Sighing lightly and pursing her lips she continued on her way to her room. Upon reaching her room Eleanor Sedai approached her. The two of them stared at eachother for a moment before Eleanor said quietly “Quentaira Elmoran, ou are summoned to be tested for the shawl of an Aes Sedai, the light keep you whole and see you safe.”
Quentaira froze with her hand on the handle of her door and then followed after the Mistress of Novices as she turned her back and walked. Quentaira’s breathing started to pick up pace and she suddenly felt ready to sick up. the path they took was vaguely reminiscent of that day when the same woman had come to collect her for her arches, only she knew that this was going to be nothing like that, but probably harder. It had to be. They went constantly down into the stone depths of the tower until they came to two large doors that looked like they could have belonged to a castle gate and quen had to force air into her lungs to keep going. Eleanor channeled and te doors swung open quietly with air, not making a sound. the room she stepped in to was a large domed chamber with lamps all around. An oval ring was was in the middle of the room that glittered in the light that seemed to stand unsupported. One Aes sedai from each Ajah was standing in a ring around the room and Eleanor raised her voice syaing “Attend.” all the sisters gathered to them and then Eleanor began a line of questioning.
“You come in ignorance Quentaira Elmoran, how would you depart?”
Quentaira swallowed and squeaked out an answer, even though her outward appearance was calm. She had to be serene, she had to be like an Aes Sedai…she would be Aes Sedai.
“In Knowledge of Myself.”
“For what reason have you been summoned here?”
The next time Quen answered her voice was steadier, her eyes straight ahead focusing on the color shifting oval.
“To be tried”
“For what reason should you be tried?”
Again her voice was better, stronger, confidence started to fill her body, she would make it, she knew it, she had to. failure was not an option.
“So that I may learn whether I am worthy.”
“For what would you be found worthy?”
At this last question Quentaira felt herself swelling with pride and confidence. She looked Eleanor in the eye, her voice unwavering.
“To wear the shawl.”
Eleanor nodded and instructions were given to her to remember certain things and then she was instructed to remove her clothes. She did so unthinking and watched as the Aes Sedai kneeled and channeled around the oval before she swallowed hard and stepped through the oval, blinded by light.
Quentaira sat alone in her room, suddenly everything was coming together. She kneeled down in the center of the garden on a patch of stone near some roses and set down seven white candles around her body. She was hungry but now was not the time. She lit all the candles using a regular match and then took a deep breath and closed her eyes. contemplate your duties, Quen was taken back to the day that Telcia had sent her into town to find out what people thought of sisters of the red ajah and sisters in general. she remembered how hard she had cried when she got back to find how much people could hate and despise those who were only trying to do good. But that no longer matters, it is my duty and I will fulfill it
She remembered the children without thier opinions and biases. let me always remember and protect the children for they are the most innocent of all. thier blood should not be shed by evil or by men suffering the taint, they are innocent She remembered the woman she had given money to to help make a new life, and the things they had said, she remembered the old lady who told her it didnt matter what they thought, and that aes sedai were good people. We are servants of All, I am, and that is what I will do, Telcia has shown me the way.
She thought of Kairina too, her grandmother, and how she had died for the Tower, die serving in it’s name, in the name of the Red Ajah. Thoughts jsut flowed through her mind about everything and everyone, mostly tose who tomorrow she would get to call sisters for real now. She would be equal, for the first time in her life she would be equal. praise be to the Light which has shown me my path
A hand was placed on Quen’s shoulders and she snapped out of her thoughts, her eyes opening to the dawn and seven sisters, one from each ajah. Not a word was said between them as they wandered back to the place she had taken her testing. Ths time when she went in the room, a different sight awaited her. The escort stopped infront of the door and then lined up behind Quen. the Amyrlin Seat and the Keeper of the Chronicles stood at the door and the Amyrlin spoke. “Who comes here.”
Quens voice was steady. “Quentaira Elmoran.”
“For what reason do you come.”
“To swear the three oaths and thereby claim the shawl of an Aes Sedai.”
“By what right do you claim this burden?”
“By right of having made the passage, submitting myself to the will of the White Tower.”
“Then enter, if you dare, and bind yourself to the White Tower.”
Quentaira entered the room and saw the Amyrlin framed by the angreal and the Keeper holding a velvet pillow with the oath rod sitting upon it. The entire Hall lined the walls of the room, and Quens eyes fluttered for the slightest second to Zania, Telcia and Muirenn standing together in a group. Perine was standing before them, a red fringed shawl in her hands. Quentaira didnt even want to look anywhere else. she saw them and her heart soared. Pride swelled in her as never before in her life, they were her family, like sisters and mothers, all of them, and she stepped through the oval ter’angreal to get to the Amyrlin. The Amyrlin took the rod from the pillow and handed it to Quentaira placing it firmly in her grasp.
“Under the light and by my hope of salvation and rebirth, I vow that I will speak no word that is not true.”
“Under the light and by my hope of salvation and rebirth, I vow that I will make no weapon for one man to kill another.”
“under the light and by my hope of salvation and rebirth, I vow that I will never use the One Power as a weapon except against shadowspawn, or in the last extreme of defending my life, or that of my warder, or another sister.”
Quentaira shuddered as she felt a strange tightness cross her skin as the oaths settled in to her to for all eternity and then a strange satisfaction and peace came over her as well. The Amyrlin spoke, “It is half done, and the White Tower graven on your bones. Rise now Aes sedai and choose your Ajah and all will be done that may be done under the Light.” As Quen rose the Oath Rod was taken from her and replaced on the pillow. She turned her full body to the Red Sitters and Sister she knew so well and stood before them, staring intently at each of them in turn. They waited as everyone else left the room the Hall first then the Amyrlin and Keeper. As soon as they were gone, Quentaira waited in the silence to see if she would be handed the red-fringed shawl or not. If they did give it to her Quen could only guess what would happen when she would be lead to the Red Quarters.