Dreams and Legends (closed)

The everyday life of the inhabitants of the Grey Tower. This board is for general daily roleplay around the Tower, in the corridors, rooms and halls that make up most of the building.
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"The Fires of Heaven"
Posts: 269
Joined: July 15th, 2015, 3:32 am
PC: Tamora el'Galina (Aes Seadi)
SC: Talithia (Accepted)
TC: Dianlinn (Ji'val)
Location: Essex Coast, UK

Dreams and Legends (closed)

Post by Lou » October 27th, 2019, 4:17 pm

Image Talaitha knew the only place she was safe to swear about the Mistress of Novices was in her mind. She had been caught out of bed, well after curfew, while trying to watch a group of trainees take part in a night exercise, and out of all the people to walk around the corner and catch her spying on them was the woman whose title told her she could set which punishment he wanted. And he had. And he could not have simply set me to work in the kitchens, when I like that, no, he wanted me down here, in the dark and dusty lower rooms of the Tower, to clean out rooms that everyone had forgotten about. She looked down at the dust covered pile of rugs and sighed again, though the breath of air disrupted the layers of dust and sent it all up into her face. Coughing and spluttering, she darted back, and banged into a large dresser against the far wall.

“Oh for Light’s….sake….” Tala coughed and wiped her face, not clearing away much of the dust as her hands were already filthy. She had been quite happy watching the trainees move around the yard, and so engrossed she had been she had not noticed the shadow coming up behind her. When she had finally heard her, it had been too late, and at the stern face that looked down at her and she had no excuse. She had planned many a pretty lie she could tell, something to get her out of trouble and give her the excuse to be near the training grounds, but the lies died in her mouth as she stared up at the Mistress of Novices. Her face looks like it could melt glass.

She had not shouted at her, but simply made her follow him back to the White Tower, where she had received the start of her punishment which had meant that when she finally had gotten to bed, she had been unable to lay on her back that night.

Thinking back to being caught and the dull ache that was still in her behind she picked up a dark yellow pillow and threw it across the room and watched as it bounced off one of the dusty dressers. She cursed again when the dust from both dresser and pillow billowed up into the room, and made her cough and sneeze anew. Taking a small hankie from her pocket she blew her nose but then noticed how dirty the small piece of fabric came away looking. I fear I may never be clean again. She pouted as she moved to the dresser she had just emptied of dust and looked over what contents it held. She had only moved items so far, not really taking the time to look at what they were in her anger.

She found a file holding a stack of parchment inside and shifted through it. It held pages and pages of notes, hand written in a spidery scrawl, and Tala placed them on the floor to look at them later. It was not that she was not curious but she knew if she did not get the tidying up done in a good time she would likely be going to bed with a bath and not dinner. And as the Mistress of the kitchens is now back, dinner is not something I would like to miss. Again she wished that the Mistress of Novices had just set her punishment in the kitchens like everyone else, and she had to wonder who had told him that she actually liked it in there. She spied a pile of cloth and her hands moved to that next.

The cloth was dark blue velvet but had begun to go threadbare with age, and had soft some of its softness. She run her hands over the top of it, and felt something hard underneath, as if something was wrapped inside the cloth, and this did catch her interest. Lifting the wrapped object carefully, she began to detangle it from the layers and layers of dark blue material, seeing that the inside layers did not look as bad as those on the outside. I wonder how long this has been there. When Tala was finally done, she let the fabric fall to the floor as she looked at what was sat in her hands. She looked at it for quite a while, as her eyes tried to make sense of what it was she saw.

What she held felt like it was made of the finest Seafolk porcelain, but her eyes told her that the large bowl was thicker than that. It was the size of a large serving dish, though it also felt like it had no weight to it at all. She tried to focus on the pattern on the bowl, but the more she looked at it the more she was confused. It looked like a detailed nights sky, but she was sure the stars were moving, slowly by moving none the less. That cannot be possible. She continued to look into the large bowl, turning it in her hands, trying to make sense of what she saw.

She did not remember getting dizzy or wanting to fall, but as the ground came up to meet her, she barely had time to think, but the bowl…the stars were moving. She did not remembering hitting her head on the floor, or seeing the bowl of stars landing on the fallen velvet.

The first thing that Talaitha was aware of was the pounding headache that was ripping through her mind. She squeezed her eyes closed and pressed her finger tips to her temples trying to convince the pain to go, but nothing she did seemed to work. It was while she was trying to sort the pain of her head out that it came to her that she was lying down. Taking a hand from her temple, she reached out under her and found the hard-stone floor, cold and smooth like the rest of the Grey Tower. Why in the Light am I lying on the floor. Pushing herself up slowly, Tala looked around her and tried to make sense of what had happened and how had she ended up there. Touching her hand to her head again, she felt around gingerly until she found a small egg-like lump in the side of her head. She pressed it gently and winced as a fresh bolt of pain shit through her head. At least I know where my headache has come from.

Moving very slowly, Tala began to rise to her feet, her head swimming and her eyes finding it hard to focus for a moment. She reached out to lean on one of the many wooden benches, dressers and chest of draws and found nothing to touch. Looking around properly, she saw that the room was empty, as in completely empty. She frowned, noticing that the floor and walls were the same marble, and there were no traces of dust anywhere. What the heck has happened? Is this the same room I was working in, cleaning out? Once to her feet, and once balanced despite her headache she moved to the wooden door of the room. It had a number carved into the wood, and Tala checked it was to see if it was the same number room it had been when she had come in. 133, yes it is still 133. Frowning and biting her lower lip a little, she peered down the hall and counted the door that led to the stairs up at the end. There are six doors to the stairs, and I remember counting six doors when I came down here this morning. Looking back into the room, she scowled at the empty clean space and then back out into the hall. There was no one around, but that had been the point of the punishment, or so she guessed. The Mistress of Novices had gone on about her having more energy than what was good for her, and setting her a chore that would take care of that, and without anyone else around to steal her attention.

Yes, she sure picked a good one.

Reaching up and touched the egg shaped bump on her head, she hissed in pain and decided she should really get her head looked at, as it must be making her hallucinate or at least making her eye play tricks on her. She smoothed down her Novice dress, which went from a white dress to a yellow blouse and a red skirt before changing back again in a blink of an eye. She gasped and lifted her hands from the clothing and blinked her eyes a few times, feeling her headache still raging inside. “What in the name of….” Her voice was low and she stared down at her dress, now white again, trying to fight the edge of panic she was feeling inside. I think I really do need some help. Turning on her heels, she moved towards the door and out into the hall.

She fought the urge to run to the steps, instead choosing to walk very quickly with her hands grasped before her. She reached the stairs, and moved up them quickly, pressing her hand against the smooth the wall as she moved, hoping it would help her keep her balance as she climbed. She did not remember climbing all the stairs to the top, but suddenly she was there, standing in a hallway that she knew would lead to the main entrance hall to the White Tower. Did I climb them that quick? She began to walk towards the entrance hall, knowing there was usually an Aes Sedai or at least an Accepted around that would be able to help her, and look at her head.

She practically stumbled into the hall and felt her cheeks flushing as she knew people would be staring at her and the spectacle she had probably just made. But when she looked up expecting to see a sea of faces watching her, she saw a clear and empty space. She looked on, trying to think where everyone was, and no answer came to her. What in the name of the Creator is going on? Where is everyone? This place is always full of people, even in the middle of the night. Fighting the rising panic that was threatening to consume her, she ran to the main doors of the White Tower and moved through them.

Usually the noise of the city was the first thing to hit you, but there was no noise now, and the sky just did not look right to her either. She began to shake a little, wishing she knew where everyone had gone as hot tears began to sting her eyes as she looked out to an empty city, the only movement she could see was a flock of birds as they flew in the strange looking sky over head. Hugging her hands around her chest, Talaitha walked out into the city, her footfalls making more noise than she ever thought possible.

I should have looked around the Tower first.

The thought was there in the back of Tala’s head, but the sight of the empty City before her pulled her forward. She had never seen Hama Valon empty, even at the latest hours of the night, and the empty strange quiet continued to pull her onwards, off from the steps that led to the Grey Tower and into the city proper. She felt scared, an undercurrent of fear that was resonating through her body, but her blood was pumping hard and that was what made her take each step forward, and stopped her running back to her room in the Novice halls and hiding under her bed. But I must find everyone, they have to be around here somewhere. It then occurred to her that she should not be leaving the Tower grounds without permission, but as there was no one there to give her permission, she walked on, hoping if she did bump into any of the Aes Sedai or Gaidin they would let her explain why she was wandering around the city.

How crazy is this? A bubble of nervous and scared laugher burst from her mouth then, and started a flock of doves that were perched on the other side of the a wall. She jumped, her heart lurching into her throat as she watched them fly up into the strange coloured sky and away from where she stood. She laughed again, a strained noise that sat at the back of her throat as she looked around to see if there were any more animals that would be jumping out at her. She saw nothing and continued on, aiming for the market district where she was bound to find someone.

As did not know how long she walked for, her slippered feet making hardly any noise on the stone streets, though it was still noise enough. I wish I was a full Aes Sedai, I would know how to deal with this then. A flash of colour below her chin made her look down as she saw a shawl of pale yellow sitting there, with a long golden fringe. She gasped and watched as it flashed to a silvery grey with a fringe hanging down her arms to match. When she blinked next it was gone, and she was back in her Novice dress, though for a second she was sure she was dressed in a yellow skirt with red blouse. My old clothes? Placing a hand back up to her head, she touched the egg sized bump that was still there and still very sore to the touch. How hard did I bump my head?

She continued on, turning around a corner and stopping dead at what she saw. Before her, in the middle of the road, was a blonde haired woman. She was tall, with her hair piled atop of her head, and a golden crown sitting atop her brow. She was dressed in a fine red dress, cut in the noble Andorian style, thought it showed more cleavage than was the norm, and a red shawl over her shoulders. Tala watched as she admired her hands which were covered in rings, and feeling a rush of relief Tala started forward. Shame it had to be an Aes Sedai of the Red, but anyone is welcome right now. Getting her feet moving, Tala began to run towards the woman, who looked up and seemed to see her just before she vanished before her eyes. “Aes Sedai…..no….please?” Her words came out in a shout and ended in a sob as she stood on the spot where the woman had been a moment before. And now that the first sob had escaped her lips, the tears began to flow.

Where is everyone? Why am I here on my own? Where did that Aes Sedai go? She let the hot tears flow down her cheeks as she stood in the main street and looked around. She had no idea where she was now, and being lost was just as bad as being alone. “Hello?” She called out, her voice cracking with the tears and fear she was feeling. “Is there anyone here?” She hated how weak her voice sounded as she tried to shout out, as she rubbed her cuffs over her damp cheeks.

I need to calm down, I need to try and figure this out, I need to be brave. Aes Sedai are brave. I need to pretend to be like them. Again she saw the flash of colour below her chin, starting at yellow and then flashing to grey, and when she looked down she saw the glimpse of a shawl around her shoulders before it vanished once again. Feeling a moment of dizziness, Talaitha reached out for a ledge on a shop front to steady herself as she held her head in her other hand. She felt light headed, and dizzy and wanted nothing more than to curl up on the ground and sob, though she knew that was not an option right then. She remained still, waiting for the feeling to pass, and once it had she pushed herself up straight and looked up and around. And froze.

Half a street away there was someone watching Tala, and she could do nothing but watch back. She met the large dark eyes of a small girl her white blonde hair tied up in bedtime braids, and wearing her long white sleeping shift. She was stood watching Tala, and Tala watched her for a number of heart beats until the girl suddenly turned on her heel and ran.

“No, please wait!” Tala called out and began to chase after the young girl, hoping that she would not vanish like the Red Aes Sedai.

Tala could hear her feet slapping against the cobbled streets as she ran after the little girl who was high tailing it through all manner of streets and alleyways. Tala was fast on her feet, but the girl was faster, and had the advantage of knowing the area better than the Novice did. But Tala continued on, as this was the only other person who had seen her and reacted without disappearing. She could feel her heart pounding in her chest as she chased the blonde girl, wish she would simply stop. What has she seen to make her this afraid? The thought made Tala’s own fear step up a point or two, and she fought the urge to stop chasing the girl and find somewhere to hide herself. No, I am almost a woman grown, and a Novice to the White Tower. How can I expect to be an Aes Sedai if I run and hide? So she continued onward, trying to reach out and catch an errant arm or leg.

As she rounded yet another corner, Tala could see that the girl had made a grave error and a small and brief smile crossed her full and parted lips. She watched as the girl run to the dead end of the ally, and pressed her back against the grey wall. She looked at Tala then, a scared look with wide eyes that made Tala stop moving forward as she held her distance from the girl. Holding her hands up before her, the Novice hoped she did not look threatening, wanting the girl to talk to her not be scared speechless. How the hell do I do this? I have not had my class on “dealing with scared children after everyone had vanished” class. She crouched low, and continued to hold her hands up, stopping her feet when she was about ten paces away from the girl. She watched as the girl continued to press her hands into the wall as she eyed Tala with fear and distrust.

“Please, do not be scared of me….it will be fine.” Tala tried to keep her voice low and calm, friendly even, but anything to cover the fear she was feeling from the child. “I want to help you, I do.” She offered the girl a smile, and almost sighed in relief when she saw some of the tension slip from her shoulders. Yes, I am winning her over to me. Tala could have shouted for joy, but knew that would startle the poor thing, and that was the last thing she wanted to do. Taking another step forward, Tala held out her right hand, open and palm up, towards the small and big eyes girl. “My name is Talaitha, and I am a Novice in the Grey Tower. What is your name?” She paused just out of reach of the girl, and hoped that she would take that step forward, coming to her.

Tala could see the hesitation and indecision on the girls face, but eventually she took a small step forward and almost reached out to take Tala’s hand, though she held her fingers back a hairs breath. Tala made no move, and when the girls spoke, though the hand that was almost covering her mouth, the Novice trained her ears to hear what she had said. “Are you hiding from the Monster too?” Tala kept her face in the soft smile, fight the urge to turn and look over her shoulder, wondering what this “monster” was. Is this monster the thing that has taken everyone? She made an urging nod with her head, and smiled warmly when the small blonde girl finally placed her hand in Tala’s. She closed her fingers over the smaller hand as she chose her words carefully in her mind. Taking her time before she spoke, Tala made sure to keep her voice light and confident.

“Monster? I have seen no monster. Come, let us go and find somewhere to sit, maybe find some sweets to eat while we think.” She saw the girls face light up at the mention of sweets, as she knew it might, and pushed herself to standing straight. “What is your name, love?”

The girl, who still liked to talk through her fingers, mumbled her name at Tala. “Milly.” Tala smiled down at her as she tried to lead her back towards the market square, though she had to admit to herself that she was quite lost.

“That is a lovely name, Milly. You can call me Tala, as that is what most people call me.” She wanted to ask Milly about this Monster, but she did not want to startle the girl again. So they walked for a while, hand in hand, not speaking as Tala tried to find her way back to the market square, though in the end it was Milly who led Talaitha back there. The girl walked through the white city with expert steps, and Tala took that the girl knew the place well. As they walked, she finally found the words to ask Milly where she was from, and her suspicions were confirmed when she admitted that she lived in Hama Valon.

“My Mother owns the Butchers on Dockson Square, and my Father and my….my Brother works there to.” Tala looked down at her new little friend and saw the way her face and body language changed as she spoke of her family. The Novice frowned, and gave the little girls hand a small squeeze.

It was then that they heard the noise.

It was a mixture of a scream and a roar of rage, and Tala felt Milly stiffen at her side. She was about to tell the girl to calm down, and to stop pulling at her hand when she saw what the girl had seen a few moments before. The creature before them was big, as tall as a trolloc (or so Tala had read) with a hog-like face, and black snake like armour. The only thing that made it even worse was the lack of eyes it had, like the images she had seen of the Fade. Tala opened her mouth to scream, but nothing came out as she felt her feet moving under her, and the girl pulling at her hand.

“Light! RUN!”

What, in the name of the Creator, is that?

The thought rattled around Talaitha’s head as she pulled at Milly’s hand as they ran through the empty streets of Tar Valon. The streets were eerie and frightening on their own, but now with that thing chasing them, Tala felt damn right terrified. She had no idea what that monster was, but in her mind’s eye she could still see it as they fled, not daring to look back. She could see it, half trolloc and half fade, or at least the pictures she had been shown what they looked like. She had not heard that there had ever been a creature made of half of each, but she could not dispute that the thing was real. It was there, just as Milly said.

She could feel the air in her chest burning as she ran, and she could hear the laboured panting breaths of the small child beside her. Tala was scared, yet in some part of her mind she knew she needed to try and protect the child, as that was what an Aes Sedai would do. It is what I have done before, and I killed to do that! The thought slammed into her mind, making her stumble for a moment as Milly tried pulling her hand and keeping her moving.

“We…need to….hide….where?” The words came out in puffed breaths, as Tala continued to run, not even daring to look down at the child next to her.

“Here…come…..” Milly’s voice was even lower and more strained than Talaitha’s had been, and the Novice knew she had to do something to save the child, and herself if she could. Aes Sedai are servants of all, and how could I live with myself if anything happened to Milly. She felt a tug on her arm as she realised that Milly had stopped, and was trying to pull her to a shop door a little way to the left of where they were standing. She could see it was a butchers, and she wondered if it was her Mother’s shop. Tala let the girl pull her towards the shop door, and they both barrelled inside and pushed the door closed. In the silent city it sounded as loud as a gong, but Tala knew there was no help for that.

They ran and ducked behind the counter, clinging to each other as Tala tried to find her breath and words. “Milly….what is that?” She knew it was a stupid question, but it was the only one they really needed answering. The smaller girl looked up at her, her dark eyes large with fear, and sweat making her face look shiny. She shook her head, as if trying to say she didn’t know, but Tala knew the girl knew more than she was saying. “Milly, its important…what is it.” Her did not shout at the girl, knowing that that would get them nowhere, but she let the urgency tinge her voice. She could see a battle going on behind the girls large dark eyes, and when she finally spoke, Tala really had to strain her hearing to catch all the words.

“It is Seth….he hurts me….does things….” The girl broke down into silent sobs, and buried her face into Tala’s chest, and the Novice did the only thing she could, and cuddled her close while stroking her hair. Seth, she called that thing Seth. It has a name. How can that be? And it hurts her. I am surprised she is still alive if that thing got its hands on her, let alone simply hurt her. Where is it? Is it following us? As if in answer to her panicked thoughts she heard a roar from outside, and a anguished voice shouting out over the quiet city.

“Milly….MILLY….come here Milly…come to me….it wont hurt….no one will know!”

The words sent shivers down her spine, and Tala held the crying girl, whose sobs turned even more frenzied at the sound of the monsters words, tight. She continued to stroke her hair as she tried to think of what she could do to save them both, or at least save the girl.
We cannot hide here forever, so can we outrun it? Should I try and kill it? The thought made her skin break out in gooseflesh as she tried to imagine how she could kill something like that, and in fact if she even could. She had killed before, and that was to save her small cousin, but in doing that she had been expelled from her Band, named as “Lost”, and left in a tavern where her maidenhood was something that was up for selling.

She knew she may never be able to follow the Way of the leaf again, not as an Aes Sedai, but she did not think she could do it here and now. Killing the man that had attacked her Band had been a pure accident, though she had picked up the sword, though that had been in an attempt to pursued the men to go away. But the man had charged her, run onto the sword; it had not been her fault, though she did see his face almost every night in her dreams. But in this was something different, this was to be her attack this creature to keep Milly and herself safe. But is this not what it means to be an Aes Sedai? To rid the world of the Dark Ones minions, and save the innocent? She let out a long breath, trying to think of the words to say to Milly, but another voice cut her off.

“Milly…come to me….it will be easier of you come to me.” It was the voice of the monster, and it sounded like it was right outside the shop. Milly squealed again, trying to bury her face into Tala’s chest, but Tala knew what she needed to do.

“Milly, I want you to stay here.” She spoke, and lifted the girls face up to meet her own. “Milly…Milly…I will go and deal with the monster, with Seth.” The girl clung on tighter to her dress, and Tala had to force her small but strong hands from her dress as she stood, and made her way around the counter, not pausing to look back in case her courage and resolve fail her. She walked out to the door, and then out into the street.

The half-trolloc half-fade was out there, facing her from about twenty feet away. It was massive, well over a head and a half taller than she was and double the body size. She stood with her hands at her sides, her hands curled into tight fists and her nails digging into her palms. The pain her nails brought her helped ground her as she faced the monster, her anger clouding her mind.

“Leave Milly alone. Just go.” She knew the words were foolish, but she had to try and get the monster to leave before she could even think about attacking it. She was not surprised when the air was filled with an evil laughter that made the hairs on the back of her neck rise.

“Give her to me. She is mine to do with as I wish. No one knows, no one can stop me.”

“You can NOT HAVE HER!” Its words caused a flash of anger go through Tala’s body, and she opened herself up to Saidar before she knew what she was doing. The usually sweet joy of touching the One Power was muted by her fear and anger, and before she knew what she was doing she was pulling together strands of Fire and aiming them at the Monster.

When the first one hit it in the chest it cut the laughter from its mouth, and a howl of pain replaced it instead. Tala felt encouraged by that, and she was sure that the monster seemed to shrink a little at the same time. She stopped the thread of fire to look at it, confused as to why the creature was not entirely wreathed in flames. I was sure that would work. When the thing took a step towards her again, Tala sent another wave of Fire towards it. It screamed again, and once again seemed to the shrink in size again, and to her eyes it looked like he was losing some of its hideous looks. She continued to send Fire at it, and soon the creature was on the floor crying, no longer screaming.

“Stop…its Seth.”

Millys voice from behind her made her turn, and Tala broke off the attack as she saw Milly standing next to her looking concerned. Tala looked back to the huddling body on the floor, which now looked like a teenage boy, not the monster it had been before. It looked up, and Tala saw the resemblance to Milly there on his face. Then he vanished. Tala let out the breath she did not know she had been holding, and looked to Milly, who was standing a little straighter and not as timidly. She looked up at Tala with a bright smile on her face, and then vanished before her eyes.

Tala knew her eyes were closed though she did not know where she was and she knew she should be panicked, but she simply felt tired. She could tell she was in a bed, one that was softer and wider than her own small one in the Novice halls, and that the sheets were different too. She wanted to open her eyes so much, but they felt heavy as if weighed with lead, and that was enough to make her lay still, and hope that sleep would wash over her. Everyone was gone, so what does it matter if I don’t move now. She thought of Milly then, and wondered where the child had gone when she had vanished before her eyes. That had been the last thing she remembered, and the thought of the monster she had faced, the one that had melted down into a teenage boy, was enough to make her open her eye lids, and look around.

The room felt incredibly bright to her eyes and she squinted a little as she moved her head from side to side to see where she was. Her head hurt, felt twice as large as she tried to move it, and her eyes were having a hard time in focusing on anything except a whitish blur. By the Light, where am I? She wanted to call out but her mouth felt dry and her tongue feeling too thick for her mouth. She tried to sit up but her head throbbed when she tried making her feel sick to her stomach, so she quickly lay back down again. It was then that she heard someone next to her, a soft female voice trying to tell her something, though she was having a hard time listening to the words.

“Novice Talaitha…relax…I shall get the Aes Sedai.” She did not recognise the voice, but she nodded her head slowly not wanting to feel the sicky feeling in her stomach again. She laid still and waited, wondering how long she had been here, and had brought her, and where everyone had suddenly come from. Nothing was making sense in her mind as she waited to see if anyone would indeed come, or if she would be alone again.

When the door opened Tala could have screamed for joy, though screaming would have hurt her she was sure, so instead she tried to open her eyes filly to focus on who was before her. It was a woman, an Aes Sedai by her ageless face, with steel in her hair and a plain Andorian cut dress in shades of yellow. She stared down at Tala, her eyes taking in lots of little facts that Tala did not know, or care too. She mumbled to herself, as if making mental notes and lists in her head. Without a word the Aes Sedai reached down and placed her hands on either side of Talaitha’s head.

She felt the almost violent chill run through her body, and she knew the woman was Delving her body, assessing what was wrong with it. She had read about how the sensation felt, but this was nothing like the reading. The cold then changed and intensified and became focused in her head. She closed her eyes tight against the feeling, her hands gripping the bed sheets hard until it was finally over. As the Aes Sedai pulled away, Tala looked up and realised she did not feel sick anymore and her head had gone back to feeling the normal size. She smiled and tried to sit up, but the woman placed a hand on Tala’s arm and pushed her back down.

“No child, you need rest not movement. I shall have some food sent to you very shortly.” And with that the woman turned on her heels and left while Tala realised she felt famished. She knew it was a result of the Healing, but understanding it did not make it any less real and distracting. She wanted answers, as to where everyone had gone, why she was in bed with a bad head, and generally what had happened.

Not long after a fellow Novice, a girl called Jaclyn from Saldaea, came to her room with a tray laden with food, and Tala did all she could in that situation, she ate.

They continued to feed her through the night and the next morning, but no one could or would tell her what had happened to her. Until a tall Mayener came in, his dark hair long and his eyes sunken and a pale blue. He stood and watched her a moment, and she tried to bob a curtsy in the bed, which he waved away with one hand. It was then that she saw he was holding something in his left, and she recognised the velvet wrapping.

“Novice Talaitha, of the Tuatha’an, I am Cairan Malkin Sedai, of the Blue Ajah.” He gave her a small bow, and lifted the wrapped bowl in his hands to chest level before he spoke. “And I wish to thank you for finding this precious ter’angreal.” He laid it on the table top of the small table that sat over her bed, the one she had been using to eat. She noticed as he unwrapped it that he never touched the fine porcelain and let the velvet pooled around the object. “This is the Bowl of Stars, a ter’angreal thought lost in the winds of time. It takes people into Tel'aran'rhiod, otherwise known as the World of Dreams.” He watched her as she tried to make sense of what he had said,

“The notes we found next to where you had slipped into unconsciousness explained the bowl, which had been created wrongly, so instead of the bowl gently leading someone to the dream world, it forces them there if they want it or not. It had been put away, so not to harm anyone, and forgotten about until you found it when cleaning in your punishment.” He moved and sat on the end of the bed, and then asked, “Please, tell me what you experienced.”

So she did, letting the whole scary experience fall from her lips in a mad torrent. She explained how she had gone looking for people, found Milly and faced her monster, and then woke up here. She noticed that the Aes Sedai was taking notes as she spoke, and he often asked her to repeat certain things which she did. When she was done her throat was sore and she was tired though it was then that the man before began to explain.

She had been found that evening when she had not come to dinner, and taken to the infirmary straight away. Cairan Sedai explained that she must have gotten trapped in Millys nightmare, a bad state to be trapped in, and that it sounded as she handled the situation well, though he would be sending someone to check on Milly and her brother as it sounded like something untoward was going on there.

When he finally stood to leave, the Mayener told Tala that she was to begin to take classes on the dream World, and she would be tested for the Dreamwalking ability that the Aiel used so well. Tala only nodded, a little dumbstruck, all the questions fled from her mind.

She had attacked someone again, though this time it had not been an accident, but she had also not really killed anyone. It was a strange state for her mind to be in, and she knew it was going to fill her thoughts for a long while yet.
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