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  1. [OOC: The following scene was done through PM with Lih (Lillian Sedai) and myself (Viviane.)] ~ It was a lovely day in the gardens; that much was true. The delicate blossoms and rich green leaves danced in the gentle breeze that had picked up from the north, Viviane’s hair followed suit and started to get in the way of her vision. She gave an exasperated sigh, stopped the weave she was performing, and pulled the red locks away from her face, making a quick and sloppy braid to avoid the same thing happening again in a few moments. Starting up again, Viviane let the Source flow into her and drew upon threads of Earth and Water. The later came easily enough, it always did, but only a small trickle of Earth came to her… Same as the last twenty attempts… This particular weave was a family secret used at the shop for generations beyond count. One of Rowan’s ancestors, who had trained in the Tower, discovered this little ‘Novice Trick.’ The weave in question was normally used on fabrics… Rowan decided to break from tradition and try it on some plants. A large flax plant sat before her and she tried in vain to settle the weave upon the plant in an effort to improve its natural make-up. If Viviane’s theory was correct, the trick would work much more efficiently on the actual plant instead of the dead fibers that made up the fabric. Improving the plant would greatly expand its yield and quality… If only she could make the bloody thing work! The weave collapsed upon itself with little fanfare and Viviane hung her head in defeat.
  2. Viviane fidgeted in her seat. Today she was to learn what it meant to be Red Ajah. Jagen Sedai had not yet arrived to the classroom, so Viviane had little reserve in exhibiting her anxiousness. She’d have to bottle it up soon enough. Right when those doors swung open, the mock Aes Sedai serenity would slide over Viv’s face, as best as she could manage. The Reds made her nervous. They made every girl nervous… Well, not every girl. There were certainly a few Novices and Accepted that Viviane had encountered, girls that aspired to be Red above all else. People often said that Blues were passionate, but Viviane found the same was true for the Reds. At least it was true for the women that aspired to Red. From what Viv had seen, the Sisters of the Red were strong and commanding. It was often said those women were fiercely loyal as well. To the Tower and to their Ajah. Viviane had given an ear to those girls that aspired to Red, but it was hard when a few had sounded almost fanatical. Today was not a day for fanatisicm, however. Jagen Sedai was to be educating Viviane on the matter and she knew from personal experience that Jagen was a no nonsense type of woman. She would not spit blind faith at Viviane, no more than she would say falsehoods. Viviane had high hopes for today. The Red Ajah was not one that Viv had aspired to. She had wanted to be Blue, and the rivalry between the two Ajahs was no secret. That was why she was anxious. There was no way that Jagen could know Viv wanted to be Blue. She had not approached any Blue Sisters yet… She was saving them for last. She had hoped none of the other Sisters knew which Ajah she had been pining for, that might change what they told her or how they spoke to her. Viviane held great respect for every Sister that had taken the time to educate her, Jagen Sedai included. She had taught Viviane her first lessons on Saidar. It was a wonderful class. That was the first day she sensed Saidar. No woman of the White Tower forgot that moment. It had been a bit of a shock that Jagen Sedai had insisted upon a class to explain her Ajah, especially considering that Viviane was the only girl in attendance. Well, that wasn’t really weird, but the silence did nothing for her nerves. Lavinya Sedai had educated Viviane on the Grey a few weeks before, but she had made Viviane do chores while she spoke. Viviane hoped Jagen wouldn’t make her scrub the floor to learn what it meant to be a Red. But if she does, I’ll do it with a smile on my face.
  3. Well, that was an… interesting class. Viviane dusted off her Accepted’s dress, soot dancing in the air. For the last eleven days, she and a few of the other Accepted had been learning how to Link from Lavinya Sedai. It was a weave that all Sisters had to learn. Lavinya Sedai had driven that point home with a pointed finger for each word. Every girl in the room knew how serious this class was. They would not dare dream for the shawl if they could not Link at a moments notice. It could mean the difference between life and death for any Aes Sedai and those around her. Today had been the twelfth day of the Lesson and finally, every girl in the room had succeeded in Linking with their respective partners. Unfortunately for Lavinya Sedai, she had lost control of the class shortly thereafter. Each girl that had the Link suddenly felt a rush of power. No matter how much control the Accepted had exhibited before this class, it all had seemed to be thrown out the window when links were formed. Suddenly, each Accepted found themselves handling more flows of the One Power than they had been used to. Each girl controlling the link lost control of their inhibitions and were weaving different flows all over the room. Within moments, fire was exploding in the air, water was crashing down from the ceiling, gusts of air were tossing books and parchment all over the room. It was chaos. Unfortunately for the Accepted, Lavinya Sedai reined them all in quite quickly with a sharp clap of her hands. All at once, the weaves stopped and all the chaos had ceased. The girls controlling the flows had each been sent to the Mistress of Novices right after class. Lucky for Viviane, she had not held the flows of her link. Thus, she escaped punishment. Not only that, but she had decided to linger after the lesson had finished. Viviane knew that she could have chosen a better time, but she was growing impatient. She had to know. Lavinya Sedai was the only Grey she had felt comfortable approaching… Wasting no time, Viviane rushed from her bench and up to the Aes Sedai. Lavinya was cleaning up the mess that the other Accepted had created. Viviane gave a deep curtsy, fit for a queen, before speaking to the older woman, “Excuse me, Lavinya Sedai… But, I hoped to trouble you with a question… You see, as an Accepted, I should begin to think of which Ajah I aspire to, and I must admit, I am a bit lost… I do not know much of the Grey, and I would not make an uninformed decision… May I ask what it means to be a Sister of your Ajah?” Viviane’s cheeks colored, foolish for a woman approaching her 29th nameday, but there it was. So long as she wore white, she would always be meek around a woman with a shawl.
  4. Viviane threw open the door to her room in the Accepted’s Quarters, strode in, and closed the wooden door as silently as possible. The action was a stark contrast to what she was feeling at that moment. Without any hesitation, she opened herself to Saidar and embraced the One Power. Deftly weaving a trick called The Circle of Silence. She encased the entire room within her ward, and after tying it off, Viviane let out a blood-curdling scream and then fell to the floor. No one outside her room would hear the cries that now escaped her lips in ragged sobs. Saidar quickly retreated from her grasp. It had been exactly one month since Viviane had been raised to the Accepted, and her body felt as if it had been working day and night since then. Things were hard. Harder than when she had been a Novice. Viviane did not know how that was possible. The other night she had risked a hushed conversation with another Accepted that had been banished to the kitchens. The pair was washing dishes when the other woman had told Viviane that everything got easier after those first few weeks. There was now a bleak hope that she would survive the Sisters long enough to reach the Shawl. Apparently, the rough treatment was the Tower’s way of weeding out the weaklings that had snuck through the seams. Aes Sedai were servants to the people of this world. They were the reason the entire planet had made it this far since the Breaking. That was no easy feat. The Tower required strong women to lead mankind into the next Age. If a woman could not survive the trivial pains that Viviane was now being put through, then she did not stand a single chance at being Aes Sedai. Not even for a day! Dabbing at tears now spilled, Viviane brought herself up so that she was at least sitting on the ground, instead of lying upon it. This was no position for her to be in, even alone. What if someone walked in while she sat here pitying herself? It was no way for an Aes Sedai to behave, thus it was no way for an Accepted to behave. And that is exactly why I wove that ward. I just need one moment to myself. I’ll be blighted if any of the other women on my floor hear my cries tonight. Let them sleep... No. I shouldn’t even cry. Nor make an excuse for it… I am Viviane Accylon, first of the Accylon women to be raised to the Accepted in nearly 500 years. I am better than a few tears and wails. I have to do better. I will do better. This last month would have been more bearable if she had at least been able to do something that she wanted to do. The Accepted were suppose to be able to choose their own studies, but Viviane had not been able to do so yet. That was the one thing she had been looking forward to, especially after 10 long years in plain white. Instead, she was running errands for Aes Sedai, doing chores around the Tower, playing assistant for Clerks, the list was endless. Oh, it was nothing different than when she was a Novice, yet her workload had doubled; and those above her had seemed even colder in attitude than before. Every time Viviane had opened her mouth to anyone, they all responded as if her mere presence were an affront to their existence. It was all very frustrating. She had seen almost 30 name-days now, and here she was crying on the carpet of her tiny chamber. She was acting like a child, but dear Light, she felt like a child. Sure. Life was better here than it had been when she had to scrape by for crumbs on the back alleys of Camelyn. Really, Viviane had zero reasons to complain. But still. This treatment she was receiving did little to encourage her to persevere. I really don’t have any reason to complain. Suck it up Viviane! Things could be so much worse. Yes. I am proud to have gotten this far, but one couldn’t tell by looking at me. Grandmother would be furious if she could see me in such a state. I’d have a worse beating from her, than from the Mistress of Novices, to be sure. Pull yourself together, Viv. This won’t last forever. Nothing lasts forever. Nothing except the Wheel. With a grunt, she pushed herself from the floor and staggered over to her bed. Slipping her hand beneath the mattress, Viviane felt a momentary flash of panic. What if someone had found it while she had been scrubbing floors? The panic subsided as quickly as it appeared. That was a foolish thought of course. She had been so careful in sneaking it up here. And Light, she needed it! Ten years. Ten long years she had gone without a sip of wine. Not even at meals was she allowed a drink of the stuff, even when Winter reared its ugly head. She especially missed those nights with a warm mug of mulled spiced wine. Mother always made the best batches. Tonight she didn’t have that, though. Instead, she had to settle for something little better than cooking wine. Viviane pulled a waterskin from beneath her mattress with a flourish, smiling to herself triumphantly. The aforementioned wine was within, of course. Without wasting any time, Viviane uncorked the skin and drank deeply. The fact that the wine actually tasted good was a testament to how long it had been since she had a good drink. Unfortunately, she had not been able to get away with much. Viviane was all too aware that the amount she held would probably only give her a little tiny buzz tonight and a splitting headache the day after. She didn’t care. All the more reason to make the best of it while she felt it. What a gamble this is… If an Aes Sedai were to walk in and even suspect… I’d be halfway to Camelyn by morning. Best not to get too uppity, Viv. This is just a means of release. That is all. Everyone deserves to have one every now and then, even Accepted. Why I bet the Amryllin herself had done the same thing when she was in my shoes! Who could fault me just one sip? It’s not like I broke into the good stuff… Within moments the thing was empty of its contents and a nice warmth had spread throughout Viviane’s body. She tossed the waterskin into a wicker basket that contained her dresses that needed a wash. Tomorrow was her day at the scrubboards, so there was little worry that another would stumble upon the skin. A Sister would need only to open it up and take a sniff before knowing what Viviane had been up to. She shuddered at the thought. No. She’d rid herself of the thing in the morning, away from prying eyes. With a look around the room, Viviane’s eyes crossed her writing table. On it lay a letter from Mother. Viviane had read it hundreds of times since receiving it. The letters were her only connection to Mother and also the outside world. Accepted were able to enter the city of Tar Valon sometimes. Viviane had not had a free day since being raised, but she already had plans for it when the day did arrive. She would go out and see as much of the City as possible. Despite the petty hardships she suffered, Viviane had everything she could ask for in the Tower. Everything except a network of information. It had been whispered among Novices and Accepted that the Ajahs all had ‘Eyes and Ears’ out in the world, a means to stay abreast with current events. Viviane had something similar in Camelyn, although much cruder and much less effective. Really, it was just two or three other children in the area… Anyone that had lived on the streets had informants or other sources of information. Her needs in the future would be very different from any she had in the past, however. True. She had no use for a network of informants now, what schemes did she have? None. What interests in the world did she have? None. That’s not what this was about at the moment. Now was the time for forming relationships and cultivating trust. She was young and full of promise. A pretty face, some clever words, and carefully placed coin could reap benefits further down the line. Oh, I am being foolish to even be considering… The notion suddenly seemed haughty. Viviane hadn’t thought that way in years. She had been so focused on studying and discipline for so long… Perhaps it was the wine that was making her feel loose. No. It was definitely the wine. Viviane’s eyes still lingered on that letter from her Mother. Before realizing what she was doing, Viviane was standing before the writing table with the letter in her hands, going over the words again. Mother was doing well, if not thriving. The business had picked back up and Mother even had a few steady customers. It was still too early to tell if those customers would remain loyal, but otherwise, everything was looking up for the shop. She had even taken on a new apprentice, one of the local girls. Viviane had never met the girl. It was hard to accept, but Viviane knew it was inevitable if the shop was to remain open. She was to be Aes Sedai, of course, Mother should look for a replacement. I just hope this apprentice has not become a replacement daughter for her… I’ve bound myself to the Tower, but she will always be my Mother. I just couldn’t bear the thought… The rest of the letter was glowing praise and happiness at Viviane’s raising to the Accepted. Mother could not control her tongue around the neighbors either, it seemed. All of Camelyn had heard of Viviane’s raising if Mother was to be believed. That biting feeling of jealousy for the new apprentice quickly faded as Viviane finished reading the letter. There was no question of Mother’s love for her. I’m her daughter, she loves me, and I’m just being silly… Viviane dropped the letter to the desk and retreated back to the bed. A copy of Gilded Hearts and Lengthy Lords sat atop a short stool close by. Viviane grabbed the novel and sank back onto the stiff mattress. She didn’t make it three pages before the book fell atop her chest, as it rose and fell in rhythm with her snoring. Eyes firmly shut, Viviane slept deeply that night. She dreamt of a brighter future for Mother. One where Father was alive. Viviane was Aes Sedai in that dream and she had made sure that neither had to want for anything in the world. A smile stayed upon her face as the night passed into morning.
  5. 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.
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