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Dedicated Laila
Embracing for Reyna
Thu Jul 20, 2006 14:46 (XFF:

Dedicated Laila, instruct Soldier Reyna do Calisair a'Nesae in embracing. A short message pinned to the board outside the Women's Barracks on a scrap of paper. The name had caught her eye as she hurried in from supper: Dedicated Laila. She was still getting used to the title. So much on her mind, so much to do--lessons to arrange, people to see, not to mention dealing with the fallout of the campaign--and suddenly, this. Laila frowned thoughfully, absently rolling the piece of paper into a tube. Soldier Reyna do Calisair a'Nesae--not a familiar name, unsurprisingly. She must be new. There were always a few faces she did not recognize in the Barracks, new recruits to replace the dead, the deserted, and the raised, but she rarely went out of her way to learn their names. The Barracks was small enough that she would learn them eventually. Right now, she would have to make a few inquiries.

Laila rose just as the first rays of the sun peeked over the horizon, to dress quickly and quietly along with the few other early-risers. The Barracks would soon be full of sleepy recruits stumbling through morning rituals, and she wanted to catch this Reyna do Calisair before the morning crush. Breeches, laced up by a whirling hand; shirt, clean and white, tucked firmly into her belt; boots, worn but strong, tied in a double knot; and lastly coat, thick black wool, the Sword glimmering like a single star against its night. Fighting a comb through her thick curls, Laila hunted for a ribbon. Her hair had grown much too long, falling just past her shoulders--she needed a haircut. Another problem to deal with later. For now--Reyna.

The girl looked the opposite of her in every way. Examining the sleeping face buried in the pillow, Laila carefully took in every feature. Straight, fine golden hair chopped off unevenly, whereas hers curled in coarse, black strands, regettably long by now. Pale peach skin, where she was a golden honey-brown. Pretty where she was plain. Skinny where she was sturdy. They only shared their unusual height--this Reyna looked to be almost as tall as she was. Laila cocked her head. The girl was built slender, but Laila recognized the thinness as a sign of poverty, malnourishment. Not very long ago--a year already?--she had been as skinny and hungry. Another vagrant. Certainly the Tower attracted lots of them; it granted a place to begin anew. Laila reached down and shook those sleepy eyes open. Grey, she noted, and beautiful. Another commonality: she considered her eyes her finest trait.

"Soldier Reya do Calisair a'Nesae?" she inquired--more a demand than a question. "My name is Dedicated Laila. I've been instructed to teach you how to embrace saidar. Be outside by the oak tree next to the Barracks in five minutes." A calm voice, simply telling the facts. She turned on her heel and left the Barracks.

Five minutes later found her leaning against the oak tree, watching the door to the Women's Barracks' intently. The door swung open, to reveal a single figure: the pretty face of Reyna do Calisair.

Laila embraced, and a ball of fire burst into being near her head. She smiled as the girl winced in the sudden light. "Come on then, sit down," she called over, "I want to get you channeling before breakfast."

Soon both were seated, the ball of fire dancing above them. Laila jabbed a finger towards it. "This," she began, "is done with the Power, as you might have guessed. It's a very simple weave--you'll probably figure it out in a few weeks. You'll have to--most Soldiers keep late hours, and you won't always have a candle in reach when you need to study. We push recruits in the Black Tower; you'll be expected to use the Power for just about everything. Time is of the essence--the sooner a Soldier learns to channel, the sooner she serves the Tower." She paused momentarily. "Understand, this is a dangerous practice. Many a recruit has died or burned himself out, cutting himself off from the Power. I don't mean to frighten you--I simply want you to be informed. The Power can hurt as much as it helps. You must discipline yourself so as not to take in too much of the Power. Saidar--the female half of the One Power--is like a drug, so this is hard at first.

"That said--the Power is also a blessing, in my opinion. You are extraordinarily fortunate to be able to channel. Many say that channelers are Darkfriends--witches--wild animals--" Her lips twisted in a wry smile. "They are wrong. Given that you've chosen to come here, I presume that you are intelligent enough to recognize their talk as the trash it is. Still, I think it's important that you know this--the Power is a blessing."

Laila sat back, the tension loosening slightly in her shoulders. A little preachy, perhaps, but too many regarded channelers as monsters. Worse, too many channelers believed them. She sighed.

"Now. I have told you who I am--Dedicated Laila, your teacher in saidar. Your name is Soldier Reyna do Calisair a'Nesae. Tell me a bit more about yourself. Where you come from. What you did. What you want to achieve. Anything you choose to tell me. But I do want to know--why did you choose the Black Tower?"

Hiya, and welcome to the Black Tower! I expect a 300-word post from you introducing your character. Who is she? What is she like? What does she think of her teacher? You can say whatever you like in response to Laila's query, as long as you also answer her last question. If you've got any questions, now's the time to ask them. I'd like a response in a week, but I'll give you some leeway if you're a little late. But I will email you if you don't respond in two weeks--you need this lesson before you do pretty much anything else, and I am going to get you through this lesson whether you like it or not. ;) Any questions out of character? Email me at Enjoy!

    • Early RisingSoldier Reyna a'Nesae, Fri Jul 21 08:24
      Reyna woke with a start. A hand on her shoulder was shaking her awake, not hard but firm. She turned on her side to see another, Dedicated by the pin on her collar, fully dressed and looking quite... more
      • FlowersDedicated Laila, Sun Jul 23 11:27
        Laila tied off the weave of Fire and released saidar , reviewing Reyna's answers in her head. Murandy. Lugard. A new life in the Black Tower. The basics, nothing more. Laila didn't bother pressing... more
        • To Know the DrugSoldier Reyna a'Nesae, Sun Jul 23 21:04
          Reyna took on a concentrated look as Laila lectured her once more. She took it in as best she could, retaining all the information about the Source the Dedicated was reciting to her. At the end of... more
          • ElementsDedicated Laila, Mon Jul 31 21:10
            After they ran through the exercise several times, Laila waved a hand at Reyna to stop her. "You're doing very well, Reyna," she commented, with the slightest smile. "Most don't get the hang of it so ... more
            • An Interest In SpiritSoldier Reyna a'Nesae, Sat Aug 5 20:29
              At a motion from Laila, Reyna ceased the exercise and let the sweet feelings of saidar leave her. Already, she loved the way it made her feel, the way it sharpened the world around her to such a... more
              • Breakfast Time!Dedicated Laila, Sun Aug 27 19:09
                The sky had brightened from the deep blue of pre-dawn to the sunny skies of early morning. Rays of sunshine danced across the grass, wet with dew. Already the grounds grew warm with late summer heat; ... more
                • Quite the ChefSoldier Reyna a'Nesae, Wed Aug 30 22:09
                  Reyna watched the ball of fire that had provided light in the early morning dawn go out in the blink of an eye and smiled. She would be doing that very soon herself. As they walked over to the Mess,... more
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