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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

A journey inside a dreamworld ~ Liana Alore's Arches


jozan
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Liana had been dozing off during a lesson about herbs with a yellow sister named Alya Sedai, a very calm and gentle soul, and Alya Sedai seem to like Liana and usually had many questions for her. And she sometimes even asked her to accompany the sister to her chambers for one-on-one conversations about Saldaea, Liana’s life, and her nobility. Liana was pleasantly surprised the first time the sister had approached her after class about Liana’s past and why her mother allowed her to be tested and then sent to the tower. But this day Liana was very tired and told Alya Sedai “I’m sorry, Alya Sedai but if you don’t mind I’d like to get some rest, I am exhausted after working too hard these past days. I hope you don’t mind if I go back to my room and lay down.” She said with a tired voice and curtsied as she walked out from the Aes Sedai’s chambers.

 

When she came back to the novice quarters and was about to go toward her and Ay’lira’s room, a voice called out to her “You are to be tested for acceptance.” Liana turned around and saw Valeri Sedai; the Mistress of Novices, standing there in her shawl hanging down her shoulders. She was utterly surprised to see Valeri Sedai already, Liana felt her body starting to shake and she just wanted to run away and never come back. But, she shrugged it off because she knew she was ready for this, she had been waiting for this moment for a long time. “I am ready, Valeri Sedai. I am ready to go through the arches that await me.” She said with confident and serene voice to the Mistress of Novices, and walked up beside her.

 

It was finally time to show that she was ready to become an Accepted of the white tower, and to show her father and mother that she wasn’t just another noble lady, that she deserved to be here and that she was Liana Alore noble lady of the Alore house.

Valeri Sedai guided her through halls and deep down beneath the tower, to a doomed chamber where a grand Ter’angreal with three silver arches sitting on a thick silver ring was placed. The sight alone made Liana gaping of awe and after taking in the sight of the Ter’angreal, she finally noticed the three Aes Sedai sitting beside one of the arches. All of them had their shawls on, and Liana noticed that Alya Sedai, Gerlin Sedai and Sarina Sedai were all there. That made Liana smile warmly and felt a bit more confident that she could do this. She couldn’t and wouldn’t let them down.

 

A fourth Aes Sedai stood beside a table on which three silvery chalice with clear water in them were placed. She didn’t recognize the Aes Sedai though. Then suddenly Valeri Sedai spoke up again and Liana listened with great care not to miss anything that might be important to know “two things that no woman hears until she enters this room. Once you begin, you must continue to the end. Refuse to go on, no matter your potential and you will be very kindly put out of the Tower with enough silver to support you a year and you will never be allowed back. Second. To seek, to strive, is to know danger. You will know danger here. Some women have entered, and never come out. When the ter’angreal was allowed to grow quiet, they – were – not – there. And they were never seen again. If you will survive, you must be steadfast. Faltering leads to a failure.”

 

It all made sense to Liana but about the women that had stayed behind in the arches, they were lost forever inside them. Why would they risk such a thing, they must have had a terrible or wonderful thing happen to them, which made them stay behind. She thought to herself. “This is your last chance, child. You may turn back now, and you will have only mark against you. Twice more will you be allowed to come here, and only at the third refusal will you be put out of the Tower. It is no shame to refuse. Many cannot do it their first time here. Now you may speak.” Valeri Sedai’s words echoed inside Liana’s mind and she couldn’t get them out for some reason. But she collected her thoughts and opened her mouth, and her response was “I am ready, Valeri Sedai. I shall honor my father.” She said with a very firm along with a sure tone to her otherwise soft voice.

 

Then after Liana had responded with a yes the Aes Sedai at the table asked “Whom do you bring with you, sister?” Upon which the Mistress of Novices replied “One who comes as a candidate for Acceptance, Sister.”

 

“Is she ready, sister?”

 

“She is ready to leave behind what she was, and, in passing through her fears, gain Acceptance.”

“Does she know her fears?”

 

“She has never faced them, but now is willing.”

“Then let her face what she fears.”

 

After the Mistress of Novices had spoken allowed with the Aes Sedai she turned her attention back to Liana, and asked her to undress which Liana thought was both a little strange but also embarrassing, but she did unbutton her cream white dress and was then guided to the first Arch, and the Arch was filled with a soft glowing light. “The first time is for what was. The way back will come but once. Be steadfast.” Valeri Sedai said with a stern voice as she gestured for Liana to go through it.

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As Liana were walking through the soft glowing arch the words “the way back will come but once. Be steadfast” echoed in her mind, and then it went blank.

A woman was running toward where Liana was standing and the woman had a warm smile, which made Liana smile back, and then she called out “You’re finally back, my child. Your father will be coming back very soon from his journeys.” A surprised Liana couldn’t help but open her mouth and then close it, she did that movement a few times before she finally realized who the woman was; it was her beautiful mother who was running toward her. And Liana’s father would be coming home very soon, and she would be able to see his soft and gentle face again.

Liana and her mother embraced each other and she felt a warmth Liana had not felt for a long time, and it made her really happy. She could barely wait to see her father again, and for the whole family to be together once more. Nothing could stop their happiness because she wouldn’t allow it to destroy them once again. When they came upon their house in the capital of Saldaea where they were living together, someone was already there waiting for them.

 

But it was not her father instead it was a younger male guard whom had served alongside her father against the trollocs whenever they attacked the walls around the city. His face said more than a thousand words could ever say, it was filled with sadness and concern for something – that meant something had happened to her father otherwise he wouldn’t have bothered to come here. “I am Jarlin Merkin, guardian of the eastern wall along with your father. I’m a herald of bad news, and for that I am sorry. Your father has been killed, and it saddens me to tell this news to you both. May the light shine upon you both.” And after he bowed deeply the young guard left them to their mourning. His face expression had been sad but his voice wasn’t of sadness but of respect and serenity.

 

Her tears flowed down her cheeks but as she was embracing her mother in tears, a voice echoed in her mind once again “The way back will come but once. Be steadfast” and then near the house gate, a few meters away a bright light appeared. She wasn’t sure what it meant, but it didn’t matter she didn’t want to leave her mother all alone. After a brief moment the light began to fade slowly, and for some reason Liana was pulled toward it. She wiped her tears and whispered in her beloved mother’s ear “I love you with all my heart.” And then she ran toward the light and nearly missed it, and when she fell to the floor in the tower chambers where she had entered the archway, she started crying again. The Aes Sedai at the table poured cold water over her head and it made Liana shiver a lot “You are washed clean of what sin you may have done and of those done against you. You are washed clean of what crime you may have committed, and of those committed against you. You come to us washed clean and pure, in heart and soul.” The Aes Sedai said with serenity and firmness in her voice.

 

Liana could barely speak because of the cold she felt in her naked body, and after a short moment the Mistress of Novices showed her to the next Archway. And she said “The second arch is for what is. The way will come but once. Be steadfast.” With a stern voice to Liana who was still cold and sobbing a bit, but she knew she had to go through the second Arch or she would fail.

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  • 1 year later...

Liana had just walked through the second arch and stood in a lush meadow. The sky above her had been painted grey and it felt so cold, so much so that she started shivering.

A thought occurded to her Could this be the meadow where I played as a child? Liana smiled a bit and ran her hand slowly through the grass, and it felt so good.

Her smile grew bigger and she span slowly around a couple of times until she became dissy and fell to the soft ground. Liana spread out and could feel the soft touch of the grass against her body.

 

"If only I was a child again and embraced by my father. He would hold me up and spin me around while laughing. He would do it while my mother were watching from the balcony of our house in the capital of Saldea." She smiled as her fond memories of her father played in her mind. She was sitting in the grass when she felt a hand on her shoulder.

And a moment later a voice spoke up "If you're that tired maybe you should go back to your room and sleep it off?" The Aes Sedai of this morning class said with a soft voice to Liana who nearly bumped into her teacher's chin when she sprang up. "I-I'm sorry...it won't happen again, I promise." She said while bowing her head to the teacher.

 

It was embaressing enough to over-sleep but to actually turn up to class and fall asleep is even worse. The class was to teach newly raised accepted how to use herbs in the field if they ever needed it. Liana understood the importance of learning how to find and use herbs in nature, but she was more interested in improving her healing skills with the one power.

It was closer to her heart because if she knew how to heal someone with the one power, she might save them from certain death.

While she thought about it she suddenly heard a voice in her mind saying "The way back comes but once, be steadfast." She wasn't sure what it meant but it sounded important for some reason she had forgotten.

 

Liana had always regretted the day when her father died that she couldn't do anything for him, but now with the teachings of the tower she could save people. She had to learn to heal and protect people any way she could find. Healing she knew the yellow ajah were experts of, and could help her get better at it. And they were always kind toward people that wanted to learn to heal. Liana walked toward the yellow ajah quarters and on the way there she nearly bumped into a sister. "Oh, child do be be careful." The Aes Sedai looked at Liana with a smile and said "So it is you, my child. You became an accepted not so long ago, didn't you...We knew you could do it Liana, well done." the yellow said with a bright tone and Liana looked at her with a smile back and curtsied "Eriya Sedai, I came to look for you, I am ready for another healing lesson with you." Eriya Sedai nodded brightly at her and gestured for Liana to follow her.

 

But just when she was about to enter Eriya Sedai's chamber a white light suddenly entered her eye corner and a voice echoed in her mind "The way back comes but once, be steadfast." Liana looked at Eriya Sedai who was sitting on her chair waiting for her to come inside. The white light started to slowly fade away, and Liana really felt like crying.

She really wanted to stay behind but something tucked at her and she started running as fast as her legs could carry her. When she exited the white light she fell to the cold tower ground and started to cry. "Why are you so cruel?" Liana bursted out. The fourth sister came forth and poured ice cold water on her from the chalice "You are washed clean of false pride. You are washed clean of false ambition. You come to us washed clean, in heart and soul." Liana still sat on the floor and shivered in tears.

 

Then the MoN walks over to Liana and comforts her "You're not alone, we all go through tough situations." She looks up at the MoN and wept tears away from her cheek and stood up a little slowly. She's right, I am not alone. Come on I can do this, it is almost over now. Just one more to go then I will be accepted." LIana shook off the uncertainties and started to look more confident again. "The third time is for what will be. Be steadfast for the way back will come but once."  Said the MoN and gestured for her to go through the last arch.

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Liana Sedai clad in her green shawl laid over her shoulders were waiting for her warder to come back from scouting the area ahead. Few people were actually surprised when Liana had chosen the green ajah and she had been warmly welcomed into the ranks of the battle ajah. Almost straight after she had joined the ajah official she had started looking for a warder. But because she would be traveling a lot she needed an experienced tower guard to bond with, whether it was a female or male didn’t matter to her. Aryn Oderin suddenly came galloping over the hill to where she was daydreaming. A man in his mid-thirties with a short-bow he had made himself over his right shoulder, and a sword hanging in his leather belt.

 

His blonde hair waving in the wind as he dismounted his horse and he clapped the horse before Aryn walked over to Liana Sedai. Aryn always had a thinly lined smile, even when he was with his Aes Sedai. “I talked with some farmers along the way, and only a few bandits had been lurking around the area as of late.” He said with a calm voice while he held his sword hand on the sword, as if ready to lash out at something. Liana turned around and said “That is what my network told me, but you can never be too sure.” She walked calmly over to her white horse and mounted “Let’s find a place to capm before we go back to the tower.” And Aryn mounted as well as he nodded in agreement, even though he knew she was too stubborn to change her mind. But he had also noticed that she could be a very good and loyal friend, it was after all one of the reasons he had bonded with her. They started to trot alongside each other on their way back to the white tower. “The way back comes but once, be steadfast.” The voice echoed in her mind but she seamlessly shrugged it off. A sudden change in the wind almost made her lose her balance on the horse, and when she turned her head to see what made her lose it; another arrow flew just passed her warder’s ear. “Liana ride hard toward that shelter.” She looked toward whatever he had pointed at and gently kicked her horse to make go faster. Then in another direction a bit further ahead she saw a glowing white light appearing out of nowhere. “The way back comes but once, be steadfast.” She heard the voice echo in her mind again, but all she could think about was making sure her warder was safe behind her.

 

She suddenly heard a thumbing sound behind her and she turned around to see that her warder had been hit by an arrow in his left leg. Aryn fell to the ground and put his hand on his leg, and called out “Don’t mind me, just go and save yourself, I’ll be fine. It’s just a flesh wound.” But she could tell he was in pain. Liana was about to go to him when the white light started fading away, but she couldn’t just go and leave him there to die. At the same time she felt inside her the urgency of going to the light. And so she rode as fast as she could muster. And she barely made it through the glowing white light.

Liana could barely stand out of sorrow and tears flushed down her cheeks. The MoN came over to her to help her wipe away the tears and to help Liana to stand up. “He-he’s dead because of me. I left him for dead, just because I was greedy. Is that what will become of me? Not caring about whose my warder and letting them die.” She cried out again. But when she noticed there was an Aes Sedai from each ajah along with the Amyrlin Seat in front of her, Liana wiped her tears again and walked over to the Amyrlin seat, and knelt before her still sobbing a little. The Amyrlin seat picked up the chalice and poured water over Liana’s head.

“You are washed clean of Liana Alore of Maradon. You are washed clean of all ties that bind you to this world. You come to us washed clean in heart and soul. You are Liana Alore, Accepted of the white tower.” Liana blinks out of surprise that she actually pulled it off, and is now an accepted of the white tower. A warm smile slowly starts to appear on her lips. “You are sealed to us, now. Welcome, daughter.” Says the Amyrlin seat and hands the chalice over to one of the sisters that’s closest to her, and is given a serpent ring in exchange.

 

She puts the serpent ring on Liana’s third finger on her left hand and pulls Liana to her feet and says “Welcome, daughter.” and kisses Liana’s cheek, then kisses her other cheek and says “Welcome.” Liana curties to the Amyrlin seat and looks at her left hand and can’t believe it. She has now become an accepted of the white tower. Her mother would be proud of her.

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