Gnawing Doubt (Alianora)

Welcome to the Gardens: one of the most tranquil areas of the Tower Grounds.
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Welcome to the Gardens: one of the most tranquil areas of the Tower Grounds. Birds sing in the trees which line the wide paths between beautiful flower beds and serene lakes. There are benches to sit and listen to the waterfall, and there is neatly trimmed grass to lie on and rest. Novices and Soldiers as well as Warders in Training can be seen, sweeping the stone paths as Accepted and Dedicated study from books and relax under leafy trees.
Leala
"The Path of Daggers"
Posts: 1191
Joined: October 8th, 2014, 3:13 am
PC: Leala Gymorraine, Aes Sedai of the White Ajah
SC: Torianin Soulane, Aes Sedai of the Red Ajah
TC: Jhanic, Asha'man of the Indigo Ajah
QC: Abby Soulane, Novice
Location: Tel'aran'rhiod

Gnawing Doubt (Alianora)

Post by Leala » April 18th, 2018, 3:31 pm

Erishar did not like this feeling. Since he had returned to the Grey Tower from Far Madding, Torianin had understandably needed space and time to readjust and recuperate. Her bond with Dezan had been severed, and he could feel the effects that it had on her emotions through his bond with her. He checked on her well-being through Abby most days and popped in on others. He felt the anguish and anger through her bond, and left his bond open, in order to reassure her that he was there, when she needed it. However, this lack of contact with her was beginning to have unforeseen consequences of its own. He was beginning to doubt her. The Asha'man was able to keep that at bay for a long time, but all he could think about when they were apart was how she had been that night.

Her red hair had been dyed black for disguise, her green eyes were blank and dead, focusing all she had to stay away from the pain. She carried a bloody knife in one hand, and the wire she had used to kill her target just a moment before. There was a fair amount of blood sprayed on her face. The sight had been jarring to say the least. He had been startled, but she didn't react. They just finished the job.

Some days, he needed reassurance himself that she was the upright Aes Sedai he had bonded years ago. He found himself at her door again. He knocked politely. He had given himself a rule that if no one answered within a minute, he would leave. Abby answered. Her black curly hair was reminiscent of Torianin's from Far Madding. She smiled up at him and asked if she was there to see her mother. He nodded, and she turned back to look inside. Torianin was sitting on her lounge chair with a blanket over her lap. She was enjoying some tea and took a small moment to smile at him before going back to read a book. "Mother is doing better today, but she'd like a little peace until the evening."

He smiled and tried not take it personally. "I see. Thank you, Abby." He had offered to just sit quietly with her before, but it seemed Abby was the only one who could be with her at the moment.

"Ah, but, we would love to have dinner with you..." The girl's eyes sparkled as her smile widened. He was glad to see her stammer had gone, but she was still polite and considerate of others.

Erishar accepted her invitation and left the Red Ajah's Quarters. He would need to distract himself. He thought briefly about visiting the Warder's Yards or even the city, but he needed quiet contemplation as well. So, he decided to rest in the Gardens. Finding the fountain, he sat down. He remembered the Seanchan attack here, when Torianin had bonded him, and she had adopted Abby shortly afterward. He knew that she was a good person, but he could not disspell his image in his mind. He scratched his head in thought. Feeling hair there was still strange to him. He had grown it out after he realized that Torianin jolted back slightly whenever she saw his shaved head. It had grown long enough to pull back into the rest of the topknot by now. He did not doubt Torianin, but now he was doubting why she had gone on this mission. Was she veering down a dark path...?
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Alianora
"The Path of Daggers"
Posts: 908
Joined: May 2nd, 2016, 8:32 pm
PC: Liaran Sedai, Blue Ajah
SC: Amaranie Sedai, Indigo Ajah
TC: Kalyan Rihera, Dedicated

Re: Gnawing Doubt (Alianora)

Post by Alianora » April 20th, 2018, 12:51 am

Accepted Amaranie
Seated at her desk, Amaranie twisted the ring around her finger, still not quite used to its unfamiliar weight. It seemed to her as though both the ring and the banded dress she wore ought to belong to some other girl, one far more competent than herself. The Accepted sighed, closed the book she'd been attempting to read, and pushed it away. It was just no use. She'd wanted to learn, wanted the freedom the Accepted had to choose their own studies, but after an afternoon shut up in her room reading, Amaranie wasn't sure she'd gotten any more than the beginnings of a headache from it. She stood up from her desk, knowing that if she tried to keep studying it would only get worse. She wasn't sure what else to do, and after thinking a little, the Accepted decided to go downstairs and spend some time in the gardens.

Her long legs carried her quickly down the steps and out the door, and as she walked, Amaranie wondered whether she should have gone through the arches at all. Every single one of the Accepted she'd met seemed to be so much more confident than she was, and all of them were sure that their future was to become an Aes Sedai of the Grey Tower. Amaranie still didn't know if she wanted that at all, nor did she know what she'd do if she were one. She'd never heard anyone else express such doubts, and it left her feeling rather alone. Her thoughts did nothing to help her headache, and by the time she reached the gardens, Amaranie's head was pounding.

Wanting to sit down and rest, she approached the first courtyard she came to by one of the small fountains. The area was empty except for an Asha'man she didn't know, and after offering him the required curtsy, Amaranie seated herself in one of the unoccupied benches, being certain to choose one that wasn't in the sun. She bent her head forward and rested it in her right hand, noticing with relief that her headache was beginning to go away.

Leala
"The Path of Daggers"
Posts: 1191
Joined: October 8th, 2014, 3:13 am
PC: Leala Gymorraine, Aes Sedai of the White Ajah
SC: Torianin Soulane, Aes Sedai of the Red Ajah
TC: Jhanic, Asha'man of the Indigo Ajah
QC: Abby Soulane, Novice
Location: Tel'aran'rhiod

Re: Gnawing Doubt (Alianora)

Post by Leala » April 20th, 2018, 2:35 pm

Asha'man Erishar
After some minutes of staring at the fountain and trying not to worry, Erishar turned his head when a young woman in a banded dress walked in. She bade him a good day, then sat on another bench, out of the sunlight. The girl held her face in her hands and remained quiet. He couldn't remember if he had seen her around the Grey Tower recently. He had been gone for so long, that it was possible she had been a novice when he left, and was raised before he came back. He glanced back at the fountains and resumed his thoughts, but the setting still reminded him of his own situation.

Erishar seemed to be doing a terrible job distracting himself, so he decided he would speak with the Accepted. He had mentored a few children in the city before. Perhaps focusing on her problems would give him renewed perspective on his own. "Peace favor you, Accepted." he said gently, but loud enough to be heard over the fountains. He had used the term "child" for those in training before, but Torianin had set him straight on that. She had always thought the term demeaning. There were other ways to denote rank than making one feel even lower than they were.

He did not move closer to her, as she had picked her bench purposefully away from the sun and the only other person there. Light willing, they would both find some peace from this conversation, though. "I know we have not met, but perhaps we can help each other today. I am Erishar Kurian. May I ask what's troubling you?"
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Alianora
"The Path of Daggers"
Posts: 908
Joined: May 2nd, 2016, 8:32 pm
PC: Liaran Sedai, Blue Ajah
SC: Amaranie Sedai, Indigo Ajah
TC: Kalyan Rihera, Dedicated

Re: Gnawing Doubt (Alianora)

Post by Alianora » April 22nd, 2018, 1:09 am

Accepted Amaranie
As her blue-grey eyes took in the greenery surrounding her, the last remnants of Amaranie's headache faded away. Being out here was preferable to staying in her room, but the Accepted was still thinking about the doubts she'd had ever since her raising. It made it hard for her to feel entirely peaceful even in this place which she had grown to like. Though she had picked up her head to look at the plants, she wasn't paying much attention to anything else, and Amaranie blinked in surprise when the Asha'man sitting nearby spoke to her. She'd almost forgotten he was there.

She'd lived here long enough to know that many of the Aes Sedai and Asha'man had a way of detecting when someone was especially troubled, but it startled her that the man had actually asked her what was wrong. Amaranie's eyes left the plants to look at him, and when she spoke, her voice was barely loud enough to be heard. "I'm Amaranie Tice," she said, only thinking to introduce herself since the Asha'man had done so first. The Accepted ran a finger over the ring that still felt foreign to her. "I just.....I don't think I belong here," she confessed. "All the other Accepted know exactly what they want, and I'm not sure I want to be an Aes Sedai at all." Even when she thought she did want it, Amaranie rarely thought she was fit for it. She was just an innkeeper's daughter from Amadicia, of all places. She'd tried to imagine her future as an Aes Sedai here, many times, but Amaranie couldn't see how it would ever be possible for her.

Leala
"The Path of Daggers"
Posts: 1191
Joined: October 8th, 2014, 3:13 am
PC: Leala Gymorraine, Aes Sedai of the White Ajah
SC: Torianin Soulane, Aes Sedai of the Red Ajah
TC: Jhanic, Asha'man of the Indigo Ajah
QC: Abby Soulane, Novice
Location: Tel'aran'rhiod

Re: Gnawing Doubt (Alianora)

Post by Leala » April 23rd, 2018, 7:45 pm

Asha'man Erishar
As Amaranie unloaded her worries, Erishar thought he recognized her accent. He could have been mistaken, but it sounded Amadician. That could have been a reason why she wasn't sure she wanted to be Aes Sedai, but he decided wouldn't push that yet. At least for now, he thought she needed sympathy. "Though it would be difficult to drag out of them, I'm sure at least most Aes Sedai and Asha'man felt that before they were raised. I know I did. I had spent my whole life wanting to defend against the Blight, and then I was sent to the southlands for training when it was discovered I could channel. I thought perhaps I hadn't been good enough at the sword. Perhaps I wouldn't find anything here, either." He shrugged. It had been a long time since he had spoken to anyone about his days in training.

"Since we can channel, though, we have more time to think on things than most others. Rather than focusing on what you lack, I suggest you take a step back, find a hobby. Now that you can enter the city, you may be able to find a distraction or two. I know it sounds odd, coming from an Asha'man, but you may find something that gives you that purpose you lack. When I was a Dedicated, I visited the Mar a'Mael and mentored children. I met the Aes Sedai who bonded me as her Warder, indirectly through that." And now that Aes Sedai was spending her days, huddled in her room, hoping the nightmares and the pain of her severed second bond would go away. He wanted to trust her. "The Wheel weaves as the Wheel wills." His voice sounded distant with that last thought. He wondered how Torianin was doing. He could tell that she was distracting herself with something. The emotional pain she felt was still there, but there was something softer in the background.
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Alianora
"The Path of Daggers"
Posts: 908
Joined: May 2nd, 2016, 8:32 pm
PC: Liaran Sedai, Blue Ajah
SC: Amaranie Sedai, Indigo Ajah
TC: Kalyan Rihera, Dedicated

Re: Gnawing Doubt (Alianora)

Post by Alianora » April 23rd, 2018, 11:51 pm

Accepted Amaranie
Amaranie looked down at her hands, which lay on her knees. She listened intently to the Asha'man, not daring to say anything until she was sure he'd finished talking. It was hard for her to believe that any of the Aes Sedai or Asha'man had ever had the doubts she did. Those she interacted with were all so calm, peaceful, nearly emotionless......everything that Amaranie was not. She shook her head, blinking, before she spoke. "How did you ever find time for anything outside of your lessons?" she asked. Her mind drifted back to the pile of books she'd left abandoned on her desk, making Amaranie feel just a little guilty for having left them behind to come down here.

She could not imagine having time to spare for any other pursuits. Light, some days I have trouble finding time for meals! Amaranie sighed, feeling just as frustrated as she had earlier. "If I start failing in my lessons because I'm off in the city trying to learn what the Pattern has woven for me, I'll just get in trouble." And that won't do me any good. The Accepted's eyes roamed around the courtyard, stopping to look at the Asha'man. His last words had sounded almost sad, though Amaranie couldn't begin to guess why. Even if she could, she knew it wasn't her place to ask, and Amaranie said nothing else.

Leala
"The Path of Daggers"
Posts: 1191
Joined: October 8th, 2014, 3:13 am
PC: Leala Gymorraine, Aes Sedai of the White Ajah
SC: Torianin Soulane, Aes Sedai of the Red Ajah
TC: Jhanic, Asha'man of the Indigo Ajah
QC: Abby Soulane, Novice
Location: Tel'aran'rhiod

Re: Gnawing Doubt (Alianora)

Post by Leala » April 24th, 2018, 7:22 pm

Asha'man Erishar
Erishar stifled a chuckle. Amaranie must have been brand new to the ring and banded dress. Now, some of her worries were beginning to make sense. Being a novice or soldier meant being led around by the nose. Being Accepted or Dedicated meant being tossed to the Trollocs with nothing but a sturdy practice sword to defend yourself. It would not be until later that she would discover she has the strength within her to overcome even her own doubts. Of course, the Grey Tower would likely have her wanting to pull her hair out with stress first. "Peace, I meant when you do find time, which you will. It is overwhelming in the beginning. You may stumble a bit now, but you will find your stride." His words seemed to ring true to him as well. He shouldn't let his faith be shaken, just because his Aes Sedai was stumbling while facing her troubles.

"You have come this far," he said, no laughter in his voice. "It says much of your fortitude to make it through the Three Arches. Besides which, not only the Mistress of Novices, but your teachers and mentors are paying more attention to your efforts and accomplishments than you would think. You are stronger than you know." Yes, perhaps he should listen to his own advice, instead of sulking and feeling sorry for himself in the Gardens.
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Alianora
"The Path of Daggers"
Posts: 908
Joined: May 2nd, 2016, 8:32 pm
PC: Liaran Sedai, Blue Ajah
SC: Amaranie Sedai, Indigo Ajah
TC: Kalyan Rihera, Dedicated

Re: Gnawing Doubt (Alianora)

Post by Alianora » April 24th, 2018, 10:06 pm

Accepted Amaranie
Though he sounded as though he meant it, Amaranie did not believe what the Asha'man told her. If I did somehow find more time in my schedule, I'd have to use it just to keep up. She shook her head, and the long brown tail of her hair fell over her shoulder. "I don't think it will get any easier," she said. "I'll never be permitted to just take fewer lessons..I don't know that I'd want to if I could." It often seemed to Amaranie as if the pile of books on her desk might grow large enough to crush her, yet she did like the freedom of choosing and arranging her own studies. She thought that freedom might possibly be the only positive thing about her new rank.

When Erishar Asha'man brought up the Arches, the Accepted looked away from him. She wondered if he could tell how recent they had been for her. The ring on her finger sparkled in the sunlight as Amaranie studied it. She answered the Asha'man without moving her eyes from it. "I'm not," she said softly. If I were, I would have been able to do something...to stop them... Amaranie blinked as she tried to force back the memories she bore from the Arches. She never wanted to think about them again. The Accepted sniffled, swallowing hard, but she did not cry as she'd feared she would.

Leala
"The Path of Daggers"
Posts: 1191
Joined: October 8th, 2014, 3:13 am
PC: Leala Gymorraine, Aes Sedai of the White Ajah
SC: Torianin Soulane, Aes Sedai of the Red Ajah
TC: Jhanic, Asha'man of the Indigo Ajah
QC: Abby Soulane, Novice
Location: Tel'aran'rhiod

Re: Gnawing Doubt (Alianora)

Post by Leala » April 26th, 2018, 7:45 pm

Asha'man Erishar
Erishar suddenly wished Torianin was there. At the very least, she would be able to sympathize with Amaranie. She had been made to believe she was nothing but a soulless weapon before coming to the Grey Tower. He had a feeling the Accepted's feelings of inadequacy came from something else, but he wasn't sure what. Feeling overwhelmed was one thing. It was easy to feel that after being raised that your life would be nothing but studies and chores until you fell over. Every brother and sister in the Grey Tower had felt that. Perhaps his Aes Sedai was feeling something similar, only it was the pain that a severed bond had made. "I know this all seems insurmountable now, but you will reach a point where you can handle it all. For now, take it one day at a time.

He wanted to simply reassure the young woman that she indeed was stronger than she felt, but he knew that those words would ring hollow from someone she had just met. "Accepted..." he began carefully, "I do not mean to pry, and feel no need to give details you do not wish to give, but why do you feel this way? I promise I only wish to help." When the Hall had decided to do away with the need to swear the Three Oaths, he had decided to keep his own. Every word he said was true. He just hoped they would ring true for Amaranie in her troubles.
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Alianora
"The Path of Daggers"
Posts: 908
Joined: May 2nd, 2016, 8:32 pm
PC: Liaran Sedai, Blue Ajah
SC: Amaranie Sedai, Indigo Ajah
TC: Kalyan Rihera, Dedicated

Re: Gnawing Doubt (Alianora)

Post by Alianora » April 29th, 2018, 1:29 am

Accepted Amaranie
Amaranie did not want to answer. Unfortunately, that wasn't an option that was available to her. Accepted such as herself did not ignore an Asha'man and expect to get away with it. She sniffled again, blinking several times, as she tried to work out what to say. Her head lifted to study the man who sat across the courtyard from her. He seemed to mean what he'd said, yet she still wasn't sure she trusted him. Amaranie looked away briefly, still thinking about it, looking over the plants and flowers around before bringing her gaze back to Erishar Asha'man. She studied his face for a moment before looking into his eyes, and that was when she decided it just might be wise to tell him some of her problems. There was kindness in his eyes, nothing like the flat, vacant look she'd seen in the former Amyrlin's just before she was revealed to be what Amaranie most feared.

The Accepted looked down at her hands, and only then did she speak, her voice barely above a whisper. "Sometimes, when I dream...I learn things I shouldn't know," she started. "I looked in the library, and some of the books I read say it's some sort of Talent." She sounded doubtful, because she could hardly believe her dreams were any sort of Talent when they'd always felt far more like a curse. She sniffled again, trying not to cry, then continued. "The night before...the old Amyrlin...killed Accepted Jesinne, I dreamed of her.....that she didn't walk in the Light." Tears slid down Amaranie's cheeks despite her attempts to fight them, and she wiped her face on a banded sleeve. She whispered, not knowing if the Asha'man could even hear her. "I was too afraid to tell anyone, though I knew I should......and I think she could have been stopped earlier, if I hadn't been so scared." She had never blamed herself for the Accepted's death, but it was impossible for Amaranie not to wonder what might have been different had she acted on what her dream had told her.

While Amaranie spoke, her head remained down, and it remained down when she finished. The Light alone knew what the Asha'man would think of what she'd said. Now do you believe me? she thought to herself. She was convinced that if she were the strong person Erishar Asha'man claimed, she would have acted on the dream she'd described, been able to do something to stop her parents when they'd condemned her brother for what Amaranie now knew to be no sin at all. She shook her head slightly, trying not to think about that. She had stopped crying, but if she let herself think of Keegan, Amaranie knew she'd start again, and this time there would be no stopping.

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