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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

A Name for the Novice Book


Leala Sedai
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Ay'Lira hated the faded blue dress that Terinne Sedai had bought for her. It wasn't very well made, and it was made of thick wool. It wasn't even the girl's choice. The Blue had said wearing a dress would make a better impression and handed her the dress without a further word. She wore the dress, but didn't fit well. She would have much rather worn her trousers and shirt that she was used to. She would be changing into a dress soon enough as it was.

 

She walked behind the Aes Sedai as she led her down the corridors of the White Tower. She had learned to follow quickly or the other woman would leave without her. She didn't have much time to take in her first sights of the Tower before she had to sprint a couple steps to keep up with Terinne. She supposed she could admire the interior of the Tower while she was a novice. On their way to Tar Valon, Terinne had told her a lot about being a novice and Tower rules and customs. It would take some getting used to, just like wearing a dress.

 

Ay'Lira almost ran into the Blue sister when she stopped abruptly in front of a door. Terinne gave her a sidelong glare that lasted only a moment. She wanted to make some sort of snide comment, but she waited for her to speak. "This is the office of the Mistress of Novices. The next move is yours, child." And with that, the Aes Sedai glided away. Ay'Lira hated being called "child". She hadn't been a child since the day she helped her family escape from Malkier. But, Terinne had said that every Aes Sedai called every initiate, novice and Accepted, "child." Wonderful. She had also told her beforehand that even knocking on the Mistress of Novices' door would be up to her. As if traveling all the way here from Shienar wasn't a statement of her choice to enroll anyway.

 

Taking in a breath, she collected herself and knocked on the door.

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"If i catch you playing tricks on your Accepted teachers again you will go to the Farm for penance. Do i make myself clear."

 

The snivelling wretch before her wiped her nose on the sleeve of her dress and Valeri almost cringed. This child had been one of her most troublesome Novices ever. Constantly talking back to her teachers, straying away from the Tower to the Warders Yards, putting live... things... in their beds, this time it had been frogs, amongst other things. If she had not held such an amazing innate strength in Saidar within her she would have been put out of the Tower long since.

 

"Ye..ye...yes Valeri Sedai." she whimpered.

 

Valeri was about to dismiss the child when there was a knock at the door. "You will go to your room and scrub the floor bone white, i will come to check it later."

 

Valeri pulled the heavy door open and the sniffling girl pushed past a startled lass and bolted through the corridor. Valeri smiled at the newcomer. "Won't you come in dear? I am Valeri Kinaea, the Mistress of Novices at the White Tower. How may i be of service today?"

 

Valeri Kinaea

Mistress of Traditional Novices

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A noise that had to have been part of the bustle of the Tower stopped. Was someone talking in the office? Well, if this Aes Sedai was in charge of all the novices and...what had Terinne called them...Accepted. Yes, Accepted. If this woman was in charge of all of them, she had to be busy. When the door opened, a girl in a white dress with a puffy face from crying whisked past her. What under the Light...? Shaking her head, Ay'Lira promised herself never to be in a situation where she cried in front of an Aes Sedai. If she could help it. The Aes Sedai in the office beckoned her to come in. Whatever had made that other girl cry was apparently not an issue now, because the Aes Sedai seemed almost friendly. She introduced herself as Valeri Sedai, and asked how she could help her.

 

Ay'Lira remembered Terinne telling her about this meeting. She made a curtsy and hoped it wasn't too jerky with a small smile on her face. She had to seem polite eager...but not too eager, whatever that meant. "Good day, Valeri Sedai. I'd like to enroll in the White Tower," she explained. Luckily, her voice remained steady if her curtsy wasn't. Burn this dress! "Terinne Sedai tested me and informed me that I could learn to channel." She didn't remember if she had to explain the testing part, but she thought it would at least even out what she had to say. She had to have a reason for coming here besides a flippant want for adventure. At least in her own mind she did. She wouldn't be here if it weren't for the Blue. She'd be at home, taking care of her little brother, and talking with Benna. But after that testing, everything changed.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Valeri ushered the girl into her study, "Come in child," she said with a smile, "You may sit there." Valeri indicated the chair placed before her large timber desk.

 

Valeri set about making a fresh pot of tea, she carried a tea tray to the desk and then poured the dark fragrant liquid into the pair of green Seafolk porcelain tea cups. She pushed one of the cup over in front of the girl and took her seat.

 

"Now child," Valeri said lifting her cup to her lips, "Perhaps you could tell me about yourself and how you have come to be here in Tar Valon."

 

Valeri Kinaea

Mistress of Traditional Novices

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Ay'Lira settled into her seat and gratefully took the cup of tea. She murmured thanks before she sipped. The heat from the tea felt good on her throat and felt wonderful going down. She let out a breath when she finished her sip and held the cup in her hands as she began to speak. "My name is Ay'Lira Sonoran. I am sixteen years old. I lived in Malkier with my family until last year when it fell." Surprisingly, talking about it now didn't make her sad and angry as it had before. That was good. At some point, even her little brother was afraid of her when she spoke of the falling. She didn't want to be that person any more. But it was difficult sometimes. "We fled with a friend of mine to Shienar while my father fought. No news of him, but we assumed he died while Malkier fell." She heard a slight tremor in her voice, but she tamped the emotions down. She had to move on. "A few weeks ago, an Aes Sedai came to the village where we were living and tested my friend and I. My friend could not learn to channel, but I can...is what the Aes Sedai said," she explained.

 

When she finished, Ay'Lira lifted the cup to her lips again. The tea really was wonderful. But she wondered if what she had offered was enough for the Aes Sedai. Tell her 'about' herself? Did she want hobbies and a history? It's not as if she'd withheld the information, but she didn't have much to go on... She decided, however, to let the Aes Sedai control the conversation and waited until Valeri Sedai continued.

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Valeri nodded as the child told of fleeing Malkier. It had pained Valeri to hear of the fall of the Golden Crane. As a boardlander herself, that the blight had consumed the magnificent lakes and lands of the Malkeri, had come as an arrow to the heart. If Malkier could fall, so too could her own homeland of Saldaea.

 

"You have had a difficult time child, but if i know the Malkeri, it has only made you stronger, and more determined to succeed in the battle against the Dark One."

 

"Did the Aes Sedai whom escorted you here explain what it means to become a Novice of the White Tower? About the studies and rules that must be abided by?"

 

Valeri Kinaea

Mistress of Traditional Novices

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Valeri Sedai's words of encouragement about her people made Ay'Lira smile. It was nice to hear words like that after the fall. She even thought she detected a bit of Saldaea in the woman's dialect and her face. She felt like for the first time, that the White Tower was a place full of warriors of the Light. She knew that's what they were, but Terinne, an Altaran, was very short with her on a lot of points. And one of the points brought up before she went to the Tower was that there was no rescue party from the White Tower during the fall of Malkier. Terinne was quick to point out that one was sent, but didn't arrive in time. Ever since she left her family, it felt like she was on her own. Maybe she could do this after all.

 

The Mistress of Novices then asked if the Aes Sedai who had brought her here had explained the rules and the life of a novice. "Oh, yes, Aes Sedai," she said with a nod. "I know that novices while they're studying can be sent to go on chores at any time by Accepted or Aes Sedai. But, I think I'd like that. A lot of things were done for me at home, and I like to keep active when I can. And I know all those rules are in place for a reason. I won't break any, and I'll learn fast." She paused. "Terinne Sedai said novices stay in small rooms and sometimes have roommates...do you think I would get a roommate?" she asked, not bothering to hide the hopeful note in her voice.

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