Mystica    -   Posted 04 June 2008 - 10:24 PM


She crossed the bridge linking the mainland to the island of Tar Valon holding her head down and flinching internally as one of the Guards stopped her and demanded her name and business in Tar Valon. Carina tried to keep her voice as meek as possible as she informed the Guard that she was on her way to the Mistress of Novices. She did not know this man or if he could be trusted, eventhough he seemed to be in the employ of the White Tower. So she tried to be as vague and as short as possible without seeming rude, or so she hoped. The Guard looked at her for a few moments, then nodded his head in the general direction of the one structure that had dominated her view since dawn the day before. The Tower hadn’t stolen it’s name and she had wondered how they managed to keep it so white that it literally hurt the eyes when the sun was up, reflecting it as though to imprint it’s majesty into every passerby’s head permanently.

It wasn’t hard to find her way to the square in front of the Tower as all roads seem to be leading that way, but Carina felt extremely out of place in her travelworn clothes and her, less than apropriate, appearance for such a grand city. The looks the locals and other visitors were casting her didn’t help her feel any more at ease either. She did her best not to bump into anyone, which was not an easy feat with the streets humming like a bee’s hive with merchants, residents, children and visitors all crowding every where you looked. A few times she would have been run over, or even slapped by the whip of some noble or other, if the Guards hadn’t been patroling the streets or a resident local didn’t grab her and pulled her out of harm’s way. She murmered her thanks each time, adding a bow, as curtsying would have been awkward now that she was garbed in trousers, and hurried along before they could ask too many questions. When she finally made her way to the square her breath faltered at the sight of the Tower in it’s entirety. Oddly enough the square itself seemed almost abandoned compared to the number of people in the streets elsewhere in the city. Here and there individuals or small groups of people were making their way to or from the huge stairs leading up to what looked to be the entrance. Always it seemed that those returning from the Tower had a quicker step that those walking up to it. She could well understand that, now that she stood in front of what was the hub of Aes Sedai power in the world. That much she remembered of her classes and it was enough to make her gulp several times as her nerves finally threatened to get the better of her.

Taking a seat on the ground, Carina leaned against the side of one of the huge trees flanking the square and reflected on her journey there. She wasn’t quite yet ready to face what would lie beyond those doors and welcomed the opportunity to postpone the necessity for a little while longer.

Manuel and Jaheera Al’Tara, she tasted the names of her birth parents in her thoughts for what must be the thousandth’s time. Parents she couldn’t remember, who had passed away before she was old enough to form a lasting memory of them in her conscious mind. Who were they, or better…. Who had they been? Carina sighed, as no amount of wondering or thinking would bring the answer. She thought of her adoptive parents, Malya and Farook Tomian from Barleon, the town she had lived in untill she was ten. FaFa, she chuckled inwardly, as she fondly remembered the name she used for the only man she knew as a father. Her eyes were drawn to the imposing structure across the square and her mind inevitably wandered towards the reason of her being there. And what she’d had to endure to get to this point…

I will ‘not’ fail you, she thought fiercely, recalling the face of the man who had given his life to protect her. She made it a point to recall that face at least once a day, ever since she had to bury him in that unmarked grave in the forest. It had given her the strength to do what must be done and to endure what must be endured to see her goal reached. Putting her hand in her pocket, Carina clasped the piece of paper inside that contained her shame. Her other hand going up to her chest, checking automatically that the note she was to present to the Mistress of Novices was still secured against her skin.

It had been a long and dangerous journey from Malkier to Tar Valon, one that had left it’s mark on sixteen year old Carina. She had been forced to ... Gah! I can’t even think the foul thing! She thought as she spat on the ground. Steal, damn you! You stole! Crumpling the note in her pocket, Carina struggled with herself and the things she’d had to do to reach this place. It had better be worth it, she though sourly, for it will be a long time till I’ll be able to look myself in the face again without feeling like a filthy thief. Again she brought the image of the manservant she buried to her mind’s eye and again her resolve strengthened. Even in death he continued to serve. If ever there was a soul worthy to be taken into the Creator’s hand. She did not even know the man’s name, for the Aes Sedai that sent him with her on her journey had not bothered to tell her. She doubted that Lord and Lady Proga’Rhan knew. What possible debt could they have owed my birth father that they have agreed to take me in and educate me? Carina mused for the umpteeth time and got the same answer she always got... Silence. They had been kind to her and had treated her well, but warmth or love was nowhere to be found in any of their actions. Duty, honor, service. Those had been the three determining factors of anything they had done for and with Carina. And though she did not think of them badly, neither was she able to feel the warmth she felt towards her adoptive parents. The Lord and Lady had been her teachers, her instructors, her guides. There had been no familiarity of any sort, no bond that would last a lifetime, no friendship. She was their duty, a responsibility not to be taken lightly for sure, yet not something you grow close to.

Steeling herself, Carina got up from her spot on the ground and tried to fix up her garments, failing miserably in the attempt. She wore a man’s trousers and a woman’s blouse… another thing you stole, ya’ little low life, her mind accusedly mocked her before she could stop it. Carina had taken to wearing trousers on the second week of her journey as they were much easier to manoeuver in, there in the wild. It also had provided some much needed protection from men with less than honorable intentions, the thought of which still shocked the honorbound young woman to her core. How anyone could sink ‘so’ low, was truelly beyond her. Her hand grasped her arm where a scar marked the slash she received on that day her protector was killed and she took a few steadying breaths before crossing the square and entering the lion’s lair.

Inside the White Tower, Carina looked around uncertainly wondering how she was going to find this Mistress of Novices. People were lining up against the walls at both sides, some standing, some sitting, some pacing up and down in obvious anxiety of what lay ahead. Girls all garbed in white moved between the people, offering cups of water or speaking softly while other young women, in white dresses that had a band of different colors at the hem, hurried about self-importantly, from time to time taking one of the waiting folks through one of the open doors into the Tower. Carina decided to go stand against the wall, waiting for one of them to address her. She wasn’t in any big hurry to get on with this, to be perfectly honest. Waiting seemed like a very good activity just now.

“Welcome. How may the White Tower help you?”

Looking up, Carina couldn’t hide the surprise on her face as she hadn’t expected to be addressed so quickly. The young woman standing before her, all garbed in white, smiled somewhat condescendingly taking in Carina’s travelworn outfit. Carina frowned at the girl, who obviously was not very interested in how the Tower may help her and she couldn’t help but growl internally at the hypocricy of the girl. What a fool thing to do, she thought. Why ask a question if you’re obviously not even the slightest bit interested in the answer? Tsk’ing to herself, Carina informed the girl that she was sent by an Aes Sedai to deliver a note to the Mistress of Novices and that she was to give it to her personally.

The girl sniffed at that and turned without another word to go talk to one of those women with the colored bands. Carina couldn’t help but feel a stab of satisfaction when she saw the latter talking the girl down in such a way that had her curtsey on the spot before she turned and ran into the Tower. Shaking her head, the color banded woman straightened her dress and walked over to Carina and smiled. A warm and honest smile, this time.

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Tigara -  Posted 05 June 2008 - 04:59 AM


Jasmyne hated lobby duty! It was her iron will to not be unpleasant that kept her from beating the annoying lady who wanted to be Aes Sedai, but was over 40 and couldn't channel a lick. A novice tapped her on the shoulder, which pleased her. They stopped tapping on her head after she threatened to kick them out a window. They believed her. She makes no idle threats. The Novice told her there was a girl to see the Mistress of Novices. They did it to spite her. No one else was ever sent with girl to see Larindhra Sedai. It had to be Jasmyne. She dressed that novice down good, she did. Maybe that would stop the trips.

She put on her most convincing smile and wandered over to the girl waiting by the wall. "I heard you are here to see the Mistress of Novices. Please, follow me." The girl got up and followed Jasmyne, not really sure what she was doing. Did the girl not know? Well, she would know soon enough.

She knocked twice, paused, then once more. That was her knock, so Larindhra said. She opened the door. "Larindhra Sedai, girl to see you." she said semi-grimly and prodded the girl in and closed the door behind her.

Jasmyne Ceres
Trying very hard to be pleasant...and failing.

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Mystica   -  Posted 05 June 2008 - 08:11 AM


"I heard you are here to see the Mistress of Novices. Please, follow me." The woman said to Carina and instantly turned and marched towards one of the doors leading away from the main entrance.

Hm, Carina thought, not so honest after all. What was wrong with these people that they felt the need to be dishonest all the time? Keeping pace to the woman, Carina was taken deeper into the Tower and up several flights of stairs, rounding more corners than she could remember, and up to a room where yet another color banded dressed woman was seated on a bench against the wall.

Her escort knocked twice then once on the door in front of them and entered te room. She could hear her voice coming through the opening of the door and her eyebrows shot up at the tone this woman used with the Mistress of Novices. Having had her studies in the borderland, one lesson no one ever failed to learn... You showed proper respect to Aes Sedai. Strange folk, Carina mused but shrugged it off internally as none of her business.

Carina stood, hand in pocket grasping the hated note, waiting for what was to come. She felt the eyes of the woman on the bench piercing through her back even before a voice called responded “Show her in, Jasmyne” from beyond the doors ahead. Her escort wasted even less time exiting the room as she did entering and gave Carina a shove towards the door, making the already exhausted young woman almost trip over her own feet and stumble inside the room. She rounded on the woman only to be staring at the other side of the now closed door. Muttering to herself about manners, Carina turned and stopped.

Scanning the room as she turned, her eyes went to the desk behind which sat the most imposing woman she had ever seen. Eyes that pierced right through her from the second she set foot in the room were following her every move in a face that could not be given an age. The girl gulped yet again, which seemed to become an unpleasant habbit of hers of late, and made her bow while fishing for the note in her bodice. As she came out of her bow, Carina licked her lips, whiped the annoyance from her face and addressed the lady in front of her.

“Forgive my intrusion and my appearance, Aes Sedai, for I did not take the time to delay in delivering this note to the Mistress of Novices as I was bidden to by one of the Sisters in Malkier.”

Extending both her hands, Carina offered the note to the woman in the red dress who had been sitting silently with those piercing eyes the whole time. Unsure as to what to do next, since no indication of emotion or thought came from the lady, Carina stood and waited.

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Elgee   -   Posted 08 June 2008 - 12:29 PM


Larindhra braced herself as she heard the now familiar knock on her door.  Only Jasmyne knocked like that.  What has that dreadful child done now? Why can’t she learn to at least ACT like a good little Accepted? She sighed, then schooled her face to careful neutrality before calling for the girl to enter. Things went as they did, these days: Jasmyne entered, Jasmyne was rude, Larindhra picked up her quill and scribbled in the punishment book, Jasmyne bared her teeth and bobbed a small curtsy in acknowledgement of yet another round of scrubbing pots, Jasmyne shoved the visitor inside and slammed the door shut.  They didn’t even need to exchange words anymore.  Something would have to be done to break the cycle, or Jasmyne would never reach her full potential.

Larindhra gave only half her attention to the travel-stained girl who stumbled in, spoke very politely and offered her a note. She broke the seal and scanned the note absentmindedly, slightly surprised to see it came from a Green she hardly knew, but still pondering the dilemma of how to deal with Jasmyne. Suddenly the words on the parchment penetrated, and Larindhra had to strain her self-control to keep her jaw from dropping.  Her eyes flew to the girl hovering uncertainly in front of her desk, seeing her properly for the first time. It can’t be! After all this time? Surely we would have heard … someone would have … it’s been 20 years! … Light, she’s the splitting image of her!

Thoughts tumbled through her head too fast to form clearly. Who should she speak to about this? The Yellows? The Browns? The Mother? Slowly she brought herself back under control. Focus on the girl, for now – the rest can be … sorted out … later. So the girl could learn to channel.  Hardly surprising, considering her lineage.

“Your mother was Jaheera … Al’Tara?” Manuel Al’Tara … Had that been the name of Jaheera’s Warder? She didn’t really take note of Warders. They came and went so fast – barely thirty years, if they were lucky, and then their Aes Sedai had to find a new one. She wondered how her sisters could bear to lose so many friends, through the years. Sometimes she thought her own Ajah refused to bond out of sheer cowardice.  She gave herself another mental shake, drawing the Novice Book towards her and reaching for her quill.

“So you are here to become a novice. Lets get your details down, child … sit, girl!” She pointed to the chair in front of her, then dipped her quill into the ink. “Most of it is here in this letter, but why don’t you tell me about yourself in your own words?” Maybe the Green had been mistaken … no: the child’s resemblance to Jaheera was too close, coupled with the names … she had to be her child.

Larindhra Reyne
Mistress of Novices

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Mystica - Posted 08 June 2008 - 01:13 PM


Carina stood patiently in front of the MoN’s desk, awaiting her instructions. Her mind drifted off and she almost sighed at the prospect of a nice warm bath and clean clothes. How she was to get those without money though, she didn’t know, but she hoped maybe the Tower would allow her to freshen up before setting out to Malkier again. This trip, though painfull and sorrowfull, had been a good training excercise towards her goal of becoming a forest ranger and she was eager to start the next level of her studies towards that goal again. Suddenly, the Aes Sedai in front of her spoke and Carina focussed her mind to the present again.

“Your mother was Jaheera … Al’Tara?”

The girl’s head jerked up and her eyes popped open in astonished surprise. How in the Light did she know that?, Carina stammered to herself, but before she could stotter her reply, the Sister spoke again.

“So you are here to become a novice. Lets get your details down, child … sit, girl!”

Unable to stop herself, a gasp errupted from Carina’s mouth at the proclamation she was to become a novice. Novice?? Her? That Sister in Malkier never said anything about her becoming a Novice. Yes, she had tested her, but surely that was to see if she was trustworthy to deliver a note and maybe able to make the journey?. Carina plopped down on the chair, her head dropped, her body stooped in desperation as a multitude of doors started to close one by one in her mind. Her career as a forest ranger would never be. I will never be able to work with the animals I love so much, she lamented silently. Fighting back the treatening storm of depression that was looming over her, Carina tried to grasp at something to keep from falling completely under the controle of her fears. Desperate to find anything, her mind twirled and suddenly an idea came to her. This must be a mistake!, she thought. Part of her knew though, Sisters don’t make mistakes. Stubbornly she held on to that one tiny thread of hope that would prevent her from having this doomed future. For no good could surely come of this, she was certain. Right at that moment, the Aes Sedai spoke again. Crushing that fragile thread into oblivion.

“Most of it is here in this letter, but why don’t you tell me about yourself in your own words?”

There was nothing for Carina but to obey the Sisters command and a peace came over her as it does when facing the inevitability of what lay ahead. These were Aes Sedai, they had to be obeyed. And that was the end of it.

“Forgive Aes Sedai as I was quite surprised that I was to become a novice. The Sister in Malkier never mentioned that. Not that she had to, of course!" Carina quickly added, lest the Sister would think her rude. "The possibility just never occured to me. Yes, my birth mother was Jaheera Al’Tara and my father was Manuel Al’Tara. I was born in Barleon but was taken in by my adoptive parents at the age of 5, for my birth parents had died. I only learned of their existance when I turned 10 and was to be sent to a Malkieren house for my education. There it was that I met the Sister that sent me to you. They have been very kind to me, Lord and Lady Proga’Rhan and I learned all they would teach me. I’m afraid though, with my interest laying in becoming a forest ranger, that my knowledge of all things of the White Tower and Tar Valon is severely lacking.”

Clutching her hands together, Carina couldn’t hide the wistfull feelings she was struggling with on her face and she looked absolutely heartbroken. A girl caught in the grasp of a future she feared yet couldn’t break free of.
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Elgee   -  Posted 11 June 2008 - 10:19 PM


So Jaheera was dead after all. Pity, that – it would have been interesting to learn … Larindhra shelved the matter for later, forcing herself to focus only on the girl.  A very despondent looking little thing, for sure.  Polite too, but that was only to be expected, from someone raised in Malkier.

“A forest ranger, child? Well, there are many paths an Aes Sedai can follow, many Talents one might manifest.  Who knows where your path may lead you? You might find your calling amongst the Browns – they will study anything. Or maybe the Blues – they are Seekers after Causes, and there is nothing to say that the preservation and protection of the forests cannot be a cause. But for now, let us concentrate on getting you settled in. You will have to pay better attention to things now, my dear – to ALL things, not just those that take your fancy.” She eyed Carina sternly. “You are one of the very few who can learn to channel, Carina. Along with that ability comes responsibility.”

As she searched through the novices clothes in her storeroom, she pondered whom to assign as Carina’s Mentor. It would need to be someone that would serve as a role model, but also one with empathy for a rather lost and lonely young girl. And someone trustworthy, who would know not to speak out of turn.  Only one person came to mind – Raslyn. Larindhra handed Carina a set of clothes, instructing her to try them on and let the seamstresses adjust them if need be. “Tomorrow you can meet me here at the same time – I will introduce you to your Mentor; she will instruct you on the rules of the Tower, and help you adjust to life here. I suggest you go have a nice hot bath, now.  The novice on duty outside will take you to your room.” She dismissed Carina with a rather vague smile.


Larindhra Reyne
Mistress of Novices

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Mystica  -   Posted 12 June 2008 - 06:54 PM


“A forest ranger, child? Well, there are many paths an Aes Sedai can follow, many Talents one might manifest.  Who knows where your path may lead you?"

Carina's head came up at that and a shiver of hope returned to them as the realisation dawned on her that Aes Sedai could do whatever they wanted, wherever they wanted and at whatever time they choose. She had expected many more years before she would become a fully trained forest ranger, so having to spend years studying to become Aes Sedai did not scare her. Hard work and long days never bothered Carina. Her spirits brightened up a bit and she listened intently as the MoN spoke again.

"You will have to pay better attention to things now, my dear – to ALL things, not just those that take your fancy.” She eyed Carina sternly. “You are one of the very few who can learn to channel, Carina. Along with that ability comes responsibility.”

She flinched at that. Worrying that she had already gotten on the wrong foot of this woman, who was bound to become quite important in her immediate future, Carina chastised herself for letting that piece of information slip out of her. Instantly though, her honour bound morals rebuked the chastising, calling it honesty and therefore a must. The girl was pondering how to assure the MoN that she would do her utmost best to learn all that they would teach her when the Sister came out of the little back room behind her desk, carrying what looked like a white dress she'd seen that other girl wear. The dress of a novice, she deducted. Obeying the MoN's command, Carina started to strip down and tried on the dress, which fell a bit loose around her waist and a bit wide around her shoulders. She folded up her clothes and transferred the note of shame to the pocket of her new dress. Carina didn't even consider telling the MoN as this was her burden to bare and she would do so in private and silence. Not bothering others with it. She handed her clothes to the MoN when the Sister motioned for them and listened to her further instructions.

“Tomorrow you can meet me here at the same time – I will introduce you to your Mentor; she will instruct you on the rules of the Tower, and help you adjust to life here. I suggest you go have a nice hot bath, now.  The novice on duty outside will take you to your room.”

Carina made a perfect curtsey, one of the things learned in Malkier, and replied thankfully.

"As you command, Aes Sedai. I shall return tomorrow. Thank you, I am looking forward to a bath."

She understood she was dismissed and turned towards the door, feeling quite odd in her white dress. After weeks in trousers it took some getting used to skirts again. Carina couldn't help but feel somewhat exposed, with the slight breeze traveling under and up her skirts. She stepped outside the office and silently closed the door. Hopefully the novice won't be that same twit of a girl that first spoke to me in the entrance hall, she thought and turned to face whoever was waiting to take her to her room.

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Taymist  --  Posted 13 June 2008 - 10:35 PM


Kiyi flicked a few errant curls back over her shoulder and silently debated with herself over the inherent evils of both scrubbing floors and standing outside the Mistress of Novice's office. She really couldn't decide which chore was worse as she surreptitiously shifted her weight from one hurting foot to the other. Attempting a curtsy to a passing Sister at the same time proved not to be the best idea and she just caught her balance by flinging a hand out against the door frame.

Recovering her equilibrium, she smoothed her dress down self consciously, trying to ignore the gaggle of giggling novices further down the hall who'd obviously noted her predicament. Silly chits, she frowned. Sighing lightly and wishing she could be back in her room, she heard the door behind her open and turned to see a young woman exiting.

Another new girl, Kiyi thought, spotting the crisp novice dress, the tired stoop of the shoulders and looked her over in open curiousity, taking in the pitch black hair and the eyes, which were a startling shade of blue. Poor thing, she looks exhausted and as shocked as I felt when I arrived.

Moving forward, she smiled tentatively but warmly at the girl as she spoke quietly.

"Can I help you? I take it you're newly arrived? I'm a novice too. My name is Kiyissalle... " she trailed off on a slightly questioning note, self conscious as always of the unpleasant rasp in her voice.

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Mystica   -  Posted 14 June 2008 - 12:13 AM


Carina looked at the novice addressing her and was rather startled to hear such a voice linked to such beauty. But then she noticed the eyes. Full of compasion and sympathy, they glowed warmly and the words coming out of that mouth suddenly sounded beautiful as well. Bone tired and sore all over, on top of the exhaustion dropped on her head by the realisation of the new course her life had taken, she couldn't help but wonder. Are you another one masking yourself behind polite and fake friendly words, Kiyisalle?

"Thank you, Kiyisalle. Yes I just arrived. My name is Carina Al'Tara." She glanced at the giggling novices further down the hall, frowning in thought as to what it was they found so amusing. Once again self conscious about her appearance, this time in the sparkling white yet too large dress, Carina thought it quite rude of them to make fun of her that way. She focussed her mind back on the novice standing in front of her and cast her a tired, apologetic smile. "Forgive my appearance, please, I'm afraid that I'm not doing this dress much honor at the moment. The MoN told me a novice on duty here would take me to my room and that I might take a bath. Could you please tell me which person I need to go with?"

Concentrating on just standing up, Carina couldn't help but sway a little from shere fatigue. This girl seemed very warm and nice, but then maybe her tired mind was playing tricks on her. She started to wonder if anyone in this place would ever be honest in deed or word. Is this what I am supposed to become? She wondered, slightly panicking at the thought. Am I to become so devious as to hide myself behind mask after mask? Will there be no honesty in my life here? The thought so upset the poor girl that a profound look of sadness draped itself over her face and she stood there, staring into nothing, too tired to battle that new demon in her head.

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Taymist   -  Posted 14 June 2008 - 10:04 PM


"Very nice to meet you Carina," Kiyi smiled more confidently and, on impulse, patted the girl's shoulder sympathetically. "Appearances matter little. The dresses are horrendous but we all have to put up with them. You'll get others that will fit better. Come on, let's get you settled in. I'll take you along to your room so you can freshen up. Larindhra Sedai said that the next novice would be put into the room beside ours... I have two room mates you see. Then we can deal with getting you something to eat and drink before you rest up. How does that sound?"

Carina's eyes seemed to brighten a little at the prospect and she nodded her agreement as Kiyi walked off down the hall, ensuring that her charge was following. The warren of corridors was quieter now and their light footsteps echoed faintly off the high ceilings, the sound dampened only a little by the heavy tapestries covering the walls.

"It will all seem very confusing to begin with Carina but try not to worry about it. I think I got lost a hundred times on my first few days," she threw back over her shoulder and, laughing lightly, added with a conspiratorial wink, "I still do now and then but it gets easier."

What had once seemed a long walk to Kiyi now passed by quickly though she was sure it must have felt interminable to the tired girl behind her. Rounding a final corner into the novice quarters, she paused outside one door and listened in horror to the shouting emanating from the other side. A loud thud against the wood made her jump before she turned to look sheepishly at Carina.

"That's my room and that... noise... will be Esther and Deanne arguing again," she rolled her eyes to show her opinion of that as she moved on and opened the next door. "And this is your room Carina. There's fresh water on the stand over there if you'd like to wash. I'll go and see about some food. I'm sure you'd like a few moments of peace to gather your thoughts," she smiled again at the tired girl looking around the small room, "If you need anything else, just knock on our door...."

Kiyi wound down, suprised at herself and all the talking she was doing. Maybe, just maybe, being at the Tower was having a positive effect already.

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Mystica   -   Posted 15 June 2008 - 10:02 AM


Carina's spirit returned somewhat at the confirmation that she would also be getting something to eat and she nodded eagerly at Kiyi when she asked how a meal sounded to her. With all that had happened, the thought of food never entered her mind, but now her stomach violently reminded her of it's existence and all but bounced out of her at the prospect of getting some much needed nourishment. Trying to keep up with Kiyi Carina drew on her endurance training to keep from falling to the ground at every step. She barely managed to keep herself straight and it was all she could do to keep up on a walk that seemed to go on forever.

All her energy was pored into walking and she didn't respond to any of Kiyi's comments untill they were at her room. Her eyes popped open and her brow lifted at the sound of fighting behind the doors of Kiyi's room. Looking at Kiyi, Carina was quite releaved to see the girl didn't endorse that event any more than she herself did. Along the way to her room she had come to the realisation that this might be someone she could become friends with. The raspy voice long forgotten, Kiyi touched a string of Carina's heart. A thing that had not happened in a long time and it warmed her more than any fire could. Casting Kiyi a heartfelt smile she followed her to what was to be her own room, right next door of the two shouting girls.

Looking over the small room she noted that everything, though worn and old, was clean and well kept. At Kiyi's indication of the wash stand, Carina frowned slightely in thought. "Is that what they consider a bath here?" She wondered but kept her thoughts to herself, lest she would insult this nice girl who so generously offered to bring her some food. And she was very greatfull to Kiyi, for it had been a long time since anyone had shown her any kindness.

"Thank you, Kiyisalle, yes you are quite right. I'm still quite shocked to find out that I'm to become an Aes Sedai, you see? I hope you are not offended by my silence along the way, it was all I could do to concentrate on putting one foot in front of the other." Casting Kiyi a shy smile, Carina sat down on the foot of the bed but got up immediately. "Um, I think it might be best for me to wash up first. I'm afraid I'll fall straight asleep if I even think of sitting on the bed." Her stomach loudly announced it's objection to her sleeping without food and Carina' quickly slapped her hand against her mouth. "Oh dear, forgive me! It's been 3 days since I last ate and I think my stomach is not a bit amused by that."

Horrified that she might have seriously offended the other novice, Carina dropped her eyes at her feet, not knowing how to make amends for this lack of propriety.

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 Taymist   -  Posted 17 June 2008 - 06:46 PM


The look on Carina's face was almost comical when she noted the wash stand and a broad grin spread across Kiyi's face at the sound of Carina's stomach rumbling.

"A meal will take the edge off that and you'll get a proper bath never fear. You're doing better than I did on my first night," her eyes twinkled at the memory, "I was asleep before I could even make it to the dining hall. Esther had to bring me up some food and I had it the next morning. I won't be long."

With those words of comfort, Kiyi withdrew, closing the door softly. She paused outside her own room once more, listening for a moment and was relieved that the noise had stopped. She just hoped her room mates hadn't actually killed one another!!

It didn't take her long to reach the dining hall which was mostly empty at this hour. Many of the Sisters would take their meals in their own quarters she'd learned, so only a few Accepted could be seen having a late dinner. She made her way to the kitchen and meekly submitted her request to one of the cooks. The woman smiled in a motherly fashion and bustled about for a few moments filling a small tray with a bowl of hot broth, some bread, a juicy looking apple and a mug of hot milk. "There you are dearie, be careful, no spilling that in the halls or you'll be set to scrubbing floors."

"Thank you," Kiyi murmured with a small bob of her head, taking the tray and balancing it carefully before retracing her steps far more slowly to the Novice quarters. Unsure whether Carina would have had long enough to tidy up, she knocked softly and waited for the girl's call before entering.

"Feeling any better?" she queried with a raised eyebrow. At Carina's nod, she placed the tray on the small table beside the bed. "Good, get this inside you and that will improve tenfold. I expect you have to meet your mentor tomrrow so best get some sleep. You'll find little time for rest after that between chores and classes I'm afraid so make the most of it."

Glancing round the room and satisfied that she'd done all she could for Carina, Kiyi smiled and headed to the door. "Good night Carina and welcome once more. Rest well. No doubt I'll see you at breakfast."

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Mystica - Posted 19 June 2008 - 08:19 AM


As Kiyi left to get the food, Carina walked over to the mirror. "So, you're going to be Aes Sedai." She mumbled at her reflection. It was a sorry looking thing that stared back at her, indeed. Hair dirty and clinging to the side of her head, smudges of road dust all over her face and eyes that seemed to have withdrawn into the depts of their sockets as if hiding from the outside world. A vague thought fluttered through Carina's mind of how odd it was that none had shrieked out, horrified at this creature walking their midst.

The thought was quickly pushed aside by others though. "How did the MoN know about my birth parents," she wondered again. "Did the Aes Sedai in Malkier know her mum?" She knew enough of the sisters to know that they don't say or do anything without reason or purpose, though what those were only sisters could know. And everyone knew they weren't ones to volunteer their knowledge with others much. She silently growled at the rule the Proga'Rhans had laid upon her never to speak of her birth parents.

"Servant of all...." She mused. "When all I ever wanted to be was a servant of the forest animals." But the MoN had said that Aes Sedai could pick any road in life they choose and she readily believed it. Her eyes drifted to the dress she was wearing, of which she only saw the top of. Hanging askew, with one shoulder bared by the too large fabric, Carina tilted her head a the pecular style of fashion that seemed. An image floated in her mind of dresses or bodices worn like that. "Light!" she exclamed as she realised what she was thinking. "I'm becoming as bad as a domani!"

She turned away from the mirror and looked forlongly at the bed, beckoning her, pleading her to test out it's softness, battling her rationale and willpower. A knock on the door tore her away from the mental fight and she smiled at Kiyi entering, carrying a tray.

Carina nodded at the girl as she asked if she was feeling better and barely registered what she said next. Her eyes and mind followed the tray as it was placed on the small table and her stomach once again all but bounced straight out of her at the promise of food. The smells from the tray met her square on and she felt her mouth water up so forcefully she was sure spit would be trickling down her chin at any moment now. Only years of trained propriety held Carina in place and she waited till Kiyi had said her goodbyes, wishing a good night.

As soon as the girl stepped out of the room, though, Carina attacked the tray with a vengeance. Tearing off a chunk of bread with one hand while her other grabbed the hot milk and she gulped half of it up in one go. She dipped the bread in the broth and grabbed the apple. Eating all of it without any thought for the proper sequence, she felt her strength somewhat returning. But no amount of food could wash away the fatigue that had settled into her bones. The bed once again called out to her, more forceful than before, and Carina felt herself losing the mental confrontation. She was now ready to surrender to it though and rose from the table. Passing the mirror, a glimps of the filthy creature caught her attention. Stopping in her tracks, she realised she couldn't go to bed looking like this. Those nice white sheets would not survive the dirt she carried. Her eyes found the wash stand and she sighed audibly, resigning in the fact that this would have to do.

As on cue, another knock on the door brought Carina out of her musings and it took a few moments before she realised whoever was outside wouldn't come in by their own accord. Putting down the pitcher, she went to open the door. Another novice, visibly younger than Carina, stood waiting and told her that the MoN had sent her to take Carina to the bathroom where she could take a bath. Sending a prayer to the Creator to bless the MoN, she quickly stepped outside and followed the novice.

Not too much later it was a much different Carina that stepped back into her room. Now fully washed and clean, she set about changing into her nightshift which she found folded underneath her pillow. Finally, she let go of her fight against the sleep that had invited her for so long and she was fast in dreamland even before her head fully settled on her pillow.