Fire and Ice (Attn: Anne)

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Craig
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Fire and Ice (Attn: Anne)

Post by Craig » April 8th, 2017, 1:51 am

Zarayne
Zarayne sat on the floor of her room, pensively twisting the letter in her hand. It was just a letter, not even placed in an envelope and sealed. She had flicked the corner of the page so often, it was clear that the author was a woman. Zarayne even suspected she knew who's hand it was, but she hadn't quite mustered the nerve to open it fully.

Raising from her collection of sheets and pillows nestled over the symbol of the Fang and Flame, the novice crossed to the corner of her room where her cabinet was. Pulling open a drawer, she took out a fresh dress and slid it on over her head. Her other dress was in the opposite corner of the room, ready for washing later on.

Bells rung out across the Grey Tower. The Aielwoman frowned at the light coming through the heavy curtains, as if she could will time to halt or roll backwards. Impossibilities. With a sullenness that wasn't truly her usual self, Zarayne snatched up the letter and read it. It was from whom she had suspected, but the content of the letter was very different.

A few minutes later, and the lanky novice found herself standing outside the Mistress of Novices' office, situated in the centre of the Great Serpent structure. She seemed at ease because she mostly was. Assuming the summons were not misleading, then there was no forthcoming punishment. In a way, Zarayne was close to pleased to be standing outside Vanya Sedai's office. At least this time, the Mistress of Novices had given her advance warning of her new roommate.

The Yellow sister's door opened from the inside. Zarayne was not standing directly opposite the doorway, so she was hidden from the Tuatha'an, yet Vanya still called out her presence. "Zarayne will be your new roommate. Zarayne, show Seryna to your room." There seemed, to Zarayne, to be an unneeded emphasis on the pronoun.

Zarayne acknowledged the Mistress of Novices without a direct line of sight. "Yes, Vanya Sedai."

The Aielwoman looked down at her new roommate and presumably at the Tower's newest novice as well. She was pale, a wetlander for certain, not that Zarayne had much more colour to her own skin. Dark hair and skin contrasted starkly with the novice's visage, but then that was common with wetlanders. Zarayne had no interest in making any sort of comment on it, for she knew she was the usual outsider.

"I'm Zarayne," the taller novice said by way of introduction. "Please, follow me. Our room-" she had no difficult saying that "-is just this way." She led the two of them through the northeastern corridor. East denoted the novices' quarters, whereas the soldiers were on the west. It wasn't a great distance to their rooms, but Zarayne felt the need to fill in the dead air.

"What do you prefer to be called?" the Aiel asked. "I know wetlanders prefer short names, so if you want to be called something other than Seryna, just ask. I prefer my full name myself."
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Re: Fire and Ice (Attn: Anne)

Post by Anne » April 8th, 2017, 2:54 am

Seryna Al' Lorne
"Hello, Zarayne." Seryna greeted as Zarayne arrived. "Its good to meet you. Thank you for coming to help me find my way."

"Thank you, Vanya Sedai. "
The novice bobbed her first curtsy, which she hoped was acceptable. She quickly fell in step behind her fellow Tower initiate, glancing down the halls as they walked. It was very nearly how she felt at Tar Valon, this excitement mixed with a bundle of nerves.

"I've only ever been called Seryna." Seryna replied quickly. "Since I was old enough..."
She trailed off. The teen wasn't sure what customs were common here and the whole point was not to be considered a village bumpkin.
"My little sister and brother called me Rey when they were young. It was adorable coming from them."

She said wistfully. The new novice missed Joiya and Jameson greatly.
"I would rather not be called that here. The whole point of leaving home is to grow up, I hope."

Seryna hoped these homesick feelings would depart quickly. She had not felt such pangs when they were traveling in the wagon - although her parents and cousins had been with her. She and Cara were truly alone, now. She was glad that Cara was not her room mate. She loved Cara like a sister, yet it would feel like waking up at the homestead. If Cara was in the next bed, how long before she searched for Mother, Jameson or Joiya?

"Have you been in the Tower long, Zarayne? Are you a novice as well?"

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Re: Fire and Ice (Attn: Anne)

Post by Craig » April 10th, 2017, 12:32 am

Zarayne
Zarayne nodded. "I am also a novice," she confirmed without any hint of derision. Some may have scoffed at such an elementary gap in knowledge, but Zarayne knew she had been blessed knowing as much as she did. Not everyone had a mother who had been at the Grey Tower.

The Aielwoman took a hold of her skirts in one hand and fan them out. "You can tell by the white dresses," Zarayne explained. "Accepted, the step above us, have banded hems around their cuffs and skirt hems. They also wear golden rings here." She gestured to the slender middle finger of her left hand.

"As for how long I have been here, it's been two winters since I arrived in Hama Valon. But I've been channelling since before then." A mournful smile crossed the Aielwoman's pale face. Almost five years since she had first touched saidar, yet her time in whites seemed nowhere close to being over. She knew she would be bound to the Grey Tower for life. She had simply hoped it would mostly be in a dress of her choosing, not in the disappointing white dresses of novices and Accepted.

"So, Seryna, where is it that you come from?" The Aiel still had difficulties placing the origin of those not from the Waste or Shienar. The former by looks, and the latter by accent. That Seryna was a wetlander was clear, but she could have been Tairen or Kandori or Domani for all Zarayne knew.
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Elan wrote:Of course, the problems with observing a chain of command arise when the one in command decides to do something unspeakably idiotic, like taking off on his own for no discernible reason in the middle of enemy territory.

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Re: Fire and Ice (Attn: Anne)

Post by Anne » April 11th, 2017, 3:05 am

Seryna
"I ought to have remembered that," Seryna shook her head. "- my mother trained at the Tower. She gave me some information, but it was so long ago. Nearly a year ago. Not really any reason to forget anything so simple." The teen frowned.

"I think I'm just overwhelmed. It feels like every thing seems much more important now."

Seryna was relieved to hear that Zarayne had also channeled before arriving at the Tower.
"I am from Baerlon." Seryna replied. "My mother has a shop there. She is a seamstress. We live out of the town, however. My father's family has farmed the land for ages."

Seryna glanced at Zarayne, trying to guess her birth place. From tales from the peddler, she was fairly certain that 'Aiel' could be correct. She would hate to insult someone on such an important matter. By this time, Seryna realized that she was speaking quickly and too much, a clear sign that her nerves were running away from her. She closed her mouth and took in a long breath by her nose. She practiced breathing for several moments, controlling her nerves and beginning to compose herself.

"Where are you from, Zarayne?"

Much more calm. She would be fine.

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Re: Fire and Ice (Attn: Anne)

Post by Craig » April 13th, 2017, 10:28 am

Zarayne
Baerlon: Zarayne knew the name only due to its proximity to Hama Valon. That made Seryna Andoran. Wetlander nations were much of a muchness in the Aielwoman's opinions, but at least she knew certain things to expect from her new roommate. No marriage knife or bells in her hair.

The returned question was expected, but it still took Zarayne a moment to answer. A year ago and the answer would have been simple. Now it had become less straightforward. "I am from the Three-fold Land initially, but I was raised in Shienar." That didn't explain away her paler than usual skin tone, but Seryna would learn of her lineage soon enough.

Zarayne slowed down as they approached one of the countless doors in the winding corridor. "This is us." She produced a key from a small pouch on her belt, then preceded to unlock the door to their room.

Beyond the plain door was a moderately spacious room for one. It was square in shape, with a cold tile floor dominated by a huge mosaic of the Fang and the Flame in the centre of it. Two beds sat against opposite walls. The left-hand side of the room was clearly Zarayne's. The sheets had been pulled off from the bed and lain out on the floor beside it. On the desk immediately to their left as they came in were a small stack of books and various notes on parchment.

Zarayne only took two long strides to reach the bottom of her bed. She immediately got rid of her slippers, then unbuckled her belt and dropped that onto the bare mattress. That was as far as she would liberate herself of these wetlander garments for the moment.

The tall woman twisted to face back towards her newfound companion. "Everything on that side of the room is yours," she gestured with a smile. She had respected the boundaries between the two halves of the room, so everything on the right was how it should be. Yet she also had her habits. Looking briefly at the drawn curtains, the Aielwoman asked "I prefer to have them closed for privacy, if you don't mind?"
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Elan wrote:Of course, the problems with observing a chain of command arise when the one in command decides to do something unspeakably idiotic, like taking off on his own for no discernible reason in the middle of enemy territory.

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Re: Fire and Ice (Attn: Anne)

Post by Anne » April 14th, 2017, 10:39 am

Seryna
"Of course."
As Zarayne was already removing her shoes, she crossed to check the curtains. She turned and took in the room. It was more spacious and much nicer than what she had expected. Seryna moved to where her new things were, inspecting her new dresses. They were suitable for garments, but nothing like what she had grown up with. The garments were depressing in their sameness. She had been told to expect this and had only brought her two favorite dresses, a hope to put them away and don them when she became Aes Sedai one day. Many things would change in the years until that day, but a small piece of home with her was important.

"I won't like wearing the same thing every day." She sighed as she removed her own shoes and placed them neatly underneath her bed.
"My mother is a seamstress. She was teaching my sisters and I to enter the trade with her."

She reached to her belt and removed the embroidered pouch. It was Joiya's work, a testament of her best stitching. Pink, green and purple flowers, all of Seryna's favorite colors. She smoothed the stitching with her fingers for a moment, thinking of her sister.

"My sister made this for me. She must have been working on it for a time before I stated my intentions to leave for the Tower."

The brunette reached inside and removed the small wooden carved horse. She set it on her desk and placed the pouch beside it where she would don it the next day. She removed her belt and hung it next to the dresses, singling one to wear tomorrow.

"I promise I won't always be so somber." Seryna confided to Zarayne, exhaling and forcing a smile. "The most exciting time of our lives and I'm just thinking of whose teaching Joiya her embroidery now. Isn't that silly?"
She gave a rueful laugh.

"I am relived to be here. I must confess that I know little of Shienar or the Three Fold Land. I tried to read what was in the Inn, yet I fear I am far from educated. I don't want to pry into your business, so I'll try not to ask silly questions. "
She checked that her things had been brought and saw to pulling out her wooden embroidery basket, setting it neatly with her things.
Seryna sat on her bed and faced Zarayne.

"I doubt we have time for embroidery. It was mostly wishful thinking.
What sort of things do you enjoy doing here, Zarayne? "

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Craig
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Re: Fire and Ice (Attn: Anne)

Post by Craig » April 18th, 2017, 12:05 am

Zarayne
As Seryna explored the length of the room, Zarayne just watched from the foot of her bed. A smile of appreciation flashed over the Aielwoman's face at the mention of wearing the same thing day in, day out. The monotony wasn't what irked Zarayne. She also didn't like the plain white dresses, and would happily trade them in for a cadin'sor. Sadly she would have to wait for the shawl before seeing that dream become a reality.

Zarayne wasn't sure what to make of the comment about this being "the most exciting time of our lives". It seemed like the complete inverse in her opinion. Endless classes and chores and homework all running into one another without respite. Oh, and they wouldn't let her near any herbs to practice what her mother had taught her. Nor would the Mistress of the Kitchens allow her to prepare any of the game. A novice was only good for scrubbing pots, not skinning rabbits.

Her face was set in a dark glower when Seryna's last question came through. The darkness vanished, replaced by a cheery grin.

"You mean when we have free time? I've been learning how to use swords as of late. Aes Sedai may not use weapons in the stories, but--" her nose scrunched up briefly "--my mother was Far Dareis Mai. A Maiden of the Spear. If she could dance and channel, so shall I. Otherwise I enjoying walking in the gardens. I didn't see many flowers growing up. It's very beautiful," she placidly understated.

Zarayne tilted her head. "There used to be an Accepted that did some embroidery. I'm sure you could continue it if you want to." Her eyes roamed her roommate's figure. "Make the dresses yours, so to speak."

"And for questions about me, feel free to ask." Zarayne smiled warmly. "I welcome them."
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Elan wrote:Of course, the problems with observing a chain of command arise when the one in command decides to do something unspeakably idiotic, like taking off on his own for no discernible reason in the middle of enemy territory.

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Re: Fire and Ice (Attn: Anne)

Post by Anne » April 18th, 2017, 7:54 am

Seryna
"I appreciate that. I am very curious about Shienar. All that I know about it is that it is close to the Blight. The people must live in constant readiness for the Last Battle." She mused the last sentence.

"I had been thinking on the wagon ride to Hamon Valon that I may want to think myself ready for the Last Battle and choose the Green Ajah. It was upon my arrival that I realized how presumptuous that thinking is. I have no idea what 'battle' as an Aes Sedai entails yet nor where my strengths lie. Perhaps I won't be strong enough for some weaves."

It was her greatest fear to be put out of the Tower. She had been wondering if her mother's weakness in the power had been passed to her. Yet her cousin Cara also had the ability to touch Saidar, so could the ability to become Aes Sedai be completely separate? As far as she knew, none of her father's kin had ever departed Baerlon. Certainly none had left to travel to the Tower for training nor had any man gone mad before the Taint had been cleansed.

"Do you wish to talk about how it was growing with your mother, who could channel?" Seryna hoped her question seemed polite. After a pause, she decided to confide in Zarayne. She liked this woman.

"My mother could channel as well. She traveled to Tar Valon to the White Tower, yet was put out of the Tower as an Accepted. She didn't have the strength to test for the shawl."

Seryna exhaled.

"Use a sword!" Seryna exclaimed with surprise. She couldn't imagine using a sword. She'd seen her father instruct her brothers in the quarter staff. He and her Uncle Russel had taught the girls woodcraft and archery, in the event they might have to shoot their own supper. She hadn't handled the bow since she had been taught at fourteen. Recalling her father's words and the experience of watching her male kin practice, she hazarded that it would be difficult. More so for a woman. Yet it would likely be unexpected, and may give the woman the advantage. Her mother had been a Maiden and she must have a considerable experience of being self reliant from her.

"What do you like most about it? I admit, I do enjoy riding - the feeling that one could ride anywhere in the world. The freedom. Being able to defend oneself with a sword, perhaps unsavory types would give you wide berth. You could travel anywhere as well, with the skill.

Traveling interests me a great deal. I spoke to some of the merchants and peddlers, trying to learn about the world. Having traveled from the Three Fold Land and Shienar, you must have encountered many different people and seen cultures not your own."

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Re: Fire and Ice (Attn: Anne)

Post by Craig » April 18th, 2017, 11:56 pm

[font=Macondo name=Macondo] Zarayne [/font]
The wetlander had a number of questions. Zarayne tried to recall them all and attempted to answer them in turn.

"The Shienarans are a principled people. They have a doctrine which they show a great adherence towards. Tarmon Gai'don does not concern them, if only because the Blight is an ever-present threat. The leaders of Shienar have no time to muse over the future when the present is so violent, as I understand it." Zarayne found herself gazing off into the mid-distance as she recalled her previous life. "Despite this, women are pointedly kept away from battle. Any man would lay down their life for a woman in Shienar, so I was never taught anything of warfare until I came here."

What was the next bit? Ah, the Ajahs. Zarayne had borne similar thoughts as her roommate. "My mother told me about the different Ajahs, although never to any great depth. I thought I would be destined for the White Ajah, but after some time here, I realise that this decision is a long way off. It seemed impractical to make a vehement choice about which Ajah I may join when I'll undoubtedly change between then and now. Plus, there is..."

The Aielwoman trailed off as she recognised what was about to spurt out from her mouth. Plus, there is the chance I may not make it. Was it the open admission that failure was a possibility that stilled Zarayne' tongue, or did she just wish to keep Seryna in a state of naïvety for as long as possible. Not for Zarayne's benefit; it was for Seryna, before the monotony of life as a novice kicked in.

She slid onto the Andoran's next topic. "My mother was also an Accepted, but of this Tower. She had certain gifts that our people were interested in, so she travelled back to the Three-fold Land. The Grey Tower provided her with an escort of a Gaidin. After a year learning under the Wise Ones, my mother stayed with her people when my father -- the aforementioned Gaidin -- was banished. A short time after I was born, she left the Three-fold Land for my father's country, saying as she didn't wish to remain with the Aiel of her clan, nor return to the Grey Tower."

Settling down onto her knees, Zarayne moved onto the next topic. "I always wanted to dance, like my mother had done in her youth, but as I said, Shienaran women do not learn warcraft. So once I came here, I realised that I now had the opportunity to learn." She smiled as she thought about her instructor. "One of the Gaidin took an interest in training me, and he helped me to find the reasons behind why I wish to fight. I wish to be like my mother, it's true, but I also want to stand tall on my own strengths. It's too early to say whether I will have any care for a Warder, so it seems prudent to know how to defend myself without the Power."

The novice got to the final topic and... forgot what it was. Something to do with merchants? Her mind struggled to recall the words. Reluctantly she deflected from her forgetfulness and broached a new subject instead. She knew she was blasé when it came to this subject matter, but it was important to her. It just... didn't tend to go down so well with wetlanders. "Do you mind if I remove my dress?" She hurried on before there was any room to slide thoughts of pillowfriends into the void. "Aiel eschew clothing within the privacy of their roof. It is the reason the curtains are drawn. But I know this is now our roof, so I shall respect your wishes on the matter."
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Elan wrote:Of course, the problems with observing a chain of command arise when the one in command decides to do something unspeakably idiotic, like taking off on his own for no discernible reason in the middle of enemy territory.

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Re: Fire and Ice (Attn: Anne)

Post by Anne » April 27th, 2017, 9:24 am

Seryna
"Of course." Seryna replied quickly. "Please be at ease with me in our room."

Seryna began to undue the laces of her dress, turning away to afford Zarayne privacy if she wished. If one disrobed within the privacy of the roof, perhaps it was not custom. Seryna relaxed as she undressed to her shift, no longer making an effort to keep her back to Zarayne.

"Thank you for informing me," She replied as she moved her now soiled dress to a hamper to await laundry day. "Your mother sounds like a very brave woman, to venture out into the world to forge her own life so many times. It must have been hard for her to have left the Tower. It is all that I have dreamed of for a year."

She paused by her clothes stand. The Novice crossed to her bed slowly.
"In speaking with you, I realize that I have been thinking so much of my mother - her warnings, her apprehensions and my worry that I would be put out, as well. I let it distract me from simple things that I ought to have remembered. You've been very patient while I've been bubbling over with nerves. I think that I am very happy that we are room mates, Zarayne."

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