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Dedicated Laila
Sun Jul 23, 2006 11:27 (XFF:

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 her for more details. She despised the teachers who demanded personal information. "Indeed. A large number of the recruits come to the Tower seeking a new life," she noted out loud, simply to say something. "But that is beside the point. So--the basics of channeling.

"For starters, all channelers draw from the True Source, also called the One Power. The One Power is the force that drives the Wheel of Time--an important fact you should remember, but practically speaking, not very relevant to this lesson. The One Power is divided in two parts--the male half, saidin, and the female half, saidar. As a female, you can only channel, or embrace saidar. Men, on the other hand, seize saidin. It is possible for a woman to use saidin--or a man to use saidar--if she is linked with a person of the opposite gender. Linking is confusing, so I'm not going to explain it right now; I just want you to know that you can use saidin in conjunction with a man. By yourself, however, you can only use saidar. Understand?" Laila fixed the girl with a querying look before moving on after a moment.

"Wielding the Power takes some time getting used to, mind--you have to learn the right trick. As a channeler of saidar, you must learn to surrender to the Power. That's more difficult than it sounds. Many early channerlers try to force saidar to obey. Such attempts inevitably backfire. You must surrender before you can embrace saidar, and you must accept the flow of of the Power before you can control it. How to explain?" Laila paused, tapping her lips with a finger. "I've heard people describe saidar as a great river. The more you try to force it to obey, the more it overpowers you; yet as soon as you surrender to the current, you can control the flow. Paradoxical, but it will become second nature.

"Here's the thing." Laila leaned forward intently, her eyes narrowing. "The Power can be very dangerous to the inexperienced. Each channeler has her limits. If you draw on too much of the Power, you can burn yourself out--destroy your ability to channel--or kill yourself outright. It's a very painful death. So be careful when you embrace. I cannot understate how important this is.

"Now there are a variety of ways used to embrace the Power, both for men and for women. The most common one used by women--the one I'll be teaching you today--is called the flower. Close your eyes, please." Laila shut her own eyes--best to set a good example. After a moment, she continued.

"Imagine yourself as a flowerbud. It doesn't matter what kind--simply pick a flower." She paused, waiting a minute or two to allow the girl to choose a flower. "Right now it is dark. You are a closed bud." Another moment, to let the girl adjust. Then she continued, her voice a relaxing drone. "The sun begins to rise. You feel the warmth on your petals. Open yourself to the sun. Open yourself to saidar. You must surrender yourself first." Laila embraced herself, drawing deep on the Power. "Try to hold the Power as long as possible, but don't force yourself."

After a while Laila opened her eyes. "You can open your eyes now." Reyna looked up at her, and Laila cocked her head. "So? Would you like to run through the exercise again?"

It's up to you whether she embraces the first time or not, how long she holds it, and whether she repeats the lesson. 300 words following Laila's instruction, plus (of course!) Reyna's first experience with saidar

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