Testing for the Shawl Guidelines

MoN finds you wherever you are (room, dining hall, etc). She will be wearing her shawl. She says,

(full name), you are summoned to be tested for the shawl of an Aes Sedai. The Light keep you whole and see you safe.”

You follow the MoN down into the bowels of the Tower. Once below ground, you are to remain silent until addressed. The corridors under the ground will be high and lofty, lit by lamps in iron brackets on the walls, and the floor free of dust. On the very lowest level, you will reach a pair of doors larger than any you have seen so far. They will be as tall and wide as fortress gates, polished to a shine and lacking iron straps. The MoN will channel the doors open and they will swing silently open on well-oiled hinges. The chamber within is large, circular and domed. The walls are ringed with stand-lamps. The walls are white stone and reflect the light, making the room dazzlingly bright compared the passages you just traveled through.

In the center of the room directly beneath the dome, there is a great oval ring standing on its end. The ter’angreal is narrow at the top and bottom and it has a rounded edge slightly thicker than your arm. It is well over a span (five to six feet; 1.8 meters) in height and about a pace (30 inches; 76 cm) across at its widest point. It glitters varying colors in the lamplight; now silver, now gold or green or blue or swirls or all, but never the same for more than a moment. Defying all laws of physics, it stands unsupported.

The MoN will intone the word, “Attend,” and the other Aes Sedai already in the chamber, one from each Ajah, will come to stand in a ring around you and the MoN. They will all be wearing their shawls. Calm is all-important on your part, you are being judged from the moment you enter the room.

The MoN will begin the ritual prior to your testing:

MoN: “You come in ignorance,(full name). How would you depart?”

You: “In knowledge of myself.”

MoN: “For what reason have you been summoned here?”

You: “To be tried.”

MoN: “For what reason should you be tried?”

You: “So that I may learn whether I am worthy.”

MoN: “For what would you be found worthy?”

You: “To wear the shawl.”

At the last word of this sequence, you will immediately begin to disrobe. According to ancient custom, you must be tested while clad in the Light, symbolizing that you trust the Light’s protection alone. You must maintain your calm. To falter is to fail. While you are undressing, the MoN will continue speaking.

MoN: “Therefore I will instruct you. You will see this sign upon the ground.” She will channel and use her finger to draw a six pointed star in the air in front of you.

Another sister behind you will embrace saidar and you will feel a weave lightly touch the back of your head. You might be surprised for this (but don’t let it show!), as it is not part of what you were taught when practicing as an Accepted.

Other sister: “Remember what must be remembered.”

MoN: “When you see that sign, you will go to it immediately, at a steady pace, neither hurrying nor hanging back, and only then may you embrace the Power. The weaving required must begin immediately, and you may not leave that sign until it is completed.”

Other sister: “Remember what must be remembered.”

MoN: “When the weave is complete, you will see that sign again, marking the way you must go, again at a steady pace, without hesitation.”

Other sister: “Remember what must be remembered.”

MoN: “One hundred times will you weave, in the order you have been given and in perfect composure.”

Other sister: “Remember what must be remembered.”

You will feel the weave the other sister was creating settle into you, much as Healing does. All of the sisters except the MoN will move away to stand in a circle around the ter’angreal. They will kneel on the stone floor and embrace saidar. They will channel, and the color shifting in the oval will increase in speed until it flashes like a kaleidoscope. They will be weaving a very complex pattern of all five powers, as difficult as anything required in the test. They will all be concentrating on their task and not look at you. You will finish dressing calmly, aware that the MoN is watching you like a hawk for hesitation or a break in your poise. You will remove your Great Serpent ring last and lay it on top of your folded clothing.

The air in the opening of the ring will suddenly turn to a sheet of white. It will seem to absorb the light of the lamps, making the room dim by comparison. The ring will slowly begin to revolve on its base, there will be no sound of metal or stone as it does so, just silence. Without a word from anyone, you will walk to the turning ring steadily, neither hurrying nor hanging back. You will step into the whiteness and….

You will be somewhere you don’t recognize and not remember how you got there. You will be naked. In the back of your mind will always be the certainty that you must display absolute calm. You will see clothing and not know where it came from, but you will be sure that it was not there a moment before. You will dress yourself, not hurrying. Other things might appear if you have need of them (a mirror, a brush, etc). The world of the ter’angreal seems to follow similar worlds as that of tel’aran’rhiod (this is for OOC reference, you will not make an observation like this IC). Your memory will be spotty, you will know who you are but not much else. You will see the sign of the six pointed star and go to it. You will suffer indignities and pain. Clothes disappearing, Trollocs and enemies, injuries and strife. You may see family or friends pleading for your help while you can do nothing but keep on weaving for the test. You may speak to those you encounter in the scenarios, and they to you. Throughout all, you will remember you must stay completely serene, if not why.

Upon each star, you will perform the weave that is necessary. You dare not channel before you reach the star. You may split your weaving, perform other weaves to protect or attack, so long as you steadily continue your weave for the test. If you ever were to let the weave for the test drop, it would be over.

After performing the weave, you will see the mark of the star at a way out of the place you are currently in. You will head toward it, not hurrying nor hanging back. When you pass through the place where the star is, you will suddenly be in a new place as if the previous had never existed. You will know several things. You will know that you have just completed weave # ____ of one hundred that you must make, and you know that you must go on. If you have injuries, you will not know how you came by them, nor what has transpired before. The injuries will be real and they may leave you bloody and limping. As the test goes on, you will feel tired and weary beyond belief (but cannot let it show!). You will repeat the nakedness and getting clothed scenario at the beginning of every sequence.

After performing the last weave, you will head toward the exit marked with the six pointed star again. When you past under it, you will find yourself immediately in the round domed room where the ter’angreal is held. The memory of it all will flood into you, every weave, every scenario, every injury you received. The MoN will step forward and clap her hands together loudly as she speaks.

MoN: “It is done. Let no one ever speak of what has passed here. It is for us to share in silence with she who experienced it. It is done.” She will clap her hands again. (full name), you will spend tonight in prayer and contemplation of the burdens you will take up on the morrow, when you don the shawl of an Aes Sedai. It is done.”

For a third time, she claps her hands, then turns and heads towards the doors of the chamber. The other sisters will circle close around you, murmuring sympathies for your hurts and offering Healing. You will know that the tests and trials you faced in the ter’angreal were not a product of chance, but created by those operating the ring. You will dress yourself and two of the sisters will escort you back above ground. Several hours will have passed since you went below ground, perhaps as many as six.

You will go to your room and there will be a warm tray filled with lots of food and tea for you. You will spend the night as you see fit (some don’t hold to the “prayer and contemplation” bit). The next morning you will be taken for your Oaths.

List of weaves mentioned in New Spring during the testing for the Shawl:

1st Weave: Uses Air. Creates a silver-blue disc the size of a small coin that drops into your hand if woven correctly. If done incorrectly, it produces a deafening thunderclap.

2nd Weave: Uses all the powers. Starts with Air, Fire and Earth. Then Spirit, Air, followed by Earth and Air together. Air follows, then Spirit and Water. It will soon become a snarl of threads. If it is woven incorrectly or collapses, it will give you a painful shock.

3rd Weave: Uses Air, Earth, and Spirit. An intricate weave like lace.

62nd Weave: Uses Earth, Air, Water, and Spirit. When woven incorrectly it will leave your skin clammy and moist.

100th Weave: Produces a shower of shining colorful flecks if woven correctly. If woven incorrectly, it will redden the channeler’s skin painfully, as if from a bad sunburn.