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Channeling: Art Survey
Thu Jun 1, 2006 5:15am (XFF:

By all means, the artistic talent simply did not reside in her genes. Or so every acquaintance of hers might observe, when perceiving, say, her hand in writing, or even her character in general. What would an Aiel know about art? More succinctly put, what would a cold-blooded barbarian know about the delicacies of aesthetics? Even Terrian had commented once or twice during the length of their decades-old relationship on the extent to which crude disorganization plagued her papers and files, and it was a universal stereotype that artists were in all sense neat.

Truth was that Menaihya, in fact, had somewhat of an artist in her, if her style was more expressive—not in a poignant sort of way, but more of a dynamic sense—, consisted of natural strokes and lines, and was not always calm and contained. Hadn’t she, after all, spent a bulk of her years in the Three-fold Land as a weaver and a pottery-maker? She had not done much art since then, but the occasional Cuendillar bowl she designed up in the workshop (she had the Talent) evinced astonishment from even Terrian. Menaihya did not think much of her accomplishments, of course. She wasn’t in the opinion that her works merited any boast at all. She would have smashed her bowls to oblivion, but obviously, Cuendillar so conveniently could not be destroyed.

In any case she didn’t even think about the topic until the Mistress of Novices cornered her in one of the Green Ajah hallways one day and tossed the proposition of a lesson in her face.

“Me, a lesson?” she had replied blandly, as she recalled, “It has not yet been a month since mine and Terrian’s return to Tar Valon.”

“Are you complaining, Menaihya?” Madeline had said with a brush of a smile to her lips, “Well, there’s a first.”

And that had settled it. The date was set, the slip of a parchment tacked up on the novice board, and she was left to prepare the various props needed for the lesson. That required several Gaidin-in-training and liveried servants lugging things to and fro from the designated teaching spot, but a few days later it was done.

Attention, novices! A lesson touching on preliminary art is to be held in studio number eight in the western Accepted galleries, at promptly after the final toll of the midday bell. For those of you wishing to attend and receive credit, do not be late! Those of you with long hair, please be sure that it is either tied up or pulled back. In the Light, Menaihya of the Nine Valleys Taardad Aes Sedai of the Green Ajah.

When the day came Menaihya dressed swiftly in her chambers, throwing back her heavy wardrobe doors and selecting a plain green gossamer gown to slip over her shift. All her garments were plain, if gossamer and silks were said to be plain; she had never been one for fineries and fripperies, even for an Aiel, hence her minimal jewelry collection and the like. Today she wore a simple gold chain that matched the Great Serpent ring glimmering habitually on her finger, and her long drapes of pale yellow hair she tied back into a natural tail with a black scarf. Soft leather boots, in lieu of the silk slippers the other sisters were prone to wear, adorned her feet and wound about her calves—they were much more comfortable, in her opinion.

She exited her apartments and swiftly progressed through the hallways lined with green runners, and soon she was descending the spiraling ramps that would lead her to the other parts of the White Tower. She met Gaben Sedai on the way.

“There you are,” the man with whom she was to execute the lesson said upon sighting her, “Have you taken your lunch?”

“No,” she replied in her low voice.

“Well, will you?”

“I am not hungry.”

Gaben sighed, shaking his head and shifting his fringes of ash-colored hair out of his eyes. “Must you always be so cold towards me, Menaihya? We’ve known each other for what, seven years now?” He fell into step beside her, and as Menaihya gave him a sidelong glance she was able to observe his profile in relative scrutiny. With a line of brow porting an earnest expression, unwavering deep brown eyes, and an aquiline nose, Gaben Ashfair was a handsome man with a more than pleasant disposition. For as long as Menaihya had known him women had been fawning over him. She hoped that wouldn’t be a hindrance to the lesson, not that she expected novices to start doting on Aes Sedai. These days, one could never be sure.

“I am not being cold towards you, Gaben Ashfair,” she said stoically, “I do not know about you, but where I come from, when I say I am not hungry, I mean I am not hungry.” She tipped her mouth in what could be called a smile to dull some of the acerbic edge in that, or what might be conceived as such, and fortunately Gaben seemed to be taking it as a joke. Which it was, really. Menaihya had resided in the ‘wetlands’ for so long that she was as much a wetlander herself. A sad notion, once upon a time, but now, she took it in stride. Light, if she was able to crack a joke like a wetlander, then she was halfway that already.

“Fair,” the Green Brother allowed, and then grinned in a most sapient manner, as if he lauded his quickness of wit, “Then I will try again. Since I see that you haven’t already eaten, will you dine with me, Menaihya?”


“What?” Gaben exclaimed, “Even so, you’ll refuse me? Why?”

“Because I am not hungry.”

As she continued her way down towards the studio, alone, she reflected for a fleeting second that that had been a complete waste of a conversation. If men were queer, some women were queerer. How could someone like Gaben Ashfair suit a woman’s tastes? Not that she didn’t think he possessed an entirely too pretty a face, but men were never meant to be pleasing to look at. Or, pleasing to a degree, but never like that. She loathed soft men. Men should be hard, rugged, and rough all around. To love someone like Gaben Ashfair would be tantamount to….something disagreeable, she was sure. But why now was she speaking of love?

When had love ever been something good, for her?

She arrived at the western Accepted galleries, and past a flock of curtsying Accepted she entered the door to the studio on which was engraved the number eight. It was a sizeable room, with tall windows in the far wall to allow for maximum white light, and broad, smooth tables—each able to seat four people on high, three-legged stools—to provide working space. Pegs lined the wall next to the door, on which hung working aprons of all sizes and colors. On the adjacent wall were hung portraits and murals and paintings, nearly covering the entirety of it without leaving even an inch of a gap between each. These, Menaihya would use as survey references, and examples. Her ‘props’ in wooden boxes rested atop her own table, which was wider than all the rest and sat in the front of the chamber. Menaihya sat down and waited.

Presently the door opened to admit Gaben in. “Good lunch,” he said pleasantly as he came around to sit opposite her and planted his forearms on the tabletop, “I’m sorry you missed it.” To that Menaihya could provide no answer.

In due time Mid rang, and the novices began to amble in one by one. Upon sighting them they curtsied, to which Gaben nodded in acknowledgement and flashed that fetching smile of his. Menaihya simply directed her green gaze towards each student to check whether he or she had complied to her express wishes: to tie back any excessive hair. When all had gathered and the door shut once more, she stood to address the class. “As you all have read,” she said in her cool tones, “this is an art lesson. Channeling will be required for it. Firstly, I would like you all to go get an apron for yourself and wear it.” When they were all assembled once more, now in a brilliant array of blues and yellows and purples and whatnot, she nodded and continued, “Now, for introductions. I am Menaihya Sedai of the Green Ajah.”

“And I’m Gaben Ashfair Sedai of the Green Ajah,” the Brother inserted, his eyes porting a laugh.

“In order list your names, nation and city of origin, the length of your stay in the White Tower, and the strength of your Elements from weakest to strongest. And then I would like for you to state what experience, if any, you have had in the mechanics of art.” She pointed to a random member to the back, whose eyes kept on getting distracted by some sight in the outer grounds beyond the windows. “You. If you do not pay more careful attention from now on, you will risk the danger of my impatience. Begin first with the introductions.”

OOC: Hello one and all! Do not be deceived. Whatever the title and whatever this lesson entails, this is a channeling lesson and it will earn you a channeling credit. Not an elective credit. Comprenez?

I’d like each of you to write a post of 300 words, spell/grammar checked, and including a physical description of your character if possible. The first part of this lesson will go up on the 8th of June, a week from now, and so on and so forth. Prepare for an activity-infused lesson. *beckons* :)

By reference, this takes place before the world strings.

    • Lesson CancelledAmy, Fri Jun 30 4:47am
      Due to the factor of nobody replying to Part I, this lesson is hereby cancelled. *peeks into crevices* Where on earth did you all go? I hope more of you show up for the next channeling lesson. -Amy-
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    • More advanced than finger-painting?Novice Moira Ivon, Thu Jun 1 9:31pm
      Attention, novices! A lesson touching on preliminary art is to be held in studio number eight in the western Accepted galleries, at promptly after the final toll of the midday bell. For those of you... more
    • Fifty-OneNovice Sarina, Thu Jun 1 8:40pm
      The White Tower is a place of wonder, containing people from every walk of life. There were nobles of the highest birth all the way down to Sarina. There was no doubt about it, as the ways of the... more
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