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  1. Empty. There was nothing left in Lillian, in fact there wasn't much of Lillian to hold anything. Three days. Three days with Ja'varan, her captor and as she had soon understood, one of the Forsaken. She hadn't understood at first, she'd even almost killed her, something she had cursed herself for failing. But then, there had been little time for cursing after that, now there was little will to do anything. She had prided herself on the strength of her mind, the strength of her will and the strength of her heart. They had meant little by the second day, everytime she was taken within an inch of death and then Ja'varan would pull her back from its welcome embrace. How she had wanted to die, die and deny Ja'varan the satisfaction of completely breaking her. During this third day, at least she thought it was the third day, she had little left in her but that. Her entire being focused on not budging on that fact. Ja'varan had wanted acknowledgement as the Forsaken, Lillian had given it when she had seen that the woman was not simply Ja'varan anymore. But Ja'varan wanted more, to completely break her, to leave her with nothing but a tiny voice in her head screaming as she became whatever Ja'varan moulded her into. Yet she hung in, she held on, she managed to resist by not resisting. Losing herself was a far greater fear for her than death, to be some maddened caricacture of what she was, it was something she refused to do. So she braved what Ja'varan did to her, again and again, hoping for the release of death. A final way to deny Ja'varan what she wanted and to free herself as there was nothing else for it now. By the time anyone realised something was wrong, or wondered where she was, she would either be dead or forever changed. She just had to hold on, refuse to let go of herself and she would die as she was, as opposed to whatever perversion Ja'varan wished to make her. Touch. Voice. It sounded like Arette, felt like her, smelled of her, looked like her out of the corner of her vision. Another game of Ja`varan's, she came to her with the faces of her sisters. That she had chosen Arette was crueler than those she was only acquainted with, but she knew it for what it was. "I am." It was barely a whisper, but Lillian repeated it again and again. A mantra that helped her focus, as long as she was, then she was not. Lillian Tremina Sister of the White Ajah
  2. Opening the door, Lillian was surprised and not by the person who was on the other side of the doorframe. Arette, there with a plate of cookies no less that were in her hands within five seconds. The big smile and the cookies, Lillian was almost tempted to believe that Darienna had said something and it was only because she hoped that it wasn't the case that Lillian bit her tongue. There were a few times that she really just wanted to be alone, and this was definitely right up there with them. Rory. That girl, that stupid bloody girl. Lillian was still raging inwardly over what had happened, not only because of what had been said but because it had been so unwitting on the girl's part. There was no malice in it, simply unknowing anger and it was frustrating because she couldn't blame Rory for that. She wanted to so badly, a terrible thing that made her even more upset because that should never have been something that had entered her mind to begin with. But it was there, such a stupid and wasted emotion, she could put it aside if she absolutely had to but she didn't, therefore she hung onto it as it burned. But, at least it was all something that could burn underneath the surface while Arette was there beaming at her. It wasn't as if she could simply slam the door in Arette's face, especially with Arette's part in all of this. It was Arette who Rory had pranked and almost killed in the process, part of the reason that she had been so furious with Rory to begin with. To think that Rory had almost killed her friend and it had been due to something so stupid as a prank, it was part of why she'd been so upset that she'd gone off at Rory to begin with. But, Arette was waiting for an answer. "I'm sorry, I just got back not too long ago and I'm still a little out of it. I would have come and seen you sooner otherwise, I heard what happened." Stepping back, Lillian held the door open for Arette as she said. "Come in." Lillian Tremina Sister of the White Ajah
  3. The sudden switch in emotion was not something that Mia had been prepared for. One moment she was feeling good from head to toe, next moment she was roiling with a seething anger that wasn't her own yet for all intents and purposes was. She wanted to wring someone's neck, and that was a problem because the only person in her immediate vicinity was Annais. Well, that and a problem in general, if Annais could be so mercurial in her shifts of mood, t was going to be a steep learning curve. Even if she'd been forewarned and she knew of it beforehand, it didn't quite prepare her for the reality of it. Holding up a single finger, Mia closed her eyes as Annais asked her waspishly what they needed to wait for. The tone grated on her, but she focused instead as she harnessed her feelings. In hindsight, it was a good thing that she had taken to the blade the way she had, engaging rather than distancing herself. Wrapping her emotions around her, she found a piece of the previous good feeling that had filled her earlier and began to work every other aspect of her into that feeling until it spread. It was a struggle with Annais' feelings threatening to taint hers, but the reverse was also true and it worked. The feeling of anger in Annais was beginning to recede and align more with her own feelings. By the time she felt she no longer needed to throttle anyone, Mia opened her eyes as she got to her feet. It was as she was setting her tea on the table that Annais' made a comment about spoiling a perfectly good temper tantrum. There was something she had wanted to try since she had flicked Annais, and now was the time for it. Winding her arm back, Mia smacked her arse as hard as she possible could. The way that Annais jumped put a grin on Mia's face despite the fact it hurt like all buggery. Definitely worth it, Annais could run if it came to it but there would be no hiding if a chastisement was necessary. "Temper tantrums are banned, now lets go get you dressed. Since I'm doing it today, I get to choose. I think we'll have that hair nice and straight, maybe a couple of pins. . ." Mia was quick to take Annais by the arm and lead her to her personal quarters. If nothing else, by the time Mia was done, Annais would be more than happy to have Odelia back. Mia Stavros Warder
  4. "Cabbage." One of the problems with having confronted a lot of riddles over the years was that she remembered the answers to those that she had already solved. It did take a bit of the fun out of it, but at the same time that simply meant that she had to search for new riddles. The only way to keep sharp was to keep searching, and Lillian wasn't going to assume that, because the girl was young, she may not have heard of a riddle that she herself had not found. But, now to ask her another riddle as they came close to her room, something a little more challenging. "He who made me doesn't want me. He who bought me has no need of me. He who needs me does not realise it. What am I?" Stopping before her door, Lillian produced a key from her sleeve and unlocked it with the practiced ease of decades, her lock rarely needed changing after all. Opening it and stepping inside, she smiled as she held the door open for Miya who would now see her room for the first time. It changed over the years, but some of the things remained the same. Six tables, three on the left and three on the right, were arranged to act as independent workstations rather than her having one desk that was thoroughly cluttered. Lillian found it more efficient that way, and all the desks were arranged so that she was always looking towards the door in case anyone came in. It was a simple enough rule, to never have one's back to any doors. Every table had a board sitting on the wall with different notes, save one from which a series of small tools hung instead. What was more interesting were the tapestries. One for each Ajah, their colour was matched with a depiction of an Aes Sedai of that Ajah, yet there was also an eighth tapestry. A rich purple, the Aes Sedai upon it was simply smiling, it was always interesting to note people's first reactions to it, and learn their thoughts on it if they chose to speak of it. Some had been rather vocal about it, not to mention displeased, but that was part of the fun of having such a tapestry on her wall to begin with. But, there was a simple hearth and a round table for entertaining a few guests and that was what Lillian drew Miya's attention to. "Miya, if you would mind taking a seat and giving me a few minutes, I'm going to change into something a bit more comfortable than these traveling clothes. They're wonderful if you're spending ten hours on a horse, but its been a long time since I've worn something resembling a skirt. Just a few minutes." Walking to the door on the far right that led to her room, Lillian disappeared as she closed the door behind her. True enough to her word, she emerged again a few minutes later in a simple white robe with a purple sash hanging down one side just short of her ankles. Boots were also traded in for simple slippers that matched her robe, a thousand times more comfortable as far as she was concerned. She'd also taken the opportunity to touch up slightly, but that she couldn't help and she felt better for it. "Would you like some tea?" Lillian was already at the cabinet that sat next to the hearth where she kept some of her finer things, such as the tea set. A bit finer than the set she had once owned as an Accepted, after rations and water, it felt like heaven to be enjoying the comforts of her room once more. Furthermore, with company she was beginning to feel glad to know. Lillian Tremina Sister of the White Ajah
  5. There was improvement, that much Anton was certain of. At the same time, there was still a great deal of room for improvement. Regardless, a good effort for the first day and by the time that they were done, Anton felt that Raithgar was getting an inkling of the technique. It was drills and repetition that would help it become natural for the young lad to do as a reflex rather than a premeditated movement. All in time, and there was no rush for the moment, that and the lad had traveled a fair way, it would be a couple of days before he began to really settle in at all. Smiling at Raithgar's words, Anton replied simply. "Speed is good, control is vital. Both will come with practice, and for now I think we are done with both lathe and staff." Holding out his hand, Anton took the lathe as it was offered as he added. "For now, we'll see how you handle an axe." Anton Averdal Farpaw OOC: Short, but 3:30am and its essentially the ending of the thread. Report this thread on the Wolfkin progress board and claim a raise in Weapon score from 5 to 6 :)
  6. Awareness. Mia felt like she was a touch tipsy at the feeling that rushed into her. A little trepidation, but a good deal of happiness and if she knew her Bond lore right, that was also being magnified by her own feelings. Amplified by mirroring back and forth, there was a sense of shared goodwill that was between them that could only before be perceived, not felt. It was a unique feeling, and one that left Mia speechless as she simply allowed it all to wash over her until Annais spoiled the moment. A joke? She could feel the shift from simple good feelings to amusement, Mia made sure to take note of that emotion even as she smiled herself. If laughter was infectious to begin with, it was going to be difficult for them to get anything done when it carried through the bond. Probably Annais' greatest threat was now her, if they laughed too hard then they'd die of asphyxiation. But, Annais still needed dealing with, just because they were bonded didn't mean that too much was going to change. Well, maybe a little. Frowning as she leaned close to Annais as if examining something, Mia flicked Annais' forehead and immediately winced. Their close proximity meant that she felt it exactly as it must have hit Annais, and she didn't hold back from it. "Definitely not." Grinning, Mia looked over to where her tea was and retrieved it, remaining on the floor. It was remarkably comfortable there all things considered and Annais, her bondholder and light it felt strange thinking of her like that, was at her side. No, she couldn't think of Annais as a bondholder, as far as she was concerned, no one 'held' her. There was a fine distinction between submission and surrender and Mia drew the line between the two. "So, I'll be moving in here later today, you do have a spare room don't you? Or will I drag a bed into your room?" Mia Stavros Transformed
  7. Seeing who it was that opened the door, Suzette lowered her stick a little. After all, as a wanderer she had much less to fear from a woman than she did a man. She didn't look Cairhienin, but then, that wasn't a problem. "Light shine on you. I am Suzette, I've been traveling from Cairhien and I was hoping to find someone living in these parts. Half the farms I've come across have been abandoned, and the other half aren't always that friendly. I was hoping that I might be able to trade with you, I would like to buy any provisions you might be willing to sell." Cairma raised an eyebrow. Suspicious by nature, it almost seemed planned to her. But then more often than not she was duped on the most obvous ploys. "I have nothing to trade, but there is a stream nearby that is good for fishing. Plants with berries and other herbs that you are welcome to help yourself to." A tug at the back of her mind hinted to something but she brushed it away. Those tugs tend to never pan out for her. "I do not remember seeing many farmlands beyond this one, however there is a village about a day and a halfs journey south-west of here. It would be good for trading if that is what you seek." "A day and a half?" Her shoulders slumping as the woman finished speaking, Suzette was a touch upset at how this was going. She was hoping that the woman would show a bit more compassion, but maybe she could appeal to her generosity yet. "Please, I could make do for myself, but I also have my daughters. Are you sure that there is nothing that you could spare?" Cairma blinked at the woman. "Daughters?" Suzette frowned at the woman's question, revealing them defeated the purpose of hiding them in the first place. "I have two daughters." "I see." No, she didn't. The apparent daughters were well hidden and it left Cairma not completely believing the story. But seeing as she had little to lose from a woman and her two daughters, she caved. But only a little. "Cairhien, was that where you were from? A long ways from home. Come. . . Your daughters are safe here." A small smile at that, Cairma tilted her head a fraction in thought. "Light knows the world is hard enough when they grow. Here children are safer than a Novice in the Tower." A hand moved away from the sword that suddenly seemed a little out of place. But one could never be too careful when company was unexpected. "I have fruits and berries that are still fresh. If you wish to rest up you can. There is not much here, just enough for me really. But.. " Pausing, she realized she was muttering. Never playing the role of a hostess, she was suddenly at a loss. What was she suppose to do? Falling on the ever easy offer, "Tea?" Still eyeing the woman's sword as the offer of tea was made, Suzette hesitated before she lowered her staff and nodded. "Thank you, that would be more than welcome." At that, she turned to the trees and called out. "Jacqui! Chloe! Come!" There was a slight pause before the pair emerged from behind a particularly large tree. Jacqui had moved from the tree she'd first hidden behind, Suzette was going to have to have a talk with her about that later. For now, she simply turned back to the woman who was watching and spoke. "I don't believe I got your name before. Also, there isn't anyone else around is there?" Releasing the sword, Cairma held out a hand in a greeting. (do people shake hands anymore?) "Cairma." A fleeting frown passed her lips as she continued to smile. "You are the first I have seen in months." Shaking the hand, Suzette nodded at the words and smiled slightly in return. "Good, we haven't had much luck with strangers while we've been traveling. We've been a bit cautious since, you understand?" Cairma nodded. "I spent more time avoiding roads. But I was not in a hurry to anywhere particular. I found this place more by luck than anything. It was not mine but I suppose it is now. I doubt the previous inhabitants would mind as it has a few years of wear." She watched the girls as they approached. Children were odd to her. Growing up she avoided them. In Caemlyn she had poor luck with them, and after Tar Valon they were more adult then children. Personality flaws aside, of course. Seeing little else in the trees, she decided to take the woman for her word and turned to enter the cottage, setting her sword back to where it was. She wouldn't be needing it with children near by. "The tea will be a moment. Do not mind the smell." There was a scowl to her tone. "It's just burnt bread." Following the woman inside, Suzette waited until the sword had been laid aside before she set her own staff to lean on a wall. The woman seemed more cautious than anything else, but as a mother she needed to be careful all the same. The aroma was quite distinct, and Cairma was quick to explain it even as she began to put the tea on. Frowning, Suzette blurted. "How did you bu-" Catching herself quickly, Suzette tried again. "Do you have anymore flour?" Cairma chuckled a little. The woman was polite but it took work even for her. In a way it was endearing. Also another note that she made about her character. "I was never taught how to use one of these stone ovens. I am more of an open fire type of cook. I have more flour, and even some fish if you wish to stay for a more adequate meal." Feeling a little more benevolent with the woman no longer grasping a stave, Cairma moved easily around with a large kettle, setting it on the still hot stove. "I hope you like dark teas. It is all that I brought with me." "That would be wonderful. Jacqui, come over here, we'll make a couple of loaves." Flour, water and a pinch of salt, all that was needed to help make the dough and then they could get to making the bread. That was easy enough when you knew how, but it definitely took some elbow grease to accomplish. That meant Chloe needed something to do in order to keep her out of mischief. "Chloe, would you help the lady there? Her name is Cairma." Smiling slightly at the look on Cairma's face that she caught out of the corner of her eye as Chloe skipped over to her, Suzette turned her attention back to the flour.
  8. Waiting until Estel finished, Darienna didn't hesitate in her response. "I didn't give you mentees to 'fix you'. I gave you mentees so that you would have the opportunity to fix yourself, I gave you responsibility because I know that are capable. You might have convinced yourself that you're unworthy to be an Aes Sedai, but no one becomes one unless they can be one. You have talent, you don't have the most brilliant mind but you're not a dunce either and if you backed yourself, if you really genuinely believed in yourself for just one moment, you might realise that as well." "And why?" Darienna smiled. "Its probably a good thing I have my oath or no doubt you'd disbelieve me. We aren't friends, we rarely see each other and ever since I became the Mistress of Novices, you've been wary of me. But the simple thing is that it is the right thing to do. You don't abandon a sister, leave her in a pit to claw her own eyes out and then blame her for it. You reach down and you take her hand and you help her out. Not just any sister, but anyone." "I've hoped for years that you would be able to take the opportunities, but time and time again I underestimated how quick others were to railway you. Corinne, while she was in here, even went to so far as to say that Sirayn was helping you and I almost laughed in her face. The difference is, this time I'm going to make sure that there isn't anyone there to knock you down. You might not feel ready, but haven't you suffered enough? And unlike others that might have just walked away, I'm not about to." The right thing. Simple as that. Supposedly anyway. Estel wasn’t given to trusting anyone. But she’d gone through why a thousand times before, there was no need to pick at those particular wounds—wasn’t she supposed to be trying to heal? Did it really matter if she trusted Darienna of not, though? It wasn’t like she had many others to turn to; her Ajah hated her, her mentor was gone and had abandoned her anyway, even she and Orion were on rough footing since the debacle with Aran. Besides, what else did she have to do in the Tower but coop herself up in her rooms and dwell on her past and the fact that her life’s work had recently flown out the nearest window. If she was going to change, she needed to start doing something about it. And no one else seemed to be forthcoming about helping. There was one little thing that nagged at her, though. Estel was shocked that it even bothered her, she had spent sixty years saying the same—hell, after giving that woman an inch, she goes and breaks her side of the “bargain”. But like she had said before, there were only so many people who knew anything about her, let alone as much as she had revealed to the former Amyrlin Seat. She contemplated not saying anything, but sixty years and a betrayal warranted at least this small favour. “Corinne was right in that. Sirayn helped me more than anyone else bothered to.” Raising an eyebrow, Darienna was surprised at that answer. Definitely not the answer she had expected, but there was always the possibility that she was wrong. Having said that, she couldn't credit it. "I think there are others who would have offered you more genuine help. I could be mistaken, but of all I know of Sirayn and the few dealings I had with her as the Mistress of Novices, there was nothing she offered that was not barbed. Light, Lillian would bleed for you if you let her." Estel laughed. She couldn’t help it. It was just so bloody ironic! But then again, Sirayn was as much to blame for her reputation as Estel was for hers. Darienna hadn’t been there that night during her trial before the entire Order of the Rose, nor had she bared her soul on bended knee, part of her aim to defend herself while mostly she just begged for some understanding. Darienna hadn’t been there to receive completely unexpected mercy. ‘Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone.’ The Mistress of Novices spoke of those giving up on Estel, but questions she had never bother to ask suddenly came to mind. What had made Sirayn so guarded and secretive? There were always reasons an Aes Sedai acted the way she did, the Blue knew that as well as anyone. So many had given up on Estel; it seemed as many had given up on Sirayn. She didn’t say any more on the subject, though. The little tyrannical Green might have disappeared and her Order disbanded, but Estel had betrayed her connection to Sirayn once before and wasn’t eager to repeat that chain of events. “Lillian probably would; she would bleed for a lot of people, that’s Lillian.” Estel didn’t push that thought any further either, though. She was “friends” with the White—or at least as far as Estel had any friends—but even then, the Blue felt separated from the other woman by a number of things: mainly opinions on matters and just the fact that whereas Estel was so broken, Lillian seemed so whole. "That doesn't make it any less meaningful. She isn't the only one who cares about you either. Even before Annais became the Amyrlin she was worried about you, and the only reason I can think of that Maegan hasn't ever stepped in is because she knows your sisters are prickly around Reds and you might wear more trouble for it. I can tell you right now, if you went to her she would welcome you with open arms. Not because there is some advantage to be claimed over you, but simply because they care." Leaning forward, Darienna rested her arms on the table as she added. "You have people that care about you, people that aren't about to kick you in the teeth while you're down. You don't have to be alone, you don't have to be on your knees, struggling to rise only to be slapped by those that pass by. Do you want to live the rest of your life like that, Estel? Do you really want to keep on suffering, or do you want to rediscover what its like to have some confidence in yourself, to actually be happy? I can't magic it away, only hard work will do it and you're the one that has to do it. But I will be here to help you every step as you need it, and I think if you ask those I spoke of, they will support you as well."
  9. "Thats an interesting observation." Darienna smiled slightly as she leaned back in her seat. It seemed small steps were required, one at a time. "So, when you're ready you will? Its not something that just magically happens Estel, its something that has to be worked at and its something you, or anyone else, needs help with. But, I tell you what, I'll make you a deal. If you can tell me that you don't want to change, that you don't hate yourself and torment yourself with that self-loathing, or that you haven't entertained one suicidal thought, I'll admit I don't know a thing and you can walk out that door and never have to deal with me again." The worst part about Darienna was that she seemed to always be right. It irritated Estel to the point of glaring and nearly slapping the woman. And Estel just wouldn’t be Estel bloody Liones if she didn’t try to make everything difficult for everyone around her. So Darienna thought she knew all about her, hmm? “And they told me Aes Sedai telepathy was all a myth.” Her voice was heavily laden with sarcasm. “I never said I didn’t want to change; “want” and “ready” are two different words, what’s the saying... “if wishes were wings, pigs would fly”? You can sit here in this office and accuse me of self-loathing and entertaining thoughts of suicide; go ahead, we both know I can’t lie and deny them. But hey, let’s all state the obvious and hope the wreck melts to the point where she’s mouldable." “But self-loathing and thoughts of suicide are by-products of other problems, not the problems themselves. So go ahead, take a shot and see if you can sort the truth for the gossip—I can take it and have been for years. Honestly Darienna, what do you think happened to me?” Despite the sarcasm of her voice, Estel was honestly interested as to what everyone did think was the matter with her. After all, could the rumours be any worse than the truth? Listening, Darienna decided it was going well enough so far. Estel was angry, but she was letting it out rather than trying to bottle it up. But then, her anger wasn't the problem, it was the byproduct. Something that would resolve itself as Estel's condition improved, and Darienna was determined to see Estel improve no matter what. Unlike the others who may have tried, she actually had an idea of what to do. She'd just have to figure out the rest as she went. "I'm more interested in what you think happened to you. Why don't you tell me?" Estel laughed; it sounded like something between a cackle and a snort. Yes, yes. Darienna was the one in charge and thus the one who got to ask the questions. When Estel tried to push anything on her, the woman immediately evaded. “I don’t really give a damn what you’re interested in Darienna. You dragged me, nearly literally, out of my rooms for this chat and you don’t bother to humour my questions. As for why I don’t tell you; why should I? I’ve never talked to anyone about what I think—what I know happened to me, so why should I start now? And with a woman I barely know, nor trust?” "I could think of a few reasons." Estel was still combative, but Darienna knew there would be little point in fighting. Fighting would only beat the woman down more. "And I didn't lie, I am far more interested in what you think happened. But if you desire to know that much, then I will tell you. I don't know what the root or roots of your pain are. What I know is that, whatever it is, you keep it buried deep in there and you don't let anyone help you." "You're quick to take an offer for help as an insult, that people only offer to help you because they pity you, because they're embarrassed by you, or perhaps they do it simply to find a bit of leverage so they can use you for their own purpose, or still it could be so people can just feel better about themselves. I think that enough people have actually done that that you've convinced yourself that everyone is like that, or that it would be a complete failure on your part to open up to someone. That it would somehow make you less of a person to let someone help, and that you're so desperately afraid of falling any lower that you don't see that there are some people who would actually help you get back on your feet." "I think that people have treated you badly for so long, heaped scorn and worse upon you for so long, you're convinced that they're right. That you don't deserve your shawl, that you mess everything up, that you are some sort of pariah that is to be shunned and that you're unworthy. I think that everytime that you even come close to getting back on your feet, someone or something keeps knocking you down, or that maybe you even sabotage yourself because this bleak existance of yours is all you've known for a long time." Carefully considering her words, Darienna decided to ask the simple question. "You know what some of your sisters say about you. Knowing that, haven't you ever wondered why I keep giving you students?"
  10. It was perhaps not so surprising that it was the Accepted who complained and tried to weasal her way out of the experience she was about to have. It was important to not think of it as a punishment, while it had a retributive aspect (not to mention amusing), the purpose of the exercise was to modify the behaviour of those who had participated. Therefore, it would be more appropriate to regard what was about to happen as a form of training as opposed to punishment. As the Mistress of Novices, she trained those under her to learn how to better behave themselves, or at least be more shrewd and not get caught. The rest of the girls watching, Darienna barely frowned at them as she pointed to the bottles. "I find it rather interesting that alcohol brings you out in rashes, yet you are the one who organises a party after hours with alcohol supplied. If you aren't willing to do the time, then don't do the crime. Unless you think you're better than everyone else here? That you are somehow in some way above the task that has been set you? Because while you may be an Accepted, and they Novices, you're all in the exact same situation." "But, I tell you what, I'm feeling especially compassionate." Darienna smiled sweetly. "If you want, I can empty that wine bottle of yours right now. Instead, you can attempt to drink three bottles of water in the exact same time I have given the others to finish off their single bottle of wine. Of course, since that is most likely an impossible human feat to do before the curfew is finished, I wouldn't advise it. But it is your choice." "Wine or Water?" Darienna Ceradin Mistress of Novices
  11. "Quiet, please. There is no need for talk until Kira arrives." The Mistress of Novices smiled in thanks and sipped quietly at her tea, waiting for the remaining girl to arrive. And when Kirsa finally made her appearance looking ten kinds of worse for ware, Darienna quickly motioned for her to join them. "Gather around, girls, and listen to me very carefully." As the girls crowded around, Darienna lit her pipe. She inhaled and exhaled in a slow and content way, filling the air with the acquired scent of burnt tabac. A thought came to mind that caused her to smile slightly as she surveyed the group of them. Definitely not expecting what was coming their way. "We have a problem. But first, I am hungry. I won’t be a moment." The Mistress of Novices wandered off in search of food and soon returned with bacon on toast. Darienna jammed her knife through the bacon, toast and into her plate with a loud scraping Sound. The bacon was unusually tough. She sawed through it, with enough force that the knife scrapped against the plate with a very distinct tone. Smiling as she chewed on her food, she swallowed and took a couple more puffs of her pipe before she spoke. "Perhaps we should just keep it simple, you’re all going to join me tonight, half an hour before curfew. The place should be known to you. After all, you were there last night." Darienna went back to puffing her pipe and cutting through her bacon and toast, in silence of course. After about half an hour, after meticulously working her way through her breakfast, Darienna Sedai stood up and left to go about her way with all the Novices and the Accepted still at the table, unable to depart until she did. Depart she did, after smiling and bidding them a good day, of course . . . Later, that night, the six Novices and one Accepted met outside that familiar place. "Follow me, please. You all know the way." She began leading into that familiar room. "I like parties, and we should have more of them. I’ve decided it’s going to be a party week, yay." Darienna clapped a few times in order to punctuate her content. The room’s dominant feature was a table with seven bottles, bottles of white wine whose vintage was measured in not years, nor months, but weeks. Next to them sat seven glasses filled with nice warm milk, seven buckets, and a small bottle of something that looked expensive sat in the middle of the table. Darienna doubted that any of the girls had foreseen what was about to happen. "I bought you girls some drinks. Go ahead, dig in." Darienna instructed each girl to pick up a bottle and form a line and start drinking, every single drop. "To my figuring you have twenty-five minutes to finish those, by the way. Oh, and these glasses of warm milk. Nothing will put you to sleep sooner. Those of you who don’t finish in time obviously like to party hard, and we have some spirits to top off your evenings. I think the buckets are rather self-explanatory." They all looked like they were still in shock. Pointing to the table, Darienna clicked her fingers as she spoke sharply. "Well, what’re you waiting for ladies? Get to it, unless you plan on partying hard all night long." Darienna Ceradin Mistress of Novices OOC: Each character needs to finish their bottle within twenty five minutes, and there is enough there to get girls who rarely drink at all completely tanked. Characters won't have much of a chance to talk, save between drinking. Also, no geniuses who decide to try and spew on the Mistress of Novices, that isn't going to happen. And for those of you who aren't aware of what the milk does, milk curdles when it comes into contact with alcohol. So after you've finished your bottle, you get to have the milk and it mixes in your stomach. :) Have fun with this and when it seems ready I'll move it to its finish. PARTY! WOOOO!
  12. Watching Corinne as she left, Darienna knew that this was more than likely going to come back to haunt her at some point. Having said that, she would deal with it when the time came, for now the Blue Sister Estel Liones was going to be the focal point of her attention. The woman who had just entered, closing the door behind her sharply and addressing her in a tone that communicated a good deal of fury. Well, at least she wasn't a husk, better angry than a husk, that meant there was still that spark within her. All it needed was the right encouragement. Gesturing to one of the seats on the other side of the table as she took the pipe out of her mouth, Darienna smothered it herself as she spoke. "Please, sit down. Sorry for smell, give me a moment to deal with it." As the woman sat, Darienna stood and walked to the window. Quick to lift the latch and throw the window open, Darienna used a slight breeze to help carry the worst of the smell out. As she did so, she held the pipe upside down and tapped it on the edge of the windowframe, emptying the pipe as best she could as she spoke. "I normally don't smoke this tabac unless I have disagreeable company, and just between us, Corinne is viper that needs a good slap across the chops." Turning about with a slight smile on her face, it felt good to be able to say that openly, Darienna took a seat once more and laid her pipe aside as she regarded Estel. "I'm going to be blunt. Its been two weeks, its too long to be by yourself and you've been nursing your self loathing for a long time now. I think it is dangerous to leave you be, and I am not going to sit idle while you hide away and tear yourself to pieces." "Don't mistake me, I'm not going to say I know your pain and that I understand it all, I don't. Anyone who says they do is an idiot. What I do understand is that you are 'in' pain, and while people have different ways of dealing with it, I am not going to leave you alone to suffer and possibly hurt yourself. As of today, you'll be moving into my personal apartment. You're also going to be my assistant with my duties as the Mistress of Novices." "I'm sure you have questions, so ask away." Darienna Ceradin Mistress of Novices
  13. Listening to the ravings of the Blue Sitter before her, Darienna could have taken the woman by the scruff of the neck and put her through the wall. It was exactly this sort of raving that revealed why the Blues never succeeded in helping Estel. Once the first few decided she was a lost cause, the idea was contagious. Whoever then tried was expected to fail, Estel was expected to fail, and the vicious cycle continued and continued until Estel needed no assistance at all. Even with no one to put her down, she was perfectly capable of doing that to herself. But there was a difference this time, this time Estel wasn't just beaten down, she was thoroughly destroyed. That which was tangled was ridiculously difficult to straighten, that which was completely leveled was much easier to build upon anew. All that needed to be done was for the base, the foundation to be made strong. Something that would take a good deal more than simply making Estel her assistant, but making Estel her assistant was only the beginning. The fact that Corinne didn't truly perceive that only added to Darienna's contempt for the woman. By the time Corinne was done, she seemed to have difficulty breathing from the way she was panting. The vindictive pleasure she indulged was that every deep breath was giving her another great lungful of smoke, speaking of which, Darienna took another long draw to send in the woman's direction before she spoke. "That attitude is exactly why you could never help her. You treat her like a mark of shame, like a joke, like an impossible task. The only shame is the one that you should bear for being too proud and not having the compassion necessary to treat Estel as she should be." "As for my ego, I'm perfectly confident in my abilities and talent and that I am perfectly suited for my role. I do not need to cling to my title and remind others of it, as if it might simply vanish without being mentioned every couple of minutes. Seriously, do you ever listen to yourself? I'm surprised your sisters aren't laughing in their sleeves at you." "And althought your presence here has been somewhat amusing, I am done with you and you may go. Run along back to your quarters where you may gnaw on your liver over a mere Mistress of Novices half your age daring to speak to you in such a fashion. Find a drink, find a man, find a woman, find a wall and smack your head against it repeatedly until you pass out for all I care." "And send in Estel if she is waiting outside. She, at least, is worth my time." Darienna Ceradin Mistress of Novices
  14. Grinding her pipe slightly with her teeth as a very simple weave of air smothered the flame within her pipe, Darienna was not amused. She had never been appreciative of a weave being made an inch or two infront of her face, in particular by someone who was trying to get under her skin. Corinne was becoming suitably incensed, there weren't many younger sisters that challenged their elders but Darienna was amongst them. She had a job to do, a woman whose claim to authority was that they had been two hundred years a fool didn't make them any less a fool. Embracing saidar once more, Darienna lit the tabac once more but this time she didn't release the power. If Corinne was foolish enough to try her trick again, she'd shield that woman and perhaps even drag her through the halls to the Amyrlin herself. She would not be stood over by anyone, she had enough years of experience to hold her own and she didn't wield an authority derived from strength or age, hers was based entirely on competence. "Childish." Letting that sink in as she enjoyed another puff, Darienna continued. "Just about everyone who tries to help Estel is too quick with the rod and not so ready with the carrot. From what I have seen, she's been successively beaten down and now her self loathing justifies itself to the point that she sabotages herself to keep it intact because she doesn't know anything else. Meanwhile, you and your sisters don't have the patience or the willingness to devote the energy necessary to helping her properly. And I doubt Sirayn lifted a finger for Estel without sinking a dozen barbs in first." "Quite frankly, you're a bunch of amateurs whereas I've been doing this for years." Not necessary, but definitely satisfying as far as Darienna was concerned. That and it probably was necessary. "She has never pulled through, Estel simply alternates between drowning and reaching the bottom of the lake. Not one of you has managed to haul her up onto her own two feet. Leaving her in her room when she's incredibly depressed and possibly suicidal is the last straw. There will be no melodramatic oaths of vendetta, no posturing, I said that if you oppose me on this, I will bury you and I meant it." "But, since I'm magnanimous, there are two ways this can go. Firstly, you can go complain to everyone you can, go to your sisters, stir up a ruckus, do whatever it is you do when you feel thwarted. You do that, I will make it publically known that you and your sisters did little to nothing to help Estel since her return. I will let everyone know that she was so neglected that her room was filthy as an animal's den. I will let everyone know that she was so disturbed that when I found her, she actually went so far as to create a club of air to menace me with. I will lay all of this at your feet because you interfered with an attempt to help her." "The sitters of the other Ajahs won't help you, so don't expect the Hall to intervene. They aren't threatened, they have no need to feel so, and if you think they'd object to seeing you humbled when they don't have to do a thing, you're sorely mistaken. My success as Mistress of Novices means you've got nothing on me, so I'll still be sitting in this office when you're barely holding onto your position as Sitter by the skin of your teeth." "Or we can take the other alternative." Darienna took a long draw of her pipe and slowly released the smoke before continuing. "You agree to stay out of my way and otherwise not try to satisfy a petty need for revenge for your wounded pride. You leave this office and I take Estel under my wing and begin to get her back on her feet. As far as everyone else is concerned, you came here to remonstrate me about maybe being a little excessive with the door but in the interests of Estel's well being agreed to work with me by letting her be put in my charge." "You get to be a concerned humanitarian without having to lift a single finger, I assume full risk and responsibility, and you get to have credit for having the idea to let this proceed. Everyone appreciates your shrewd tact in taking action and making use of the skills and experience of the Mistress of Novices to approach the issue from a completely new angle. Everyone wins and life goes on." "I only make this offer once, Corinne. Take the smart option, take the credit and be known amongst the sisters of your Ajah as the one who succeeded where the others failed. This will be the only opportunity you get and it is the only happy ending you're going to get out of this." Darienna Ceradin Mistress of Novices
  15. Darienna wasn't exactly looking forward to the confrontation that was going to ensue when her and Corinne reached her office. At the same time, she had not expected to be able to do what she had without repercussion, and that she had Corinne to deal with who had a reputation for shrewdness was forseeable. Having said that, if the woman though that she was going to have any luck with her, Darienna was going to have to remedy the other woman's ignorance and re-educate her. She had waited long enough for someone to do something and no one had, she was not going to wear someone elses ire because she had taken action when it was sorely needed. She'd just closed the door behind them when the woman finally revealed what had been lurking behind the sickly pleasant suggestion that they go and have a chat. Standing still as she simply watched the woman, the only visible reaction to the words that Darienna betrayed were a slight tightening of the jaws and an even slighter narrowing of the eyes. She'd put Corinne in her place, but she would take her own time about it rather than dancing to the tune that the Blue was trying to play. Strolling to her desk, it didn't take long for the woman to throw more imprecations her way. More about her lack of respect for privacy, of boundaries, of having crossed a line, of not respecting her elders, of meddling in Blue Ajah business. Darienna simply took her pipe from a draw as well as the foulest bit of tabac that she could find that she proceeded to stuff into her pipe and light with but a tiny spark of saidar. Taking a nice long puff of it to give herself a touch of calm, as well as to spread its aroma which would be foul to someone who didn't smoke often, Darienna seated herself and made herself comfortable before she spoke with a level tone. "I'm going to be blunt, Corinne. Don't make threats that you can't follow through on. You're just a Sitter, you spend your time politicking and trying to get this or that which suits you and playing games in the Hall. I, on the otherhand, am the Mistress of Novices and actually work for a living and earn my stipend. Your will against mine, you will lose." Tempted to take another puff, Darienna refrained for the moment as she decided to deal with the topic promptly. "Estel has had consistent problems, since her return she has been completely shattered. That is the Blue Ajah business I presume you speak of? Well, let me be the first to congratulate you on doing such a fantastic job, seeing as she was still locked in her room and seeing no one. Not to mention the fact that she almost looks like a shambling skeleton. Bravo, Corinne." "You and your sisters have had two weeks to do something since her return. Before that, you've had how many decades to help her? Six? Seven? Smashing success there. Now that she is deep in the pit of despair, I am not going to allow it to continue any further. I will be taking her under my wing, I will help her get back on her feet and help her put the pieces back together. If you want to assist, I will allow it but if you so much as think of interfering to salve that pathetic pride of yours, I will bury you." "Do we understand each other? Or do I need to speak more slowly?" Darienna smiled slightly though there wasn't a hint of warmth to it as she pointed to one of the two chairs before her desk. "You may sit." Darienna Ceradin Mistress of Novices
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