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A Whole New World
Fri Aug 11, 2006 16:53 (XFF:

The multitude of volumes in a variety of colors and sizes that filled the library of the White Tower was enough to boggle the mind of even the least literary of people, let alone an avid reader such as Adanai. Her breathe caught in her throat the moment Accepted Calia pushed open the heavy wooden door; she had been expecting something the likes of which she'd never seen, shelf upon shelf of thick bound works by authors of whom she'd never heard, but she had not expected this. This was every bibliophile's dream come true, and she was living it. In fact, she might just be living it every day for the rest of her life, and this was somewhat unfathomable for a girl who had hardly ever left her house before three weeks ago, who had never seen more than four books in one place simultaneously.

It took Adanai a second to realize that Accepted Calia was speaking, and another second to turn scarlet for fear she was being found rude. The older girl appeared not to have noticed, however, and continued explaining how much of Adi's time would likely be spent here doing research for essays and other such things. She did not mind hearing this; any work that kept her from dwelling on her lack of social graces was welcome, especially if it took place in a library such as this. All of her concentration was spent not staring up at the bookcases that towered far above her head, seeming almost to go on forever as the light dimmed toward the high ceiling. Already very self-conscious, she did not want to draw any attention to herself that might make it obvious that she was the "new girl" and that she was incredibly unworldly.

As they exited the library, Adanai wondered when her first opportunity to really explore it might come. It was hard to say, really, what she'd be shown or asked to do later in the day, so she had not the foggiest idea if the opportunity might present itself this afternoon or in two weeks. She tried her very hardest to concentrate on where Accepted Calia was steering her, but she found that she hadn't the slightest notion of the direction from whence they'd come. The Accepted was telling her about the potential locations for lessons and about possible future chores, but she was only listening with half an ear. It was taking everything she had to remember in what direction they had turned when, and where it had led them. This was utterly impossible; she had no doubt in the world she'd have to ask to be led wherever she was going every time she left her room.

Calia stepped through an archway and suddenly they were in the midst of another marvel, quite different from the one Adanai had admired not ten minutes before. "Here are the Tower gardens," the Accepted said quite simply, as if those few words could sum up the splendour that surrounded them. The trees that were in this "garden" were like giants, dwarfing everything around them, grand enough even to not look Lilliputian beside the gleaming mass that was the White Tower- her new home. There were flowers and bushes and all other forms of plant life that she'd seen sketches of in books, but that she would never have believed actually existed before now. This tour of the Tower was not just acclimating her to a new dwelling; it was opening the door to a world she'd never dared dream could be real.

Adanai followed Accepted Calia through yet another entrance into the White Tower. It was taking all of her energy to process everything she was being shown; it was nearly impossible at this point for her to focus on anything other than that which she saw. Therefore, when they arrived before a door bearing the older girl's name, she was at a loss for words, incapable of formulating a coherent sentence. Fortunately, the Accepted did not seem to be expecting a response; she simply held open the door so that her pupil might see living quarters similar to those she might acquire if she was ever raised. They weren't all that different from the novices quarters, only with slightly more space and less marked-up furniture. Far fewer girls have been through this room than the one I live in, she thought, knowing herself to be correct.

"Well, that's the tour. Do you have any questions, Adanai? Anyplace else you would like to go?" Though the Accepted's voice was civil and unwavering, the look in her eyes terrified Adi. Calia must have the novice double-take, because the hard, penetrating stare was quickly replaced by a blander, cool gaze.

"I'd... when I woke up the other day, I saw a lot of people outside the Tower, but not outside in the garden. They were stretching and it looked like they might have had swords. What are they? They aren't novices or anything, right? I didn't think so because they were not wearing white, but I didn't know anybody else was here with us. And where was that? Can we visit it? Are we allowed to?" The words bubbling out of her mouth shocked Adanai, and she wondered at them; prior to actually opening her mouth, she could think of nothing to ask the Accepted, nothing she wanted to see. Apparently the young men and women in the fenced in yards had been lingering at the back of her mind, waiting for an opportunity to escape her subconscious. She hoped desperately that this wasn't a forbidden subject amongst those living in the Tower.

"Those are the Gaidin-in-Training," Accepted Calia responded almost immediately, and it impressed Adanai tremendously that Calia been able to glean sensical information out of the mess that had been her question. "The Gaidin are trained here in the Tower as sort of protectors for the Aes Sedai. Those were the training yards you saw, I suppose... there's no reason we couldn't visit them, although I don't see why you'd really want to. Come along." It was difficult for Adi to understand why the Aes Sedai might need "protectors"- they had their magic, of sorts; would that not be enough to defend themselves? Of course, who was Adanai to question the logic of the Aes Sedai? She had no doubt in her mind she'd get a snappy answer if she were to ask anyone about it- or at the very least, some sort of "what kind of idiot are you?" response.

She was led through yet another complicated series of hallways and out a door she hadn't noticed before, though it was in a corridor that seemed somewhat familiar. Just through the door was a series of fenced-in training areas, some muddied from frequent use and some overgrown. There appeared to be some sort of lesson involving a long, thin stick taking place in the nearest pen, and Adi watched, fascinated, as each young man stepped up to take his turn, muscles rippling in the sunlight. She must have been very absorbed in observing the lesson, because she did not hear Accepted Calia the first few times her name was called. "Adanai, we must go inside now. You can watch them some other time- Light knows the other novices do. Right now, however, you must learn to embrace."

  • The Grand Tower TourAccepted Calia Selle, Tue Aug 8 21:02
    "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... more
    • A Whole New World — Novice Adanai Kyann, Fri Aug 11 16:53
      • The First LessonAccepted Calia Selle, Sat Aug 26 19:44
        Aethan'Tar, Sei'Tar, Gaidin whatever under the Light the men and women training in the yards called themselves, Calia really didn't care. Most of the Accepted and even a few Aes Sedai saw it as... more
        • You want me to do what?Novice Adanai Kyann, Sun Sep 3 06:53
          Adanai could not help but be embarrassed for the Accepted when she poked her head into a classroom and discovered that it was occupied by a rather snarly Aes Sedai and her students. She trailed... more
          • To Break a BlockAccepted Calia Selle, Sun Sep 24 10:30
            She could only imagine that this was how the then Accepted Menaihya must have felt when she had taught Calia to embrace the True Source as Jocelyn looked own with veiled superiority. The former... more
            • To Break a BowlNovice Adanai Kyann, Sun Oct 15 14:52
              Adanai watched mournfully as Accepted Calia led the young male Accepted to whom she'd just been introduced out of the room. She had not expected to be abandoned so rapidly; surely she wasn't that... more
              • Elements of SuccessAccepted Calia Sell, Thu Nov 23 16:40
                "Might be a bit cold for wading," Adanai said, semi-absently. Will turned to look at Calia questioningly, to which the Seanchan Accepted merely shrugged in response. As if she had any better idea... more
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