The Test for the Fancloak Raising Template
From The Grey Tower Library
|The Great Stair (Accepted and Dedicated) - The Test for the Fancloak (Ji'val) - The Test of Honour (Drin) - The Three Arches (Novices and Soldiers)|
In order to be successfully Raised to the rank of Gaidin, you must write a fanfiction response to the IC Raising test. This section of the exam is designed to test your RP and writing skills, both integral at the Grey Tower.
The summons comes without warning. It arrives in the form of a knock at the door of your small barracks, perhaps, or while you spar in the Training Yard or study your breakfast in the Dining Hall. You are alone, and you find yourself facing a stony-faced Gaidin. You are presented, then, with the note.
Your presence is required, the note reads, at the south edge of the Training Yard. Please be prompt.
It is unsigned, you notice, but stamped with the seal of the Master of Arms.
You are prompt; after years of training in these Yards, you have matured beyond the dalliances of younger trainees. You move briskly to the appointed spot, and perhaps, at the back of your mind, a question starts to form. Is this, you wonder, what you think it is? The mysterious raising test? Most likely, you brush this question aside. You are being called to supervise a Drin lesson, you tell yourself, or to escort some petitioner into the village.
But there is that matter of the seal…
You are met at the Training Yard by one of the Gaidin. Whether you know him or not, he does not greet you with pleasantries. In fact, he brushes aside your greeting and your bow. “Follow me.” He proceeds to lead the way to the Channelling Yard, of all places. It is an unlikely place for any Warder-in-Training to venture.
Within moments, you find yourself being herded unceremoniously into the Channelling Yard. You notice briefly the silent Aes Sedai, a look of concentration painted on her serene face. In a flash of silver light, a portal opens before you, and you are pushed through the Gateway with a none-too-gentle tap.
The Gateway snaps shut behind you immediately.
You are in a small antechamber, studying the sparse stone walls. The climate has changed palpably; it is colder, here, and still. The room appears empty at first until you notice the single table pushed up against the wall. Your weapons, your armour, and even your stout woollen cloak are all laid out before you.
If it has not already come, realisation begins to sink in. You move to the table and set to preparing yourself, putting on the armour and the cloak, arming yourself with the weapons you have studied for so many years.
And then you wait.
The wooden door behind you opens and you are ushered out into a courtyard. You recognise, then, that this is the Citadel, the Grey Tower’s outpost in the Borderlands. Perhaps you have spent time training here before, or perhaps you recognise the solid fortress only from tales you’ve been told. You find that you have left a small room that is directly adjacent to the main courtyard.
Five figures are gathered in the courtyard before you. Four of the assembled figures you recognise immediately. This is the Warder Council, known to the entire Yard. The Master of Arms, the Master of Training, the Gaidin Captain, and the Warder-Channeller Representative stand at attention before the heavily fortified gates of the Citadel. An Aes Sedai stands slightly to one side. You offer a bow out of habit.
“Who comes before the Warder Council?” the Gaidin Captain intones.
Whether you pause in confusion or hesitation, or whether you forge ahead without faltering, you recognise that some answer is expected of you. “I,” you hear yourself saying, supplying your name to the Council, “Ji’val of the Grey Tower, come before the Council.” There is a natural script to this odd ceremony, one you respect and begin to follow.
The three Warders nod, and at last, the Master of Training steps forward. You have worked with him and under him for the entirety of your training at the Tower. He seems to symbolise your time in the training ranks, and it seems appropriate that he supplies your final test. You are certain, now, that this is precisely that: a final task.
“You have trained in our ranks and have been deemed worthy of a final assignment,” says the Master of Training. “Ji’val,” he continues, “you are called to prove yourself worthy of the fancloak on a dangerous mission. You have three chances to approach this task. If you choose to step down today, you may come before us twice more. Once you agree to continue your test, however, you may not turn back without immediate failure. Once you accept your test, you must complete the test or you will be put out of the Tower permanently. Do you wish to continue?”
This question has been put to every Gaidin who came before you and will face each that follows in your footsteps. Some answer rashly, glowing with the bravado of youth. Some pause, thoughtful, studying with quietude the choice before them.
The courtyard is bathed in a solemn hush. “You are called to protect this Aes Sedai, the symbol of your desired duty. If you fail in your protection of this Aes Sedai — if she falls under your defence — you will be put out of the Tower permanently.”
“Light guide your sword, and may your test be one of enduring strength.”
Your departure comes quickly, rapid-fire. You are provided with two horses, and as soon as you pass beyond the battlements of the Citadel, the thick oaken doors swing shut. In a swirl of activity, you are pushed out into the Blightborder beyond.
You are called to protect an Aes Sedai or Ashaman while they carry out a dangerous mission.
Choose one of these examples or create your own scenario:
- The Aes Sedai / Asha'man is carrying an important message from the Citadel to one of the Outposts deeper into the Blight, where dangers lurk close by.
- The Aes Sedai / Asha'man is a Brown wanting to study the creatures of the Blight, and you have to protect them while they are distracted in their studies. Close contact with a Stick is a bad idea.
- A young Green Brother / Sister wants to prove their worth against the beasts roaming the Blight, and you have to watch their inexperienced, daredevil back.
- There is an outbreak of sickness at one of the Outposts, and you need to escort a Yellow there with haste.
- An Aes Sedai has been captured by the Seanchan and taken as damane. You have to accompany an Aes Sedai / Asha'man in the rescue attempt.
- A Red has been requested to capture and escort a Darkfriend back to the Tower, and other dangers lie along the way.
The stalwart shadow of the Citadel rises up against the bleak horizon before you. You urge your horse onward, spurring the mount forward and glancing yet again to the Aes Sedai at your side. It is with the last of your strength that you forge towards the fortress in the distance. Completion, success: two lovely words indeed.
The test — your final test — is finished.
Your approach is noted and measured carefully, and with immaculate timing, the heavy gate to the Citadel creaks open.
Again, once inside the quiet and functional courtyard, you are faced by the Warder Council. “Dismount, Ji’val.” The Master of Training has stepped forward. You comply with the order.
The Master of Training looks over you and the Aes Sedai in silence. He nods and falls back, and you are neatly led away by a silent servant, clad in the livery of the Tower. The Council remains, alone, in the courtyard, to study and deliberate over your evidence. Your Aes Sedai, your charge, remains as well.
You are taken first to a small, bright room, clean and warm. There is a large bath, the hot water sending wisps of steam towards the high ceiling. You remember learning the purification rituals in lessons past, and you approach the bath simply, quietly, and reverently.
Having shed your armor and your weaponry, and having finished the bath, you are presented with a white tunic, a red robe, and a black doublet. The small sign of the Grey Tower is embroidered on each. And finally, you are led once again to the courtyard.
The Gaidin of the Citadel have assembled themselves in a wide semicircle. At the center, however, stands the Master of Arms. He has taken the place where the Master of Training once stood.
“Come forward.” You comply. “Kneel.”
“Do you come before your assembled brothers and sisters with a noble and just heart, wishing to join us as a Gaidin of the Tower?”
“Do you promise to uphold the Light in all you do, to live a life of duty, truth, and goodness?”
“Do you swear to serve and guard the Grey Tower faithfully?”
“And finally, do you vow to devote your life to this cause, to swear yourself to the Light, the Tower, and the pursuit of justice?”
“Under the Light, and by my hope of salvation, I do.”
The Master of Arms is handed your sword. Taking it in both hands, he pauses for a moment. “May the Light bless this blade and its bearer, and may the Light illumine the path of this warrior.” And then he hands you your sword.
“Rise.” He is handed another bundle, then, this one from the Warder-Channeller Representative. You recognize this second gift immediately; the fluid fabric looks weightless, reflecting a myriad of color and shadow. The Master of Arms unfurls the fancloth cloak, a mirror image of the ones all Warders wear.
“I grant you the title of Gaidin; you are a Brother of Battle, and a Warder under the banner of the Grey Tower.” With great gravity, then, he drapes the cloak over your shoulders and hooks the clasp at your neck. “Welcome.”
And for a moment, the stony faces of the surrounding Warders relax. The Warder-Channeller Representative steps forward. “By the power vested me by the Amyrlin Seat and M'Hael of the Grey Tower, I acknowledge and witness the raising of this Gaidin of the Grey Tower. You are entrusted to protect one Aes Sedai or Asha'man of your choosing to fulfill your destiny.”
And then the deed — performed by the Master of Arms, and sanctioned by the Tower itself — is finished.