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Look at my balls
Thu Jul 13, 2006 3:25pm (XFF:

Taphen didn’t feel the need to be told to behave, he had learned to be a model student, and it seemed the only way to go. There were always pranks being pulled by one or more novices, the most renowned were either those who succeeded without being punished, or those who, despite numerous trips to the Master of Novices, kept on inventing new pranks. Taphen had heard the stories, but as he hadn’t really pulled any himself, he was usually excluded from that particular society of delinquents. Frightening to think that one day they might be doing it to the rulers of the nations. Realizing that they were walking through the streets of Tar Valon already, Taphen returned to the world around him, there was life and activity all around him. He had not thought he would have missed life in the city, although Whitebridge couldn’t really be called a city compared to the shear massiveness of tar Valon.

Aranisia led them to a less populated part of the city, but one with a lot of children running around. The sign said The Three Bells, but Taphen was in doubt of what exactly it was they did here, at least until Accepted Aranisia addressed it as an orphanage. That was not all, it seemed, the Accepted had apparently taken it upon herself – by using novices – to enrich the lives of the bored children. They are orphans, aren’t they suppose to be sad? This doesn’t look like it’s that bad a place, and why do I need to learn how to juggle? As if I’ll begin juggling books as a Brown. It was, however, intriguing to learn that they were to make something solid with the One Power, Taphen had not really thought that possible, it sounded hard to learn but that was only a motivation to get started. Observing Accepted Markel, Taphen paid close attention to the weaves, apparently the amount of Air and Earth varied depending on the size, density and weight of the ball in question. Well at least we won’t be using Water.

Focusing, Taphen took a deep breath and seized saidin, it came easily, almost too eagerly, as if it had waited for him, rushing at him, hoping to smother him before he got it under control. Taphen knew very well how to control the forces roaring inside him, but he still – after more than five years – did not like saidin. Holding his right hand out, palm turned upwards, he began weaving the first ball. Air formed an orb that he fitted a modest weave of Earth into, and then he allowed the globe of Air to draw in on itself, tightening its grip on the weave of Earth. Taphen made the weave of Earth protrude the small ball of Air, twirled the strings once and then covered them with another layer of Air. It was minuscule work, but as long as he didn’t rush it, or break concentration, it actually came easy to him. Layer upon layer, until he had a ball half the size of hers, strength in the One Power was not in his possession, but he was quite proud of having succeeded in his first try.

Adding a smear of Fire for color – this was to be green – Taphen tied off the weave and began on the second ball, while holding his first in his left hand. He did as before, Air to give shape and Earth to give weight, all intertwined and tied together firmly, before he tied it off completely. Now he had two balls, one red and one… “Hey, where did my green ball go?!” Focused as he had been on the second ball, he had not noticed the first unravel and dissipate. Looking closely at the red ball, he could see it already beginning to fall apart. He had tied off weaves before, not many and never this miniscule and intricate – which might be his own fault, he had wanted it finely spun. “Accepted Markel, my weaves won’t tie off properly.” He demonstrated once for the accepted, but was repaid with a snort and a laugh, “you will never be able to make it work with weak knots like that. Tie them off properly and securely, there’s no shame in making a massive knot if you want it to hold.”

Alone again Taphen remade the first ball, but this time he took care of how the weaves were positioned, so better to tie them all off correctly and securely. This time they had better stay in existence. He paid the same dedication to the intricate knots as he had to the rest of the weave, making sure that the strings would stay in place. Waiting while observing his small green orb, to make sure that it was done properly, Taphen held of the creation of the last two balls until he was satisfied with his weave. It seemed to hold, so Taphen began the red and after that the blue ball. They were not as big as the Accepted, nor as bright in their color, but they had a firm shape and weight, which seemed to be the purpose of this lesson. Waiting for the rest to finish, Taphen tested each of them, by tossing it up high and catching it again with the same hand. Just how difficult can this juggling be?

  • Part One: Ball-creationAccepted Aranisia Samin, Sat Jul 8 3:06pm
    ”Right,” Ara said briskly after all the novices had introduced themselves, ”I guess that is it, then.” The gathering of novices was rather less than what the Seanchan Accepted had hoped for, but then ... more
    • FrustrationNovice Sarina, Fri Jul 21 11:27am
      “Sarina, you will remain after class, please, and for now you will rearrange your skirt so that it’s proper.” The Accepteds have said these words, the Aes Sedai have said these words, other Novices... more
    • For the ChildrenNovice Kareen din Yokiri, Wed Jul 19 1:23pm
      Kareen watched as another Accepted she had not noticed before, a boy, left with the roster with all their names on it. Apparently while they were waiting for him to return, the female Accepted was... more
    • Part Two: To Practise and to Take the SceneAccepted Aranisia Samin, Tue Jul 18 2:03pm
      ”Are everyone done with their weaving,” Markel asked quietly, and Ara nodded. Most of them, in fact, had been done for quite some time; a number of the novices were already experimenting with... more
      • Preparing and executing a performanceNovice Taphen al'Goud, Fri Jul 21 5:34am
        Taphen stood with three balls in his hands, made by the One Power – a fact that made him feel proud, despite the discomfort of channeling them into existence – and looked at the failures of his... more
      • PracticingNovice Kareen din Yokiri, Thu Jul 20 9:36am
        Kareen waited patiently before the Accepted asked them to gather once more. She had tied off her weaves a little before, having time to stare about the orphanage once again. At the instruction of the ... more
        • PerformingNovice Kareen din Yokiri, Sun Jul 23 5:10pm
          It had been a week since the lesson Kareen had taken in the city, and it was time for her to return once more. She made her way to the meeting place, so the Accepted’s could lead them into Tar Valon. ... more
    • Look at my balls — Novice Taphen al'Goud, Thu Jul 13 3:25pm
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