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Looking Up (Attn: MoN - Arrival at the Tower)


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For a split second, Thayetta shivered on her horse as they prepared to cross the bridge; and it was not the cold that made her shake. Before her, under the bridge, was a large expanse of rushing, roiling water. The River Erinin, she reminded herself, recalling the the teachings of the Aes Sedai - Madelaina Torvon - from the first week of their travels.


'The River Erinin, Tar Valon, Madelaina Sedai, Warder Tomran Boldd.' Thayett clung to the names she had learnt as if they were all she had left in the world. Perhaps they were. Before her lay the river Erinin and Tar Valon; behind her, everything she had ever known. Fourteen years of memories may not have seemed like a lot to the ageless Aes Sedai before her, or even her Warder, or to anyone grown for that matter; but to the young girl who had lived them and only them, they were a lot to leave behind - regardless of what the future had in store. No, it was not the cold that had made her shake.


Her large blue eyes welled momentarily with tears as she turned her gaze from the river to the bright, shining walls of Tar Valon and from there to the high, bone white tower in the midst of the sky-walled city. The White Tower. Her destination. And, so she had been told, her home for many years to come.


Despite what Madelaina Sedai had told her about the Tower, it's inhabitants and the life of an Aes Sedai during their journey, Thayetta knew she had no true understanding of what to expect when she passed through those walls. She knew - now - that she had the ability to channel, to become an Aes Sedai. She knew that meant she would have to live in the Tower and undergo training. She also knew that they had all traveled a very long way just to get her to this point. But right now, she also knew that she did not know what any of that would mean, once this bridge and the river were left behind her.


Her lower lip quivered, the tiniest of flutters, before she grit her teeth and set her jaw into a determined line. I will not cry.


The Aes Sedai looked at her a moment, calmly, before saying simply, "Do not be afraid, child. Be brave".

Beside her, Tomran Boldd stood strong, looking every bit the rolling mountain he had seemed since the beginning. Thayetta squared her shoulders, doing her best to emulate the strength and calm radiating from her two companions. She wiped quickly at her eyes. 


They stepped their horses forward.


The city was bustling and busy, but clean. The noise, sheer number of people and variety of faces was enough to make Thayett's head spin and her mouth go dry. For that reason, she kept her gaze solidly on the back of the Aes Sedai in front of her. 'There will be time enough to explore this city in years to come,' she reminded herself with a stubborn little smile. A small smile, with her lips pressed tightly together and into a bunched line, over tightly gritted teeth, but a smile just the same. She looked straight ahead.


Eventually, the Tower stood directly before them, and there was nowhere else to look. Thayett continued staring ahead, retrieving from her mind all the information she'd ever heard or read about the Tower in that one instant. Sure that she was not in any state to appreciate the almost hundred spans of building, or the countless years of history within its walls so close to her, she definitely did not look up.


They dismounted and, full of grace, Madelaina led her through the door. Tomran took his leave, evidently to care for the horses. He did not even say goodbye. Thayett followed in the footsteps of the Aes Sedai, and, notably, she supposed, she followed in the footsteps of the hundreds, if not thousands of Novices-turned-Sedai that had passed that way before her. The building itself emanated a sense of calm and ageless, solid strength that was impossible to ignore. Thayetta let the feeling settle around her shoulders, felt it in her spine. Almost unconsciously, she stepped forward with a little more purpose to her step. She knew she was young, and she knew without a doubt that she had a very long journey still ahead of her; and she would be lying if she told herself she wasn't afraid; but she would be Aes Sedai, and it would count.


Madelaina stopped in front of a door Thayetta hadn't seen, and knocked. The Mistress of Novice's door, Thayett recalled, for that was whom she was sure she would see. There would be no turning back now, even if she wanted to.


The door opened. Behind it stood the woman she would answer to during all of her Novice years, and probably then some more beyond. Thayetta looked up.


The woman smiled.


"Come in child, and welcome to the Tower."


"Yes, Aes Sedai," she answered, her voice quiet and polite, but at the core of it, strong.  She curtsied, briefly studying the face of the woman before her through lowered eyes, thinking of everything that was still to come.

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Another knock at the door ... Valeri took a deep breath. She was tired, more than she would have expected. She hadn't had many sleepless nights but the previous one had been one of them. Something must have been wrong in the Tower for her to have that many nightmares. Still she couldn't show herself as a weakling. She was the Mistress of the Novices, the Initiates trembled when hearing her name.


She rarely went to the door of her office to open it by herself. She knew she was much more impressive when sitting behind her beautifully carved desk, and today she wanted to take full advantage of her position. Using a weave of Air, she unlocked the door and pulled it open. "Come in," she said.


A young girl, dressed in traveling clothes, was standing right in front of her. The girl was definitely a new recruit. Not a single Novice would dare to get out of her regular white to visit the "MoN".


I can't scare that one, Valeri told herself. ... not yet.


"Come in, Child," she repeated. "Welcome to the Tower."

"Yes, Aes Sedai," the girl answered. The Mistress of the Novices nodded. This one was polite and already knew how to address an Aes Sedai. Something deep inside her sounded strong.

Maybe we can do something of this one, Valeri commented to herself again.  She knew she wasn't fair to the previous new recruits who had come to present themselves the week before. They had also shown potential, but black haired Aes Sedai was in a sour mood.


The girl curtsied, waiting for the Mistress of the Novices.


"And, pray tell, who might you be?"


OOC : you don't have to copy paste your bio :)

Just a couple of words about your past are good enough.

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  • 2 years later...

"And, pray tell, who might you be?"


Thayetta did her best not to jump at the dark-haired woman's question. Instead she stood a little straighter, tried to look a little neater, despite her travelling clothes and the fact she had no idea what she was doing.


She took a breath. 


"I'm Thayetta Luin, Aes Sedai," she inclined her head a little more, still peeking timidly from under the light curtain of hair that swept around her face.


The woman behind the desk made no reply, and Thayetta straightened herself up again.


"Madelaina Sedai brought me here from Four Kings -" there was a pang in her chest, but she pushed it and the wave of home-sickness down.


She did not know what else to say, so instead she studied the room, eyes flicking over the titles of books in the bookshelves, the features of this Mistress of Novices' face etching their way into her memory and sticking fast.


Not for the first time, Thayetta wondered how in the Light she had never come across books about the Aes Sedai or the Tower. How she could have read so much, and still know so little about the world. She wondered, again, about the hundreds of girls that must have passed this way before her, only to stand in this same spot, and be interrogated this same way. She wondered about Madelaina Sedai's own journey, and what this Mistress of Novices might have looked like as a girl. How old she might have been. What she might have been feeling. How long it had taken for her to have such strength settle around her in an air of absolute zero-nonsense. Whether all the Aes Sedai were simply made this way...  How in the Light she was meant to fit in here.


"Do not be afraid, Child. Be brave." Madelaina Sedai's advice from earlier bubbled back into the forefront of her mind and Thayett found the calm washing over her once more. There was no point in fear. But bravery, yes.


She could do this. She squared her shoulders again.


Whatever is coming, she vowed, I will be brave. I will learn and grow. I will study hard, I will be strong. I will become Aes Sedai. 

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