An Unexpected Aquaintance

An Unexpected Aquaintance

A Story by K. C. Wells

Taei Mirel's entry into the book of novices for a fan fiction site for Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series. Taei Mirel is my character, the others are people that I rp with on DragonMount.


Taei Mirel

It had been a long day, but her work was almost finished. Taei had just ran her last errand for the day, to get another bundle of parchment and a large bottle of ink from her father's supplier across town. This is the longest walk, why can't father just get his supplies from someone closer to home. She of course knew the answer to this, but still didn't like it. Her father's friend was his supplier and gave him a discount on supplies that he bought from him.

She was lost in thought as she went through town. Hardly paying attention to her surroundings. I wonder what it would be like to be an acutal scribe and not an apprentice anymore. It would be more intersting I do believe, to put other peoples words to paper in my writing, with a little of me thrown in.

As she passed a fountain in a small square she noticed a rather unusal group that grabbed her attention. There was a woman who was around the same height as Taei which got her attention to start with. For as long as she could remember Taei had been the tallest female around. At 5'11" tall she towered over her mother and all e Grher friends. She was around the same height as her father now. The woman was dressed in a beautiful silk dress. I hope that I'm able to wear clothes like that one day rather than these wool ones, they itch. There was also a man who was with the woman, or so it appeared, he appeared to be very strong. Taei looked away, not wishing to offend the woman or her companion. I wonder what they are doing in this section of town? There's no nobility around here.

Alyria Al'Vire

The trip to Caemlyn was surprisingly easy. It was not that Alyria expected trouble along the way, she knew she would be safe with Throm around. It ws the fact that she had been inside the tower for so long, she had forgotten what it felt like to be out on her own. She had been looking forward to being out and about, seeing some of the world before she had to go back to the tower for more important things. Today, she was just happy to be who she was and in the company of Throm.

She looked over at him giving him a smile. He was so handsome; the sun was glinting off his reddish blond hair, giving him that look of a noble, yet the tightness in his muscles and face told otherwise. He seemed always ready for battle, ever the protector. She caught his eye, and the smile he returned, she knew was only meant for her.

As they walked the streets, Alyria looked at some of the vendors and shops nearby, trying to decide if she wanted to purchase anything or not. She knew she needed a new quill and ink; she had heard she could find different colored inks in Caemlyn, but had yet to see any. She was aware of everyone's eyes glancing at her and her guardsman, but she had not yet acheived that ageless look that came with becoming an Aes Sedai. To the patrons surrounding her, she could have just been any other noble from out of town.

Alyria smiled and spoke to some of the passers by, making pleasantries as she felt necessary. Alyria was a full head taller than everyone else in the town, it seemed, which was not something unusual for the area. As her eyes wandered the crowd, there was something that caught her eye. Standing over by the fountain, there was a girl, in her late teens, who was a s tall as Alyria. She seemed to be watching them, looking over them, deep in thought. Alyria immediatly felt her while body tense as the girls eyes watched her. As Alyria met the girl's eyes, she immediatly looked away, as if not to be noticed.

Throm had also seen the girl watching them and was intently watching every move she made. Alyria walked closer to where the girl was, knowing if she was a threat, she would not try anything in an area so full of people. She was lost in thought when she heard Throm's voice. "Alyria, I know what you are thinking, but she is a girl, no older than 17. Do you honestly think that frail girl could be of any harm to you?" Alyria looked deep into his eyes, trying to decide if he had overstepped his boundaries or if he was right. Giving a small nod Alyria replied, "You are right, Throm. Maybe she was just interested in who the out of towners were." He smiled, nodding his head in agreement.

Alyria looked and saw that the girl had gone over to a man who was selling all kinds of quills and inks. She smiled at Throm and headed over in the direction of the cart. She knew the girl would be watching her as she fingered some of the quill feathers and inspected the different types of ink that were there. The sunlight glinted off her great serpent ring as she picked out a quill to purchase. Turning to look around the side of the cart, she noticed small smudges of ink on the girl's fingers. Alyria put on a smile and began to speak to the shop keep and the young woman. "I don't suppose either of you know where I can find someone to rewrite some notes for me? My hand writing is less than perfect and I fear some may not be able to read it." Alyria looked at the girl, hoping she would answer.

Taei Mirel

Taei was going over the inks looking for the kind that her father had always used. He said it was the best, though Taei had never really understood why. Suddenly she realized that the couple that she had glanced at so briefly earlier was at the stall as well. Feeling embarassed and unsure of what to do she pretended to be giving her whole attention to the selection of inks and quills.

When the woman came over and looked through the quills Taei dutifully moved aside. Her attention was however drawn back when the sunlight glinted of a rather unusual ring. Looking again, she couldn't believe her eyes. Aes Sedai! Oh, by the light! I hope that I haven't offended her. And the man, he must be her warder. By the light! Why must I always get myself in trouble with my curiosity.

When the Aes Sedai asked her question, Taei had to work hard not to let her jaw drop. In a low, embarassed voice she replied, "My father is a local scribe, Aes Sedai, he would be honored to have your business." With that she curtsied, and dared a look at the Aes Sedai's face. She noticed that she couldn't quite put an age to her, though she did seem quite young. When she rose again she noted that the woman was slightly shorter than her, not much, but still enough that she noticed. Well, there aren't many women even roughly my height, why should the Aes Sedai be any different. Looking away once again, least she be thought rude she went back to gathering the things she had been sent for, parchment, inks, and quills.

Alyria Al'Vire

"My father is a local scribe, Aes Sedai, he would be honored to have your business." The young girls said with a curtsy. Alyria smiled and gave the girl a polite nod. The girls turned and gathered some items, appearing to be busy. Alyria looked at Throm and he nodded. "I would be most appreciative if your father would be willing to do the work. I am afraid though, that I will be leaving at dawns first light. Do you think he would be able to squeeze my work in today? And if not, do you think he would allow you to do the work for me Child?" She gave another smile as the girl nodded yes.

Alyria paid for the items in her hand before turning back to the girl. "I need to gather the items from my room. What is your name child, and where can I find your Father's business?"

Taei Mirel

Unsure of how to reply to the question as to whether or not her father would let her do the task she simply nodded. I'm sure that he would let me if he wasn't able. After all, he says that I'm a natural and we simply couldn't turn her away like that.

The Aes Sedai then paid for the items that she had bought and turned back to her asking for where her father's business was located. Thinking for a second she asked Thomas for a bottle of ink so she could scribe a map for the Aes Sedai.

Taking a piece of the fine paper that she was buying and a quill she began to draft a map. Using the stall as a reference she was extra careful to make sure that it was acurate, giving landmarks as well as aproximate distances. She made each letter precisely and deliberately. I do think that this will have been one of my best pieces. I do hope that father would approve. She smiled slightly as she finished off the map thinking of the pride on her father's face if he were to ever see the well constructed map.

Looking over it once more to make sure of the acuracy Taei dried the ink with blotting sand and then handed the parchment to the Aes Sedai. "This should direct you to his office from here. He is a scribe for the House of Taraven. His name is Jenam Al'doren." She curtsied as the Aes Sedai took the map from her.

Alyria Al'Vire

"This should direct you to his office from here. He is a scribe for the House of Taraven. His name is Jenam Al'doren." The girl curtsied as she handed her the map. It was extremely well drawn; the lettering was precise and very neat. Alyria looked the girl over, a little irritated that she had not answered her question from before. Throm touched her arm as she turned to look at him; his eyes looking into hers with question. She gave a small nod, knowing he did not want her to call the girl out for disobedience in the middle of the shop. With a nod and a turn, she walked out of the store, map in hand.

A few hors later, Alyria found herself standing in front of the scribe's residence. She walked inside the open door, delighted to see the young girl sitting in a chair, working on something it seemed.

Alyria introduced herself to the man, speaking to him about the work he needed done. The arranged a price, one the both felt was fair before he turned to walk away. Alyria spoke to him, loud enough for the young girl to hear.

"I fear your daughter might need a few lessons in manners, Sir. While her drawing and penmenship is excellent, her ability to answer a question is lacking." She watched, a small smile on her face as the young woman turned with a shock. "Here is the map she drew me today. You will see it is quite good. She however failed to mention her name when asked." Her father apologized profusely, Alyria waving it off with a shake of her head. "No matter. May I speak with her?" He nodded and motioned for her to come.

Alyria sat down in a chair, making the girl sit opposite of her in another chair. "Once again child, I ask you, what is your name and how old are you?" The girl answered, her age bringing a smile to Alyria's face. She reached into her pocet and pulled out a blue gem.

"I want you to focus on this gem child, think of nothing else but the gem." She watched intently as the girl focused on the gem, delighted when it gave a bright flash. She smiled and looked at the young girl before her. "I need you to pack your things child, you will soon be a Novice at the White Tower. You can wield Saidar and need to be taught how to do so. We leave in one hours time."

Taei Mirel

After the Aes Sedai had turned and left she berated herself on how she had acted. Your not a little girl, take a hold of yourself. You let her fluster you to no end. You didn't even answer when she asked for your name. Sighing she gathered the things for her father and walked as fast as she could, almost ran, all the way back to her father's studio.

"What's the matter girl?" Jenam looked up at her as she burst into the door huffing and puffing from the jog across town. Startled he stood from his work and came over to her. Taking the supplies from her and placing them on a table he noticed that she was shaking. "What is it? What happened?" Taking a seat on the nearest available chair she told him, everything that had happened since she left on her errand.

At a touch on her arm Taei looked up. "My dear, it'll be okay. I'm sure that she'll understand." Smoothing her hair out of her face he continued. "And we will make sure that she's satisfied with our work." When he smiled at her again Taei could feel the tension leaving. It'll all work out, he'll make sure it does.


A few hours later, while Taei was working on the copying of a manuscript that had been requested, the Aes Sedai showed up at her father's shop. At the rap on the door her father went and opened it. "Aes Sedai," he bowed deeply to show his respect, "How can this old scribe help you today?" Trying to remain small and unnoticed she hunched over her work and was glad that her chair was facing away from the door. The work to be done and price were talked about while Taei focused all her energy on her current job, not hearing a word of what was said.

When she heard "I fear your daughter might need a few lessons in manners, Sir. While her drawing and penmenship is excellent, her ability to answer a question is lacking." She had looked up shocked. Shocked to her core. I didn't mean to, honestly. Light, I didn't mean to! As her father appologized on her behalf she started trying to think of how to make up this slight to the woman. Nothing was coming to her, nothing at all.

When the Aes Sedai asked to speak to her she stood, shaking slightly, and approached the woman who now seemed taller than ever as if she was hovering over her, making her feel small and insignificant. She was almost afraid of being stepped on and squashed like a little bug.

"Once again child, I ask you, what is your name and how old are you?" Gathering all her strength she replied, "Taei Mirel, Aes Sedai, and I am fourteen years old." She curtsied as she said Aes Sedai, the most beautiful curtsey she had ever been able to accomplish. As the Aes Sedai smiled she was shocked.

As the Aes Sedai reached in her pocked and withdrew a blue gem, she was even more shocked. "I want you to focus on this gem child, think of nothing else but the gem." Somewhat unsure of what was going on she did as she was told. She concentrated completely on the gem, lost herself in it, and blinked in surprise as it gave off a bright flash. She had felt... something. What it was she wasn't sure and it frightened her slightly. Looking up at the Aes Sedai with a questioning look she was replied to with, "I need you to pack your things chilc, you will soon be a Novice at the White Tower. You can wield Saidar and need to be taught how to do so. We leave in one hours time."

And just like that her life was changed forever. Excited and scared at the same time she gathered her things. They weren't poor, but they weren't rich eaither. She had few belongings to gather, but they were all well made. Stout dresses and shoes, a good cloak that was both both warm and light, a few keepsakes. She had been given a wonderful box made of some sort of pink shell for her birthday the year before, she knew it must have cost her father a great deal, and she kept what little jewelery she had in that.

"Dear..." she looked up as her mother came into the room, "I want you to have these." Looking at what her mother held out in her hands she gasped.

"Your pins, but mother..." she stopped at her mother's motion.

"No, I want you to have them. They were a gift, given to me by your birth mother as payment for treating her." At that she stopped short. Taei had always known that they weren't really her parents. That her mother had died while under Lanuen's care. There had never been a way to find out who her birth father was, though, or even where her birth mother was from originally.

Unknowing what to say she accepted the gift and stooped over to give her mother a hug. Standing a full six inches shorter than her, Lanuen had always still seemed to tower over her, but now she looked sadened, lost. "I will miss you, dear, take care of yourself. And come back to me in one piece." Lanuen forced a smile and Taei smiled back. "I will, mother, I promise."

Taei changed into her only riding dress, made of stout brown wool, and her travel boots that were dusty from frequent trips to nearby cities with her father to deliver messages. She pulled her hair back into a braid to keep it out of the way while on the road. Since the braid came down to her knees she flipped it over her right shoulder so that she wouldn't pull it as easily. Setting her cloak on the bed she looked around at her room. The books were still on the shelves, but they were not hers. They were either her fathers, or some that had been borrowed from the Taraven's. Tying her shell box up with ribbon and wrapping it in a dress to protect it she put the last of her things into the pack.

Just before she tied the pack up her father showed up at the door. "Well, you will need a good quill and inkpot in order to do your work." He handed her the items and a package that was wrapped up in brown packaging paper. "And that, you can open later. It's a little something from me." As she put them away in her pack he watched sadly. She tied up her pack and settled the flap so that the weather would not get to her few precious belongings.

As she straightened up, her father walked over to her and caught her in a bear hug. They just stood there for a moment, then her father said, "I love you, my dear. I hope that you know that, and if you ever need anything, I will do my best to get you the help you need." As he let his hold loosen Taei looked up at the man, slightly taller than she was, and flicked his mustache as she always had as a child. "I love you too, papa. And I will stay in touch, I promise."

Gathering her cloak and pack she walked down the stairs and into the study where the Aes Sedai had said she would meet them. As soon as she had put her pack down on a nearby chair there was a knock at the door. Taei swung her riding cloak onto her shoulders and fastened it with the silver wheel pin she had been given as a gift. The wheel weaves as the wheel wills. Taei sighed.

As the Aes Sedai was greated by her father and welcomed to their home, Taei picked up her pack and settled it on her shoulders, being sure to free her hair enough that it wouldn't pull it as she turned her head. Then turning around and facing the group in the room she steeled herself for whatever was to come.

Alyria Al'Vire

Alyria headed back to the young girls home, all her items packed on the horse she now rode. She had sent Throm off to find another horse for the young girl, hopeful she could ride. She smiled as she saw him approach with what seemed like rather beautiful speciman. The rode in silence, arriving quickly at the girl's house. Throm stood outside with the horses while Alyria went in to gather her charge.

She spoke breifly to the parents, giving them what assurnce they needed that their daughter would be well taught. She turned to look at the young girl before her. She saw tears on the brink of falling in the girl's eyes. She remembered the day she left home and understood the way she felt. "Are you ready Taei?" Alyria asked with a small smile. She saw the girl swallow hard and nod. "Say your goodbyes then dear, we need to be on our way." She watched as the girl gave her final hugs and then ushered her out the door.

Alyria mounted her horse with assistance from Throm, and smiled as he helped Taei up on her horse as well. "I hope you know how to ride Child, we have a long ride back to Tar Valon. I am sorry I have not introduced you before, but this is my protector, Throm. He will be accompanying us to Tar Valon. Do not let him frighten you Child, he is just a big puppy dog." She almost giggled at the look he gave her.

The trip back to Tar Valon took a few days, Taei was full of questions, but Alyria tried to quell most of them with "you will learn the answer to that in time Child". She did not want the girl learning too much before she was ready.

They finally arrived in Tar Valon, the sight of the brilliant city still took her breath away. She watched Taei's eyes go wide at the site before her. She sat there for a minute, letting Taei recover from her shock at the city before heading toward the stables.

"We will drop the horses off at the stables and then I will take you in to begin your new life Taei. Do You have anything else you would like to know before we head in to meet the Mistress of Novices?"

Taei Mirel

Standing there while her parents barraged the Aes Sedai with questions seemed to be the longest moments of her life. Oh, please, just let me go. I won't cry, I won't. This is harder by the minute. Looking around the room at all the things there, all the memories and she her heart lurched. To leave the life she knew, her friends, her loved ones, her safety suddenly hit her like a brick wall. That she might never come back.

The mention of her name shocked her out of her reverie. It startled her actually, and almost made her jump. Swallowing and gathering all her determination she said her goodbyes and held her resolve as she watched the tears start to roll down her mother's cheeks. "I will be back soon, promise." She gave her the best smile she could muster.

Then she reluctantly allowed herself to be ushered out the door to her new life. Taking a deep breath she examined the horse. It was a good specimin and she allowed the man to help her mount. "I can ride." All that she could muster as a reply at that moment. Not noticing the banter between Aes Sedai and Warder she took the reigns of her horse and her determination in her hands and managed to follow them out of her home city. Memories haunting her the whole way. What if I never come back? What if I can't come back? What if.... Shaking her head she forced her thoughts away from such things. This is my future, it was meant to be, there's nothing else to be said about it. Just have to do what I must. With that, she embarked on her new life, refusing to look back least she loose her resolve.


Taei tried to control herself. She knew she had asked too many questions so far, but there was so much that she wanted to know, so much to learn and she wanted to start right away. She wanted to learn it all. She was just excited and nervous and... well, she didn't even know how to describe it. She must be thinking that she made a mistake by now. I've been acting like an absolute fool.

Looking down at the pomel of her horse and once again steeling her resolve to act properly she held back the torrent of questions running through her head. How long will I be in the tower? What will I have to do? When will I be able to go out of the tower again? On and on the list went. Her mind reeling out of control and mulling over every aspect of her new life. It was her way of not worrying about the past, her parents, her friends, her way of keeping herself together.

Looking up at the road ahead she noticed a bend in the road and a clearing of the trees. Once around the bend she involuntarily stopped her horse for a second. Tar Valon's spires glinted like white crystals in the sunlight. It was as if the whole thing radiated light. It was an unreal sight to her. It seemed as thought the whole thing should just blow over and fall apart, like the only thing keeping it together was the One Power itself.

Realizing that she was just sitting there gaping at the city, she once again motioned her mount forward. My new home. Who ever would have though? Still taking in the city, studying it, the crafstmenship, the wonderful ornate designs, the wonders of stone constructed by the best masons in the world. She had heard of the wonders the ogres had constructed, but she had never thought that they were anything like this. Only half paying attention to what was told to her she shook her head no at the question. All of her questions had vanished as she marveled at the wonders around her. She just followed automatically those that she had been following for days now. What other wonders will my new life hold?

Taei Mirel

Having taken the horses to the stables. Alyria Sedai led her up to the magnificant tower. It's huge! I knew the tower was supposed to be grand, but this is more than I had ever imagined a building could be. Marveling over the stonework once more Taei almost tripped over the steps when she came to them.

Heading the Aes Sedai's words to be careful and stay close she followed while still admiring it all. Such a huge collection of artifacts. More than any museum could hold. She admired hangings and pottery, vases and stained glass, woodwork and stonework. Hardly noticing where they were going Taei gazed in wonder at all they passed. She didn't notice the slowed pace of the Aes Sedai that allowed her to gaze about, nor the looks on the faces of Aes Sedai, Accepted, or Novice, just the wonders that the Tower held.

After having wound their way back and forth and around and up the Aes Sedai stopped. Taei almost ran into her before noticing. Blushing, she backed away and waited for the Aes Sedai to continue. "Through these doors is the office of the Mistress of Novices. I will stay outside." Alyria Sedai then knocked on the door. "Go in when you're called."

Faerzyne Greigory, MoN

Faerzyne comforted the whippet of a novice seated in front of her as best she could. Her position as overseer of the White Tower initiates meant she more often handed out correction and punishments, yet there were times when she also offered a shoulder to cry on, for those in need. It was disconcerting at times, Faerzyne herself had never been one prone to tears or 'female' outbursts of emotion, yet to some of these girls, she was the closest thing they now had to a mother.

Offering the sniffling girl a handkerchief from her pocket, Faerzyne patted the girl's back lightly, from where she was kneeling in front of her, bells in her braids faintly tinkling with the motion. "There now child, dry your tears." She said softly, soothingly. The girl nodded, dabbing at her moist cheeks. She had been in the office now for some time, crying with homesickness, though now at least it seemed she was feeling better, her sobs subsiding. Faerzyne could hardly recall the words she had spoken to soothe her, but they seemed to work as the girl mustered a shaky smile.

"Thankyou, Aes Sedai." The girl managed as Faerzyne stood, awarding her with a smile as a tingling sensation passed over her, a sure sign that one of her wards had been set off. As if on cue a knock sounded on the door. "Off with you now girl." Said Faerzyne gently, leading her to the door. Opening it, the novice dropped a curtsey and scurried past, leaving a bewildered looking girl in her wake. Not clothed as an initiate, she had the appearance of an outsider, a petitioner perhaps.

"My name is Faerzyne Grigory, Mistress of Novices." Toned Faerzyne, waving the girl into the office and closing the door softly behind her. "How can I help you?" Waving to a chair, she moved behind her desk, looking over it curiously at the newcomer.

Taei Mirel

Taei stood tensely awaiting the door to open. When it did a girl came out of the office that had obviously been crying. Shocked Taei stared after the girl for a moment. What in the name of the light have I gotten myself into? Looking back at the doorway she noticed the Aes Sedai looking back at her. Trying to regather her composure Taei looked down. "My name is Faerzyne Grigory, Mistress of Novices." Taei almost jumped at being addressed.

When she was waved inside she obeyed without question. She didn't think that this woman was challenged often, or with much success. She then shut the door softly behind Taei. "How can I help you?" The Aes Sedai then motioned for her to sit and then sat in her own chair. Taei moved over to the chair mentioned and gathered her courage once more.

In a almost steady voice she said, "I was tested and told that I was able to learn to be Aes Sedai, Faerzyne Sedai. So I have come to learn." Just speaking those words seemed to take all her courage. Looking down at her feet once more, she awaited the reply, not really sure what she was wanting her answer to be.

Faerzyne Grigory, MoN

So the girl had already been tested. This meant she had to know, somewhere deep down inside of herself that she would be accepted within the White Tower. That she would learn to channel, to the best of her abilities. Still the girl shifted in her seat, as if she couldn't quite believe that she would be asked to stay. Faerzyne decided to relieve her from the tension that was building. She opened the book of Novices which was still in front of her. "So you've been tested already. How fortunate." She picked up her pen, and prepared to write. "Let's see about making your stay here a bit more permanent then, shall we?"

She didn't have to look at the young woman to see that there was a change in the tension that had kept her in it's thrall. "Can you tell me your full name again?" As the girl replied, she wrote it down in the book. Another life sealed to the Tower, for better and for worse. "And your place of birth and raising?" again she wrote, making Taei's stay more certain with every letter, every curved or straight line. "And finally your age." She finished with a dot behind the age, which felt as heavy and important as any signature from any high lord or lady. "Welcome to the White Tower."

Taei Mirel

Hearing the rustling of pages Taei looked up, curious as to what the Aes Sedai was doing. She then noticed the large volume sitting on the desk for the first time. Get a hold of yourself! Didn't even notice a book that size? Snap out of it Taei.

"So you've been tested already. How fortunate." Then the Mistress of Novices picked up her pin and got ready to write in the book, which on second glance appeared to be a ledger of some sort. Bigger than any ledger Taei had ever seen, though. "Let's see about making your stay here a bit more permanent then, shall we?"

Almost sighing with relief, Taei relaxed at the knowledge that she wasn't going to be turned away now. All the same, the butterflies in her stomach became a little worse too. Light, give me the strength to do this.

"Can you tell me your full name again?" Taei cleared her throat softly then replied, "Taei Mirel, Aes Sedai." The Mistress of Novices started writing in the book and Taei knew that there was no turning back now, she had sealed her fate and there was no room for looking back now.

"And your place of birth and raising?" Taken a bit aback by that Taei sat for a moment to gather her thoughts before answering. "I was raised in Caemlyn, in Andor. As for my place of birth..." she paused for just a second, "I don't know."

"And finally your age." This time without hesitation she replied, "Fourteen."

"Welcome to the White Tower." Taei just sat staring at the book on the table. Well, it's done now. I'm here for good now. Steeling up her resolve she looked up at the Aes Sedai and managed a small smile.

Faerzyne Grigory, MoN

Finally the book was closed again. Faerzyne took a moment to write down the name of the girl's mentor on a piece of parchment, as well as a note. The mentor she had selected would find Taei when she was able, in the meantime she would ensure Taei was looked after. Stopping a passing Accepted, she handed her the note to deliver, before instructing her to return as soon as she was done, before she returned to the new Novice. With a smile she walked over to one of the many cabinets. She pulled two novice dresses from the cabinet, and handed them to the girl. "These are yours to wear during the years you are a novice. You must tend to them well, mend them when they're torn, wash them when they're dirty. For the next years, you will not be allowed to wear anything apart from these dresses."

She settled behind her desk again, telling the young woman in front of her a little about the rules novices lived by. She went from the curfew to the restriction on venturing into Tar Valon, to the repercussions that would follow if she chose to venture into the yards without a good reason. "But you look like a sensible young woman, so I'm sure I won't see too much of you here." A knock on her door told her that the Accepted had returned.

"Enter." Vera revealed herself to Faerzyne and Taei. "I trust that you'll show Taei around the tower until her mentor can join her." Faerzyne said. Her tone was dismissive. She glanced at the sun, and notice that it had shifted slightly. A while had passed since the young woman had entered her office. A while, but there was still a lot of time left. As the new novice and the Accepted dropped curtseys and left her office she sighed, wondering if this day would end any time soon.

Vera Cadsume

A sudden summoning-yet again- except, unlike last time, Vera had not been waiting for this. Vera had not even been aware that she would be called for this. But then, perhaps, Faerzyne herself had not been sure. Yes, she thought as she starting making her way back, that would explain it. She assumed as she saw a tall figure of long auburn waves hurry past her, that the girl sitting inside was originally her responsibility. Now it made perfect sense.

The day otherwise, had been a busy one. Quite steady into her Acceptedhood by now, she was no longer sailing in between murky waters or trudging through quicksand- she had found her stand- now, she had to settle down right there and make it better than anyone had done so before her. Ambitious true, but not impossible, Nyssa had told her.

Quickly enough, the sturdy oak doors that everyone knew to be those of the Mistress of Novices' study stood before. Rapping smartly on the door, she waited a few seconds for the greeting word that would allow her in. It came almost immediately, in that slightly melodic voice that all Arafellin women possessed, even after several years elsewhere. Vera quite liked it, she decided as she smoothly swept through the doorway. A deep curtsey, a solemn nod and then they were out.

"I am Accepted Vera, Taei," she started with a friendly smile, quickly looking the girl up and down. "I am sorry about your mentor not being here- I know that if she could, she would. However, I am hoping you wont find your time with me unpleasant." It's not like it matters if she does, she told herself.

"I think we'll go to the Novices' quarters first, so that you can dump all your bags. And maybe, you would like an introduction to some of the other Novices?"

Taei Mirel

Taei watched as the Mistress of Novices closed the book and a chapter of her life with it. She watched with curiosity as the older woman wrote down a note on a piece of parchment and then proceeded to peer out into the hallway. She heard the Mistress of Novices tell someone to deliver the note and the reply of "Yes, Aes Sedai." Then the Aes Sedai returned to the room and walked over to a cabinet. Pulling out two dresses of plain white cotton she then handed them to Taei. "These are yours to wear during the years you are a novice. You must tend to them well, mend them when they're torn, wash them when they're dirty. For the next years, you will not be allowed to wear anything apart from these dresses."

Only two dresses? How long am I to be a novice for? I have had dresses that I've worn for years, but just two? Then the Aes Sedai sat down behind the desk again and started telling her the rules that she was to live by. Not allowed to leave the tower? Well, I guess that's reasonable, the tower is quite large and there are gardens. She also explained that she wan't to go the the training yards without a good reason. Taei was somewhat confused by this statement, but remained silent. "But you look like a sensible young woman, so I'm sure I won't see too much of you here." Taei certainly hoped not, considering that she was the one to deal out punishments it seemed.

At a knock on the door the Aes Sedai told the person to enter. The woman who entered was wearing a dress similar to the ones she had been given, but there were colored bands around the bottom of it. She guessed that the bands meant something, but she had no idea what. Standing 5'6" she was much shorter than Taei, making her feel gangly and out of proportion once again. Her chestnut brown hair was slighly curled. Taei thought that she would be considered very lovely by man. The woman curtsied at the command and then drew Taei with her out of the room.

"I am Accepted Vera, Taei." Vera then gave her a warm smile. "I am sorry about your mentor not being here- I know that if she could, she would. However, I am hoping you wont find your time with me unpleasant." Feeling somewhat shocked she was unsure whether her mentor not being available was a good thing or a bad one. "I think we'll go to the Novices' quarters first, so that you can dump all your bags. And maybe, you would like an introduction to some of the other Novices?"

Taking a deep breath she settled her fears once again. "It would be nice to see my quarters and drop off some things." Shifting the pack that she had slung over her shoulder still of her belongings she wondered how so few things could weigh so heavily now when they hadn't but a minute ago. "I suppose I should change as well, shouldn't I?" The question she knew the answer to, but just wanted it to be confirmed for her sake.

Vera Cadsume

This was a really nervous one, Vera realized. It was there in everything she was doing- from the way her eyes widened a little without her knowing it, to the way she would breath in deeply in an effort to calm herself to even the way she had summed Vera up in the first few moments. Resisting the urge to hug her tightly, she waited patiently for Taei to reply, knowing full well how strange the Tower seemed to the newly inscribed. Light, to them especially. "It would be nice to see my quarters and drop off some things."Had she been like this, she wondered for a few moments? She could certainly see herself doing many of the things and actions Taei had done. Perhaps that is why she found herself warming to the girl.

"Yes," she said, her eyes glittering humorously, "It would be easier to take you around without being burdened with all your things. And yes, I think changing would be a good idea. It would make you feel a little less out of place, I think.†Too insightful perhaps? Gently she pulled at Taei's sleeve, leading her forward, straight towards the Novices' quarters. It had been a while since she'd wandered in this deep, she noted thoughtfully. Girls of all ages and colour were moving in and out of her vision and quite a few other Accepted were present, almost each one paired with one particular woman as they themselves went about doing what Vera herself was caught in doing. Pleasantly she asked Taei about her past and her origin, nodding at passing acquaintances as she did so. Curiously, a few Novices eyed Taei, looking her up and down, as if checking to see what the 'newest unfortunate' was like. Idly Vera wondered how much they had gossiped about her back in her own days. Light, she didn't even want to know.

Stopping in front of a plain wooden door, she urged Taei in. Quickly enough, they were both inside and for a few moments, Vera stayed silent as she let the Novice take in her surroundings. "It might not be what you would've expected Taei, but you'll realize slowly that it isn't as bad as it is cut out to be.†What an outright lie. "Anyway, why don't you change. I shall be standing outside." With that, she stepped out of the little room instantly looking around for the right Novices to make Taei meet. And quickly enough, she found the perfect one. Carla Ravien, with her large liquidy eyes and lovely, enchanting smile, was a puddle of warmth. An intelligent one at that. Quickly she motioned to her and explained briefly.

Now, for Taei to reappear.

© 2008 K. C. Wells

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This is a good start to a very interesting tale, that said it is very wordy. You need to check the grammar as well as your typing. The basic story is wonderful but it still needs a lot of work. If you fix the problems you would have a great story here.

Posted 13 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

You have a strong compelling story in the making here. Your visual imagery is well done without being overly descriptive (a flaw I find in most fantasy). Characters are strong and well defined.

You need a lot of work on sentence structure to keep this otherwise interesting story moving. Don�t confuse style with improper use of grammar, verb disagreements and passive voice. Some examples:

Transition from narration to character�s POV � need to start new paragraph, avoids confusion.

�. . .she noticed a rather unusual group that grabbed her attention.� Redundant verb use � �noticed� and �grabbed�. Try; �. . .she noticed an usual group.� Or; �an unusual group grabbed her attention.�

�There was a woman who was around the same height as Taei which got her attention to start with. . .� Wordy. Try to avoid passive voice in dialogue. An unusual women, about the same height as �Taei, got her attention first. . .�

�There was also a man who was with the woman, or so it appeared, he appeared to be very strong.� Several problems; wordy, passive voice and run on. Try; �A man was with the woman, or so it appeared. He looked very strong.� Next sentence is from Taei�s POV and should be a new paragraph.

�She looked over at him giving him a smile.� Awkward, wordy. Try; �She looked at him and smiled.�

Overall, your structure is dragging down an otherwise great concept. Try to simplify sentences, watch those run ons. I realize you�re going for a certain style, but sentences still have to be clear and readable or you�ll lose your readers.

You�ve got a very good story going here. Tighten up sentence structure, check paragraphing and your narrative will flow much better, keeping readers engaged.

A good effort. Keep it up.

Posted 13 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

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2 Reviews
Added on February 10, 2008


K. C. Wells
K. C. Wells

Goldsboro, NC

An update. I am still writing occasionally on my blog which is featured in my profile. I haven't had much time for major writing for awhile, but I do hope to pick it up again in the future. I am cu.. more..

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