stay with the family? How will you react to the fact that all the nobles, even the King, know that you are coming? Does the fact that you are of the Red Ajah come into play? What else would you do? Please describe both your initial actions, possible responses from other players, and your next moves.”

 

Gera watched while the girls wrote their answers. When they were completed, she called on them one by one to present their answers to the class.

 

OOC: Please write out your novice’s thoughts about the question, and then write about how she was selected to speak in front of the class and give her response to the situation. Also, please note if you turned in an essay. If you do turn in an essay, life’s good... if you don’t, Gera will give you a punishment.

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Auriane filed into the room with the other girls, wringing her hands. She took her usual seat, and the girl next to her greeted her. She forced a smile and said, “Hello, Cecilia,” to the girl. “It’s a lovely day, isn’t it? Are you looking forward to the lesson?” The freckly girl nodded enthusiastically, and at that moment, the class started.

 

The stern Cairhienin looked over the class and said: “Today, girls, I will not be lecturing. Instead, you will each get to describe how you could play in a certain situation.” Auriane smiled inwardly: this sounded an awful lot like actual work! The Accepted continued to depict a situation for the girls to think about. They were to imagine being a Red Aes Sedai, invited to a noble Cairhinein House -- but without specified lodgings, and the other nobles had found out. Pursing her lips, Auriane thought about the situation. Being a Red, she would not be a shy or retiring type; more likely she would be rather forceful. By staying at an inn, she would give a bad impression to the nobles. They would either think that she did not want to stay with them, or that she did not feel worthy to stay with them. Surely the best course of action would be to turn up and expect to be lodged. They could not refuse an Aes Sedai entry without huge embarrassment.

 

Auriane wrote down:

 

- Red Ajah: FORCEFUL.

- Aes Sedai: ENTITLED.

- Staying with House: OPPORTUNITY TO OBSERVE A POWERFUL HOUSE.

 

When it was Auriane’s turn to stand before the class to explain her thoughts, she calmly walked to the front of the room and clasped her hands before her, assuming a serene expression. “An important fact to consider,” she said, “is the relationship between the noble Houses and the White Tower. We all know that many monarchs and nobles take an Aes Sedai advisor, and through this, the White Tower can influence the politics in many nations at once. An Aes Sedai is respected by those outside the White Tower, and a noble would be unable to refuse such a woman hospitality, lest he incur the wrath of the world’s greatest power. Such behaviour would also cause great embarrassment to the House in question, and we all know how volatile Cairhienin politics are. Now, another point to consider is the Aes Sedai in question’s Ajah. Were she, for example, of the Brown, she may be a rather quiet and pleasant personality. However, the Red Ajah are notorious for being -- as is necessary in their philosophy -- wilful and perhaps headstrong. It would be nigh on impossible for a noble to refuse her. Bear in mind the saying that Aes Sedai invented the Game of Houses for fun, rather than necessity. The noble could not out-manoeuvre her. This situation would also present a very good chance to observe the dealings of a powerful family, and she would be able to report back to the White Tower. For these reasons, I believe that such a situation for an Aes Sedai is a gift and could produce many beneficial effects.”

 

Feeling pleased with herself, Auriane returned to her seat. With each passing minute, she dreaded the end of the class more. At the end of class, she would be expected to hand in an essay -- an essay which she had not completed. She hoped other girls would be in a similar situation. Being in her sixth year at the Tower, her literacy and speech had improved drastically, and it showed. She still needed help, however, and had a lesson with her Brown tutor once or twice in a week. She had not seen the woman since her last class with the Accepted Gera, and had had difficulty with the essay. Five-hundred words was not long, but she did not want to make a fool of herself in front of Gera. The woman disliked her as it was!

 

After the class had ended, the girls, one by one, passed Gera’s desk and handed her a sheet of paper. Auriane, wringing her hands, arrived at the desk and lowered her eyes. “Accepted Gera, would it be possible for me to hand in my essay here after dinner? Or wherever may suit you?” She bit her lip and hoped to the Light that the detestable woman would allow it.

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“Accepted Gera, would it be possible for me to hand in my essay here after dinner? Or wherever may suit you?”

 

Gera did not let a frown show, but she was definitely displeased. This was Aurianne, a novice with some strong potential, especially considering how well she thought out her answer to Gera's hypothetical situation.

 

"Yes, Aurianne, you may turn it in after Dinner, but meet me in the Library. There, I want you to show me your essay and any extra texts you used for the assignment. If you did not use any additional texts, we will discuss the nation you selected in more detail." Gera nodded to the girl, and waited for her to curtsy and leave as was appropriate.

 

A few of the other girls hadn't finished their essays either, and Gera gave them the same instructions. It would be a small group meeting in the Library, but hopefully it would be helpful to all of the students. After the class had emptied, Gera went to the Library and reserved a small study room that would fit all the novices who were going to meet her there.

 

Her afternoon class went by quickly. It was an advanced class in weaving Air and Water together, one only open to Accepted, and the weaves came easily to Gera. Most women were stronger in Air and Water than the other elements, and in this Gera was normal... though that thought galled her. By the time it was done, she was worn out. While channeling was natural, it took a lot out of a woman. She ate her dinner quickly, but neatly, chatting with another Cairhienin Accepted, mostly about nothing... but also sharing stories about conflicts they'd either been a part of or witnessed in the Game. It was a pleasure to speak with another woman from her home country... even if the girl had been too young to really play the Game.

 

After dinner, Gera made her way to the Library to wait for the novices. If they were late, or had another excuse she would have to assign them a punishment. Rather more punishment than spending their evening with her in the Library.

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Caillean slunk into class trying not to be noticed and quietly taking a seat in the middle. Her eyes were red and felt like there was sandpaper under their lids. She had been up all night poring through books and trying to get a good grasp of the information she needed for her paper. When morning came she still had one more region left to write but she got so busy with chores, breakfast, and classes that there had been no time. Maybe she'll forget to collect the assignments and I can slip it under her door in a hour or so., she thought hopefully.

 

“Today, girls, I will not be lecturing. Instead, you will each get to describe how you would play in a given situation.”

 

Caillean paled. She wasn't at all sure of her knowledge of Daes Dae'mar.

 

"You are an Aes Sedai of the Red Ajah who was invited to visit the home of the second most powerful family in Cairhien. Your invitation did not specify if you were invited to stay with the family or if you must find your own lodgings in the city. The invitation was made public knowledge via a leak in your host’s House.” Pausing, Gera looked at the girls who were all scratching away at their papers. “Now, in your response, please indicate how you will respond to the invitation. Will you find your own lodging or assume you are welcomed to stay with the family? How will you react to the fact that all the nobles, even the King, know that you are coming? Does the fact that you are of the Red Ajah come into play? What else would you do? Please describe both your initial actions, possible responses from other players, and your next moves.”

 

 

Light, if it were me I'd burn the invitation and just simply never set foot in Cairhien lest I get tangled up in this mess! But it was time to get serious and come up with a solution for this problem. Caillean pondered for a minute. This was tricky. Finally she jotted down her best guess.

 

Accept invitation

Prepare in case you need lodgings

But assume you have them

Red AJah - strong, commands respect

Moves: might expect other invitations from othre houses, have to be careful in which to respond to

 

Apparently the overnight reading session had paid off a little. One quote stuck out in her mind from her reading. "In Daes Dae'Mar, always prepare for every possibility, but do not let anyone know of your preparations else the advantage is lost." This seemed to be the case here.

 

After Aurianne gave her ideas, Caillean fervently wished she could go back and write in a few more things but that would be dishonest. She tried to mimic the calm expression Aurianne had when it was her turn to go up, though she probably looked more like a frightened deer than a calm novice.

 

"The way I look at it is, if she were to refuse the invitation it would cause a number of things to happen. Some houses might think, for her to slight the second highest house, that she must have a higher ally. It would cause questions and ripples that really don't serve her purpose or do anything for her so she should accept it. As for lodgings I think it is very important to be prepared for all things so she should have enough coin on her to afford lodgings if it is necessary."

 

She paused a moment to catch her breath and settle her nerves. "If the house does not offer her lodgings it would be a big slight especially to do to an Aes Sedai. Assuming she would need to lodge elsewhere would also be like admitting weakness, or saying that someone of her stature from the Red Ajah was not worthy of being lodged by the second most powerful house. It would be a bad idea all around to let on that she even has doubts of where she will stay."

 

"Lastly, as a result of this invitation being public she can probably expect to receive other invitations as well and care should be taken as to which ones she accepts and doesn't accept. Probably the best thing would be to accept all other invitations to show no particular alignment."

 

Relieved she sat down gratefully to let the next girl speak, hoping she had not done too badly. But then it came time for handing in papers and Caillean's pulse quickened as she remembered hers was not yet complete either. Pale and abashed she came up behind the other novices incomplete paper in hand. Thankfully she was not the only one. "I'm very sorry Accepted Gera, I just have one more region to complete, and I ran out of time at sunup.", she admitted, prepared to take whatever punishment the accepted could think of.

 

Caillean was thankful to be let off so gracefully. A meeting at the library would probably do her good anyway.

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