Eye Color: Brown
Hair Color: Brown
Place of Origin: Tear
"Pay attention Nerina! You're liable to catch minnows like that."
A voice inside her head, that sounded much like Papa, prodded Nerina into moving once more. "You'd think I was an ignorant from the country the way I was staring," she thought to herself in disgust, "Instead of from great Tear itself!" She maneuvered through the crowded streets of Tar Valon. "It's a city like any other!" Granted, a city where Aes Sedai were the rule rather than the exception. She tried to pay attention to her surroundings, but the White Tower drew her like a lodestone.
Okay, so she didn't actually live anywhere near the Stone. With Papa being a fisherman, Nerina was more at home on the water than on land. But that worked in her favor. It used up most of her savings, but she'd been able to snag a berth on a merchant vessel. Riding the River Erinin all the way to Tar Valon was infinitely better than having to brave a horse, as if she could ever afford one anyway. And walking was equally unacceptable. Why, she'd be in her dotage before she'd reach her destination.
"Pah! They're just stories Nerina! No more real that the Grim what grabs your feet in the shallows."
Nerina grimaced at an all-too-familiar echo of Papa's favorite chastisement. He didn't approve of the fascination she held for the stories of the great and terrible Aes Sedai, and the Gaidin, the warriors that rode beside them. "Fairy tales," he would say often, and spit in disgust.
But every time she got the chance, Nerina would run down to the docks and talk with the travelers, the merchants, the people who'd been beyond Tear and swore that the Aes Sedai were as real as can be. Even the ones that cursed her for asking such forbidden questions didn't deter her thirst.
But then there was Sarah. The shy girl used to work in the market where Papa and Nerina took their fish to sell, so they were acquainted, if barely. Then it was discovered the girl had the spark. Papa was hard pressed to deny the existence of the Aes Sedai then. He just mumbled something about the One Power driving everyone mad eventually.
Nerina felt she owed Sarah something. The poor girl had been bundled up to be sent immediately to Tar Valon, supposedly, but every time Nerina asked about her, Papa shushed her. If Nerina had known more about what this whole One Power was about, she might have been able to do something. "We might have traveled together, and I might have become her Warder," she thought, still vague on what the bond was about.
Nerina had always had a protective streak. Fishing and hauling nets with Papa made her lean and dark. She was proficient with her fishing spear and nets, and the neighborhood bullies quickly learned to leave her and hers alone or they would get their own back.
"By the Stone, Nerina, what pike did you wrestle today, eh?"
Nerina smiled as she recalled the question Papa had asked every time she'd come home from thrashing someone, or getting thrashed, though the latter didn't happen often. The smile faded as she looked upon the White Tower at last. Supposedly, according to the helpful merchant that brought her here, potential Aes Sedai and Warders walked through those gates.
More than anything, she wanted to prove her worth, to fight with and protect the Aes Sedai like in the stories she'd heard. And prove to Papa they weren't just stories. "I hope he forgives me for leaving." But she was afraid. "Is it obvious?" she thought, licking her lips nervously.
Taking a deep breath, Nerina walked forward.