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Warder Hunting
Wed Oct 18, 2006 02:41 (XFF:

Festivities had never sparked a huge portion of her interest. In fact, there was nothing of ‘interest’ to be said about them at all. What was a festival, but an occasion in which to watch the dances she could never dance with a cool, spectator’s eye, and sip at insipid wines in wasting hours of what could have been a productive time in the Tower by exchanging flaky words with Asha’man who certainly looked to have chewed rocks for breakfast? Festivals. They were only events to breach the dam that held back perpetual cacophony, giving novices and the more wayward Accepted the chance to be let loose like geese in a yard. (She could have sworn they hadn’t had this may freedays when she had worn whites.) The Aes Sedai were only asking to spend a night busting all sorts of canoodling in the many nooks and crannies of the Black Tower.

Menaihya sighed to herself as she entered her chambers and let her armload of books and dockets to spill out on the desktop. Not that she was so worked up against the ethics of festivals, in truth; indifference was her main sentiment. Indifference is often the case for me. She strode to her wardrobe and threw open the heavy mahogany doors. Must she bedeck herself in the expected fineries…? The urge the show up at the merriment sites clad in the simple dress of deep green wool she was wearing at present was eminent, but alas, that was not to be; if for the reputation of the White Tower, she would have to graciously sacrifice her personal comforts and dress herself as befitting her station.

Without much mulling Menaihya pulled a silk dress off its wooden hanger and draped it across the back of her dresser chair, after which she unbuttoned her current one and stepped out of it. Her ‘Bel Arvina attire’ would consist of earthy tones, predominantly shades of green, of course, lest she be passed off as a Brown. That would not do—what was a sister without her Ajah pride? Her skirts were light and little restricting, as were most of her clothes, with slashes of toned-down green and smoky browns, and her bodice was a teal color with proper autumn-length sleeves. The gown as a whole was not as flamboyant as most Greens were prone to favor on a feastday, but she was not most Greens. For the love of the Light, she had not even found herself a Warder yet, and long a time had she been Aes Sedai?

It was as she was staring at her dress-glad reflection in her full-length mirror that a strange urge overtook her. An average Aiel woman possessed a laudable collection of jewelry, and Menaihya did somewhat, but unlike the average Aiel woman, she hardly ever wore any. Last festival, she had worn her ring and the golden locket—the one she had acquired from her Accepted years way back when. This Bel Arvina, she would surprise even Terrian.

…Had been her generous resolve, initially. She ended up exiting her rooms with only a cluster of small jadestones at her throat, and a heavy ivory bangle at her wrist—the latter of which, undoubtedly, she would end up wishing multiple times later in the night she could shed or hurl somewhere, preferably in the far depths of the so-called Black Tower lake. She was not accustomed to the burdensome added weight that continued to bang against her hand. In any case, her long pale hair was left hanging loose; no embellishment there.

Her trip down towards the Traveling Yards was uneventful, and soon enough she was stepping through the gateway and onto Black Tower grounds with nearly ten minutes to spare until the official announcing of the night’s festivities to start. Dancing was already underway, and she drifted through the yet sparse crowds of dressed-up folk, nodding her head here and there at sighting acquaintances and the like. Short pleasantries of which social gatherings such as this were comprised were shared, and by the time she was able to stall by herself near one of the long, cloth-draped refreshment tables, she thought her cheeks were going to ache before the night reached its peak from all the dogged smiling. But even so, to think her closer colleagues were prone to telling her that they had never met anyone as impassionate-countenanced as her! She tried.

In time the Black Tower’s M’Hael announced a short blessing for the night’s events to commence, and not long in the subsequent minutes following it she found herself with company.

“Good evening, lovely Aes Sedai,” said he, and Menaihya turned to perceive Gaben Ashfair, Brother of the Green Ajah, beaming at her with his good-natured grin.

“Have you seen Terrian?”

“You know, most people would reply to that with something akin to, ‘And good evening to you too.’”

Menaihya ignored the jibe, giving the Brother a more proper glance-over. The man wore a coat wrought with green embroidery in the design of vines, covering its length so thickly that it was hard to tell what color the coat actually was underneath. It was odd wearing, but he looked exceptionally handsome and charismatic for the occasion. “What do you plan to do tonight, Gaben Ashfair?” she asked, eyes turning towards the sights of mingling women and men before them.

“I’m sorry to disappoint you, but I plan to do what one usually does at festivals,” Gaben answered with a chuckle, pouring them two glasses of a clear Andoran vintage, and when he saw Menaihya frown he said, laughing a little, “In case you had made presumptions, Menaihya, that I was going to enact something crazy. Your inquiry sounded like it.” He handed her a glass, which she took in the action of flicking a wry look into his eyes. “Some dancing might not be awry,” Gaben continued, “And socializing with the partymongers. I don’t suppose it would be in vain to ask you for a dance this festival, as well?”

“You might ask and find out,” Menaihya said with an air of indifference, turning her focus of sight elsewhere again.

Gaben coughed a laugh of astonishment. “Are you being coy?” he said, his voice equally surprised, and then his face split into a grin. “Well then. In commemoration of this exceptional event: will you favor me with a dance, Menaihya?”


The Brother shook his head towards the ground. “Thought as much. Though I never understood why you wouldn’t.”

“Are you being vain, Gaben Ashfair?”

“Not vain. Curious. You won’t dance with anybody.”

“No,” she agreed, “and I never have.”


“I do not know how.”

Gaben blinked, his mouth quirking. “Well then indeed. That was a blunt answer.” He extended his hand as if offering it. “I could teach you now. Come.”

“No thank you.”

The man withdrew his rejected hand with the expected good grace. “You’re bound to have to learn someday,” he said with an earnest cast to his face.


The other Aes Sedai of the Green Ajah could not supply an answer to that, and soon thereon the conversation was turned to a different topic. “So, do tell, were you planning to be celibate forever?”

Menaihya choked back an absurd expression. “By that do you mean am I going to be Warder-less? You have a strange way of putting it, Gaben Ashfair.” She sipped out of her winecup, peering at nothing in particular over the glass rim. A black-clad Black Tower initiate with a strange-looking cloak—though she could not tell at this distance—was stirring up a commotion near the trees. “If I do not find someone I would like to bond before ‘forever’ is due, then yes, it would have to be.”

Gaben appeared amused at her words. “And what happen to be your standards?”

“Why—so you can go play the matchmaker?” she said with an arch glare towards him, and then returned to taking short sips at her drink, “No thank you. You will probably introduce me to a pretty man like you. I would have to give myself the trouble of carving his hide and then sending him straight back whence he came.”

“Ah, Menaihya,” Gaben said fondly, “I think you scare off all your potential bondmates, Gaidin or no. I’m just kidding,” he inserted, “I know; you’ve never asked.” The man sighed. “It’s time you did, in any case. The Head has never said it outright, but I know she doesn’t entirely approve of you continuing like this. You’re in the knowledge as well as I that Greens have at least one Warder.”

She remained silent for a moment, the line of her lips thinning just a fraction in her suspension of thought. “It would just be…,” she began, then couldn’t find the words to finish. She stared ahead with a blank face, wondering what precisely she was trying to say.

“Come on,” the Green Brother said after a moment of studying her, grabbing her wrist and gently guiding her through the crowd, “Stop acting the paradigm of a sullen Aiel in a graveyard and go out and socialize. You’re going to go Warder-hunting today. There,” he indicated to a man up ahead, “There’s a handsome fellow. Go.”

Before she could edge a word of protest (and/of dignified annoyance), she was steered to stand facing one of the men dining at the table and looking elsewhere for the moment, a light-haired man who just happened to be the same Black Tower initiate who had stirred up the ruckus moments prior. The daggers he had been tossing around were nowhere apparent now, but the atrocious cloak was still intact on his back—how in the Light had he adhered leaves to it?—and his look was slightly vague and distant. Menaihya recognized it; the young man juicier than a fiddler’s whelp, from head to toe thoroughly drunk. She flicked her eyes heavenward in a resigned sigh, but decided against abandoning tail and pursuing virtual boredom for the remainder of the night, and approached the man, the Dedicated, with a steady, level gaze.

“Young man, I hope that is the last of the wine you are having today,” she said disapprovingly in her strong, low voice as she pointed to the cup beside his plate. When he turned his face towards her she was taken back a bit; she had not expected to see the strength in the man’s brown eyes. “Festivals are to enjoy, not to waste away with drunkenness.” Like she was expert. “May I sit here?” She might as well sup away the night, while she was at it. “I am Menaihya Sedai of the Green Ajah.”

OOC: We all do random on occasion. Not to mention rambly. XD Let’s have fun!

[Insert: No, I have no idea at all where this fits into the time frame.]

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    • Warder Hunting — Menaihya Sedai of the Green Ajah, Wed Oct 18 02:41
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