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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Rudimentary Geography -- Lesson One


Myrenna
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Auriane rushed down the corridors of the White Tower. She was running late, and this was her first ever experience of teaching. As she neared her destination, she slowed to a walk, assuming a serene expression. She could not afford to be seen in a fluster by her new pupils.

 

As she entered the room, conversation immediately quieted. The class was quite small, with only sixteen pupils. Auriane glided to the front of her desk -- her desk! -- and placed down her books. Her movements were slow and deliberate, making the girls wait on her. When she was ready, she stood before the large world map on the front wall and directed a stern gaze over the class.

 

“Good afternoon, girls. I trust you all had a good morning and are ready to learn. I appreciate that you all come from very diverse backgrounds. In the Tower, it is not surprising for a farmhand to stand above a princess. In this lesson, we will begin from the very beginning, and over the next weeks we will build up from there.” Her face warmed slightly and she smiled at the girls. “Welcome to geography.”

 

Auriane began walking down the aisles of seated Novices, inspecting them with a cane held behind her back. “ Simple geography is the study of both the physical land and its inhabitants. Of course, the subjects we will study can be studied in much more depth and really should not necessarily be grouped together when studied properly. However, this is an introductory class, so, as I have already stated, we are studying merely the basics. I hope you are listening intently. My name is Auriane Feidwyn and I was raised on a farm in the Black Hills. Some of you will know exactly what that means, others of you may not even know where it is. The Black Hills are a wilderness, mostly uninhabited and not contained by any monarch’s borders. In the White Tower, I have gained in twelve years what some of you learned as children.” She arrived back at the map and pointed with her cane. “As you can see, the Black Hills are very close to Tar Valon, yet it is an incredibly simple area. We will learn in this class why such contrasts occur even in the closest proximities.

 

“Now, I want each of you to come up to the front of the class and point to your birthplace. I want you to tell the class why this area is unique, in your opinion and explain its significant traits, economically, politically and geographically. If any of you wish to give feedback on the speaker, do not hesitate to raise your hand.”

 

When the girls had all finished, Auriane had one more thing to tell them before they finished. “Now, for our next class, I want you to write at least two sentences covering the main points each girl has told you about her homeland. That includes mine. If you have been listening and taking notes, this will be an easy task. If not, it will teach you to do so next time. Diligence is paramount in the White Tower.

 

“You are dismissed.”

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Six years in this blasted tower already... There were girls who had arrived after Aliena, and they were already Accepted! And some of the girls who she had been a Novice with were already Aes Sedai! This class would be no different, as Auriane had been her neighbor as Novices. Only a few months ago, they were giggling over hot chocolate, and now, Auriane was her teacher. What a twisted turn of fate this was...

 

Floating down the hallway, Ali took her time, no longer worried about constantly rushing back and forth, unless of course there was an Aes Sedai nearby. Perhaps it did take her much longer to get anywhere, but she saw no point in rushing about as though Lanfear herself was on her tail. Ali tsked herself for even thinking such a thought, and continued to calmly walk down the hallway, keeping her eyes open for any Aes Sedai, or Light forbid, the Mistress of Novices. Her feet ached too badly from a night of scrubbing pots for her to rush anywhere.

 

Seeing Auriane running towards her, Ali quickly stepped into the classroom and took the only empty chair. Auriane, or Accept Auriane, as she should get used to, swept into the room, and calmed it quickly. Ali felt pride for her old friend in how quickly she recovered, and she couldn't help but to home that she would have that sort of presence when she became Accepted... if she became Accepted.

 

Sitting back in her desk, Ali had to chastise herself for going to pick up her pen. She couldn't afford to spend another class, drawing away, while the world continued on without her. She had already taken geography two years before, and failed miserably, and she wasn't doing THAT again! Eventually, the Accepted began to speak, and Ali attempted to give her attention.

 

“Good afternoon, girls. I trust you all had a good morning and are ready to learn. I appreciate that you all come from very diverse backgrounds. In the Tower, it is not surprising for a farmhand to stand above a princess. In this lesson, we will begin from the very beginning, and over the next weeks we will build up from there. Welcome to Geography.”

 

Auriane began to walk down the aisle of Novices, towards Ali, and Ali's fingers burned to pick up a pen. Clenching her fingers into her hand, she tried to pay attention. Light, she loved to learn, but how could she ever find classes so boring and dull?! “Simple geography is the study of both the physical land and its inhabitants. Of course, the subjects we will study can be studied in much more depth and really should not necessarily be grouped together when studied properly. However, this is an introductory class, so, as I have already stated, we are studying merely the basics. I hope you are listening intently.”

 

Ali finally allowed her fingers o pick up her pen, and sprawled across the top of her parchment GEOGRAPHY. Underneath, she scribbled out what geography was, and then prayed that her fingers would be content with that usage of the pen. She tried to not think about flowers and beautiful scenery, but it was hard to concentrate, especcially given she had taken this class before.

 

“My name is Auriane Feidwyn and I was raised on a farm in the Black Hills. Some of you will know exactly what that means, others of you may not even know where it is. The Black Hills are a wilderness, mostly uninhabited and not contained by any monarch’s borders. In the White Tower, I have gained in twelve years what some of you learned as children.”

 

Ali loved that she and Auriane shared that... not being raised in conventional manners and not knowing as much about the world as most five year olds. It was why she had wanted to take this class with her. "As you can see, the Black Hills are very close to Tar Valon, yet it is an incredibly simple area. We will learn in this class why such contrasts occur even in the closest proximities.”

 

“Now, I want each of you to come up to the front of the class and point to your birthplace. I want you to tell the class why this area is unique, in your opinion and explain its significant traits, economically, politically and geographically. If any of you wish to give feedback on the speaker, do not hesitate to raise your hand.”

 

And so, the girls began. Ali listened to each girl talk about her homeland, and she forced her fingers to write, and draw, what the girl described. Some sounded like they lived in the same location, but were on opposite ends of the world. Others sounded completely opposite, but were only a day's ride apart. When it finally came to Aliena's turn, she walked slowly to the front, and pointed just in between Caemlyn and Four Kings.

 

“Hello, my name is Aliena Halinor. I am originally from Carysford. It is a rather small village, and our economy is based mainly upon the trade routes from both the Caemlyn Road and from the River Cary, which is the center location of our village. We are underneath Caemlyn, of course, and given that we have a river nearby, the land around Carysford is rich farming soil.”

 

Seeing a nod from Auriane, she returned to her seat, and listened to the rest of the girls. Once they were all finished, Auriane returned to the front of the room, and Ali finally allowed her fingers to draw one small flower. “Now, for our next class, I want you to write at least two sentences covering the main points each girl has told you about her homeland. That includes mine. If you have been listening and taking notes, this will be an easy task. If not, it will teach you to do so next time. Diligence is paramount in the White Tower.”

 

Ali looked up in shock. Thank the Light she was paying attention! She packed up all of her papers quickly, knowing that given her luck, she would lose them all before she even made it home. This homework assignment would be simple! “You are dismissed.” Excited, Ali hurried to her room, and began the assignment. She still had half an hour before her next class, and she wanted to get the assignment done as soon as possible.

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