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Ten solid years to the day. That was how long Viviane Accylon had been in the White Tower. She herself could not really believe it had been so long. Viviane had learned much and met a lot of people in that time. She had even made a few friends along the way. Her 28th nameday had passed about a month ago. Mother had sent another dress. It was breathtaking; made entirely out of imported silks from Sharra, all in shades of Blue, opalescent pearl buttons ran down the back, and a stiff boning was inserted to the bodice to cut a more slender figure. Viviane was not allowed to wear the gown, not yet. She was still a Novice. Some nights, after she was supposed to be asleep, she would slip into it or one of the others that Mother had sent along. Twirling around in her room, trying not to giggle with glee. She felt like a real Aes Sedai in those moments. Once she was properly raised, Viviane would waltz around the Tower wearing only the most beautiful cuts and cloth. Mother’s shop had rebounded only slightly. She had enough clients to support herself now, especially without Viviane around to feed or house. That was the only reason she was able to send Viviane such nice clothing. The dresses were all tucked away in a chest Viviane had to buy herself. She had to plead with the Mistress of Novices to be allowed to keep any of it. Some of the other girls despised Viviane for it. They’re all just jealous. Walking over to her mirror, Viviane gazed upon her reflection. She didn’t look that much older than when she first arrived in the Tower. Still no sign of agelessness, even though she had been working with the One Power for a decade. She had asked some of the Aes Sedai when she should expect to see it on her face, and they would always dodge the question. ‘It is different for every woman,’ was the most she had gotten out of any of them. Still. Without the agelessness, it was plain as day that Viviane was barely showing any signs of her age. Some of the Browns had said that Channelers aged slower than ordinary people, but that was entirely unrelated to the ageless look associated with Aes Sedai. That confused Viviane to no end, but still, even the Browns refused to give her a solid answer on the matter. Aging slower is something at least. I’d like to hold on to my ‘youthful glow’ as long as possible! The night was drawing to a close. She had about an hour or two before all of the Novices were supposed to be in bed, and tonight she just so happen to have nothing to do. It was a shock. She rarely ever had nights like these. Viviane didn’t even know what to do with herself, it was so rare. Boredom threatened to take hold. Perhaps I shall see what Ravenhild is up to… If she had any chores, she must be back by now. Vivane moved from her mirror and approached her bedroom door.
Viviane Accylon exhaled sharply. She ran a hand through her long, flowing auburn hair, trying with all her might to smooth out a few loose strands. Her mane always seemed to act up whenever she was stressed. That just wouldn’t do if she were to be Aes Sedai one day. The Sisters of the White Tower were in complete control of their bodies and their emotions, that included their hair. Light! I still haven’t gotten used to the idea… Here I am all in white, and still, my brain denies it. A Novice of the White Tower, that was who Viviane Accylon was now. Her bone white dress covered her modestly, no man looking at her would guess she was almost a woman full-grown. In regular clothing, Viviane’s body would give that away in an instant, but her face remained soft and cherubic. Dressed as she was today, one could easily mistake her for a blossoming maiden, not a woman approaching her nineteenth Name Day. It was all so surreal, everything that had happened the last few days. Before Viviane came to Tar’Valon, she was living in Caemlyn and working out of her mother’s dress shop. Well, working wasn’t the right word exactly. Listlessly lying around would be a better term for what she did in her mother’s shop. No customer had entered their doors since before the Aiel War, the only reason they had remained open was because of her family’s vast wealth. That wealth was now dwindling. Viviane had initially planned on running away to Tear, but then they came. The Sisters. Mother had found out and insisted that Viviane should go out and get tested for her potential as a Channeler. They had fought long and hard, but in the end, mother won. Viviane went and was taken by the Sisters almost immediately. They left for Tar’Valon the next day. There were other girls that the Sisters had found in Camelyn, only a few, but Viviane hadn’t bothered to learn any of their names. According to one of the Sisters, a White whose name escaped Viv, there were fewer and fewer girls that had the aptitude to become a full Aes Sedai. By the Sister’s tone, Viv had assumed that most of the girls in their traveling group would be sent out of the Tower by year’s end. As much as Viviane distrusted the Aes Sedai, she desperately wanted to be one of them. She would not be sent from the Tower, not like her Grandmother, Great-Grandmother, and so many other Accylon women. No. Viviane would attain the ring and the shawl. To do that, however, she had to descend deeper into this viper’s nest. She exhaled again. A large door loomed before Viviane like the Dark One himself. Behind the wooden behemoth sat Valeri Sedai, Mistress of Novices at the White Tower of Tar’Valon. Viviane had not spoken to many since arriving at the Tower, but she listened. Novices and Accepted had loose tounges, so it was not that difficult to discern the Mistress’s temperament., Grumpy. That was the only word she had heard used to describe Valeri Sedai. Well, kid, I guess it’s now or never. Viviane threw her head back and straightened her spine, bringing her right hand up to the door. She rapped against the wood three times, lowered her hand, and waited for her journey to begin.