Ninya Evoneigh (NPC)
From The Grey Tower Library
|Rank:||Amyrlin Seat (Oathsworn)|
|Talents / Abilities:|
|Affinities:||Earth, Air, Spirit, Fire, Water|
Eye Colour: Hazel
Hair Colour: Black
Ninya is tall, slender, and has an outward composure and calm that would render her unrecognizable to those who knew her as a young woman. She has long black hair -nearly to her knees- that she normally wears pulled back with a simple silver comb. Her eyes are hazel, almond shaped, and sharp; there is little that escapes her notice, and everything she sees, she stores away for future consideration. Because she is half Taraboner, her coppery skin is not nearly as dark as most Domani; indeed, without knowing she is Domani, most would not be able to tell that is where she originates. Her chin is a little too pointed, and her nose is tipped up at the end in a pert fashion that might have gotten her in trouble as a youth had she been more outgoing. Despite these pert attributes, the ageless features of an Aes Sedai cannot be mistaken; this is a woman who has channeled for many years, and is a force to be reckoned with.
She dresses in clothing made of quality material, in fashions that are flattering but not gaudy. Her prefered colors are blue, silver, and gold, but she will also occasionally wear brown, yellow, purple, or green. Like any other Blue, she does not wear red. She is normally carrying at least one book with her, and usually has a ink bottle and pen stashed up her sleeve. She does not wear her shawl frequently; like most Aes Sedai, it is reserved for formal occasions only. She does, however, wear her Great Serpent ring on the smallest finger on her right hand, and on the same finger on her left hand, she wears a gold ring with a blue gem shaped like the Flame set into it.
Ninya's entire bearing speaks of confidence, strength, knowledge, and assured grace. While she is not without fault, she has certainly grown into the knowledge that she is a woman, and a powerful one at that. She loves to teach, loves to learn, and most of all, loves to help. She spends much of her free time in Hama Valon feeding and clothing the poor, or arranging for relief ships to be sent to areas in the world that are experiencing trouble. She is not particularly good at diplomacy, but she does try to be kind when she must speak the blunt truth.
"Get yer rump up!" The voice cracked in the silence, and Ninya's arms flew to her face to protect herself from the belt that lashed out. "Them cows ain't gonna milk 'emselves. Up, or ye get no breakfast!" Ninya groaned, and water landed on her face. Sputtering incoherently, she sat up, shaking her head and arms to free face and hands of cold water.
"Yes'm, I'm awake!" she said meekly, hunching her shoulders and staring at Mistress Hartford's shoes. She did not dare look the woman in the eye; the blow from the belt stung, and the throbbing from the beating she'd received last night started again as she pulled herself from bed. She could not take another thrashing today; not if she wanted to be able to earn her keep over the winter months ahead. Mistress Hartford turned and left, muttering irritably about ungrateful brats in her house, and Ninya released a long breath of relief. She was safe- for now.
A few moments later her long hair had been braided and pinned up, and her dress smoothed down as well as she could manage. Although she owned no other clothing, Mistress Hartford would not abide a disorderly gown. Morning care finished, Ninya finally left the side shack that served as her sleeping spot, and went into the brilliant red hues of early morning on Almoth Plain. Her chores did not take much time; although only a child still, she had been doing the chores on this farm for several years already, and could get them done quickly enough to enjoy a quick moment to clean herself in the water trough before going in for whatever meager provender the Hartfords chose to provide her.
They never let her forget that both her parents had forsaken her. She knew the story well, and it hurt to think about it. Her father had deserted her mother first. A "charming man from Tarabon", he had seduced her mother, strung her along with promises of love, marriage, and a fine house, and then when she became pregnant, had run away. Her mother had been sent away from her family to care for Ninya until she was old enough to fend for herself, and then her grandfather had forced her mother to give her away. Thus the Hartfords had acquired her. How they had learned the story of her disgraceful past, she had never bothered to ask; all it would have earned her was another beating. Instead, she found herself wondering whether her mother had actually loved her, or if she had been glad to give her child up to the first person willing to take the responsibility.
The sun peaked over the horizon, and the small girl shook herself out of her reverie. Breakfast would not serve itself, and Mistress Hartford would be out to tell her so at any moment. The gray nature of the farm could not be transformed even by the golden rays of sunshine; it stood, obstinately colorless, with a drooping roof and a window boarded up after being shattered by Master Hartford in a rage some months before. She did not want to go back inside...but inside she must go.
Some time passed. Perhaps another year, perhaps two. She thought she might be ten or eleven, and the restrictions the Hartfords put on her activities bothered her more with every passing day. She knew a town called Indrid's Crossing was not too far away, because the family frequently went on trips there- without her. Curiosity and a desire for freedom burned, and one night, after the Hartfords and their three children had gone to bed, she left.
She took only what they would have fed her for breakfast the next morning, and the few things of her own that she had acquired through the years. She couldn't write, but even if she could, she would not have left a note; the only reason the family would miss her would be because they would have to do their own chores again. She slipped away into the night, walking along the trail that the farmer's wagon had left in the grass, and contemplated her options.
Working was was something she did well; she was certain she could find a job somewhere. The question was whether there would actually be work available in Indrid's Crossing- and whether the Hartfords would allow her to remain there. She had no true understanding of how communities interacted, but somewhere in her mind she understood that she could be forced to return to the farm she loathed. That meant she could not stay in Indrid's Crossing...but where would she go? The world suddenly seemed very large; the few places she had heard the names of - Caemlyn, Cairhien, the Grey Tower, and the Borderlands - all seemed very far away, and the bit of bread in her pocket could only last her so long.
Her thoughts kept her busy until she reached the tiny village of Indrid's Crossing. To her, it seemed gigantic; so many houses together seemed wrong in some way she could not pinpoint. It was still before dawn, and all the windows were dark, so she settled down to wait in front of a large house with a placard in front with an image of a cow and corset on it. Not long after, people began to stir; within an hour, she had asked a few questions, evaded answering the questions they asked of her, and had set off in quite the opposite direction to the one she meant to take.
An hour later, she turned north, and trudged across open fields, towards the town of Katar. Of the options she had discovered, it seemed the most likely place to get lost- permanently.
Katar had turned out to be everything she had expected it to be- and yet it was also lacking. She did not find work. Like the other street urchins in the town, she took to begging, and stealing when shopkeepers weren't looking. She learned that a bullwhip hurt a lot more than a belt, and that a night in prison was far less pleasant than a night spent in a doorway. Within days of arriving in Katar she was adopted by a "gang" of people a little older than she. They taught her to steal without being caught, and to get what she wanted with a few well-spoken lies. She also learned that if she were caught too frequently, she would lose a hand. One of the boys, named Sim, displayed his stump with solemn irritation at his own stupidity.
Most importantly, she learned that she could survive- if she was careful. Katar was far from a city (she had heard it compared to a place called Baerlon, though she had no idea where that town was), but it was large enough for her to remain lost, as she had hoped. The leader of her gang had nearly as heavy a hand as Mistress Hartford, but he only let it fly if dues were not paid in time, and she made it a point to get hers in quickly. Months passed, and then years.
At some point while living there, she learned that she had an uncanny ability to tell when someone carrying a lot of metal -usually a guard of some sort- was approaching her. She told the others she could hear it clinking, but in reality, she could almost smell it. Metal filled her senses; she even fancied she could tell the difference between some of them. Gold felt soft, and steel felt cold. Her fellow urchins laughed at her, so she laughed at herself as well. And yet she still found herself searching for the feel of metal.
She did not connect the violent illnesses she had every so often to the times when she had felt metal nearby, but it felt like every time she got sick was a little worse, and a little more frequent. The last time it occurred, she thought she would die; lights flashed, her stomach retched, and her head pounded for days. She could not see or think, or keep any amount of food down. After that illness...there were no more. She continued on as before, and in her young mind, decided it must have been something she ate.
Perhaps a year later, a day began that would change the course of her life forever. Of course, at its outset she didn't know anything would change. It began normally enough, after all. She rolled out of her makeshift bed, collected her small breakfast from the crevice she had hidden it in, and set out for the eastern end of the town. she had heard a merchant train was coming through, and she, Sim, Viktor, and a few others wanted to see what they carried. If there was anything valuable, perhaps they could acquire it for their own with some careful work.
The caravan was by far the biggest she had yet seen; there were five wagons, and a series of men and women on horses. As she watched them pass, she had the most disconcerting feeling that she knew them; one of them caught her eye and nodded at her, youthful face impassive, and she knew for certain she did not know that one...and yet the feeling of familiarity would not go away. Shaking it off, she slipped back into the alley, and went to meet with the others. A caravan with that many attendants certainly had something worth taking, even if they didn't know what it was!
In the early evening, the gang returned. The caravan had opted to stay at the Three Penny Goose, and the young people knew one of the stablehands there. Ninya, as usual, found a shadowy place near the rear door of the inn, to listen for guards. The others went about the business of getting into the carriages in the stable. She listened intently, arms crossed, head bowed, and eyes closed; she had learned early on that this posture assisted her efforts as no other could. Once again she was engulfed by the concept of how large the world was, as she listened... listened... listened.... That odd feeling in her head blossomed, and she could tell metal was coming. Her head snapped up, but then the feeling disappeared. It was as if the metal had simply ceased to exist.
Confused, she opened her eyes; a very small woman in a brown cloak stood in front of her. The woman had dark hair, dark eyes, and a youthful face; Ninya would have thought her no older than twenty. After a second look, she hesitated in her estimate. Those eyes seemed far wiser than the woman's apparent years. Perhaps she could be forty. "A very neat trick you have learned there, Wilder." The woman said dryly, her face remaining completely expressionless. "Any other caravan, and you might have gotten away with it."
"I have no idea what you're talking about," Ninya stammered, finding that her eyes had locked upon the boots, and her fingers were interlocked in panic. What did she have to be afraid of? For all this woman knew, she'd just been standing by the door!
"No, I don't suppose she could know," the stranger said, as if talking to herself, "most don't." She completely ignored Ninya's confused blink, and instead raised a hand- and her voice. "Reinna, could you come help me please?" Another woman, wearing a green cloak, came through the door. She gave Ninya the same odd look that the first woman had. "I think we may have to go back to the Grey Tower sooner than expected- don't you Reinna?" Her voice was mildly amused.
Ninya started to growl at being talked over, and then stopped abruptly. The Grey Tower? That meant these women were- no. There was no way Aes Sedai would have any interest in her whatsoever. "I'm just a street kid, and I was hoping for some scraps...please mistress, let me go!" The words tumbled out of her, and she made as if to shy past the strangers and walk away. She found her way blocked by the tallest man she'd ever seen in her life, wearing a cloak that seemed to disappear into the night in a very disconcerting fashion.
"No child...you are far from 'just' anything," the woman called Reinna told her. "Was it she I felt channeling earlier, Kikyo?" The first woman nodded sharply. "I think then that it is important you understand why we are interested in you, girl." Ninya shifted uncomfortably, eyes looking for a way out. As if reading her thoughts, the strange man put a hand on her shoulder. "You have the ability to channel. It is a wonder and a blessing that you are not already dead! It is very important that you go to the Grey Tower to train, or you may just find that you've accidentally blown up the entirety of this quaint little village you live in." Ninya stared at her, mouth open in shock. "Did you honestly think that you could just "feel" whatever it was you were looking for earlier, girl? Didn't you wonder why?" The girl didn't respond, simply fixed her eyes once more upon the Aes Sedai's shoes.
"Child!" Kikyo said sharply, reaching out and forcing her chin up so she had to look her in teh face, "what is your name?"
"My name is Ninya Evoneigh," she said, so low she could barely hear it herself.
"Well, Ninya Evoneigh, I am certain you would appreciate the opportunity to learn how to control your ability so you don't blow up your friends, am I correct?" Ninya nodded slowly. "You would also appreciate a safe place to sleep and regular meals, unless I miss my mark. You will get all of this and more, but you must come to the Grey Tower."
Ninya nodded, even more slowly than before. Looking around, she noticed for the first time that the rest of her gang had been rounded up; for some, this was their last offense. For others, they would simply be out on the streets again in the morning. Suddenly, the desire to be free of it all bloomed so strongly inside her that she nearly fell over. "I will go to the Grey Tower," she muttered, forcing her chin free of Kikyo's fingers. "You do not have to force me, Aes Sedai."
- Shattered Glass (Ninya's Three Arches)
- The Walk of Life (Ninya's Great Stair)
- Aes Sedai