NS: Practice

Moiraine POV#

Moiraine and Siuan head back to their quarters. Moiraine worries about missing her private classes with Meilyn and Larelle. They expect to be tested for the shawl at any time because Merean told them they were near, so they practice as often as they can.

Even though Moiraine is noble born and Siuan is a fisherman's daughter, Siuan is the natural leader of the two. She intends to have adventures and see the world, maybe Shara and the lands beyond the Aryth Ocean. They both know that Gitara's Foretelling means the Prophecies of the Dragon are coming true. The Dragon Reborn will again face the Dark One at Tarmon Gai'don and again break the world. They discuss whether Tamra's admonition even allows them to talk about it between themselves.

They reach Siuan's room in the Accepted quarters. The two wells of Accepted quarters have room for over two hundred, but there are barely more than sixty. The two wells of novice quarters have room for four hundred but now house under a hundred. Fewer than twenty of them will test for Accepted. The White Tower has rooms to house three thousand Aes Sedai, but only four hundred and twenty-three are in residence with twice that number out in the world.[1]

Siuan channels to light a fire even though it is against the rules. Moiraine feels a tingle.[2] Novices who study together sometimes experience it but with most women it soon goes away. In a lecture Akarrin told them they must obey the rules before they learn when they can ignore them. Elaida made their first year as novices miserable. It was even worse the second year after she gained the shawl[3] until she left the White Tower. Moiraine begins the practice creating the hundred weaves of the test while Siuan tries to distract her. Siuan succeeds when she asks Moiraine what the Red Ajah will do about the Dragon Reborn. Myrelle Berengari, another Accepted from Altara, joins them.

After more practice, the door opens again and Tarna Feir joins them. She announces that Gitara Moroso has died. She seems uncharacteristically sad and says that Gitara was a great woman.[4] The Amyrlin has declared a freeday for novices and has summoned all Accepted to the Oval Lecture Hall. They all hurry to the Hall. Other Accepted in the Hall include Aledrin, Alanna, Brendas, Aisling Noon and Zemaille.[5] There are only four Sea Folk Aes Sedai; two of them quite old.[6] Verin told Moiraine that TuathaAn do not try to channel. Tamra arrives and announces that she will offer a hundred gold crowns to any woman who recently gave birth.[7] She is sending the Accepted out to conduct a census. Moiraine and Siuan are excited that they will aid in the search for the Dragon Reborn.

More Moiraine POV

Notes (Possible Spoilers)#

[#1] Compare these numbers to twenty years later when Nynaeve and Egwene arrive at the White Tower. (TGH,Ch18) There are only forty novices of whom only eight or nine are expected to become Accepted.
[#2] The same tingle she felt in NS,Ch2, it is apparently unique between Moiraine and Siuan. Most Aes Sedai can sense other women channeling but do not feel a physical sensation. It never goes away, as Moiraine still feels it in TGH,Ch4. No idea if there is any significance to it.
[#3] Placing Elaida five years ahead of Moiraine and Siuan.
[#4] Tarna never shows emotion. Was there something between her and Gitara?
[#5] By inference, all the other known Accepted were there: Atuan, Carlinya, Coladara, Desandre, Edesina, Ellid, Katerine, Meidani, Myrelle, Pritalle, Sarene, Sheriam and Temaile.
[#6] The two younger ones would be Aiden and Nyein. As there are only three Sea Folk Aes Sedai including Zemaille in 999 NE, the two older ones died or retired in the interim.
[#7] Where does all this money come from? The Aes Sedai get their money the same way as most nobility, income from property such as estates and tariffs, levies and tributes.

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