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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY
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Silver Neccho

One Small Step, One Giant Leap?

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She entered the Tower and halted. The feel of the room was something unlike anything Kastyana had been exposed to before. The Great Hall was full of life, young women in white scurried around the room from visitor to visitor. Every so often one of the women would curtsy and flinch as women of undeterminate age swept in through the room while elsewhere in thought. She herself flinched when a dark haired woman of a serious air seemingly looked directly at her. Looking behind her she allowed herself to sigh with relief as she took notice of Kathleen Sedai.

 

I should flinch, if it was possible to earn a stern look not even a moment after entering the Tower...

 

She took note of her traveler's approving nod and moved forward to a young woman also wearing white but with the colors of nature draped around her dress.

 

She opened her mouth to address the woman...

 

"I would... I mean..."

 

The woman in white raised an eyebrow questioningly at her.

 

"I must speak with the one named Valeri Sedai. I have come to learn."

 

Seriously! Did I have to look like a fool in front of all these people!

 

The white-clad woman looked to Kathleen Sedai before turning back to Kastyana. She looked the girl up and down, first at her torn dress hem and lastly at the green ribbon stuck in her hair. Nodding to the Aes Sedai, the Accepted smiled and turned for an instant to pick something up from a nearby bench.

 

"It just so happens that I was heading in that direction myself." The Accepted made a exaggerrated flourish knocking over a carelessly deposited wood carving causing a curious woman looking into the Hall to frown and pull out a quill.

 

"My name is Penelia, I am Accepted." She made a gesture to Kastyana.

 

"I am Kastyana Amharadar of..."

 

Penelia interrupted her speech and locked eyes with Kathleen Sedai.

 

"I was to inform you, Aes Sedai, that your belongings were mishandled on the way inside. Some foolish stableboy not more than one month into his first whisker thought gossiping was preferably to watching ones path. One of the novices has him cornered at the far end of the Hall awaiting your instruction."

 

The Aes Sedai made a small noise and spoke.

 

"I wish you well Kastyana Amharadar of Far Madding." Kastyana looked up at the Accepted to catch her blush in embarressment.

 

The two watched as the regal woman walked off.

 

"I did not mean to disrespect you. It is a bad habit one tends to pick up living here in the White Tower."

 

A bad habit, I thought this place was supposed to remove such things.

 

"Now if you will come with me, I will take you to the Mistress of Novices. Take care not to walk to slowly, you will have plenty of time to study the wall paneling later."

 

Kasty jumped as if touched by hot poker. I was staring rather dumbly at the walls!

 

After what seemed but an instant, and only because things were already moving too fast for the girl, the two came to a halt in front of a rather non-descript door.

 

"I will knock, and once the door is opened, I shall announce you. Whatever happens, good luck Kastyana, you will need it."

 

The Accepted issued a smart rap on the door and Kastyana became as stiff as a statue.

 

Loosen up you fool! Open your eyes.

 

Kastyana began to shudder but was able to pry open her eyes.

 

"Oh, Light."

 

 

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Valeri sat at her desk, taking note on the punishment she had just given a novice who thought it might be funny to put itching powder in her mentor's shifts when she did her laundry.  A week of scrubbing pots might have seemed extreme, but this wasn't the first time, which she noted next to the punishment.  She allowed herself a sigh as she put the notebook in a drawer of a cabinet.  Her attention went to her door when she heard three distinct knocks.  She embraced Saidar just a bit and opened the door with a thread of Air.

 

There was a petrified young girl at her door with threadbare clothes, and next to her stood Penelia.  Ah, yes.  They had an appointment about a class the Accepted was taking.  But she would need to take care of this girl first.  Light, the girl was so terrified she couldn't even open her eyes!  She remembered being scared when she first walked into this office, but not as scared as this child.  "Come in, child.  Take a seat.  You are safe here.  But I'm afraid you'll have to open your eyes to find the chair."  She gave Penelia a stern look.  She had an inkling the Accepted was to blame for the prospective novice's fear, at least in part.  "Penelia, you may meet with me after I am finished with this child, and after you have shown her to her rooms."  The Accepted's smug expression fell and she moved to stand next to the door.

 

 

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As the words of the lady in the room flooded her mind, Kastyana could not help but laugh. They shall beat me before the day is done!

 

"Forgive me, my lady? I half-expect an army to spring forth from behind each door." Looking around uneasily, Kastyana found the chair and carefully sat down.

 

"Penelia, she did no wrong by me, my lady. I suppose I am quite unnerved from my long journey." She hoped the lady in the room would not punish her guide for her childish ways she was showing in this great place. Looking around the room she noticed personal touches, the smallest little fixture here and perhaps the slight angling of a certain furniture. The vibe that this was a place a comfort struck her oddly.

 

This is a Tower of training, yet... this lady is quite taken to it.

 

Her eyes bulged suddenly as the thought that this was the Aes Sedai she was seeking, just paces from her, came to her rational mind. Rising quickly from the chair she made an attempt at a curtsy.

 

"Valeri Sedai? I have come to train if the Light wills."

 

Of course, the way she spoke to Penelia she is quite clearly her mother or an Aes Sedai of the Tower. She began patting down her dress as if it were close to catching fire.

 

Sitting back down, she waited, though oddly her eyes made no attempt to leave the face of the one before her.

Edited by Silver Neccho

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Valeri closed the door with the same weave of Air as the girl came in.  She began to explain her fears and that she hoped Penelia wouldn't be punished.  She then stood and curtsied before saying that she would like to train.  She waved for her to sit again.  When she did, she began.  "Don't worry, child," she said in a calm voice with a small smile.  "We were all once scared young girls like yourself.  And Penelia's assignment to take you to your room is no punishment.  Accepted normally escort new novices to their quarters.  Before we continue, I have some questions for you."  Valeri stood and took down a very thick and heavy tome from her bookshelf.  She set the Novice Book on her desk and opened it to the last entry.  She did not pick up her pen, though.

 

"This is the Novice Book," she explained.  "It contains the names of every novice who ever became part of the Tower.  I can sense that you have been tested for the ability to channel." she said.  The power was weak, but it was still there.  It would grow, though.  "Now.  Tell me how it is you came to the White Tower.  And I'll need your name, place of birth, and year of birth."  

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Looking away for a moment, Kastyana grimaced. Her story of her journey this far was not emotionally void, quite the opposite.

 

She began to tell of her journey, starting with her somewhat unique origin in Far Madding and how it had bolstered her curiousity of things involving the Power.

 

"My first glimpse into the world that is the White Tower started when I was blessed with viewing a healing. I didn't know what really had occured but my mother did. When she told me such things were impossible where we came from it was like a blow."

 

To her, with her first experience of the Power, the ability was pure. To be used to cure a man just hit by a wagon, the thought of possible evil from that very power never came to mind.

 

"Channeling and the lack of it in Far Madding is seen as a good thing. My people are satisfied with the way things are. I was and am not."

 

In fact, her mother had refused to share more of her knowledge of the Aes Sedai when it became clear that Kastyana was dazzled and drawn to such discussion.

 

"My mother began avoid any and all speak of the Power. Even after my cousin lost his life last season. I could only wish you or another had been there."

 

She clenched her eyes for a moment and attempted to right herself. She felt rather lightheaded from her recounting.

 

"When my 14th nameday was celebrated I made up my mind to run away... I came here. Before I was returned home, Kathleen Sedai tested me. It was she who returned to my home and spoke to my mother, convinced her that I had another path."

 

She is Aes Sedai! How can she sit there and watch me agonize and flood the room with my emotion!

 

"We returned here, with my mother's blessing. I have no misconceptions about the Tower, I know too little to even guess. But I do want to be in that book and I do want to become Aes Sedai!"

 

I almost shouted. They are going to beat me before the day is done...

 

Looking down she was disturbed to see that she was standing. Letting out a grumble, she once again seated herself.

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Valeri listened intently as the girl told her story.  Before the girl seemed to realize it, she was becoming very emotional and very nearly shouted.  She had conviction.  That was good.  And Kathleen brought her here, and she had been the one to test her.  Valeri watched as the girl stood up in her anger while telling her story, but did not stop her.  She hadn't reached out to the Power, and this usually get the Mistress of Novices a good chance to understand new girls.  At the end of her tale, the girl seemed to come back to herself and sat down.  She nodded when the girl settled down.

 

"Those can be good reasons for joining.  But you must also understand that your mother isn't the only person in the world afraid of the One Power.  For those who have never felt it and known it, it is something unknown, something they cannot control, something they cannot understand.  And each has their own reasons for the way they feel.  This makes the life of an Aes Sedai a lonely one.  However."  She made sure that she held the girl's eyes with her own.

 

"Today, you do not come here to ask about the life of an Aes Sedai.  Today, I must tell you of the life of a novice, which is the first step to becoming Aes Sedai.  Novices have difficult lives here.  Every day will be filled to the brim with chores, studies, and any errands that an Aes Sedai or an Accepted sends you on.  You will be working from sun up to sun down with hardly any breaks in between.  And the average stint of novicehood is not a short one, the average being ten years.  Novices must learn the rules of the Tower and must learn discipline above all else.  It is not a glamorous life, and you will be cut off from all ties to your family while you wear the white.  In fact, any belongings you have that are not distributed by the Tower will be taken and held until you wear the shawl.  Please understand, though.  I do not tell you this to scare you away.  But once I write your information in this book, that will be your life until I deem you ready for Acceptedhood.  Are you sure that you are ready for that commitment?" she asked, keeping her voice steady but soft.

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She watched the Mistress of Novices closely while she spoke. Every word she analyzed and absorbed. When she heard about the chores and tasks she began smiling faintly.

 

Working in a goldsmith might have been harder.

 

She put her hand up to the green ribbon in her hair.

 

I need to hide this before they take all my stuff away.

 

Removing her hand from her ribbon she looked back to floor.

 

She was getting antsy. Her legs would not stay still. The room wasn't the warmest and her mind was exhausted.

 

They all look at me as if they are trying to understand my very creation. How long will I be novice before they finally gain such understanding!

 

"There are things that I would like to keep specifically in your office for safe keeping if you will."

 

She removed a gold locket from around her neck and placed it on the nearby desk.

 

"This locket is a piece of my family history and if I cannot keep it, at least knowing it is with someone who has a direct hand in my training will keep me more assured."

 

I hope she did not see me remove my ribbon when I removed my locket.

 

"I guess this means I am willing and ready to be put in your book."

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OOC:  I'll let the ribbon thing slide for now.  If she's silly enough to wear it instead of the issue white ones, then she'll get them taken up.

 

IC:  Valeri sharpened her feather pen and dipped it in the ink as the girl thought it over.  All this talking and thinking she had done, and she didn't even have her name yet.  Well, that would change soon enough.  The girl handed over her locket when she looked up from her pen. She explained that she'd like it to be kept personally by someone like Valeri.  Well, it wasn't unheard of.  She had a special drawer that was ward-locked for things of that nature.  The curious thing was, that after the shawl was attained, or after the girls were put out of the Tower, not everyone remembered their precious things.  But she remembered who gave her what.  Valeri nodded and smiled at the girl.  She put the locket into the drawer with the letters for now.  If she put things in the actual drawer in front of everyone who asked about it, well...she couldn't trust all these girls.

 

"Very well, then," she said, returning to the book, pen in hand, place marked.  "I'll need your name, your age, and your place of birth for my book."  Valeri gave the girl a warm smile.  After giving such a speech about the life of a novice, this girl needed to know that she wasn't a heartless being of discipline.

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She watched carefully as Valeri Sedai put her locket away. She had a knowing look as she closed the drawer that would be the keepsakes new home. 

 

The Mistress of Novice smiled with quill poised to document Kastyana's entrance to the Tower.

 

Blushing slightly, Kastyana stood and curtsied. "I am so rude." She sat back in her seat.

 

"My name is Kastyana Amharadar." She reached into her scrip and removed a graphite stick and a torn fragment of parchment. Writing her name on the parchment she leaned forward to give Valeri Sedai the correct spelling.

 

"I hope this makes spelling my name a bit easier." She placed the scrap of parchment on the edge of the desk and sat back.

 

"I am 14 years of age and I hail from city of Far Madding." 

 

As the Mistress began to inscribe her information, Kastyana began to rummage through her scrip. She pulled out beaded bracelet and a few pieces of gold and silver. She reached in and salvaged the remains of a sheet of parchment and proceeded to fold it neatly in a bundle. Looking back into her scrip she made a quick tally of its remaining contents; bits of lace and a sewing kit, some scented wash-sands and a kerchief. She carefully placed everything back into the scrip and moved to lay it upon the desk.

 

"That is all that remains of the possessions upon me. I did not bring much else here except for a few dresses and a book or two."

 

This day is going to last forever. If they even plan to do a tour of this floor I will be up till midnight!

 

She looked down at her feet and waited.

 

OOC: Feel free to RP my characters movements such as when she follows you, just the more basic movements.

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Valeri began to write down the girl's name and graciously accepted the correct spelling when it was offered.  She finished writing the necessary information before closing the enormous book and placing it back on the suffering shelf.  Kastyana handed her a scrip with her things tucked away inside.  She gave the girl a reassuring smile, keeping the scrip on her desk.  This would go into the storerooms with the other things that novices turned in to her.  With that, she turned to a cabinet and opened the doors.  There were novice dresses of all sizes in her.  She chose one that looked as though it would fit Kastyana and turned back to her.  "This will be your uniform for the time you are a novice," she explained.  Tucked in with the white dress were a number of things:  a belt, a pouch, a pair of slippers, stockings, ribbons, and a shift: all white.  "Be sure to keep your dress clean from any stains or tears.  If this one does not fit, be sure to alert the Tower seamstresses, and they will mend it for you."

 

Embracing Saidar again, Valeri opened the door to find Penelia still standing there.  "Penelia, please show Kastyana to her rooms and show her around the Tower."  The Accept pushed away from the wall and curtsied for her.  Valeri smiled and waved as Kastyana took her new things and followed Penelia out of her offices.  

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