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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Sketched!


James
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It was a sunny, but not overly warm day that found Lillian sweeping into the Novice Quarters. Not just for just any Novice, but one in particular whose talents had caused her to laugh without even having met the woman before. Rossa, her pictures of Estel had been widely circulated and laughed over. The woman's sense of humour with her sketches had caused even a number of the Aes Sedai to crack their calm facades with a chuckle.

 

But it wasn't Rossa's humour that Lillian needed, though it would certainly make the day pass more easily. Instead, she needed the woman's help with sketches, her ability to translate what she saw onto paper. It was a skill that Lillian had little talent in, she hoped that Rossa would be able to assist her where her own particular skills were lacking. She just hoped that Rossa would be receptive, especially since they had never met before.

 

Stopping outside the Novice's room, Lillian paused a moment. She couldn't really hear anything on the other side, but hopefully she was there. Knocking, Lillian took a step back and waited for Rossa to answer or open the door if she was there.

 

 

Lillian Tremina

Accepted of the White Tower

 

 

OOC: Short but effective :) Bio is here for description

 

http://whitetowerdiv.org/forum/viewtopic.php?p=39526#39526

 

Yes, the description is a little overdone, bleh :P

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~Rossa~

 

The light through her window was creeping anything but softly to Rossa’s eyes. The exhaustion; physical and mental, not to mention all the information she was trying to take in had left her with a pounding headache. It felt as though her brain were about to force it’s way out of her skull. Light, it hurt. A rare rest period that she had a mind to visit the library in case a certain someone was there had been spent on her back, one hand to her temples kneading gently with her eyes closed. Wasted time. Every sense was heightened. Under her back she could feel the rough texture of her mattress and the thin pillow under her head. A book and some parchment lay on the small table, left from where she could no longer study and had been forced to lie down. She was not likely to see one of the Yellow sisters either – pain like headaches were a sign that one was trying to do too much. If it got much worse though … she had never been to the Yellows for an illness or injury so far and was reluctant to now.

 

A knock was somehow offensive to her ears, loudly filling the room and making her wish she had gone to the Yellows after all. For a moment she lay there, trying to recover until it started again. Light, it is probably Estel Sedai, never giving me a moment! Agonisingly, Rossa pushed herself to her feet and smoothed her dress and hair in case she was pulled up for neglecting her appearance and shaming the reputation of the White Tower. She was an Altaran, one that had been groomed to a high level of readiness for presentation at the Court of the Tarasin Palace, so she bloody should know!

 

Her father would pitch a fit at such language, were he alive. Her mother would have looked affectionately at her, knowing that the daughter who had previously hidden herself away to let her sister shine was finally beginning to shine herself. If she were alive, that was. The belt pouch containing their carved likenesses lay on the table. Her family and their murderers, those that set the fire and those that gave the order both, were never far from her mind.

 

The door opened to reveal the banded skirts of an Accepted, a kindly looking woman that Rossa knew from the talk in the Novice quarters had recently been raised, by the name of Lilliane. Curtsying, she winced as the sudden motion upset her head and Rossa sagged against the door frame for support, feeling utterly sick.

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Her face betraying shock as her eyes went wide, Lillian stepped forward quickly and took one of Rossa's arms as the woman slumped against the door frame. Rossa's face betrayed that the women was rather nauseous, or perhaps something worse. Light, but this was not what Lillian had expected to happen when the door was opened. Bending her knees slightly, Lillian slipped an arm around Rossa's back so her shoulder was nestled underneath the woman's so Lillian could help take her weight.

 

"Come on." Guiding her as gently as she could, Lillian helped Rossa back to her bed where it was clear from the sheets that that was where Rossa had been before Lillian had knocked. Helping her lay back, Lillian freed her hand from under Rossa before laying the back of it along Rossa's forehead. Not a fever, but something was wrong. Lillian also found herself feeling she was most likely out of her depth.

 

But, she couldn't take Rossa to the infirmary, it was too far from where they were. Lillian certainly didn't want to find out whether or not Rossa could make it all the way without collapsing, but at the same time she wasn't sure about leaving Rossa alone by herself. She'd have to find another novice to stay with Rossa while she went and found a Yellow Sister. Laying a hand on Rossa's left shoulder, Lillian's voice mirrored the concern her face revealed as she spoke.

 

"Just lay back and relax, I'm going to go find a Yellow sister to look in on you."

 

 

Lillian Tremina

Accepted of the White Tower

 

OOC: Left it open for Rossa to say no to a yellow sister and such, then tell Lillian its just bad headaches. Lillian can handle that much at least. :)

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~Rossa~

 

The Accepted lead her gently back to her bed and lay her down on the narrow cot and ran a hand lightly over Rossa’s forehead. Her touch felt cool and soothing on her skin, a blessed relief even though she was not warm. No fever, she knew that much of herself, for she was not sweating. No, it was just a bad headache. I don’t want to go to a Yellow… The room was spinning a little, but not enough to make her feel nauseous at all, and she really did not want to impose on the older woman. Some Accepted would resent a Novice if they had to care or clean up after her. Some Accepted would call in all the favours under the sun if they had to do as much as Lillian had already done for Rossa, which was why she did not want to be any further in debt to the woman than she already was. As it was, when she was better, the Accepted would likely have her doing the dirtiest chores, like cleaning up in the kitchens when the butchers had finished their work, or putting the manure on the roses in place of the gardeners… It made her moan.

 

The look the Accepted gave her was worried, and she got up abruptly, saying about going to fetch a Yellow Sister to help. Rossa extended an arm and caught the other woman’s, saying in a pained voice that it was just a headache and she’d be fine.

 

“Seriously, Accepted, I do not wish to see a Yellow sister. It is merely a headache and I’ll be fine with some rest or fresh air or something. What can I do for you?â€

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Rossa's words made Lillian pause, that and the fact that the Novice had snagged her arm. Why didn't she want a Yellow Sister to look on her? Was she worried about drawing attention to herself? That was something Lillian could relate to. She certainly didn't like to draw any undue attention to herself, not that she worried the same way she once did about her mentor but it was still an ever present thought.

 

"Headache? You are sure?" The nod Lillian received from Rossa decided it for her. If it was simply a headache, that was something Lillian could fix. Laying a hand upon Rossa's temple, she allowed saidar within as she submitted to it. Empowered through surrender, Lillian wove a simple weave she had been shown with water, air and spirit. Removing her hand as the weave settled, Lillian nodded to herself as she released the one power before speaking.

 

"I did have something to ask of you. I've seen some of your artwork in the past, and I could use your talents. I'm studying herbs at the moment, but its hard to envision so many different herbs and keep them distinct from one another. I wished to recruit you to sketch them for me. It'll be time consuming, but if you're doing that you clearly can't be available to scrub floors."

 

Smiling at the last, Lillian added. "Also, I can help you with what you're doing so you don't fall behind on my account. I wouldn't bother you if I had any talent myself, but even my stick figures are woeful. You can help?" Willing participation was always preferable in Lillian's mind.

 

 

Lillian Tremina

Accepted of the White Tower

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~Rossa~

 

The shock of being Healed was never a thing Rossa could get used to. It was akin to being plunged into an icy pool that left her shivering and, involuntarily, she gasped for air as the weave settled onto her and seemingly melted away her headache. It was a light-blessed relief. Experimentally, Rossa moved her head this way and that, and marvelled at how much better she was. Not all Accepted are hateful then. Another surprise had been revealed when the Accepted had asked her to draw instead of raking paths – obviously, word of her talent with a pencil was getting around since that time.

 

Drawing herbs. It would be nice to draw foliage again. Rossa had not practiced any drawing of vegetation or figures from nature in any great depth since she had been on the road to Tar Valon, selling the odd sketch here and there of a countryside scene to get more money. Every little helped, after all, and it had meant she was able to supplement what she had been able to scavenge and hunt on the way. At least the woman hadn’t called for a Yellow. Two reasons that she now felt she owed the Accepted help with her studies, plus with her memory for things, it would help Rossa too. If there were one that dulled pain, and perhaps one that made people tell the truth… These things could indeed come in handy when Rossa finally became an Aes Sedai and manipulated the downfall of those responsible for the deaths of her family. Yes, this could work for her very well indeed…

 

“Gladly, Accepted. Thank you for Healing me of my headache - it was … debilitating … to say the least.†She smiled wryly at the Accepted, still maintaining the downcast expression conveying the exact level of respect due from a novice to an Accepted. Daes Dae’mar taught to her by her parents from an early age told Rossa the precise level of courtesy to apply to each and every person of note on the continent, for her preparation to be presented at the Court of the Tarasin Palace had she reached her sixteenth birthday to become a Lady in Waiting to the Queen. At least, that was the eventual plan…

 

Rising slowly from her bed in case some remnant traces of headache overpowered her, Rossa felt a gnawing pain in her middle. She was so hungry! Hoping it wasn’t too long before the next meal, she straightened her dress and hair once more and grabbed a sketchbook and pencil and dropped a curtsey at Lillian. “Whenever you’re ready, Accepted.â€

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Rossa's recovery was quick, though her manner oddly reminded her of her own when she was a Novice. She avoided eye contact, perfect courtesy save that the girl hadn't gone one step further by abandoning a friendly manner for a neutral one designed to avert attention. Rossa was well trained in her manners, perhaps for court life. Something she had once known herself, but the Panarch's Palace and the possibility of marriage were concerns that had been swept away by the years, that wasn't her life anymore.

 

Inclining her head as Rossa said she was ready, Lillian held the door for her before shutting it behind them. The silence hung between them until they left the Novice Quarters and the sun shone down on them. There was something to be said for her caution, but with her it wouldn't be required. Lillian had little use for people curtseying and humbly looking to the floor about her. Well, unless there was an Aes Sedai nearby anyway, she didn't then need criticism that she wasn't appropriately emulating Aes Sedai by requiring 'due' respect.

 

Looking to Rossa who walked beside and slightly behind her, Lillian's tone was warm as she spoke. "There is no need for formality with me unless there is an Aes Sedai present, its not 'that' long ago that I wore the whites you do. Simply Lillian will do, and you needn't avert your gaze. Creator, I remember having to do that enough before I had the hem."

 

Pointing ahead, there was what they were after. A herb garden that was harvested for various plants that she had to learn of. "Pretty much every single one needs to be done." Seeing the look on Rossa's face, Lillian's tone was sly as she continued. "You know, it would be a real shame if it took you about a week. You wouldn't be available for scrubbing floors, washing, but such is the burden of the task true?"

 

 

Lillian Tremina

Accepted of the White Tower

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~Rossa~

 

“Yes, Accepted.†Rossa curtsied, revelling in her pain-free state. Only a moment before, the older woman had told her to call her by her name when they were in private, but it felt odd to call someone of greater rank so informally. Nevertheless, she tried. “Lillian. I’m sorry.†It was easy to meet her eyes though. She caught and held the Accepted’s stare before Rossa’s mahogany gaze took in the different types of flowering and non-flowering herbage, capturing the detail and intricacy of every single leaf. She loved the gardens, especially these gardens as it reminded her of hazy evenings back in Ebou Dar, when the scent of sun-warmed grass and herbs used in cooking permeated the air. To her, it ranked among the smell of fresh baked bread that had emanated every morning from the kitchens and brought a momentary tranquillity to her. Rossa sighed contentedly and walked on to the gardens with Lillian.

 

She studied the other woman out of the corner of her eye, as she always did with people she did not know very well. The standard Accepted dress fit her well, and for the first time Rossa experienced a brief pang of envy at the sight of the banded skirts. She strove for a higher rank again. Reaching into her belt pouch, Rossa pulled out her sketch book and chose a slightly lopsided looking bloom with purplish flowers and began to sketch it. Deft strokes captured the essence of the herb, committing it to a page of her book so the Accepted would better know them. In an unguarded moment, Rossa sketched the outline of Lillian’s face, quickly noting the lines of her profile and the faint strands of hair that framed it. She could fill in more later on, but for now it was a start. The Accepted was talking, telling her something about the different varieties of certain plants, and Rossa went back to sketching the stem and the soil that clung to its roots. She was careful to make a note of the stem going into the earth so that all areas of habitat might be recognisable, even if there was only a stem left. Listening attentively, Rossa paid close attention to all that the Accepted, Lillian, said so as to ensure she remembered as much of it as she could as possible. All knowledge was worth having…

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As Rossa sketched a herb, Lillian made sure to speak of it. Not only was it for Rossa's benefit, or to ensure that certain things were emphasised in the drawings such as the blue petals of the Blue Goatflower that was used for encouraging the speed that bone knitted. Or the silver leaves of the, well, aptly named Silverleaf that was used for treating sharp and harsh headaches. That one in particular had garnered Rossa's attention, so Lillian had spent a bit more time on it and even describing how it was prepared. It was simply boiled much the same one did with normal tea leaves, though its taste left alot to be desired. Generous amounts of honey, lemon and anything else that could be thrown in was strongly advised.

 

Andilay root was a much better option, not quite as effective but it didn't scour one's mouth with something tasting like the Dark One's foot. It could ease one's fatigue as well as help a person to relax, though it wasn't something would do well to take often. It was much like alcohol, the more you had the greater the tolerance one developed. Not to mention what happened when you stopped using it altogether, it would take the body awhile to recover from such a thing.

 

As Lillian was speaking of the herbs, she found herself wondering why Rossa didn't want attention from any Yellow Sister. She could understand not wanting to daw attention to one's self, but Rossa had been in a far from sprightly condition. Was she alright? Wandering over to where Rossa had seated herself near the Foxtail she was sketching, Lillian sat down beside her and took a peek at the sketch. It was only the rough outlines so far, but Rossa was introducing the details with care as the pencil seemed to be more part of her than of itself.

 

"I wish I could do that." Smiling, Lillian spoke plainly. "Something has been troubling me. Why didn't you want a Yellow Sister to see you? You aren't having problems with them are you? And have you been having these headaches for long? If so how long and why?"

 

 

Lillian Tremina

Accepted of the White Tower

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~Rossa~

 

Rossa listened intently to all that the Accepted said about each individual herb she sketched in her book. Goatflower, Silverleaf, Andilay root… the list went on; the various properties of each one and how it should be prepared and, wherever possible, the taste modified slightly to help a patient swallow it better. Rossa supposed it wasn’t really just about how to treat an ailment or an injury – it was also about recognising the effects of each herb on a patient if an Aes Sedai had to offer Healing where some partial treatment had already been given.

 

So the Accepted had seen to the root of the problem had she? Rossa idly wondered about which Ajah this particular bearer of the banded skirts would choose. What with the interest in both herbs and the Healing she had given Rossa, she wondered if it would indeed be the Yellow Ajah that snared this one’s interest more than the others. Oh well, it was not her place to speculate really, but she could not get out of answering Lillian’s question. Light, how to reply to that without saying too much about her past and risking tears? Rossa took a deep breath.

 

“I’ve been getting a lot of headaches because I’m doing a lot of studying. I also think a lot, but I don’t think it is worth troubling a sister of the Yellow Ajah for such a triviality.†She looked up from her depiction of a Goatflower, the petals shaded in such a way that they would look blue. If she had thought of it, she would have brought some watercolours with her so she could make it as accurate a picture as possible, but there had not been time and her headache had made thought a little difficult. No, she did not want the Yellow sisters troubled by such matters as her having a brain-pain. They might ask questions about her mental state, and then it would all come out about her need for revenge.

 

“The headaches have only started recently, meaning since I came to the White Tower. I’m probably just exhausted – every other novice does the same. Chores, studying, lessons … there is so much to take in that if you are not prepared it is a nigh vertical learning curve.†Her head returned to sketching in a bit of crosshatching on the stem to give the impression of its roundedness and then sketching the soil from whence the slender shoot sprang forth. “So, thank you, Accepted Lillian, but no, there was no need for a Yellow Sister to Heal me; you did a wonderful job as it was, and I am grateful. Thank you.â€

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"It hardly seemed trivial." Lillian didn't think it sounded right, she could only remember having headaches of that level once or twice, but for Rossa these seemed to be regular. That meant something was wrong, it wasn't just something that one just put up with. Not when you studied in the same tower as some of the finest healers to be found. It bore digging, if only for Rossa's sake. "I don't remember having headaches like that at all, you shouldn't have to sufer them. If you don't feel comfortable with the Yellow Sisters, you know that you can ask me for help alright?"

 

Ask Lillian for help? An Accepted? It was nice, and Rossa was grateful for the offer, but innate suspicion made Rossa think that the older girl would go straight to one of the Yellow sisters anyway. "Thank you, Accepted." She dropped a little curtsey and nearly dropped her sketchbook, making a grab for the pencil as it rolled down the artistic surfaces. "There really is nothing wrong that some rest won't cure. I'll be fine, particularly if I don't have to work in the kitchens or anything hard for a while. I'll be fine, honestly, Accepted."

 

"Lillian." Seeing the look on Rossa's face as she realised the blunder, Lillian chuckled gently. It was amazing how one could see in others shadows of oneself. Similar mannerisms, similar cautiousness, if only she could get the girl to open up. Then, had anyone thought the same of her? Lillian wasn't quite sure, not without the person possibly having another agenda. No doubt what this girl feared, and it was a cautious approach that was wise. "Well, this shall keep you out of the kitchens and laundry for at least awhile. How did you learn how to draw anyway? I have never had the talent for it myself."

 

"I am self taught, Lillian." Her fingers flew across the page with the pencil gripped lightly. She had not been more than eight years old when a piece of paper had been placed in front of her by her mother and told to sketch the vase of flowers on the table by the lesson master. It was always a good thing for ladies to know how to do, in order to be 'accomplished' as a lady and the Light only knew her sewing was terrible.

 

"Ah, so it came naturally then." It was a little disappointing, Lillian had contemplated perhaps trying to learn but there were some things that one needed a natural aptitute with in order to really succeed. Paper simply wasn't her medium, but a ruby or sapphire she could shape given time. "No doubt from a young age, where are you from? I couldn't quite place it. I'm from Tarabon myself, though my parents were Domani."

 

Oh dear, the questions were getting a little close to the mark and that meant that the tears might flow. Light burn it! Holding her stomach in, she stopped the sketch of the Andilay Root and held the pencil against the pad to stop it rolling away. "I'm from Ebou Dar, or rather, just outside of it. Our estates lie just to the north of the city, about a days ride away. I've visited the capitol a lot and I have visited the Tarasin Palace a few times. Have you ever been?" Rossa thought that attempting to ask questions of the Accepted would seem perfectly natural as well as distracting her away from her previous line of questioning. Maybe she'd stop... it seemed awful to cling to a maybe when she liked definites so much, but sometimes one just had to trust...

 

"Not to Tarasin no." Lillian smiled gently at her own memories. "I used to go to the Panarch's court though. My parents had decent standing there, I think they wanted to marry me off to a lordling at some point... But, then I was tested by the Aes Sedai there and life changed. What set you on this path?"

 

Oh, Light, no... So the girl knew something about royalty and the trappings of power, but how much did she know about politics? Got to keep it vague or I'll break down... "My parents wanted me to be a Lady in Waiting for the Queen of Altara, or at least to attend Court on a regular basis and try to marry suitable to my station. My parents ... my entire family ... except me ... burnt to death a few months ago... my House no longer exists..." Tears threatened, she could feel the watery starts at the corners of her eyes, the warm salty traces starting to trickle down her cheeks. Burn it, so much for stiff upper lippedness!

 

Sinking down on one knee next to Rossa as the tears began to flow, Lillian could feel that sorrow that Rossa felt all too well. Helping her sit back, Lillian took the sketchpad and set it aside and put an arm around her. Something she had once wished that her mentor Halvie Sedai could have done for her. Murmuring every reassuring thing she could think of as Rossa embraced her, sobbing into her shoulder, Lillian waited until the sobs lessened a little and she was sure that Rossa would actually hear her.

 

Mistress Evangel had been right, the only way to gain trust was to give it. Something that Lillian did with a soft voice. "I know some of your pain. My parents were successful merchants... They had an opportunity to travel here and decided to lead the merchant train themselves so they could visit me. Five days from here their caravan was attacked, both of them were murdered. I know now what happened could not have been foreseen but then..." Lillian trailed off, even now it wasn't something she could easily speak of.

 

Instantly, Rossa felt contrite and selfish. Here she was wallowing in her own guilt and this woman had had her parents murdered. These were dark times. Still, her arm crept around the other's back, wanting to give some support to the woman with a similar problem to her own. "I'm sorry..." She couldn't manage any more. It was still a little too freshly in her mind. Odd what the mind picks up at odd moments, but Rossa noticed a teardrop had fallen onto her sketchbook and onto one of the leaves of the Goatflower, making it look as if adorned by dew. A touch of surrealist realism.

 

"At least you know what happened to your family. I have no idea who set the blaze, or why. I will find out though." Mahogany eyes shone with a determination characteristic to her family. She bit her lip in the sudden realisation that she had blurted out her plans to this girl she barely knew... hopefully she hadn't noticed.

 

Breaking from the embrace slightly, Lillian still held Rossa as she looked the younger girl in the eyes. Young, yet so determined, but Lillian had to wonder whether it was something that would last. Her own desire for revenge... There was still a flame, but she had been to broken afterward to harness it and when she was well enough it had seemed... And when her time was done, her bandits would either be long dead or old men, she knew there was little chance of finding them.

 

"I may know the why, but I certainly do not know the who. Faceless bandits make for poor dreams of revenge." The smile Lillian had was a sad one as she spoke on. "I hope you do find out who did such a thing to your family, and that you get peace from it. But... You would be wise to mention this only to those who you trust..." That was why. "But that is why you have been keeping so quiet, isn't it?"

 

She kept her eyes lowered so she didn't have to look the Accepted in the eye. It was always harder for her to look people in the eye when she was emotional. "Yes, Acc... Lillian. I don't want anyone to know about this. It is my battle and my honour that is at stake. I need to restore the lustre to my family's name alone. I came here to become an Aes Sedai if I can to do so that way, but also because the contacts in Tar Valon are far more widespread and I might find something out about what happened here. That's why I spend so long in the library, or studying so people can see I am such a good novice. Its all in the hope that an Aes Sedai of high rank or note will have me running messages for her so I can find things out. It's all a matter of politics, and I've been doing that since just after my sixth birthday." Rossa pulled back slightly from the hug, keeping her eyes lowered to the sketchbook and she felt defeated. Lost.

 

Feeling her pull back, Lillian leaned forward to compensate for it. She wasn't done yet, there was something that Rossa needed to understand. There were a few things in fact, but most of those she wasn't ready for, not as young as she was. Until she was ready, there was something else she could give her, something that Lillian felt Rossa might accept. "Look up at me, Rossa."

 

It was a moment before Rossa obeyed, and with that gaze fixed Lillian was ready to speak. "It may be your battle, your fight that is yours to carry. But I will be here for you, if you ever need me all you need do is ask. And don't be so proud as not to ask for it, it doesn't make you any less of a person. My only regret is that when my parents died and I was sent to the Farm, I spent too long trying to carry the burden alone. No one can do it alone. Do you understand me? When you need me, I will be there for you."

 

"Thank you, Lillian." Tears continued to flow, unstemmable it seemed. There was someone that cared for her here, but somehow Rossa doubted she would share the burden unless it was absolutely necessary. This one had been through a similar experience to her, so perhaps it might be different. As long as no one tried to stop her when the time came...

 

Rossa pulled back, trying to get up and grabbed the sketchbook again and the pencil, and resumed her study of the neat little row of plants. Picking one Rossa had never seen before, she started sketching the slightly curly leaves and wondered what properties it had. It was easier to lose oneself in drawing, than crying.

 

Watching as Rossa returned to the sketching, Lillian's heart ached for her. She was too young for it, Lillian had been much older and it had torn her apart. For Rossa... Getting to her feet slowly, she made her way next to her and gave her shoulder a gentle a squeeze, a reminder that she would be there if she was needed. Then she continued speaking of the herbs as if nothing had happened, to make it easier for Rossa. But it had happened, and Lillian was glad to have comforted Rossa, in a way that her own mentor had not been for her.

 

Lillian would be there for her.

 

 

Lillian Tremina

Accepted of the White Tower

 

~Rossa~

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