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Ah, new novice!
Tue Dec 12, 2006 14:40 (XFF:

The girl who Aranisia ushered into the study certainly had the spark, and a strong one at that. Madeline rose, ignoring the tug of pain that yanked at her as she did so, coming round to survey the child who stood before her. The pain irked her, despite it’s dullness and the simplicity of ignoring it, mostly because it had been pointed out to her. Oh, she knew Aranisia hadn’t meant anything by it, but even so, it left a sour taste in Madeline’s mouth. She was growing old, and age in an Aes Sedai was not something to be thought of, much less spoken of, however indirectly. Retirement loomed, and still, there seemed to be no replacement in sight. No sooner did she find an Assistant Mistress (or Master) of Novices, then they left.

Sloane was the latest, off to the Aiel Waste to take care of something vague and mysterious that Madeline wasn’t so sure of. He had been so promising, too, and so good with the young ones. She had appreciated the balance in having a male to assist her.

Once more, then, she was left with the task of hunting out a suitable soul to help her in the guidance of the novices. She was growing tired, and though her love of the work hadn’t lessened one bit, her energy for it was waning. She wanted a quiet place in the mountains with Zearon, a few last years of peace and contentment. She wanted it, but at the same time the thought terrified her. Light, these novices were hers, and had been for nearly two centuries. No sister had ever held the office of Mistress of Novices as long as she had, and Maddy felt a deep pride for the work she had done. Over half the sisters and brothers in this Tower had been raised under her watch. She had created quite the little army, here in the White Tower.

Her blue eyes flickered across the two women standing before her. Aranisia, one of the newest sisters of the Blue; was a woman with a great deal of promise and potential. She was one to watch, certainly, and to consider. Maddy felt a sort of kinship with the woman, despite their many differences. She couldn’t quite put her finger on where that kinship came from, but it was there. Aranisia’s smooth cheeks had only just begun to take on the touch of agelessness, whereas Madeline’s square countenance somehow conveyed the impression of long years despite a lack of wrinkles. Perhaps it was the spill of snowy hair about her shoulders that added to that impression, now only streaked with deepest auburn about the temples.

Her attention turned to the young woman Aranisia had brought in, and a smile touched her lips. Yes indeed, this child had a strong spark, and she liked the way the girl held herself. She looked nervous, yet proud, without being haughty. She was obviously of noble birth, Cairhienin if her clothes fit her lineage, but she didn’t have that simpering, drippy sort of expression that so many noble novices-to-be held when they first came to her.

Her smile deepened, and she waved a hand for the girl to sit. “Greetings, child,” she said. “I am Madeline al’Roise, of the Green Ajah, and Mistress of Novices for the White Tower.” On impulse, she added, “Aranisia, if you’d care to join us, perhaps you can show our newest novice around when I’m finished with her.”

“Of course,” Aranisia said simply.

Madeline took her seat once more, reaching for the heavy, leatherbound book on the corner of her desk. Within those thick pages were the names of every novice to enroll in the White Tower for the past several centuries. Other, older books were tucked away in her file rooms, along with notes and observations on each and every student to pass beneath her watchful eye.

“Now then, what do you call yourself?” she asked, dipping her quill in ink. The girl replied, spelling out the letters at Maddy’s request. House Saighan, then. An old House, with no small amount of Power. Madeline wondered how much weight this child’s entrance into the Tower carried for the family. Some considered having an Aes Sedai in the family a great honor, while others kept it hidden, only to be brought out as a ploy when necessary.

“Now, before I tell you about what you can expect from life as a novice, I would like to hear something about who you are. As Mistress of Novices, it is my duty to see that you are properly trained in the One Power, but that is only part of it. We train novices in mind, body and spirit. It takes a great deal more than strength and skill in the Power for someone to be judged worthy of the shawl. Life in the Tower is not easy, and that is purposeful. Many find that they do not have what it takes, and they are sent from the Tower to go on with their lives.

“If we are to teach you, we must know who you are. Tell me how you have come to the Tower, and what you hope to gain from being here. I need to know, too, what sort of experience you may have with the One Power, if any at all.”

She fixed the girl with a steady blue gaze, and waited for a reply.

  • Wayward TongueNovice Diyari, Thu Dec 7 16:49
    Eyes of swirled honey could only stare at him as the offending hand lowered, coming to a rest at his side. Dia inhaled sharply, her eyes glazing over briefly as she turned her focus inward; if will... more
    • Ah, new novice! — Madeline Sedai, Mistress of Novices, Tue Dec 12 14:40
      • Small Packaged DeterminationNovice Diyari, Thu Dec 14 11:47
        Dia pulled in a slow, steadying breath as she came to a stop before what was finally, the Mistress of Novices. Her eyes, now bereft of the ability to follow the gentle sway of Aranisia Sedai’s thick... more
        • Determination of WorthMadeline Sedai, MoN, Sun Dec 17 16:03
          The tale was told simply, with no frills or frosting, and the telling of it tugged at Madeline’s heart strings. In some ways, it was as sad as any tale of poverty and hardship and woe. Even worse, it ... more
          • Cast It All AwayNovice Diyari, Sun Jan 14 11:38
            Dia considered very carefully if she truly did wish to voice any of the myriad of questions bubbling in the back of her mind. Somehow, after listening to Madeline Sedai’s response, it just didn’t... more
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