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Lengthy Tales
Thu Dec 28, 2006 5:09am

As they passed under the front gates to the White Tower and crossed into Tar Valon, their talk turned into what first meetings usually digressed to: personal history. This was a top Aliwen was always sensitive about, and her usual course of action was to never tell anyone about it. It was something between her family and herself, and even more intimately between her brother and herself, because to her the story focused on them, only occasionally being twisted by other people’s mistakes and kind acts – such as her father, and the Lady Lilith. Contemplating this, Aliwen realized that it was most likely correct to believe that Jield had told his own companion for the day – Jayani Sedai – his story and how he had enlisted with the Gaidin to save his family, and what was wrong with his sister’s eye and why she was jealous enough to drop boiling water along the arm of an Aes Sedai. Oh yes, Aliwen doubted that there was nothing Jayani Sedai didn’t know about Jield’s history.

And if Jield could tell Jayani, then Aliwen could tell Tristan! He was nice, interested and genuine – he had as much right to know as some bloody nosy Aes Sedai!

Aliwen listened with interest and Tristan told her about him and his cousin Morygan from Ghealdan. His whole story did not seem to take long – it was no longer than a few sentences, surely – and Aliwen felt that her’s would be infinitely longer, but listening to him tell her about him gave Ali the confidence to, for the first time, share her own story. It was both the confidence and the residual anger she felt with Jield that pushed her forward, making her leap into something that she had no relived for awhile.

“I fear that this may seem quite epic, Tristan,” she said, blushing. As they drifted out onto the streets of Tar Valon Aliwen hooked her arm through his, pretending to assume that he had offered it. Maybe Jield would see them – then they’d see who would be jealous! “But I shall just try to keep it simple and direct; you must bear in mind that this is something that I have actually told no one before, but I feel like I can trust you and that telling you might actually do me some good.

“I was born in the city of Illian; my brother, Jield, was ten years older than me, and my sister, Gwynn, was two years older than he. I was the baby of the family, and Jield was fascinated by me – from when I was young he would put it upon himself to protect me and make sure I was safe at all times. I never felt like he was over-protective, I loved spending time with him. To a five year old, spending time with your teenage brother is something that is very special and rare. We grew so close and soon we spent most of our time together; our father had taught Ji to fish out in the marshes of Illian and so we would go out there together and I would sit with him and watch him wield his net – something very different to what he wields now. Our father was often harsh on Jield’s ability, and so my brother and I would go out into the marshes alone more often than not.

“Jield had a favourite spot,” she continued, her eye shading over, “but it required a mighty climb to get down there along the cliffs next to the marshes. For him it was an easy climb, and he had absolute faith in me, and he said that I could do it easily, and so I believed it too. The climb down was quite easy, and then going up wasn’t too hard either, but then I made a mistake. Ji was telling me where to hang on, but I didn’t hear one piece of his advice and the rock underneath me it – it – it crumbled and I…” she paused “…I fell. I still remember falling past him, and him looking down at me with terror in his eyes; I don’t think I’ve ever seen him so scared before.”

She coughed slightly, removing the emotional and physical barriers that stopped her from continuing on with her tale.

“The Aes Sedai were too far away to do anything of use; they cleaned up what the Wise Woman had already done and took away some of the pain, but my left eye had been badly damaged and cut in the fall, so I lost sight in it completely. The scar has faded slightly over the years, but it’s still quite horrible, in my opinion, hence my fringe to hide it, it just makes social situations much better, and working in my parents’ inn it’s best not to scare the customers.

“My parents blamed Jield, and so he distanced himself from them; I didn’t blame him, of course, so we were still close, but he drifted away from the rest of the family. When Jield was about twenty, Gwynn left to pursue a man for marriage, and he was out fishing on his own one day; a man came to our door and accosted my father, claiming that he had to pay back his debts to Lord Kenneth. Everything in our house – even our house! – wasn’t enough that our father had apparently borrowed to start up his fishing business, and so they took my parents and I into slavery, forcing us to leave for Murandy straight away, meaning that Jield came home to find us gone. He thought that we had abandoned him.

“When he was an Aethan’Tar Jield learned of our situation, and then he came to Murandy as a Sei’Tar with the help of a woman, Lady Lilith, who had put all of her emotional and financial support behind him. He challenged Lord Kenneth to a fight, the first to draw blood, and won our freedom for us. Lady Lilith helped us too, so after nearly eight years as a servant, we were here in Tar Valon with a business we could begin to call our own, and Jield as Head Gaidin at our doorstep should we ever need it.

“Jield has been there for me all my life, Tristan,” Aliwen said, slowly coming out of her memories, “I just feel a little bit out of sorts to see him spending time and being there for someone else.”

OOC: Wow, you’re lucky to have seen that side of her! ;-)

  • Sounds LovelyAccepted Tristen Calvert, Mon Dec 25 3:32pm
    He thought about her question for a moment, before laughing a bit nervously. He never really traveled out into Tar Valon, so the idea of him knowing a good place to eat was almost comical. It all had ... more
    • Lengthy Tales — Aliwen Pilaweth, Thu Dec 28 5:09am
      • Adding To My StoryAccepted Tristen Calvert, Thu Dec 28 2:02pm
        As she began to tell him of her past, Tristen began feeling guilty that he hadn’t shared his whole past; what had brought him to his cousins and what had eventually led him here. A blush had formed... more
        • Dessert IcesAliwen Pilaweth, Mon Jan 1 4:27am
          The place that Tristan pointed out and suggested for their meal looked quite nice, and from talk she had heard on the street Aliwen knew that its reputation was quite good – they had a diverse menu... more
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