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Seheria watched the bustle in the ajah halls erupt shortly after the end of the ceremony was announced. Word spread to the Ajah when the last of the Sisters from other ajahs emerged from the Chamber where the newest Sister was raising. The Yellows had long since been preparing for the addition of the newest, Celestine, but one never truly knew which direction a newly raised sister would take until the words were spoken. At the exit of the representatives of the six other ajahs it was known and spread back to the chosen ajah to start the preparations. Seheria scanned her closest looking for the most appropriate welcoming outfit. The Sisters always seemed to treat this day as an extra special one. Any excuse to have a little extra fun, she supposed. Her regular outfit wouldn't do, she would seem cold and disengaged. Perhaps bitter that she is getting further from being the new one. Too extravagant and she would be ridiculed for trying to steal the show. It was days like this she wished she had joined the Bowns. No one would care what I was wearing if I were Brown; no one would look up from their books long enough to notice if I was in a queen's crown or stark bare, and if I was either they would all assume it was research of some kind and pay no mind. The Yellows weren't so. They would judge in silence and keep a tally. At least, she knew she did that and she was Yellow. The child would be coming soon. Woman. The Woman would be coming. Sister, she corrected herself again. Light but it is hard to make the switch. I'll need to school this tongue and fast. The last thing I need is to insult the girl -woman- sister on her first day. She chose a light caramel coloured dress with a hem at the mid calf. The neckline rose tight to her jaw, sheer sleeves fell to her wrists ruffling out gently as they came to her hands. She accented with simple gold earrings and wore her dirty blonde hair in a simple updo. Enough to look like she put in an effort, but not like she was planning for days. She tended to wear accents of other colours, but it wouldn't do to welcome home a new yellow in the colours of another Ajah. The Yellow donned her own shawl and swelled with pride. It still hit her every time. How much she had worked to get where she was. What this simple piece of cloth represented. She worked for it and she earned it. She supposed the new yellow would be feeling all of this in full force. She joined the others in the hall, lining up to greet Celestine home. The Head and Sitters came through and they had the newest one beside them making their way through the halls. She stopped to introduce herself to each of the sisters and Seheria greeted her warmly when it was her turn. She was last to be introduced and while that would normally never be something the stubborn Yellow would settle for, she knew it was a place of honour so she held her head high and all but made a show of it. There were seven ajahs and seven places of honour when welcoming a new sister. The Head of course, and the two Sitters who went to the ceremony, the three newest Sisters to the Ajah would decorate the living quarters of the new arrival, and the last to greet her on her welcome home would be the one who will mentor her, help her ease her way in to really being a Sister of the Yellow ajah. Celestine can wear the Shawl, but that doesn't mean she is truly one of them. There are things all Yellows know and this girl did not know them yet. It would be Seheria's job to ensure the new Sister did not make a fool of the Ajah while wearing their colours before she knew any better. They exchanged pleasantries in the hall and the Head and Sitters said their goodbyes, retiring to their rooms. The others left in turn, some offering invitations to have the new sister join them for tea or walks. Seheria took a deep steadying breath, silently, and only let a slight flinch show as she leaned in to the kiss the woman's left cheek. Some traditions should be done away with, she thought, this should be the first! "Welcome, Sister." Seheria addressed her and let a pause fall to give the woman time to react to being called that again. It would take time for it to sink in. "I am sure you have had a trying day and could use a rest. I would show you to your own rooms, but I'm afraid they are not quite ready for you yet. Please, come join me for some tea, some talk, and a bit of a rest. Your day has been long and unlike any other since your arrival here, but I assure you, your journey is just as fresh now as it was when you first walked through the Tower doors. A new journey, mind, and one you are largely in control of...or will be, but a new beginning to a new way of life is starting before sundown." They entered Seheria's private sitting room and she ushered the woman to sit in a winged back chair. An Accepted who had come to work off some punishment time in the Yellow's quarters dropped into a curtsy when she saw the two Sisters come into the room. "If you'd like some tea, Sister, I'm sure the Child would happily steep it before she returns to her classes." It was a test of the newest sister. To see her resolve, her personality, and her ability to make the leap from just hours before having the same banded dress as the girl before them to now wearing the same shawl as the Aes Sedai. Seheria Sedai Aes Sedai of the Yellow Ajah Retro - Yellow Mentor
It was a sickle moon that hung in the night sky, disappearing on occasion behind the drifting clouds that threatened rain. It was a quiet night, the grounds of the White Tower seemed subdued in comparison to the recent celebration of Bel Tine. Most of the litter from the celebrations had been cleared up and much of the inhabitants of the White Tower were rejuvenating from a week long party of dancing. A patch of blackened grass was the result of a giant bonfire that had blazed, roasting various game that had been the reason for full stomachs. In the Accepted quarters, the buzzing of daily chores was still going on. For there were never true days of rest for the girls who aspired to be Aes Sedai. Dressed in banded white, Accepted imitated the grace of the Aes Sedai to the best of their abilities, maintaining smooth, serene faces as they went about their- "Ouch." ... went about their- "Ouch. Burn you!" ... their activities. "Ray-ray, I hardly touched you!" Regalia sighed and released Saidar. Her face was flushed and her hair was wet from sweatiness. She shut her eyes tightly to stop the dizziness that threatened to make her vomit. It wasn't enough though. She clapped her hands over her eyes and rubbed at her temples wearily. "My head hurts. Sorry Amadine. I've dripped sweat all over your carpet. And I'm too tired to embrace Saidar right now." She sat down suddenly. Her shift was stuck to her back and her legs felt like jelly. All in all, it wasn't a good night. But it was important. The hundred weaves they were practicing were totally useless and seemed much more trouble than they were worth, but failing any of them resulted in failure. Something Regalia would never allow for herself. Her hands trembling slightly, she tried to get up, and promptly fell on her bum. "Ouch." "I think you should rest, Ray-ray." Regalia looked at the only other Accepted in the room. Amadine was a pretty girl who had a smile that could light up a room. But tonight, her face was marked with weariness and her hands trembled slightly from exhaustion. Neither had had much opportunity to join the Bel Tine celebrations, opting instead to hole up in their rooms to focus on the Aes Sedai test. A few of their peers had gone for theirs and it terrified both of them that while two of their friends had passed and gained the shawl, others had disappeared into the night without a trace. Whether it was because they had left the White Tower voluntarily or that their tests had somehow gone wrong, noone knew. But understand the failure in what happened made both Accepted terrified. "Let me go and change out of this shift, then we can chat a little before bed. I think both of us had had enough." Regalia glanced at Amadine's side where a bruise had begun to form from her channeling. It hurt Regalia to do it, but they both needed to pass. And her own body was battered with wounds. They would succeed. Regalia would be Blue. And Amadine herself had chosen the Yellow. There would be no other way about it. Pulling herself up with the aid of the bedstead made Regalia wince in pain. Later there would be Healing of each other. And then it would be over for the night. Regalia stepped out of the room quickly and wiped herself off. She longed to take a quick bath, but it was far too late, and she was far too tired. Changing into a fresh nightdress, she stepped back over to Amadine's room and waited as her friend changed as well. She was just glad to have someone to share everything with.
The clouds drifted past the dreamy moon. And it was a dreamy room. Round and high in the sky, bright and yet not glaring enough to make you want to squint. Camigwen’s fingers lingered on the window skill, her eyes was lost. A sort of desperation for the day to be over. She was tired from classes all morning. And her back ached from the 100 weave practices her friends and her had been doing over the past months. In her mind she imagined the test to be far worse and part of her prepared for failure. “Bardin, my beloved brother, keep me safe this day.” She sighed and closed the curtains. Her room smelt of spices and dried herbs, and a slightly sinister looking skeleton model. A gift from one of the Yellow Sisters who had taken her under her wing. “Bardin, if only you could see me now.” The knock sounded as Camigwen sat down upon her bed, startling her and making her get up in a hurry. Her silky hair streaked behind her as she walked towards the door, her footsteps muted by the carpet that lay on the floor. Odd how details seemed to scream at her now. Patterns that could not be deciphered, a weave of complex knots, reminding her of the Healing weaves she herself had been schooled in. “Camigwen Klatsang Marivin, you are summoned to be tested for the shawl of an Aes Sedai, the light keep you whole and see you safe.” Camigwen froze at the words. Gorivin Crasula, the Mistress Novices’ face was serene, none of the usual warmth that greeted Camigwen when she met the Aes Sedai in classes or in the corridors. She wanted to speak. To say she was not ready. But that would not be. For she had been taught to maintain silence, to move as the escort moved and to believe in herself. Bardin, help me. Be with me, my brother. With a silent nod, Camigwen turned and shut the door behind her with a click. Her mind was chaos, but she worked her Novice exercises. A bud opening to the sun, and that calmed her down. With hushed footsteps she followed the Mistress of Novices. At this time of the night, there were few Accepted about, but those she passed gave her an encouraging smile. None dared approach her, for that was the rule. But she felt their love anyway, and was comforted. The path they took, Aes Sedai and Accepted, was familiar to Camigwen. Steps that led towards the chamber of testing, a place similar to the one she had gone to for her Accepted testing. Dark shadows danced across the walls as torches flickered slightly in the night breeze. Camigwen took it as a blessing, that the night was not hot and clammy as it had been the past few nights. The rain during the day had taken away most of the heat. At any rate, Camigwen’s mind was such a jumbled mess of thoughts the temperature bothered her not. But she had to breathe. Breathe. That helped a little. At least to loosen the knots she felt in her stomach. She relaxed her grip on her banded dress, a dress she prayed would no longer be needed after tonight. Breathe. It would happen. She would pass. And then she would be Aes Sedai. Healing those in need. And providing them succor in their times of pain. She would be Aes Sedai. There had to be no other way. Her thoughts were interrupted by the sensation of someone channeling nearby. In her shock she realized it was the Mistress of Novices, flows of Air, pushing two large doors open. Darkened by age and gilded, the doors reminded her of the great doors leading to the Hall of the Tower. Strange shapes were carved into them, many she did not recognize. Those that she did, were portrayed in ways she was not familiar with. But that was not to be her focus. Breathe. “Attend.” Gorivin Sedai’s voice was clear in the echoey interior of the large chamber. Aes Sedai of different Ajahs turned to look at them. Camigwen recognized many of them, having been through lessons and various channeling exercises with them. A large oval ring occupied the centre of the room and the seven Aes Sedai from each of the seven Ajahs moved to from a ring around it. “You come in ignorance Camigwen Klatsang Marivin, how would you depart?” Ancient words intoned by the sister who wore a Red shawl. Rosum Thorava Sedai. A lesson in Shielding. “In knowledge of myself.” Camigwen smiled slightly. Her voice did not waver. But she knew this was barely anything to be proud of. Breathe. “For what reason have you been summoned here?” “To be tried.” Camigwen swallowed, moistening a throat that had quickly dried up. “For what reason should you be tried?” “So that I may learn whether I am worthy.” “For what would you be found worthy?” Camigwen shut her eyes and opened them. This was what her past few decades of life were for. “To wear the shawl.” Breathe. "Therefore I will instruct you. You will see the sign upon the ground." Saidar glowed around the Mistress of Novices. A six pointed star appeared drawn in Fire. Camigwen stared at it with worried eyes. Behind her, she felt someone channel something that touched her head. She did not turn, but recognized the voice that spoke. "Remember what must be remembered." Jindarla Sedai. A Blue. She had taught Daes Dae’mar. And had marveled at how quickly Camigwen had picked it up. No time for memories. Focus. Breathe. And so it continued. "When you see that sign, you will go to it immediately, at a steady pace, neither hurrying nor hanging back, and only then may you embrace the Power. The weaving required must begin immediately, and you may not leave that sign until it is completed." "Remember what must be remembered." "When the weave is complete, you will see that sign again, marking the way you must go, again at a steady pace, without hesitation" ”Remember what must be remembered." "One hundred times you will weave, in the order you have been given and in perfect composure", "Remember what must be remembered." It ended as abruptly as it started. And Camigwen took a deep breath. Her face was unreadable as she was led to the starting point of the test. Shutting her eyes, she started her Novice exercises again, her fingers undoing the buttons of her banded dress as she opened herself to the sun. Part of her was tempted to embrace Saidar, but that was not allowed. One by one, her dress, her shift, her stockings, everything was piled onto the table. And finally, she removed the Great Serpent ring. A symbol of all she was living for. Nothing made her feel more naked. But it would only be for a while. Not long. Breathe. Once again the chamber filled with the glow of the sisters, who had begun channeling something incredibly complex. But their glow was no match for the blinding white light that emanated from the oval ring. Its glare made Camigwen squint a little. But it did not soften her resolve. It was time. With a steady pace, she walked forward. Her nakedness forgotten. Her beauty no longer of use to her. Her love for others, only adding to her determination. Her memory of lessons became a distant whisper. She would be Aes Sedai this day. She stepped through. Breathe.
"I've been hunted, captured and neutered. What could you possibly want from me?". Nynaeve considered the man for a moment. Sympathy surfaced, yet she knew that what was done to him had to be done. There was no way around it. Channeling men couldn't be allowed to roam around free. They couldn't be trusted with the power they possessed, whether they had high potential or not. The faintest use of the power could be lethal in the hands of a lunatic. They had to be denied of Saidin at any cost or otherwise they'd spread destruction every way they turned. "I want to study you, Joseph. For that, I need your consent. I wouldn't be able to do it properly if you fight me." Joseph's bitter laugh rang in Nynaeve's ears. His face was hollow and his eyes were emotionless. The combination sent chills down her spine. Joseph was condemned by the White Tower to a life without Saidin. It was a well known fact that most men didn't survive long after a gentling. Taking away their access to the source seemed to take away their will to live as well. Nynaeve hoped to find a way to prevent that through her study. She refused to believe that doing the right thing had to result in death. Even if it was not immediate, gentling and stilling seemed to be a death sentence. "What could you possibly learn from me? I'm nothing but a shell of the person I once was. Thanks to you and your kind." Nynaeve wrinkled her brows. He was resentful. But it was a defeated hate. She had no doubt that the man that was standing in front of her was only a speck of what he used to be. With his spirit broken and what he cherished the most taken away, he didn't seem to want to carry on. Could she blame him? "You will not cooperate, then?", Nynaeve inquired. She didn't usually beat around the bush and liked to go straight to the point. If the man refused to help, pressure would have to be applied. It was in everyone's best interest for him to be persuaded. And even if Joseph would never have believed it, she did not wish to put him through more grief. He went through enough as it was. Joseph never responded. Was that a reply in itself? "Your family came looking for you earlier." An emotion passed over Joseph's expression like a shadow. "Tell them I'm gone. Dead and buried." His eyes burned of remorse, yet they were determined. Nynaeve smiled. "No." His empty eyes locked with hers as fury washed over them. "If you meet me on a daily basis for sessions, I will arrange for them to leave, ignorant of your presence here. If you refuse, you will have to face your wife and children and tell them that they're simply not important enough for you to want to carry on living. Your wife's name is Jusie, correct? She's a stunning woman. And little Toby has the biggest crystal blue eyes I've ever seen. The way they shine up when you….". Nynaeve's words were cut off as the man hurled himself at her, his hands going to her throat. Weaving some air threads hastily, she stopped Joseph, who was now only inches away. She knew his family would be a risky card to use. But he left her no choice by refusing to help her. She could not stand aside and see so many men die when their only crime was to be cursed by two things. Being able to channel and being male. There had to be a solution and Nynaeve had to find it. It was time for everyone to realize that Yellows could heal more then just wounds. They could heal lives as well. "No need to get agitated, Joseph. I was simply complimenting your lovely family, that is all." Nynaeve eyed him for a moment and then released the weaves that surrounded him. "I'm trusting you here, Joseph. Care to return the favor?" Joseph's expression seemed pained. He was thinking of his family, no doubt. Tears started to slide down his cheeks. He leaned against the wall and slid slowly down, his knees giving away. "You will tell them…the shame….I love them but….I can't….". Nynaeve rested her hand on his shoulder. "It will be taken care of. Rest now. We'll speak again tomorrow." Nynaeve left the room, pleased at her progress. If Joseph only knew that their session really started when she first stepped into the room. Nyn Yellow