History Repeating Itself (Attn: Daniel)

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History Repeating Itself (Attn: Daniel)

Postby Craig » Fri Jun 09, 2017 4:13 pm

Elia
There were times when Elia missed being the Mistress of Novices. Oh, the work was hard and the hours were long, but there was a fulfilment that you didn't get by being head of the Indigo Ajah... or the Black. She missed early mornings baking in the kitchens, filling her office with the scent of honeycakes until the mid-evening. Then again, she missed being able to get down to the kitchens. Being seven months pregnant meant that a great many things were difficult or impossible.

Yet despite her ongoing condition, somehow Elia had insisted on teaching a new student. Some young slip of a girl from Cairhien. Nobleborn, if she recalled correctly. How she was going to teach a girl when she could channel only one in ten attempts was a good question, but Elia had survived much worse.

Escorted by Dax, Elia made her way to one of the smaller classrooms within the Grey Tower. It was about a quarter of the size of her antechamber, enough to sit ten or so students. More than enough room for the Indigo sister and her student. As Elia opened up the door, Dax departed, off to find himself a fight or a drink in all likelihood. Faintly smiling at his back, Elia entered the classroom and started to organise the chairs. Just the two, set facing each other in the middle of the room.

Smoothing out her dark blue Cairhienin dress with its high collar, Elia waited for her student. She thought about streams and flower buds, novice exercises, as she struggled to reach out for the Source.

OOC: If you want a description of Elia, her Library page is here. Importantly, her right arm is blackened and withered.
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Re: History Repeating Itself (Attn: Daniel)

Postby Daniel » Fri Jun 09, 2017 7:57 pm

Nyaine
Even though Nyaine had already had a week to get used to her new, rather small sleeping chamber, it had only been the day before that Vanya Sedai had allowed her to be entered into the Novice book. The long wait had done nothing good for her excitement levels. Ever since getting to know that she had the ability to become Aes Sedai, she had wanted to start immediately. It was something new and adventurous that no history or philosophy book, nor any good discussion with her Cairhienin acquaintances could rival.

Today, finally, would be her first lesson with an Aes Sedai and the excitement had at last made room for something else. A flutter in her stomach region. She refused to believe it was fear, why should she be afraid of anything here? After all, why would she be born with an ability that she couldn’t master, that made no sense. Didn’t it? She hoped it wouldn’t be like two days earlier when she had been on top of the tower trying to get a view of the countryside and noticed that she really didn’t like heights all that much. She tried to stamp out the thought. Contrary to what awaited her now, fear of heights was totally reasonable, after all a drop from large heights would most certainly kill.

It most certainly also wasn’t embarrassment, that felt more like a knot than a flutter. She had made that experience thoroughly not too long ago. Looking up she noticed that she had arrived at her destination. Having smoothed her excessively new Novice dress and ensured that her hair was out of her face, she knocked, and after inhaling one more deep breath of air, pushed open the door.
The room seemed to be designed to hold a small group of people, certainly more than just two. Yet it seemed that two it would in fact be. She took in the woman already occupying the space. The dress was certainly Cairhienin in origin. Was that on purpose to remind her of what she had left behind to come here? Firmly, she admonished herself to stop thinking like she was still in the city, playing the Game of Houses. She could however not help but notice the channeler’s blackened hand, but instead of dwelling on it, she looked at the redhead’s face and approached.

“Greetings, Elia Sedai?”, Nyaine said slightly questioningly after dropping an elegant curtsy and then went on to explain: “the Mistress of Novices sent me here, so that I can finally get my first lesson. Please forgive my excitement, Aes Sedai. It’s just after all the time travelling here and then waiting to begin with the training, I cannot wait to begin.”

She would really have to work on restraint with words. Ever since those two sisters had showed up at that birthday party, it seemed like she had forgotten all her education in both social etiquette and the keeping of information to herself. Her father would have been upset after all that money he invested in her teachers. Firmly keeping her mouth closed, she expectantly looked at her newest teacher.
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Re: History Repeating Itself (Attn: Daniel)

Postby Craig » Mon Jun 12, 2017 3:31 am

Elia
Elia smiled. It was gratifying to be the centre of someone's attention once more, and more so to hear that they were excited. Far too many of her previous students just attempted to bide their time through her lessons. She had little time for teaching now, and Elia was grateful for the promising start. It made getting out of bed this morning worth the effort.

"Take a seat, my child." The Indigo gestured to the seat opposite her own. "There is no need for forgiveness. I'll take enthusiasm over apathy any day."

So this was to be her latest project? She was a pretty little thing, all bundled in white. Fine features. If she were but a bit taller, she would cut quite the impression in the Grey Tower. Oh, she could never vie for my elegance, but she will make a lovely-- Elia cut that thought off abruptly. She didn't want to test the novice's capacity for that. Light, her own nightmares about the Black Ajah were getting intense.

Elia's porcelain white mask never quavered, her gaze intent even as the cogs in her brain spun.

Only once the novice was seated did Elia continue, still smiling warmly. "You haven't channelled yet, have you? Tell me about yourself, child. Your name would be a good start."
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Re: History Repeating Itself (Attn: Daniel)

Postby Daniel » Mon Jun 12, 2017 5:56 am

Nyaine
Directed to sit, Nyaine strode toward the indicated chair opposite the indigo sister, seating herself primly. Had the woman actually complicated her for her excitement in a way? It certainly appeared that way. And how could anyone show apathy for a lesson in channelling? Even as a concept that thought boggled her mind.

The Aes Sedai not knowing her name and wanting her to introduce herself caught her off guard and she took a few seconds to process that probably perfectly normal request. Yet Nyaine was not used to people not knowing who she was. At home, you were probably announced and others made a point of knowing or at least knowing of anyone they might encounter. So what was there to tell about her and what would her teacher be interested in hearing about?

“Yes, Elia Sedai, I am Nyaine. Of House Lintell. In Cairhien”, she began somewhat stockingly, wondering whether her family was relevant. Failing to find anything smart to say, she continued simply summarising the few high points of her life so far: “There is not really much else to say about me. I grew up with my family in Cairhien. Gretchen Sedai and Tia Sedai said I was able to channel. They said I would sooner or later, regardless of whether someone taught me and that it would be dangerous if didn’t seek proper training. Of course I want to learn, always.”

She had begun to babble again, she noticed. Light. She would really need to get a grasp on that. She skimmed through her memories to recall what else Elia Sedai had asked and finally added: “Oh, and yes, you are correct, Aes Sedai, I have not yet channelled.”
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Re: History Repeating Itself (Attn: Daniel)

Postby Craig » Mon Jun 12, 2017 6:29 am

Elia
House Lintelle? A small House if Elia recalled correctly. A small House for a small girl. That did raise the question of what Gretchen and Tia were doing, bothering themselves with such insignificance. Well, if that's what the Greens and Reds did in their free time, who was she to argue?

"There are some dangers in the learning as well," Elia warned softly. She was still smiling, although it was sympathetic rather than warming. "One of the first lessons you ought to learn is never to channel without supervision. However, we probably should teach you how to channel before telling you that you should not."

"Now I don't know what, if anything, Gretchen and Tia Sedai taught you, so we shall start from the beginning. I want you to close your eyes and breathe deeply. In... then out. In... and out. There, continue doing that and attend my instructions." Elia closed her eyes, mentally working through the process herself. It should have been as easy to embrace the Source as it was to breathe, but that had not been the case for months.

Quieting her own thoughts, Elia continued. "I want you to empty your mind child. Still your thoughts until there is only one thing you can see; a flower bud. I want you to picture that flower bud in all of its infinitesimal detail. Feel the softness of its petals. Wrap yourself within its perfume. See its flowing curves and its vivid colours. Picture it deeply, picture it fully, until it becomes a part of yourself. Picture it until it is yourself. You are the bud Nyaine, in all of its beauty and wonder and delight. All of its softness and colour and fragrance. Good, keep breathing deeply, and imagine yourself as the bud."

As always, Elia imagined a golden rose, with silky soft petals shining with radiant luminescence. That glow only increased as she continued.

"Now there is the sun in the distance. I want you to feel the warmth of that dawning sun against you, see its glowing radiance in your mind. Slowly, I want you to open yourself up to the light. Just like the flower bud, you are being awoken by the presence and warmth of the light. Open yourself up to the Creator's gift."
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Re: History Repeating Itself (Attn: Daniel)

Postby Daniel » Mon Jun 12, 2017 8:18 am

Nyaine
So learning came with dangers, too. It wasn’t really that unexpected. If channelling without instruction could have deadly consequences, she supposed errors while being taught might have, too. The flutter in her stomach returned. Could this be like falling from the top of the Tower after all? But even if it was, what choice was there? At least now she had teachers like Elia Sedai that could control the fall to some degree.

She nodded trying to make it not look too eager and then attentively listened to the sister’s instruction. Closing her eyes, her vision turned black, intensifying the sensation of the spoken words. She made herself become aware of her breathing and controlled it to become regular and deep. With an effort she tried to banish all the thoughts that were racing in her mind.

Nyaine attempted to visualise a flower bud, but even in front of her mental eyes it remained mostly an unshapely green thing. Thinking of her parent’s garden, she picked a white lily that she had played with in her early days. The memory brought a smile, but both smile and memory needed to be pushed aside, so that she could concentrate on the flower. She managed that with some difficulty.

With the hint that the lily was to be colourful, she imagined splashes of red colour on the white petals and was reminded of the freckles in her own face, which of course were a far cry from vibrant. This realisation did unfortunately not help when Elia Sedai told her to become the lily herself. She was no flower. But maybe she ought to not transform herself into the flower in her mind, but put herself in the position of the lily, see things from its point of view.

That seemed in fact to work better, but she had to take a second to get her breathing back to a regular rhythm. If she was the flower, how would she react to the sun that the Indigo sister was now describing? She would most certainly unfold her petals and try to take in some of the warm sun rays. As she imagined her lily doing that, she felt like a small trickle of something incredible was filling not the flower, but her.

It seemed to intensify her senses. She could clearly smell the herbal soap she had used to wash this morning. Unaware of it, a smile had crept on her face. She wanted more, she reached for more, but as she did, the light seemed to be just one step away from her. She imagined the flower petals larger, but it only was enough to maintain that small trickle. Chasing after the sunlight only enlarged the distance, the rays feeling colder and colder and then even the trickle was gone. And suddenly there was a gigantic feeling of loss and disappointment. The corners of her mouth drooped down and she left out a small sigh.

“There was… I felt something, Aes Sedai. But when I tried to reach for more, it all went away”, she said, the sadness of the loss tinging her voice. She opened her eyes and looked at Elia Sedai.
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Re: History Repeating Itself (Attn: Daniel)

Postby Craig » Thu Jun 15, 2017 1:03 am

Elia
Elia felt the warmth of the Source before Nyaine did. Like the novice, the Indigo felt the rapturous bliss of holding saidar, and like the novice Elia yearned for more. That was the constant battle that each channeller had with their ability, but Elia was intelligent enough to know that just holding onto the One Power was a success in and of itself. Impending motherhood had her grateful simply for being able to touch the Source.

Opening her eyes, Elia could see the beginnings of a glow forming around Nyaine. It was pale and diffused, like observing a candle's flame through a gauze curtain, but it was still there. Elia's other senses could feel the trickle of saidar Nyaine held, and then felt it ebb away. She didn't need to see the smile fade from Nyaine's lips to know what had happened.

For herself, the Aes Sedai offered a comforting look. "You found it," Elia said in an encouraging tone. "That 'something' you felt was saidar, the female half of the One Power. Don't feel downcast; you did well. It can take new channellers many attempts before they got to feel what you just did."

She smoothed out her skirts over her lap. Cool to the touch, soft, finely crafted -- anyone could have felt that, but with the One Power surging in her, all of those experiences were a hundred times more discernible and a hundred times more intense. Elia began to reach out for more of saidar. That was both futile and foolish. For an instant the light and the bliss seemed to completely escape her, but she relinquished herself to it just in time. A novice's mistake, she chided herself.

Nyaine just made the same mistake. Elia licked her lips before speaking again. "Saidar is gentle. It isn't a wild animal that needs to be tamed, nor a man needing to be broken." Elia smirked. "Saidar is a slow-flowing river that washes around us and washes through us. You cannot grasp at the river's waters to control it. What you can do is stand in the river and be patient. Submit yourself to the stream of the One Power and guide it."

"Close your eyes and think about the flower bud again. You are on the ground and the sun is in the sky. The flower can no more make the sun come to it than you can make saidar flow into you. You must surrender yourself to the One Power and accept what it gives you, just as the flower can only receive as much sunlight as the sun allows."
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Re: History Repeating Itself (Attn: Daniel)

Postby Daniel » Thu Jun 15, 2017 2:27 pm

Nyaine
So it had been the One Power. Nyaine wasn’t quite sure how to feel about that. Her heartbeat had certainly gone up when Elia Sedai revealed that fact. It’s not as if she hadn’t somehow expected that result. What else could it have been? But having it confirmed was strange. It was a mixture of both increased excitement and queasiness at the same time.

Listening to the Aes Sedai’s explanation, it seemed trying force the power to her wouldn’t work. She had never tried to grasp a river’s water in order to control its direction, but she imagined grabbing any fluid with her hands would be rather futile thing to try. A vessel was needed. That was probably taking the analogy way too far. At the same time, she thought submitting herself to the stream would just get her washed away. Was that where the danger of channelling lay?

She probably couldn’t reason this out. So instead she closed her eyes and started breathing in and out controlled deep breaths, listening once more to Elia Sedai guide her through the lecture. She was the white-and-red lily, she opened herself to the rays of the sun, but even though she could feel the warmth she had the last time, the feel of the One Power did not return. She tried to wait patiently, but eventually faltered, the image of the lily vanishing from her mind.

Had her thoughts made her afraid, she wondered? She decided, she had to ask to know for certain: “Elia Sedai, if stand in the river, as you say, with the One Power flowing around me, am I not in danger of being swept away by the current?”
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Re: History Repeating Itself (Attn: Daniel)

Postby Craig » Fri Jun 23, 2017 5:50 pm

Elia
Elia tilted her head, considering the analogy of the river herself. "Saidar is gentle," the Indigo repeated, "so you will not be whisked away like a leaf or a twig. What you describe is more in tune with what men have to deal with when working with saidin."

She smiled knowingly. "But that's not to say that channelling saidar is not without its risks. Each woman can only make use of so much of the One Power at a time. This point varies from person to person, but when you feel the heat and the bliss of channelling transmuting into pain, that's when you know you're reaching too far."

Elia needlessly smoothed her skirts again as she pondered how much to say. "When you have the One Power flowing inside you, it feels like waking up from a dream. Everything becomes so much more real, and it can become an addiction. In order to feed that addiction, some channellers strive for more and more of the One Power. That boundary of pain becomes a pleasure in itself, and if you stray too far beyond that boundary, you can burn out." Those last two words came out with a vehemence and stress that the novice probably didn't understand yet. For Elia, it was a curse; the worst curse a channeller could suffer.

"Fear those words, child. To burn out is to lose the One Power forever, never to know its warmth nor its light again. For this reason, you must never channel without an Accepted or an Aes Sedai guiding you. It is a fate that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy, so I certainly do not wish it for you."

Goosepimples coated the pale skin on the Indigo sister's left arm. Not wishing it on her worst enemy was a bit of a lie, but it still made her squirm to think about it. A fate worse than death. And Elia knew a fair amount about death.

"Now, let's talk no more about that nasty subject. I am certain your other instructions will give you similar warnings, so I have no need to stress it. For now, let's focus on opening ourselves up and surrendering to the bliss of the True Source. Close your eyes, breath deeply, and surrender."

OOC: Sorry for the delay.
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Re: History Repeating Itself (Attn: Daniel)

Postby Daniel » Mon Jun 26, 2017 4:20 am

Nyaine
You could burn out and lose the One Power forever? Nyaine had only once touched saidar a few minutes ago, and already she dreaded that outcome. Light! Even her teacher seemed genuinely uncomfortable with that thought. But at least Elia Sedai had allayed her worries of being swept away. She only had to stand by and let things happen to her? Well, she could certainly do that. Half of The Game consisted of waiting for something to happen. And to then quickly jump into action when that something did occur. But the part where she jumped to action would likely come later, once she actually managed to surrender to the bliss, as the Aes Sedai had put it. One thing at a time, Nyaine, you can’t rush this. Suppressing a sigh, she gave a nod to indicate her understanding and agreement to continue the lesson.

Nyaine closed her eyes again and tried to rid herself of all her conscious thoughts, however keeping the idea of safety in mind. She was the white lily in the warm sunlight, the flower bud opening herself to the light. She was standing in the wide, gentle, slowly but unerringly flowing river of saidar. The flower bud, the river, the petals, the flow. It took several attempts with Elia Sedai talking her through the exercises and she had no idea how much time passed, but then she finally felt that pressure on the petals of the lily again and the awakening of her senses. The otherwise barely noticeable smell of her soap, the deepness of the dark blue on her teacher’s dress, the slight pressure of her hands on her thighs. She wanted more than trickle that she currently held, but reminded herself firmly to do nothing and just let happen. She could not resist however the smile that crept on her lips. I was bliss.

Of course, now the time for action probably had come and this was completely unfamiliar territory for her, nothing that Elia Sedai had said so far had covered what she should do now. Should she say something? She didn’t think she could without losing concentration. Consequently, she just waited, continuing to visualise herself in the river, revelling in the feeling of being filled by the One Power.
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