|Affiliation||The Grey Tower|
|Affinities||Air, Water, Spirit, Fire, Earth|
Soshria is a downtrodden girl that has only barely escaped from her past. She still remembers her enslavement with perfect clarity, but when asked about her life before, she cannot remember. Her eyes still often gaze to the floor, shyly refusing to look anywhere else. When approached, however, her demeanor changes, and she smiles like a child on her birthday, eager to please and happy for the attention. She's naive and quick to trust, but is a fiercely loyal friend. Despite her naivety she is very intelligent, spending much of her free time poring over books, when started she will speak on and on about the things she's learned.
Her hair has grown quite long, long enough to cover the scars across her scalp effectively. Her hair can be expected to be seen in a variety of styles. Frequently braided, and an occasional ribbon or adornment she'd wear when she thought she could escape the notice of the Aes Sedai.
Since she'd been freed, her gaunt features had considerably filled out, revealing curves that she'd never imagined that she'd have. She looks at herself in the mirror with pride as she see's a real woman that she can hardly believe is herself. A small burst of confidence that has allowed her at times be be a quite charming young woman.
I awaken. The sun is shining brightly outside today, I can see it filtering through my windows, delicate beams of light caught in the dust suspended in the air around me. I am quite excited, after all, today is my birthday. Mother and Father always provide for me the most wonderful surprises for me on my birthdays and I know this is going to be a big one. Today I reach my twelfth year. Finally stirring from my bed I push aside the covers to the floor and I bound across my room and out the door, with my dog Treya closely in toe. She's my best friend, and I know I can always count on her to keep me safe.
I look myself over in the mirror, brushing my hair excitedly. Mother often tells me that I am going to make a man one lucky husband. I hope that she is right. I look as any proper Altaran girl should, with my dark hair and olive complexion, although I am rather small for my age, mother assures me that it is quite all right.
I can see mother standing behind me now, positively beaming at me and so I turn around to face her and smile back, quickly running to her in a close embrace. She holds me close and I can feel her marriage knife brush up against me. It has two stones, one red and one white. The white stone is resting upon a black surface. Mother never told me what had happened to my baby brother. She had told me she was going to have a baby, and than she went away. When she came back, she had placed another stone upon her knife, but no baby. She never told me what had happened, telling me that there was no reason for me to worry about such matters.
Today, however, mother is happy, a joyous day where she marks yet another day closer to her daughter becoming a woman. I can't wait for that day to finally arrive. Mother takes me by the hand, and starts to lead me into the next room. I can feel myself positively tremble with excitement.
"Alysyn, my daughter. Today you are twelve. Your father and I have prepared a special gift for you," she says happily.
I am not speaking, I can feel my cheeks tighten as I smile excitedly. What is awaiting me in the other room? As mother leads me inside my jaw drops and I behold my gift. Everybody, my friends my family, even my grandfather whom had been away in the borderlands since I was a little girl, are all here. I can feel my cheeks warm considerably as I both grin and blush. Today will be a day to remember.
The party was finally winding down and all the guests had parted ways, with the exception of Grandfather, and my many gifts are stored safely in my room, but for the moment I will sit cross-legged on the floor, smiling up to Grandfather and listening to the stories of the battles he helped to fight. A favor that he told me he was repaying to a friend that had helped him long ago. Grandfather is old, but still strong, his sword is in fact lying right beside him, he never seems to have it out of and easy reach.
There's a knock at the door, and so I turn to face the noise. Treya also notices and she immediately stands and lets out a low growl. Who could that be at this hour? We hardly have any visitors ever. Father opens the door and I can see the familiar faces of the Seanchan soldiers. Father told me that as long as we leave them alone they will leave us alone. What are they doing here now? Is father in trouble? I am starting to get rather worried and I look over to Grandfather whom had already reached inconspicuously for his sword, his eyes closely following the soldiers movements.
Turning once again to face them I can see two women, one in a grey dress and the other in a blue dress adorned with lightning bolts, they are both connected by a chain. I've seen them around the city before... what was it that they are called? I know that they can channel, they are the weapons of the Seanchan and now I realize that I'm standing up, taking cover behind Grandfather.
"What do you mean 'tested'? You've already tested my wife!" I can hear father shouting angrily back at them.
"She was tested fine, but it's come to our attention that you have a daughter, she will need to be tested," she soldiers say to her, and the woman in blue is glaring impatiently, while the other is simply looking to the ground. "I'm sure it will be fine but we must be sure, now stand aside," he says sternly.
Father stood aside, mother glares at the two men and... three women? I hadn't noticed the other woman in blue, holding another collar of her own. One of them grabs me roughly from behind Grandfather and now I don't know what's happening... what's going on?
I can feel my heart pounding in my ears... I hear voices... what are they doing? Voices are growing louder and... arguing? Why are they arguing? What's going on? What are they testing? I see her, she's approaching with the collar. I want to resist but they're already holding me down.
"No!" Mother shouts, breaking me out of my trance, and I see her grab her marriage knife from around her neck, snapping off the fastenings and she lunges towards the nearest soldier. "You will not take my last child from me!"
At that moment I can see Treya leap onto the other guard, catching him by suprise and distracting him long enough for mother to gain the upper hand.
"Lidia! No!" Father shouts, but too late. Mothers knife lands in smallest of weak points in the armor, just beside the neck, he jumps back screaming loudly and I can feel the warm sting of blood land on my skin.
"Run Alysyn!" Mother yells as she yanks the blade from his knife and blood sprays out of the wound rhythmically and his screaming subsides.
I don't stay long enough to watch, I see father grab the fallen man's spear but have time for little else I find shelter in my room. I hear shouts, and Treya's vicious barks and growls turn into a single yelp. Treya? No... that can't be... what should I do? I quickly think of a plan and I open the window so that it appears that I had climbed out but now I crawl under my bed... maybe they'll think I left?
Warm tears are falling down my cheeks... from fear or sadness I don't know. Treya? I hear more continued shouts of men and women in the other room. Oh light... this isn't real... it's a dream... I can close my eyes and this is all going to be over now. My eyes are closed... I can still hear it... Mother? No that can't have been her... this will all be over any...
My door splinters suddenly as something is hurled through and I wince covering my head instinctively. As I open my eyes I see Father lying on the ground beside my bed, his eyes are opened and he's looking at me. No... he isn't. Father? Father? Move! Blink! Look at me! I see him... broken, his body is twisted and his neck is lying violently against the floor. This can't be happening. Finally mustering the strength of mind I crawl from beneath my bed I turn him over onto his back, his is still staring right through me... no... this cannot be.
"Father!" she shout, tears flowing down my cheek, my throat as tight as ever and I continue to shout though my voice threatens to leave me entirely. "Father! Get up!" tears are falling freely and words are gone. I cry, resting my head on his still chest, I cannot feel his heart... why? No... no... this isn't real...
Strong arms grab me, pull me away. I try to resist but it is pointless. They are stronger than I am... the collar... I feel it as though in a dream. Is it really there? This isn't... no. I'm trying to pull myself back to father but they drag me further away. As I'm dragged I look around now... tears flood my eyes and I want to look away from the grisly scene before me, but I cannot. Two soldiers are lying dead, it seemed that more had arrived than they had made known... six men stand in the room, including the one that was holding my arms. Mother... her eyes are frozen in a look of shock, a spearhead broken off inside of her stomach, the rest of the weapon discarded before her. Grandfather... he was charred beyond recognition... no... no this cannot be. Treya lay just beside the two soldiers, motionless in a growing pool of blood.
"Get our men out of there," somebody says in a slurred voice.
"What about the rest of them?" somebody asks with the same accent.
"Burn the whole bloody house down," he replies.
"Understood," he said as they began to follow orders and pulled their men out of the house.
One of them look at me. The helmet is frightening. He looks like a giant insect and he approaches me lowing his face to my level. "You're more trouble than you're worth. If you weren't so valuable to these women I'd let you burn with the rest of your family," she says, each word dripping with venom.
The woman in blue beside me leads me out and I follow her out in a daze, it isn't long before I feel the heat of my own home burning down. They make me watch. A funeral pyre for everything that I'd loved in my life. An effigy for all that I had lost. I don't know what to think, I'm just numb.
"They were lucky," the woman in blue says, looking coldly back onto me. "If it were up to me, I would have had all of their heads put on pikes and mounted beside the gates as an example to all that disobey the will of the Empress. From this day forward, you belong to me." she says sternly.
I just nod... I have nothing to say to this woman. The other woman in blue returns with her leashed companion. They were the one's that had set the fires at various locations on the house. I look at the woman in grey and I feel hatred for her. I hate her. She took everything away from me.
They are leading me back somewhere I just follow. No point to fight, they're just going to get me there anyway.
"I'm taking you to your room. Tomorrow, you are going to get your dress and you are going to learn your place," she says to me but I'm only half listening.
When she leads me to my room she puts her own part of the leash onto a hook near the door. "Do not even try to move that, do not try to remove the collar. If you do, it will be painful, and I will know, and you will be punished. I will go easy on you tomorrow, but be warned, it is your only chance. If you are a good Damane, I will even let you keep your name Alysyn."
I fall asleep crying quietly to myself.
I hate this dress. It is itchy and coarse. The dress they're burning... I like that one. It was my favorite... it's why I was wearing it on my birthday. I suppose it is the last birthday I'll ever have... this will be my entire life. Perhaps I can throw myself upon the fire of my clothes... no the leash is too short, and my Sul'dam is much stronger than I. I am... Damane... I remember the word but it feels so alien. This cannot be real. I keep expecting myself to wake, but I do not. Why not?
I've been good... so very good... but I cannot take this anymore. I have to get out of here! I reach behind my head to try to grab at the clasp but my hand seizes up. This cannot happen... how do they do such things to me?
Light! Here she comes! I cannot let her see... too late.
"I must admit, I am very disappointed in you Alysyn. You have been a good Damane until today. I am afraid you must be punished now," she says calmly as she puts on her bracelet.
Oh light! I can feel the switch across my back and I arch back and shout in surprise and pain. I don't know how long it goes on for... I feel it again... and again, each strike feeling as real as the last. Finally she stops... I'm crying... I'm just a child... how can they do this? Is it over? Has it stopped?
"Do not make me hurt you, my pet," she says chidingly. "Do not disobey me again."
"I-I'm sorry... mistress," I stutter taking deep breaths between sobs.
"You do not want to make me angry," she says with a strange smile. "You haven't made me angry yet, and for your sake I wouldn't advise it. Now come, it is time for midday meal. You may not speak for the remainder of the night. Now come."
"Yes Mist-" I am cut off as I scream in pain, a switch worse than any of the others run down my back.
"When I said you may not speak I meant not one word. Now come," she says and leads me out of the room as I nod simply, still crying quietly.
After intense training, I have figured out how to channel. This makes mistress very happy. I really want to make mistress happy because she's lets me talk to her when I am good. I cannot do much yet, I can just move rocks around right now, but she is very happy with that. Maybe... maybe I can use this to remove the clasp from my collar? No... mistress wouldn't like that. I do not want to make her angry again.
She knew... she knew that I was channeling without permission. I don't know how but she knew... how long was she punishing me? I don't know... it was so bad... she was angry with me. Is she done? She looks rather cross still, she looks like she's going to say something...
"You look like you enjoy channeling when I'm not around. I may have been too Lenient with you before. Your name is now Soshira. You are mine. You have lost speaking privileges until further notice. You'll receive no meals today and you are to stay in your room until I come and get you, tomorrow."
She... she still hasn't come to get me. How long has it been? Two days? I am so hungry... had she forgotten about me? She said she would come to get me yesterday... I need to eat. I am laying in my bed, looking at the pale light as it filters through my window, such a tiny thing. I cannot possibly escape, though the thought is crossing my mind at this moment. My hands clench waiting for some kind of pain to sprout from the device, perhaps I hadn't done enough to set it off.
The door opens finally after so much time... the smell of food wafts inside. My mouth waters and I wait for her to offer me the plate. Instead she silently hands me an empty plate. She slips on the bracelet and she looks at me rather seriously.
"If Soshira likes to channel so much, maybe It can do it now. This is its meal. It may have everything that It can move from this plate," and she points to the plate as she places it on a table nowhere near me. "It may not pick up a single morsel with its hand until the food touches touches the plate in its lap. It may not pick up any pieces Soshira drops on the floor, and It may drink only when It has finished the meal."
"But Mistress..." I begin to protest. I am too hungry to channel... she hears none of it and I scream as I feel a burning sensation over my entire body for only a moment.
"I did not give It permission to speak, and I certainly won't allow It to question me," she says quietly.
I cannot grab onto the source... but I cannot tell her this... I must try. I have to eat... oh light... why? Time is passing, how long has it been? "I can wait for you all day," she says to me, looking as though she is going to laugh. She really does enjoy hurting me, doesn't she?"
Do not upset mistress... mistress is mad... It doesn't want to make mistress mad... what will she do to Soshira? Why is she dragging It away... It doesn't want to be hurt... where is mistress taking It? This hurts its arm... her... no me! It is my arm! My name is Alysyn Baern! I am still me! Don't let her win!
"Soshira thinks It is so pretty?" she asks It... me... me!
"My name is Alysyn..." oh blood and ashes that was a mistake... why did I say that?
She glares at me, her eyes are like fire, she finally locks me up in something... what is this? Why can't I move? What is she doing? She's holding scissors, and she looks at me with that look that I know so well... oh light save me! I can't move at all, my head is completely immovable. I can feel her cutting off all of the hair, it lands all around me, stings my eyes as it falls down. No... not my hair... please... stop... I can't speak now... the restraint is clamping my jaws as well, all I can do is moan loudly, but this only seems to satisfy Alysyn further. She applies a lather to the rest of my head, and takes a razor blade and tears flow down my eyes as she takes away what I loved most about myself...
She removes a mirror and shows me my reflection... my hair is gone... all of it. "Does It think It's pretty now?" she demands. "DOES IT?" she shouts... only inches from my face. "It is ugly! No man will ever want It! It is mine! It is a tool! It is not a person!"
She removes the device and looks on for a moment. "What does It have to say for itself?"
"It is sorry Mistress... Soshira is very sorry. It isn't pretty... It doesn't want to look at Its reflection anymore... It is too ugly to look at."
"Good Soshira. Let us go for a walk to get some exercise."
It follows Mistress and keeps its head down. It doesn't deserve this kindness... better not mess it up.
[Year 4 Day 42]
It is happy to serve mistress finally. Mistress is happy with Soshira. It does not wish to displease, It only exists to serve mistress and now It will march proudly with Mistress. Already holding the power, It is ready to use it at a moments notice, anything to please mistress. Maybe if Mistress is really happy, she will let Soshira have hair again? It would like that.
There are soldiers everywhere. It is supposed to be on watch for anything that may endanger them, it is Soshira's job as Damane, and It is a good Damane. Mistress is proud of Soshira, always.
"Come Soshira. The Soldiers are splitting up. I must follow this group here."
Soshira follows Mistress, ready for anything to happen. It is marching for a long time. It knows the battle plan, remembers what Mistress had said. They soldiers were splitting to form a pincer and surround the enemy. How much longer will this marching take? Its feet are getting tired.
Suddenly, It hears shouting, soldiers are running for cover and many of them are already on the ground. Its hears the sounds... arrows fill the air, raining death in a large arc, one of them barely missing Soshira's feet. Quickly looking over to the left where enemy soldiers are coming out to meet them in battle, It knows what mistress wants It to do. It makes a ball of fire and launches it at a man, and It smiles as the man catches fire. Mistress will be pleased with that!
Fire weakens Soshira quickly though, but It has other tricks, launching a wall of air into a group of men they all fall and are left wide open long enough for soldiers to descend upon them. It is so happy at what It has done, will mistress be happy too? To please mistress is joy, mistress wants the people dead and It will kill them. Killing is the most fun It has had in a long time.
[Year 4 Day 44]
It doesn't want to march anymore. Soshira is tired. Perhaps mistress will let It speak? It doesn't know but It will try.
"Mistress?" It asks tentatively.
"What does It want?" Mistress asks. Mistress is angry... It will remember to ask this question delacately.
"How much longer will the soldiers march?" It asks. "It wants to rest. It's legs hurt Mistress."
"It will keep walking. When the soldiers are done It may rest. It will not speak anymore unless It see's something that may be a threat," Mistress says.
Soshira will watch carefully, perhaps they will come out of the woods again like last time? That was a good battle. It remembered the soldier that had managed to get close to It and pointed the sword at Soshira and how It had made his head burst. Soshira had laughed at that. It liked laughing and missed it terribly. It hopes there would be another battle.
How much time had it been? Marching seemed to take a long time, perhaps an hour since mistress last spoke to Soshira. Soshira thinks It sees something... something hiding in the woods. No... It doesn't see them but has a feeling...
"Mistress," It begins slowly. "Soshira thinks that there is something in the woods."
"Where?" she asks suddenly.
Soshira points out to the distance where the trees are thickest.
"Is It certain?" she asks and It nods to her. "What did It see?"
"Soshira didn't see anything, it feels that something is there. It doesn't know why."
Mistress glares at Soshira now, has it been bad? Mistress doesn't punish Soshira but tugs back on the collar sharply and Soshira stumbles as It is pulled along with Mistress.
"I don't have time for this nonsense. Don't say anything else unless It actually sees something," Mistress says after a while.
Suddenly Soshira feels a tug and it is pulled out of sight behind a nearby boulder and It finally hears the whistling sounds of arrows piercing the ground all about her, the click of arrows against the rock and Soshira is frightented.
"Calm yourself!" Mistress hisses from the side... but is mistress being sympathetic? Of course... It cannot perform well if not calm and It must be ready to kill the men that come after It.
Quite suddenly Soshira cannot move... why can It not move? It cannot channel... It cannot do anything! What is going on? It turns Its head to look behind It and Soshira sees a woman wearing a blue dress gliding towards her her eyes seem pure fire. Behind the woman It sees others like her all looking angry. It looks at the battlefield and it had seemed to have died down as quickly as it had begun.
"Be wary," the woman in blue says. "There may be more of them somewhere. Uncollar this one and we can unshield them."
The woman walked up to mistress and removed the bracelet from her hands and two soldiers (where had they come from?) bound her up and dragged her away.
It tries to scream but invisible bonds and gags keep It from doing anything. It tries to struggle as the blue clad woman strides nearer and for the first time that It can ever remember, the collar falls to the ground and It is free. Free? No! Mistress! Mistress? It cannot move and feels itself being forced into more bonds before the invisible ropes disappear and the ropes that It can see take over.
"I'll take her to the tower but it looks like she's going to need some time," the woman says and It feels itself being taken away by the other women, gently but firm.
It tries to turn and run but it is caught by the invisible ropes again... it cannot possibly fight back. It gives up and lets them take it away.
It doesn't know how long it has had to wait here in this place. The tent was filled with other women... were they Marath'damane? They must be collared! This is madness! It was the only thing that made sense. Soshira liked to kill... It had made a mans head explode and It had laughed about it! What would it do without the collar... perhaps it could escape by using the power? It tries to embrace but nothing happens... nothing is blocking it so why? Why can't it channel? Of course... it shouldn't... not without Mistress. It can't channel without Mistress or else It is too dangerous.
The blue clad woman comes back through the tent, another uncollared damane behind her. It knows the other Damane and yet... she looks happy? How can she be happy? The blue clad woman looks at Soshira and smiles, the fire that Soshira had seen before is gone from her eyes.
"My name is Laela Allette. I am an Aes Sedai of the Grey Tower and Sitter for the Blue Ajah." she says slowly.
The smile is fake, Soshira can tell. She is only going to hurt Soshira like Mistress did, but she is not Mistress, she is Marath'damane and needs to be collared. It will not listen to her.
"What is your name?" she asks.
It hesitates, should it tell her? It supposed it was unavoidable so It would tell her. "Its name is Soshira."
"It?" she asks curiously. "You are not an object Soshira. You are a young woman that was born with a great gift. What happened to you is a great tragedy, but I'm going to take you to the tower and I hope we can teach you to channel properly and do something good with your life. I am sure that you had hoped for something else before you were collared?" she was still smiling, though she seemed sad.
"Before It was collared?" Soshira asked. "Soshira was always collared. Soshira was never free. Where is mistress?"
"You were not born with the collar," the woman insisted.
"Soshira was born with the collar marath'damane," it says to the blue clad woman that calls herself Laela, It glares at her, she isn't Mistress so It has nothing to fear from her.
The woman is not phased, she continues to smile. "Perhaps Soshira was after all," she says though It thinks she was only talking to herself. "Very well, you won't talk about before you were collared and so I will leave the subject alone for now. Your mistress is also going to be brought back to the tower to serve trial for her crimes, but I am not going to allow you to see her until I believe you are of sound enough mind to deal with her, but I do not think that will happen before her likely execution is carried out."
Did she just say "execution"? Soshira cannot allow this! But what can It do? It is powerless without Mistress... is It crying? No... now the woman will see... she shouldn't see It cry. Perhaps it is too late for Soshira to do anything. Soshira cannot stop crying for It has reserved itself to its fate. It will let them teach it to be marath'damane. Perhaps It will learn to like that too someday.
This bio was written while listening to the discography of Lacuna Coil.