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Part 2: Greenhouses
Mon May 15, 2006 6:13am
63.238.223.66 (XFF: 80.235.42.23)

Medaea gathered the Novices back in again, her and Alain weaving the Keeping for all of the Novices who had requested it; most had, though there were a few that shook their heads and politely declined. "Each of you grab your stools and follow me, we're going to move a little further down the way toward the herb garden." With Alain and Medaea leading them along the stone path, she was relieved to note that the Novices weren't inclined to chatter needlessly between each exercise. Perhaps it was seeing two Novices publicly chastised in the lesson and realizing that Medaea wasn't one of the more lenient Accepted that seemed to be cropping up in the Tower or maybe it was just that they were well disciplined. Either way, she was satisfied that she wouldn't have to yell at anyone for not being able to keep their mouth shut.

The herb garden was along the southwest corner of the gardens, with it being still relatively early in the day, indirect sunlight filtered though the trees from the east, the shadow of the tall wall creeping back as the sun rose in the sky. The herbs were laid out almost in Cairhienin fashion with large blocks neatly arranged through the winding path. There was the rich scent of peat in the air that mingled with the different aromas of the herbs, citrus scents such as sunshine thyme and lemongrass cutting through some of the more earthly and spicy aromas of sage and oregano. She'd led them to the patch of culinary herbs, but just beyond the bend were the long rows of medicinal herbs, even if some of them mingled with one another in purpose.

"Herbs are very sensitive and very delicate plants to take care of. One cold spring day can ruin an entire patch of basil in a moment, one frost will cause your goosemint to wither." Medaea began. "Herbs like warmth and humidity, they thrive on it, but you can never truly anticipate when a cold snap is going to hit, even this late in the spring. In order to protect these herbs from being damaged, the Aes Sedai here like to employ a method of providing those conditions for the herbs naturally through a simple weave of the One Power."

Stepping forward to a small patch of rosemary, she could smell the woody scent wafting to her as she crouched down, skirts pooling on the stones. Just brushing her hands along the small, thick leaves, her fingers came back smelling of the herb. "It's simply a weave of Air and Water created like a dome; with the right mixture of Water in the weave, it allows for moisture to pass through far more easily than it comes out, but it still allows for moisture to escape."

Drawing on saidar, she pulled on her two strongest Powers and wove a large dome of Air around the one pace square patch. The latticework was somewhat compact but still allowed for gaps regularly along the entire span. Small flows of Water wove between the strands of Air, forming a large but very loose spiderweb pattern along her original weave.

Standing back up again, she saw that Alain had silently crouched next to another patch of herbs and had most likely duplicated the weave, given the attention the male Novices were paying his herbs. "The Aes Sedai who care for both the culinary and medicinal herbs use weaves exactly like this during the early spring months to protect them after a Brown Aes Sedai observed that some plant had done extremely well beneath a glass jar in the sunlight once. After a few more experiments, she found out that it was certain properties in the glass that allowed for the heat to come in and stick around, and that the natural properties of the air were humid enough that it caused the inside of the glass to heat up. She found that by this process, the herbs not only thrived, but grew far faster and were much larger as a result.

"Ever since then, Aes Sedai of both the Brown and Yellow have been very attentive to the herbs to keep them from being killed during an unseasonably cold winter and they've also begun using the same method to grow shoots of plants and vegetables in order to transplant them to the nearby farmers if their crops were killed during one of these cold snaps." She didn't mention that there was a Blue in the process of devising some sort of way to do this for all the nations of the Westlands.

Brushing her skirts of any errant dirt, "Each of you take your stool and spread out. Get comfortable and choose a patch of herbs to work on. When the weave is done right, it will allow the air under your dome to heat up and the Water threads will allow moisture to come in and stick around a while until it naturally filters out. Alain and I will come around and check your work and if you need any help, just let us know."

She saw the Novices begin to cautiously move toward the herbs and Alain, ever the friendly Accepted, called out, "And don't worry, there's no way to hurt the plants if you mess up!"

She restrained herself from rolling her eyes.




OOC: Aighty then! This lesson is now closed to newcomers! 400 words, as usual, performing the weave successfully or unsuccessfully. Third and final part will go up next Monday on the 22nd!

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