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Mashiara Sedai

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  1. Wow! That looks awesome Kathleen! Since you gave me permission, I think I will use it. Yay! ~Mashi
  2. I just finished my short story! I titled it "Purity of the Flame." I hope it isn't too long to post here. It's a little over 2,000 words. Purity McGrory stared at the billowing flames of the large fire in front of her. The heat from the blaze was intense; she could feel it licking at her flesh even as far back as she was. The center of the flame was the palest, prettiest shade of white she had ever seen and it wavered slightly as the gentle wind blew past. Built from more than a hundred wooden logs, the fire stood nearly three feet above her head. She stood naked, beside a dozen other girls named Purity. Each family would name at least one daughter after the Goddess of Fire in order to beseech her blessing. On top of that, only girls named Purity could choose to go through the Fire Ritual, which would select a new temple Priestess. It was a great honor to have a Priestess in the family. Of course, anyone who failed the Ritual was killed. It was the price the family paid to have the blessing of the Goddess. Purity knew that if she failed today and was killed, her parents would name their next daughter Purity and try again. The full moon was just beginning to rise over the ocean. Even its vibrant light was made wan by comparison to the fire burning on the sandy beach. All the onlookers, gathered in a semicircle further back than the girls, kept their eyes to the flames. Because their attention was focused so directly on the fire, Purity didn't mind her nudity. No one, not even her own parents and siblings, would take their eyes from the inferno to look for her. Purity, likewise, had her eyes glued to the red-orange flames. Tears welled in her eyes from the brightness. "Who will be first?" intoned the old Priestess, her voice clear and deep despite her age. She had been serving as Priestess for over fifty years and was nearly eighty years old. After a new priestess was chosen tonight, she would be laid to rest in the roaring fire, the Goddess' protective powers no longer in her possession. A few girls to either side of Purity moved their feet, but no one stepped forward. Despite their love of the Goddess and their wish to be her Priestess, it was scary to think of entering the flames. Purity was trembling with fear, though she kept her muscles clenched so it wouldn't show. For the process of the Ritual, each girl would walk into the flames. It was said that the Goddess knew who she wanted as her next Priestess and would put her protective arms around the girl she chose. All other girls to enter would be consumed alive by the burning embers. It was a horrible way to die, yet, it was all done in praise of the Goddess and was considered to be their duty. Not all of them had to enter, though. Only one at a time until a girl was selected. If it happened to be the first to enter, no one would have to perish. If it was the last, all others would be killed. Only a few moments had passed since the Priestess had called for a volunteer. If time passed too long, their families would begin to mutter about their lack of faith and love for the Goddess. It was considered very dishonorable to refuse to enter. So, a few places to her right, a girl stepped forward. Even if she died, she would still be praised for her courage at being the first to enter. "I will go," she told the Priestess. The girl's voice quavering just a bit, but her words echoed loudly over the gathered people. The Priestess nodded, almost a bow, and the girl stepped forward. The heat was frightful, even from where Purity stood; she couldn't imagine taking a single step closer to its source. But she would have to, unless someone was chosen by the time she was forced to go. The girl, her lower lip shaking, took another step forward. Purity could see her features scrunch up in a painful expression. Another step and another, and the girl let a soft cry escape her lips. Still, she pressed on. Oh Goddess, Purity prayed. Please let her be chosen. The girl had taken a handful of steps and was only two more from the fire. Her flesh was already melting and black fissures were running up and down her body. Her cries grew more and more desperate the closer she got to the flames. Now, she was screaming as loud as she could. Purity could see that the girl's eyes were shut tight as her hair caught fire; she took the final steps into the flame. There was a moment more of the shrill scream then all sound cut off. The girl's figure inside the flame had disappeared. Purity wasn't sure how long they had to wait to see if the girl came back out--the current Priestess was chosen so long ago, no one but the grandparents would remember. The legend said that the chosen girl would come out as unblemished as she had gone in. The old Priestess, standing to the side of the fire, sadly shook her head. "Who will be next?" she asked. Purity heard an audible gulp come from the girl beside her. No one wanted to go through that agony. But it's for the Goddess, Purity reminded herself. Another girl stepped forward and said she would go. Again, Purity prayed that the Goddess would choose this girl, than none of the others would be forced to go through the Ritual. The girl's face and body reacted the same as the first's, her flesh began to char and her hair caught fire. Her screams, as well, echoed loudly over the beach, reaching such a high tone that Purity winced. Please choose her. Please, Goddess. Once the cries of the second girl cut off the Priestess shook her head again. "Who will be next?" Purity shivered. This was barbaric. What kind of people would willing send their daughters into a fire to be burned alive? But it's for the Goddess, she repeated to herself. This is our act of worship, our act of praise, our act of obedience. Another girl stepped forward; the Ritual repeated itself with the same outcome. That was three, now, consumed by the fire, dead. Purity felt like she was going to be sick. If I wait too much longer, I won't have the courage. Their screams... I can't stand anymore screams. Purity stepped forward. It was not bravery that made her do this, only her cowardice. She would not be able to do it if she saw one more body burned alive by the Goddess' flames. "I will go," she told the Priestess and received a nod in return. Purity had to force her legs to move forward. What she really wanted to do was turn around and run in the opposite direction. Instead, she took a step towards the flames; the heat increased. She bit the inside of her mouth to keep her screams inside. She didn't want to scare the other girls who were still waiting. If she died, they would have to go next; she didn't want to make it harder for them. Another step and she had to bite down harder on her cheek. She tasted blood. Another step and the blood began to gush. It was all she could do to keep her mouth shut and the cries of agony inside. Her skin was beginning to boil; she could feel tiny bubbles begin to protrude all over her exposed flesh. Torturous pain filled her and she could hardly form coherent thoughts; all she wanted was to be free from the overpowering ache. With a final step, she placed her body into the open flames. She felt them leap out and consume her hair, caressing her scorched body with their tongues. Unable to keep the horrified sob inside, she let out a wail as it embraced her. Please don't cry, child, said a voice inside her head. Immediately, Purity stopped her screaming. Though she knew her whole body was being burned, she forced her eyes open and looked around. Instead of seeing the inside of the fire and the previous girls' bones at her feet, she saw a white hall filled with tall, fluted columns. The roof was peaked into a magnificent archway and beautiful statues of marble sat atop stone buttresses all around. "Who are you?" Purity asked, amazed her ruined face could still make her mouth move. Her eyes, no longer filled with pain, glanced around the room, looking for the speaker. I am the Goddess, named Purity. "Goddess!" Purity exclaimed, then fell to her knees in reverence. She still wasn't able to find where the Goddess was, but she didn't dare stand in her presence. Please rise, child. There is no need for you to do this. Purity did as she was told and stood to her feet, but kept her gaze at the swirling marble tiles under her bare toes. As she stared, she noticed her skin was whole and pale; no trace of the black, scorched skin remained. "Have I been chosen to be Your Priestess?" Purity asked. That depends, child. Answer my three questions without lying and I will grant you back your life. Do you understand? "Yes, Goddess," Purity replied, her eyes still on the floor. Good. First question: Do you wish to serve me as my Priestess? "No," Purity said, shame burning her cheeks instead of fire now. She hadn't had the desire to be a Priestess before the Ritual started; after she had witnessed the burning of live bodies, she had been disgusted and wanted to be a Priestess less than before. That was an honest answer, the Goddess said. Second question: do you wish to die rather than serve me? Purity had to think for a moment. Could she, after what she had seen, serve this Goddess? Could she devote her life to a creature that sent girls into a fire to be consumed alive by it? Could she get over her revulsion at the barbaric practices of their religion? On the other hand, did she wish to die? "Yes, I would rather die," Purity said, knowing the Goddess would smite her for such insolence. She braced for a blow, or for the fire to eat her once more, but nothing happened. That was also an honest answer. Final question: if I choose you, regardless of your wish to die, would you serve me faithfully? "I would," Purity replied. She knew if she was left alive, that she would be in the Goddess' debt and her service. Purity was sickened by this Ritual, but the Goddess was still the Creator, the giver of life. Purity could not defy her in any way. I see, said the Goddess. Then, you are selected to be my Priestess. "But why?" Purity asked, daring enough to raise her face from the ground. Her eyes fell upon the Goddess standing in front of her and all the emotion inside her vanished. The Goddess was in the physical form of a small dragon. Her body was covered with bright and shiny scales in all the colors of a sunset. A long, broad snout poked out of her head and steam rose from each nostril. Eyes, shifting through every shade of red, stared back at the girl. The dragon's body stood no taller than Purity, though its wingspan, if extended, would be twice her size. On the marble floor, a pointed tail curved around clawed feet. Why would I choose you, if you would rather die than serve? the Goddess asked. Because I seek someone who is pure in spirit and heart. No one can watch this Ritual and not be disgusted by it; that is, no one who is worthy of being my Priestess. You are what I need to serve my will to the people. Please accept. "I accept," Purity said, taking her eyes away from the creature in front of her. "I will do as you command." Thank you, child. Purity was suddenly surrounded by the roaring fire again. This time, the flames did not hurt or sting her flesh. The embers danced merrily along her skin, frolicking along her flesh. She held up a hand in front of her face and saw her pale skin from before. She was not burned at all. Raising her hand to her hair, she felt her thick locks falling to her shoulders. Even her hair had been restored to her. Purity walked the rest of the way through the fire and reemerged among her people. There was a collective gasp from the onlookers and then the Priestess said in a loud voice, "A new Priestess has been chosen." Then, without another word, the old woman threw herself into the flames. No scream escaped the woman's lips and in her head, Purity heard the Goddess whisper words of greeting. Welcome back, my old friend. From that day, Purity lived in the Goddess' palace, on the top of the cliff facing the sandy beach where the Ritual took place. Every day, she would bathe in flames and commune with the Goddess, hearing her wishes and her commands. The fire used for these meetings was not the same as the fire for the Ritual. The Ritual fire was a sacred thing, where a person's whole soul would be joined with the Goddess. In the palace, Purity had need only to speak to the Goddess, who already knew her spirit. The flames were smaller, confined to five candles spread around the room. As the embers danced across her skin, tickling her with their playful wisps, Purity was glad she had been chosen. She understood now the need for the Ritual and knew her whole body and soul had been purified by her embrace with the sacred fire. ~Mashiara
  3. Hello all! DM Name: Mashiara Sedai Interests: Fiction writing Email: Mashiarasedai@gmail.com I just changed my major to English-Creative Writing, so I figured I best get involved in some writing groups. I've been a member of Dragonmount since 1999 but I've never ventured much into any of the groups (besides RPing in the White Tower Org back in '99.) I'm very much looking forward to being active, so I hope there's lots to do around these parts! Thanks! Mashiara
  4. I agree that Nynaeve would win between those two. Even though Moiraine has more experience in years with the Power, Nynaeve has more ability. Even Egwene and Elayne are more powerful than Moiraine--even with her angreal I think she was only slightly stronger than she was originally. So, Nynaeve should still be much stronger. Also, Nynaeve trained with one of the Forsaken and knows more about battle weaves, I would think. ~Mashiara
  5. Yay! I love NaNoWriMo! It's thanks to Dragonmount that I even heard about it two years ago. Thanks for that Dragonmount! http://www.nanowrimo.org/en/participants/mashiara ~Mashiara
  6. It's an odd thought, but from the exchange between Perrin and Tam in Knife of Dreams, it seems Tam doesn't have any clue that Rand is the Dragon Reborn until Taim goes to the Two Rivers to collect men who can channel. P. 694 Paperback version "Taim said Rand sent him. He said Rand is the Dragon Reborn." There was a touch of questioning in that, perhaps a hope for denial, perhaps a demand to know why Perrin had kept silent. ... "Nothing to be done about it now, Tam." ... Sadness entered Tam's scent, though he let nothing show on his face. This sounds as if Tam had not even suspected that Rand would have been the Dragon, which seems odd. As said in the podcast, Tam is obviously a traveled and semi-cultured man. Finding a baby on the slopes of Dragonmount should have been a clear sign to him. I wonder why it wasn't. ~Mashiara
  7. These are very good. Although I personally like the fairy tale-type theme, I agree that it's not particularly fitting for the Wheel of Time. Even so, the rest of the pictures are amazing! I love Fan Art Friday! ~Mashiara
  8. I hadn't thought of this but I really like the idea. Mat is casually strolling the corridors when the Seanchan attack which just goes to show he can't get away from battles no matter what he does. The Seanchan are collaring people and Mat shows up with the Horn and says "Stop that and bloody well come with me". The shocked look on Tuon's pretty face... That would be hilarious! I don't think there's time for another Seanchan attack, though. ~Mashiara
  9. I've always wondered about this too. I was under the assumption that ta'veren are very rare. Siuan is only a little past 40 years old. How is it that a ta'veren would have been born with those 40 years, and then 3 now? It seems like too many in too short a time. But, your theory about the Murandian lord seems likely. However, if he *was* ta'veren, how could he have been killed by a farmer so easily? The pattern should have preserved him, not let him die. Also, Siuan tells Moiraine about it, like Moiraine didn't know Siuan could see ta'veren. If she knew when they were younger, wouldn't she have told Moiraine about it sooner? Does that imply that it was recent--since she and Moiraine hadn't been seeing a lot of each other--that she discovered this Talent? Maybe there is some sort of test with the Power to see if you can see ta'veren... I think if she just discovered it after seeing Rand, she would have said something like, "Apparently, I can see ta'veren," instead of, "It is one of my Talent, seeing ta'veren. A rare Talent these days, even more rare than ta'veren..." (TGH P.68) If the Talent is rarer than ta'veren and we know of three Channelers who can see ta'veren (Siuan, Logain, Nicola), then maybe there was another ta'veren close by in this time frame. In all likelihood, RJ just included it without really thinking it through. It was early enough in the series that some of these plots might not have been fully formed. ~Mashiara
  10. I loved listening to the Dark Tower series when Frank Muller was the reader. They were fantastic. You're right about how he got each voice just right! I think he has been the best reader I've ever heard--and I've listened to many audio books. As for Wot, I also couldn't stand how Kate Reading read Tam as "Tom." I think it's due to the fact that Lan is pronounced "Lon." I think some even pronounce Lanfear as "Lonfear." Also, the voice she used for Min in Towers of Midnight was just awful. And I like Kate Reading; she did a fantastic job reading Jim Butcher's Codex Alera series. It was just this past book that Min sounded off. ~Mashiara
  11. The picture of Leane is stunning! It really shows her Domani side. Elaida also looks very good; I think it captured her meanness. Its funny to remember that Liandrin is a beautiful woman. The picture does a good job of reminding me. Very nice all around!
  12. What about Ituralde? He was known as the "Little Wolf," wasn't he? ~Mashiara
  13. In regards to the Borderlander army, I don't think it was *completely* stupid for them to leave their lands because of the prophecy. It's more or less the same thing the wolves said. The Last Hunt comes, or it doesn't. Rand was in such a bad place that he couldn't have fought the Last Battle like that. It was up to the Borderlanders to kill him if he didn't answer the question. If there was no chance of Rand winning--cause he was so far from the Light--it would be better for the world if he didn't fight at all. So while I agree that it wasn't the smartest thing to do, leave their countries in this time of need, I can understand what the Pattern was after. Also, I never thought of it until Virginia spoke of one of Rand and Aviendha's children having dark hair. One of the popular theories is that Rand and Moridin will have a body swap. Perhaps Aviendha's children will be from Moridin's body, after Rand's soul is living in it. Just a thought... ~Mashiara
  14. That's funny... in the smaller pic, it does look like a flame wolf, but in the larger a flame dragon. This representation of the forging of Mah'alleinir is very good. I particularly like the glow in Perrin's eyes. Is it from the fire or just his golden tint? I'm continually impressed by how many awesome WoT artists there are out there.
  15. I think it's "Three on the boat with he who is dead yet lives." So there will be four total. I don't see anything tragic happening to any of Rand's girls. ~Mashiara
  16. I think the thing about Taim is that he has been changed with a 13x13 combination. That's the reason Bashere didn't recognize him, the same way Androl said there was something off about one of the other Asha'man, the one that used to be loyal to Logain, but now is loyal to Taim. I think it's part of sensing the Dark One's touch. Rand, with his new insight, is able to tell from someones eyes if they are a darkfriend. With the 13x13 it seems that the DO's touch is a bit more obvious and others can tell. ~Mashiara
  17. I'm a HUGE fan of Lan (hence my name: Mashiara). One of the things I like in Lan and Moiraine's relationship is when Moiraine starts to get jealous over Nynaeve. She claims she never felt jealousy over others who have shared his bed, but Nynaeve has laid claims to his heart and even he didn't realize it yet. I think this shows that she is very emotionally attached to Lan, though she isn't very good about showing it. One of my favorite Lan scenes is when Nynaeve tricks him into going to Saldaea instead of Shienar. Very clever on her part, and silly of him to not suspect it of her. I also wonder about how Lan states in ToM that he hardly feels anything through the bond because he was trying to ignore it for so long. Did he fuzz it often when he was with Moiraine, or only since Myrelle took it? ~Mashiara
  18. I'm surprised there wasn't more speculation over the closing prophecy... One thought I had, with Spencer bringing up the possibility of Rand fighting part of the Last Battle in Tel'aran'rhiod, is that if it happened like that, maybe it would be like the end of Matrix. If Rand is fighting in TAR, and dies there, well, we know that death in TAR is death in life. However, what if at his body in the real world, someone could bring him back, Nynaeve Healing him or what not. I'm not sure if I think part of Tarmon Gai'don will happen in TAR, but it's an interesting concept. ~Mashiara
  19. I would have to think that Mat would be the major influence on getting the Seanchan to forge an alliance with Rand. In Egwene's Dream, Rand confronts her and the WT and one of the women was Seanchan, but it's stated at the end of tGS that Egwene plans to train the sul'dam and damane as Aes Sedai, so eventually there will be a Seanchan Aes Sedai. The Dream she had of a Seanchan woman helping her to the top of a cliff, I think, will be Egeanin. She's heading for the Tower and can help give insight to the Empire. The WT and the Seanchan will probably have to forge an alliance at some point, but Mat's relationship to Tuon will be the most helpful in that. ~Mashiara
  20. Is it just me, or did Spencer disappear throughout most of the episode? I think I only heard him make two comments, besides the opening greeting and the closing "may you find water and shade"...
  21. This might seem a bit off topic, but I thought it was one of the funniest things I've read in a Brandon Sanderson book. In the latest Alcatraz novel there's a Asmodean reference. Alcatraz, the hero, is thinking of the bad things his mother has done so far: "I hadn't forgotten how she'd give Himalaya up to be execute, nor how she'd sold me--her own son--to Blackburn, the one-eyed Dark Oculator. Or how she killed Asmodean. (Okay, she didn't really do that last one, but I wouldn't put it past her.)" When I first read it I laughed SO hard. Brandon is so clever. ~Mashiara
  22. Maybe I'm mistaken here, but when Alan said that in the interview, wasn't he joking? ~Mashiara
  23. I agree. Also, I think that since they stopped using it, they could easily forget it. The weave for a gateway is very, very complex, and if not practiced I could see people not remembering exactly how the weave went. ~Mashiara
  24. I had a completely different take on who could have been playing Rand in Masema’s visions. It makes more sense if it were Taim, not Demandred, impersonating Rand. The reason I say this is two-fold. 1. Remember Egwene’s Dream (ACoS Chapter 10) where Logain, laughing, steps over “Rand’s” body onto a black platform, and when she touches his face, he dissolves? From that, I’d say that someone is impersonating Rand, and it is that other person that Logain steps over. Of course, we all know that it’s going to come down to a Logain/Taim duel sometime soon, so if Logain’s stepping over anyone’s body, it’ll be Taim. 2. Remember the Black Ajah plot to set Taim up as a fake Rand al’Thor (tSR Chapter 5)? Joiya and Amico are questions and Joiya—the one who wasn’t stilled—says that Liandrin means to kidnap Taim and set him up as a false Rand. I think I remember that one of the Oaths the Black Sisters swear is that they cannot compromise any current BA events. From that maybe we can take the line of thought that Joiya was lying about who was going to kidnap Taim, or perhaps she could talk about it because it had already happened. If so, Taim wasn’t set up as Rand yet—unless he’s the one impersonating him to Masema—however, he does act in Rand’s name. Since Taim might be impersonating “Rand,” Logain can walk over his body and reclaim the Black Tower. ~Mashiara
  25. Virginia mentioned in one of the episodes of tGS recap that she wanted an input on what would happen if you balefired someone who balefired you… I think it would be physically impossible to balefire someone who is balefiring you. If you are aiming balefire at someone, while they are aiming at you, the streams of balefire would hit each other, resulting in an explosion or a Moridin/Rand connection thingy. Now, if you aimed at their head, while they aimed at your feet, I still don’t think you could balefire at the same moment. One of the streams would hit before the other, even if only a millisecond sooner, and it would erase that person, and their balefire (shot at you) would be erased as well. That, however, brings up the question of if the balefire hits your feet, does it just erase your feet, or does it kill you? I’d assume if balefire hit any part of you, you’re toast.
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