Org: White Tower
Rank/Titles: Green Ajah
ICQ: UIN 29219565
Biography: Servants had cleaned and dusted the room, rearranged the bedclothes and lit candles. No fire roared in the hearth; the room was already unpleasantly warm despite the ventilation shafts. It was night outside, and a covered tray on one of the carved tables gave out tantalising odours, but she wasn’t hungry.
Strange, even as a child in the Borderlands she had always had a healthy appetite.
Her mother had been a tavern maid in a middling establishment in the Arafellian capital. Her natural father could have been any one of a score of men.
She had never made any pretensions about herself to anyone, and now, frowning at a candle flame, she was not about to start pretending to herself.
The fact that her mother had been a flipskirt did not matter. Kamlio Nolan had also been a woman with considerable wit and spirit, as well as being an incomparable dancer of the tecumbra, a skill which she had passed down to her daughter. At the age of 20 Kamlio had met and fallen in love with Hardan Mosvani, who in the end married her and gave her baby daughter a name. Only Hardan had been a father in more than name.
Her frown lifted a little as she leant back into the armchair.
Hardan had been a common foot soldier at least twice Kamlio’s age, but the union had been a happy one. Grizzled and scarred from border skirmishes, he nevertheless had a quiet and gentle nature, and he had positively doted on Kamlio’s young daughter. She remembered him as a man who always had candies and fruit hidden about him, who tossed her in the air till she screamed with glee, who told her hair-raising tales which had gotten him scoldings from Kamlio when she had nightmares.
She could not remember much else. During her sixth winter, Hardan’s body had been brought back, eyes staring without seeing, a Trolloc spear through his chest. She remembered the look in his eyes, and the snow falling outside. Her mother had been crying, and it was cold because she had let the fire die out….
The heat of the teardrop that landed on the back of her hand surprised her. These were the first tears she had shed over the past in a long time.
Her mother had gone back to work, and the girl Alanna had grown up in a rough world of taverns, inns and streets. She knew the value of quick thinking and a good knife, and there was little of the darker sides of the world that she did not know about.
Age began to catch up with Kamlio, and finally she was forced into spending her days sitting by a meagre fire, her only solace the cheap wine and brandy that anyone on the streets turned to sooner or later. Alanna had stepped into her mother’s shoes. At 16, she went to the bast tavern in the city, accosted the owner, then proceeded to dance the tecumbra right there in the common room to the music of the bone-clappers in her hands. The patrons had loved it, and she was hired on the spot.
She smiled. The heat was making her drowsy, but those had been good times, free years. For the first time she had tasted the power of what some called ‘pouting and sulking’. It mattered little; in the early days, some had said the same of Rashima Kerenmosa.
Her ability had manifested itself one night. She had been dancing the tecumbra in the full ruffled skirts of the dance costume, the clappers in hand, for a group of young nobles, only two of them Arafellian. They had gotten drunk, and she had been fool enough not to understand when they sent the musician out.
When she fought one of them had struck her across the face, and the next moment he was dead, bleeding on the floor. She had not known till later that she had ruptured his heart.
She had not known what was happening, but the innkeeper had. He had given her a choice; get on a boat to Tar Valon, or try to explain herself to the guard and probably go to gaol. He had been kind enough to pay her fares.
During the long journey, she had battled with illness all alone, arriving in Tar Valon so weak she had been barely able to stand. Taken into the Tower at 18, she had discovered she had a block. Only when in pain could she channel.
How many weeks, months of crying and screaming in the effort to find saidar had passed before news of her mother’s death came ? Till she decided that the pain must pass ? She could not remember, but it was unimportant. She had survived that, now she must survive this.
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