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Part 1: Encouragement
Mon May 8, 2006 6:30am
63.238.223.66 (XFF: 192.168.1.3)

Medaea looked at the generous sized group and felt pleased that she had such a wonderful turnout, if something of a sour beginning. Gesturing to those who had stood who hadn't needed to, she said, "Unless I've otherwise stated, you can have a seat on one of the available stools." There was only a small murmur of surprise among the standing Novices and then they were sitting on their stools, leaving the two Novices to luxuriate in the sun, standing up. "Looking around you, I’m sure that each of you see the beauty in what has been created here in the White Tower grounds. There are trees that are straight and healthy, not a single weed to be found, and it would be a great surprise to find that any of these plants or flowers have been infected with any sort of disease. In short, you are all standing in the midst of a great miracle. Now, why do I say that?"

There were some blank stares and sudden quiet except for the chirping of a bluebird somewhere in a tree and then the slow response of answers from the Novices citing hard work, Novice 'slave labor' (which was met with good-natured chuckles from the Accepted), determination and a lot of care. And then someone piped up, "But even the best gardener has weeds and blight on their plants sometimes."

Medaea nodded, "Exactly. The gardens here at the White Tower are fortunate in that there are Aes Sedai who assist in the growth and maintenance of the flowers. Now granted, this doesn't meant that because they use the One Power to encourage them to grow that there still isn't the natural upkeep of weeding, pruning and watering, but this does mean that this encouragement helps to make them stronger and healthier."

Alain stepped forward for his part of the speech. "For the first part of this lesson, each of you will be placed before a rosebush. We've chosen roses because, although they are somewhat delicate of a flower, they're still incredibly hardy plants that can take a lot of abuse—put them into too much sun and they'll curl back on themselves in protection, deny them water and their roots will drill deeper into the ground for the moister soil. This makes them ideal for you to learn how to use the One Power to encourage them."

Medaea glanced at the Novices, some of which seemed excited to begin. "Accepted Alain and I will be showing you the weaves you'll be doing and then each of you will choose a rosebush of your own to encourage with the weaves we've shown you." The square of grass was only ten by ten paces, large enough to have plenty of roses to work on but still small enough that she and Alain could be nearby to offer help immediately. Stepping in front of a short rosebush, the blue-purple blooms were still somewhat curled on themselves as they climbed up the finger-thick branches lined with wicked looking thorns. She knew that different roses had different widths of branches and number of thorns and somehow she'd chosen one of the more aggressive ones.

"The weave that we'll be teaching you will be a mingled flow of Water, Earth and Spirit and will encourage not only the nutrients and moisture to enter the roots, but the weave will also cause the roots to grow down and out to spread out and gather the necessary water and nutrients from the soil. When done correctly, the roses will grow slightly to your eyes and begin to open up almost immediately." Medaea embraced and drew on saidar enough that working with Earth would be straining but doable. There was no indication that Alain had seized except for a very calm expression on her face and so she turned back to the Novices. "Watch what we do so that you can repeat it."

The threads of Water and Spirit drove into the ground itself and wove a thick net through the soil by the roots of the roses; gently, with gentle care, she drew on the threads of Earth and wove them upward into another grid that she laced with further Spirit and Water, letting them coil around the roots and sink in. Almost immediately, Medaea felt her success a few moments before the effects became apparent on the roses. The stems that held the delicate blue-violet buds lifted a few finger widths upward, the leaves unfurling slightly as if by magic and then the buds widening as they opened up into a fragrant bloom not even half the size of her palm.

From the corner of her eye, she saw that Alain had had the same success with his own red blooms and with a flourish, he plucked one and bestowed it to the girl who had introduced herself as Novice Lilli. "A bloom for Mistress Bloom." He quipped with a smile that got the other Novices laughing.

Concealing her irritation behind a smooth mask, Medaea turned to the Novices with composure. "Each of you—except for Novices Schyler and Teiran, you'll remain standing—take your stool and spread out to a rosebush. Accepted Alain and I will be walking around to make sure you're doing well and if you have any troubles, just ask. When you're done, you're permitted to take a flower if you wish, as a souvenir and I'll be happy to weave a Keeping on it so that it won't fade for you. Now spread out and begin!"




OOC: Okay, everyone please write 400 words about your success or failure with this exercise. Part 2 will go up on the 16th or sooner if everyone responds before then, and for latecomers, this lesson will remain open until Part 2 goes up!

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