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The Grand Tower Tour
Tue Aug 8, 2006 21:02 (XFF:

"This ring is given to you when you are raised to Accepted." Calia said with more authority than she felt, ignoring the fact that the question had been asked while the novice's mouth was full, "It symbolizes that you have bound yourself to the Tower and are worthy of that bond. You will work very hard for such a ring." And likely have to learn some very tough lessons along the way. Calia had never wanted this ring, this unbreakable bond to the White Tower and life as a marath'damane, but in the end she had attained it. Somehow, she had pushed herself through that test and now only had to live with the memories. It felt like she had lived those three lives; queen, sul'dam, and whore. Light! When would she be herself and only herself again? And who could help her sort out this mess? Suddenly, it occurred to Calia that perhaps Terrian Sedai – the woman who had been her own unofficial mentor for many of her years as a novice – could talk to her. Ah, but Terrian was out of the Tower on some grand adventure and as it turned out; Calia had no friends among the Accepted who she could talk to.

"Where are we going now, Accepted Calia?" Adanai asked once they had returned their trays to be washed, a task the novice would have had to perform for herself any day but today. Accepted, on the other hand, had novices to wash dishes for them paired with meals of a slightly higher class in their own dining hall. Needless to say, that had been a pleasant surprise at Calia's first meal as an Accepted. Light, but she really was an Accepted now, wasn't she? Ten years and a lot of growing up and she had finally made it. She only hoped it didn’t take that long to become an Aes Sedai or she would be nearing her forty-third nameday when she was raised. Calia very nearly stopped in her tracks when she realized what she had just thought. When she became Aes Sedai?

"We are going to the Library, I think." Calia said as they made their way through the halls, passing novices, Accepted, and the occasional Aes Sedai. The first time they came upon one of the latter, Calia stopped to drop a quick curtsey, watching to make sure Novice Adanai followed suit. As they walked, Calia talked about the general rules of novice life as they came to mind, the things she had been told and immediately disregarded when she had first been put in novice white. "I'm not sure if you've had time to read the Novice Handbook cover to cover yet," Not that Calia truly believed anyone read the whole thing unless they were set to copying it for penance, as she had been on multiple occasions. In fact, she could probably quote it by now. "But the basic rules are fairly simple and I see you've picked up on most of them already." Calia smiled in an attempted to soften the effect her mater-of-fact tone produced. She was no teacher; she didn't know what she was going to be, aside from Aes Sedai, in the future but it certainly didn't involve teaching novices. "Novices are to curtsey to Accepted and Aes Sedai when the see them. How deeply you curtsey is, of course, dependant upon whether it is an Accepted or an Aes Sedai."

"Accepted and Aes Sedai are to be addressed by their title. For example, you call me Accepted Calia. If you don't know their name just 'Aes Sedai' or 'Accepted' would do fine. Also, as a novice you won't speak to an Aes Sedai unless first spoken to. Some won't punish you if you don't wait to be spoken to but some Aes Sedai are very strict with the rules and will take it upon themselves to make sure you follow them." They were nearing the Library as Calia was about to exhaust her list of essential rules. "Finally, as a few too many novices seem to forget, canoodling is not permitted. The last thing any novice needs is to end up pregnant, so to prevent just such a thing relationships of that sort will be punished." That was probably the one rule Calia hadn't managed to break as a novice, no one wanted to be closer to her than they had to be. Living proof that beauty was nothing if the aura that surrounded a person was colder than ice.

Pushing open one of the large doors, Calia ushered the girl into the Library for this small part of their tour. "This is the White Tower's Library, easily one of the greatest in the world when it comes to the sheer amount of knowledge stored in the books here. As you settle into life at the Tower and regular lessons and chores, you'll likely find yourself finding more time here than you'd expect. Most of your teachers will assign work to be done outside of class, mostly essays and research, which will require it. There are twelve depositories, each dedicated to a different branch of knowledge and many of which you'll become quickly familiar with." Calia, being one to ignore the assigned work and concentrate only on her eventual escape from Tar Valon probably hadn't spent quite as much time in the Library as in the Kitchens or Madeline Sedai's office, but that really wasn't the point.

"We won't spend too much time here today," Calia told Adanai as they made a brief circuit of the main part of the Library and soon left the way they had come in. When they were outside again Calia led the novice around a different direction than they had come to the Library from. "I don't think I mentioned earlier, but where we had breakfast was the Novice dining hall and near that is the Accepted dining hall and the Kitchens. You'll have regular rotations of chores in the Kitchen, so it will quickly become familiar as well. When you're not doing chores you'll probably be in lessons. Classrooms are usually near the novices' rooms, however sometimes you'll have lessons in different places; such as one of the lecture halls or even outside." Calia felt strange, telling the girl about chores and lessons. Neither were things she had concerned herself with most of the time, but her she was. Teaching.

"Here are the Tower gardens," Calia motioned to the many plants that surrounded them, "There is, of course, much more than you see here but it can take a full day simply to explore." She led the way through the Gardens and back into the Tower proper, toward the Accepted decks and what was going to be the final stop of their tour. There was much more to see – like the Petitioner's Hall – but as Calia saw it, Novice Adanai would learn about those places on her own. In fact, she had likely been through them already.

When the reached their final destination, Calia unconsciously began the walk toward her own room. "These are the Accepted decks, and unless you have an errand it's unlikely that you'll spend a lot of time here. As is to be expected, Accepted have slightly larger rooms than novices and more furniture, but nothing too fancy." Calia's own room had only a bed, two chairs, a small desk, a rug, and a washstand. She had had better as a sul'dam! It was a palace compared to the novice cells though. It wasn't until she saw the plaque bearing her own name and title that Calia realized she had lead them directly to her new room. "This, for example, is my room." Opening the door, Calia let the novice come in and look around a little. Not that there was much to see.

Calia watched the novice for a minute, not realizing until the girl looked at her that she had adopted the cool, slightly condescending glare she had once watched damane with. Blinking, she shifted her expression to something she hoped was friendlier. "Well, that's the tour. Do you have any questions, Adanai? Anyplace else you would like to go?"

OOC: What you had Calia say was fine. She does have a very icy nature, no matter how she's warmed up to the Tower. I swear, she has a friendly side too. It just doesn't show much. Anyway, here you go. I'm going to try to move this along from here on out so you can get to Taryn's channeling lesson. If Adanai has questions or want's to go somewhere (which I'm assuming she does), go ahead and write that up for this part. After that, Calia will take them to one of the empty novice classrooms and Adanai will learn how to embrace!

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