Name: Naidea Anisah Tovane
Rank: Newly raised Aes Sedai, initiated into the Green Ajah.
Ethnicity: Half Taraboner, half Domani.
Place of Birth: Tanchico, Tarabon
Eye Color: Light Honey Brown
Hair Color: Dark Brown/Black depending on the light
Skin Color: Lightly copper skinned due to her mixed Domani and Taraboner heritage.
Body Type: Dancer’s figure: fit and lean and very feminine.
Warder: Wynn do Carai a'Droeshal, youngest son of a minor lord from Inishlinn in Murandy.
Appearance: Naidea is a youthful Aes Sedai who lacks the agelessness, yet still manages to exude nobility and command respect. She wears her long, dark hair in a multitude of braids studded with beads and most often dresses in a close approximation of the Taraboner style favoring slim, modest dresses of fine silk and an ever-present veil. The Green sister often chooses earth or jewel toned silks and linens to best compliment her lightly copper-colored skin and has been known to wear dresses tailored in a modest adaptation of the Domani style on a fairly regular basis as well. Naidea is also fond of jewelry, especially the long earrings and elegant bangles favored by Domani women and fine beads made from precious gems or metals with which to adorn her braids.
In terms of her physical appearance, Naidea is a natural beauty with exotic features that often leaves men speechless with her grace. Her warm and approachable demeanor add greatly to her allure, but her striking eyes, full lips, bronzed skin, and gently swaying walk often draw men in before she has even spoken a single word. She was trained by her Domani mother to bewitch with a look and while she believes she failed miserably in mastering the art, she actually employs it quite successfully, albeit unwittingly.
Power: More than slightly above average for a new sister, Naidea’s strength is enhanced by the fact that she learns very quickly. Her potential will place her at about a level with Moiraine (a little lower) when reached in full, but this has not yet occurred as she is still very young and still lacks the agelessness of her peers. Thus, while she is far from the strongest woman in the Tower, she is strong enough that she can defend herself quite well and stand at above average in the Tower as a whole. Another way to think of her Power rank would be to note that she is known on sight by most of the women in her Ajah and many of the prominent members of the others as she ranks in the top 20 sisters in the Tower in terms of strength.
Talents: Naidea is a capable Healer, this being her strongest natural Talent. She was long considered as a candidate for the Yellow Ajah because of her ability to Heal and Delve, yet she chose the Green for reasons that are her own. Naidea can also weave Illusion and gateways of middling size for Traveling (though I haven't decided if she knows this weave yet). Her final Talent, which she keeps like a closely guarded secret, is her ability to See Ta’veren, no matter how strong their pull may be. It is this last Talent that has led to her very complicated past.
Personality: Naidea can be summed up as having two ‘faces’; that which she displays in the field and that which she displays during casual interpersonal communication. On a whole she is idealistic, kind, modest, patient, vivacious, and somewhat stubborn. She is also an overachiever who throws herself completely into everything she does.
On the field and as a Green sister, she is a formidable woman with a penchant for military strategy, a fierce sense of independence, and a great deal of pride in her burgeoning martial abilities. She is learning how to use knives effectively as a means of self-defense and this unorthodox action reflects her desire for self-sufficiency. It is also important to note that having been born into wealth as the only daughter of two very successful and landed merchants, she unconsciously employs the mannerisms of a woman used to being obeyed. These mannerisms are unsurprising due to her upbringing, yet they tend to manifest only when she feels she is being crossed. Naidea is aware of this tendency and while many of her fellow sisters would find this air of nobility to be an asset, she actively works to control this aspect of her character.
The Green's ponderous tendency to control her 'noble' mannerisms is due in large part to the dominant aspect of her personality, a softer side that she does not try to conceal. Ironically, Naidea’s other ‘face’ was also born of her background as the daughter of merchants. A privileged childhood spent observing the power of diplomacy has granted her a ‘way with words’. To say that she is charismatic would be an understatement. This gift grants Naidea an approachable demeanor that is not an Aes Sedai tactic, but a genuine facet of her personality. Naidea treats her other sisters, even those who rank well below her, as equals whenever possible. She has also shown a great deal of warmth and patience with those whom she outstrips by far. This refreshing departure from Tower propriety has earned her suspicion from some, condescension from others, but admiration from many more, especially among the men and the initiates in the Tower.
The Color of a Soul
A soft smile.
A whispered secret.
A promise in the darkness.
The woman stood within her quarters in the heart of the White Tower, her slim form silhouetted by the rising sun. She stared down upon the three items she had placed upon her desk, gazing upon them for the first time in over three months.
They were completely disparate things, trinkets of a past that had shaped her and hindered her her entire life.
These items, and the memories which consumed her when she looked upon them, had been such a large part of who she was for so long. She knew that she had to continue down the path that she had chosen, knew in her heart that she was right, but still…
Turning her back upon the items, her three most treasured possessions, she walked out of her bedchamber and onto the small balcony she had been pleasantly surprised to find when moving into this section of the Tower. She had long known that Aes Sedai often had such things in their rooms, lavish washtubs, clear, unblemished mirrors that reflected one’s image from head to toe, even balconies, but she had still not expected to find such fine things within her own quarters. As a new sister, she had subconsciously believed that those things would still be denied her. In fact, after living sparsely for so long, she had found that it took her weeks to grow accustomed to the truth.
Still, she was infinitely thankful for it now. The view of the river and the pristine sprawl of Tar Valon from her balcony reminded her in small part of the River Andahar and her native Tanchico. It was a calming thought and the smell of the water, combined with the song of the gulls, only heightened the illusion. She embraced the Source as she greeted the dawn, enhancing her senses to the point that the water’s smell was a tangible thing and not just a product of her active imagination. She reveled in the sensation, though she missed the tang of the brine that had accompanied it in her homeland.
She sought peace as the sun began its ascent over the horizon, peace and the strength of the Light. Though worship of the Light was often informal and varied in its extent from person to person, the young Aes Sedai had taken to performing a few rituals that were particular to herself and only a few others. The desire for a more active role in her faith had come from her parents, yet the practice came from sisters who had been kind enough to offer her spiritual guidance during her time as an initiate. Ishayelle of the Blue, Emare of the Green, even the Lady Aya, a newly returned and restored Yellow sister; each woman had shared with her their own personal brand of worship, aiding the young Green and strengthening her spirit in anticipation of the trials she would face upon her raising. All three women had been exceedingly good to her, though they had displayed their affection for her in different ways.
Ishayelle… It was difficult not to refer to her as Sedai any longer… was the youngest and most devout of the three. Exceedingly patient, kind, and humble almost to a fault, the Shienaran woman had shown her the dawn ritual she participated in now. Kneeling, letting her cascade of ebony braids rain upon the floor, her beads clicking softly, the young Green touched her forehead to the ground as she faced the open balcony and the rising sun. She sought the same measure of calm as she had when she had reached for the Source, meditating upon the gift she had been given in facing a new day.
She should have tea, brewed and ready to raise to her lips as the ritual demanded, yet Naidea had found that she could never be quite as disciplined as the Shienaran Blue. A privileged life spent depending upon the service of others made it difficult for her break the habit of having it sent to her instead of preparing it herself as Ishayelle did. As it was, she had none, not wishing to request anything of the maidservant assigned to her at such an early hour. It was a foolish thought, but she kept to it nonetheless. Spoiled she may have been, but she would not have it said that she was an unjust mistress. Especially when the request would have been accompanied by curious eyes.
Naidea straightened, her beaded braids falling down her back as she faced the sun. Her lightly bronzed skin shone as the first rays of the dawn illuminated her, casting her in a heavenly light and making her honey brown eyes sparkle like topaz in the morning light. She sighed softly as she maintained the peace of the ritual, meditating still as she prepared herself for her next step. Her skin prickled slightly, the morning was cold yet and she wore only her silken shift, yet she ignored the sensation. She was Aes Sedai now; she need not feel the cold.
Her thoughts remained with her mentor from the Blue, a small smile coming to her full lips. Humility had been taught to her by one of the strongest women of the Tower. It was a lesson she had taken to heart, yet it had taken her reaching the shawl to fully understand its meaning. She closed her eyes and thanked the Blue sister for her wisdom. It had helped her reach her decision.
Standing, Naidea returned to the items in her room, taking the first two in her hands after hesitating for only a moment. Strength. This had been Emare’s gift.
Emare Morriaga of the Green was a sister of only modest strength in the One Power, yet she was one of the strongest women in the entire Tower. She had grown up in Ebou Dar and had suffered more in her lifetime than most people did in all of their previous turnings of the Wheel. She had been ‘baptized in fire’. Those were the words she had used.
And yet she was not broken, nor bitter. Her spirit seemed as unblemished as that of a new Novice and it was her strength of will and her faith in the Light that made it so.
It was that strength, that incredible resilience that Naidea tried to emulate now. She was Aes Sedai, as strong and enduring as the very Tower. She need not be a prisoner to pain any longer.
Walking out onto the balcony, Naidea raised the two items, one in each hand. Emare spoke of the purifying power of Fire, the culmination of the Light’s strength. Though it was often viewed as a force that wrought only destruction, it often signaled a rebirth. The Green gazed at the folded parchment and the tattered strand of rope as they took on the light of the sun, noting they did not seem to reflect the Light. Instead they absorbed it, seeming to be wrought of the Shadow itself. In many ways, they were…
The young Green held the Source once more, drawing a deep breath before she channeled a delicate strand of Fire into the parchment. The parchment bore few words, it was merely the taciturn expression of the love of a father for his only surviving child. A goodbye.
The paper lit instantly, burning to cinder in Naidea’s hand as tears flowed freely down her face.
A soft smile.
He stood on the steps of their manor house, the smile never slipping as he gazed down upon her. She stood before her father, a slim child of fourteen, not yet old enough to be called a woman.
The carriage had been loaded and he had reassured her of his happiness, his hope for her future. He had handed her the slip of parchment just moments ago, asking her to keep it close to her heart always. Her mother stood at his side, her lovely copper-skinned face marred by trails of wet tears that streamed freely from her deep brown eyes.
Her father stood, the very image of protection, of strength; his arms wrapped lovingly around his still grieving wife… yet his eyes were ruined. They gazed upon his only remaining child as a man looks upon the hangman’s noose. He held no hope, no warmth in those hazel portals. Her father was already dead.
The letter had arrived a week after she had reached the White Tower.
Her father had left this world and the parchment had foretold it. She had read it many times on her trip to the Tower and she had known in her heart what it had meant. Her mother had given her no such missive. There had been no need.
She had been the strong one, she had lived.
Naidea whispered as the wind mercifully took the ashes from her hand, “Goodbye, father…”
Steeling herself, she gazed upon the remaining item in her hand, knowing that the pain would not relinquish its hold on her easily. The item sat in her hand, limp and dirty. It was a length of rope, a true hangman’s noose.
A whispered secret.
He paced, though she was certain she had never seen her brother so distressed. The boy of fifteen was afraid, he wished to tell her something, but he hesitated. It frightened her.
“What is it, Vesean? You’re scaring me…”
“Nai, I… I have to tell you something, but you promise you will keep it a secret? You cannot tell Mother or Father.”
“I always keep your secrets, yes? You know this.” Naidea tried to catch a hold of her brother as he paced, but he shrugged her off. It was unlike him to be so detached, so afraid.
“I won’t speak a word of it, Vesean. I am your sister.”
He smiled at her then, his color coming through as he gazed at her. She had never been able to explain it, it was a phenomenon that had begun only recently, but her brother seemed always seemed to glow, most notably when he was happy. It was something she had noticed in a few others on her travels with her parents, yet no one seemed to shine as brightly as Vesean. It should have frightened her, though it never had. She adored her brother and accepted it as a part of him.
He glowed now, his body enveloped in a brilliant white aura. Naidea could not help but smile. It was almost as though the Pattern wished to show her the color of her brother’s soul. Pure and untainted, like the Creator’s own Light.
“I am not asking you to lie for me, I just… I’m afraid.” He sat down on her bed then, his face half hidden in the shadows of her bedchamber. Her candle flickered in the night wind.
“That sister, the Aes Sedai… she does not leave me be. I know she is interested in you, that’s what she’s told our mother and father, but she comes to me, to my bedchamber.”
Naidea’s eyes grew wide, scandalized by the very idea of a grown woman sneaking into a child’s bedchamber in his own parent’s home.
“No! Light, Nai!” He stood and paced once again before turning back to her, his eyes full of fear “It, it isn’t like that… she only asks me questions. But she won’t stop. She says she knows about me and I’m terrified…”
Naidea grew angry, “But she shouldn’t be doing this, you’ve done nothing wrong! What is she accusing you of?”
“She’s Red, little sister. She says… she thinks… she told me what you said about my light.”
The young girl’s heart dropped, tears springing to her eyes. “No, Vesean, I didn’t say that you could do anything… I just told her that you were bright! When she asked about what I felt, what I could do, I told her about the lights and… she said that it was a good sign for those who had them, that it wasn’t bad. She said that you… that you weren’t one of those… things. She told me that it was a blessing from the Creator, promised me she would help you if your light was real.”
Her chest rose and fell erratically, she felt as though she was going to be sick. What did this woman think of her brother? What would she do if she convinced herself that he… that he…
“Nai… Nai… I can’t channel! I can’t!” Vesean wrapped his arms around her then, trying to soothe her hysterics though his voice sounded as though he was strained to the breaking point himself. She could not discern whether he was trying to convince himself or her. “I can’t little sister… it’s, it’s something else. It is. It has to be…”
Naidea came back to herself then, to the Aes Sedai standing in the aurora’s first light in the heart of Tar Valon. “And you could not, Vesean. You were ta’veren, brother…” She channeled another thread of Fire then, her tears coming more bitterly now.
“You were so bright, but even you could not fight the poison and fear that had been sown in your heart.” The Green added more Power to her weave until the heat devoured even the ashes of the piece of rope in her hand. She would no longer remember her brother so. He deserved more from her than a morbid shrine to his suicide.
Naidea shuddered as she realized what she had done. Her entire time as a Novice had been spent zealously guarding both her father’s note and the memento she had kept of her brother’s death. She had sworn vengeance then, seeking a means to power to avenge both her brother and her father. She had swelled with pride every time an instructor had commented on her strength, her intelligence, her aptitude for learning counting each compliment as a step toward her ultimate goal. The woman whom she had deemed her brother’s murderer still lived within the Tower and she had been certain that she would see her pay. It had all seemed so simple.
That promise had not been forgotten, yet with the stole had come understanding.
There would be no righteous tribunal, no stilling of the monster who had turned a child’s fears against him and stolen the hope of a good man. The Tower was a mire and she would find no storybook solution to her problem here.
No, she would have to be patient and humble. Unassuming and meek. She would have to lure the spider out, but it would be no easy task. She was prepared to wait, to cast off what she had been and fight as her mentors had taught her, to wound behind a smile.
Walking to her washbasin, she poured cool water and thought of the final mentor she had received counsel from only two years ago. She washed her face and with it cleansed her soul of the wounds she had borne for so long. The Healing would be long, and it would leave scars, yet her wound could be mended with the aid of the Light. Miraya Ahzadhin, the Saldaean Yellow many still referred to as Lady Aya, had spoken to her of the wounds many bore upon their souls and of the time it would take to Heal them properly. She had told her that the process was onerous and many failed to see it through to completion, yet if one was steadfast enough and possessed sufficient faith, any wound could be Healed.
Nothing was final in this life, save death.
And I yet draw breath… I will be Healed and you will be avenged... brother, father. Even if it takes my entire life, I will see her pay for what she did to you. To me.
The Green sister dressed quickly then, choosing a simple gown of dark green wool with divided skirts. The last item upon her dresser could not be disposed of as easily with the One Power, yet the memories it brought forth were far easier to dispel. She hefted the ornate golden sword and left her quarters, her mind returning to the night when it had been given to her.
A promise in the darkness.
“I love you… I always will.” He smiled as he looked at her in the moonlight, his golden locks appearing like spun silver in the ethereal light.
He reached out and caressed her face then, causing her to flush as he pulled her close.
“You are my life and I will give it for you gladly, you have only to ask.”
She could not help but smile when he spoke so, yet she could not still the unease in her heart. He had not answered her question.
“But you have yet to answer, yes? What is it that called you away so suddenly? Why will you not tell me where-”
He silenced her with a kiss. It was his way, but at the moment, she did not find it as endearing as it had been in the past. His eyes were distant, guarded. He did not wish to tell her. He would not.
“Please do not ask this of me, anything else I will give you freely, but this… This is my own.”
She pushed him away, ignoring his protests. She was a sensible woman and she understood that Jenncue had had a complicated past, yet she had never pressed him on anything. She had always accepted his cryptic nature, trusting that he had reasons for keeping his secrets, yet he had said he wished to marry her, to share her Bond. He had offered her the ostentatious jeweled sword he carried and though she knew not from whence it came, she had understood what it meant to him. And still he would not answer her question, the only she had ever asked of him.
“Why?” He looked away, not wishing to meet her eyes. “Why do you keep this from me, love?”
She tried to meet his eyes, but he refused. She grew frightened and did not welcome the sensation.
“You ask of me and I have offered freely. You know all of my past, of my hopes and of my dreams, of my regrets. These things I have given to you at your request and of my own free will, yet your past it is locked to me, yes?” She grew angry as she realized the truth of her words. He had never told her of his past, he had not shared a single word, and he expected her to trust him with her life, with her Bond. What was he hiding from her and why had she never thought to ask it of him before? Who was this man who claimed to love her?
“Why can you not tell me?” Her voice was softer than she had wished it would be. She sounded wounded, lost. She took his face in her hands and forced him to look at her, to meet her eyes. “Jenncue, please… whatever it is, why won’t you trust me with it?”
“Because I have sworn not to. ” He did meet her eyes then, the ice in his gaze freezing her marrow.
“Press me no further.” He was completely calm, yet his warning had been plain enough. He would not answer her. After a moment his eyes softened, seeming to realize what it was that he had done.
But it was too late.
She had not known why she had slapped him until after he had left her alone in the Tower Gardens, tears streaming down her face. It had been the distance in his eyes, the cold detachment as he refused her. He would not tell her, no matter what he professed to feel for her. Someone, something else, held him, and it always would come first, no matter what he said to the contrary.
He had left the Tower that night, leaving no word for her. His sword served as her only reminder that he had ever been there at all.
Naidea emerged into the sunlit Tower Gardens, the grounds bustling with early morning activity. She felt only the ghost of the pain that had once accompanied the memory of the man she had nearly Bonded. He had been a part of her past, yet she was ready to bury that portion of her life. She had only been a year and a half younger when she had lost him, yet she felt infinitely older now somehow. It seemed as though the weight of the stole granted one a harrowing amount of wisdom in a short amount of time.
The last thought brought a small smile to her face.
Surely, her mentors would disagree with her idea of newfound wisdom, yet her cleansing ritual had left her feeling at least slightly more experienced. She felt renewed, protected by the Light.
She reached her destination and smiled at the mountain of a man that greeted her in little used section of the Warders’ Training Yards. The Arafellin seemed to wear a perpetual scowl, yet she knew Emono Gaidin well enough to know that beneath that imposing exterior was an incredibly honorable man with a good heart.
“Good morning, Emono Gaidin.” She nodded her head slightly in greeting, as she came to stand before the man who towered over her.
“Honor to serve, Naidea Sedai.” He touched his fist to his heart, bending at the waist in a very formal military salute. She nearly allowed her smile to deepen, yet she did not wish to insult Ishayelle’s Warder. A friend he might be, yet his sense of honor was far more prickly than most and she did not wish for him to believe that she mocked his solemnity.
“Is this the… sword… you mentioned?” Emono queried. She offered the blade to him and he turned it over in his hands with a slight frown on his face. In another man, the gesture would be akin to a look of utter horror. It was not surprising, now that she thought of it. This blade would likely seem useless to someone as pragmatic as Emono, a warrior born and bred in the Borderlands.
“It is, Emono. I would appreciate it if you could find a buyer for it or perhaps you could have the smiths make use of it?”
“No offense intended, Aes Sedai… but I am unsure that they could make a proper weapon out of this… blade. There is little steel and far too much gold. And the gems… perhaps you wish to keep them?”
“No.” Her voice was firm, solemn “This blade came from a man who swore a vow to me and then broke it that very night. I do not wish to be reminded of it in any way.”
Emono’s visage hardened with understanding. “It will be sold then, and the money donated to the Tower.”
“That is a perfect solution. My thanks they are yours, Ser Gaidin.” She smiled as he called forth a Siswai to remove the weapon, giving him strict orders as to what was to be done with it. The boy left, suitably intimidated.
“As for your other request, Naidea Sedai, I apologize but I cannot attend to your training this morning.” He bowed then, the lone bell in his single braid twinkling. So Ishayelle was making headway with the man and his ideas on lost honor. Good. “Ishayelle Sedai requires that I attend her, but I have arranged for a talented student of my own to instruct you this morning. You will recognize him, I believe.” Emono bowed once more before retreating. Was that the ghost of a smile that she had seen on the man’s face? Impossible.
Still, it was utterly impossible for her to hide her own smile as she recognized the sandy haired man who trotted up beside the Arafellin. The terribly handsome Siswai smiled at her and bowed deeply at the waist, his steel blue eyes dancing. “Good morning, Naidea Sedai. I have been informed that I am to instruct you today. I hope you do not mind.”
There were many reasons why the memories of Jenncue no longer pained her as they once had. Time and wisdom played a part, yet she could not take her eyes off of the major reason as he walked over to the weapons rack and picked out a set of knives for her to work with. Though the men shared similar coloring, they were nothing alike. The Murandian before her was far too free with his emotions and his opinions to remind her even remotely of Jenncue.
He turned then, regarding her with that same honest twinkle in his eye as he asked her if she was ready to begin her defense training for the day. He seemed excited and more than slightly pleased with the chance to instruct her in his area of expertise. After their heated conversations in the Tower library concerning military strategy and political philosophy, she was certain he was looking forward to the opportunity to make her feel foolish if he could.
No they were nothing alike. And thank the Light for it. She had never wondered where she stood with Wynn.