Name: Iriana Tenialle
Character's Place of Origin: Arafel
Weight: 114 lbs
Character's Appearance/Description: She is a petite and malnourished girl from Arafel. Like most Arafellins, she has pale skin and dark eyes that seem almost too large for her face. She also has long dark hair, which she wears in two braids with bells, though made of tin and not silver. She is very shy around others, having been the victim of many cruel jokes and pranks. She is very kind hearted and likes animals, to whom she relates much better than humans. Coming from a poor family, she is also unable to read or write. However, since her mother had a stall in the town market (making lace) she is able to do some small amount of figuring.
Character Biography Edit
Iriana shivered, pulling her cloak closer around her tiny frame. Winters in Arafel were always cold, and this one seemed especially harsh. Bundled up as she was, no one would even be able to guess that she was female, much less the fourteen years she claimed. She looked up at a group of passing boys through dark eyes that seemed too large for her pale face. Unfortunately, they knew who she was, and started calling to her and making rude remarks. She ducked her head and hurried on; glaring at them would only encourage the behavior, and perhaps get her into worse trouble.
All she knew how to do was run. At first, when she was very young, the other children had just thought her quiet, shy. But after no more than a week they had discovered her…disability; the very thought made her lips twist downward and tears of shame begin to prick at the corners of her eyes. They had turned on her then, no better than a pack of wolves turning on one of their own who was weak and sick. One boy picked up a rock and threw it at her, his aim true, and a trickle of blood began to seep from her temple. Others quickly followed his example. That was the first time she had run.
And it was a pattern that had continued. The children involved in the rock throwing had been punished, but if anything that made the situation worse for Iriana. The other children learned to be slyer with their cruelties so as not to be caught. And now it was all she could do to keep from looking over her shoulder. Making eye contact was a sure way to make one of them decide to chase after her. And what one did the others would mimic.
A few moments later, she was stopped by a hand on her shoulder. She stiffened, and turned slowly, flinching away from the touch. A woman with a richly embroidered cloak, far finer than anything Iriana could ever hope to own, stood looking down at her. "What is your name, child?" she asked.
Iriana shuffled her feet in the snow and began to color in embarrassment.
After a few moments, Iriana shyly took the woman by the hand and led her the rest of the short distance to her home. Fortunately, the woman followed, seemingly amused by the situation. As Iriana pushed open the door to her small house, really one large room divided into sections by a series of hanging sheets, she saw her only sister, Lexa, mending a hole in an already over-worn skirt. Letting go of the woman's hand, she walked over to Lexa and tapped her on the shoulder. When Lexa looked up, Iriana began making rapid hand motions, seemingly a combination of pantomime and signals known to the two. She pointed to the strange woman several times. When she finished, Lexa got up, a puzzled look on her face. "How can I help you, my Lady?" she asked.
As the woman explained that she was Aes Sedai, Iriana's eyes grew wide. She had heard tales of Aes Sedai, tales of both wonder and terror. And when the woman said Iriana had the spark, she clung to her older sister's arm, using it to steady her. "She must come with me to the Tower for training immediately. It would be very dangerous for both herself and others around her if she stayed," she paused, and looked around the room, "Do you have parents around with whom I may speak? They need to understand the situation."
"Our father died many years ago, Aes Sedai. Serving on the Blightborder. Mother went out on some errands. She won't be back for a few hours. You are welcome to stay here and wait for her. Can I offer you some tea?"
The Aes Sedai waved off the question. "That is quite all right. I have accommodations at the inn in town. I will be taking this girl back with me." She turned and addressed Iriana once more, "What is your name, child?"
"Her name is Iriana, Aes Sedai. Iriana Tenialle. She cannot speak. But she is very bright, and only has to be told a thing once to remember it. And she is a good hand at cooking and embroidery." Iriana nodded fervently as Lexa went on, hoping that her impediment would not keep her from being allowed to go to the Tower.
The Aes Sedai nodded, "Fine then. Iriana, you will be leaving with me in the morning."
The journey to Tar Valon had been long, but Iriana had been privy to such luxury that she could not imagine how wonderful life would be at the White Tower. She had almost fainted at the sight of Tar Valon. The Aes Sedai, Aledris, had promised that she would have her very own room, with a bed! She couldn't remember ever having actually slept on a bed before. And Aledris Sedai also said that she would be given two whole dresses. And she would learn to channel saidar.
That part frightened her. Iriana had no idea what it meant to channel the One Power. And she hoped that it would not hurt. Aledris Sedai said it was a good thing, a glorious thing, but Iriana had her doubts. Why would the Aes Sedai give her so very much if she did not expect something great from her in return? But Iriana swore to herself that she would try. As much as she missed Lexa and her mother, she did not want to go back to the way things had been in Arafel. Aledris Sedai had even said that no one in the White Tower would mind that she could not speak, as long as she was diligent in her lessons. With a fervent wish for this to be the case, Iriana quickly followed Aledris from the stables to see some person known as the Mistress of Novices.
Iriana was a clever girl, but her inability to speak held her back for some time until she learned to read and write. Which in itself was quite a trying task for her teachers. Without being able to ask questions, her progress was slow. After a year, she had the basics down. After two she had a passable hand. After four, anyone who did not know her would have thought that she had been able to read and write all her life. Once she learned to read, her appetite for learning was voracious. She took to carrying a small notepad with her everywhere so that she could have all of her questions answered. Of which there were many. She applied herself to her studies in the One Power with an equal amount of success, and passed her test for Accepted six years later. During her time as an Accepted, Iriana began to take an interest in stretching the limits of what could be done with saidar, often coming up with complex ideas for weaves which she shared with sisters in the Brown Ajah. Many of these centered around Illusion, and that weave was the focus of much of her study. She found that with practice she could create such elaborate Illusions that at times it was possible to communicate clearly without words. After eight years she had all the knowledge and skill that was to be expected of an Aes Sedai. But it became clear that there was a much greater challenge ahead of her. Although it was almost certain that she would easily pass the test for the shawl, there was no way for her swear the Three Oaths of an Aes Sedai on the Oath Rod. Iriana began to tackle this problem with her usual fervor. She studied deeply with the Browns, and with Maegan Sedai, a Red sister who was known to have a Talent with ter'angreal. Even so, it was five more years before a solution presented itself...