A newly shawled Aes Sedai has arrived from the . . .

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Catisune
Posts: 22
Joined: Wed Jun 24, 2020 2:18 pm

A newly shawled Aes Sedai has arrived from the . . .

Post by Catisune » Thu Nov 05, 2020 1:54 pm

Catisune hauled an embroidery hoop from the tawny bag of sewing trinkets resting at her feet. Worked with thread-of-gold and far more ostentatious than the rest of her possessions, the bag represented a sort of freedom with which Catisune must now reckon. Freedom, she supposed, with a price—for the bag cost more than her father’s fishing nets could haul in a month, more than she’d thought she could ever spend on such frippery. But Catisune had paid that price just the same, as she had paid it many times before on the journey to this moment. As, she suspected, she would pay again soon.

Her skin itched with the oaths that now bound her. Though the tightness would fade as surely as the Wheel would keep turning, she reveled in this tangible reminder of her new life. A burden was only a burden if you could feel its weight upon your back, after all, and Catisune needed to feel it. She observed the ancient symbol of the Aes Sedai coming to life before her on the hoop, stitched with precision from memory rather than from some amateur’s painting. Catisune’s training had taught her to trust her own mind above all else, to pose difficult questions, to dig.

And dig she would. Dig and dig, until her fingers bled if she must. She traded the hoop for a small, leather-bound volume resting at the bottom of her sewing bag. She turned to a page halfway through and skimmed her own cramped, spidery script as it crawled across the book in a peculiar shorthand. She’d developed the technique as a Novice, desperate for any means to record a Sister’s lecture in its entirety before those precious words escaped into the oblivion of half memory and forgotten musings. She’d employed that same shorthand to much greater effect, however, as an Accepted, after Damena had shooed her away from the Prophecies of the Dragon and toward more savory studies.

Eschewing the honorific, even in thought, felt odd to Catisune as she considered Damena. The woman stood larger in Catisune’s mind than she did even in life, a fixture so resolute and immovable that she might as well have been hewn from the Tower itself. Catisune owed the woman a great debt for the lessons she’d taught her. The White Tower was now graven upon Catisune’s bones—like an etching or a tattoo. Like something permanent. Something that would hurt.

And, if Damena had never held her hand, the Brown Sister, with her stern face and twinkling eyes, had taught Catisune about the kind of Aes Sedai she wanted to be: one with grit and heart and a thirst for knowledge so bright that it could burn back the darkness with its ferocity.

Catisune reviewed her notes quietly. No, Damena might not be pleased to discover Catisune had disobeyed her, translating dozens of versions of the Karaethon Cycle from the original Old Tongue into her own collection of tiny notebooks over the course of the last five years. But the time for apologies was well past.

As the saying went, Catisune had taken what she wanted and paid for it. She twitched the fringe of her russet shawl about her arms as she prepared to depart her new chambers. Now the Pattern would take what it wanted from her.

And this time she wouldn't ask the price.

isabel
Posts: 1116
Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2016 5:19 am

Re: A newly shawled Aes Sedai has arrived from the . . .

Post by isabel » Fri Nov 06, 2020 2:45 am

Ohhh.. this is so good ! Love your writing - "and skimmed her own cramped, spidery script as it crawled across the book in a peculiar shorthand"

Alison
Posts: 610
Joined: Mon Mar 30, 2015 3:09 am
Location: South Africa
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Re: A newly shawled Aes Sedai has arrived from the . . .

Post by Alison » Sun Nov 08, 2020 10:37 am

Very well written. More please.

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