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Something's Rotton in the state of Tar Valon...
Sun Jun 25, 2006 8:47pm (XFF:

Interlude: The Deadliest Blade

While Adrian and Adem settled down to begin their seizing lesson on the outskirts of the White Tower, elsewhere, other events began to develop while would soon impact the lives of the initiates.

Six blocks down a young man in his twenties ducked into a candlestick shop to warm himself. Although the weather was mild and warm by Tar Valon standards, he was accustomed to the sweltering heat of an Ebou Dar summer. Small, dark, and lithe, he soon disappeared into the mass of customers.

Behind in the street, a svelte blonde woman who appeared to be about thirty sighed heavily and followed the man into the shop. After a minute of poking around the odd corners, she unearthed him behind the sign that read “Lavender and Other Floral Scents”. Everything angle of his body projected pure misery.

“Brac,” the woman said reproachfully as she reached him, “you can’t just go ducking in places and expect me to stay with you. We’ve got a task to complete, and you’re not helping.”

The man called Brac picked up a candle and rolled it in between his fingers. “And why not, Anietta my dear? You can channel the One Power, can you not?” he teased.

His answer came in the form of an annoyed sigh. Brac replaced the candle and turned to face her. “But in all seriousness, you’re right. It’s just that we’ve been in this city for nearly three days now and I cannot stand this Light-forsaken cold any longer. I just need to focus on the task at hand, but it’s so hard.”

“In just a short amount of time, this will be all over and we can return to Ebou Dar. Have you gotten all the details down?”

Brac stared at her in exasperation. “Anietta, I’m a paid assassin! Do you really think I have a problem retaining details?”


“Okay, okay! You win. According to your sources, Gephart Trist has an appointment with the head of Blue Eyes and Ears at the next candlemark. He will leave his lodgings and enter by the sun gate. When he approaches the wall near the shops of the weaver’s guild, I will disrupt the crowd with screams of a fire provided by yourself and you will detain him. In the melay I will slip into the White Tower and plant the note of warning on the head of Blue Eyes and Ears’s desk while you slip the dagger into the pocket of Gephart. Satisfied?”

Anietta nodded and glanced at the sun. They were taking so many risks. So much could go wrong. But if she and Brac failed on this latest, desperate mission everything she and Brac lived and worked for back in Ebou Dar would cease to exist as she knew it.

Just across from weaver’s shops, a section of the wall surrounding the White Tower grounds was shaded by a large oak trees. It was underneath the boughs of the largest oak in the grove that Adrain and Adem sat, taking comfort in its shade. Although the day was not hot, the trees provided a break from the harsh sunlight that was greatly appreciated.

Adrain sat playing with the grass in his hands, listening to the novice spell out his limited knowledge of the White Tower. He was almost glad that Adem knew so little, for he wouldn’t have to fight any preconceived notions. With a small shudder, he remembered a lesson he had taught not so long ago with two precocious young men who thought sixteen years bought them the right to know everything about the world.

Quite grateful this would be a present lesson, Adrain dropped the blade of grass he was fiddling with and decided to begin as his first teacher had and lecture on the history of the seizing saidin.

“Now before we begin actually seizing the One Power, I suppose I should calm your fears about the gentling. For the most part, it is becoming a disused practice- no more common than stilling. Additionally, you will learn to channel, for your very determination and the fact that you are enrolled as an initiate to White Tower practically guarantees that point. The only thing to prevent you from gaining Aes Sedai is if your ability to channel is minimal and they send you home after you can control the little power you have. Fortunately, the occurrence of that is even rarer than stilling and gentling.

“Which brings us to today. In order best understand how to use the One Power to your advantage, you need to understand it. I may run a little long winded on this, but bear with me, for it is essential. The Wheel of Time turns throughout eternity, weaving our lives as threads into the Pattern of the Ages. The force that keeps the Wheel turning is known as the One Power, which is divided into two halves, male and female—saidin and saidar. Some men and women are able to tap into the One Power and manipulate it, a process called channeling the Power, using it to do great things. What I’ll be doing today is taking you through the first step of channeling, Seizing.

“Now, the two halves of the Power are vastly different from each other, as different as men are from women, and men and women go about channeling differently. That’s why I’m here to teach you instead of the vast horde of female Accepted and Aes Sedai that were more available than I, because they can’t guide you through the process first-hand.” I wish they could, Adrian thought. Then I could be continuing my weapons training. Curse Madeline Sedai!

“Controlling saidin is a difficult and dangerous process… but not so dangerous as it once was.” He paused; there was no delicate way through this next part, and he didn’t want to agitate Adem overmuch. “During the War of Shadow, saidin was tainted by the Dark One after Lews Therin Talamon and the Hundred Companions sealed the Bore that had been opened in His prison. The taint made saidin deadly to male channelers—using the Power gradually but inexorably drove each and every one insane—and resulted in the Breaking of the World. Since that time, no man has been able to channel safely without eventually going mad and needing to be… stopped.

“That’s why you were brought here, Adem,” he said gently, “To protect you and those around you. That’s why you were so worried about gentling. But luckily, the Dragon Reborn was able to successfully cleanse the Taint from the male half of the One Power—saidin is once again safe to wield.

Adrain sighed and leaned back against the trunk of the oak. “Don’t be mistaken, though. While saidin no longer carries the danger of the Taint, doesn’t mean it’s safe. The process of channeling the One Power is not easy for anyone, and full of risks for both men and women—some danger will always remain. But with me to be your guide, nothing should go wrong. This is why we have the rule that novices cannot channel without the presence of an Accepted or Aes Sedai. Because as restricting as it is, without it, disaster could easily make its way into the White Tower.”

Mentally, Adrian went through his checklist to make sure he had said everything necessary. “I think that’s everything you need to know. If you don’t have any questions, I think we’re prepared to begin seizing.”

At that very moment, a scream echoed from the streets below. “Fire! Everyone help! Fire!”

OOC: Okay, Part Two is officially up. This is going to be more of a mentoring/writing part rather than channeling. Advance the plot to a good stopping point and somehow make it so that in my next part, I can incorporate the steps to seizing in the post. How this happens- lecture, yelled instructions, written instructions, etc. - and where is entirely up to you. Have fun!

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