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Caught Red Handed (attn : Jagen)


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The pull was way to strong. Myrrhi had tried to stop practicing unattended, she really had. But it had only lasted a couple of days. Reserving her channeling time to her One Power classes had been very hard. And so, again, Myrrhi had decided to wander through the Tower grounds after her last chores of the day.


The incident with Ellisha should have been a good lesson! She told herself as she stepped into the garden. Your roommate will surely notice your absence … She shook her head, bit her lip, smoothed her white dress and tried to advance unnoticed. No, I need to do this, at least once. I need to master that weaving!


To Myrrhi’s surprise, the full raised Sisters had looked very busy that day and she had thought it to be the perfect time to have a try at a complicated weave she had been taught in her class. An Accepted would have been able to follow the teacher's instructions without thinking but, for a Novice, this weaving was completely different from anything studied before : It involved an unusual way to combine spirit and water threads. No matter how many times she had tried, no matter how concentrated she had been, something had always gone wrong.


Recognizing two Accepted a couple of feet further,  the young Novice panicked and jumped behind the bushes that bordered the main path. This is not good, I need to find a better spot. I am lucky those girls were checking that book so intently... Myrrhi crossed the lawn area separating the main path from a smaller one, ducking not to be seen and cursing her white dress: it would be so easy to see her even from a distance. Going further and further away, she found herself getting closer and closer to a place that was usually reserved for the Warders and their trainees. The spot looked perfect though: large bushes would hide her from every corner.


Sitting on the ground as comfortably as she could, she thought herself a rosebud, and opened herself to Saidar...

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Jagen did not jump when the large clock behind her gave a deep, resounding cuckcoo, but she did look around at it, pursing her lips. It seemed she had lost track of time again. She turned back to her desk and carefully pulled her quill back from the book it was hovering over. Small symbols on a chart were lined up against degrees of latitude and longitude, paired with the day, month and year. It was a long work in progress for the curious Aes Sedai.


Jagen had often been told by the Browns she should have been one of them, but the Sitter just shrugged it off casually or smiled.  She could pursue her long-term studies here at the Tower, but there was also important business to take care of in the world that had little to do with looking at the stars.


It was Jagen's main pastime, studying the night sky. As of now, she had eight hours before the sun set, and had to visit a shop very shortly to pick up some lenses she had commissioned to get crafted. She hoped the glassmaker made it just to her specifications. She stood up and walked to her wardrobe, grabbing a dark maroon cloak lined lightly in silver fur. It was not too cold of a day, but the Taraboner enjoyed the extra layer of clothing—and she was, honestly, into fashion, though her hair was arranged as always into a multitude of semi-red braids, and she wore a transparent veil over the lower half of her face, its top threaded with gold. Even her red dress was from her original country.


Up for a good walk into the city, she headed out to get her lens. She did not trust a servant to get it for her, but she also had to inspect it in the shop and talk with the glassmaker. Her pathway often took her through the garden, but halfway through she decided to take a short cut; she wanted to get there as quickly as possible. This route took her a bit close to the Warder's Yard, though that did not bother her now as much as it used to; after all, she'd been in the Tower now for many decades, and held a respected position.

The draw of saidar nearby drew her out of her attention long enough to glance in the direction it was coming from. And seeing white—the pure white of a novice—made her stop dead in her tracks. Suddenly any good mood she was in vanished. Why couldn't these girls just follow the rules?


"Child, just what do you think you are doing?" she asked, an eyebrow raising.

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Concentrating as much as she could, Myrrhi had started to weave the first few threads of spirit she had channeled when she was interrupted by a sharp "Child, just what do you think you are doing?"


The Novice jumped, as high as someone sitting could, and fire came to her cheeks as well as in her stomach. Panicking, she stood straight like a pole and kept meekly her head down, trying to hide her horrified face to the person who had surprised her. The only thing she could see was the dark brown cloak covering the woman's shoulders. Oh, Maker, let this be another visitor,  she pleaded, letting go of the One Power. I promise, I won't try to channel unattended, ever again ! But her inner pleas only lasted a couple of seconds. The new comer opened herself to Saidar and channeled a little ball of light between the two of them. There was no doubt: the woman was an Aes Sedai. Myrrhi managed to find the courage to raise her eyes and she noticed the woman 's red braided hair, her veil, and her red dress, almost dark grey by this hour and well hidden under her cloak.


The woman was an Aes Sedai, but not any Aes Sedai. The young Novice's heart started to beat faster as she remembered the class when the Tower Sitters had been presented to her. Oh, no ! This is Jagen Sedai, this is a Red Sitter! It had not been hard for Myrrhi to recognize the woman in front of her: to remember the name of all the Sitters she had written a complete list with their name, ajah, and physical description. Thayetta, her roommate, had found it a loss of time,  but now it was proving useful, in a way.


Jagen had not moved nor said a word since she had discovered Myrrhi, and the girl knew she had to say something. But her head was empty. Twice she had opened her mouth but nothing had come out of it. Say something, you silly goose ! She told herself. But the only thing she managed to do was to bite her lip.

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Jagen shook her head slightly in disappointment. The girl was apparently so terrified at being caught channeling it seemed she had lost her tongue. "Tsk, tsk," the Aes Sedai vocalized. This was not the first time she caught a novice channeling on her own, but she wasn't immediately sure how to handle this particular situation. If she did not get to the shop soon, it would close for the day. Jagen noted where they were, then, and came up with an idea.


"Novice, you see where you are, yes? You must know novices are not allowed so close to the Warder's Yard, yes?" Her dark blue eyes narrowed slightly. After so long living in the Tower, she'd lost most of her Taraboner accent, yet it came right back when she grew annoyed or angry. "Should I assume that while waiting for a boy here, a trainee perhaps, you grew bored and decided to channel?" She snapped her fingers. "Up, girl. This, it is very much an inconvenience for me, and I do not like inconveniences." Jagen took note of her appearance, sure she recognized the novice, but she could not put a name to her. There were many novices in the Tower, of all ages.


"You will tell me your name," she instructed. Perhaps the novice even recognized her, for sometimes, Jagen taught classes, when she had the time. "And you are going to tell me exactly what you were doing. If you do not speak, I will make your punishment twice as bad as it is already going to be."

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"Should I assume that while waiting for a boy here, a trainee perhaps, you grew bored and decided to channel?"


Myrrhi felt her legs slowly go from under her. She, looking for a boy? The idea had never crossed her mind! Of course, she had liked to come near the Warders but only to watch them train and because, here, she was sure she would not meet her class mates, or very few of them. Indeed not many novices were brave enough to go to places they were not allowed to visit. Suddenly, anger flashed in her eyes as she went on thinking about what the Aes Sedai had said. I have more important things to do than to start running after warder trainees like a goose! How can anyone think that? I don't even know the flaming name of any of the trainees... well there's one whose name sounds a lot like "Gendry"... but i am sure this doesn't count as knowing the name of anyone ...  


Seeing the Red Sitter raising an eyebrow, the girl lowered her eyes again. She wanted to scream, now, but she still didn't know what she could say to defend herself. Exploring in a flash different possible excuses and still innerly rambling on about her not looking for boys, she didn't hear half of what the Aes Sedai said till she heard a very clear "You will tell me your name. And you are going to tell me exactly what you were doing. If you do not speak, I will make your punishment twice as bad as it is already going to be."


This quieted Myrrhi immediately. She would be punished, this was certain now. She could only hope for soft and easy tasks as punishment like copying books or notes instead of more floor rubbing. Unfortunately, if the Red Sister thought she was trying to meet a boy, even rubbing floors would appear like a soft and easy task compared to what she'd be ordered to do. Trying to summon all the courage that was left in her, she let go of her fingers, took a breath and opened her mouth, ready to start. She didn't have the chance to say a word, though. From a couple of meters away, young men laughs erupted. This is not possible, Myrrhi thought, are those warder trainees, visiting the Aes Sedai grounds unattended? Flaming boys!


The Novice tried not to turn her head from where the sounds were coming from and to look the Aes Sedai in the eye, to show her good faith. As innocently as possible, she started : "I am Myrrhi Morrigen, Jagen Sedai." Still angry about the Aes Sedai earlier words her voice trembled. This is not good, i am not sounding meek at all.  I have to calm down, i have to calm down, she repeated to herself.  She then tried to curtsy as low as she could and added. "I am here because I wanted to train... to train with the One Power, Jagen Sedai."







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Jagen's lip twitched as she heard the men's distant laughter, and Myrrhi's response. Oh,she could understand the girl's anger, almost. But she should not have been here at all. Ah yes, she knew this one now, and why she was here. She had taught this girl before, perhaps a year or more ago. Myrrhi had been here for many years, and was due to undergo her Accepted test. It would tell if the girl was worthy for the Tower; worthy of the ring.


"Me, I do not like being inconvenienced, child. When the Mistress of Novices hears about this, she will not be happy, no?" She gestured with her hand. "But first, you are to come with me. I must go into Tar Valon, for if I miss this appointment to pick up my lens, I will be very angry indeed." She watched the girl's reaction. Novices were not allowed into Tar Valon, but Jagen, a Sitter, could surely escort her. Mostly, Aes Sedai used servants in such circumstances, but she could make an exception. "You will accompany me and carry my package for me, you understand? And if I get warm, you will carry my cloak, yes?" She was not about to let the girl get away--not that she couldn't find her later, but Jagen always found it nerve-wracking to the extreme when a novice's punishment was delayed, yet right around the corner.


"Come, now," she commanded easily, and walked right past Myrrhi, headed for Tar Valon's north side. The girl would surely follow, for if she did anything else, Jagen would claim her punishments for the full first year she was an Accepted. That made the Sitter grin.

Edited by Jagen Sedai
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Seeing Jagen walking away, Myrrhi looked around her. Is this a joke? Am I really going into Tar Valon? Is this supposed to be my punishment? But this was not the time to think, the Sister would certainly get angry if she had to turn around and ask the Novice to hurry up.

The girl pulled her skirts up, enough to move more freely and started to run. She only stopped when she arrived half a meter behind the Red Sitter. Walking next to her would have been deemed very unpolite.

Keeping her eyes down, she couldn't help but grin. She liked the idea of going to the city, to see some shops. A lens, this sounds really interesting. So Jagen is really interested by the stars ... Usually the Novices didn't know much about Aes Sedai business and occupations, but sometimes one or two informations were passed to the Novices.

Myrrhi kept her eyes down, not daring to say a word.

What she felt when she passed the Tower's doors could not be described. A weight had disappeared from her shoulders, she felt free but naked also. The Tower's wall were not around her anymore. The people she could see were totally unknown to her. After a few steps she started to panic : what if we are attacked ? what if we meet some of those Children of the Light ?

To reassure herself, she looked at Jagen's back : so straight so confident. She could surely defend the both of us.

Then a question came to Myrrhi's mind. For some time now, she had started to gather information about the different Ajah. She didn't think of herself as a woman who could go for the Reds, but still she was very curious about it.

"Excuse me Jagen Sedai", she tried with an unsure voice "can I ask you a question ?"

The Sitter turned around with a very annoyed look. It seems she was not expecting the Novice to talk.

"I would like to know what made you choose the Red Ajah. Forgive me if i am too forward, Jagen Sedai.", Myrrhi curtsied as low as she could.


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Jagen lead Myrrhi along a path surrounded by trees, and a few various buildings nearby, including one shaped like a six-pointed star on its side; it was a guardhouse, where a few men were eating, sharpening their weapons, and playing dice. They stood and bowed to Jagen as she passed, but she paid them no mind at all. She walked briskly. The Sitter did not speak until they were in a stable yard.


"I was going to enjoy a walk," she said, "but now I am constrained by time. We will take horses."

A servant of the Tower ran up to her and bowed. "Good morning, Jagen Sedai," he greeted. "Shall I saddle Aldebaran for you?"

"Yes, and Vega as well." She had two horses to her name, though Aldebaran was her first and favorite.


While waiting, she finally turned to face Myrrhi and answer her. "Questions, I do not mind, as long as you are careful in what you ask. But this, it is not a casual outing, yes? You are accompanying me out of punishment, but I will answer this, since you have much to learn, yet." She thought for a moment before replying, "At first, of course, I did not know what Ajah I would be. They all seemed appealing, for various reasons. Mostly, it was Brown or White that held by interest. However, I do not care for ignoring the world completely, as most Whites and Browns are wont to do. You must want to assist and help the world to become Red Ajah, child." She looked into Myrrhi's eyes then, calculating. "I am Red because, when the time comes, I will do what must be done to prevent a channeling man from destroying the world."


Her attention then could not help but go to the man she was bonded to; one of those channeling men. Once in a while, she let herself feel him, trying to see if she could assess how mad he might be. Vaguely, she wondered if Myrrhi knew her predicament. Rumors flew through the White Tower, and by now even novices would, perhaps, know that some Reds had bonded the Asha'man. It was not too hush-hush, after all, as the Asha'man had been in the Tower that day, and were even given rooms; as a matter of fact, it was almost normal now to have them in the Tower; sisters from all the Ajahs wanted to question them. Myrrhi may, or may not have known Jagen was involved as well, but Jagen had no wish to discuss that particular predicament.


"My goal is to gain knowledge about our world, and even beyond," she went on, "and going along with that, it is the realization that we must fight to protect it in any way we must, and it is sometimes a way that is the most difficult. That is what the Red Ajah is really about, child."


The stable man came with her two horses. Aldebaran was a gorgeous black horse that looked close to a draft horse, yet was nimble and graceful in his gait. He was a powerfully muscled horse with a thick mane and tail and feathery hair on his legs. The other horse, Vega, was a bay with a white blaze going from forehead to nose. She was smaller than Aldebaran, and both horses were well-behaved and affectionate towards their owner. The Aes Sedai mounted Aldebaran and took up the stallion's reins. She did not bother to glance at Myrrhi, though the stable boy obviously thought it odd a novice was going into the city.


They left the stable yard and passed through the Tower's large, tree-lined square, coming quickly into the sight of several buildings with high spires, smaller towers and even bridges going between them. Soon, they were on Tar Valon's main thoroughfare, passing buildings that were unlike anything seen in other cities; some were shaped like objects like high waves or cliffs or shells; a candle shop was shaped, as it was, like a group of candles, with small rods serving as wicks on top. It was mostly Ogier-built; more plain-looking buildings were obviously those built by humans. And people from all over, both visitors and shopkeepers, showed a range of nationalities, skin tones and fashions. She heard a man singing with an Ebou Dari accent and a woman calling out her wares with Saldaean flare. She glanced back to make sure Myrrhi still followed close as they made their way through the city....

Edited by Jagen Sedai
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  • 2 weeks later...

The Novice tried to be as careful as it was possible to be with the horse she was allowed to ride. It has never been easy for the girl to approach animals other than the regular cats and dogs: she had lived in Caemlyn all her life before being sent to the White Tower. And there, as a Novice, she had stayed on the Tower grounds. She had never left them, before that day.


The horse seemed to be a friendly animal and Myrrhi kept on patting its head, more to reassure herself than to reward the animal for being gentle.


Jagen Sedai didn't hurry too much, she kept her horse at a slow pace through the streets, giving Myrrhi enough time to think about her reply about the Red Ajah.


When the girl had entered the Tower, she had immediately loved the Green Ajah. To be at the center of a battle, to fight for a cause, to learn how to wield a weapon. Those things talked to her. Of course, having Warders was a nice and romantic addition to it all. But Myrrhi wanted to be independant, to be able to defend herself. When her studies had seriously started, she had loved to be able to learn new things, and the Brown Ajah had looked seducing. But even with all the Browns knowledge, how would she be able to act if attacked? The last events in the Tower with that Accepted had showed her that the Power was a good weapon, but it was not enough...


Whites and their logic, or Blue and politics had not been inspiring.


The Red Ajah looked mysterious though. And the Novice had often wondered why women who had fought against men who could channel would want to bond them.


Myrrhi was so lost in her thoughts that she almost missed a turn. Seeing the Red Sitter, turning her head one more time and sighing, she tried to pay more attention and hurried to bring her horse closer to the Aes Sedai's. She was being punished after all and couldn't miss a step.


The trip through the street was quite an adventure in itself. The Novice couldn't remember what she had seen from the city the day of her arrival, but what she saw was pretty different from the streets of Caemlyn. There were so many people around, and a lot of them were wearing exotic clothes. There were still some Aes Sedai wandering in the streets, probably coming back from a dangerous mission, she thought. The buildings were magnificent. She wouldn't be able to describe their beauty to Thayetta, her roommate. Of course, they had tried to look through the Tower's windows when they could. But to be there, that close, in the street was completely different. She would have done a lot to be allowed to stop in one of the shops and look, and touch the merchandise on display.


Looking down at her hand, clutching the reins, she didn't notice Jagen stopping immediately. Fortunately, it took her only a fraction of a second to stop her horse when she finally saw the Red Sitter dismounting. Down Myrrhi went, as fast as she could and came to Jagen's horse to gather his reins. With a dutiful smile, she curstied.



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Jagen raised her eyebrows at Myrrhi, knowing she was getting distracted. She wrapped the reins of both horses on the post, not trusting the novice to do it herself. "Myrrhi, you will not touch anything, nor stand too close to anything in this shop, you understand, yes?" Without waiting for a reply, Jagen headed inside. She only glanced back once, to see that Myrrhi was doing as she said, and then turned her attention to the shop and shopkeeper.


It was filled with glassware. Vases, some with veined colors, seemed exotic, standing regally on the topmost shelf of some Sea Folk porcelain. Many optical items were there, and even the shop owner himself wore a pair of spectacles. He was one of the Sea Folk, as it was, a handsomely built man in his middle years with close-cropped hair and tattooed hands, but he did not bare the jewelry nor the colorful clothing indicative of his people. Jagen put on a small, pleasant smile as she approached the counter, though he greeted her first.


"Good afternoon, Jagen Sedai," he said with a smile of his own, and he set down the single optical lens he had been cleaning. It was attached to a gold chain, with gold surrounding it as well.

"Akshel," she replied smoothly. She seemed on the verge of saying more, but fell silent, one of her fingers tapping the back of her other hand.

Akshel turned away and dug through the cloth-covered shelves behind him, pulling out a small box which he presented on the counter, opening it up. He carefully lifted it out and Jagen stepped close to take and examine it, a big round piece surrounded by brass.

"I hope it is to your liking," Akshel stated. "It is four inches in diameter, the largest I have created. I tested it how I could, but without your tube..."

"I will report any discrepancies, if there are any," Jagen replied, but her tone was not haughty at all. It was, if anything, pleasant. "But I doubt it. Akshel, your lenses have never disappointed me, and I feel your skill can only grow with the rare orders I am placing on you."

"Thank you, Jagen Sedai," he replied with an inclination of his head. She gave the lens back and he wrapped it up in a blue silk cloth before placing it back in the silk-lined, redwood box. It was very fancy, with a gold design of waves and stars on the top and a gold latch. Jagen pulled out the money owed--a few gold pieces--and picked up the box. "I will let you know how the viewing goes, and perhaps we can have a discussion afterwards."

"I will look forward to it," Akshel replied with a smile.


Jagen walked out, smiling until she saw Myrrhi; she had almost completely forgotten her. With a curt gesture, they left. Jagen packed the lens carefully away in a saddlebag on her black Friesian horse. "Myrrhi, when we return to the Tower, you will unsaddle and help the stableman take care of both the horses. You will bathe and brush them. After that task is complete, you are to report to me in the Red Quarters for another assignment."

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Myrrhi waited dutifully for Jagen to be done in the shop. She didn't want to mess up anything. The Novice knew that the way she behaved would be taken into account.


She thought back on what had happened, seeing there was little else to be done at the moment, and decided that she would go through any chosen punishment the Sitter could invent for her. Channeling unattended was bad, and being caught by a Sister of the Red Ajah near the Warders Quarter was even worse. The Novice ran dozens of different punishments through her head, and if the one she'd receive would only be half so bad, she would already consider that a small victory.


Jagen Sedai spent some time in the shop but Myrrhi didn't dare to move even if she was was wondering what the woman could be doing inside. It was so hard to see, as she had been ordered to stay close to the horses and those were far enough from any window. That way Myrrhi was prevented to see anything that might happen inside.


The exterior of the shop looked like all the other buildings around here. No markings what so ever to distinguish what the merchandise in the shop could be. Thinking about it, she wasn't even sure it actually was a shop to start with. "Why would the sister be acting so mysteriously?", the novice thought, and looked around a bit more, trying to figure out what might be going on.

At that exact moment, the Red Sitter came out of the building, smiling until their eyes met. Myrrhi bowed her head and looked down, feeling uneasy because of the short eye contact. She fumbled at the ropes, getting them untied just in time for the Sister to arrive. The novice noticed that the Aes Sedai put something of decent size in her saddlebag, but tried to ignore it for now. This was not the time to ask questions... maybe later.  

Jagen Sedai addressed the novice when they started moving. ""Myrrhi, when we return to the Tower, you will unsaddle and help the stableman take care of both the horses. You will bathe and brush them. After that task is complete, you are to report to me in the Red Quarters for another assignment." The only thing the novice could do was nod in agreement and reply "Yes, Sister. It will be as you have ordered." The first part of their trip was in silence. Myrrhi wondered what the Sister might have gotten, and took her time gathering enough courage to ask the Aes Sedai about it. She was a curious novice, after all.


"Jagen Sedai, might I ask you something?", she asked. The Red Sister sighed and turned her head towards the novice, wondering what the question might be. "I will allow you this one question, Myrrhi." "Thank you, Jagen Sedai", the novice said with a polite bow. "I was wondering what you have acquired in the place we just come from. It wouldn't be anything ordinary, I assume, otherwise the building would have been clearly marked as in what kind of shop it would be. I am curious, Jagen Sedai. If you prefer not to answer, I would understand too." The novice looked down at her horses' neck, not daring to look directly at the Sister, fearing her question might have angered her.

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Jagen shook her head slightly in disappointment. "An Aes Sedai, she must be very observant of her surroundings. If you wish to be a sister one day, you must learn to observe. This includes listening as well as looking. I mentioned to you before we left, I was picking up a lens, but perhaps you do not know what it is, yes?" She shook her head again, beaded braids clicking. Lenses were not common at all in the world, and as far as Jagen knew, it was only the Sea Folk who made and had them.


"Some people, they cannot see very well on their own. Their vision is blurry, and to come to the White Tower for such Healing, it is very impractical for most people. Lenses, they help to correct vision. But this is not my problem. The lens will help to view the stars as if I was much closer to them." She frowned at Myrrhi. "But you should know it is not your place to ask any sister what she is doing. If she wants you to know, she will tell you, yes? I will add a trip to the Mistress of Novices after my assignments to you, for you to be asking such a thing, you do not know your place." She almost smiled, though. The girl's curiosity was not necessarily a bad thing, but she was not going about it correctly.


Soon enough they were back on Tower grounds, and at the stable. Jagen dismounted from Aldebaran. "Remember to report to me immediately after you finish brushing and bathing the horses. Tonight, if you will miss dinner, it will teach you not to be doing something you are not supposed to be doing, yes?" She took the box from her saddlebag and walked pass the novice, dismissing her from her thoughts for the time being.

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When Myrrhi heard the Red Sitter mentioning the Mistress of the Novices, she couldn't help but bite her lip. She knew she had to be more subtle about her questions, but she was not a patient person and probably never would be.


She had thought that the lens had been an excuse for a secret meeting between Jagen and one of her eyes-and-ears, but no. The visit to the shop had been genuine, as it was proven by the box the Red Sitter took out of her saddle bag. It seems my imagination got the better of me, regretted the girl. But being in the city, seeing that shop, I really thought there was more to it. I guess that it is not today that a full Sister will ask me to accompany her on a dangerous adventure. Myrrhi shrugged sadly and dismounted, trying to put more efforts in her meek face. I am ready though! I could go on missions. I am still a Novice, but i'm sure i will be allowed to become an Accepted soon, she added to reassure herself.


Listening carefully, this time, to Jagen last instructions, she hurried to the side of the first horse, the one she had been allowed to ride, and patted on his neck gently. Her hands had started to sweat, she noticed : now that she was back to the Tower, she was feeling less confident about being able to go through all her punishments without faltering.


Jagen left a couple of seconds later, gliding slowly back to the Tower. She didn't look back and Myrrhi's stomach started to growl. I guess i won't be able to make it to diner, unless i try to be quick about this. Myrrhi rolled her sleeves and started to clean Vega. She was feeling hungry and surely she didn't want to miss dinner after Jagen's last threat.


"What are u up to, girl?"


Myrrhi almost chocked. A stable boy, she had not heard coming, was standing near the entrance of Vega's box. He looked young, but still a bit older than her. He seemed very happy to have been able to startle a Novice, his grin going from one of his ear to the other. The Novice had never interacted with stable boys, but surely they were supposed to be respectful towards initiates! Trying to copy Jagen's ways of moving and talking, Myrrhi straightened and tried to look down at the new comer. It was not an easy thing to do, her head arriving barely to his shoulders.


"Jagen Sedai has asked me to take care of her horses and to clean them.", she sniffed, going on with the brushing. It was late, and the men she had seen near the stables when leaving to the city were not there anymore. it was a good thing, because she didn't find herself very credible in her shocked Aes Sedai role. "You are not supposed to disturb me, I have many things to do", she added.


"A horse is NOT cleaned like this" said the stable boy. "and you can drop the act if you want me to help you." The new comer raised an eyebrow, still grinning.


Myrrhi scowled and hesitated, she really wanted to be fast about her tasks and to go back to her studies. Surely, Jagen would not be angry if she'd learn that Myrrhi had received some help. The Sitter would want her horses nicely taken care of. I will do the main tasks, and maybe let that boy do the dirtiest work... i am sure Jagen will appreciate to see her horses properly cleaned.


The Novice sighed. "Well", she replied " Show me how it is done."




The hour that passed was surely one of the hardest in Myrrhi's life. As expected, the stableboy had been helpful, he had given her good advices and the horses did look perfect, now. But, and this was not what the Novice had expected : she had had to do all the work, even the heaviest parts, all this under the watchful eyes of her new "friend". The "boy" had been sitting on a barrel, pointing at what she had to use and describing what she had to do. He had kept on ordering her around, stopping only to make fun of her and her clumsiness. She had gotten angry many times, but it had not taken away the stable boy"s smile. He had laughed so much when she had fallen into a pool of water and manure, convering herself with brown goo from head to toe.


Never had she been more happy to sneak back in the Tower. Once in the building and because she didn't have to show herself as a composed person anymore, she started to run as fast as she could and hurried to clean herself and to put on a new dress, hoping that Jagen would go soft on her. Fat chance, for that, thought Myrrhi. I am sure Jagen won't want to know what happen in the stables, nor about how perfectly her horses were treated. There'll be no reason for her to abandon a part of the punishments she had hinted at.


Seeing how empty the Novices quarters was, Myrrhi understood that she had missed dinner. She didn't really feel bad about it :  of course, Jagen would not approve of her being late but the Novice found herself unable to eat a thing at this point. She was too upset: so upset that she used the time she spent running through the towers corridors to imagine a thousand ways to have her revenge on the stable boy. It was his fault that she stayed so long in the stables. He could have given me a hand... Or done Vega while I was doing the other horse !


Finally, she arrived near the red quarters. This part of the Tower was elegantly decorated, there were a lof red touches, and the tapestries, panes and vases used as ornaments were mostly sober, representing flowers, birds and trees. It looked severe but still inviting. Myrrhi stopped looking at her surroundings when she noticed she was trembling: Novices were rarely allowed to go in these parts of the Tower but she had do to like ordered by the Red Sitter.


Fortunately a servant passed and the Novice asked her where she could find Jagen Sedai's quarters. Myrrhi tried to be more polite than usual and curtsied at the serving woman with a meek smile. The servant seemed to appreciate Myrrhi's gesture and indicated her the way so precisely that it didn't take Myrrhi long to recognize Jagen's door.Soflty, she knocked on it.

Edited by Chaelca
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"Come!" came the sharp reply to a knock on Jagen's door. The Sitter looked up from where she sat in a chair in the sitting room. There were three chairs here, all matching with vine and leaf carvings, though one had a couple of books piled on it. The floor was tiled red, the same as the hallway outside, but here a couple of decorative carpets covered most of the floor. A large tapestry showing birds in flight on the edge of a forest hung on one wall, and around the room were wall lamps and a few mirrors to increase the lighting. There was also a bedroom, dressing room and study, though only the study doors were open. A cool breeze blew through the open window of the sitting room. Jagen was sipping tea, sitting near the fireplace. It was winter, but the window was wide open with the maroon drapes tied back, so only the area near the fireplace was warm. A semi long, somewhat thick brass tube stood close to it on a tripod made of wood and brass, carefully balanced, with gears and handles underneath the tube. The box the Sitter had picked up was sitting on a side table next to it, which had another brass instrument with circles and numbers carved into it, and a prism of glass was set near it. A bookshelf with books, bottles, Sea Folk porcelain, animal skulls and seashells was next to that. There was also a stand with a perch, as if for a large bird, but nothing was on it. Near the wall the tapestry was a cello on a stand, and by it, a great clock, gilded gold, its wood gleaming, magnificently decorating its own corner.


In the chair by Jagen was another figure; small, furry and curled up. It was a a cat, pure white, but with one blue eye and one green. The cat's head came up and starred when Myrrhi entered. The Aes Sedai set down her tea cup and stood, lightly scratching the cat behind the ear. She moved away and gestured her out. "Myrrhi, you are to come with me." She lead the novice down to the end of the hallway, further from the entrance of the Red Quarters. Here she opened up a door, her lips tightening as dust came flying out of the room. She shook her head slightly in disappointment.


There were four rooms here, just like her own apartments, but it had obviously been empty for a long time. The carpets and all the furniture held dust, and there was no decoration at all except for an empty vase. "This room, it has been empty for a long time. But soon, an Accepted will be raised to Sisterhood, the Light willing, and she will chose Red Ajah. Her rooms must be prepared. Myrrhi, it is your task to clean these rooms. Remove all the dust, polish the lamps and mirrors, and make sure everything is very clean. And, Myrrhi, if I sense any channeling out of you in that time, you will be in deep trouble."


The task would take her hours to complete. Jagen smiled. "You will report to me after you are done. Then I will inspect these rooms, and if I am satisfied, you are to report to the Mistress of Novices as before. You understand, yes? Get your cleaning supplies from the servants. But they are not to help you." With that, Jagen swept out of the room, so she could get to work with her nightly studies.

Edited by Jagen Sedai
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Myrrhi curtsied as deeply as it was possible to. Jagen had said nothing about her missing dinner nor about her being late and the Novice didn't want the Red Sister to add any extra punishment to the cleaning.


"Of course Jagen Sedai, I will do as you wish", Myrrhi tried to answer with determination.


She waited for the Sitter to be out of sight to scratch her head. Well, I guess I won't sleep tonight, thought Myrrhi. Usually she would have felt angry. She didn't like anything preventing her to be fit to study or to practice but she knew that, this time, her future lack of sleep would her fault and no one else's.


Before leaving to find some servants, the Novice decided to visit the appartements she had to clean. She was a curious Novice after all.


Myrrhi was surprised to see that a Sister could have four rooms for herself. It was pretty different from the Novices living arrangements : Myrrhi had only a couple of square meters and she had to share them with Thayetta. The only pieces of furniture she had at her disposal were a bed, a trunk and a table with a chair where a wash basin had been placed. It paled in comparison with what she saw here. The future Red Sister would enjoy a bedroom, a dressing room, what looked to be a study and a fourth room where the Aes Sedai would probably receive her guests. The floor in the four rooms was covered with the same red tiles Myrrhi had noticed in the Red Quarter corridors and in Jagen study. The walls were different in each room though. The study and the bedroom walls were convered with wooden panneling : the panneling was richer in the study than in the bedroom. It was nicely carved with exotic flowers. The walls of other rooms were bare but painted in red in the dressing room. I wonder if there's as much green in the Green quarters, or as much White in the White's. She giggled.


After a full inspection, the Novice was happy to see that there were no other decoration than an empty vase. She didn't like to clean little things. Those always took her so long.


Sighing, she finally decided to look for some cleaning material. Unfortunately, there was no servant around in the Red Quarters. Eesh, I guess servants don't walk around in the corridors in the middle of the night....Myrrhi thought slightly frustrated. Then, she slapped her head after some further thinking. The kitchens of course, there must be servants in the kitchen. And she started running downstairs.


The kitchens were always busy. Even if there weren't as many cooks as usual, there were enough people for Myrrhi to choose to whom she'd ask what she needed. She decided to go to one of the oldest cook, Tanelle. The woman had always been kind to the Novice and had told her many times how she reminded her of one of her daughters. Tonight, she was baking pies and Myrrhi tried not to drool when she saw the first pies getting out of the oven.


"What are you doing here by this hour, Dear ?", asked Tanelle with a worried face.


"Dear Tanelle, I have been punished once again." Myrrhi said with a grin. She wanted to look tough, even if deep down she wanted to curse and to grumble and to show how upset she was.


"Can i help you with something ?"


Myrrhi answered to the cook, explaining in detail what she needed and what she was supposed to do. The woman's eyes grew bigger than saucers when she  understood that the poor Novice would have to spend the whole night cleaning. It was not her place to critisize the punishments given by an Aes Sedai though. So, as soon as the Novice was done with her explanations, she pointed her towards the room where the cleaning supplies were stored. Myrrhi would need a broom, a bucket with water filled with water, soap and a towel. The girl took everything she needed as fast as she could and went back upstairs after wishing Tanelle good night.


The best room to start with was the bedroom in Myrrhi's opinion, it was the room that was the further away from the entrance even if it was pretty big. Once it would be done, Myrrhi would be able to close its door, without having to return in it. So, let's get this started, thought Myrrhi grabbing her cleaning weapons to  battle with the bedroom dust and cobwebs without pause.


It looked like a task with no end, unfortunately. The dust in the bedroom was to thick that Myrrhi had to change the water of her bucket many times. And that meant that she had to go downstairs to throw away the dirty water and to take back clean water each time. After the fifth trip, she felt cramps in her arms. I'll never finish this before dawn, she raged. What about my weaving? I can't go the more complicated weavings if my arms hurt !


Suddenly an idea came to her, Would Jagen notice if i channel ? There are so many Sisters in the Red Quarters. Surely, she would not feel ME channeling.


Channeling became more and more tempting, the further Myrrhi went on with her tasks. Cleaning the dressing room took her less time than the bedroom. But the remaining two rooms looked huge and she was past midnight already.


First, I need to look if someone is in the corridor, thought Myrrhi grinning. If no one is around, i'll try some small water weavings. The Novice put her broom neatly in the middle of the study, next to her bucket and her towel and stepped toward the appartements door. She didn't have to walk much before she heard footsteps and she froze immediately.


"Are you done yet?", the Novice heard. She straighten and felt her cheeks burning when she recognized Jagen's voice.


Why is Jagen Sedai not asleep? I thought Aes Sedai slept at night... Myrrhi's heart was beating so fast that it could have gone through her chest.


"I have finished the bedroom and the dressing room, Jagen Sedai" tried Myrrhi, returning slowly to her to her broom.


"Good", replied the Red Sitter with a scowl on her face and then she left without leaving Myrrhi the time to reply further.


Cursing, the Novice started to clean the study. She was feeling so angry at having been interrupted that it became hard for her to pay attention to what she was doing. Two times she fell on her bucket, spilling precious clean the wateron the floor. Her hair was now covered with cobwebs and dust was covering her face. She must be spying on me, i am sure of that !


The Novice was very tempted to go check where Jagen was, but she was so afraid to see her again at the door that she resisted the urge.


Two more hours of cleaning passed and Myrrhi managed to finish the study. She had felt some pride when she had closed the bedroom and the dressing room door. Here, she felt nothing except the need to sleep and frustration. Her white dress was again more grey than white. She would have to change it again, which would leave her no spare anymore.


I want to channel, i want to be done with this ! The Novice didn't open herself to Saidar though even if the fourth and last room gave her a chance to have an eye on the corridor. Unfortunately servants had started to move around and some Sisters had appeared in the corridor.


It was close to the breakfast time when, exhausted, Myrrhi knocked on Jagen's door.









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Jagen awoke shortly after the sun rose, the light streaming through a half-drawn crimson curtain. As she got out of bed she heard a high purring sound in the next room, following by chirps. Jagen grabbed a robe and fastened it on against the chill of the morning, but more because she wanted to feel the silk than from being cold. She walked into her main room and spotted the source of the noise. Sitting on the previously unoccupied perch was a large owl, with big, bright yellow eyes and ear tuffs, a white bib on its neck breaking into a pattern of brown and black feathers. It watched her go into her wardrobe, selecting and dressing a fresh shift and white Taraboner dress with red lace. Just as she finished buttoning it up, a knock came to her door.


Who could that be? she vaguely wondered. Opening the door, and seeing Myrrhi standing there, she figured the novice only just finished. "You look to be very tired, child. I hope the night taught you the lesson of channeling on your own." Behind her, the owl made a screeching noise and flapped her wings. Lily did not like visitors. "The Tower is not wasting your time with the pace it teaches you, but I will take your time if you rush it. Now, go eat, and remember you still must go to the Mistress of Novices. Perhaps she will take some of your exhaustion away, if she is feeling generous." She waved her hand dismissively. "Go."


She watched Myrrhi bob a curtsy and walk quickly from the Red Quarters, and nodded in satisfaction. She moved down the hall to inspect the unused room. It was not perfect, but it was a lot better than it was. The servants would have it easy, when they came to clean the room and realized someone beat them to it. Jagen smiled, and headed down to breakfast.

Edited by Jagen Sedai
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How can the woman look so fresh this early in the morning when she has been spying me the whole night, thought Myrrhi. She was sure that she had heard Jagen Sedai walk many times in the corridors in the past few hours and that had been the only reason why she had not channeled in the end. The fourth room had been torture, even if it wasn't as big as the bedroom or the study. The fact that it was the last place to clean and that Myrrhi was tired, hungry and very frustrated hadn't helped the poor girl at all. It had taken her ages to be done with it. And of course, I receive no thank you, no praises for what I have done, she grumbled silently while keeping her eyes down.


Still, the Novice was happy to see the Sitter dismissing her. She knew that she had not cleaned the rooms perfectly but she had tried her best... at least in the beginning. 


Shaking her head thinking about what could have happened to her if Jagen Sedai had decided that the cleaning was not good enough, Myrrhi hurried to have her breakfast. Her stomach was now growling so much, that anyone near the girl would have thought there was a thunderstorm inside the Tower. There were so many people around now: other Novices running to have their morning meal or to arrive on time to some early classes ; Accepted trying to imitate full raised Aes Sedai but equally on their way to eat or to study; servants with their hands full and Aes Sedai gliding, some with their Warders and some without, ...


As soon as Myrrhi arrived in the common room where Novices usually had their meal, she felt the eyes of her classmates fall on her. Novices talked a lot about anything that happened in the Tower. Well, she didn't, because she didn't have many friends. But some groups had formed and those kept on tracking everything. One of their favorite topic of conversation was "who was punished" and "by whom". And it was pretty clear that some girls had noticed that Myrrhi had not come back to her bedroom last night.


Not even looking for Thayetta, the Myrrhi grabbed a piece of bread and a big chunk of cheese as quickly as she could and left the common room immediately. She was too tired to face people talking about her behind her back. Also, she had to go the Mistress of the Novices before her first class this morning. She didn't have the time to sit down and rest.


The Novice gulped down her food on her way to her own bedroom. There was no way she would present herself to the Mistress of the Novices in a gray dress and with cobwebs in her hair, so the detour was more than necessary. It was  only when she was presentable again that she ran to Hallia Sedai's study. It had not taken her that long to put on her last clean dress, to wash face and hands and to brush her hair, but appearing dirty would have meant extra punishments. Myrrhi was certain of it.


Trying to catch her breath, the Novice brushed her white dress a couple of times before knocking at Hallia Sedai's door.


"Come in", she heard. And she entered the study.



OOC . thanks so much for the RP :D

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