Honey cakes bring all the boys to the yard (Attn: Craig/Elia)

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Locke
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Honey cakes bring all the boys to the yard (Attn: Craig/Elia)

Post by Locke » October 18th, 2016, 12:17 am

Terric
The Tower had gone through all manner of change in recent weeks. With the deaths of so many Novices and Soldiers, the blame falling at the feet of the Mistress of Novices, and her mysterious death, rumors swirled through the Tower like dust devils. People said Mirin had been a darkfriend. Sabine ni Hayadan t'Masin and Casey Frey had been involved. The Amrylin and M’hael both stepped down out of shame. The Indigo were maneuvering to control the Tower. The Indigo had done the deed and framed Mirin Ronaile. Mirin Ronaile had been framed, but by the Black Ajah. These rumors and more were giving the Tower an oppressive air of suspicion. There were several rumors about the new Mistress of Novices Elia Darrow. He’d met her on occasion and knew her brother quite well. Most of the rumors seemed baseless. One however, he wanted to thoroughly investigate, for the sake of due diligence of course. Rumor had it that the new Mistress of Novices gave out honey cakes to any student who came by her office.

For over a week now, Terric had debated whether or not to just stop by and see for himself. What would he say? He didn’t have an excuse to be there. I see you, Aes Sedai, may I have a honey cake, he could say that. Then what? Stand there awkwardly eating? Shuffle out? No, none of that would do. What could it hurt, though? He was in the administrative offices on errands for Felessan Solonne Gaidin, he could just stop by and—

He was standing in front of her door. He could just keep walking, or he could knock. What did timidity gain man? He knew he was probably misquoting it, but the meaning still carried through. Terric raised his hand and gave a confident knock. Now he just needed some sort of justification.
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Re: Honey cakes bring all the boys to the yard (Attn: Craig/Elia)

Post by Craig » October 22nd, 2016, 10:07 pm

Elia Sedai, Mistress of Novices
There was little more she could do, and nothing more to be said.

The Shienaran Aes Sedai felt less better than useless as she held on tightly to Yelaina, letting the novice's tears soak into the shoulder of her dress. The wails of anguish had been replaced by choking gasps, then replaced again by the silent shaking of a person exhausted from heartbreak. Elia smoothed the girl's flaxen hair, offering soft soothing noises into her ear. "There child," she repeated. There really wasn't anything else to say. I am no replacement mother, no matter how people perceive this office. And even Elia wasn't so brazen in her ego to think she could actually fill a hole where a person's actual mother had been.

The knock at the door drew the Indigo's sharp gaze, but it was Yelaina who began to pull away. She looked pitifully - no surprise that - with red around her bloodshot eyes. Wet streaks from tears marred her pretty cheeks, and snot stretched from her nose to Elia's shoulder. Elia produced a kerchief, cleaning the novice off before worrying about herself. Yelaina briefly reminded Elia of Kaira; it was that sort of maintenance that the girl required.

"Return to your quarters for the day, child. I will send for Ilaine to sit with you." Yelaina nodded with a bit of energy; Ilaine had been the Murandian's former roommate, before her ascension to the ranks of the Accepted. Elia had an inkling that the two were - or had been - pillowfriends. She couldn't muster any thoughts of punishments or penances for that. Far from it. "Go, rest." Elia smiled sorrowfully at the departing novice's back.

Yelaina moved past a tall Ji'val, who was the newcomer at the door. Dabbing her shoulder pointlessly with the piece of cloth, Elia crossed back behind her mahogany desk and resumed her station. The softness of compassion did not leave her features, but a slight frown creased her brow at the curiosity. "I see you, Ji'val. How can I help you?"
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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: Honey cakes bring all the boys to the yard (Attn: Craig/Elia)

Post by Locke » October 25th, 2016, 12:58 am

Terric
This is it, men, Terric thought to himself. No turning back now. “I see you, Aes Sedai,” he held her gaze searching for a plausible reason to be in her office. She would send him packing in an instant if she suspected he just wanted to try her rumored honeycakes. A justification began to form in the back of his head. “I am sorry to disturb you, Elia Darrow Sedai, I just realized that I have not had the opportunity to get to know many fully raised Channelers. That is a gap in my education, would you not agree?” It was all true. “I have more time to pursue my own studies as a Ji’Val, so why not rectify this. What do you, or Aes Sedai in general look for from a Warder?” he concluded, standing awkwardly outside her offices.

It wasn’t a lie, he did have such questions. He was a Ji’Val, he even taught a class on body guarding, but he hadn’t had an in depth conversation with an Aes Sedai about her opinions on Warders. The honeycake rumors however, still played a part in his motivation. There was no reason he could not achieve both.
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Re: Honey cakes bring all the boys to the yard (Attn: Craig/Elia)

Post by Craig » October 26th, 2016, 12:47 am

Elia
Elia smiled up at the Ji'val. It was rare to have any time to speak with one of her brother's students, unless it was to admonish them. She sought out a name to put to the Aiel's face. "It's good to see that you're forward thinking." She gestured to the chair opposite her own. "Sit. Honeycake?" Half a plate of her bakery remained, although the heat had gone out of them sometime thence.

She continued to dab ineffectively at her blue silk dress. If a servant couldn't find a way to remove the stain, she'd just get rid of it. It was one of those high-necked Cairheinin dresses, and was a touch too close to what Mirin used to wear. Elia sniffed dismissively.

"What do we look for in a Warder?" She pursed her lips as she focused on the bundle of emotion that was Emmond. He was in the kitchens, likely peeling potatoes. "I believe you will find as many answers as you can find Aes Sedai or Asha'man, Terric." Yes, Terric! That was his name.

She lowered the kerchief and her hand from her shoulder. The Wheel weaves as the Wheel wills, which includes my dresses, apparently. "Let me turn the question back on you, if I may?" She was going to regardless. "What would you look for in an Aes Sedai or Asha'man you were considering bonding?" Elia took one of the remaining honeycakes for herself, and started picking pieces out of it between her fingernails.
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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: Honey cakes bring all the boys to the yard (Attn: Craig/Elia)

Post by Locke » December 15th, 2016, 7:20 pm

Terric
It was just an office, why did Terric feel like he was walking into a lion's den? He didn’t spend much time with Aes Sedai, that was all. That was the point of this whole exercise. Well that, and honey cakes. Things were going according to plan. Terric casually strode into the room. He didn’t take a seat but he did take a honey cake, only one for now, and take an inquisitive bite. The cake was extremely sweet and moist. “It’s good Aes Sedai,” Terric said with an appreciative nod.

“As for your question,” Terric began, “I want an Aes Sedai or Asha’man who knows what she knows and knows what she doesn’t know. Somebody who realizes that the only way I can keep them safe is if they actually participates in their own security instead of forcing their warders to keep them safe while they do everything possible to throw themselves into danger.” He took another bite and chewed thoughtfully. Once his mouth was clear he said, “A Gaidin isn’t just a bodyguard though. I want to be able to support my Channeler intellectually and emotionally. Provide alternate points of view as well. Ideally we would be a team. I don’t like feeling like a dog on a leash.” By this point, he was absently tucking into a second cake. A thought occurred to him. For ages, he had assumed that Avrya would bond him when they were both eventually raised. He wasn’t sure if the headstrong young woman actually fit his mold of an ideal Bond holder. Her impetuous nature had been one of the things that had first drawn him to her, but he didn’t know. It was a conversation they would have to have one day.

Reaching for a third cake, Terric said, “Forgive me, I should have been more direct with my previous question. What do you look for in a Warder?” He hoped it didn’t sound like an accusation, or overly forward. He was genuinely curious what a fully raised Aes Sedai thought on the subject.
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Re: Honey cakes bring all the boys to the yard (Attn: Craig/Elia)

Post by Craig » December 30th, 2016, 2:46 am

Elia
Elia didn't yawn nor roll her eyes sardonically, but she wanted to. What a trite answer. What more should she expect from an Aiel? They were hardly known for their boundless imaginations. Even his former roommate Sinead, who was more liberal than most Aiel, had modest self-limitations. And she used them all up on Ravak. At least some good had come from that union.

A sharp sniff was the only bit of her umbrage that came out, and that could well have been a response to the Ji'val's question. "What do you look for in a Warder?" The answer would make your tongue curdle, little Terric. Funny, she almost thought she saw a little fear in his puppy dog eyes.

The Aes Sedai tore off another piece of cake, chewing thoroughly before answering. "I want someone that I can entrust with my secrets. Rumours can seem to spring out of the walls, and too many of them buzzing around you can choke you like a cloud of bitemes. I want to know that I can share myself with a person, and not have that confidence betrayed."

The rest of the cake fell discarded on the papers littering her desk as she sat up straight. "I have experienced the bond before, Terric. It is unlike anything else you have experienced. You need to have that level of trust from the onset of your time together, or it will be a fractious rent that will damage both you and your bondmate. Being within another's head is not a thing you ought to desire, unless you already have some layers of trust and honesty between yourselves already."

One of Elia's hands wondered over to a small painted miniature set in a silver frame. A gift from Ravak many years ago, depicting a honey-haired girl with pale eyes and a tiny mole on her cheek. "When I was little, I shared everything with my brother." Elia lifted the miniature up from the desk as her voice turned soft. "Some siblings argue like cankerous mutts squabbling over a bone, but we were inseparable. Neither of us did a thing without the other knowing about it first. Neither of us acting without consulting for advice." Her gaze sharpened as more recent memories came to the fore. "But even years of growing up pales to the connection the bond brings."

Elia returned Kaira's portrait to its rightful spot on the desk, shifting her attention back to Terric. "I can get wistful for the old days, prior to the Grey Tower. Even prior to the shawl. It was one thing to be an Accepted with all of those limitations, but..."

She frowned. Elia was looking at Terric, but the frown was aimed inward. Why was she getting all touchy-feely with some random Ji? Another sharp sniff, and she resumed the cool Aes Sedai mask that had served her so well. "I do hope that gives you an adequate impression of my own personal thoughts, Terric."

"May I ask, why the interest in the bond? Do you have a brother or sister in mind, or is your heart set on an Accepted or Dedicated?"
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Re: Honey cakes bring all the boys to the yard (Attn: Craig/Elia)

Post by Locke » December 30th, 2016, 4:00 pm

Terric
Wow, this Wetlander thought highly of herself. He didn’t see how their answers differed in more than semantics, but the issue was not worth pressing.This was a small glimpse beyond the stern but fair Mistress of Novices. He saw a hint of something hungry. Like the legends where a monster took the form a beautiful woman whose mouth opened into a devouring maw. Maybe monster was a bit extreme, but he did get the sense that she would chew up anything in her path whether she intended to swallow it not. The logical part of him wanted to dive for safety. The part of him that drove him to climb steep cliffs as a boy whispered something different, Stay, it will be fun. That part of him was actually quite intrigued. In the Threefold Land touching an enemy without hurting him gained great amounts of Ji. Foolish young men would try to sneak up on sleeping boars and lions to touch them for similar reasons. Maybe that was the game they played, but instead of spears or lions, they used words.


Terric should have experienced her question. His thoughts drifted to Avyra, who seemed to have lost the spark he’d fallen for all those years ago. A debate he wasn't even aware he'd been having came to a close. “No, Aes Sedai, there isn't anyone.”

The pang of regret cut deep, but it was counterbalanced by a new sense of freedom and certainty. Biting into another cake, he decided to poke this lion. He would meet his toh to Avrya somehow.

“So, Aes Sedai,” Terric said, picking up another cake, “You seem want a Warder who is extra set of ears, a knife in the shadows, and a confidant. While you're at it why not wish for a footman and personal chef.” Nodding slightly, he said, “It seems that only a singular kind of Gaidin would be worthy of calling you ‘mistress’.” The spears were out and he hadn't left much room for retreat, but he was having fun. Life was becoming too routine.
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Re: Honey cakes bring all the boys to the yard (Attn: Craig/Elia)

Post by Craig » January 6th, 2017, 3:52 pm

Elia
Elia's gaze narrowed as Terric spoke. It had been many years since the Shienaran had occupied a room with a Aiel, and in the time since she had forgotten the nuances of the Aiel disposition. Was Terric making some sort of joke? Was it at her expense or not? Or had the Ji'val levelled a metaphorical spear at her and was threatening to thrust it in? She wasn't sure, but for a wonder she wasn't irked by her ignorance.

She chose a calm tone to respond in. "A Warder should look out for their bondmate, that is true. But I don't expect them to ask as a spy, nor as an assassin. We are, after all, Aes Sedai." She gently tapped her Oathsworn pin with a long nail. "But a confidant certainly. The bond makes secrets all but impossible, and there is a certain liberation in being able to divulge everything with some one. An experience you may get to encounter one day, hopefully."

"But as for calling me mistress..." Elia shook her head even as her connection with Emmond seemed to surge to the forefront of her mind. "One of the key outward differences between the Grey Tower and the White Tower, aside from the Asha'man, is that our Gaidin are not subservient to their bondmates. Three parts, all equal: Flame, Fang and Blade. I would protect my Warder as I would wish to be protected myself, and I would be my Warder's confidant just as they were mine." The last of her honeycake vanished as she concluded.

Elia watched the Ji'val closely, just in case she had misread his signals. She could live without knowing the intricacies of Aiel culture, but she wouldn't allow herself to be mocked by one so openly.

Malachite eyes flickered to the plate of baked goods, widening in surprise. "Hungry, were we?"
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Re: Honey cakes bring all the boys to the yard (Attn: Craig/Elia)

Post by Locke » January 19th, 2017, 10:08 pm

Terric
“Ah, that,” Terric said sheepishly, eyes flicking down to the empty tray. “Your honey cakes were quite good.” The rumors had been right. “If you require, I can help you bake some more. While we are at it, maybe we can talk of Warders some more.” He knew he should make amends for eating all the cakes.

He scanned her face, hoping for some clue about her thoughts. Unlike most Wetlanders, this Aes Sedai wasn’t bad at schooling her features. Her pleasant demeanor hadn’t cracked per say, but he suspected he’d hit a nerve. He did not wish to truly antagonize her. He had poked his lion and still had all of his limbs.

Terric reached for the tray to carry it to the kitchens when he left. His offer to help bake more honey cakes hadn’t just been a formality. He did wish to get to know an Aes Sedai better, and he could get a new sweets recipe out of the bargain. As long as he hadn’t pushed his luck to far with his earlier teasing.
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Re: Honey cakes bring all the boys to the yard (Attn: Craig/Elia)

Post by Craig » January 24th, 2017, 1:41 pm

Elia
Continued conversation was not what Elia wanted to do. She was still uncertain whether she'd been made fun of or not. Plus how many honey cakes had he eaten? It was one a piece for each good student, and he wasn't even her student.

She kept the outrage from showing, however. She was Elia Sedai, Oathsworn Aes Sedai and Mistress of Novices. A beacon around which many children flocked. She could play the part masterfully, and so she did, even if snapping the little boy's neck would have been more to her liking.

"I only have time to bake in the mornings," she commented without a hint of rancour. "If you think the learning ranks are worked hard, you should try slipping into my role for a day. Or Jhanic's or Julian's. I'm afraid I don't have the opportunity to take you up on your offer, nor would I wish to disrupt the harmony that the Mistress of Kitchens cultivates during midday." That was definitely a euphemism, but it was still the truth. The Mistress of Kitchens did have a particular way of doing things which generally involved the liberal application of a soup spoon against knuckles.

"But if you wish to speak more about Warders, feel free to ask questions. You already have my undivided attention, Terric."
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