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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

New Beginnings (Attn MoN)


Tamerya
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Two riders entered the gates of Tar Valon. One rode with the haughty disdain, someone who was used to being obeyed. The second was more furtive. They could not be any different in physical looks. The first was blonde and fair-skinned, while the second was olive skinned with brown hair. At closer look, the first was obviously Aes Sedai while the second was definitely not.

 

“We have arrived Duriya,” the Aes Sedai spoke to her companion.

 

Duriya nodded. She had known the second they crossed the bridge. With all that the Aes Sedai had spoke of Tar Valon and the White Tower, it could hardly be anything else. As with every other town they entered, the girl adjusted herself on her horse which brought her hair down infront of her face. An easy trick that allowed her to observe everything that she could see without being open about it. Having grown up in the Rahad in Ebou Dar, her observation skills were finely tuned, even for her age. She watched the merchants pause in their dealings to watch the pair walk by, saw some children run up close and then turn around quickly and run the way they had come as if on a dare to get close to the Aes Sedai.

 

Then it was her first view of the White Tower as a whole when they entered the grounds. The Aes Sedai led Duriya to stairs of the White Tower itself and dismounted, indicating to Duriya to do the same. A stableboy ran forward and took the reins to both mounts and led them away.

 

The girl noticed eyes upon her as the Aes Sedai surveyed the people close by. “You there!” she called to a girl looking to be in her early twenties in a white dress, banded with colours. The girl squeaked and hurried to stand in front of the Aes Sedai before curtseying deeply.

 

“Yes, Aes Sedai?” the girl nearly trembled.

 

“Duriya here needs to see the Mistress of Novices. If you have time to be gawking about, I’m sure you have time to escort her there.”

 

“Yes, Aes Sedai!” the girl answered quickly, and curtseyed again. “Come along Duriya!”

 

Duriya didn’t even have time to say goodbye as the young woman pulled her along into the White Tower. Not that there had been anything from aloofness from the Aes Sedai, but after their long travels, it seemed rude not to say anything at all. Resigned to silence, she hurried along with the young woman if only not to fall on her face from being pulled.

 

While walking briskly through the White Tower, the young woman chattered incessantly about random things, never stopping to let Duriya respond or even ask the young woman her name, though at least she learned that the other girl was an Accepted and that the banded white dress was a mark of station. When they stopped infront of a door, the Accepted girl hushed and knocked on the door.

 

“This is the Mistress of Novice’s office …” The Accepted quickly answered Duriya’s unasked question.

 

Moments later, they heard a "come in" through the door. The Accepted girl opened the door and ushered Duriya in, curtseying. "This is Duriya, she's come to be a novice."

 

Duriya nodded in agreement, copying the young woman's curtsey, then looked directly at the Aes Sedai before her. Instead of nerves, she felt a keen feeling of anticipation.

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"Enter," Valeri called in a firm voice at the knock on her door. She calmly continued cleaning the quill pen in her hand as she regarded the Accepted who entered, ushering in a dark-haired young girl.

 

""This is Duriya, she's come to be a novice," the Accepted said quickly as she curtsied. Her charges knew not to waste her time with unnecessary chatter. She was pleased to see that the girl, Duriya, copied the curtsy. Some children required quite a bit of correction before they learned proper behaviour.

 

"Thank you, child - you may go about your business." She nodded permission for the Accepted to withdraw, then smiled gently at Duriya. "Sit, child, and tell me how it came about that you are here. Has an Aes Sedai tested you?"

 

She finished cleaning the quill and put it aside, then rose and walked towards the tea tray on the table under the window. She liked to admire the view as she made tea, sometimes even standing there whilst drinking it. The water in the kettle proved to be cold, so she quickly wove Fire to warm it up again. "Tea?" she asked over her shoulder at the girl.

 

 

Valeri Kinaea

Mistress of Traditional Novices

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"Sit, child, and tell me how it came about that you are here. Has an Aes Sedai tested you?"

 

Duriya quickly moved from the doorway to the seat that she had been offered, her eyes shifting from the Aes Sedai to looking around the office and back to the Aes Sedai. Before she could begin to answer the question, she was asked another one - "Tea?"

 

“Please,” she answered in response, though her voice was cold and emotionless. Then, she launched into the longer answer. “I came here with an Aes Sedai, she called herself Tanna, though I don’t believe that was her real name. She didn’t answer to it the first time at least twice that I remember. Anyways. She found me on the streets at home. In the Rahad. She blocked my path and wouldn’t let me by. I tried to challenge her to fight, but instead she somehow held me still and forced me to look at some…gem or something." The remembrance of that scene still made the girl seethe and it came through in her voice. "I don’t know what it was, but after a bit, she said that she wanted to talk to my parents and wouldn’t let me go until I promised to take her to them. So we did that and she announced that I should come here. Once they found out that I could maybe learn to channel, they sent me here with her. So here I am.” Duriya blinked before adding the last part, “I don’t know about any test.”

 

Duriya watched the Mistress of Novices warily. Of everything that Tanna had told her, there was never anything about any test. She learned what would be expected of her in the Tower – to learn everything and anything and to work hard or else there were consequences, but now she was concerned.

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Valeri tsked to herself as she poured tea into two cups. Some Aes Sedai really took acting mysterious much too far, to no good purpose. Her face was serene again when she placed one cup as well as a bowl of honey in front of the girl. She added a bit of honey to her own tea, then seated herself and sipped as she regarded her newest charge.

 

"The gem ... Tanna had you look at was to test whether you could learn to channel. There are very few women who can learn, but if the Aes Sedai channels a flow of Spirit into the stone, eventually it will resonate if the other person concentrating on it has that ability. Even fewer women have the ability inborn - they will channel eventually whether anyone teaches them or not - we call that sparking. It's dangerous, and many women die if they are not taught."

 

She saw the look on the girl's face, and almost smiled. "But you will learn all about that later." It was evident that the girl had grown up hard, as to be expected of someone from the Rahad. People like that quite often made the strongest and most useful Aes Sedai, once there rough edges had been polished a bit. A word to the wise might be needed.

 

"It is good that you can take care of yourself, child, but just remember that an Aes Sedai must use her wits, not her fists. Novices and Accepted who attack anyone will find themselves in my office. Believe me when I say they regret that very much, and seldom repeat the offence. I hope I've made myself understood?" Valeri's smiled serenely as she took another sip of her tea.

 

 

Valeri Kinaea

Mistress of Traditional Novices

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Duriya added a rather large amount of honey to her tea, and sipped it suspiciously as the Mistress of Novices expanded on the test. Good. I’ve already done that then, she thought to herself. She listened quietly to the rest of what the Aes Sedai had to say. She was shocked to hear of the danger of those with the ability inborn, but it just solidified why no one in the Rahad had anything to do with Aes Sedai – they were dangerous. In more ways than one.

 

But now, she was here to become one of them. Duriya’s thoughts reeled with that still, yet her face showed nothing of the turmoil within. And then it happened.

 

“It is good that you can take care of yourself, child, but just remember that an Aes Sedai must use her wits, not her fists. Novices and Accepted who attack anyone will find themselves in my office. Believe me when I say they regret that very much, and seldom repeat the offence. I hope I've made myself understood?"

 

Duriya’s eyes flashed in anger as she struggled to control the outrage she felt. Her rough voice deepened further with emotion, “I would never attack anyone. WE do not attack anyone. When there is need, we challenge them. We defend ourselves and our honour. We do not go around attacking people unawares.” The girl quickly fished something out of a pocket on her belt pouch and with overly controlled movements, she placed it on the desk in front of the Aes Sedai. “My mother sent this with my things,” Duriya glared down at the small jewel she had placed on the desk, “to make sure I know what a disgrace I am. And now you accuse me of doing something I would not?” The thought never crossed Duriya's mind that someone not of Ebou Dar would have no idea what the jewel was or meant.

 

Knowing that she stood no chance was one of the only things keeping Duriya from issuing a challenge right then and there. That and the fact that she would likely be kicked out of the White Tower – and then where would she go? She had nothing left for her. She took a deep breath, trying to master her emotions. Her thoughts of abandonment brought tears to her eyes unbidden.

 

Duriya Olandrian

Soon to be novice

Edited by Tamerya
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A fine spirit indeed. Completely uneducated of course, and with no knowledge of any customs but her own, but that was to be expected. Some arrived with courtly educations, others not even able to write their own names. The Tower would teach them what they needed to know. Valeri saw the tears and fear under the bravado. Intellectually Valeri understood the significance of that jewel - Aes Sedai were taught the customs of all nations - yet she knew she could never truly know the pain it must cause this girl. No, not empty bravado - she was sure it was true courage this girl possessed. Oh, this girl had potential, she was sure of it. But now to explain to the child ...

 

"Duriya, I am glad to hear that you live by a code of honour - it speaks well of you that you have that self-control. You will learn, however, that there are many forms of honour, and that not all customs are the same. What would be perfectly normal behaviour in Andor could get you hanged in Arafel. Whatever nation you came from, there are some things an initiate of the Tower does not do, and that is do physical harm to another human being, unless that person is ... well, never mind about that now. It is enough for now that I have told you not to do so. So, no matter what the seeming provocation, you will not be issuing any challenges. To anyone. If there is a problem, come speak to me - we will work things out like civilised people."

 

"Now let's get you settled in." She estimated the girl's size with a practised eye, then rose and got a set of novice whites from the cupboard behind her. She passed that, along with a token from a jar on her desk, to the girl. "These should fit you well enough for now, but once you are settled in take that token down to the seamstresses and they will measure you for a few sets of clothes. While you are a novice in this Tower, you will wear nothing but the novice whites. Come along now." She ushered the girl out of her office, along the hallway and up two ramps, then down another hallway. This one had several novices hurrying along it - obviously dinner time was approaching. She snagged one who didn't get out of her curtsy fast enough. "Child, this is Duriya - help her settle in and show her around. Here - this room should be empty." She opened the door they had come to, checked that it was indeed empty of an occupant, and gestured the two of them into it. "Remember what I have told you, Duriya," she said in a firm tone, then glided out and back to her office.

 

 

Valeri Kinaea

Mistress of Traditional Novices

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Duriya mastered her emotions as she listened to the Mistress of Novices, glad to be able to get the tears in check. Somehow she had never thought that other nations were any different than her own. They were all people, why would they act different just because they were from somewhere else? She supposed that if anyone would know that, the Aes Sedais would. They travelled everywhere, after all – that much Duriya knew.

 

She was surprised that any troubles she may have were to be brought to the Mistress of Novices – she had not “tattled” on anyone in a very long time, yet here they were supposed to do just that. Not for things like “she touched me!” that young children were apt to do, but about any serious transgressions. Duriya shook her head at her thoughts, but only answered with a quiet “yes, Aes Sedai”, though she was still wrapping her head around it.

 

She took the clothing she was handed and held onto it as she was led through the hallways. She tried to keep an eye out for any distinguishing things on the walls, or anything that would allow her to find her way back if needed. She knew in time she would most likely learn her way around the Tower, but the sooner the better. She was almost lost in just keeping track when they stopped. Duriya had been watching all of the novices and was surprised by how many there were after she had been told that not many were able to channel.

 

"Child, this is Duriya - help her settle in and show her around. Here - this room should be empty." Hearing this snapped the girl out of her thoughts and she eyed the other novice warily before the Mistress of Novices piped up with "Remember what I have told you, Duriya.”

 

Duriya curstied without responding and with that, the Aes Sedai was gone. She strode into her room and looked around – it wasn’t much to look at, but it was larger than what she had at home and it was hers alone.

 

“You should change before dinner,” the other novice spoke urgently, but quietly. “We need to hurry before we miss the meal.”

 

Duriya quickly changed into the white dress, noting that it was a little long, but remembered she had the token as well. Now that she was in white, in the White Tower, she knew that even though she couldn’t return home if she wanted - there was no turning back from this course. Even as just a novice, she was now a member of the White Tower.

 

Duriya Olandrian

Novice of the White Tower

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