Played on 2004/08/29
As written by the hand of Be'hlarah
4th Day of Danu, 999 NE
It's the dawn of the 999th year in the New Era, the 4th day of Danu. A serene atmosphere still lingers in the air, even after three days when Egwene Al'Vere has been raised to her rightful place as Amyrlin Seat. She will do great, I just know it! A good sign to the world that we are the righteous Aes Sedai and that our place is in the Tower.
As I walk through the camp in Salidar on this beautiful winter morning, I simply feel teriffic, something is going to happen today, something hard but rewarding. I just know it!
My hands are all rimpled after my 'workout' in the kitchen this morning, because Tryane and I got caught trying to link again. It just feels so wonderful sharing our powers to make even more beautiful things. We have to be full Aes Sedai first before we will be allowed to link up, I can't wait to not having to hide our efforts. I will not deny that we won't try link up again, we just have to be more careful next time.
As I walk back to our small assigned space, a servant approaches me and tells me I am summoned before the Amyrlin Seat! The Amyrlin Seat herself, isn't this fantastic? I can only stammer out a small reply that I come as quick as I can. I never have problems speaking like this. What honor has been bestowed uppon me, whatever does she need me for. All excited I run towards our quarters to tell the news to my dear sister before the servant can tell her. I can see she is excited, but I still have to drag her away from her book. I still do not understand how so much knowledge can fit inside her head, she just never stops reading.
As we approach the building in which Egwene, I mean the Amyrlin Seat, now houses herself we see three other people standing there waiting to enter. Sister Eleya is there, such a good girl. Kheldar the librarian is there too, but what me amazes the most is that there is someone else. What smell comes from that girl, her hair is a total mess and she carries a bow across her back, whatever is she supposed to do at our summons. Or is she just here for some other reason. I guess we will find out soon enough. I greet Eleya and Kheldar friendly and ask of this other girl what she is doing here. But before an answer comes the door opens and Sister Sheriam sternly becons us to enter the building, I make my little bow of respect and quickly enter. She leads us through the front room to the study of our Amyrlin Seat, the strange girl is still following us, she isn't stopped by Sister Sheriam. She must truly also have been summoned before Mother Egwene then.
For a temporary study in a quickly build city, her study looks amazing, did they bring all this with them when leaving the Tower? Our new Mother is sitting behind her desk not yet looking at us. Which makes me glad, otherwise she would have seen me staring, which surely isn't the correct way to act. I quickly kneel before her and from the corner of my eye I also see that the girl follows my suit, thank goodness. After an almost awkward silence she asks us to rise. She doesn't quite look accustomed to her role, but she looks beautiful and regal sitting behind her desk like that nonetheless.
I don't think I would have been able to say anything if I were in her position, but as she only slightly nervously starts to talk to us, she explains that the sisters and the army will be travelling to the north in three days. The Tower needs to be confronted with the righteous of the two groups of sisters. We need to be united to withstand what is coming and what is happening in the world. The confused misinformed part of our sisterhood need to be informed of the truth and the correct way the sisterhood should be. I am positive that our new Amyrlin Seat and her Sitters can convince them or take the appropriate actions when they need be taken.
I shake and shiver as she suddenly confirms the existence of the Black Ajah, this cannot be true? A fable, a myth, but if she says it, it really must be true. These are scary times to live in. Mother Egwene tells us that somehow the Black Sisters can circumvent the power of the Three Oaths, and that they can lie to keep their choosing of the evil ways a secret. A truly scary thought.
Four Sisters will stay behind as the army moves north, for there are still others of our Sisterhood coming in from afar on various missions to join us in Salidar. But the time is to move, waiting is no longer an option. So this small group of four Sisters is left behind to organise and send out fellow sisters in the right direction. But then comes the words of why we are told all this and why we were summoned before her. She als wants us five to stay behind, not just to help the four sisters with her tasks, but to investigate if one of them might be a Black Sister. She entrusts us with a mission like this, the thought that one of those Sisters might be a Black sister truly makes my hairs stand up in the back of my neck. Her faith in us simply astounds me. She is almost sure that all four Sisters are not, but she cannot take the risk that one is and something might happen to our Sisters who are still to arrive.
Then she points to some sort of object lying between the carefully stacked piles of paper and explains this is the device we will have to use if we are certain that we have found a Black Sister. Two saucer like parts are stuck together, at about 4 inch width and 2 high. She tells us to just embrace the Source, speak the secret password 'Amalasan' and speak into it when we need to send a message. It will travel the distance of space all the way to where ever she might be at that time, and it doesn't even matter if she is awake or vast asleep, isn't it amazing? For a moment I forget what task lies ahead and just enjoy the object and the voice telling us how it works. Amalasan, one of the false Dragons of old times, why this word, but I dare not ask. Tryane might be able to explain me this when we are alone again.
We then are introduced to our companions, for those we do not know then. Mother Egwene explains after being asked by Kheldar that the roles of Kheldar and the girl named Tadra are to protect and help us with their knowledge and skills in our particular quest. I wonder if Tadra even knows the meaning of the word soap and I hope she won't have to sleep to close to us.
The four sisters left behind are, Manale Posavina Sedai of the Blue Ajah, Narienne Accad Sedai of the Yellow Ajah, Buelle Ellisor Sedai of the Gray Ajah and Eadrica Tobanyi Sedai of the White Ajah. I have had lessons from Sister Manale, I know Sister Narienne to be strict, Sister Eadrica to be distracted but very kind, I don't know much about Sister Buelle though.
After showing our appreciation and me honestly being quite scared to do this, Sister Sheriam enters again to lead us outside, I didn't even notice she left. I stagger outside with the burden of all that sudden knowledge and sense of trust. I still feel awfully excited about all this, I will make her proud and if there is a Black Sister among the four, I just know we will find her.
7th Day of Danu, 999 NE
The three next days pass quickly as life goes on and nothing really special happens. A lot of packing is being done and done by us though. The day that the army will move north has arrived. Excitement flows through the camp. I want to go with them, but we have been entrusted with an important task we have to fulfil. As I lift my last casket upon a wagon, I already know about half the camp is already moving north. It already feels different somehow.
We have been assigned to a building still left standing to live in, the army is gone now and already the emptiness and silence are surrounding us. Tryane is reading a book inside, can she read through anything? Eleya is inside too, probably working on her beautiful dresses. I havent seen Kheldar or Tadra though, they still have to arrive from their previous homes.
We are kept quite busy during the rest of the day with chores for the sisters, especially Sister Narienne keeps on our toes. Tired I crawl in to my bed, having already forgotten about Black Sisters and other things. The Sisters didn't know that I wanted to sleep in peace, but their chores sure made me do this, I am thankful to them for this.
8th Day of Danu, 999 NE
Having to do everything ourselves is quite a new experience, but we manage. During lunch everyone is even present to eat what we ourselves have cooked up. No one speaks though, a forced quiet envelopes the table. But then suddenly we hear screams from outside, almost squeels from the sound of it. I almost immediately stand up and run outside, with my 4 companions close on my heels.
When we arrive outside we see a young man running towards us, when he got close he fell to his knees and calling our title of Aes Sedai in blessing. We first have to calm him and his speaking comes between mouthfuls of air. But after a short while he tells us that his name is Narvin and his farm has been attacked by Whitecloaks. Fanatics from Amadicia, calling themselves Children of the Light. According to the boy at least ten of them attacked the farm. Our fellow four sisters have also arrived now and have heard the story also. I look at the closest Sister in advice, it is their decision to make. Luckily Sister Eadrica speaks up and asks for the boy's father's name. His father is Gainor Furlan, a local lord on the border of Amadicia.
Sister Eadrica, a cozy woman, with stories of old, that looks in her forties with graying hair, lightblue eyes and a still present Andorian heritage, decides that investigating this incident will be a good exercise for our learned knowledge. Happiness clearly can be seen on Narvin's face after she said this.
After quickly getting our stuff ready for a 2 day journey we set out to the southwest towards Lord Furlan's estate. Nearing the evening we arrive at the river Eldar, a big fast flowing river that leads to Ebou Dar, luckily Narvin knows of a bridge a kilometer orso to the south. We arrive at a bridge a little bit later, but when our horses start to put their first feet onto the bridge, a group of 5 Whitecloaks arrive in a wedge form on top of the bridge. The obvious leader of the group speaks out and orders us to stop, we cannot pass this bridge it seems. But an Aes Sedai isn't as easily ordered around like this, so Sister Eadrica rides forward and in an extreme stern voice in turn orders the Whitecloaks to disperse and let us pass. Tryane and I quickly follow suit and ride along Sister Eadrica upon the bridge and put on our most serious of faces hoping that our companions in the back are doing their best to prepare themselves for the worst. This makes the 4 lesser Whitecloaks draw back, not knowing what powers we have, obviously not so sure of their business as their boss. Not so scared of a normal fight they draw forward again as they see Tadra drawing her bow and pointing it at their leader. Already having embraced the True Source I decide it's time to show them what the One Power can do. I make myself grow twice as tall, so that I stand around my horse instead of sitting on it and in my sternest of voices I tell them that this is not their place and that they should leave. This obviously is enough for the 4 Whitecloaks behind the leader and they turn their horses around and ride away while screaming about witches and their witching ways. The fleeing of his companions makes the leader doubt his chances too and he too rides away while shouting that we shall not enter their lands far.
But then Tadra foolishly decides to shoot an arrow after the man, never a wise or noble choice to shoot a man in the back. She quickly understands her mistake as angry looks are cast upon her. I wink at Narvin to make sure I am all friendly and will do him no harm as I see him looking at me, this visibly calms him.
We decide to setup camp here and carry on the next day. Tadra is called before Eadrica for some stern words for what we all know what it is about. After all is set up, we quickly fall asleep, I might have appeared brave but I was shaking all over and on the verge of backing down earlier. I couldn't have done anything if it wasn't for Eadrica or Tryane. I quickly fall asleep and hope for deep sleep.