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Sabine al'Risa, Novice Runaway?
A Chance For Escape?
Sun Apr 16, 2006 7:28pm (XFF:

There had been a flurry of activity in the Novice quarters all evening long and Sabine had been getting quite tired of the noise for some time. She had come back to her room after dinner and had contented herself to lying on her not so comfortable bed, with her hands behind her head, one foot propped up on the toe of her other foot. The very plain, and small room that she’d been given still rankled along with the clothing she was forced to wear. Nothing but white! At least her room had a splash of color, even if the square rug on her floor was frayed along two of its sides, it was stripped blue and green. Her worn-out desk was a dark brown wood, as was the wooden chair that had a blue cushion on the seat that had seen plumper days. A few pegs to hang her clothes and a small, framed mirror that had also seen better days completed the adornment of the white walls. She decided the first moment she saw it that she hated the mirror as the image it reflected seemed somewhat distorted. There was another small stand that supported the chipped white washbowl and the somewhat unscathed pitcher. A light-colored wooden bureau was the last thing in the room, all to hold the few white dresses and shifts she’d been allowed.

She had clean ignored the other Novices at dinner, eating a few place settings down from the nearest ones, and so therefore had not heard what they were all in a tizzy about. But, as the clamor continued, Sabine finally rose from her bed to peer into the hall. She had kept the door open as it at least allowed a bit of air into the stuffy room. As she had no window, after her first night she’d felt a little claustrophobic and had mostly left her door cracked except when she wasn’t there.

Several Novices were passing by her room as she stepped from the doorway, so she demanded in a rather rude voice what all the noise was about. The first two arched eyebrows at her before continuing on their way, however one at the tail end did pause a moment. “Why, haven’t you heard?” The girl was the bubbly sort that Sabine hated with every fiber of her body, one of those that always wore a smile and had a bounce to her step even when being set a dastardly task.

“Obviously not, you twit, or I wouldn’t have asked.”

The girl’s light blue eyes widened in surprise at Sabine’s tone, and she wondered if she’d get an answer. Of course, the girl couldn’t be put down, even by someone as awful as Sabine. “Thorhild Sedai is holding a lesson on the culture of Altara in the Oval Lecture Hall first thing tomorrow, and rumor has it she’ll actually be taking us from the Tower to Altara itself!” The girl really was bouncing on her toes in excitement. “Can you believe it? To get to leave the Tower, even if only for the day?”

“I don’t believe in rumors.” And, Sabine nearly missed the look of shock the other Novice gave her as she shut the door in her face. But, the girl was already far from Sabine’s mind as she paced to the far side of her room. It wasn’t many steps across, but Sabine took advantage of each one of them as she paced back and forth with an arm across her chest and supporting the other as she tapped a finger to her lips in thought.

Out of the Tower? This could be the chance I need, and come much sooner than I expected. But, how to get to this Oval Lecture Hall? And, what time? She momentarily regretted not getting more information for the other Novice, but then eyed the one book that was sitting upon the desk. She couldn’t read it, but perhaps it contained a map? But, then again, all maps had words and she’d never be able to puzzle out which room was marked what.

Quickly, however, she came up with another plan. With as eager the other Novices were to go to this Altara, she’d be able to follow them to the lesson. With her mind made up, she began to form other plans within her head, a little fantasy world only Sabine could dream up that consisted of servants and a palace and poor little Sabine being treated properly. She really didn’t understand all these other people that seemed to enjoy life here at this White Tower, when all she really saw it as was a prison.

She barely slept that night, not being used to the Tower’s schedule, she didn’t want to miss being where she needed to be. But, she didn’t need to worry much, as the whispers grew louder in the hall as the time for breakfast grew nearer. She quickly rose and dressed and spent a little time cleaning the sleep from her face. The water in her pitcher was ice cold, but she hardly noticed it this morning. Ribbons in the hated white was all she had to tie her hair back, but she had no idea how to do anything else with her long, brown locks as the servants at home had always done her hair for her. That she could brush her own hair was a miracle in itself, much less pull it back with a ribbon. Even with the ribbon tied at the base of her neck, her hair still reached her waist. Soon, I’ll be back home so I can be taken care of. It never even occurred to her that Altara would be no where near her home in Caemlyn.

Finished with her preparations, Sabine joined the Novices thronging towards the dining area. Even though she had remembered that place well enough, she felt as if pretending to join in would be less suspicious. So, she attempted to make idle conversation with those that were seated by her during breakfast. If they thought anything amiss in the awkwardness of Sabine’s dialogue, they probably chalked it up to her being the new girl. Everything went well also when they all finished and started their way to the lesson. Each of her newfound, yet false, companions thought she was just as eager to leave the Tower as they were, yet didn’t know that she had a completely different set of reasons than they.

When they entered the Oval Lecture Hall, Sabine could barely contain her amazement. It was quite possible her entire house would have fit inside just the one room! Promptly, however, her mind returned to the task at hand, which included sizing up the two teachers, Aes Sedai that were at the front of the room. Both had rather foreign features to Sabine, but instead of dwelling on that, she listened intently as one began to speak. It would be important for her to gather all the information that she could.

“I trust that you all enjoyed your repast, as you’ll be needing it. Altara, as you ought to know, is one of the southernmost nations on this side of the Spine of the World. It is located on the Sea of Storms. It is a proud of a long history, and its magnificence can be witnessed in its flag: two golden leopards on a field of checkered blue and red. Miravalles Sedai and I will impress this all upon you. Now, of course, I do not doubt that you’re positively itching to be from here. What better place to learn of Altara than the nation itself? Introduce yourself with your names and any relevant information, and after that, we will take you there.”

So, it was true. They would be leaving the Tower. Sabine had doubted it, but hope had won her over, and hearing it confirmed made her heart leap in her chest. But, she couldn’t show herself as being overly excited. It was possible that these two Aes Sedai knew that she was new to the Tower. When it came to her, Sabine spoke her name quietly but clearly, and hoping it was in a manner that didn’t draw attention. It may have been the first time she hadn’t used her loud voice as she usually did want to draw attention to herself.

Sabine kept her eyes focused on the Aes Sedai and was rather surprised when the silver doorway spun into being. This was, yet again, something new to her, and if she had been a little less ignorant, may have started to make the connection that it might be something she could do. Yet, her mind was all on the day’s plan that was shortly coming to fruition and she lined up with the others in white to follow them through the door.

The first thing that hit her was the heat. Could it be? It was completely confusing for Sabine as she knew it had been nearly freezing when she’d arrived at the Tower and she hadn’t been there very long. Could summer have arrived already? It didn’t make much sense to her, but she held it close inside. She had to escape, after all and the weather outside made no never mind to her. And, just as she hoped, they had come to a crowd of people. The Aes Sedai had followed them through the doorway and it had spun shut behind them. Sabine was delighted to see that there was no White Tower nearby, and this city seemed completely different than the one that the Tower was in. She was so wrapped up in her plans, however, that she first missed what the Aes Sedai was saying. Not that she really cared, but she hadn’t escaped yet and she knew that information was the most important.

“...Circuit is one of the city’s proudest attractions. It’s a racetrack where trusted breeders from all over the westlands come with the intent to race with the finest. These are the most skilled jockeys of their kind. Folks from the city and from beyond come to watch world-class entertainment–and, suffice to say, place a few bets. That is precisely what we’ll be doing.”

As the two Aes Sedai led the Novices into the circular building, Sabine began to realize that the crowd was thinning. She wasn’t sure if she’d get another opportunity. So, she knelt quickly, pretending to re-tie a lace on her shoe and, thinking that the Aes Sedai wouldn’t keep their eyes off her long, she darted away into a crowd around a vendor’s stall. It was perhaps the sun that played in her favor, or maybe the mass of people, but she didn’t hear a shout come her way that would indicate they knew she was missing. Grinning ear to ear, Sabine began to push her way through the crowd, having no idea that she would soon be in very real danger.

OOC: Off to you, Mark! :)

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