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Session 1 (Kheldar)

Played on 2004/08/29

As written by the hand of Kheldar

4th Day of Danu, 999 NE

The festivities have ended, though it has been a grand spectacle to behold! With the installation of a new Amyrlin Seat, there seem to have come a definite sense of purpose over the inhabitants of Salidar. Although the scars over the Breaking of the Tower are still fresh, the installation of a, no I should say the Amyrlin Seat is a strong signal to the world and to the supporters of either group: the Tower is broken and the split-off Aes Sedai are ready to move on!

Interesting though this all may sound, I am currently involved in the more down-to-earth problems of managing a library consisting of two whole cabinets - well, mainly of extending the collection. Where to find books, what books would make good additions, which Initiate might have an unused copy which she no longer requires, etc. In the course of recent events I have had more squabbles with Initiates and even a Sister or two than I had ever thought I would have the stomach to seek out. By the Light - I had never thought I would ever have the stomach to get involved into a squabble with anyone wielding the One Power!

But the care of the library was trusted to me, and there is a great want for study material among the Initiates; more than our collection can provide. I am glad that Sister Dyrele was officially burdened with the care of the library. The shortage of books has put the librarians in the awkward position of deciding which Initiate is allowed to pursue what knowledge when - a task that should have been the responsibility of the Sisters.

To my great surprise, I receive a summons to the Amyrlin Seat. Normally, I would have been preoccupied with the honour of meeting her and the dread of what would be discussed. But I am curious to meet her. Many are the tales of the political machinations of the Sisterhood, and upon learning that a very young Sister was installed, I wondered if this position had been thrust upon her and if so, for what purpose. After all, beyond my position as librarian I felt I had little ties to the Aes Sedai.

Upon arriving at the Keeper of Records, I found that I was not the only person summoned. Three Initiates were trying, with varying degrees of success, to prevent their anticipation from showing. One of them I knew well, for Tryane Ahr'Rut regularly frequented the library. Next to her stood an Initiate who bore an uncanny resemblance to Tryane and who could be no other than her younger twin sister. The last Initiate wore a dress concealing her flesh, but exposing her figure. This could be none other than the Domani Initiate, whom had been the topic of some talks between the younger Initiates. There was also a member of the squad present, a woman by the name of Tadra Jenrik.

The Keeper of Records gave us some directions on how to behave in front of the Amyrlin Seat. We are ushered into the study of the Amyrlin Seat. Egwene Al'vere, Mother of the Sisterhood, is standing nervously behind her desk. I cannot help it, the first thing that I think of is that this young woman was purposefully manoeuvred into this position.

The Amyrlin Seat tells us to rise. Then she informs us that the breach in the Tower will not heal if half the Aes Sedai remain in Salidar. Therefore, packing will begin shortly and the force will be on the move. Unfortunately, not all those blessed with the One Power who sought to join the Aes Sedai at Salidar have already done so. Some Aes Sedai must remain behind to put these people on the right track.

There is a caveat: who can be trusted? Egwene confirms the existence of the rumored Black Ajah to us... I can still scarcely believe it as I write this down. Sisters who operate for the Dark One!
The Amyrlin Seat also informs us that members of this despicable Ajah may have the ability to lie.

My mind seems to be split in two: one half absorbs the rest of the meeting, while the other half is reeling in shock and wondering why (in the name of the Light) the Amyrlin Seat would confide such news in our little group. One of the Initiates receives a Ter'Angreal - one half of mind registers this, the other half adds this to the mix of confusion that is forming.

The ter'angreal can be used to contact the Amyrlin Seat. It is a one-way communication device: if an Initiate (or a Sister) embraces the One Power and then speaks the password ('Amalasan' - the name of one of the few False Dragons who was able to channel), the Mother will be able to hear her words. The ter'angreal is shaped like a disc with a hole in it at the top. We are to be attentive and thwarth any plot of the Black Ajah we should come across, if it is within our power to do so.

5th Day of Danu, 999 NE

Most of the day I stay in my room, pondering the previous day's meeting. After midday, I feel like I need to do some hands-on work and decide to go to the library. Of course, the books need to be packed as well, since most of them will be brought along. Helping with this puts my mind off of the troubling meeting and fills the rest of the day. Carrying heavy books in this oppressive heat is a good way to remove any dark thoughts from your mind.

6th Day of Danu, 999 NE

This day I decide to bid adieu to the acquaintances I have made over the last month in Salidar. It is good to see all of them, and most of them seem eager to leave and begin to mend the break in the Tower.

7th Day of Danu, 999 NE

Today Tryane, Beh'larah (the younger sister), Eleya (the Domani female), Tadra and myself came to see the caravan depart. The remaining Sisters (Sister Manak Posavina of the Blue Ajah, Sister Narienne Accad of the Yellow Ajah, Sister Buelle Elliser of the Gray Ayah and Sister Eadrica Tobanyi of the White Ajah) remained apart from our little group.

The departure took most of the morning. Afterwards, an emptiness seemed to settle over the previously busy village. Our spirits somewhat dampened, we reconvened for lunch. During lunch, we hear a cry for help coming from the outside. The Initiates, Tadra and myself were quick to our feet and investigated, the Sisters followed us at a more dignified speed. The boy seems overwhelmed - and who wouldn't be? One moment the town seems abandoned, the next you are surrounded by nine strangers...

The boy hurriedly begins his tale: he is Narvin Furlan, son to a nobleman who owns a farming estate two days from Salidar. This estate is on the borders of the region under influence by the Children of the Light. Apparently the farm is now under occupation by the Whitecloaks.

A feeling of sympathy and anger rises within me. Those darned Whitecloaks! For all their preaching and talk of the Light, they may very well be among the most oppressive forces known to mankind. Having read of their deeds, I find it incredible they still dare to claim to be champions of the Light.

However, what holds true for the organisation does not necessarilly hold true for the individuals that compose it. A regular meal, a bed and the thought that you are doing what you can in the fight against the Dark One have tempted many who themselves are not evil in nature.

Eadrica Sedai takes Narvin aside and talks to some. Eadrica is quite clearly the eldest Sister. She is beginning to gray - which can take quite some time for those blessed with the One Power (according to some of the instructional books I have glanced in).

Eadrica instructs us (the three Initiates, Tadra and myself) to accompany her as we will conduct the boy home and get to the bottom of this. We all pack hastily and turn in early for one last good night of rest.

8th Day of Danu, 999 NE

We depart in the early hours of the morning. It is already warm, even though it is close to midwinter. Late afternoon we can hear the sounds of a nearby river. A turn of the road shows us the rivers and one of the Wonders that have survived from the Age of Legends: a magnificant structure bridging the almost 1,000 feet wide river here. The arch of the bridge runs so high, that even larger ships should have no trouble sailing underneath it.

Narvin, who rides with Eleya (much to his pleasure), is excited at seeing the bridge. It is of course a landmark of how far away from home he is. As we slowly ride onto the bridge, a squad of Whitecloacks ride up over the arch of the bridge. They order us back and claim we have no business in their lands. Eadrica Sedai calmly states that we will continue and nudges her horse forward. Clearly, the Whitecloak commander is accustomed to having his orders followed. He seems at a loss how to handle the situation.

Meanwhile, Tadra has moved her horse to the side of the bridge and taken aim upon the commander. The commander is staring angrily and with scarcely concealed hostility upon Eadrica Sedai. She returns him the favour, demonstrating that one does not live so long as she has done as an Aes Sedai by being intimidated or outwitted so easily.

Eleya has gotten a dreamy, peaceful look over her face - as sure a warning sign as the Whitecloaks are to receive! Suddenly, Be'hlarah grows to some 10 feet and advances towards the commander and the regulars behind him. "This is not your place. LEAVE!" she commands in a terrifying voice. The regulars race eachother to comply. The commander glances back and suddenly fear is clearly visible in his eyes. He turns his horse around and snarls back, "You shall not go far into our lands, foul witches!".

As he rides away at a more dignified speed than his underlings, Tadra shoots an arrow in his back. Her hand seemed to be going to her quiver for another shot, but three pair of Initiate angry glances and one of a full Aes Sedai manage to put such thoughts quickly out of her. We cross the bridge and find ourselves a camping site a short while later.

Tadra is spoken to sternly by Eadrica Sedai. I hear Tadra explain: "Well, I thought 'That one is mine!'". I sigh deeply. Thankfully, Eadrica Sedai seems possessed of a patient nature. Today, she almost seemed to be a kind, loveable grandmother who can be stern at times, but for the incident at the bridge. There it became quite clear that there is a different, powerful side to her. However, this is directed at enemies and not at those under her protection. I feel that the Initiates feel comfortable in her presence. With that thought I fall asleep.


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